Our demonstration begins beside the ‚Tränenpalast‘ next to the S-Bahn station Friedrichstraße. There was until the end of 1989, a border station between the GDR and the FRG. Many families have suffered from this border. We will go to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, pass the Brandenburg Gate and the Bundestag and go to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for construction and homeland. There we will hold our final speeches.
On 1 February 2018, the majority of the members of the German ‚Bundestag‘ decided to continue to suspend family reunification for the family members of subsidiary protected refugees until first of August 2018 and to introduce a new law governing family reunification. Most members of the SPD agreed, so that the SPD could form a government coalition together with the CDU / CSU. On June 15, 2018, this government coalition passed the Family Reunification Renewal Act. This law is since 01.08. 2018 in force: 1000 people per month should be selected from the visa application of family members of refugees with subsidiary protection status and should be allowed to enter as „humanitarian cases“. Thus, the right to family reunification became an arbitrary right of grace.
The experience of recent months shows that the application process is complicated and multi-level and the authorities involved process the applications so slowly that not even these 1,000 people can enter the country each month. By the end of November, only 1562 visas had been issued. This exposes the law as an instrument to prevent family reunification .
At the same time, laws and bureaucratic hurdles prevent many other families from living together, for example by requiring documents for family reunification that refugees from many countries can not obtain.
It makes us angry that the German government and the asylum- and residence laws ignore rights of refugees. We want an unrestricted right to education, the right to safety and a life without persecution. We want respect for all forms of family and the right to live together with our families, we demand a work permit, decent accommodation with privacy and freedom of movement.
With a demonstration in Berlin on 2 February and decentralized actions in other cities in Germany on 1. and 2. February, we want to show that we will continue to protest together until basic and human rights finally apply to all.