Should They get Welfare?


New member
From Germany.

The questions at the heart of the dispute are: Can immigrants be forced to learn German? Can people who decline such an offer be denied welfare benefits? Or, viewed from the other perspective, can immigrants who live off state benefits refuse to integrate into society, or can they live as a group as if on an island and free of societal obligations?

Ever since the disastrous collapse of his pizza enterprise seven years ago, Ismail K. hasn't worked -- at least not officially -- and the family has been forced to live off welfare. Whenever his local employment office in Weilberg encourages him to find a job, he counters that he has several debilitating ailments that prevent him from working: backaches, a damaged shoulder caused by a car accident, knee problems, diabetes and the depression triggered by his bankruptcy. The now 43-year-old often gets doctors' note freeing him from having to look for work.

Since he has rejected so many job offers, the employment office has cut his unemployment benefits -- first by 30 percent and then by 60. They eventually cut it off completely for three months. And that's when the authorities started taking a closer look at K.'s wife, Imhan, then 41 years old. But she had her hands full already. Four of the couple's six children were still living at home, and her husband wanted to be taken care of as well. On weekday evenings, she also worked as a cleaner for a temp agency.
Parts I found interesting -
If her German were better, she would be able to find more qualified work and earn more money, a case worker at the labor office explained. So she offered Imhan K. a free German language course, with lessons three mornings a week from 8 a.m. until noon.

Mr. K., who had accompanied his wife to the employment office, objected immediately and vociferously. "Impossible!" he shouted. "No way. That's out of the question!" He said his wife was far too old to learn German, and in any case, she didn't have time to attend lessons. Who, he demanded, would take their youngest daughter to kindergarten in the morning?

Though she sat silently through her husband's outburst, and only understood a fraction of what was being said, Imhan K. at least got the gist of the conversation: Her husband didn't want her to learn German. Intimidated, she turned the offer down. Her husband grabbed her by the shoulder and hurried her out of the room.

Mutual Outrage

Mrs. K.'s involuntary refusal to learn German runs counter to the efforts by towns and cities across Germany, which offer free language courses to female Muslim immigrants in particular as a way to help them escape the isolation often imposed by their own families. The city of Frankfurt alone runs hundreds of these courses as part of its "Mommy's Learning German" program. These lessons are primarily aimed at women from Turkey.

According to a study by Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, about 70 percent of Turkish women living in Germany have never learned a profession. Many work from morning till night in the home, and some rarely step outside their own four walls. Some, like Imhan K., can barely manage a handful of German words after decades spent living in Germany. As a result, they are completely dependent on the help of others in their daily lives.

The court rejected the argument that Mrs. K. had no time to attend lessons due to her dual role managing her household and cleaning in the evening. It said her husband would simply have to help out. After all, since he was unemployed, he would have "no problem" taking over responsibility for some of her chores.

Clashing Cultures

Ismail K. didn't understand the ruling's rationale. Clearly it was a cultural misunderstanding of shocking proportions. Although he had lived in Germany for 24 years, K. had always clung to the patriarchal privileges of the country in which he was born. Was he -- the head of the family -- expected to look after children? Was he now supposed to do the shopping, or maybe even cook? Owing to his diabetes, K. has to eat several small meals a day. Did they now want him to prepare this food by himself?

That's a woman's role, Mr. K. insisted. And, in any case, he was too ill to do so even if he wanted to. When K. submitted a terse doctor's certificate claiming that he couldn't look after his children due to "emotional problems," the court dismissed it, describing the letter as a "mere certificate of convenience."

So much sexism revealed here. Yeah, guy, you can take the kids to school ; you aren't working. And isolating your wife by not letting her learn German? That's terrible.
The real question is what is wrong with people that they expect to immigrate so that others can care for them? That is a sickness.

If you want to immigrate to another country it is incumbent on you to integrate not on the host country to accomodate your every whim.

Personally I think it should be illegal to have "press one for Spanish"
If he could speak German, he'd have a better shot at getting a job. With all his other disabilities...he can still talk.

He could be a 'call center representative.' Heh, Germany probably off-shores that too.

edit: Sorry, it's the wife. Sounds doesnt want woman involved in the public in any way. I dont really respect that but I do respect their *consensual* decision if that's the case. But if they wont work, cut them off.