Call for paid service +44 (0)344-991-9222

German minister praises 2004 Immigration Act

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

Germany's commissioner for integration says passage of a law requiring immigrants to learn the German language and customs is her greatest achievement.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Marieluise Beck said she would have liked the 2004 Immigration Act to go farther than it did in easing settlement in Germany for highly skilled workers, the self-employed and foreign students.

"With the new immigration law, we've cleared the way for Germany to welcome new migrants and to rise to the challenges of integration," Beck said.

Germany, like most other Western European countries, must encourage immigration if it wishes to maintain a high level of social benefits because of its low birthrate. But the country also has a high unemployment rate, which rises to about 25 percent among immigrants, twice the national average.

Beck said she would have liked a point system like Canada's, which ranks would-be immigrants according to qualities such as education and skills.