The New Labor Migration as
an Instrument of German
T his paper summarizes the various programs through which migrant workers are arriving in Germany and explores the implications, for both Germany and countries of origin, of using nonimmigrant worker programs as a substitute for illegal immigration and comprehensive immigration policies.
East Europeans began migrating to Germany before 1989. In Poland in the early 1980s, for example, the struggle for power between Solidarnosc and the communist government led to a wave of migrants--both ethnic Germans and ethnic Poles--to Germany and other West European and non-European countries. In 1981 some 46,000 ethnic Germans and 93,000 ethnic Poles arrived in Germany. Most were considered victims of oppression, and Germany easily accepted them. Immigration from Poland again increased in the second half of the 1980s.
The year 1989 marked a new era in east-west migration. More Poles migrated west, some to work and others to sell goods in so-called Polish Markets. The number of ethnic Germans