Agenda: Question & Answer: Supporting migrants in the legal fight against deportation

I am a member of a small group in Germany supporting migrants in danger of  deportation. We collect donations to pay for their lawyers and offer to accompany them in their appointments with lawyers and at the court.

In this Q & A session, people who are interested in this activism can ask me questions about our work. We can have a chat and exchange experiences about the legal fights against deportation.

Language: English


Introduction of a small initiative fighting against deportation of individuals from Germany with legal means:

We are a small group of 3-4 people funding the lawyer costs of individuals who are fighting against their deportation.

For this, we have a group of supporters on an email list who regularly donate to us (some with standing orders, some transfer money every time for specific cases and according to their current capacities).

We support maximum 1 person or family per month, due to financial and time capacities. Most cases need about 1.200€, which is the regular lawyer cost of an anti-deportation court case.

For every case we support, we write a little call for donations with a pseudonym and some basic information about the person’s refugee and legal story, their current problems and the next legal steps that need to be done.

We also have a website where these calls are published (unless this website has a technical problem, like right now^^).

If our “claimants” wish, we accompany them to lawyer appointments and also their court cases. Sometimes, we prepare the court cases with them, which should actually be the lawyers’ work, but often this needs much more time than the lawyers can afford (going through the details of the refugee’s story again and again, telling it in the right order, not making statements that could be considered contradictory, collecting and formatting proofs etc.).

None of our team members has/had a legal background. Some of us had taken part in a 1 year free education about asylum law offered by another organization in this field (with 1-2 lessons a week).

We don’t select the people we support by chance of success, country of origin, gender etc.

Often, there are more help structures and readiness to support women, children, sick, elderly and queers. But also healthy young cis-male people can be in really shitty situations and suffer a lot.

Even though we try not to select, we know that there are selection processes taking place even before the requests reach us: We think that social workers or other activists, who often write the requests to us, also have the tendency to select, and not request us for every person but only the most “dramatic” cases.

Court cases usually take around 1-2 years, so most of our cases are still running. From the people we supported and have their results already, most of them could stay in some way or another. Some got more precarious titles (like “prohibition of deportation”), others got refugee status. Sometimes we needed several court cases for one person to finally get a title.

Not all of the successes were achieved on the legal way / through our help. For example, one queer guy also got a second interview at the immigration authority (this time with a positive result) after press work and lobby work had been done by a queer organisation.

Sometimes we also get to know the claimants better and they invite us to yummy dinners or we have went to feminist kickboxing together 🙂

If you have more questions, or you want to start a similar initiative and want to exchange experiences, you are very welcome to contact us at 🙂