The current situation:
Lately there are a lot of media reports about plans to increase the number of deportations. The German government negotiates with several countries of origin about return programs, they plan to speed up asylum procedures and to conduct more charter deportations supported by the European border agency Frontex.
For all those who have been rejected not only by the German Asylum Authority “Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF)”, but also by the court (if they have appealed on time against the BAMF-rejection) and who have only a “Duldung” (toleration status) it seems to get more dangerous.
Deportations from Germany to different countries are increasing, but they cannot deport masses at once and so the numbers of deportations are still lower than before the Covid-crisis, especially if you see them also in relation to the new asylum applications. Nobody should panic! You should rather get informed and organized by building support. Nobody should stay alone with his or her fear!
Most in danger: All those who have only a “Duldung” after their asylum application has been rejected by the authorities. In case you have appealed on time against the negative decision, you can only be deported, if the court has rejected your appeal.
Those who were deported in the last months were picked up at home or at their workplaces, some of them already in the days before the charter deportation happened. Sometimes deportations are also conducted directly from the “Ausländerbehörde” (foreign office).
We try in two chapters to give you useful information against the fear of deportation.
In the chapter “Right to Stay” you find different options how to get a right to stay even if your asylum case was rejected by the authorities. Here below you can find ways how to stop a deportation last minute and what to do then.
So called “voluntary” return
We know that the deportations are intended to deter and create panic within the communities. The German authorities tried to also convince rejected asylum seekers to ‘voluntarily’ return to their country of origin. ‘Voluntary return’ means that they offer some hundred Euros so that people sign a paper and return to their country of origin by themselves. The ‘forced’ deportations now are intended to demonstrate that there are no other options but to return, either ‘voluntarily’ or forced. This is blackmail as, of course, it is not on a ‘voluntary’ basis, and everybody should think twice before agreeing to a ‘voluntary’ return. If you consider this as a possible next step, you should try to find more information about options for a trustful counselling beforehand. Many times, we have seen people, who had to flee a second time from their countries of origin after a return.
How to stop a deportation last minute?
In case the police arrest you for deportation it can be still possible to stop a deportation until the last moment. Most important is that you inform others (and especially your lawyer if you have one) and that you try to resist.
Most deportations are carried out on regular flights where tourists and businesspeople travel as well. If German police wants to deport you on such a regular flight, they will most likely just put you on the plane but won’t accompany you on the flight, if they don’t expect any trouble. As it is easier to stop a deportation on the plane when police officers do not accompany you, it makes sense not to waste your energy on the way to the airplane but to start to resist only once police has left the plane.
Alert about charter deportations
In an airplane chartered only for deportation usually there will be police officers accompanying each person and so the chances to resist are limited. About upcoming charter deportations you often find hints beforehand at “Deportation Alert”:
How to prevent your deportation while still at the airport?
You can find ideas on how to resist in this video here:
Once you are already on your way to the airport, it will be difficult to think about what you could do to prevent the deportation, because you will be most likely stressed. Therefore it is good to familiarise yourself beforehand with the existing possibilities. The following information should help you with this.
1. Informing other people
If you can, inform your friends that you are arrested by police and you want to resist the deportation. Especially inform your lawyer - but also other people who supported you in your struggle for your right to stay. The more people know that you are flying against your will, the greater the chance of preventing your deportation.
2. On the way to the aircraft
The German State Police often behave recklessly, and often also brutally, to enforce an ordered deportation. The law allows police officers to transport people to the airport in handcuffs and to use force to suppress any resistance. Sometimes the state police bully and beat to scare and discourage deportees before they reach the aircraft. If you want to resist the deportation, you should not waste your strength too early.
3. If you are injured or ill
If you get injured or become ill, then you should let everyone you meet on your way to the deportation know (immigration officials, the airport social services, the flight attendants in the plane, the passengers – really everybody). It is possible that because of this you are “not airworthy.” This does not always help, but deportations have regularly been aborted on medical grounds. In case you have medical documents that can prove that you are probably “unable to travel” carry them always with you.
4. Once you are on the plane
Due to international agreements, inside the aircraft police officers have no special authority. It is the pilot who will take all decisions. So save your energy to prevent your deportation once you are on the plane. Try, if necessary by calling loudly, to speak to the pilot (flight captain) or a responsible member of the aircraft crew. Explain that you are not taking this flight willingly. Usually a loud “NO” is enough. If that does not help you can be loud, refuse to sit down and refuse to fasten the seatbelt.
If the immigration officials (state police) do not stay on the aircraft, it is quite simple to stand up as soon as they have left the plane, and to go straight to the pilot and insist on having a conversation with him/her. Explain that you do not want to fly, and that he/she should not conduct this deportation. Explain clearly that you are not flying on your own free will and that you will fight to defend yourself if necessary.
If the immigration officials stay on the plane and intend to fly with you as „safety monitoring“, you should still try to reach the pilot. If the immigration officials prevent you from doing this by cuffing you or holding you, you can protest with loud screams, once the first passengers are on board the plane. Still try to reach the pilot and to tell him that you will resist.
5. What happens when a deportation is successfully prevented, or must be aborted?
ATTENTION: resistance can result in being detained until the authorities make another attempt to deport you.
The German officials will usually try to continue to conduct the deportation. If the deportation was proceeded by detention, you will firstly be brought back to detention. If there is no custody order, you will be sent back again to the place where you live in Germany. In either case there is little time to continue to fight your deportation using legal or political means. After a prevented deportation there is always the danger of an arrest warrant, so simply to wait would be unsafe. Contact a lawyer or legal advice centre immediately.
6. What happens when the deportation takes place within the European Union (Dublin III Regulation), because my fingerprints were recorded in another EU country?
You can also resist a deportation within the EU. This is sometimes easier than resisting a deportation to your country of origin, because there is a deadline (usually 6 months) within which Germany must have carried out the deportation. If this deadline is not met, your application for asylum will be processed in Germany. (LINK zur Dublin-Rubrik) If you manage to prevent your deportation (e.g. to Croatia or Bulgaria) close to the deadline, then you must be released from removal detention and your asylum case must be considered in Germany. Caution: this applies only for people who have had their fingerprints taken, but do not have refugee status in another country (e.g. Italy).
7. ”Emergency exit”
Often the immigration authorities are forced to conduct deportations with airlines that do not offer direct flights to the country of origin. This means that the deportee must change to a connecting flight at an airport in another country. This creates the possibility of getting off the plane and refusing the onwards flight. In several cases the deportees have refused to board the connecting flight and have been returned to Germany.
More useful information:
stop deportation comic
Deportation Alert Hessen
Blog in english: http://nodeportation.antira.info/en/
Be strong – and don’t forget: our good wishes will be with you.
No border – For freedom of movement!