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German Conservative Politicians Recommend IQ Tests for Immigrants

Translated Thursday 22 July 2010, by Joanna Menda and reviewed by Bill Scoble

Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party proposed on Monday giving IQ tests to would-be immigrants. An “absurd” and “discriminatory” proposal, according to Berlin.

“We need to establish criteria that really benefit our country. In addition to adequate training and professional qualifications, intelligence should also be taken into account. I am in favour of intelligence tests,” stated Peter Trapp, a member of Mrs. Merkel’s CDU party, in the daily newspaper Bild.

“This should no longer be a taboo issue,” added the home affairs spokesman of the CDU Berlin branch.

This proposal is “absurd”, “discriminatory” and “does not demonstrate great intelligence” stated the German government deputy spokesman, Christoph Steegmans, during a press briefing held in Berlin.

Another conservative leader, Markus Ferber, who is also a member of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of the CDU, lauded the Canadian example while claiming that he is in favour of a European unified immigration policy.

Ferber told the daily tabloid Bild that “Canada is much further along on the issue and requires that children of immigrants have a higher intellectual quotient than local children. Humanitarian reasons, such as family reunification cannot, in the long run, be the only immigration criterion.”

Following the example of other European partners, Germany requires that migrants who are applying for German citizenship not only take language tests, but also take exams to prove their understanding of German social and legal issues. Before taking these exams, they must participate in civic courses.

In 2009, 734 000 people emigrated, whilst 721 000 people – mainly Poles and Romanians – immigrated to Europe’s largest economy.

In comparison, according to the German bureau of statistics, more than 800 000 people immigrated to Germany at the beginning of the 21st century.

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