Socialist Worker

Tories’ immigration system is a racist hell for refugees

Issue No. 2539

Protesting against the detention and deportation of migrants

Protesting against the detention and deportation of migrants (Pic: Socialist Worker)


If people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen arrive in Britain without the right visa they risk deportation or detention.

These are the countries Donald Trump is targeting.

If they are fleeing war or persecution, they can apply for asylum. But the system is stacked against them.

Changes made by Theresa May as home secretary make it harder to appeal.

If they simply want to make a better life for themselves, the responsibility is on them to prove they won’t be a “burden”.

The rules are complex and vicious.

Even having family here already or applying to study at a British university is no guarantee.

Getting a work visa often requires having a job already lined up from an employer who says they tried to employ a British or European Union national first.

The most recent data is for the three months to September last year.

Britain turned down some 1,596 asylum seekers from those seven countries.

It also detained 1,062 people from those countries—and deported or otherwise “removed” 65.

This doesn’t count those who left after life in Britain was made impossible for them.

May’s tenure in the Home Office was centred on making that the case.

In a major speech she vowed to create a “hostile environment for illegal migration.”

Muslims from any country—even British citizens—are made objects of suspicion by the government’s Islamophobic Prevent agenda.

Even young children can be taken out of school if deemed to be “at risk” of being a terrorist, sometimes on the most absurd grounds.

The movement rising up in Britain against May’s support for Donald Trump must also fight the racist policies she has driven through at home.


Figure it out

In just three months Britain detained

  • 360 Iranians
  • 340 Iraqis
  • 9 Libyans
  • 82 Somalis
  • 154 Sudanese
  • 114 Syrians
  • 3 Yemenis

In the same period Britain deported or ‘removed’

  • 28 Iranians
  • 25 Iraqis
  • 2 Libyans
  • 2 Somalis
  • 3 Sudanese
  • 5 Syrians

And it denied asylum to

  • 765 Iranians
  • 608 Iraqis
  • 121 Libyans
  • 40 Somalis
  • 43 Sudanese
  • 59 Syrians
  • 3 Yemenis

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