Xenophobia in UK Politics
The debates about lost cases, strong borders and foreign criminals seem to overlook that immigrants are human. We had considered writing more about xenophobia in current mainstream immigration politics. Someone else has done it for us, though.
Writing for the Institute for Race Relations yesterday, John Grayson maps the shift to the right taken by our political parties. He argues that ideas that once belonged to the BNP have been used by the Conservatives and the Labour party in an attempt to win votes.
David Blunkett also writes about this in today’s Gaurdian. He warns the Labour Party that they cannot outdo the Conservatives on immigration. “The idea that “getting tough” on anyone seeking to enter Britain is the answer is a message of despair.”
Foreign National Prisoners: an easy media target
Last week saw the publication of John Vine’s report on how the UK Border Agency ‘manage’ foreign national prisoners. The UKBA’s Independent Chief Inspector commented on the improvement in UKBA’s monitoring of foreign national prisoners, but has some clear criticisms of UKBA’s decision making, particularly in the “disparity” between the courts’ and UKBA’s “interpretation of human rights”.
The report is yet another indictment of poor-decision making by UKBA, and the media reporting has mostly, and all-too predicatably, overlooked the important aspect of the continued detention of foreign national prisoners after the end of their sentences.
MP’s Call for “Humane” Gay Policy Asylum
Pink News, 2nd November
The Shadow Immigration Minister has responded to claims that the UK Border Agency is still deporting gay and lesbian asylum seekers at risk of persecution. The claims come 18 months after the Supreme Court ruled it to be illegal to expect gay asylum seekers to hide their sexuality when returned to their home country.
Chris Bryant said: “Being gay or lesbian should not give someone a free pass when it comes to asylum or immigration but we should have a fair and humane policy of not sending people back to certain death or persecution”.
Cut in Migrant Workers
BBC News, 4th November
The Migration Advisory Committee has announced that a minimum salary threshold could be introduced to cut the numbers of migrant workers settling in the UK. They claim that migrant workers could be cut by two-thirds by applying a minimum salary of £35,000.
What the anti-immigration lobby doesn’t tell you
George Eaton, at the New Statesman blog
Immigration has been stable since 2004 and Britain is far from “full”.
The latest e-petition, put forward by Migration Watch head Andrew Green, calls on the government to “to take all necessary steps” to reduce immigration and prevent the UK population reaching 70 million by 2027. But here are some relevant facts that Green et al conveniently chose to omit.
Child asylum seekers are being treated as adults in Wales
The Welsh Refugee Council says care for children who cannot prove they are under 18 varies greatly. Some local authorities place them in adult accommodation, occasionally prison, where they face deportation.
Female asylum seekers struggle against UK culture of disbelief
Women account for about one third of the people applying for asylum in their own right, not as wives or other dependants.
Research published earlier this year by Asylum Aid showed that women in 87 percent of the cases it examined were initially refused asylum by the UKBA. However, 42 percent of those decisions, some involving women who had been raped, trafficked and beaten, were overturned on appeal — far higher than the average of 28 percent for all asylum cases. Why is this happening?
Home Office ban ‘replaces economic migrants with guest workers’
Alan Travis, home affairs editor, The Guardian, 31 October
Home office proposals to ban nearly all economic migrants from outside Europe settling in Britain will create a “guest worker” labour force that is likely to damage the UK economy, a thinktank has warned.