EL PASO, Tex. (KTSM) — Immigration is an issue we see in the borderland and as well as something seen around the world including Germany.
German politicians that KTSM spoke with have mixed feelings on immigration and border security.
“In the past, we always saw the U.S. as a role model,” said Ozcan Mutlu. He is a Turkish-German politician of the Green Party.
The party focuses on ecological and social sustainability. Mutlu said now Germany has an integration program the U.S. can learn from.
“Everybody who enters Germany is obligated to take up 600 hours of German language skills. They have to take courses in integration to learn about the German society,” he said.
After that criteria is completed, an immigrant is eligible for permanent residence.
“Nearly 5 million people, with a non-German background have the German citizenship,” said Mutlu.
In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted more than a million refugees during a surge in Europe.
“What we did, no other country in the world is doing,” said Co-leader of AfD party Beatrix von Storch.
The AfD party’s main appeal is its opposition to Merkel’s open border policy.
“You’re trying at least to go against those who are coming illegally in. You’re talking about refugees. And when it comes to migrants, you pick carefully whom you let in,” she said.
Von Storch thinks Germany should put Germany first.
“This is something we have in line with President Trump to put our national interest first and then to help the rest of the world,” she said.
When it comes to President Trump’s border wall, each takes a different side.
“It makes sense to protect a nation’s border,” said Von Storch.
“It will cost a lot of money. But it won’t help solving the problem,” argued Mutlu.
Von Storch said it’s about the message you send to the world.
“I want to see that our borders are protected. What we can see in Europe is that it only needs a political will to protect the border. You have to send a signal out to the world that no one can just enter in and then people stop from coming,” she said.