Blog

Don Flynn May 26, 2015
There’s a new type of criminal out and about in Britain today, and Mr Cameron gave us fair warning that his government is out to scotch their nefarious activities in his speech on immigration.
These are people who are typically found entering office building late at night when no one is around, emptying waste bins, vacuum-cleaning floors, cleaning toilets and generally putting things in order.  Other times they’ll be found in residential care homes around the country, changing sheets and bed pans, helping old people through an exercise routine and encouraging them to eat their meals.
Chai Patel May 18, 2015 Comments: 2
Local authorities must not use cuts as an excuse to abdicate their duties toward children who may be in need of assistance and shouldn't use immigration status checks as a gatekeeping measure.
In a recent article over at Public Finance Neil Merrick casts a sympathetic eye over the plight of local authorities who are being expected to pick up more and more of the mess caused by central government cuts even though their own budgets are stretched thin. Many migrants with the legal right to live and work in the UK have a no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition imposed on them by central government. This means that if they become unemployed, or are in serious need because the income they receive is too low, or the cost of their housing increases, they have no access to any benefits.
Don Flynn May 11, 2015 Comments: 1
The way the election turned out has been a big surprise to just about everyone. But it would be a mistake to explain it in terms of a xenophobic anti-immigrant backlash. The years ahead will see many contradictory currents churning up policy in this area, and it still makes sense to campaign hard for a progressive approach to migration and the rights of migrants.
The GE2015 dust is settling and it is clear that the ‘mainstream’ party with the most restrictive manifesto pledges on immigration has come out on top. Re-reading the Tory manifesto We provided a ‘no comment’ summary of what the Conservative was advocating in its election manifesto back in the middle of April and from this point on we have to regard it as the blueprint for policies that aim to push back against the numbers of migrants coming to the UK each year.
Don Flynn May 5, 2015 Comments: 2
The end of the election campaign is in sight and we can begin to speculate on the direction of immigration policies after polling day. Our prediction is that the push for further expansion of immigration controls to all aspects of life in our local communities is on the cards whichever combination of parties forms the government.
The clock has ticked down to the final 48 hours of this election campaign and there are still good grounds for believing that immigration is the dog that hasn’t barked in quite the way it was expected to over the course of these last few weeks.
Awale Olad Apr 27, 2015
Chuka Umunna’s intervention in yesterday’s Independent on Sunday (IoS) has served as a helpful paradigm shaping the modern mainstream political parties’ vision of the UK’s future. It could also be why, given the narrowing of political messaging on immigration, none of the main political parties will win an outright majority in 10 days time.
The Shadow Business Secretary was addressing the comments made by the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, who last week was pressed at his party’s manifesto launch by the Telegraph’s Christopher Hope. Hope asked Farage: Nigel you said you read the document fully, are you happy that the only black face in the document is on the overseas aid page? Hope was shouted down by UKIP’s supporters and a group of Asian UKIP members stood up with their hands in the air in defiant support of their leader. Farage in an interview a couple of days later retorted:
Don Flynn Apr 26, 2015
Two high level meetings of EU political leaders in one week might encourage the belief that something positive is going to be done to address the tragedies of the last few days on the Mediterranean. But if the heads of government statement that emerged last Thursday is anything to go by it is clear that lessons are not being learnt.
The outcome of the meeting of EU heads of government in Brussels last Thursday has been widely criticised for the inadequacy of its response to the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean. Rather than address the most pressing question on how to arrest the escalating refugee death toll on the high seas the suspicion is that the authorities are using it is an opportunity to return to ‘Fortress Europe’ strategy which envisions the continent sealing itself from the migration pressures being generated across Africa, the Middle East and Central Asian regions.
Momtaz Rahman Apr 20, 2015
Over the last week MRN took the Our Vote campaign out to migrant communities by working with local groups in London to organise hustings in marginal constituencies of Ealing Central and Acton and Tottenham and a voter registration canvassing event in Hampstead and Kilburn.
Against the recent backdrop of tough talk on immigration, communities are generally engaged and ready to have their say and candidates locally have more positive messages to share and even show some signs of solidarity between parties. Friday 10 April saw the first of the events in Tottenham organised with the Coalition of Latin Americans in the UK and the Haringey Migrant Network with candidates Stefan Mrozinski, Conservative Party; Dee Searle, Green Party; Turnhan Ozen, Liberal Democrats; and Jenny Sutton, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Don Flynn Apr 20, 2015 Comments: 2
The manifestos have been published and the three televised ‘leaders debates’ are done and dusted. So far public opinion seems less hostile to immigration than many anticipated. Here’s why.
Taken as a whole, the spread of pledges set out in the manifestos of the all-UK political parties are probably a good reflection of the state of thinking of the wider British public on immigration (Conservative, Labour, Green, Lib Dem and UKIP).
Clara Dublanc Apr 13, 2015
Last Friday and Saturday Open Generation took over Rivington Place building in Shoreditch for a Festival of Ideas. The Festival of Ideas, organised by Migrants Rights Network in partnership with Autograph ABP, dedicated to exploring how young people feel about migration and being a part of a global community.
While under-30s are often accused of being apathetic on issues concerning the type of society we want to live in; the Festival set out to change that perception, and to bring their to the mainstream debate. Open Generation believes that diversity and difference are what make Britain a dynamic and exciting place in which to live. The aim of the Open Generation is to set out the vision of those who have grown up with diversity and value the contribution it makes to the richness of our society.
Don Flynn Apr 7, 2015 Comments: 1
With the first week of the general election campaign behind us there are hopefully signs that this time around immigration might get a fairer hearing from voters. We are determined to amplify the grass-roots messages through Our Vote campaign which allows everyone to write to their parliamentary candidates asking them to bring back fairness into immigration.
With over 700 letters sent within the first couple of days to candidates standing for Parliament, Our Vote website has given campaigners and supporters a chance to get the message across that a different and honest approach to immigration is needed if we are to remain a tolerant and open society.
Chai Patel Mar 30, 2015
There is a growing cross-party support to end indefinite immigration detention. What is needed now is for the sector to re-focus efforts to keep the issue on the agenda after the General Election in May.
Last week’s announcement by the shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper that a future Labour Government would ban indefinite detention of asylum and immigration applicants will be seen as a success for detention campaigners. The pledge to put a time limit on detention will now appear in the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos and the Greens and the SNP have both spoken out against the current system.
Don Flynn Mar 30, 2015
Hunkering down and hoping it will soon be over is falling out of fashion when it comes to supporters of the rights of migrants as opening shots of the election campaign are fired. Expect a big pushback against the immigration pessimists this time around.
There is something of a new mood gaining ground amongst many activists in migrant communities which is also extending to the people working in networks which bring them into contact with newcomers settling in the UK.    We are going to see a lot more of it during the course of the general election campaign which officially kicked off this morning, and here are some of the things which indicate to us that, as was once sung during a memorable election year, ‘things can only get better’. Migrants are not sitting back and taking it anymore Once a general election for people new to the UK meant keeping your head down until it was all over in the hope that life would resume its normal course. If a candidate in the constituency you lived in wanted to blame you for everything from the state of the jobs market to the declining quality of the standard British loaf you gritted your teeth and just got on with it.
Don Flynn Mar 20, 2015 Comments: 1
The blizzard of commentary that accompanies the annual budget statement also included a memo from the OBR saying “Mr Chancellor, immigration is good for us.” So will he, and other politicians, act on this message?
The news that projections for economic growth for the period ahead are being upgraded because of expectations that net immigration will continue at rates well above the targets set by government is consistent with all the views that have been coming from expert commentators in recent months.  
Don Flynn Mar 16, 2015
A little more news trickles out each week on how immigration policy is going to be dealt with by the parties as we get closer to voting day on 7th May. The latest item of any significance is Labour’s inclusion of a statement to the effect that ‘immigration will be controlled’ as the fourth of its five key commitments on its general election pledge card. .
Flip the card over and there’s a little more explanation on offer. “People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.”
Ruth Grove-White Mar 9, 2015
Last week’s launch of the cross party inquiry into the use of detention in the UK drew some much-needed attention to this critical and indefensible issue. The question is: what happens next?
In recent days we have seen a long-overdue focus on immigration detention in the UK. Although this can be a controversial immigration issue, momentum has been building across the political parties behind calls for change. But campaigners now face the challenge of keeping the spotlight on the bigger reforms that are needed.