Socialist Worker

Majority of people not in favour of reduced immigration, says new poll

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2739

Less than half of people want to see a reduction in immigration

Less than half of people want to see a reduction in immigration (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A new survey has exposed the lie that the Tories’ racist immigration controls have popular support.

Polling by Ispos Mori shows that less than half of the public want to see a reduction in immigration.

The poll also shows that 12 percent of respondents would like to see an increase in immigration to Britain. This is a rise from 7 percent in February 2015 and 9 percent in August 2019.

Those wanting fewer immigrants has dropped from 67 percent in February 2015 to 49 percent.

The polling also shows increased sympathy with people attempting dangerous journeys to Britain. In August 2019, 53 percent of people said they had sympathy, rising to 56 percent at the end of 2020.

The number saying they had little or no sympathy dropped from 43 percent to 39 percent. And 42 percent believe it is important to have an immigration system that is fair.

The survey shows that the drive for anti-immigration laws are not the result of demands from ordinary people, but are driven from the top.

Stephen Hale, chief executive at Refugee Action, said, “This heart-warming poll confirms that more people than not want a Britain that welcomes and supports people fleeing violence and oppression.”

Punishing

The Tory government has taken an increasingly hardline approach to people wanting to come to Britain—and punishing those who resist racism.

Home secretary Priti Patel has developed a network of temporary accommodation to hold asylum seekers as they wait for a decision on their claims.

A mass of Covid-19 outbreaks has torn through detention centres and refugee camps.

Asylum seekers across Britain report that they have been warned not to “misbehave” or speak out about conditions. They say they are threatened with being added to a “blacklist” that will affect their claims.

And an Iranian refugee fleeing persecution was jailed last week and faces deportation after piloting dinghies of refugees headed for Britain on two occasions in 2019.

Fouad Kakaei piloted the boats because nobody else could, and he didn’t want anyone to die at sea.

Meanwhile, the Colston Four appeared in court on Monday. The four have been charged with criminal damage after a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol last year.

Protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the harbour. The four have pleaded not guilty. The case is set to resume on 8 February.


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