The Immigration Law Violates Human Rights
By Theo Christiansen/ Dirk Vogelskamp
[This article originally published in: Friedensforum, May 2002 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, www.friedenskooperative.de/ff/ff02/2-10.htm.]
[An immigration law that defines and separates hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants as "unusuable" violates human rights. From a human rights perspective, the Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy urges opposition to the immigration bill in the Bundesrat.]
This immigration law is primarily oriented in national economic interests. A flexible labor migration according to need (just-in-time) should be encouraged. With the identification of useful work migrants, those who must immediately leave the country as useless or unprofitable immigrants are also defined. With this one-sidedly self-interested migration policy, a class of new outlaws is created who are subject to police control and surveillance. For example, the intentional abolition of toleration (replaced by a mere exit obligation certificate) benefits a very small part of the 260,000 migrants with legal residence by allowing them a limited humanitarian residence permission. In contrast, the bulk of this group of migrants are illegalized. On account of the general work prohibition imposed on them, they are forced directly into the informal and illegal labor market to survive.
This immigration law is a defensive law against refugees and migrants. It aims explicitly at "limiting immigration". This sounds objective, not brutal. Nevertheless the practice continues of forcible deportations including deportation jails and inhuman camp systems now euphemistically called exit centers. Migrants marked for deportation are socially separated in a strict constitutional way. They are subjected to a special discriminatory socio-political treatment.
This immigration law doesn't do justice to the demands for a future-friendly policy for political and social association with migration and flight in the interests of all citizens, migrants and refugees. Instead the visionless power politics calculation prevails. Another policy would be in the interest of all citizens. The affluent-chauvinistic separation of the economically "useless" or "unprofitable" destroys the conditions of democracy and human rights.
This immigration law merely creates the appearance of a political organization of immigration. Serious questions raised in connection with worldwide migration are politically left out of consideration, for example the question of "global social justice" currently put on the agenda with the social movements supported by many migrants or the question of forced "illegality" and the related living conditions in the metropolises.
The perspective of this just-in-time immigration policy strengthens the worldwide social apartheid system where the destitute of the world are kept away from the citadels of wealth, militarily if necessary. Poverty is political. The forceful maintenance of this worldwide capitalist order of inequality violates human rights like an immigration law serving this order. The lesser and supposedly approved evil is a part of the greater (evil).