An open door for refugees from Afghanistan!

Submitted by martin on 22 August, 2021 - 11:10
Protest for Afghan refugee rights in Germany

See also "Support refugees from Afghanistan" and "Reading on Afghanistan"

We call on activists in trade unions and local Labour Parties to put motions supporting an open door for refugees from Afghanistan, and to support street protests for refugee rights.

Click here for wording you may adapt for a motion in your union branch or CLP.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has said (

People are running for safety by every route available. We need an asylum system that recognises the reality of crisis.

With the rights and lives of millions of Afghan nationals put at risk by the Taliban, the UK asylum system needs urgent change, so that those fleeing violence are able to rebuild their lives.

We urge the Home Secretary to:

Abandon the 'resettlement-only' plans set out in the Nationality and Borders Bill, that would criminalise or deny full refugee status to those who make their own journeys to seek asylum in the UK

Grant immediate asylum to Afghans already waiting for status in the UK

Release all Afghan nationals from detention

Expand the family reunion route so that Afghans can be joined by other members of their family, such as parents and siblings

Join the international effort to evacuate and resettle Afghan nationals

Other resources:

• Refugee Action’s petition against the Nationality and Borders Bill

• The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has a briefing, and a joint letter to the Home Secretary backed by more than 100 organisations

• Another Europe Is Possible has a write-to-your-MP tool

• 28 August day of action demanding airline TUI stop assisting deportations

And read the following, from Kenan Malik in the Observer of 22 August:

The government has promised 5,000 refugees to be resettled this year, in addition to the existing Afghan relocations and assistance policy scheme for locally employed staff and 20,000 in the coming years...

Between August and November 1972, Ted Heath’s Tory government took in 27,000 Ugandan Asians who had been expelled by Idi Amin. This despite the fierce opposition of Enoch Powell and the reactionary right.

At the end of the 1970s, Heath’s successor, Margaret Thatcher, was more reluctant to give refuge to the so-called Vietnamese “boat people”, fearing “riots on the streets”. Nevertheless, more than 19,000 eventually came to Britain. Even this was tiny compared with other countries. France accepted 95,000, Australia and Canada both 137,000 and the US 822,000.

From the First World War, when 250,000 Belgians fled the German invasion, including 16,000 in a single day to Folkestone, to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, after which Britain took in 11,000 refugees, there have been many instances of it accommodating large numbers of refugees in a crisis...

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