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Why the new traffic light immigration law falls far short

Who could deny that Germany urgently needs skilled workers - from engineers to nurses, from IT specialists to pipe fitters.

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Why the new traffic light immigration law falls far short

Who could deny that Germany urgently needs skilled workers - from engineers to nurses, from IT specialists to pipe fitters. Despite the thousands of vacancies, Germany is dependent on at least 400,000 additional workers a year, according to the Federal Labor Office. In the IT sector alone, the German economy is currently lacking 137,000 specialists.

But these people don't usually come by boat in the Mediterranean, they usually don't set out from Bangladesh or anywhere else to get to Europe via the Balkan route. These people must be wooed in order to live permanently in this aging country, groaning under its bureaucratic burden, which considers itself - at least morally - to be the center of the world.

The federal government is now trying to bring these people to Germany with the help of a “transparent and unbureaucratic” points system. Today, the traffic light coalition will decide on a key program. Based on the Canadian model, this system is intended to implement the principle: The more qualified the applicant, the faster he can immigrate.

Only: So far, hardly any of these skilled workers have come to Germany. The new law may bring some relief, but the efforts of the past decades show that we generally do not need the people who come as workers - and those on whom we depend stay away. What shall we do?

It's time for an active immigration policy, time for an immigration commissioner. He and his staff would travel the world looking for the professionals we need.

For example, when Venezuela's authoritarian Maduro regime starves its people, representatives of the German immigration commissioner fly to Caracas and offer - say - 5,000 nurses immediate German work and residence permits, as well as paid language courses and housing.

If the people in Hong Kong can no longer stand Beijing's fist, it would be the task of the same immigration authorities to offer the well-qualified Hong Kong Chinese enticing prospects in Germany. Hardly any German would object to this.

If it were then also possible to deport the migrants who have no right to asylum; if, in addition, the ideological stubbornness that prevents the Greens in particular from expanding the list of safe countries of origin to include countries like Tunisia also disappears; if something were to be done about the rejection of unauthorized people, Germany would be a long way further.

Will it actually happen at some point? So far, unfortunately, you have to take it like the mocker Karl Valentin: "First I waited slowly... and then faster and faster."

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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