This blog was prompted by the on-going negotiations between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Green Party. Although I am a strong supporter of environmental initiatives, particularly those on climate change, I do not want to see Green Parties in government now owing to their pro-immigration stance. Here is an extract from a DW article on the Green Party’s policies:
Upper limit for asylum seekers: The Green Party is opposed to an upper limit for refugees, saying that it endorses “an unlimited preservation of the individual fundamental and human right.”
Family reunifications: The Greens want to resume family reunifications for those with subsidiary protection immediately.
Deportations: Greens believe that the past two years have seen an “inhumane tightening of asylum laws.” In their party program, they state that they want to focus on increasing voluntary returns. They believe Afghanistan is not safe enough to deport rejected asylum seekers to Kabul.
Immigration law: Like the SPD, the Greens want to introduce a point-based immigration law, similar to the Canadian immigration policy.
The Greens want the children of legal migrants or refugees born in Germany to automatically be granted citizenship. They also want those whose asylum in Germany has run out to be able to shift their status from “refugee” to “migrant” without having to leave the country and file for a visa if they would qualify for a visa under the point system, as does the FDP.
Now, compare this to Alternative for Germany (AfD) that was resurgent in this year’s general election:
Alternative for Germany (AfD)
Upper limit for asylum seekers: The AfD wants to go beyond an annual upper limit on asylum seekers. It wants a “zero immigration” policy — a cap on all immigration unless deportations of rejected asylum seekers result in a net immigration of zero or lower. They also want to close the German border to stop what they view as “unregulated mass migration.”
Family reunifications: The AfD is against all types of family reunification, regardless of protection status.
Deportations: The AfD seeks to radically increase the number of deportations of rejected asylum seekers, as well as reform the current asylum law laid out in the German constitution to ensure a smaller number of people are granted asylum.
Immigration law: “That [the state itself] can determine quality and quantity of migration to be key characteristics of state sovereignty,” is one of the few statements the AfD makes on how legal migration could be regulated in its party program, focusing largely on what it perceives are faults in the current migration system. Many AfD members view migrants from Muslim-majority countries and Africa in particular as a potential threat to the security or stability of Germany.
While searching the Internet on this issue, I came across this Politico article that completely amazed me:
‘Germans should learn Arabic, says Green MP’
He said that Germans who feel insecure in their neighborhood should learn Arabic or Turkish to fit in, and also said Germans shouldn’t worry about migrants speaking their own language.
Volker Beck, the Green party’s spokesman on migration issues, told the broadcaster n-tv on Friday that Germans shouldn’t be worried about neighborhoods where people speak different languages. “Other countries are more relaxed about the fact that in some areas a community with a migration background speaks another language,” Beck said, citing Mexican and Chinese communities in the U.S.
The situation is also similar in Sweden where the Green Party is also in the government. Currently there is a disagreement between the Social Democrats and the Green Party. The Local newspaper in Sweden reports that the Social Democrats want to expel Afghan refugees whose asylum applications have been rejected, whereas the Green Party want to offer them an amnesty:
Hundreds of young refugees watched from the gallery as a debate was held in the Riksdag on Wednesday over the situation for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Sweden. It follows a sit-down protest by young asylum seekers in Stockholm that started in August, where demonstrators argue that deportations to Afghanistan should be stopped because the country is not safe.
Among the speakers at the debate were Migration Minister Heléne Fritzon, who dismissed calls for an amnesty.
“Those who have an asylum application rejected must of course leave,” she said, insisting that Sweden has one of the most legally sound asylum systems and offers strong rights for asylum seekers.
The Green Party’s migration spokesperson Maria Ferm argued however that a legal solution should be found so that the young Afghans who came as unaccompanied asylum seekers in 2015 can stay:
“Afghanistan is one of the world’s most dangerous countries, and there are very few opportunities to start any kind of normal life for those who return there without a network”.
The Swedish Migration Agency’s official stance on Afghanistan is that safety varies between the country’s different provinces and that “it is still possible to return to several areas”.
Now, as a result of their pro-migration stance, the Swedish Green Party are facing an exit from parliament in the upcoming 2018 general election, according to a Reuters report:
Sweden’s Greens, the junior party in the ruling coalition, would not get into parliament if a vote were held now, a poll showed on Friday, underlining the fragile position of the minority government led by the centre-left Social Democrats.
The Green Party got 3.2 percent in the poll by Inizio for daily Aftonbladet, below the 4 percent threshold needed for seats in parliament and well down on the 6.9 percent they scored in the 2014 general election.
The centre-left coalition has struggled since taking power in 2014 as a result of surging support for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who hold the balance of power in parliament.
So, as long as the Greens continue this pro-migration stance that will not extend their political support beyond their core supporters. Many voters like myself are strongly pro-environment but anti-immigration and this a dichotomy Green politicians will need to resolve.