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Integration Officers Criticize Immigration Law Debacle

Integration officers at all government levels in Germany have criticized the failure of the government to agree on a new law to regulate immigration, as well as the increasingly bitter tone the debate has taken in recent weeks. Talks to reach a compromise on the law collapsed earlier this month after the junior coalition partner, the Greens, said they weren't prepared to make any more concessions to the opposition. The government has since said it will give the negotiations one last try. But following a two-day conference in Berlin, integration officers warned against passing a watered-down version of the law at any price, and said that the original intention to create a modern, forward-thinking approach to immigration has been lost. "We've watched with great concern while the actual intention of this law has been pushed aside to become a law that is increasingly about security and anti-terrorism," said the federal commissioner for integration and foreigners, Marieluise Beck. She said that as the European Union grows together and seeks more common policies, national laws to regulate immigration and asylum policy will have less of a place, adding that if the government's final attempt at drafting a law fails, she won't be overly upset.