Socialist Worker

We say no to Tories’ vigilante border plan

Issue No. 2585

Protesting against racism in March

Protesting against racism in March (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The Tories are considering using “volunteers” to guard Britain’s borders and keep out those deemed illegal.

It is a racist escalation of attempts to make migrants scapegoats. And it will mean more deaths.

A 31 year old Eritrean migrant trying to travel to Britain was crushed to death on Friday near Calais port.

The week before an Afghan migrant died after being run over on the road leading to the port.

The Home Office has confirmed that proposals for “Border Force Special Volunteers” at small air and sea ports were being discussed.

A spokesperson said, “Border Force is currently considering the potential benefits of aBorderForce Special Volunteer force, and is in discussions with other law enforcement agencies such as local police to understand how they use volunteers in addition to their existing workforce.”

It is easy to imagine the atmosphere of vigilantism that could be created.

Even Tory Dover MP Charlie Elphicke was cautious and told the Mail on Sunday, “We can’t have a Dad’s Army-type of set-up.”

The Public and Commercial Services union’s general secretary Mark Serwotka condemned “these ridiculous plans” as a further move towards casualisation of the workforce.

He added,“The government are making our borders weaker with the use of casual labour and they are risking this country’s security on the cheap.”

But this is not the issue.

“Well policed borders” means maintenance and intensification of a regime that terrorises migrants, shuts the door to those fleeing war, poverty and climate change, and encourages divisions in the working class.

A stark warning comes from the US-Mexico border.

An investigation bythe USA Today newspaper earlier this month showed that the government and its agencies massively undercount deaths of migrants trying to cross into the US.

Around 27,000 may have died since 1998, compared to an official count of 7,200.

Some have been buried in mass graves.

The brutal force of the US federal state and the local state against migrants is designed to distract attention from the crimes of the rich and the establishment politicians.

That is why Donald Trump would no doubt be in favour of “volunteers” to police borders. Trade unions and Labour should oppose all such schemes and attack the Tories’ racist laws.

Join the fight for migrant rights get involved with Stand Up To Racism 

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