Socialist Worker

New Tory immigration policies spark outrage from migrants

The Tories’ plans will mean some people will be forced to leave Britain under the new scheme. Anti-racists should rip apart the racist border system, writes Tomáš Tengely-Evans

Issue No. 2676

Anti-racist campaigners protested against a small group of Nazis in Dewsbury last Saturday

Anti-racist campaigners protested against a small group of Nazis in Dewsbury last Saturday (Pic: Neil Terry)


The Tories have struck more fear into European Union (EU) migrants living in Britain.

Home Office minister Brandon Lewis admitted that the government might deport some EU nationals after Brexit.

He said the Tories would “apply the rules” to those who had not registered under the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 2021. This means that migrants who met the legal requirements for remaining in Britain could be forced to leave.

Maike Bohn of the 3 Million campaign group slammed the Tory minister’s admission. She said, “We have pressed the government for years on what happens to those who do not have a status in 2021.

“Today, after much waiting, it is confirmed that hundreds and thousands of people will be punished with the threat of removal from their home.

“This is no way to treat people, let alone what was promised.”

The EU Settlement Scheme is already facing a growing backlog of applications. Just over 1.8 million of the three million EU migrants living in Britain had applied, according to the latest Home Office figures.

Only just over 1.5 million migrants’ have had their applications resolved. And not all of them were given settled status—some had the inferior “pre-settled status”, other had “other outcomes”.

The deadline for applying for EU settled status could move forward to 31 December 2020.

While the Tories have backed off from plans to immediately end free movement now, they have confirmed that they plan to do so. And they are starting to flesh out their new immigration system.

Rules

Home secretary Priti Patel has said the new rules would be based on a “points-based immigration system”.

This would “score” migrants based on their skills, education and their expected income in Britain.

Only those with a high enough score—arbitrarily labelled as the “brightest and the best”—would be allowed in. This has the false implication that some, mainly poorer migrants are a drain on resources.

Patel floated the idea of awarding a higher score to migrants who agreed to live in the North of England.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the said it was a “fallacy” the country only needed “so-called skilled workers”. “The NHS has shortages of more than 100,000 staff and we need doctors, nurses, hospital porters, chefs and cleaners,” she said.

Unfortunately, Labour is also promising a “skills-based immigration system” after Brexit. The Labour conference passed a motion calling for the party to defend free movement and shut down all immigration detention centres.

But within a matter of hours the party leadership appeared to back off from the plans.

Anti-racists should fight to dismantle Britain’s racist immigration system. That means fighting to defend and extend freedom of movement, shut down all immigration detention centres, and grant refugees and asylum seekers the right to stay in Britain.


The racist media complain

The right wing press is complaining that the Tories haven’t deported enough refugees.

A Sky News investigation found that 6 percent of refugees who had crossed the English Channel had been deported.

It complained that this is “in spite of warnings by Boris Johnson that they would be sent back”.

There has been a rise in the number of refugees trying to make it across the channel. This has been fuelled by increasing brutality from the police after an agreement between British and French authorities to increase border security that was reached at the end of August.

They levelled makeshift refugee settlements in Calais and Dunkirk, scattering many across northern France.

Racist policies won’t make the migrant crisis disappear

The only solution is to open the border and let the refugees in safely.


‘Oval Four’ face a fresh appeal

Four black men who were sent to prison on the word of a corrupt cop could finally be cleared after nearly 50 years.

Winston Trew, Sterling Christie, George Griffiths and Constantine Boucher, known as the “Oval Four” group of defendants, were arrested outside Oval Tube station in south London in 1972.

There they were stopped by a group of undercover officers led by detective Derek Ridgewell. He had previously worked for the police in racist South Rhodesia—modern day Zimbabwe—in southern Africa.

Winston Trew applied to have the convictions overturned after another successful appeal in a case involving Ridgewell. The four were accused of stealing handbags and assaulting the police.

They were held in a police cell overnight and beaten, then sent down for two years after a five-week trial at the Old Bailey court.

The arrests happened at a time when right wing politicians and the press had whipped up a racist scare about black men carrying out street robberies. Ridgewell was also responsible for the arrest of the Stockwell Six, the Waterloo Four and the Tottenham Court Road Two—all black people.

The judge in the last case noticed a suspicious pattern.

Ridgewell was moved to a police department investigating theft at post offices.

He was later jailed for seven years after working with two criminals who split money from stolen mail bags.Two of the Oval Four have now had their cases referred to the court of appeal. The other two left Britain in the 1970s.

Stand up to Racism conference—19 October, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ. Visit http://bit.ly/sutrconf

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