Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Empty the jails and detention centres!

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 07:37

Sacha Ismail

The government is planning to temporarily release something like 4,000 prisoners in order to control the spread of Covid-19 in jails.

4,000 is about 5% of the prison population of 83,000. Of those 83,000, at least 60% are in prison for crimes that do not involve “violence against the person” or a sexual offence.

The figure of 83,000 is not one necessary for public safety. Other countries get equal or better public safety with lower rates. The Netherlands and Sweden have only 61 prisoners per 100,000 population, while Britain has 139, and the USA 655.

Turkey is releasing almost a third of

La France Insoumise and Covid-19

Published on: Mon, 06/04/2020 - 07:29

Igor Tahm-Kench

After agreeing with the government to "leave the controversies for later", Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the MPs of La France Insoumise have spoken. On a live LCI broadcast on Monday 30 March, the head of LFI opined that "the time has come to ban posted worker contracts, to repatriate posted workers by putting in the papers, or to keep them here and treat them properly", because "in France lorries are still coming in from a series of countries where there is no containment and which can therefore these lorries and be vectors for disseminating the virus".

LFI's answer to the virus: foreign workers go

Covid-19: fight for workers' control

Published on: Tue, 31/03/2020 - 07:17

1. Requisition (in other words, take into emergency public ownership)
• private hospitals, as Ireland and Spain have done
• the pharmaceutical and medical-supplies industries, so that production can be ramped up in a coordinated way to meet the crisis
• high finance, so that the epidemic is not compounded by a snowballing economic slump resulting from an implosion of credit
• and other sectors where coordinated mobilisation is necessary.

2. Fight for workers’ control
The workers ourselves, taking expert advice, should have a decisive voice in identifying and running what is essential, and how

Defend migrants, defend us all

Published on: Mon, 30/03/2020 - 22:04

Labour Campaign for Free Movement

Migrant communities are largely being overlooked during this pandemic, even though migrant NHS workers, migrant supply-chain workers, and migrant carers are doing the most essential work.

Immigration rules like No Recourse to Public Funds leave migrants especially vulnerable to economic hardship and incentivise them to disregard public health advice and continue working.

Migrants seeking to self-isolate to protect their own health, or the health of others, face destitution and potential homelessness without access to the social security net currently being ramped up to support British

Emergency powers: who checks?

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:46

Yes, any government would need emergency powers in an epidemic like this, to shut down activities which endanger not just those taking part, but others near them, and endanger the NHS too.

That does not mean that we should trust the Tories.

The government agreed under pressure to have the emergency powers reconsidered after six months, not to run for two years as they first proposed.

In this fast-moving emergency, that should be monthly.

Parliament should go online rather than either shutting or being depleted due to self-isolation. Make the government accountable!

The legislation gives

Pause Brexit now!

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:04

From Labour for a Socialist Europe

Whatever our differing views on Brexit, the whole Labour Party and labour movement should call and campaign for the Brexit transition period due to end on 31 December to be extended significantly – at least an extra year, maybe the full two years permitted under existing rules.

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, the possibility of the UK striking a deal with the EU in time looked tenuous. The Tory government has been threatening to walk away and prepare for a No Deal Brexit if the essentials of a deal are not in place by June!

Now the next round of UK-EU talks

Covid-19: public health, and workers' rights too!

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:27


1. Requisition (in other words, take into emergency public ownership):

• private hospitals, so that all their resources are directly available to the NHS
• the pharmaceutical and medical-supplies industries, so that production can be ramped up in a coordinated way to meet the crisis
• manufacturing facilities which can be adapted to produce ventilators and other medical equipment
• hotels and empty houses, to use them for the NHS, for the homeless, and for domestic violence victims
• transport and logistics, so that essential deliveries and travel can be coordinated and planned
• the big

Don't let Tories push through anti-migrant law

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 10:25

Ben Towse

The Conservative government’s new Immigration Bill would grant sweeping “Henry VIII” powers to the Home Secretary to make up immigration rules with limited oversight or accountability to Parliament.

The Johnson government’s new post-Brexit border policy ends free movement with the EU. It extends to EU migrants the brutal anti-migrant regime that is already imposed on non-EU migrants, while also changing that regime in new ways.

It classes migrants earning less than a certain salary threshold as “unskilled” and offers no general route for them to enter the country. They will be allowed in only

Covid-19 strengthens case to welcome refugees

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 10:17

Mohan Sen

Right-wing governments and movements are using the C-19 crisis to demand refugees from the Middle East and elsewhere are kept or driven out of Europe.

In fact the crisis only strengthens to the case they must be let in, welcomed and integrated.

The Syrian government says the country has no confirmed C-19 cases, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports outbreaks in several provinces. It says the regime has issued a gag order to stop medical personnel discussing the issue.

Meanwhile Syria is one of very few countries in the region not to have stopped air travel with Iran — the

Anti-migrant policies worsen Covid-19 dangers

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 07:31

Ben Towse

The harsh regime of hostile policies imposed on both documented and undocumented migrants living in this country is already a racist scandal.

Now, with the spread of Covid-19, these policies put migrants at increased risk and could exacerbate the public health crisis. Labour, our unions and our movement must demand immediate action to protect migrants.

1,500 to 2,000 people are imprisoned in the UK’s immigration detention centres. Close-quarters incarceration and the frequent moving of detainees between centres mean that Covid-19 could spread rapidly and put both detainees and staff working in

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