Tag Archives: integration

Is Integration Working In Sweden?

There is a growing controversy in Sweden over the fact that many areas of the nation possess high concentrations of immigrants and this raises questions as to whether integration is succeeding in the nation. Anders Lago, Mayor of Soertaije, believes “what the statistics show is that our integration policies have totally failed” and noted how many districts might have as high as 84% of its inhabitants be from other nations.

Sweden is experiencing what nations like the United States have confronted for over 150 years. It may be too quick to rush to judgments as to whether integration polices have failed. It is normal for immigrants initially to head for areas where they can find fellow-countrymen and this might necessitate a few decades of living with your own kind. However, it is in the generation of those born in a society where one learns about success or failure of integration. If children feel “Swedish” then integration is on the road to success.

Sweden Tries New Approach With Immigrants

An ongoing issue in assisting immigrants to become integrated within a new society is improving their ability to become proficient in a new langauge. Those who quckly grasp a new language in their adopted country are more likely to secure a job and become a participant in the local community. The Swedish Minister of Integration, Nyamko Saburi, announced a new plan to speed up language acquistiion. Immigrants who agree to enroll in government sponsored language programs will receive a cash bonus as an incentive to learn.

Some will decry giving money to immigrants in order to expedite their grasp of the nation’s language, but in the long run it saves milions of dollars since people with jobs will not spend up on welfare rolls nor will they need the support of private charity groups. Speak first, get a job second, and thirdly, become a member of the new community.

Report Slams German Programs On Immigrant Integration

In the aftermath of World War II, the German population was decimated by huge losses of men during the war and when an economic boom took off, there was need to bring in “guest workers.” Most of the original guest workers came from Turkey and for the first time in German history there was need to deal with integration of people who had a different religion and many differing cultural values and behaviors. According to a report by the Institute for Population and Development the integration of descendants of those guest workers still has not worked. The German government now offers programs in language, culture, and values to newcomers but few of the original descendants attend those classes. The report describes how many of the original immigrant group still lack basic German language skills as well as the education to obtain high tech jobs.

There is something rather strange about people who lived in Germany for half a century and supposedly their children attended schools and learned German and about the culture of their new land. Didn’t schools develop multicultural programs to assist these children? It is one thing for an immigrant to struggle with language issues, it is another when children attend school and are unable to become proficient in language and work skills. Something is rotten in the state of Germany.

Germany Struggles With Issues Of Integration

Germany’s history in the 20th century was impacted by the presence of racial thinking that eventually led to its defeat in WWII as well as the murder of millions of innocent people. Since the conclusion of the war, Germany experienced an economic boom that increasingly used the talents of immigrants. It is not surprising some German politicians still play the race card in campaigning in order to draw upon latent hatred towards the foreigner. Roland Koch, the conservative Cristian Democrat governor off Hesse, told a newpaper reporter this week, “I am very much a supporter of integration.” However, during the past two weeks he has been telling audiences, that Germany has “too many criminal young foreigners” and it is “not a couontry of immigration.”

Prior to WWII, German had never experienced the immigration patterns so common in America. Today, its immigrant population is fast approaching 20% of the population and due to higher birth rates among new arrivals that figure will dramatically increase in the coming years. It is common among German political leaders to focus on the concept of “leitkultur” which conveys a sense there is a dominant German culture which all must accept.

The original post WWII immigrants were termed “guest workers” but they have remained and their children were born in Germany even though most frequently they could were not considered German citizens. This recently underwent changes. Most reports indicate children of immigrants do not become as successful as other Germans. They have lower successful education attainment and work in lower pay jobs. Unfortunately, Germany lacks a political leader who will take a stand in favor of immigration and affirmative action programs to help poor people. The rhetoric of hate and divison is most often used in the political arena than one of integration and acceptance of cultural differences.