Migration to Germany skyrockets

Graphic from an article at WSJ

The number of people migrating to Germany jumped nearly 40% in a year, according to data released Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a coalition of mostly developed nations.

Driven mainly by economic uncertainty in the euro zone’s periphery, which includes weaker nations that are still recovering from the global financial crisis, some 400,000 people flocked to Germany in 2012, the latest year for which figures were available.

“We can clearly speak about a boom of migration to Germany without exaggeration,” Thomas Liebig, an OECD migration expert, said as the group released its latest migration outlook just days ahead of European elections in which immigration has been hotly debated.

Germany is now the second-largest country of immigration, after the United States, within the OECD. (Deutsche Welle, no reader restrictions)

Excerpt from the WSJ article:

Germany’s buoyant economy and strong jobs market—unemployment was 5.1% in March, less than half the euro zone average-—has attracted immigrants in droves, particularly from such nations as Spain and Greece grappling with jobless rates of around 25%. Nationals of other European countries who need neither visas nor work permits to settle in Germany made up three quarters of the newcomers.

The data come just days ahead of an election in which a number of parties, including the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, and the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, have put so-called “benefit tourism,” and rising housing costs, which some blame on immigration, in the spotlight.

“It’s nice that immigrants view Germany as a popular destination, but we still need an immigration law through which we can regulate immigration according to our own criteria,” AfD spokesman Christian Lüth said. The AfD is critical of the EU’s open-border policy and wants Germany to rewrite its immigration laws modeled on Canada’s points system for skilled workers.

Clearly the Germans have not heard of the “Temporary” Foreign Worker program, that is rapidly undoing Canada’s points systems.