New survey reveals what Germans currently think about immigration

A majority of Germans think immigration brings more disadvantages than advantages, according to a new survey. Half of those polled said they’d like Germany to take in fewer refugees than it currently does. Sabine Kinkartz of DW reports

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, a Social Democrat, is calling for a change in the EU’s migration policy to limit refugee numbers. She wants to see the identification, registration and screening of people already at the EU’s external borders.

These new plans could go down well with the electorate: A representative nationwide poll has found that half of Germans want the country to take in fewer refugees. The pollster Infratest-Dimap surveyed 1,360 eligible voters at the beginning of May and found that 54% believe the disadvantages of immigration outweigh the advantages for Germany, while only 33% say the benefits cancel out the disadvantages.

Senior voters are significantly more likely to express reservations about immigration than younger voters, and voters in eastern Germany, the former communist GDR, are more likely to do so than former West Germans.

Unsurprisingly, the opposition to immigration is greatest among supporters of the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), the strongest party in some eastern German regions.

Although most respondents were wary of immigration in general, they do make distinctions between immigrants: Four in 10 want Germany to recruit more skilled workers from abroad, and only a quarter would like to see a reduction in immigration into the labour market.

But respondents were less accepting of refugees: 52% would like Germany to take in fewer of them, a marked increase of 12% compared to September 2021, when Deutschlandtrend last did a survey on the issue.

Now, 50% of respondents said they are frightened of refugees coming to Germany. This echoes similar concerns from 2016, when the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees mainly from Syria triggered a xenophobic backlash and gave rise to the AfD as a major political force.

Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority of Germans still believe in helping people in need: 84% say it is right for Germany to take in refugees fleeing war or civil war, and 70% support taking in those fleeing from famine or natural disasters. Although these figures are high, support was around 10% higher in February 2016.

Meanwhile, 68% now support taking in refugees who are persecuted for political or religious reasons. But 61% of respondents reject taking in economic migrants….

Read the full report HERE


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