Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Tell McCluskey: solidarity, not borders!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33
Author

Mark Boothroyd

Len McCluskey’s intervention in the debate over freedom of movement is aiding the Tories, and promoting myths about immigration that the trade union movement should be dismantling.

On 13 November McCluskey [general secretary of the Unite trade union] criticised the policy voted for at Labour Party conference, of defending and extending freedom of movement for all migrants. McCluskey said “It’s wrong in my view to have any greater free movement of labour unless you get stricter labour market regulation.”

What does stricter labour market regulation mean? If McCluskey means more rights for trade

Why free movement?

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 10:08

No one today disputes that freedom of movement within a country is a boon. Both for the individuals who can move to a place or a job they prefer, and for the places where they arrive, which become livelier.

Problems may arise: for example, shortage of affordable housing in London. The answer is to tax the rich to improve social provision (for example, build more council housing in London), not to exclude those who want to move. The immigrants are often a big part of the workers producing that improved social provision.

The same principle hold across national borders. We want to defend the free

Johnson’s Trump-Brexit

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:10

According to the most thorough study so far, Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will reduce average income per head in Britain by 6.4%. It will cost you about £1300 a year if your income is £20,000.

That’s not as bad as “no-deal” (8.1%). It is worse than Theresa May’s deal (4.9%), and of course a lot worse than Remain.

The bad economic impact comes from the barriers to trade and the barriers to immigration. Immigration, which mainly brings in young and energetic workers, boosts economic growth.

That is not the worst of it. Boris Johnson’s prime alternative to the economic integration which Britain

Lorry deaths show: borders kill

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:39
Author

Ben Tausz

As the news broke on Wednesday 23 October that 39 people had died in a refrigerated shipping container while attempting to reach Britain, the anti-immigration spin machine sprang into action.

Taking to the press, they insisted that the tragedy must be laid entirely at the feet of the smugglers and traffickers – and the “lax” borders enabling them.

The xenophobic Migration Watch think tank explained that protecting migrants meant more deportations and more resources to tighten the border against migration. The Mail demanded “added checks on vehicles entering Britain”.

The Times invited the

Home Office plans to trick the worst-off

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 11:13
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The Home Office is holding “immigration surgeries” at charities and places of worship.

They tell homeless migrants that attending will help them get financial support, and may help them regularise their immigration status. They are assured the sessions are not part of “an enforcement approach” to immigration status.

Lies – as was revealed on October 15.

The surgeries are run by the Home Office’s immigration enforcement unit. Officials may decide that attendees have no right to be in the UK, asking these individuals — who came seeking and promised support — to their agree to “voluntary removal”

Labour Campaigns Together

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 10:31
Author

Colin Foster

A coalition of grassroots Labour Party campaigns has launched a website, Labour Campaigns Together.

Its aim is to press the Labour leadership to include left-wing policies voted through at the 21-25 September Labour conference in Brighton in its manifesto and in the actions of a Labour government.

The key policies are:

• A just transition to a decarbonised economy by 2030
• Build 100,000 social rented council homes a year
• Transition to a 32-hour working week with no loss of pay
• Protect and extend the rights of migrants
• End all forms of criminalisation of rough sleeping
• Free our unions:

Letters

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:39

Kelly Rogers’ interview on the Labour conference in Solidarity 520, and article in 519, sketches an impressive intervention, replete with important lessons.

One is that sticking resolutely to our politics, not selling out on the hope of a favourable compromise, can “work”, as well as being more principled. Another is that even an — unfortunately — tiny group of revolutionaries within a much larger, reformist, Labour party can have influence well beyond its size. That is, if you have clear, bold political ideas, and good, open organising.

I want to add two points.

First, the division of the

The island, the refugees, and the yachts

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:05
Author

Jean Lane

I started coming to Symi, a tiny Greek island in the Aegean, closer geographically to Turkey than the Greek mainland, 30 years ago.

Missing a few years in the middle, I resumed coming five years ago. In these five years, the island has seen many refugees being washed up on its harbour side; mainly from Syria plus some from Afghanistan, Iraq, and sub-Saharan Africa arriving from Turkey just across the water.

Although there was consternation on the island from residents who themselves were suffering the effects of the collapse of the Greek economy, the response to the refugees was (and

Brighton, Labour, and the left

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:33

An interview with Kelly Rogers, a committee member of Labour for a Socialist Europe (L4SE), Another Europe is Possible, and the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, about Labour Party conference.

Q. What picture did the motions booklet give before conference?

A. The bulk of anti-Brexit motions were sent to conference as a result of work by our coalition, comprising Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour.

For a number of months in advance of conference we were phone-banking Labour Party members in our networks, convincing them to support our motion and

Free school meals for migrant children

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:03
Author

Gerry Bates

On 2 October, the Labour council in Lewisham, south London, agreed that no child in its schools would be denied a free school meal because of their parents’ immigration status.

“No Recourse to Public Funds” (NRPF) policies deny many migrants access to a social safety net, including means-tested school meals.

The Labour Party is now committed to abolishing NRPF outright, after last week’s Labour conference voted near-unanimously last week for a migrants’ rights motion proposed by LCFM [the Labour Campaign for Free Movement]. NELMA (North East London Migrant Action) and LCFM (Labour Campaign for

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