Policy with respect to Aliens and Migration Research in the Federal Republic of Germany 1973 – 1983

Published date01 October 1983
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.1983.tb00980.x
Date01 October 1983
AuthorALOIS WEIDACHER
Policy with respect to Aliens
and Migration Research
in
the Federal Republic
of
Germany
1973
-
1983
BY
ALOIS WEIDACHER
Introduction
In the following, policy with respect to aliens is the policy relating to those persons who
came to the Federal Republic from southern countries in the course of the labour recruit-
ment drive up until the recruitment stop in 1973, and members oftheir families who have
been allowed to come since. It is hence a very large group of persons who have been living
and working in the Federal Republic of Germany for ten years
or
more, plus their families.
As migrant workers they occupy a very low rank in the social hierarchy of the German
population.The following first part ofthe contribution sketches briefly the development of
official government policy concerning aliens at federal and
Lander
level since 1973, with
reference to the guidelines of the parliamentary parties of the CDU/CSU (Christian
Democratic UniodChristian Social Union), FDP (Free Democratic Party) and SPD
(Social Democratic Party).
Against the background of the discussion of official government policy with respect to
aliens, a short description will then be given of the current research situation on the subject
of the migration ofworkers in the Federal Republic of Germany: what the expectations of
politicians and administrators are with respect to research; which are the main problem
areas on which research focuses; how research experts view the demand for and current
state of research; in which areas the most important formulations of theory have been
made in migration research.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT POLICY
WITH
RESPECT TO ALIENS
1973
-
1982
The immigration of migrant workers from non-EEC Mediterranean countries reached
its peak between 1970 and 1973 and was then halted by decisions which had as their
background the oil shock and indications of economic depression. Further immigration
was limited to family members. The further immigration of Turks increased again con-
siderably (from 1976)
(212,000
in 1980). Turkey cited the free movement of labour as
formulated in the agreement
for
association with the EEC
on
December I, 1976. As a
result, the Federal Republic, as also France and the Benelux countries, introduced com-
pulsory visas
for
Turks in 1980.
463
The necessity
of
the immigration stop in 1973
could be justified with relatively few
problems by the unfavourable economic and employment outlook on the one hand, and
infrastructure problems due
to
the employment of foreigners
(or
the possibility of being
better able to satisfy the social and humanitarian claims of foreigners already living in the
Federal Republic of Germany after an immigration stop), on the other. The restrictive
individual measures in the years
1973-
1976
did not stem from independent political
ideas but were a direct reaction to economic and labour market pressure. The appearance
of bottlenecks in the social infrastructure and of human problems on the one hand, and the
querying of the economic advantages of employing foreigners on the other led to
aphase
of
preoccupation
in policy with respect to aliens
with social problems and measures to
improve the social situation.
An overall concept (of medium
or
longer-term nature) for
policy with respect to aliens had not been developed and hence could not form the basis of
measures to improve the social situation. While ‘the promotion of integration’
(1)
and
a
socially responsible consolidation of the employment of foreigners were proclaimed as the
leading ideas behind states policy in this field, there was no longer-term basic political
concept to back this up.
The recommendations of the Commission of the Federal Republic and
Lunder
for the
further development of an all embracingpolicy
concept for the employment
of
aliens, which
in 1977 became the ‘oficial basis
of
state policy with respect to aliens in the Federal
Republic and Lander’
(2)
have as their basic precept the continuation of the immigrant
stop
or
the restriction of alien employment on the one hand, and the improvement of the
conditions leading to social integration (with however the implicit condition of a time
limit to residence
or
the absence
of
a concept for permanent residence) on the other. The
foreign workers and their families should be enabled to lead a life in which their social and
legal status
is
assured as well as their integration into society. The integration ofthe second
generation of aliens should be given particular emphasis.
In theperiodbetween 1978 and
1980
there were noticeableendeavours
on the part ofofficial
government bodies to deal with
the human, social and sociopoliticalproblems
arising from
the employment of aliens
(3).
The dilemma between the social demands for equality, equal access to education and
employment opportunities and equal political rights on the one hand and the demand for
the primacy of the German population with respect to civil rights (hence no legal right to
naturalization, no right to vote without naturalization, limited access to the labour mar-
ket) and for adaption to the culture ofthe host country as a basis for integration in the sense
of
having the same civil rights (no right
to
naturalization without an official assessment)
on the other is here made plain. This fundamental barrier remained while at the same time
there were many declarations ofwillingness to make integration in particular ofthe second
and third generation
of
foreigners, a political priority for the eighties.
The rising number
of
aliens, in spite of continuing and worsening economic difficulties,
became a reason for no longer concentrating primarily (in the criticism of the opposition
‘exclusively’ and ‘unconditionally’) on the integration
of
the second and third generation
but on the
socially responsible regulation
of
theforeign population
by means of limiting the
immigration of family members and encouraging return to the country of origin
(4).
The
basic principles of policy with respect to aliens are drawn up towards the end of the
socialAibera1 coalition government
(5)
are more strongly accented towards restriction of
immigrants and reduction of the number of aliens:
-
Adherence to the recruitment stop;
464

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