Blog

Don Flynn Sep 26, 2016
The re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has put the ball in the party's court when it comes of immigration policy. Can it come up with something that addresses the needs and concerns of both those ‘left behind’ and the insurgents with more cosmopolitan visions and hopes?
Labour’s annual conference, has at least (surely!) settled the matter of who is going to be leading it up until the next general election – whenever that might be. Many other issues remain unresolved, including the one which has most vexed such a large part of its traditional working class support base – immigration.   The arguments around the role that immigration has played in eroding support for Labour have been gone through too many times to need repetition here.  In brief, I should mention that there is a belief that the large-scale migration to the UK after 2004 has had a negative impact on the wages and working conditions of at least a significant segment of the working class as well as the more general sense that it has all happen just too fast.
Don Flynn Sep 19, 2016
After two decades of failing to end the world’s refugee crisis it would be nice to see some evidence that political leaders gathering in New York today would at least have a sense of what isn’t working. News reports ahead of Theresa May’s big speech suggest that, for her at least, that is not the case.
With news programmes leading this morning on PM Theresa May’s intention to make a big, bold speech to the UN high level summit on migration in New York hopes might be raised that something new is going to be said. After all, Mrs May is just the person to say it.  Her long period in office as the UK’s home secretary has seen her struggling with the realities of migration as it takes place in the world today and she must have learnt a great deal since 2010 when she was confident that the movement of people into the country could be reduced to the ‘tens of thousands’. Unfortunately it seems that she seems to be intent on returning to a script that Tony Blair tried delivering to gatherings of international leaders back in the early ‘noughties. 
Alina Müller Sep 12, 2016
Many migrants have to live with the experience of a double-jeopardy: vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous employers and also the threat of enforcement action of immigration officials. What happen when these twin oppressions come together in the workplace? And how can its often grievous effects be challenged?
The cooperation of the management of Byron Hamburger’s with Home Office immigration enforcement officers in a sting operation earlier in the summer symbolises everything that can go wrong for migrant workers when employment law and immigration policy merge. For many people with deep inside knowledge about the vulnerable position of migrants in the UK today, the key issues are unfair immigration regulations and harsh exploitation of workers. The type of collaboration with enforcement measures that the Home Office expects from employers when it comes to policing their workforces adds to the risks for migrant workers today.
Don Flynn Sep 5, 2016
The capacity of global society to generate crises out of the migration of people is reaching ever greater heights. The UN Summit later this month ought to send out the message that panic is not necessary and solutions are within our grasp.
The High Level Summit (HLS) taking place at the United Nations in New York on 19 September is a timely reminder that immigration is not just an issue that affects the UK, but involves the whole world. The discussion on that day, involving “heads of state, government and high representatives” of the UN’s members will focus on safety and dignity in policies which address “large movements of refugees and migrants”.
Don Flynn Aug 30, 2016
Racial inequality is still 'entrenched' for many migrants, their children and grandchildren, according to a recent authoritative report. New PM Theresa May's equality race audit has got a lot of work to do if it is to convince that it is a serious attempt to overcome the "burning injustice" that ethnic minority and migrant communities face.
The report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR) in mid-August which found evidence of 'entrenched' race inequality in many areas, including education and health has provided the basis for the government’s latest, and to some a rather surprising initiative. 
Gracie Bradley Aug 17, 2016
We hear a lot about vulnerable migrants. We hear a lot less about what actually makes a migrant vulnerable. Can you only be vulnerable if you’re a woman, or a child, or the survivor of a traumatic experience? Is vulnerable something that only certain kinds of migrant can be?
Alan Anstead Aug 15, 2016
One immediate outcome of the EU referendum result was a significant increase in incidents of hate crime, principally racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate incidents. The police state around 6,200 such incidents in England and Wales were reported to them in the month of July, over twice last year’s July figure. Even celebrities like the BBC’s Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain have said they have been subjected to racial abuse.
There has been much speculation over the cause of this spike in hate crime and hate speech. Was it closet racists who thought the referendum result legitimised their views and made it acceptable to tell those they considered ‘foreign’ to ‘go home’? Was it the result of the political campaigning around the referendum and the anti-migrant/anti-free movement of labour stance taken by the campaigning groups? Was it pent up frustration from years of austerity measures that erupted into some people blaming anyone who appeared to come from another country, a distinction based on skin colour, looks or language spoken? Probably a mixture of all these and more causes.
Don Flynn Aug 15, 2016
One year on from the shock of images of the death of a Syrian child refugee. We have to go back on the streets to protest against policies which undermine the right to asylum, both in the UK and the rest of Europe.
                The first anniversary of the death of the three year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee, Aylan Kurdi, is coming up fast.  Even people who were shocked by the appalling image of the Turkish police officer cradling the drowned infant might be forgiven for thinking that things have got better for the refugees who were fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North African region. The news reports describing the hundreds of boats arriving on the Greek islands during that period and the images of thousands of despite people queuing at the European borders which had been so hastily thrown up to bar their admittance are no longer making the headlines.
Don Flynn Aug 8, 2016
Views on what will replace free movement are still scattered and diffuse. Important economic interests are only beginning to set out their concerns about the future. If we are going to influence what comes after Brexit we need a clearer sense of the interests and rights that will need to be protected.
If a week is a long time in politics then the six-and-a-bit weeks since the vote for Brexit on 23 June are beginning to feel like an eternity. The whole country is waiting to see even a sketchy outline of what the government feels can be done to deliver on the issue that seems to have persuaded most people that a punt on the ‘Leave’ option was worth taking.  That something is of course immigration.
Don Flynn Aug 1, 2016
What else could Byron’s have done? The social media world was awash with attempted defences of the hamburger chain after it collaborated in the arrest of 35 of its migrant workers earlier in July. Our answer is they didn’t have to go along with the shabby act of entrapment of its staff, and they could have done so much more to push back against punitive, anti-worker rules.
                      The operation directed against migrant employees of the fast food chain, Byron Hamburgers by Home Office Border enforcement officials on the evening of 4th July has sparked a lively discussion about the extent to which employers should be held to any sort of standard why it comes to a duty of care towards its workers. 
Don Flynn Jul 25, 2016
We set out the three areas where we have to formulate actions and policies to protect the rights of EU migrants and young people.
                  A month ought to have been long enough to assemble thoughts on what Brexit is going to mean for immigration policy, but the truth is the great puzzle over what life will look like outside the EU is going to be perplexing us for a long time to come. The imminent end of free movement, at least in the form that it has taken during the 43 years the UK has been a full member of the European Community/Union, will bring to the forefront of the thinking of many people the huge benefits that have come from this way of managing migration over this time.
Alan Ali Jul 16, 2016
Reports of racial abuse and attacks in the wake of the referendum result have spiked. The hostile atmosphere generated by the ‘debate’ about immigration during the campaign is damaging social cohesion. No wonder people feel scared and insecure.
      Eighty years after the Battle of Cable Street in which the East End Jewish community and anti-fascists stopped Moseley’s Blackshirts marching through a migrant community, there are reports of a rise in anti-migrant feeling, abuse and attacks following the narrow pro-Brexit vote on 23 June.  
Alan Ali Jul 11, 2016
Immigration raids appear to be on the rise. And certainly in London new evidence of increased numbers of raids targeting largely migrant communities has emerged. But is all this activity staying strictly inside the law, as it should be?
Thanks to the valiant efforts of a journalist and his smart use of the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that there were almost 11 immigration raids a day in London between 2010 and 2015. We also know that areas with sizeable migrant populations in east and south east London were the chief targets for these raids.
Alan Anstead Jul 4, 2016
A small majority of UK voters said that the UK should leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June. UKREN’s Alan Anstead looks at some of the main human rights implications of the UK government invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and starting the countdown to leaving the EU.
Charter of Fundamental Rights The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights covers political, social and economic rights: dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights and justice. Although the Charter is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, many see it as a more modern codification because includes such rights as data protection, which was not an issue when the European Convention on Human Rights was passed in 1950. On leaving the EU, this would no longer apply to the UK.     European Convention on Human Rights
Alan Ali Jul 3, 2016
These are troubling times in the UK for EU migrants and anyone else with a migrant heritage. And if Theresa May becomes PM, EU nationals could find themselves being used as bargaining chips in some grand diplomatic game while the UK tries to cut its European Union ties.