“You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?”
Migrants and refugees are not wanted in Europe. Here it is nearly impossible for them to find a legal form of refuge or immigration, so crossing state borders will always be an „illegal“ offence and often entail risking ones life. An „illegal“ person is someone who stays even though it isn’t permitted or accepted. The possibilities of immigration or residence are systematically reduced. Thus an ever increasing number of people is forced into illegality. Borders do not only separate territories, they separate people. Borders exist everywhere: at social welfare centres, at stations, in city centres as well as at the state border. Wherever people have to prove their identity there is the border.
Living without rights, security or legality means constant fear of denunciation and blackmail, because the consequences of being found out are punishment, remand pending deportation or immediate deportation. One has no protection or rights face to face with authorities, employers and landlords, but also in cases of illness, accidents or encroachment. Social contacts become a frightening risk. Children cannot attend school or kindergarten, young people are deprived of education and training. One has to watch out all the time.
For women living in illegality means to be exposed to sexist violence without any rights. It also means that women, being in most cases responsible for the children and the family, have to take care af them under very difficult and hard conditions.
In the fight against racism and sexism it is becoming more and more important to give political and practical support to migrants in their battle for legalisation and their right to have any rights at all.
All people have the right to decide for themselves where and how they want to live. Respecting human rights for every human being regardless of their origin or identity means that the regulation of migration and the systematic denial of rights go against the demand for equality in all socially and politically relevant areas.
For these reasons we are calling for the support of migrants on entry and the continuation of their journey. We are calling for the provision of work and identity papers for migrants. We are calling for the supply of medical care, education and training, accommodation and material survival.
Because no one is illegal.
Kassel 1997 | documentaX