Germany slashes citizenship residency rules from 8 to 3 years to boost naturalizations

Opponents say the move will devalue German citizenship and lead to the abolition of the country’s identity

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The duration that foreign nationals must reside in Germany before applying for citizenship will drop from eight to five years, and as low as three years for some, in new plans approved by the country’s federal government on Wednesday.

The move to fast-track naturalization for foreign workers is an attempt by the German government to counter the decline in attractiveness for migrant workers in recent years and boost the country’s competitiveness for skilled workers, the government said.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the federal government was taking “the important next step with the new citizenship law” after already easing visa restrictions for prospective migrant workers.

“A modern citizenship law is therefore also a decisive key for the competitiveness of Germany as a business location,” she said on Wednesday.

Under the plans, the standard time period a foreign national must spend living and working in Germany before applying for citizenship will be reduced from eight years down to five. However, applicants who can prove a high level of integration in the country, by showing advanced language proficiency, for example, will be able to obtain citizenship after just three years.

These rules will apply to those of good standing, and applicants with criminal records that are “irreconcilable with commitment to the free democratic basic order” will be barred.

Foreign nationals who have relied on the German welfare state will not be eligible for citizenship until they have proven to be financially self-sufficient, and failed asylum seekers who remain in the country due to deportation bans back to their country of origin will also not be eligible.

Additionally, the draft law will also facilitate the formal recognition of dual citizenship in Germany, meaning that applicants wishing to apply for German citizenship will no longer be required to relinquish their initial citizenship when obtaining a German passport.

Faeser hailed this as a progressive move for the country which will mean that foreign nationals will no longer be “forced to give up part of their identity,” while conservative opponents claim it encourages applicants who lack commitment to Germany and its liberal values.

Thorsten Frei, a senior MP for the opposition CDU party, claimed the government’s commitment to easing citizenship is evidence of the liberal coalition focusing on “the wrong priorities,” focusing on foreign nationals instead of improving the lives of ordinary Germans.

He added that the government should not be facilitating mass migration through “open doors” and by offering “the lowest requirements possible for acquiring German citizenship.”

“German citizenship is something very precious; something one should treat very carefully,” added CDU party leader Friedrich Merz.

“Things can’t happen fast enough for the abolitionists of Germany – now German citizenship is also being sold at a discount,” tweeted Alice Wiedel, the co-leader of the hardline nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Already last year, a record number of young Syrian males were granted citizenship in Germany, and the coming years are expected to bring a tidal wave of naturalizations from the Middle East and Africa. Critics of the relaxation of citizenship laws also point out that the policy will achieve two vital goals for the left-liberal government. For one, they will boost their voting pool dramatically at a time when their parties are sinking in the polls and the anti-immigration AfD party is surging.

Remix News previously wrote on the issue:

The idea of the Great Replacement has long been rejected by liberal fact-checkers, who have labeled it a “conspiracy theory.” Nevertheless, both immigration and birth rate data showing the rapid growth of non-European populations and the falling share of European natives have shown demonstrable proof that Europe is being demographically transformed.

Furthermore, many who argue that the Great Replacement is occurring also point out that the left is looking to raise the migrant share of the population to increase votes for their own pro-migration parties, a trend also seen in the United States. In Germany, the new law will immediately introduce what could amount to nearly 2 million new German voters and many more over the years who will overwhelmingly support parties such as SPD and Greens.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has hinted about their new role as voters while defending the new naturalization regime, saying, “Anyone who lives and works here on a permanent basis should also be able to vote and be elected; they should be part of our country with all the rights and duties that go with it. And this should be completely independent of origin, skin color, or religious affiliation.

“Nine million citizens live and work in our country without having German citizenship. But a democracy thrives on the opportunity to have a say. This is how legitimacy is created, this is how the acceptance of government decisions grows.”

With SPD dropping in the polls and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany rising, SPD will need this new crop of voters to maintain power.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of foreigners converted rapidly to German citizens could help hide the dramatic role of foreigners in the crime statistics, since once they obtain German citizenship they no longer are German. This is a major selling point for the left as well.

In general, Germany keeps no crime statistics on the race or ethnicity of perpetrators. Instead, it tracks the share of citizens versus foreigners in the data, which at the very least, allows the state to track the share of crimes committed by Germany’s new migrant population, which has ballooned in recent years.

As Remix News has reported, the data has not been pretty, with foreigners accounting for a massive share of serious crimes such as rape, murder, sexual assault, and robbery. For example, in the case of murder, foreigners are responsible for 39 percent of all cases despite making up approximately 11 percent of the population.

This 39 percent data point is also already misleading, as the other 61 percent of murders committed by “Germans” could include, for example, second-generation Turks or Kurds with German citizenship. Again, the current data makes no distinction between ethnic Germans and people with Turkish roots who obtained German citizenship.

All the troubling crime statistics regarding foreigners “disappear” once these foreigners are naturalized as citizens, and the jump in murders will suddenly be lumped into the “German” category, with the public left in the dark about how many crimes are being committed by these freshly minted citizens.

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