The best indicator whether someone will fit into American society is their level of education–the higher the better.
Let’s learn for Germany! Starting in the 1960s Germany invited “guest” workers to help with their negative unemployment. They had more jobs than Germans could fill. In came mostly Turks and Italians. Low skill and entry level jobs they got but few benefits. For many of the three million Turkish ethnic minority, with now decades of roots in Germany, they have been slow to advance economically.
A third of Germany’s students under the age of 20 have immigrant roots–mostly Turkish origin–but they are under-performing, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. Ten percent of immigrants drop out of school without an applied tech or college degree, compared to two percent of Germans. The discrepancy is also evident in the job market–unemployed immigrants tend to outnumber jobless Germans 2-1. Immigrants are also vastly underrepresented in academia, the media, as teachers and other jobs the require university degrees.
Some 20 percent of Germany’s population claim immigrant background. Turks are the most visible among these 16 million people. Despite German expectation of immigrant embrace of German culture, values and language, and no government policy of “multiculturalism,” assimilation has occurred. The turkish influence is felt almost everywhere in today’s Germany. Minarets dot the landscape next to medieval church steeples, and the doner kebab with garlic sauce is considered as much a German culinary staple as the bratwurst or schnitzel, the AP observes.
This time around, with the great influx of Syrian migrants, Germany is taking a more proactive stance toward better educating and integrating its more than one million newcomers. But this wave is much better-educated. And the better educated are more easily integrated, the AP states. Most of the 1.1 million adult asylum seekers are university educated or skilled workers. They are getting their skills and degrees recognized in Germany, learning German, finding jobs, and getting their kids in school. This time they’re also receiving generous government help–housing and living grants to transition.
Education is the key. If we raise their education level, their chances of integration and success increase. Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education center, serves the formerly unsuccessful, immigrants and refugees. They’re welcomed and embraced, helped to a high school diploma and provided an opportunity, via privately funded scholarships, to continue to an applied tech professional certificate or college, as they qualify. They can achieve the American dream.