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The Restrictive Immigration Policy of the Kohl Government (May 6, 1983)

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The federal government intends to base its planned draft of the new Aliens Act on the recommendations of the “Foreigner Policy” Commission, which Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl appointed after his first government policy statement on October 13, 1982. This commission, made up of representatives from federal, state, and local governments, was tasked with examining “how the social problems that emerge on account of the large number of foreigners in the Federal Republic of Germany and that also pose a challenge to these foreigners can be resolved within the scope of the liberal constitutional order.”

The “Foreigner Policy” Commission

The commission, which sometimes presented differing recommendations on individual points, submitted its report on February 24, 1983. It shall:

- introduce areas in need of regulation,

- identify possible solutions and, to the extent necessary, alternatives, and

- use its recommendations to frame the decisions that have to be made at a political level.

The most important recommendation, which was supported by all members of the commission, was: a fundamental revision of the Aliens Act. The basic prerequisites that have to be met in order for foreigners to reside in and join family members already living in the Federal Republic should be laid out in the law itself – and no longer in administrative regulations as is presently the case. This would assure uniform practice throughout the Federal Republic and reduce legal uncertainties. Furthermore, changes were proposed regarding provisions for deportation and the political activities of foreigners in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Fundamental agreement was reached in the following and other areas:

• The goals of the policy on foreigners continue to be:

- the integration of foreigners residing here on a long-term basis,

- the restriction of new foreign arrivals, especially the unconditional maintenance of the ban on recruitment,
independent of future economic developments,

- the promotion of foreigners’ willingness to return to their home countries and, to the extent possible, the
maintenance of their option to return, but as a rule no forced return.

[ . . . ]

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