Only a fraction of the migrants applying for a residence permit for employment purposes in Germany received one last year, and German Green party politician Misbah Khan is now claiming that “racist resentment” is behind the development.
Die Welt reports that in 2021, around 40,000 foreigners obtained a residence permit for employment purposes, with the paper citing the federal government’s latest migration report. The vast majority of migrants who arrive in Germany are not labor migrants but asylum seekers.
“The growth in the area of labor migration is a positive signal,” said migration politician Misbah Khan (Greens), who was pleased with the latest figures but says there was also “a lot of catching up to do” for Germany.
Khan argues that the federal government must make it easier for immigrants to arrive, which includes “taking action against racist resentment, making immigration family-friendly, and reducing administrative hurdles.” She said that “racial resentment” may be one of the factors keeping Germany from issuing more permits.
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The claims of racist resentment come at a time when the majority of Germans want to reduce immigration numbers in the country. In 2022, the country took in over 1.2 million people, which has overwhelmed the German social welfare system.
The Die Welt report details how the number of labor migrants has increased by about a third, but it is still well below the pre-pandemic level of 64,000 in 2019. Approximately 1.3 million migrants arrived in Germany in 2021, and 500,000 were from non-EU countries. The largest group among labor migrants is from India and the Western Balkan states, while other groups were from Turkey, the United States, and China.
While there are no signs the number of asylum seekers is slowing, the government wants to dramatically boost the number of labor migrants arriving, with some politicians pushing for up to 500,000 a year.
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At the same time, the country is moving forward with a controversial reform to give citizenship to up to 2 million migrants who entered Germany in 2015 and 2016.
As before, the number of registered asylum seekers exceeds the number of migrant workers by several times. In 2021, for example, there were over 148,000 applications for asylum and over 100,000 applications for family reunification. In the same period, 132,000 people received German citizenship, including 20,000 Syrians.