Protesters from charity Safe Passage and Stand Up To Racism held a demonstration in central London on Monday in defence of child refugees’ rights.
It came ahead of a vote by peers in the House of Lords on the Tories’ Brexit bill.
Tory MPs last week voted to scrap protections of the rights of some unaccompanied child refugees.
The European Union’s Dublin Regulation forces refugees to apply for asylum in the first member state they reach, and allows other states to turn them away.
Unaccompanied children who have family in another member state can get around it and join their families in Britain
But Tory MPs voted against an amendment that would have kept that protection. Speaking at the protest Labour peer Alf Dubs—who is behind the amendment—said, “Child refugees who’ve got family here should be able to join them even after we’ve left the EU.
“For some reason the government has pulled that out of the bill.
“It makes them seem nasty and horrible. Who could be against children joining their families?
Tory prime minister Boris Johnson could try to push through even harsher immigration rules two years ahead of schedule.
The Tories had said that there would be a two-year “transition period” from old to new immigration rules after Britain leaves the European Union (EU).
Their plans would make it harder for migrants to come to live, work and study in Britain and make life insecure for the poorest ones.
But the cabinet was set this week to discuss ditching the transition. This means new immigration rules could come into force from January 2021.
Johnson’s proposed “Australian-style points-based system” would arbitrarily divide migrants between “high skilled” and “low skilled workers”.
Those deemed low skilled, such as some health, care and construction workers, would only be allowed in temporarily and have few rights while living in Britain.
The possibility of bringing in the new system early sparked opposition from sections of big business and bosses in the public sector.
They fear new rules would leave them with a labour shortage.
Defending migrants’ rights should not be framed in terms of what’s good for big business and profit.
Racist scapegoating of migrants divide working class people and make it harder to take on Tory austerity and bosses’ attacks.
Anti-racists should fight to defend and extend freedom of movement and the right of all migrants to remain in Britain.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle