A Harsh Reality

With recent headlines decrying poor treatment of refugees—from the Rohingya in South Asia to African migrants in the Mediterranean—the issue of human rights and the aid that these destitute people receive is on the minds of leaders the world over. As a highly-developed state and powerful economy, Germany has stepped up to the task of accepting refugees, settling the largest number of any country in Europe. In addition to altruistically-fueled motives, the Germans also have economic incentives at stake: the revenues that these immigrants will bring in will be vital to bolstering a shrinking population and a slowing economy in the future.

Still, the reality that these refugees face once they arrive in Germany is difficult. Long lines, bureaucracy, and paperwork make the transition into German society a tough one. Given increased activity from the so-called Islamic State (IS), which has displaced millions from Syria and Iraq into surrounding countries and to their richer neighbors, many are desperate to find a new future—one that Germany ostensibly provides. As the conflict in Iraq and Syria rages on and more people are displaced, it remains to be seen whether Germany and the other member states of the EU will be able to successfully mitigate the increasingly devastating results of this mass-migration through amnesty policy and integration. A recent article from Die Welt represents a snapshot of what such migrants as well as their counterparts in the German civil service face as they address these sensitive issues.

Click here for further reading on the issues of immigration and integration from AICGS.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.