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Immigration and Naturalization Reform in the U.S. and Germany

Edit Copy has a round up of the press coverage of President Bush's Oval Office address on immigration on Monday.
Immigration policy reform has been a controversial issue lately, especially in the U.S. South. Some liberals seem to be concerned that the proposed guestworker program will not give immigrants a fair chance of citizenship, while some conservatives consider it tantamount to an amnesty for illegal immigration. Yet some business- oriented conservatives favor the guest worker program, while labor oriented liberals oppose immigration in general because they worry about depressed wages for low income Americans.
In recent weeks, several US newspapers have pointed to Germany's guestworker program as an example of failed integration and social problems. The Atlantic Review's earlier post already mentioned Fareed Zakaria's piece in the Washington Post. Colin Nickerson wrote a good article about the German guest worker program in the Boston Globe (via Dialog International). However, both Nickerson and Zakaria and others failed to acknowledge the changes in the German immigration policy and the modernization of the nationality law in 2000. German laws are now more similar to U.S. laws than before. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior:
As of 1 January 2000, a child born in Germany to non-German parents automatically acquires German citizenship at birth. The principle of citizenship by place of birth (jus soli) was introduced with the Act to Amend the Nationality Law of 15 July 1999 and is subject to the following conditions: that at least one parent had lived legally in Germany for at least eight years prior to the birth, and that at the time of the birth, that parent had a permanent residence permit. In this way, approximately 191,000 children of non-German parents had acquired German citizenship in addition to that of their parents by the end of 2004. (...) The modernization of nationality law has also made it much easier for foreigners to become naturalized German citizens: They are eligible for naturalization after having lived legally in Germany for eight years if they have a permanent residence permit, declare their allegiance to the free and democratic order, are able to support themselves and their family members, and have not been convicted of any criminal offences.


Atlantic Review on : Learning from America: Philanthropy and Immigration

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It is often claimed that the German media is biased and focuses on negative stories about the U.S. Though, for months there have been many articles in Germany praising the successful integration of immigrants in the United States, while pointing out that


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