Berlin swiftly rejected Monday a call by two right-of-centre legislators to introduce intelligence tests for new immigrants, with a spokesman saying it was a “weird” idea.
Christoph Steegmans, deputy government spokesman, said the proposal encouraged nasty prejudices.
“It’s also not particularly intelligent in itself,” he said. “Attributing stupidity to immigrants as a group is absolutely discriminatory.” He added that it was “weird” to think of testing migrants’ intelligence before arrival.
Peter Trapp, who is state spokesman on interior policy for his party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), had been quoted in the tabloid Bild on Monday as saying he supported IQ tests for immigrants.
He [Peter Trapp, spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)] was backed by a member of the European Parliament, Markus Ferber, for the Bavaria-only Christian Social Union (CSU), who said, “Canada is a lot more advanced, and requires immigrant children to have a higher IQ than its own.”
Germany already has a written test which migrants must pass to obtain long-term residence. They are obliged to answer questions about the German political system and German attitudes to tolerance.
Ethnic issues, with right-wingers complaining that immigrants refuse to assimilate, generally get less attention in Germany than in neighbouring lands like the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria.