Solidarity with Pham Phi Son and his family: More than 60,000 people have already signed the Internet petition to prevent the deportation of the former Vietnamese contract worker.
The Saxon Refugee Council started the draft. Pham Phi Son lives in Chemnitz with his wife and daughter, who was born in 2017. He came to the former GDR in 1987 due to a government agreement. "It is inhumane to expel a person from the country who has lived, worked and started a family in Germany for more than three decades just because he could not meet a deadline for medical reasons," said Green Party leader Christin Furtenbacher on Monday in Dresden.
The Chemnitz migration officer Etelka Kobuß also described the case on Facebook as scandalous. She knows the family and can say with certainty that she is integrated. "After more than 30 years, Mr. Pham is just as much a de facto resident as his daughter, who was born in Germany and is now 5 years old, is," wrote Kobuß.
The "Open Petition" call met with a great response on the Internet. The signing link was shared by numerous accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Many users were upset and emotionally touched by the fate of the family.
According to the refugee council, the 65-year-old is threatened with deportation because he spent more than six months in 2016 for medical treatment in Vietnam, so he could only lose his settlement permit in Germany. The petition literally says: “The reason for the extended stay in the country of origin (was) only the necessary medical treatment of an old war injury. Medical certificates issued in Germany confirm these descriptions. Nevertheless, both the administrative court in Chemnitz and the hardship commission refused to guarantee the family the right to stay.”
For "three decades" Pham Phi Son made his own living through work, including in gastronomy, and paid taxes. Even now there are job offers for him, who is no longer allowed to work because of the unclear status.
The umbrella organization of Saxon migrant organizations (DSM) joined the protest and calls for the Vietnamese to have a chance to stay. "It is unbearable that in Saxony people are still being deported who have been part of our society for many years," said Kanwal Sethi, co-chair of the DSM. "What kind of signal is that to the second generation? What kind of country do we live in, where thousands of young people who were born here and often have German citizenship have to live with the fear that their parents and the whole family could be deported at any time if they make a mistake?”
The journalist Minh Thu Tran, who is herself the daughter of Vietnamese contract workers, emphasizes exactly this aspect on Twitter: “Poor sleep until Phạm Phi Sơn and his family are allowed to stay. I've had a German passport since I was 18, but cases like this just trigger such deep fears and panic in me again," she writes.
Meanwhile, Greens state chairwoman Furtenbacher emphasized that it was absolutely incomprehensible that Saxony's commissioner for foreigners, Geert Mackenroth, had so far refused to discuss the case again in the hardship commission.
CDU politician Mackenroth had previously ruled this out because "the factual or legal situation has not changed significantly in favor of the person concerned," as he recently wrote on Facebook, according to the dpa news agency. "I ask for your understanding that a more detailed explanation of the reasons conflicts with aspects of the privacy and data protection of those affected."
Since over 12,000 of the more than 60,000 people who signed the petition are now from Saxony, it can now also be handed over to the Saxon state parliament.