The heart and guts to refugees and immigration in Germany....goes to the Basic Law (the German constitution), and article 16a. Few Germans can cite this, and even fewer political figures in Germany can really explain 16a. Even in a group of intellectuals....don't anticipate that they can explain this in simplistic fashion.
To sum it up....the right to asylum is a fundamental right to all people who come and they will be offered a chance to spell out their situation and possibly qualify for visa status. At that point, the careful wording of 16a falls into an area where things can be read and understood in different ways.
Political persecution, language abilities, education, family status, and marriage situation will all be figured into the qualification. You got the right for a review and a chance for acceptance....but it really doesn't mean much of anything, you don't fit their perceived profile. Shocker? I think a lot of Germans are waking up to 16a and realizing that it's not a perfectly worded addition to the Basic Law. Political players have to be careful what they say or suggest because it just opens up a wide forum of topics.
Oddly, EU members (Greek, French, Dutch....for example) don't fall into 16a. They have the right of movement.
The other angle to this whole discussion is that Germany is losing population. If no immigrants or refugees came to Germany....it'd shrink to 63 million within thirty-odd years. This was widely reported by a university team earlier in the year and it's generally the accepted talk of the IAB which does business and statistical analysis over German companies and the future trends. IAB says in blunt language....Germany needs a minimum of 400,000 new people arriving and staying each year.....to maintain the 80 million resident count.
This draws me around to this group of sensitive topics....how many people can arrive each year and fit the profile? How many people can Germany care for in refugee or immigration camps without looking stupid or incompetent at management? How much of an integration effort can Germany maintain, on a yearly basis and hope to get the new people 'Germanized'? How many people will Germans themselves consider under the threshold before they freak out and hold political parties responsible for screw-ups?
The German news media works at one particular angle and you start to laugh as you notice these reports. They want to correct the German perception against foreigners and refugees. Each time a German makes a street-side comment to a reporter's statement, and the reporter does the 'correction' on the German on the street.....it leaves the basic questions I mentioned in the previous paragraph unanswered.
In the mind of a typical German.....there's a lot of foreigners showing up in Germany, and they don't see where this is going to be a positive thing in the end. The statistical guys are correct....the birth-rate is a very negative situation and doing nothing is not an option anymore. Having some journalist tell people they are wrong on their perception....doesn't really wrap up the big picture concerns.
I'm often amazed at the naive data thrown out there. The journalists want you to know that 500,000 refugees have shown up so far in Germany for 2015. How many were accepted and how many were sent back to their country? Unknown. It might be the summer of 2016, before you know the whole number set for 2015. Maybe out of one million refugees who showed up.....barely 300,000 were accepted and the rest were sent home. This might make some folks happy, but then some idiot will ask how many days you had to feed and house the unaccepted refugees and who paid for it (the local state or the federal government)?
There is a fair amount of acceptance on the Syrians showing up and they might have a better immigration chance than some other folks (Albanians for example). But then you discover that five or six Syrian communities have developed in a couple of urbanized areas of Germany and terms like "little-Damascus" has been labeled to some parts of towns. Oddly, then you find out that Syrians don't mix that well with Turks, unless it's a mosque situation where it's just religion being talked about.
You could convene a group of a hundred Germans in a chat group and find out that immigration and refugees are either topic number one or topic number two for every single member of the group. This doesn't thrill political figures, political parties, or journalists. It's not a topic that you can find cohesive answers to complaints or questions.
Some Germans will point out the 1966/1967 economic downturn in Germany where a high number of foreigners or visa-holders in the country....left and went back to their original country....but within five years years, returned to Germany when the economy returned to normal. Would the same episode occur again? Unknown.
During a forty-year period (1954-1994)....Germany had twenty-two million foreigners arrive in the country (UC Davis report). The numbers people say that from that group....roughly fifteen million eventually left and didn't come back. So, just because there's a million refugees or immigrants in Germany for 2015....may not really mean much in the long-run.....if the historical part of this episode repeats itself.
A difficult task for anyone to get their hands onto? Yeah, and that's really the emphasis of the whole episode.....there is no real solution or 'truth' to the matter.