Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Push back for asylum rights

“Its main effect will be to add an extra dose of cruelty to the existing arrangements.” That’s the impact the Tories’ Nationality and Borders Bill — just passed by the House of Commons for a second time — will have on asylum-seekers, as summed up by migration writer Daniel Trilling. The arrangements are extremely cruel already. For almost three decades, Labour and Tory governments have progressively tightened access to asylum in the UK and restrictions on those seeking it when they are here. They have normalised barbaric practices including imprisoning asylum-seekers, forcibly dispersing them...

Kino Eye: Waiting for asylum

There’s been much coverage recently in Solidarity about migration and about the excellent news of victory for the campaign to stop Osime Brown being deported. The film Last Resort, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski and released in 2000, tells the tale of a Russian woman, Tanya (Dina Korzum), and her son Artyom (Artyom Strelnikov) who arrive in the UK expecting to meet Tanya’s “fiancé” at the airport. He is a fake, and never shows up. Tanya claims asylum and she is sent by the authorities to Stonehaven, a dilapidated south-east seaside resort which doubles up as a makeshift detention centre, dreary...

EU migrants face hostile environment

Hundreds of thousands of EU migrants face losing their access to benefits, healthcare, livelihood, and even their right to remain where they now consider home, as UK “settled status” applications comes to an end on 30 June. The “settled status” process itself it a betrayal of the promises made in the run up to the EU referendum, when migrants were repeatedly assured their status in the UK would be safe in the event of Brexit. Most applications have been approved, but many have been given insecure “pre-settled status”, some have been rejected outright, and unknown numbers have not applied. The...

Osime Brown: how we stopped a deportation

From Neurodivergent Labour On 15 June, the Home Office decided that it would not proceed with their barbaric intention to deport autistic, learning-disabled man Osime Brown to a place he has no knowledge of. The victory comes after more than a year of campaigning by a coalition of activists and organisations, under the instrumental guidance of Osime’s mum, Joan. When ND Labour came into the campaign about a year ago, awareness about the case was limited to a layer of autistic and neurodivergent activists and migrants’ rights groups. It was a campaign typical of the classic style: a petition...

Osime Brown: stop the deportation

Saturday, 12 June: assemble noon at the Home Office 2 Marsham St London SW1P 4DF, march to Parliament Square. Campaigners have already stopped Osime Brown, an autistic young man jailed under the Joint Enterprise law, from being deported to Jamaica (where he has no support or connections), immediately on release from jail. Now they aim to block the deportation altogether at the Judicial Review. • Facebook event

"New plan" for immigration? Same racist policies

On 24 May Home Secretary Priti Patel was the keynote speaker of the “What’s next for immigration?” online conference hosted by Bright Blue, a “liberal conservative” think tank. The “new plan for immigration”, she claimed, is simply a “fair but firm” expression of the democratic rights of the people of the UK first in the EU referendum and again in 2019. She lambasted anyone who had the guts to stand up against her government as sowing dissent whilst she is, of course, in line with the opinion of the silent majority of UK citizens with “legitimate concerns”. Emily Kenway, in her interview with...

Tooting protests against police raids

In the week ending 22 May, local residents in Tooting, south London were outraged when the police used a “road safety policing operation” to check delivery drivers’ immigration statuses. Two people were arrested for immigration offences. Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan responded: “Today in Tooting, a Met Police Team were stopping fast food delivery drivers and checking immigration status under the guise of ‘Covid compliance’. “Covid compliance is crucial to stop the spread, but it doesn’t explain why Immigration Enforcement were in attendance. “I don’t think there’s been full transparency with...

On the Howard Beckett/Priti Patel controversy

Debate and discussion on the Unite election here. Unite the Union’s assistant general secretary, and candidate for general secretary, Howard Beckett, has landed in hot water after tweeting – in the context of denouncing the Tories’ anti-migrant policies and supporting the magnificent resistance to them in Glasgow – that home secretary “Priti Patel should be deported, not refugees”. Beckett said: “She can go along with anyone else who supports institutional racism. She is disgusting.” When it was pointed out by many on the left that, regardless of Patel’s appalling politics, suggesting the...

"Spontaneity with roots": how protest blocked deportations in Glasgow

Paul, a socialist activist in Glasgow who took part in the successful action which stopped an immigration raid on 12 May, spoke to us about what happened. At some point that morning a Home Office van appeared in Kenmure Street in Pollokshields, and took two men out of their flat and bundled them into a van. I don’t know who saw it first, but a lot of the activist community in Southside is clued into issues around the Home Office and asylum-seekers. There’s a tradition in recent years of resistance to the eviction of asylum-seekers. Someone made Facebook posts to tell their friends to spread...

Activist agenda: Free Osime Brown

Labour Campaign for Free Movement activists will support a new Justice for Osime Brown protest, demanding the threat of deportation be lifted, on Friday 16 April from 1 pm at the Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF. Previous campaigning headed off the danger of Osime being deported as soon as he was released from jail, but he is still not safe. The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign re-started its regular 5th-of-the-month 6 pm protest at the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place, London, on 5 April. The next one is Wednesday 5 May. Info on those campaigns and on others (Safe & Equal, Free Our...

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