Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Make the NHS open to all!

Research from the group Doctors of the World UK illustrates how anti-migrant policies implanted in the NHS over years were causing serious suffering, even before the pandemic hit. Their report found migrants waiting much longer to access the health service than non-migrants, with an average wait of 37 weeks. For those requiring “urgent” or “immediately necessary” treatment, the average was 36 weeks. Delays of years were not uncommon, with one respondent with a serious heart complaint waiting four years. The report highlights extensive wrangling over whether people can access treatment and...

Asylum: Patel's "Australian model"

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been asking officials to scope out the possibilities of detaining asylum seekers on remote Atlantic islands or in disused ferries, and building physical barriers in the Channel. In Australia, where she borrows the “remote-islands” idea from, deterring asylum seekers and enforcing border controls have been election-winning positions for the conservatives. In the first decade of the 21st century immigration detention in harsh remote locations within Australian territory through the first decade of this century produced points at which refugee supporters could meet...

A win for Osime Brown

On 7 October, Osime Brown, a young man jailed under “joint enterprise” law, will return to his family home on his release from prison, rather than being taken to an immigration detention centre. This win follows many street and online protests demanding his freedom. But Osime’s fight is still on: the order to deport him to Jamaica (which he left at the age of 4, and where has no support network) still stands. No date has been announced, but Osime still has this threat looming. Campaigners are running a “Twitter storm” on 6 October, and ask supporters to keep signing and sharing the petition...

Free Osime Brown!

Joe Booth was speaking at the “Free Osime Brown” protest on 25 September. More about the Osime Brown campaign here. Hey everyone. My name’s Joe. Joe Booth. I’m 18. And I’m autistic. And I’m socialist, or activist, or whatever you wanna call me. And first of all, I just wanna say: whatever I say now is not said as a soundbite, or for my own popularity, but because I literally mean it… and I want Osime Brown released! So, why am I here? Because I’m absolutely furious and appalled, so much that it’s actually a miracle I ain’t swearing. Because Osime Brown is being convicted for a crime that not...

Free Osime Brown: stop his deportation, cancel his conviction!

Without urgent action, Osime Brown, an innocent 21 year old black learning-disabled man will be moved to a detention centre on the 7th October, awaiting deportation to Jamaica. This is a country he left aged 4 where he has no friends, family or support in. Osime's situation is a grim example of the racist and ableist nature of the British immigration and policing systems. We must urgently stop Osime's deportation, cancel his conviction, and fight to overthrow the brutality that puts anyone in this situation. You can read more about the case here. The campaign are asking all of its supporters...

Stop this deportation!

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Home Office on Friday 4 September to demand that Osime Brown not be deported to Jamaica. Led by Osime’s family, the protest was supported by Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM), Neurodivergent Labour (NDL) and RMT’s London Transport Regional Council. Osime’s mother, sister and stepfather told how he had been imprisoned under “joint enterprise” law simply for being present when a mobile phone was stolen, and that an order has been issued to deport him when he is released next month. The family left Jamaica when Osime was four years old; he has no knowledge...

Free to move, free to stay, free to live!

A new start towards redoubling work by the pro-free-movement left was made at a protest at the Home Office on Wednesday 19 August, bringing together a wide range of socialist groups and migrants' rights campaigns, including Labour Campaign for Free Movement, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Southall Black Sisters, Mutiny, Socialist Resistance, Red Flag, RS21, Momentum Internationalists, Workers' Liberty, and many others. A follow-up meeting called by the initiators of that protest on 29 August discussed future plans, including, should the pandemic conditions permit it, a national action...

NRPF hits women harder in pandemic

Women’s charities have raised the alarm that victims of domestic violence are being refused places at refuges because they do not speak sufficient English. Those turned away include a mother with a 14-month-old baby who was fleeing violence after being held as a slave by her ex-husband. Karma Nirvana, which supports those at risk from forced marriage and “honour”-based violence, said squeezed services in the lockdown period made it even harder for migrant women to access refuge places. Of 20 women Karma Nirvana could not find a refuge for during lockdown, it said five were turned down by six...

Protect lives, not borders!

The Labour Campaign for Free Movement is seeking signatures for a statement against the Tory government's moves to clamp down on asylum-seeker boats crossing the Channel. Sign here

The Border Force state

We increasingly live in a "Border Force State". Over the last 25 years the powers, jurisdiction, importance and prestige of what's now called the UK Border Force has grown massively. It has also become much more militarised. Beyond that, the policing of migrants is becoming an increasing part of the roles of the police, schools, universities, NHS and armed forces. This tendency was shown in the most crude way when Priti Patel talked of using the Navy to police the Channel for migrants. However, in a much more subtle way, through NHS charging for instance, the role of border cop is being...

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