German guest worker program offers lessons for US as it ponders immigration reform

21st Century Border

laboresIn gritty backstreets of Berlin and other major German cities, housewives wearing head scarves shop for lamb and grape leaves. Old men pass the time in cafes sipping coffee, chatting in Turkish and reading Turkish newspapers. More than 3 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany the legacy of West Germany’s Cold War-era program to recruit temporary foreign labor during the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s when the country rebuilt after World War II. What started as a temporary program has changed the fabric of German urban life — from mosques on street corners to countless shops selling widely popular Doener kebab fast food sandwiches.

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About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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