Don Flynn Oct 6, 2015
Mrs May set out her stall on immigration during her speech to the Conservative conference. Its dismissal themes have already been challenged, often from surprising quarters. But we need a campaigning perspective to defeat her plans to roll back the rights of refugees and migrants.
Home Secretary Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party conference yesterday has been condemned even in the pages of the truest and bluest of Tory journals. Her claim that there is no economic benefit to the UK from immigration was picked apart by James Kirkup, the executive editor of the Daily Telegraph, who described it as an “awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible speech”.
Don Flynn Oct 5, 2015
Does a new leader for the centre-left party mean a new perspective on immigration? Perhaps, but only after a few arguments on old chestnut issues are dealt with once and for all.
Labour’s annual conference will be remembered as the time when Jeremy Corbyn, the surprise victor in the election for party leader, made his debut as the central figure of the party. Popular as he is amongst the quarter of a million people who joined Labour after its general election defeat in May the fact is that Mr Corbyn is deeply unpopular amongst the old guard which still regards itself as representing the real mainstream of centre left politics.
Don Flynn Sep 28, 2015 Comments: 2
Politicians have got used to thinking that the public doesn’t want to hear talk about the rights of refugees and migrants. This summer has shown that they might well be wrong with that calculation.
The political season usually feels like it is starting a fresh round about this time of the year, as politicians return to Westminster and political parties stage their conferences around the country.
Chai Patel Sep 18, 2015
The Immigration Bill 2015 will hand over draconian and highly intrusive powers to immigration officials with very little in the way of accountability or oversight.
The Immigration Bill 2015-16 was laid before Parliament. It contains an unprecedented expansion of the powers of immigration officials to detain individuals, to seize property, and to otherwise interfere with everyday activities, often on the mere suspicion that someone involved is in the UK without authorisation.
Chai Patel Sep 14, 2015 Comments: 8
New report published by the Children's Commissioner for England shows that at least 15,000 children are separated from a parent because of strict family migration income rules.
Last Thursday families from across the UK who have been separated from loved ones by the government’s family migration rules, gathered in Parliament for the launch of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s report on the damage the rules cause to children in England. For those who had been affected by the rules, nothing in the report came as a surprise, but for others it was a shock to hear of the profound damage done to the estimated 15,000 children in England who had been separated from a parent by the minimum income requirement of £18,600. The report extensively documents how restrictions are creating thousands of 'Skype families' The report attracted press interest, with stories appearing in the BBC and the Independent. 
Don Flynn Sep 14, 2015
Over one hundred thousand people were marching in cities across the UK in support of the rights of refugees. A way is beginning to open up to the prospect of large-scale support for a new, progressive approach to migration.
Working around all the issues which have a bearing on the rights of migrants at this point in time has something of the feel of a roller-coaster ride. The low points are invariably connected to government announcements. In recent weeks these have included the prospect of a new immigration bill intended to push forward with the ‘hostile environment’ which newcomers are expected to endure; the Home Office’s disappointing response to the recent Parliamentary report on detention; and, perhaps felt most acutely in terms of its inadequacy, is the government’s reaction to calls to welcome more refugees from the crisis regions of the Mediterranean and southern and central Europe, castigated as ‘derisory’ and a ‘fig-leaf to cover its nakedness’ by Paddy Ashdown, one of its harshest but most perceptive critics on this issue.
Don Flynn Sep 8, 2015
What was offered by the government as a response to the refugee crisis in Parliament on Monday just isn't good enough, and more and more people are demanding something better from Mr Cameron.
The Prime Minister’s statement on the refugee crisis made in Parliament yesterday was initially received as evidence of an important softening of the hitherto hardline the government has taken on the issue, but has subsequently unravelled as commentators have scrutinised more closely what has really been put on offer. After talking about the amount of aid the UK has provided for the relief on refugees who are trapped in the immediate vicinity of the Middle East conflict area, and the role played by the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean rescue mission, Mr Cameron went on to say:
Alan Anstead Sep 6, 2015 Comments: 2
What the photograph of Alan’s lifeless body washed up on the Turkish beach did was to change public opinion about the biggest movement of refugees since the second world war, in a way that no media article, opinion piece or political speech had been able to do.
We had the same name, Alan. But apart from that our worlds were completely different. Alan Kurdi was a Syrian Kurd, escaping with his family from war and terrorism. I’m a working class Peckham (London) boy and 50 years older than my namesake was. What the photograph of Alan’s lifeless body washed up on the Turkish beach did was to change public opinion about the biggest movement of refugees since the second world war, in a way that no media article, opinion piece or political speech had been able to do.
Jan Brulc Sep 3, 2015 Comments: 9
It seems that things changed dramatically over night and the country has woken up to demands that the UK government does more to help address the Europe wide migration crisis.
A few things listed here you can do in order to show support. We will be updating this post with more actions (we know we forgot to include a number of initatives, but hope the list is a good start) and will be actively monitoring comments, so make sure to drop us a line with your actions/suggestions. For a more frequent stream of updates you should really join the Refugees Welcome UK Facebook group.
Awale Olad Sep 1, 2015
Supporters of the Labour leadership hopeful packed out a small room at the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank focusing on being a critical friend of the European Union.
The Shadow Home Secretary has a reputation for being a cautious player and a safe pair of hands in the front bench team but stepped out of her comfort zone today to deliver a rare 'wildcard' speech that called the Conservative Government ‘immoral, cowardly’ and not handling the current refugee crisis in a ‘British way’.
Don Flynn Sep 1, 2015 Comments: 1
Another set of bad news for the Government’s net immigration target has triggered an ill-considered response from the Home Secretary. Ending the right of people to seek employment opportunities by travelling to other EU members states is a bad idea, and should be opposed.
The ONS announcement that net migration stood at a record high of 330,000 has provoked a rather extreme broadside on the part of the Home Secretary against an important element of free movement rights.
Awale Olad Aug 24, 2015 Comments: 3
Every year the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, which Migrants’ Rights Network acts as its secretariat, attends the political party conferences in the Autumn. This year we will be going to the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems), and the Scottish National Party (SNP) conferences.
The group will be holding public fringe meetings at the Labour (Brighton) and Conservative (Manchester) party conferences. We will also be holding a private strategic round-table at the SNP conference in Aberdeen and taking part in various events and activities at the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth.
Awale Olad Aug 17, 2015
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) launched a scathing attack on the government’s detention policy and focused specifically on the plight of pregnant women detained in Yarl’s Wood.
The Inspector said that Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre was ‘a place of national concern’ with the facility’s ability to give adequate healthcare to all its detainees deteriorating ‘severely’ in the last 2 years. The HMIP report also attacked the length of time people were detained, the delays and backlogs of applications, and the fact that the UK was the only country that did not have a time-limit for detainees.
Don Flynn Aug 14, 2015 Comments: 1
The latest set of ONS employment statistics reveals some intriguing facts about migration to the UK and the state of the jobs market. Fine, but to really understand what's going on in the labour markets we have to roll up our sleeves and go local.
This week’s employment statistics showed that the UK economy is continuing to generate jobs at a high rate. Although the numbers are beginning to show signs of weakening, the UK is still ahead in comparison to the rest of Europe which remains stuck in the economic doldrums. Unsurprisingly, given that the country is part of a single market for goods, services, capital and labour, job growth has continued to attract inward migration of workers from other parts of the European Union. The number of EU nationals employed in the UK now stands at a shade under 2 million people with 85,000 workers added to the total in the three months up to June 2015. A further 30,000 people from non-EU countries got jobs during this period. In the meantime the numbers of British nationals in employment shrunk by 170,000.
Momtaz Rahman Aug 10, 2015 Comments: 1
We’re up against the powers that be - decision makers who are determined to continue to punish the most vulnerable, making their lives even worse than we thought was possible. Now is the time to get ready to fight a raft of new laws and rules aimed at driving people further into destitution.
Destitution pushes people into situations of exploitation and abuse (be it sexual, physical, or professional) and unsafe living conditions, and leaves migrants at real risk. It is exactly this type of vulnerability that the new proposals to stop asylum support for families (often waiting to appeal unfair decisions), landlord immigration checks and criminalising workers under the new immigration bill will expose migrants to.