After 16 years in power as the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel recently left office. On the immigration front, her legacy was undoubtedly opening her country’s borders and rolling out the red carpet for more than 1 million migrants during the 2015 migration crisis. The results? More crime, more societal tension, and increased sexual assaults and oppression against women. However, judging by its immigration agenda, the new center-left cabinet of Olaf Scholz may prove to be even worse than Merkel’s government, or, at the very least, no better.
The Scholz cabinet is a coalition of the new chancellor’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), the eco-leftist Greens, and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), also referred to as the “traffic light” coalition (Ampelkoalition) due to the parties’ respective colors (red for SDs, green for the environmentalists, and yellow for the liberals). As the New York Post puts it, the three parties constituting the new German governing coalition “have cast themselves as a progressive alliance that will bring new energy to the country after Merkel’s near-record time in office.”
This left-liberal program includes not only embracing policies like “investing” more in “affordable” housing, lowering the voting age to 16, doubling down on the “green” agenda, and legalizing marijuana, but also liberalizing immigration.
The Traffic Light coalition wants to implement the following policies: allowing dual citizenship; granting one-year residency permits to migrants without criminal records who have lived in Germany for at least 5 years; making some migrants who have lived in Germany for at least three years eligible for German citizenship; decreasing asylum wait times; and creating so-called “humanitarian corridors” from Afghanistan and other countries.
Moreover, the Scholz government plans to increase chain migration. As Breitbart News explains, the coalition wants to allow “not only more recognized refugees to bring family members to Germany but will allow those with subsidiary protection — a lesser form of refugee status typically afforded to those in jeopardy of harm if the return to their country — to do the same.”
With all of this in mind, the government’s promises to deport those who are in Germany illegally ring hollow and are likely a mere gimmick to sell the agenda to skeptics (not unlike the largely empty promises of enforcement accompanying the 1986 amnesty in the U.S.).
All of this is being misleadingly sold as an attempt to reduce illegal migration by making it easier to come and stay legally. In reality, the Traffic Light coalition’s policies are likely to actually attract more illegal migration, as many prospective illegal migrants and fraudulent asylum-seekers may interpret Scholz’s policies as an invitation to come, thereby making Germany and its generous welfare system even more attractive. Mr. Scholz and his cabinet ministers would have done well to study Joe Biden’s own migrant crisis to see the results of promises to liberalize the system and grant amnesty.
And Germany being a magnet for more illegal migration through Scholz’s policies is not just a problem for Germany, but for much of Europe. As a large and populous country, and the continent’s largest economy (and no. 4 in the world), the Federal Republic obviously has tremendous influence and clout in Europe. Although Germany is located in the center of Europe – and therefore doesn’t share a direct border with places through which illegal migrants enter Europe – its policies have a major impact on “frontline” countries in the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and now also Central and Eastern Europe (as evidenced by the 2015 migrant crisis).
As such, by liberalizing its immigration policies, Germany – a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally of the U.S. – brings discord into the alliance by undermining allies on NATO’s eastern flank. Poland, for instance, has been facing an illegal migration crisis at its border with Belarus, engineered by the latter’s pro-Russian dictator, and which involves aggressive migrants often trying to attack Polish border troops. Will Chancellor Scholz’s pro-mass-migration stance add further fuel to the fire, particularly since so many of the migrants want to get to Germany?
But there is an additional reason for Americans to care about the effects of Germany’s misguided immigration policy. Since Germany is part of the Visa Waiver Program, granting German citizenship to the nationals of other countries residing in Germany may expose us to potential national security threats and facilitate the entry of terrorist sympathizers who may receive German citizenship courtesy of the Traffic Light coalition. Since events in faraway places can clearly have an impact on our domestic affairs, it is important to follow, and learn from, what is happening in Europe. .