In fact, you can either be an immigrant, or you can be a Refugee, but you can’t be both. Refugees go home after a period of time, but immigrants stay on with no intention of ever going back to where they came. This is the problem that many countries are currently facing. But at least one country in Europe has decided that if you come there, you are an immigrant and as such, you will follow the traditions of the country. The Austrian government has just enacted a set of new laws governing requirements for their so-called Refugees.
The controversial new law sets fines for women who wear Islamic dress covering the whole face in addition to withholding welfare benefits from any immigrant that fails to learn their new language. The text of the new law simply reads: “Those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society,” according to a report in RT.com.
When the first draft of the new law was first release in February, there were thousands of protesters that hit the streets arguing against the government and parliamentarians. However, unlike U.S. Politicians, those in Austria stuck by their guns and the bill was passed with the help of the centrist coalition late last month and now the President has signed it into Law.
The Law sets fines of €150 ($168) for any woman caught wearing Islamic dresses, either the niqab or the burqa, in public places. It also specifies that in addition to the fines, all migrants entering the country to live, will be forced to take a 12-month “integration course” that includes German language lessons if they wish to receive any welfare benefits. It also covers some new areas as well, including making it illegal for immigrants to distribute incendiary materials, and encourages them to serve as volunteer interns before acquiring permanent work permits, so they can be better prepared for life in the European style workplace.
Austria’s attempt at forced integration of refugees is the country’s response to the migrant crisis rocking most European countries. Currently Austria is housing at least 90,000 immigrants most of which are from Muslim-majority countries outside Europe.