German Chancellor Merkel Explains to Teen Why Her Guest Worker Family Must Go Home

Published on July 22nd, 2015

In a conversation with a Palestinian teenager whose family is seeking asylum, German Chancellor Angela Merkel compassionately explained that Germany simply cannot accommodate all the prospective refugees from Lebanon, Africa and other troubled countries around the world. Merkel said that if Germany were to invite the thousands who want to come, “We just can’t manage that.”

Merkel explains German’s asylum policy to asylum-seeker.

Like many of the United States’ DREAMers who seek permanent residency as part of President Obama’s deferred action, teenager Reem Shawil pleaded that she had studied in Germany for four years, and that her family’s deportation after her father’s work visa expires will make her life “difficult.” Said Reem, echoing DREAMers: “It’s really difficult to see that others are really able to enjoy their lives and you yourself can’t enjoy it with them.”

Merkel, however, held her ground. Politics can be difficult, the chancellor said, before embracing Reem in an effort to comfort her. Watch the exchange here.

Social media condemned Merkel for what it described as her cold heartedness. But by pointing out the limitations to what Germany and other industrialized countries can reasonably do for refugees, Merkel defended Germans’ best interests. Germany receives more asylum requests than any other EU country and twice as many as the second place nation, Sweden. During 2015, Germany expects 400,000 asylum petitions.

Merkel’s stance may strike some immigration advocates as harsh. The reality is though that neither Germany nor any other sovereign nation can take an unlimited flow of refugees. As an example of what can go wrong, look at the disaster that is Italy. Merkel’s decision to limit refugee entry is far more logical than President Obama’s policy of purposely turning a blind eye to growing refugee fraud.

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