Settling down in a Foreign Country : A Comparison between U.S. and German Immigration Policies and Their Consequences
Policies on immigration are still essential in politics and they more or less affect a nation’s economy, culture, and stability. Therefore, it is important to study immigration. I choose to compare the United States and Germany, because they are both democratic and federal states, but their immigrat...
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|Policies on immigration are still essential in politics and they more or less affect a nation’s economy, culture, and stability. Therefore, it is important to study immigration. I choose to compare the United States and Germany, because they are both democratic and federal states, but their immigration policies stem from two completely different models (heterogeneous vs. homogeneous, jus soli vs. jus sanguinis) due to different cognitions of national identity. Moreover, immigration policies in the two countries have become similar throughout the years for economic and political reasons, but policymaking still shows signs of the influences of different national identities. Through the comparison of immigration policies between the United States and Germany and their consequences, I intend to demonstrate that the national identity approach of immigration policy theory is the basis of policymaking in regard to immigration, and I expect to see if similar economic and political needs will result in similar immigration policies in the two countries, and if similar immigration policies have similar receptions in public or have similar impacts on societies which are based on different immigration policy models. Literature plays a large role in my research, because it represents some historical facts about the immigration situation as well as immigrants’ mentalities. I have chosen several literary works as examples to demonstrate the influences and consequences of immigration policy on natives and immigrants.
For future studies, it is worth seeing if German national identity will gradually change as
the population of non-ethnic Germans (in a political sense of German citizenship) grows. It is possible that the change in ethnic demography will affect the perception of German national identity in the long run in the same way that American national identity changed. The notion of German blood as part of the national identity will hinder this process, and thus I do not expect the change in the perception of German national identity to happen in the near future. If this perception ever changes, the German immigration policy might change accordingly, which will further demonstrate the national identity approach.