Immigration: their lies and our replies

Submitted by AWL on 23 March, 2006 - 4:14

1. Britain is a "soft touch" for asylum seekers

But who could reasonably think that asylum seekers living on 70% of income support, paid in vouchers, while being forcibly “dispersed” to areas where few people speak your language, housed in accommodation no-one else will touch and being prevented from working, means Britain is a “soft touch"?

Britain is regarded as a mean and inhospitable place by many of the world's most vulnerable people. And that is a national disgrace.

2. Britain is being “flooded" by asylum seekers and immigrants

Asylum seekers — refugees, in non-jargon language — are, in fact, a tiny proportion of the population — a much smaller proportion of the population than in most European countries.

Britain's draconian legislation keeps it that way. These laws are some of the most severe in the world. Families are separated and “primary" immigration (that is, immigration by those who are not joining their immediate family in Britain) was ended by legislation passed in 1971.

Still, what if there were large numbers of immigrants coming to Britain. Would that really be a problem?

Migration across the European Union is now unrestricted. No one thinks this immigration policy is a problem. That is because these immigrants are mainly white. The “problem of asylum seekers" is code for a “problem" with black people.

British immigration laws are drenched with racism — they are directly and explicitly designed to keep out black Africans, West Indians and people from India and Pakistan.

3. Britain is “full up", and to accept many more immigrants would cause poverty and hardship for those already here.

Clearly conditions in many inner-city areas are intolerable. But overcrowded housing, unemployment and a deteriorating National Health Service are the result not of immigration but of years of cuts, and underfunding, first by the Tories and now by New Labour. If every asylum seeker were deported tomorrow these problems would remain and the capitalist class would simply have to find a new scapegoat to take the blame.

The problem is rule by a capitalist government pledged to protect profits at the expense of the poor. That government must be replaced by a workers’ government which will solve the housing crisis by renovating or building homes for all.

4. More immigration leads to unemployment.

During the post-war boom in the 1950s the British capitalists, who were short of labour, ran recruiting campaigns in Africa and the West Indies. Black workers came to work in Britain’s low paid basic industries.

When the economic boom slowed down, the door was closed using new immigration laws. Black people were no longer welcomed by the British bosses. And then black people, perversely, began to be blamed for a crisis emerging in the capitalist system — a crisis which they had nothing to do with, and no control at all over!

There is now a recession in manufacturing industries — cars and textiles. Who is to blame? Black and Asian people? That’s ridiculous! Blame the government and their friends — they and their system cause unemployment!

Rather than turn inwards and fight each other, workers should look to a workers’ solution, a united solution to this crisis.

Unemployment could be solved by cutting the working week, with no loss of pay, so that all workers, black and white, have work. Who will pay? Make the capitalists pay!

The top five per cent of the population own 37% of the wealth while the bottom 50% own only eight per cent of the wealth. Make the capitalists, not other workers, pay.

The answer to housing shortages is to renovate or build more homes. There are about a quarter of a million unemployed building workers.

Fight for toleration and united action! Workers of different cultures and backgrounds can and must get along. If we are divided, only the bosses will benefit. If the labour movement works to unionise immigrant workers, to win a cut in the working week, and to fight the ruling capitalist class, then we will all benefit.

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