Immigrant Integration

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Lauren Oliver
5.5.11
Professor Rohrschneider
POLS 669

At the end of World War II, many Europeans were in favor of unity among the countries. Extreme nationalism was seen as the cause of the war that had devastated the country. With the creation of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement, immigration between member states became easier. The sudden influx of immigrants member countries had to create numerous policies to make integrate the migrant population.

The first article I chose is entitled “Beyond National Models: Civic Integration Policies for Immigrants in Western Europe.” It was written by Christian Joppke for the January 2007 issue of West European Politics. In the article, Joppke argues that a feature of the policies created in response to the integration crisis weaken national distinctiveness and only alienate the immigrant population. Joppke profiles three different countries, the Netherlands, France, and Germany. France has shunned any policy aimed to assimilate immigrants. Nicolas Sarkozy has said, “Integration means: 'I welcome you to the Republican crucible just are you are.’ Assimilation means: “I make you disappear.”” The Netherlands has urged migrants to accept Dutch norms and values in a policy that bares a striking resemblance to France’s integration policy. Before, Germany has been seen as a pariah among migrant-receiving states, but has since adopted the same civic integration and anti-discrimination policies and laws that are present in the rest of Europe. Joppke focuses on one policy in detail: the required civic integration courses and tests for incoming immigrants and compares them among the three countries. Joppke finishes the article by arguing that civic integration is interpreted as an example of repressive liberalism.

Joppke outlines the five basic principles of the EU’s immigration integration policy:
1. “Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of the Member States.” The acknowledges that the receiving society as well as the migrants need to change. The society needs to provide full economical, social, cultural, and political opportunities for the immigrants.

2.“Integration implies respect for the basic values of the European Union ... the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.”
3.Employment is an essential part of the integration process.
4.“Basic knowledge of the host society’s language, history, and institutions is indispensable to integration.”
5.“Access for immigrants to institutions, as well as to public and private goods and services, on a basis equal to national citizens and in a nondiscriminatory way is a critical foundation for better integration

Joppke then examines the civic integration policy for each featured country in depth. The Netherlands pioneered civic integration for incoming immigrants, but quickly ended up as one of Europe’s biggest socioeconomic integration failures. The evidence given is that the Netherlands unemployment rate for non-EU immigrants is at three times above that of Dutch citizens, whereas the majority of EU countries have a non-EU migrant unemployment rate of only twice that of native citizens. In 1998, forty-seven percent of all those on welfare in the Netherlands were immigrants, among non-Western foreigners twenty percent depended on welfare which is ten times greater than the welfare dependency of native Dutch. As far as education, high school drop-out rates were 2.5 times higher for the immigrant population than for Dutch children (nineteen percent for the immigrant population, eight percent for the Dutch) even though ethnic minorities received twice as much state funding. The last piece of evidence Joppke gives is the housing statistics. Residential segregation is very common in the Netherlands. Amsterdam and Rotterdam’s ethnic quarters the foreign resident rate is above two-thirds, and...
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