OPEN LETTER: Pass(t) uns allen

Skillgarden – Trauma Support Kurs für QTI*BIPOC
OFFENER BRIEF: Pass(t) uns allen
Skillgarden – Trauma Support Kurs für QTI*BIPOC
OFFENER BRIEF: Pass(t) uns allen

In solidarity with and as supporters of the Pass(t) uns allen alliance, we are also publishing the campaign’s open letter here.

Germany needs fair citizenship, naturalisation and voting rights!

There are currently more than 12 million people in Germany without German citizenship, 10 million of whom are of voting age. Of these, 1.5 million do not have a German passport, although they were born here. At the same time, the naturalisation rate of less than 2% is in the bottom third of the EU. If people who have lived here for years or were born here are not protected against deportation, are not allowed to vote and are subject to numerous restrictions in their everyday lives, this is not only unjust, but also a massive democratic deficit! Also in the face of right-wing terrorist attacks and everyday racism, it is central that above all those who are affected can vote and hold political office themselves. Only those who vote count.

On 27.02.2023, we sent an open Letter to the federal government and the opposition. It was signed by more than 100 well-known persons and organisations from science, culture, education and civil society and is constantly being added to on the website.

We are a nationwide alliance of migrant and anti-racist organisations and expressly welcome the planned reform of the citizenship law. Full political and social participation for all people who have their centre of life in Germany is essential for a democracy and a modern immigration society. However, in order to actually achieve this, we consider it necessary to include further aspects in the reform project and, in addition to the citizenship reform, to use the planned amendment of the electoral law to introduce voting rights for all.

Support and sign the petition here and keep up to date on the website or via Instagram!

Unrestricted ius soli

The current draft bill of the BMI provides that children born in Germany to foreign parents will automatically receive German citizenship if one parent has lived legally in Germany for five (previously: eight) years and has a settlement permit. But shortening the waiting period is not really an improvement of the situation. This regulation will continue to prevent thousands of children from obtaining German citizenship – especially children born into families with tolerated status. Moreover, the current draft law does not take into account the situation of children who are still born stateless in Germany. They can only acquire German citizenship under difficult conditions and only after several years. This increases the risk that statelessness will be transferred to the next generation and thus reproduced.

This is already the case in 33 countries worldwide. Children born there immediately receive citizenship – regardless of the citizenship and residence status of their parents.

That is why we demand unrestricted ius soli.

Multiple nationalities

The renunciation of the previous nationality/ies as a prerequisite for naturalisation currently prevents many people from becoming naturalised. We live in a society where it is taken for granted that not all children have German parents, that people migrate and stay, are at home in several places and help shape social processes where they have their centre of life. In the same way, it should be a matter of course to have several nationalities. For many, dual citizenship is already part of everyday life. In 2021, 69% of all naturalisations took place with the acceptance of multiple citizenship. The fact that the possibility of multiple nationality does not exist for everyone is unjust and discriminatory. It contradicts the principle of equality of the Basic Law and the European Convention on Nationality. A general authorisation of dual nationality as well as of multiple nationality also speeds up the naturalisation process and relieves the authorities, who no longer have to verify the renunciation of the old nationality. In most EU countries, dual or multiple citizenship is already a reality.

We are expressly in favour of dual or multiple citizenship as provided for in the current draft referendum.

Abolition of naturalisation hurdles

The fact that the naturalisation rate in Germany is so low compared to the rest of the EU also has to do with the fact that the requirements are unnecessarily high. For example, poverty, losing one’s home or job, or driving without a ticket can be grounds for rejection. How quickly naturalisation takes place differs from federal state to federal state – sometimes from municipality to municipality – and depends on the discretion of case workers. However, there are good examples in German history that show that unbureaucratic naturalisation is possible, such as the quick and uncomplicated naturalisation of millions of (late) repatriates.

The fact that naturalisation is not so easy for everyone also has to do with the idea of who is or should be „German“. Instead of referring to a völkisch and racist understanding of being German, as the AfD is currently demanding in a counter-proposal to the reform of the Nationality Act, it is urgently necessary for all democratic parties to distance themselves from this and commit to a modern and diverse society. This also includes an uncomplicated naturalisation law. New, simplified rules for naturalisation offer the chance to make laws and administrative regulations more transparent for all parties involved and to relieve the burden on naturalisation authorities.

We call for learning from these positive experiences and abolishing all naturalisation hurdles.

Voting rights for all

Currently, more than 12 million people without German citizenship live in Germany, 10 million of whom are of voting age. This means that over 14 per cent of the population have no possibility of political representation. This represents a glaring democratic deficit! Being able to vote or stand for election is one of the cornerstones of democracy. All those who are affected by political decisions must be able to influence them, even if they do not opt for naturalisation. Making naturalisation easier is not sufficient for this. The right to vote must not depend on German citizenship, the passport, but on where people live. In addition, there is the unequal treatment of EU citizens and non-EU citizens. EU citizens can vote and stand for election at the municipal level after only a short period of residence. However, non-EU citizens, some of whom have lived in Germany for decades or were even born here, cannot. The electoral law reform planned in parallel with the citizenship reform is an opportunity to remedy this democratic deficit and should be used.

14 out of 27 EU member states allow third-country nationals at least the right to vote at the municipal level.

We demand the right to vote and stand for election at federal, state and municipal level as well as for elections to the EU Parliament for all people who have had their centre of life in Germany for at least three years.


Contact address:

Alliance pass(t) uns allen:

Allerweltshaus Köln e.V., Allmende e. V., Amaro Drom e.V., Bayerischer Flüchtlingsrat, BBZ- Beratungszentrum und Betreuungszentrum für junge Flüchtlinge und Migrant*innen, Bundes Roma Verband e.V., Bundesverband russischsprachiger Eltern e.V. (BVRE), Bundesverband unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge, Coach e.V., DaMOst e.V., Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen, FraTÖP e.V., Flüchtlingsrat Berlin e.V., Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen e.V., Flüchtlingsrat RLP e.V., Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat, In-Haus e.V., Initiative – Nicht ohne uns-14 Prozent, Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland Bund e.V. (ISD), International Women Space (IWS), Jugendliche ohne Grenzen, korientation. Netzwerk für Asiatisch-Deutsche Perspektiven e.V, Lateinamerikanische Fraueninitiative in Neukölln e.V., MigLoom e.V., MigraFem Power & Voice e.V. , MigraNetz Thüringen e.V., Migrationsrat Berlin e.V., Netzwerk WIR WÄHLEN, neue deutsche organisationen – das postmigrantische netzwerk e.V., Pro Asyl e.V. , Refugees with Attitudes, Roma Antidiscrimination Network (RAN), Roma Center e.V., Roma-Trial e.V., RomaniPhen e.V., Romano Sumnal e.V., Seebrücke, Statefree e.V., TBB-Türkischer Bund in Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., Trixiewiz e.V., Türkische Gemeinde in Deutschland e.V., Türkische Gemeinde in Hamburg und Umgebung e.V., With Wings and Roots e.V./FROM HERE, Women in Exile e.V., Young Voice TGD e.V

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