We’ve seen the future. Whilst we wait for the various provisions of the immigration Act 2014 to be implemented, the damage started before, with the demonisation of migrant communities. The Act will open the door to widespread discrimination. It will give the racist a law to hide behind, and the fearful a reason to discriminate.
During the passage of the Bill, when reports of proposed new laws were broadcast and reported in our media, some took the proposals as they then were as law. We know of migrants being refused hospital treatment and tests because they “haven’t been here long enough” or they “haven’t paid enough tax to qualify for this service”.
Not wishing to add to the overkill, but a quiet word about the elections if you don’t mind.
There are differing theories abound at the best place to plant your cross to keep the far right from representing the UK in Europe. The important thing is you use your vote.
Today’s announcement on numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK will provide a challenge for anti-immigrant protagonists in the media, politics and down the pub. There has been a fall in the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK since restrictions were lifted on 1 January.
While it must be noted that these figures do not strictly reflect immigration – there are changes in employment status of Romanians and Bulgarians who’ve been here for a while, this should serve to take the wind out of the sails of UKIP, anti-EU Tories, Migration Watch and newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Express.
The lies proclaimed by UKIP in their new poster campaign need a response. The hysteria is palpable, the idea that 26 million people are after your job would be laughable had insecurity not taken such a serious hold on people in the UK today. Here Nandini Archer, currently working with the policy team at JCWI, looks behind the hysteria and lays out the facts.
Has Theresa May ever publicly said the words “Yashika Bageerathi”?
We haven’t heard her if she has. You can go on the Home Office website and search for either of the words Yashika or Bageerathi and find no results for the searches. The lack of names and faces keeps the policy making and implementation sterile, away from emotions and relationships, away from family life, love or compassion, which is very useful if all you care about is numbers.
In fact the only immigrants’ names we can recall her using since she took her office in Marsham Street have both been Abus: Qatada and Hamza. The two Abus are convenient pantomime baddies, one fitted with a useful hook to accentuate the cartoonish criminality that Ms May so appreciated.
Detention is very much in the spotlight: A forty year old Jamaican woman died at the weekend at Yarl's Wood immigration prison, and Medcine Sans Frontieres have today released a report on the terrible, inhumane conditions experienced by migrants unfortunate enough to be detained in Greece at the moment. For European countries (Greece is bad, but many others are becoming more like Greece every week) to have such inhumane conditions for people should be a source of shame for us all.
Last week Doc House screened a film made about the plight of migrants in Greece, many of whom had experienced the appalling hospitality of the detention estate there. We recommend you get to see Stop Over too.
When MAX (movement against xenophobia) was officially launched on 16 October last year, we were immediately plunged into the thick of campaigning and briefing against the odious Immigration Bill that’s still making its way through the various stages of Parliament. It was quite a baptism of fire by any accounting.
Last Saturday (15 March) we saw MAX firmly establish itself as a broader movement, addressing more than the latest piece of legislation in Westminster. More than 100 people gathered at the MAX conference for a long and intense day of meetings, talks and workshops. It was an open and welcoming event where different opinions were aired and debated with thought and respect.
On Saturday 15 March, MAX (movement against xenophobia) is holding it's first conference. It is a day of dicussion over the best way to counter the worst excesses of the media and politicians in the debate on immigration. Media coverage and political posturing from our representatives in Westminster run at unprecedented rates, and the voices against this are fragmented.
MAX presents a chance for a united stance against the xenophobic and intolerant dominant ideas, and the conference will determine the best way to use that voice.
It all takes place on Saturday 15 March, starting at 10.30am, at Vernon Square site of the School of Oriental & African Studies (near Kings Cross Station).
Valentines day saw heartbreaking scenes at St Pauls Cathedral as half a dozen brides without grooms gathered with supporters on the steps of the landmark church to protest their predicament of broken families. The message was clear – Theresa May not only wrecks Valentines Day for these people, it is a constant fact of life for thousands of people across the country. Two and a half years after the pernicious family rules on immigration were introduced, the campaign is stronger than ever and is attracting more and more people affected by the rules.
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