Germany’s left-wing government is well-known for its open-borders policies, but even Junge Union (JU), the youth wing of the once conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is now openly promoting more immigration for Germany during a year when the country has taken in more than 1.2 million immigrants.
Johannes Winkel, the new chairman of JU, is not only calling for more migrants, but says that Germans should “thank” them more often.
“If AfD (Alternative for Germany) were to take its own wishful thinking seriously and imagine Germany without people with an immigrant background, even (AfD co-leader) Alexander Gauland would realize that nothing works in this country anymore,” Winkel told Der Spiegel. “We are an immigration country, we need immigration.”
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According to Winkel, Germany “needs permanent migration to cope with demographic change.” This, he claims, is a reality that the CDU/CSU has long struggled to cope with.
Until now, Junge Union had been rather skeptical about migration, with analysts saying this new position represents a radical U-turn for the organization.
The 31-year-old Winkel is not just limiting his calls for more immigrants to skilled workers either. When asked, the JU leader, who took office in November, said, “We need both. In general, politics should also just say thank you more often to people who come to Germany and work hard here for their family and our country.”
His call to “thank” migrants comes shortly after a 14-year-old girl was stabbed to death by an Eritrean migrant in the town of Illerkirchberg. Germans have already spent tens of billions in taxes to support integration, housing, and educational opportunities for Germany’s rapidly rising immigrant population.
Winkel, however, criticized the immigration laws being promoted by the traffic-light coalition, saying, “We must also have the courage to define that the goal of this influx is the labor market,” and remarked that many of the migrants headed to Germany end up directly in the country’s social system instead of its workforce.
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Nevertheless, the CDU’s youth wing is now firmly in the hands of a leader promoting mass immigration right at a time when the vast majority of Germans are rejecting mass immigration, according to new polling. This could lead to a further opening in the polls for the AfD party, which has already risen significantly over the last year. It is not only the left-wing government that has responded with threats to ban the party, but even the CDU, which sees AfD as a threat to its power.
In reality, the CDU has long failed to address the problem of mass immigration. It was, after all, former Chancellor Angela Merkel who dragged the CDU in a radically different direction on the issue. In the 1990s, the party more or less had the same stance on immigration that AfD has today. Now, the party claims that immigration must be better managed, but it is not fundamentally opposed to plans to bring in hundreds of thousands of new migrants each year.
Other nations, such as Japan and Hungary, are seeking to boost their workforce and reverse demographic decline through pro-family policies.
“In all of Europe, there are fewer and fewer children, and the answer of the West to this is migration,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in 2018. “They want as many migrants to enter as there are missing kids so that the numbers will add up. We Hungarians have a different way of thinking. Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children. Migration for us is surrender.”
It is not just the issue of migration either, with the CDU even now considering dropping the word “Christian” from its party’s name.