After several years in hiding, Pham requested a retrial by the commission earlier in the year. However, the chair of the commission, the Saxon Commissioner for Foreigners Geert Mackenroth (CDU), rejected this. Reason: The factual or legal situation has not changed significantly in favor of the person concerned.

Geert Mackenroth (CDU): The Saxony Commissioner for Foreigners refused the request for a reassessment of the situation. (Source: Sebastian Kahnert / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa / Archivbild / dpa-bilder)

Criticism of the measure comes from SPD Member of Parliament Frank Richter, who supports the Pham/Nguyen family in their fight for their right to stay. In an interview with MDR, Richter expressed the impression that “the exact wrong people” are being deported to Saxony. According to the judge, families with children who are unable to hide permanently are often disproportionately deported compared to criminals. Itelka Cobos, an immigration official in Chemnitz, called the decision “simply intolerable from a humanitarian and moral point of view”.

The initiators want a public hearing

Social networks also complain that McEnroth, as chairman of the commission, was able to decide on the fate of the family on his own. Individuals often have “a lot of wiggle room in asylum law,” blogger and activist Hami Nguyen wrote in an Instagram post that has received more than 30,000 likes so far. According to Nguyen, she lived in Germany for fifteen years with Duldung until she obtained German citizenship.

The petitioners hope to get a public hearing on the issue in the state parliament by collecting signatures. In Saxony, 12,000 votes from residents of the federal state are needed for this to be an option – but so far, only about 9,000 of the more than 40,000 signatures have come from the Free State.