Blog

Don Flynn Apr 22, 2014 Comments: 1
To understand migration we have to get beyond the numbers and look at the political and economic realities which are driving it. A failure to give an adequate account of this bigger context will open the door to the new forms of racism peddled by the anti-immigration parties.
Two morning news items give a good idea of the way in which immigration continues to trawl across both the realities and mythologies of the British nation.
Awale Olad Apr 15, 2014 Comments: 1
Hertfordshire MP Peter Lilley, who represents Hitchin and Harpenden, recently blamed the ‘numbers’ of immigrants coming to the UK aggravating ‘greatly, the housing shortage in this country’.
Last week’s Easter Adjournment debate, an occasion for MPs to raise concerns directly with the Leader of the House before recess, saw veteran Conservative MP Peter Lilley blame, amongst other things, immigration for increasing demand to build more homes, making the UK a dense place to live. Unlike some of his more vociferous colleagues on the backbenches, Lilley took a measured approach, speaking positively about migration. He said:
Awale Olad Apr 14, 2014 Comments: 4
Last week’s media coverage was dominated by the Culture Secretary Maria Miller’s difficulties over expenses but under the radar parliamentarians were getting their teeth into other major issues such as citizenship stripping. In an extraordinary turn of events, the House of Lords decided to deprive the Home Secretary Theresa May of more powers to make naturalised British citizens stateless.
When former Justices of the Supreme Court who sit as independent Judges in the House of Lords begin intervening on government policy and legislation it’s one of the first signs of a government initiative destined to fail. Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, a Crossbench Judge, said that it was ‘a matter of fundamental principle’ that deprivation of citizenship be fully scrutinised by a committee of Peers and MPs before allowing Theresa May to have the power to make British citizens of migrant origin stateless. Lord Brown said:
Awale Olad Apr 10, 2014 Comments: 3
The Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, delivered a speech to a select group of key stakeholders, ranging from business to NGOs, in front of a 'One Nation Labour' projection. An interesting intervention a month before the European and local elections in the UK.
The Labour Party has long resisted the demand to put forward an alternative position on immigration and often taken a step back from some of the contentious dog-fights between the Conservatives and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) over European Union migration. Even with the 'hostile' Immigration Bill, Cooper and co abstained on the key controversial proposals, including citizenship stripping, that their counterparts in the House of Lords shot-down earlier this week.
Awale Olad Apr 8, 2014 Comments: 6
The last time a Conservative MP introduced an amendment into the Immigration Bill that attempted to restrict EU migration it almost derailed the Coalition government’s most ‘hostile’ piece of legislation aimed at immigrants.
Last week on 3 April, Philip Hollobone, the Conservative MP representing Kettering, demanded a debate in the House of Commons in an attempt to press the government on the need to restrict migration further to stop the UK’s population hitting ’70 million plus’ due to EU migration. A staunch Euro-sceptic, and a leading voice against EU freedom of movement, Hollobone was not shy about his dissatisfaction with the government’s lack of action over EU migration. He said:
Maryam Pasha Apr 4, 2014
Ahead of the EU elections over 400 people in London, Sheffield, Glasgow, Bournemouth and online participated in The Immigration Generation Gap event, debating young people's experiences and opinions on immigration.
While under 30s have more positive views on immigration and EU free movement (57% of under 34s consider immigration either good or neutral to the economy, compared to 52% of over 55s saying immigration is bad for the economy), UK youth has the highest level of disengagement from the mainstream politics (only 18% of UK youth cast their vote in the last EU elections, the lowest percentage of all EU member states). The Open Generation platform was designed for young people who want to express their opinions on how they see their future shaped by migration and to encourage them to take part in the future elections as young voters. With the current debate on Europe and immigration reaching a melting point, Migrants Rights Network, in partnership with NUS and UNISON launched the Open Generation platform to bring the views of young voters into the mainstream debate.
Don Flynn Mar 31, 2014 Comments: 1
Anti-racism and the battle for the rights of migrant seem to have moved some distance apart in recent years. It is time to reverse that, and re-forge a unity between the two that will be able to take on the challenges that come from growing xenophobic moods.
The coalition of groups supporting the call to mark UN Anti-Racism Day on March 22nd achieved a notable success in bringing out 10,000 people to the parade and gather in Trafalgar Square on that day.
Ruth Grove-White Mar 28, 2014 Comments: 7
UK is the only European country to practice indefinite detention of migrants – it’s time to stop.
The murky world behind the closed doors of the UK’s immigration detention centres often stays hidden. Groups working with detainees have long been calling for widespread reforms to the way that detention operates are needed in order to ensure that even basic human rights standards are upheld. It is encourgaing that, despite the currently hostile public debate on immigration, collective progress is being made.
Awale Olad Mar 24, 2014 Comments: 11
Liberal Democrat MP, Duncan Hames, was the latest parliamentarian to press Home Office ministers on the thorny issue of family migration.
Earlier this week during Home Office questions Hames raised a constituency matter directly with the Home Secretary that outlined some of the unintended consequences of the changes to the family migration rules. It was Hames, a Coalition backbench MP, who gave oral evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration’s Family Migration committee last year and in the process said the family migration rules were brought in to help reduce net migration, which is at odds with the government’s position of protecting the taxpayer by not allowing poor spouses and children entering the UK because they will claim benefits. In a series of questions about net migration, Hames, out of step with the rest of his Coalition colleagues, said:
Don Flynn Mar 22, 2014
All over Europe people will be out today to raise the flag and celebrate Anti-Racism Day. With important elections just a few weeks away, events in Cardiff, Glasgow and London today will provide the opportunity to rally supporters for a defence of the rights of migrants and in support of diversity and work to turn the tide of xenophobic gloom which is washing over much of Europe.
This year May 22nd has been chosen by organisations across Europe to celebrate the work of movements working against racism. In the UK we will be marking it with events in Cardiff, Glasgow and London.
Don Flynn Mar 17, 2014 Comments: 3
Decades of scholarship have got us to the point where we can say with some confidence: people move - get used to it. A new edition of the book "The Age of Migration" probes the dynamics of modern-day migration, and maps out options for making it a force for progress.
Immigration studies has emerged as an important discipline in colleges and universities across the world, with probably scores of research centres being established in the UK along over the last decade or so.  Contributions have come from sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, political scientist, economists and philosophers over this time, giving anyone moved to make a systematic review of the literature quite a job in terms of catching up on what is being said and thought about the subject.
Maryam Pasha Mar 17, 2014 Comments: 1
MRN was once again privileged to co-host and organise the Women on the Move awards, which celebrate and supports the outstanding work of migrant and refugee women, the media and their champions around the UK.
We set ourselves a clear goal of using our experience of organising events targeted at new audiences (TEDxEastEnd, We Are Family, Open Generation and OurDay) as well as our communications expertise to promote the work of the winners and to celebrate their work in the field of migration. The event was organised as a part of the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank centre marking International Women’s Day. The ceremony was hosted by BBC journalist Samira Ahmed with presentations from Chairman of the Frontline Club John Owen and Founder of The Green Carpet Challenge Livia Firth among others.
Don Flynn Mar 10, 2014 Comments: 6
Is immigration just an accident, prompted by the selfish behaviour of the metropolitan elite, or a vital component in the functioning of a globalised economy? That was the issue at the heart of the spat between two government ministers last week. Decision on who is right will decide the future direction of immigration policy.
The divisions which have been long known to divide the parties in the coalition came into spectacular view last week when two government ministers clashed in their interpretation of immigration facts in speeches given on separate public platforms.
Awale Olad Mar 10, 2014 Comments: 16
Baroness Hamwee, the Liberal Democrat Peer who chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration’s Family Migration Committee, tabled a new clause to the Immigration Bill that aimed to reduce the £18,600 income threshold to the national minimum wage. Hamwee withdrew the amendment but promised to bring it back at a later stage.
Hamwee was backed up by Lord Teverson, another member of the family migration committee, as well as Crossbench Peer Earl Listowel, and Labour’s Baroness Lister. There was no opposition to this clause and the Labour Party front bench kept their response short, for the first time during the Committee Stage of this Bill, but neither supported nor objected to the amendment. 
Awale Olad Mar 3, 2014 Comments: 11
The latest quarterly statistics from the independent Office of National Statistics found net migration soaring to 212,000 by the year ending September 2013. The Home Office’s response was that it was cracking down on the abuse of ‘freedom of movement’.