"Just How Temporary are 'Guest Workers?' Let's Ask Their Grandchildren"

From this:
...The idea was very appealing: [Germany] would import large numbers of Turks, Italians, Greeks, Yugoslavs, Spaniards and Moroccans to cheaply do the jobs that "no German wanted to do." Such impoverished foreigners would be happy as pie with piddly wages (by German standards) and then they would all go home after a few years. This second part was very important to the Germans, who had never been a nation of immigration and were rightfully proud of their long history as a distinct and continuous people.

So how did it work? Great -- right up until the part where the guests were supposed to go home. They didn't. Employers became dependent on them and were reluctant to find and train replacements or adapt through innovation. And the workers found life as a janitor in Germany somewhat more attractive than life as a Goatherd in the backwoods of Anatolia.

So the employers and guests both fought for constant renewals and extensions and loopholes. The (very comfortable) guests then brought in their families at the first opportunity (or married other guest workers) and baby guests were born. Today, it has been forty to fifty years since the guest worker agreements were signed (depending on the guest-providing country in question), and the guests are still there.

There are two million Turkish guests, one million Yugoslav guests, half a million Italian guests, one third of a million Greek guests and a quarter million Polish guests, along with thousands of Moroccan, Tunisian, Middle Eastern, Russian, and assorted other guests. Guests are now 10% of Germany's population. And many of these guests were born in Germany, being the children and grandchildren of Germany's "temporary" workers from the fifties and sixties. Oh, and they've tired of the guest room, so they all expect to be made citizens now.


This is not reassuring for America, where citizenship is a lot more easy to hand out to foreign hostiles. When a politician says 'its only temporary', he's already conceded the undesirability of what he proposes. When politics is understood to be the ethics of aggression, it becomes easy to see that the only essentially political question here, is whether the proposal will increase the aggression on the citizen and the net taxpayer. The foreign criminal family values are not even germane. The 'pressure on our border' as Bush calls it, is highly relevant; it is aggression.

"so they all expect to be made citizens now"

Due to (fairly) recent changes in German law, they now can and will get this. In fact, in the run-up to the September election in Germany, Schroeder tried to use his (and the SPD's) support for Turkish accession to the EU in order to appeal to Turkish voters (the CSU favors what they call a "privileged partnership" for Turkey).

According to this link Helmut Schmidt thinks it was all a big mistake.