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Germany’s Green Party: Let Illegal Migrants Who Agree to Work in Elderly Care Stay

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With a deepening shortage of nurses and carers at homes for the elderly in Germany, the government has been urged to regularise illegal migrants who agree to work as caregivers.

“We need to offer work in the nursing and care professions as an entry path to getting a residency permit,” German Greens leader Robert Habeck stated on Friday.

“With tens of thousands of vacancies in care homes and hospitals, it is unacceptable that at the same time this country is deporting asylum seekers who could be trained for these roles”, he told the German Press Agency.

“The federal government must act to correct this situation,” he urged, asserting that a change in the law “would ease the pressure being faced in the care sector and give immediate help to many people in need of care.”

Offering residence to people who might otherwise be deported on the condition that they take jobs caring for the elderly “would give refugees an incentive to qualify and pursue meaningful employment”, Habeck told the press agency.

The German Press Agency reported the number of patients per carer has rocketed by a third over the last 25 years, and that hospitals are “completely overloaded” as a result.

Habeck’s comments followed revelations on Wednesday that Germany has 35,000 vacancies in roles related to nursing and care for the elderly, around 25,000 of which are specialist posts requring skilled workers.

The government said it will create 8,000 new specialist positions in care facilities, and announced improved pay and working conditions to attract more people to join the care sector.

Previous studies looking at the workforce potential of third world migrants in Germany have shown much less optimism about newcomers’ potential to meet the country’s needs than the pro-open borders Greens.

In December of 2015, the year Angela Merkel effectively opened Europe’s borders, academics and labour market experts cautioned against the “economic miracle” predicted by liberal commentators.

At the Kiel-based Institute for World Economy (IfW), Dominik Groll pointed out that “an employment rate of two per cent is consistent with [Germany’s] previous experience of immigrant work integration programs, particularly from asylum seekers”.

Other research has revealed two-thirds of the newcomers are “functionally illiterate”.

Ludger Wößmann, the director of the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education in Munich, confirmed the dismal employment prospects for the so-called “New Europeans” in an interview with Die Zeit.

“They can only solve the simplest of arithmetic problems,” he told the newspaper. “This means that these students, even if they have learned German, will barely be able to follow a school curriculum.”

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