5th Phase (1998–2004)
1999 Change in citizenship law: beginning in 2000, all children born in Germany are granted double citizenship until they turn 23. "Hardship regulation": suspension of employment restriction for asylum seekers; improvement of access to labor market.
2000 "Green Card Initiative" to redress shortages of skilled workers and to "rejuvenate" demographic development: Debate about the development of a new immigration law: Establishment of an "Independent Immigration Commission" that will prepare concrete recommendations for a future immigration policy.
2002 Adoption of new immigration law. Federal states appeal: Reversal of the immigration law by the Federal Constitutional Court. Percentage of immigrants in Germany: 8.9% of total population. Turks comprise largest contingent (26.1%), Italians the second largest (8.3%).
2002–2004 Discussions led concerning the immigration law to be enacted on 1.1.2005. Topics:
– immigration permitted for foreigners from specific occupational groups and for foreign professionals as necessary
– the residency permit and the work permit now combined
– allowance to be taken for non-political and gender-specific persecution in providing for the protection of refugees
2005 On January 1, 2005, the Immigration Law is enacted.
Sources: The webpage of the Bundesbeauftragte für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration: http://www.integrationsbeauftragte.de/. Hisashi Yano, "Migrationsgeschichte," in Carmine Chielino, ed., Interkulturelle Literatur in Deutschland: ein Handbuch (Weimar: Metzler 2000).