Socialist Worker

Tories’ racist immigration rules will punish migrant workers

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2728

Migrant farmers do essential work

Migrant farmers are essential workers (Pic: John M)


The Tories have pushed through legal changes to make Britain’s immigration system even more racist.

The Home Office quietly published the new immigration rules last week ahead of Britain formally leaving the European Union (EU) at the end of December.

The majority of the changes, which set up a “points-based immigration system”, will come into force on 1 December.

New rules create an arbitrary division between “skilled workers” and those deemed “unskilled workers”, making it harder for migrants to make a life in Britain.

The skilled worker visa requires workers to be “sponsored to do a specific job, which meets skill and salary requirements, by an employer that has been licensed by the Home Office”.

The income threshold has been set at £25,600 a year.

Exception

There is an exception for those who earn £20,480 if they make up points under other categories—such as an occupation with shortages.

After six years, they could apply to become British subjects.

Meanwhile, workers on temporary six month visas would face a much harsher life while doing vital jobs such as farming.

They wouldn’t be able to take a permanent job, work a second job, access public funds or bring family members to Britain.

The new regulations come into force as MPs were set to debate the Immigration Bill again on Wednesday of next week.

The proposed law formally ends freedom of movement for EU migrants and British subjects between EU member states.

But the new regulations stem from a Tory law from the 1970s. It aimed to clamp down on immigration from Britain’s former colonies ahead of Britain joining the EU.

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The Immigration Act 1971 gave the home secretary powers to determine what hoops migrants have to jump through to live in Britain.

Accepting any division among working class people makes it easier for the Tories and bosses to push through attacks on all of us.

Meanwhile, the Tories are also scapegoating refugees who are trying to make it across the English Channel to safety in Britain.

Around 100 people protested under the slogan “Refugees welcome—say no to Priti Patel’s detention centres” in Tooting last Saturday.

It was a joint initiative by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups.

One protester said, “It was very moving to see the reception from the local community.

“Families came to their doors and windows, clapping, fists raised, and some joined us.”

Protesters marched through the streets and rallied on Tooting Common.

Labour councillor Maurice Mcleod said, “It’s great to see XR and SUTR working together.

“Greed and capitalism stoke racism and the climate emergency alike—coming together to support refugees makes so much sense.


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