FIM fights for the validation of human rights for everyone – even for people who do not have a legal residence status or who live under precarious residence conditions. It is therefore the main focus of our work to facilitate access to health care or emergency shelters and to guarantee the access to the educational system for children without a residence permit.
Pregnancy often motivates undocumented women to ask for advice and support from FIM. If the father of the unborn child has a German passport or a settlement permit and acknowledges the paternity to the child. Pregnancy can open up a possibility for the legalization of the woman. In such cases, the main focus in the counseling process is getting medical care for mother and child and securing the child’s welfare. During counselling, FIM tries to sort out the chances for legalization and gives support regarding the acknowledgement of paternity, the application for asylum or residence permit and social welfare benefits. Sometimes a shelter has to be found quickly or the women have to be provided with some fundamental needs. FIM provides long-term support to the affected women during their integration into the German society and helps them to find a job.
Legal contradictions – political challenges
People without residential rights face conflicts from two different areas of law. On the one hand, the universal human rights declaration guaranties fundamental rights such as the access to health care and the right to education of every human being – regardless of their origin. On the other hand, the immigration legislation restricts them the access to these rights and resources in order to preserve the state’s national interests in terms of migration policy.
Being a counseling center that is regularly confronted with the hardships of undocumented people FIM demands that the responsible political bodies in Germany place a stronger emphasis on fundamental and human rights regarding immigration laws and their regulatory actions.
What does “undocumented” mean?
For these people there is no way to call on the existing civil rights or they risk themselves of being deported. People without legal residence permits are therefore exposed to many risks and adversities. They have no or extremely limited access to local political and social life. They do not have health insurance, and they have no access to the German social security system. They earn their living as cheap laborers who can be laid off at any time: in households, in the cleaning sector, in restaurants, in the construction sector or in the care-giving sector.