Seeking asylum – fleeing imperialism
No to deportations! Defend asylum seekers and migrant workers!
Asylum seekers and migrant workers are organising in defence of their right to remain in Britain. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supports this fight back. We understand that racism against immigrants in Britain is directly linked to Britain’s imperialist wars and plunder around the world.
Aliens, settlers, refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers
The history of Britain is the history of migration – a continual process of people moving into and out of this country. Over the centuries Romans, Vikings, Normans, Irish people, Africans, Jews, Italians, Chinese and Indian people, among others, have settled here and have contributed to forming the Britain of today. Since the 17th century, 17 million people have left Britain to settle elsewhere in the world. Today 2.3 million British people work in the European Union.
Wanted – cheap labour
In modern times the capitalists and ruling class have welcomed settlers because of the need for cheap labour like the Caribbean and south Asian immigrants of the 1960s or the 300,000+ migrants from Eastern Europe who came to Britain for work in the last ten years, often at or below the minimum wage, in temporary jobs with no holiday or sick pay. Overseas labour has long been the backbone of the NHS, for example, where 50% of workers now come from abroad. Even when well paid, such workers are cheap, as Britain has not had to invest in their education or training.
Not wanted – victims of persecution
The Home Office has increasingly tightened controls on those seeking safety and refuge from persecution. In 13 years in power between 1997 and 2010 the Labour government introduced successive Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Acts, each more punishing than the last. The ConDem coalition government continues to operate them all. These laws are institutionalised racism. They are designed to refuse entry to and deport asylum seekers from war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, or Democratic Republic of Congo where British multinationals are violently plundering its gold, coltan, oil and other natural resources.
The conditions for asylum seekers in Britain are a national scandal.
Those who bear the brunt of imperialist domination, suffering starvation, unemployment, war crimes and brutal exploitation, are then met by further brutality from the British state when they seek asylum here. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work. Employers who take on workers without permits are fined; teachers and health workers are being encouraged to spy and report on pupils and patients. Dawn raids, detentions and deportations are tearing families apart. British authorities have spent over a hundred million pounds on deportations in the last few years. This is a cost that the ruling class is well prepared to pay to hide the human disaster resulting from its foreign policy of wars and occupations. Today, for every Iraqi asylum seeker deported from Britain to Bagdad, thousands of Iraqis are leaving their war torn country for refuge in neighbouring states joining four million other refugees from the war and occupation of Iraq.
Making fools of us
The ConDem government claims that it is the national duty of us all to pay for the national debt. The Banking Crisis has been turned into a national crisis. In these conditions the government and media play the patriot game to turn the anger of British workers who face cuts in jobs and services onto the immigrants and away from the capitalists. The Labour Party call for ‘British jobs for British workers’ prepared the ground for the emergence of actively racist groups in the economic crisis. The English Defence League (EDL) and its Scottish and Welsh branches are the servants of British imperialism’s ruling class. They are the bullies on the street enforcing Britain’s right to send armed force around the world. These are the thugs who are allowed to attack Muslim communities, supporters of Palestinian rights and anti war protestors.
Join the fight back
Where there is repression there will be resistance and asylum seekers, migrant workers and their supporters are fighting back. Schoolchildren petition and protest against deportation threats to their friends, communities protest against immigration dawn raids and low-paid migrant workers are organising to defend their rights.
The racist state’s attack on asylum seekers in Britain cannot be separated from Britain’s imperialist wars and plunder throughout the world. Let us unite to increase and build resistance to these attacks. Fight racism! Fight imperialism!