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Thursday, July 01, 2004

German parliament passes the first immigration law

:: Xinhuanet - English ::

BERLIN, July 1 (Xinhuanet) -- Germany's lower parliament Bundestag passed the country's first ever immigration bill Thursday, which will help introduce skilled foreign workers but will facilitate the expulsion of terrorist suspects.

As the outcome of compromise after weeks of fierce debate between the government and the opposition parties, the bill is to be endorsed by the upper parliament next week.

The immigration law opens the door to highly skilled foreigners in fields such as information and biotechnology while speeding up the expulsion process for foreign extremists.

It promotes the integration of foreigners already in Germany while revising the rules of granting asylum to foreigners.

There are currently about 7.3 million foreigners living in Germany out of a total population of 82 million.

The new law is due to take effect on January 1, 2005 after the expected endorsement by the upper parliament Bundesrat on July 9. Enditem

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