JURIST Assistant Editor Fiona Tsamny | U. Ottawa Faculty of Law, CA also contributed to this report.
Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, voted 382 to 234 to approve legislation Friday aimed at streamlining the path to citizenship for immigrants by abolishing long standing restrictions on holding dual nationalities.
The law, championed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left coalition government, allows for easier access to dual citizenship, changing a previous approach that favored single citizenship. The approval of the citizenship law also comes as the Bundestag approved a law to extend the maximum length of pre-deportation custody from 10 to 28 days, authorizes authority figures to check residential areas and ask for ID to confirm someone’s identity and removes the obligation to notify an accused of deportation charges in certain circumstances. It also allows unsuccessful asylum seekers to remain in the country for temporary reasons like illness or a child with residency status.
The country has reported a shortage of skilled workers in the IT, engineering and healthcare sectors. Specifically, there is a need for graduate occupations in the field of medicine, mechanical and automotive engineering, electrical engineering, IT and software development/programming. The healthcare sector is also facing a shortage of nurses and care services for the elderly.
The votes come shortly after protests erupted all over the country as reports of a deportation plan formulated by alt-right extremists spread across the nation. This plan included the immediate deportation of millions of immigrants, including some with German citizenship. A report published by the Bundestag in 2022 said that 349 out of 429 attacks on asylum seekers were motivated by right wing extremism. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, took to X (formerly known as twitter) on Friday to proclaim that far right advocates were attacking democracy and that immigrants in Germany need support against these aggressions.