Immigration is a big topic in Germany, and WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) asked for my views as a journalist and American. I applied my reporting and experience to produce a short commentary. (English version included.)
Like many countries Germany is still trying to solidify its immigration policy. Part of the continuing debate rests in how to better integrate former guest workers who helped build up the country in the 1960s and 70s. The United States has considered a similar guest worker program, and some of the lessons learned by Germany may signal how the US goes about its immigration reforms. Reporter Tony Ganzer is from Arizona , the frontline of the American immigration debate, and he’s in Germany on a journalist exchange trying to determine whether a guest worker program can be truly successful.
(Editor’s Note: This story was written in Germany, but subsequently produced and edited in the U.S. It is a comprehensive, 12-minute look into the state of German and U.S. immigration policy, and past, focusing on guest worker programs. The audio provided is from Deutsche Welle Radio’s “Insight.”)
KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer has been investigating the Guest Worker program instituted by Germany in the 1960s and 70s, in hopes of finding something the US could use in its own efforts to reform immigration policy. Germany is still coping with the effects of its program, and as Ganzer reports, some experts say the US may not have better luck if it rolls out its own guest worker program.
As debates in the US on immigration reform and a potential guest worker program have stalled, KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer is looking at Germany’s guest worker past for a potential look at the United States’ future, including what we may here see in Arizona. In the 1960s and 70s large numbers of Turkish immigrants helped rebuild Germany in an “Economic Miracle” but nearly half a century later, the country and some of its immigrants and their children are having a hard time getting along.