Posted on January 19, 2024

Germany’s Waning Left-Wing Government Expedites Citizenship Process (And Voting Rights) for Migrants

Thomas Brooke, Remix, January 19, 2024

The German parliament voted in favor of the left-wing federal government’s new citizenship law on Friday, a move that will reduce the time migrants must reside in the country before receiving voting rights, potentially enabling 2.5 million previously non-German citizens to support left-wing parties in next year’s federal election.

Foreign nationals living in Germany will soon be able to obtain citizenship after just five years instead of the previous eight, and in some cases, migrants who can show “special integration performance” will be instantly naturalized after just three years of residence.

The new law also relaxes the requirement for elderly foreign nationals to show proficiency in the German language, while children of foreigners who have lived in Germany for five years or more will be automatically naturalized.

According to experts cited by the Junge Freiheit news outlet, the move will immediately enable 2.5 million foreign nationals to apply for a German passport, including hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered Germany illegally at the peak of the migrant crisis in 2016.

Cynics would describe the timing of the citizenship reforms to be convenient for the government, which is currently plummeting in the opinion polls and losing ground to the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) because of its failing immigration policy.

Naturalizing millions of foreign nationals will almost inevitably tip the scales favorably in the government’s direction ahead of federal elections next year, with foreigners statistically far more likely to support left-wing parties.

“This is probably the traffic light law with the most far-reaching negative consequences for our society,” said Alexander Throm, the CDU’s domestic policy spokesman — the traffic light being a colloquialism for the coalition federal government comprising the SPD (red), the FDP (yellow), and the German Green Party.

“The traffic lights have lost all sense of the situation in the country,” added Mario Voigt, the CDU’s leader in the German state of Thuringia. “The discussion shows that the Reds and Greens envision a different society. In the largest wave of illegal migration, the traffic light fails to limit it. There needs to be order back in our migration policy. Naturalization can only be the result of successful integration, not the beginning. True integration takes time,” he added.

The more radical anti-mass migration AfD accused the federal government on Friday of effectively “selling off German passports,” with MP Dr. Christian Wirth telling the Bundestag that the government is seeking to “use citizenship to defend its failed migration policy.”

In an attempt to justify the move, the government claimed that the number of naturalizations had fallen in recent years and claimed it was necessary and fair that foreigners should be able to participate in all aspects of society after arriving in the country.

The latest available government figures show that approximately 170,000 foreigners were granted citizenship in 2022, the vast majority of whom originated from Islamic nations. A total of 50,000 Syrians were naturalized, while Afghans, Turks, and Iraqis featured heavily.