The U.S. and Germany struggle with integrating immigrant populations and crafting immigration policies for the twenty-first century. In Germany, cultural and religious concerns guide the debate, while in the U.S., the debate is focused on socio-economic and security concerns. Looking at policies on both sides of the Atlantic can be useful in understanding how to develop successful policies for immigration and integration, bettering both German and U.S. societies.

Last week German interior minister Thomas de Maizière confirmed that Germany has flown 125 refugees back to Afghanistan as part of federal government efforts to stem the flow of migrants into the country.  He emphasized that the Afghans “had no prospects to stay in Germany,” and that Germany needed to “help people help themselves” in …Read More

With a mixture of capability, reciprocity, and pure luck, Germany has so far avoided a Jihadi terrorist attack (with the exception of a “lone wolf” killing of two American soldiers at the Frankfurt airport in 2011). The capability of Germany’s security apparatus seems to be more effective than many realize. Unlike in some European partner …Read More

Americans have become increasingly alarmed by events in Europe. The euro crisis was averted, but euro zone economies continue to face sluggish growth. Political parties throughout the continent question the legitimacy of the European Union, while Great Britain ponders whether to separate itself completely. These would be enough to create the impression that the transatlantic …Read More

German chancellor Angela Merkel and last week’s European Union summit are focused on keeping the 3 million Syrian refugees who came to Turkey inside Turkey and are enacting measures to dissuade refugees from taking the sea route to Greece and thereby seeking asylum in Western Europe. However, these initiatives, such as the €3 billion EU-Turkey …Read More

The cauldron of crises on display at the recent Munich Security Conference may have been familiar to some who have been engaged in transatlantic relations over the past fifty years. After all, the post-World War II era was marked by conflicts overshadowed by the threat of thousands of nuclear weapons. But at this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC), the cauldron of contemporary disorder was overflowing. Even references made to the summer of …Read More

German chancellor Angela Merkel met with Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu last week to discuss the growing influx of migrants to Europe, as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria.  The leaders’ visit comes just after the European Union and Turkey agreed on a deal in which Ankara would receive €3 billion in aid for …Read More

As the Syrian refugee crisis continues, Germany is feeling the pressure from an influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants.  On 3 February, Germany introduced a new bill that will reduce public welfare benefits in order to dissuade refugees from entering the country.  Seeking to reduce the migrant influx, Germany recently changed the status of …Read More

Anxiety over terrorism and migration is shaping the electoral dynamics in both Europe and the United States. Both of these complex challenges belie simplistic characterization (or demonization); unfortunately, the politics of fear remains compelling and bravado reassures. In the coming year, Western governments will continue to struggle with preserving open societies capable of integrating migrants …Read More

In both the United States and Germany, tensions have risen regarding the influx of refugees and relations with domestic and asylum-seeking Muslims. Early this month, President Barack Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, marking his first visit to a mosque in the U.S. during his presidency. Obama encouraged “interfaith dialogue” in order to build …Read More

Against the backdrop of the continuing refugee crisis in Europe, Josef Janning, Head of Berlin Office and Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, sits down with AICGS President Dr. Jackson Janes to discuss how Germany can manage the crisis with its European partners. Mr. Janning suggests that, lacking a broad consensus within the …Read More

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