In response to high immigration, Germany is seeing high emigration as well
October 24, 2016
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP
We write a good amount about expatriation. Much of it is Americans leaving the US for other countries, getting residencies, visas, passports, and citizenship because the US is heading in a very bad direction.
Expatriation is one of many solutions I advocate here to achieve personal freedom. Expatriation inevitably involves emigration, which in turn makes one an immigrant in their destination country.
But I want to direct your attention for a moment to Europe. Americans often hear about the free universities and well paid auto workers in Germany, for example. “Why can’t the US be more like them?”
No one wants to hear why they can do it the way they do out there. No one wants to hear that the Mercedes made in Germany and the Mercedes in the US don’t come with the same standard features. In fact, the US version comes stocked with far more features.
No one wants to hear that there is a lower university attendance and graduation rate in Germany than in the US simply because there isn’t as high a demand for college degrees in the work force out there.
Germany has… or at least had… a system that worked for them. But that system is falling apart partially due to the EU but also because of Merkel’s blundering of the immigration issue.
Two things are happening out there: 1. Syrian refugees are showing up by the boat loads, and 2. Germans are leaving to other countries by the hundreds of thousands.
Before the ire gets out of control, it is worth mentioning that the refugee issue started about 5 years ago, but the emigration of Germans started 5 years before that. Over the last 10 years nearly 1.5 million Germans have left Germany. So it’s not just Syrian refugees.
Over the entire course of human history, mankind has learned that either he can bend a situation to his will, or he needs to adapt to circumstances stronger than he is in order to survive. So yes, man can subjugate a mule to bear his load, but man cannot control the climate so he must find shelter in the colder and rainy months.
That has not changed one bit. And it is a universal, primal understanding all human beings have. Whether they like it or not is a different story, of course.
The question is, what circumstances have these Syrian refugees been met with in Germany?
Let’s put aside the fact that the Western governments are responsible for creating the refugees in the first place, since that does nothing to help the case of the countries taking these displaced people in. The issue remains, there are refugees from Syria and they are entering Germany because Angela Merkel has opened the borders to let them in.
Being an expat myself, I stand by my position that borders should be open, and therefore find no problem in Germany opening its own borders. The problem comes in with the policies instituted for these refugees.
Had they just showed up and Germany offered perhaps a language class and a job fair, it might not have been so bad. But that’s not what happened. Instead, Germany made special accommodations, and in fact overcompensated for the sad conditions these people were fleeing. The integration programs had Germans changing their behaviors rather than teaching the refugees how to live in Germany. The welfare state expanded. Germany started seeing and tolerating violent crimes. Refugees are treated differently and with kid gloves. That’s the problem.
The reason I know it is the government’s fault is because the US knows only too well about immigration, and even refugees.
Do we see more crime due to immigrants? No. US violent crime is at an all-time low despite the millions of undocumented immigrants here. We would see even less if we gave up this ridiculous drug war. Immigrants who break our laws are treated the same if not worse in our system than citizens, and are dealt with in short order. That’s not a praise to our police state, but it does set the tone for American tolerance.
Do we see an exhaustion of welfare benefits? No. They are a net positive economic contribution to the US.
In general, the immigrant population in the US is a quiet demographic that keeps to itself and wants to be left alone. They come here to work. Yes, gang members do come in. Yes, they commit crimes. The US doesn’t even have an open border policy, and we still have hundreds of thousands of immigrants coming and going. And our violent crimes are DOWN.
But let me offer you another example. One no one really thinks about: Post Katrina Texas. That’s right, in 2005 Texas was one of the neighboring states that offered to take in Katrina evacuees.
A good number of these evacuees were black, poor, uneducated, welfare recipients. But they all spoke English and they were all American citizens. Texas saw a very similar strain on their state when the evacuees showed up. Crime went up. Many felt entitled and exhausted their welcome and goodwill, along with government funding.
Once the economy started taking a hit, and the government money stopped showing up, it became a fish or cut bait situation. The evacuees had to make a choice: are you going to stay and get your life together? Or are you going to go back and see what’s left for you? Fast forward 10 years and you see things have normalized. Many evacuees decided to just call Texas the home of new beginnings, got jobs, and integrated. Houston is doing well again. Texas is one of the best economies in the union, second only to California.
End the welfare programs. End the government “integration” programs. Leave the refugees to do what is necessary to provide and survive. They will inevitably learn enough German to get by, as many Mexican immigrants have learned English here in the US. And likewise, be tolerant of the time it takes to integrate. Assuming the worst of people isn’t going to help anyone.
Germans are moving to places like Hungary. They are, then, immigrants themselves, who look at emigration as a personal solution to the problems they have with their homeland. Obviously being an immigrant unto itself is not a problem. It is the integration process. If it is forced, it will lead to resentment. If it is populist, it will marginalize people. But if it is pluralistic, as was the case when Texas ran out of funding, then immigrants will find their place and settle in fine.
Over compensating or accommodating is likely the biggest flaw Germany has made. And the people are rightly frustrated. The crime is up, and of course needs to be dealt with, but that isn’t a permanent fixture.
Here are some sentiments of those leaving or relocating:
- “I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany. Instead of halting the Islamization of Germany (and the consequent demise of our culture and freedom), most politicians seem to me to be more concerned about getting reelected, and therefore they prefer to ignore or downplay the Islam problem.
- “I believe that German streets are less secure than they should be given our technological, legal and financial opportunities.
- “I believe that the EU has a democratic deficit which limits my influence as a democratic citizen.
- “I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens, but is being dictated by you to German citizens and the next generation.
- “I believe that the German media is increasingly giving up its neutrality, and that freedom of expression in this country is only possible in a limited way.
- “I believe that in Germany sluggards are courted but the diligent are scourged.
- “I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews.”
“In summary, I find conditions here that make me feel that we are not really wanted here. That our family does not really fit in here. My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest.
“This is exactly the reason why people like me lose their patience and we choose to vote for other political parties…. Quite honestly, I have traveled half the world, have more foreign friends than German and have absolutely no prejudices or aversions to people because of their origin. I have seen much of the world and I know that the way integration is done here will cause others to come to the same conclusion as we have: either we send our children to private schools and kindergartens, or we move to other communities. Well then, so long!!!!!!!!!!!”
At the heart of each of these is government policy, not immigrants wholesale. They’ve certainly drawn some conclusions based on what they’ve seen, but in the end they are displeased with the integration process, their lack of control over their circumstances in a democracy, the discrepancy in the welfare state that has shown more favor to some than others. IF Germany stuck to keeping people safe and nothing else, would this still be a problem? Not likely.
The US has taken in 784,000 refugees since 9/11. It’s not a lot given our size and economy. But it isn’t insignificant either, considering we are also home to many undocumented immigrants. Despite the influx of foreigners, we don’t have an official language and we don’t have higher crime. So it doesn’t have to be as it is in Germany. Immigration isn’t a sentence to violence and unrest. Government policies set that cadence.
As an expat myself, I do want open or at least softer borders. I love living all over the world. I love the freedom of being able to disassociate myself and distance myself from the United States. I love having options. I love that countries are fighting for entrepreneurs to come to their land. I love the competition softer borders creates. Let’s not let bigotry and failed government policy get in the way of that.
Click here to schedule a consultation or here to become a member of our Insider program where you are eligible for free consultations, deep discounts on corporate and trust services, plus a wealth of information on internationalizing your business, wealth and life.