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. But you should really join the Refugees Welcome UK Facebook group for a lively exchange of info and debate.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three thousand migrants have congregated in the area known as the ‘Jungle’ in the past few weeks with many hoping that they will an opportunity to make a clandestine crossing of the Channel to find a safe haven in the UK.
Labour's leadership contenders have form on immigration issues The candidates in the battle to succeed Ed Miliband as the leader of the Labour party has allowed an opportunity for the party to debate immigration policy more openly and without the constraints of a set and rigid policy agenda. Jeremy Corbyn, who during the selection period just about scraped enough nominations to get on to the ballot, has found himself leading the race with a tsunami of support from constituency Labour branches across the country. Corbyn is also, along with Liz Kendall, a candidate who is on the ‘pro’ side of the immigration debate.
The news that the government has directed the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to come up with proposals to restrict skilled migration to the UK reveal the lines of tension that run between major planks of its own policy. On the one hand there is the Chancellor George Osborne’s drive to get more balance into the UK economy and his ‘march of the makers’ finally under way; and on the other, Home Secretary Theresa May’s determination to achieve the long-postponed goal of pushing net migration below the hundred thousand mark.
The events organised last week to mark the third anniversary of family migration rules which hugely increased the income level required from people sponsoring the admission of family members was rewarding for all involved in the sense of solidarity and mutual aid which passed between participants.
The ongoing crisis on the Mediterranean has shed light on an old unsolved - and clearly so often poorly addressed problem at the heart of Europe: namely its relation with its Other.
The substantial convergence of views on immigration policy within different fractions of the political establishment presents a dispiriting picture to anyone looking for a discussion about alternatives. Is it really the case that the only things on offer is how best to enforce ‘tough’ border controls?
9th July will be the third anniversary of the new income threshold for family migration. It marks the end of the third year in which thousands of British citizens have been separated from their partners. The third year in which 42% of British workers are deemed too poor to be trusted to build a family life in the UK with whomever they please. A third year in which thousands of British children grow up knowing their mothers or fathers only as figures trapped in something called Skype.
Given the last 5 years of immigration policy changes, it was hardly surprising to see that the UK has slipped out of the top 10 in the latest edition of the MIPEX report, launched at an event organised in Parliament last week. The Migrant Integration Policy Index aims to provide a comparative evaluation framework for integration policies across 38 countries. UK now ranks 15th thanks to the more restrictive policies on citizenship, anti-discrimination, family reunion, migrant workers’ rights and the education of immigrant children introduced by the last coalition Government. Most changes were motivated by the government's pledge to cap migration at the tens of thousands, coupled with the pursuit of austerity and localism.