A right to stay instead of exclusion and illegality.

Petition on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the German Constitution

In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people live in existential insecurity – often for years – because they have either only a precarious or no right of residence at all. This state of existential insecurity and rightlessness must be ended. We therefore call on the German Bundestag / Petitions Committee on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the German Constitution: All those who want to live here permanently are to receive a right to stay on the date of the 70th anniversary of the German Constitution.

Tolerated and illegal immigrants enter the country as students, job seekers or fugitives. Their visa has expired or their asylum application has been rejected. They live among us and work „illegally“ in the low-wage sector or complement minimum social benefits with jobs as cleaning staff, in the care sector, in gastronomy and the like. Many become victims of exploitation by employers and landlords. Adequate medical treatment is often not provided. Not only adults but also children and young people have to live with expecting deportation at all times, even when attending school or undergoing vocational training.

All those who are permanently in the country yearn to live here without fear of deportation and without insecurity, and to be able to claim their rights as tenants, pupils or employees. Everyone should have the opportunity to visit a doctor in the event of illness and to address the police and courts if he or she has become a victim of a crime. People generally require a place where they can have a say in political, social and cultural life and where they can develop their individual abilities and needs.

In addition, life in existential insecurity and lawlessness does not only burden those who are directly affected. It also leads to various problems for the rest of society. For example, it is very time-consuming to integrate people professionally if for years they have not had access to language courses and qualification measures. And if illnesses become chronic because they are not treated adequately, the costs of a belated cure are higher. It would be an illusion to believe that all those who have not yet been granted the right of residence could be induced to leave voluntarily or be deported. On the contrary, the demand for a permanent right of residence, enabling all those who live here to stay legally and to plan their lives long-term, offers a humane and realistic perspective for immigration policy.

The Grundgesetz obliges the state to respect and protect the dignity of all human beings. We are taking the 70th anniversary of its entry into force as an opportunity to demand a right to stay as a step towards a policy that finally takes this claim seriously.