[noborders-brum] 213 items - weekly digest up to 7/05/06

asylumpolicy.info frank.corrigan at asylumpolicy.info
Mon May 8 07:34:05 UTC 2006

213 items - weekly digest up to 7/05/06
Sent 8 May 06

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>>>>   213 items - weekly digest up to 7/05/06


[A] 'harsh dispersal laws'
     7 May 06 - 65 items

[B] 'children and young people, transitions, best practice'
     5 May 06 - 8 items

[C] 'knee-jerk, failures, Double Punishment'
     4 May 06 - 65 items

[D] 'talking to press'
     2 May 06 - 71 items

[E] 'Trade Union Conference Against Immigration Controls'
     1 May 06 - 1 item

[F] 'TUFR, May 1 boycott, One step forward – two steps back'
     28 Apr 06 - 3 items

[G] How to cancel or change your subscription to asylumpolicy.info


[A] 'harsh dispersal laws'
     7 May 06 - 65 items

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A key, indispensable, unparalleled, one-stop service on asylum,
anti-racism, immigration, oppression, conflict, war and human rights

01: UK
02: World
03: Europe
04: Events
05: Terrorism in UK law
05: Swansea to Newport walk
07: Job - Coordinator at Peace Brigades International
08: How to cancel or change your subscription to asylumpolicy.info

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Lead: - 'harsh dispersal laws'

Asylum seeker loses home battle
A Turkish Kurd who sought asylum has lost a High Court battle to be
allowed to settle in Suffolk with his family.

Related item:

               Safe Case Transfer 

Euphemism for: 

               No choice dispersal 

Also known as: 

               'harsh dispersal' without a legal basis?


Legislative basis for no choice UK wide dispersal of 
children looked after by local authorities: None


Scheme for minors declared a success ... ?

01: UK

7 May 06

Surveillance society: The DNA files

Voluntary ID card details

Charles Clarke leaves Home Office 
"Mr Clarke may feel harshly judged today but for his anti-speech and ID
card laws and for instituting punishment without trial, our children may
judge him even more harshly tomorrow."
Home Secretary Sacked! - There should be dancing in the streets

Children as young as three may already be racists, says Ouseley

Bigots, racists and worthless buffoons - so why do they keep getting

BNP fascist gains – a disaster for all who value democracy

To hell and back
The remarkable Fateless is the most outstanding feature film so far
about Nazi concentration camps

Come back and help us, Poland begs its people

Anti-migrant party leader hires Poles

For God and country?

City agonises over slavery apology
Passions are running high in Bristol over whether it should say sorry
for its past.

Attorney General calls for Guantanamo to close
Lord Goldsmith risks row with White House by denouncing detention centre
as 'unacceptable'.
Guantánamo ruling: Response from Amnesty International and Amani

For the sake of humanity, I urge you to see United 93

The Washington connection: Did Bush stick the knife into Jack Straw?

Basra on the brink of exploding
Deadly attack on helicopter and violent riots show threat facing British
forces is escalating in southern Iraq

British actor stole to save Iraqi family

'Make me PM and I'll let parliament decide on going to war'

You see, we can see off these threats to our liberties

The new kid in the barrio
On the eve of Hugo Chavez's visit to Britain, Peter Beaumont travels to
Caracas and asks if the Castro-loving, Bush-hating, Venezuelan President
is a revolutionary democrat or a dictator in the making.

6 May 06

Winners and losers on day of ministerial merry-go-round

Komar Family Belong to Sheffield

5 May 06

Welsh backs refugee fight

‘Please don’t kick my husband out of UK’

Church could lose its asylum grant

Campaigners plan unique guided tour to 'Leeds, the city of asylum shame' 

Eight arrested over fight in city
Eight people have been arrested in Edinburgh during an operation in the
west of the city involving police and Home Office immigration

Charles Clarke  Clarke sacked in cabinet reshuffle
Clarke replaced by John Reid

Clarke and the law muddle

European Christian Churches Protest Against Legal Restrictions on

Penniless Poles seek shelter in hostels for the homeless

Guidance: Communicating with immigrant workers

One-sided reporting that is delaying an end to the killing

Why it takes a TV series to draw attention to Darfur
After 180,000 deaths, American news media leave the story of Sudan to
celebrities and ER.
Congo's tragedy: the war the world forgot

Britain calls for trust fund to help blockaded Palestinians
US 'blocks' Palestinian aid plan 

Livingstone to host lunch for Chavez
How Morales took on the oil giants - and won his people back

Afghan dangers ahead

Taleban tell British to expect a river of blood

Remembering Bobby Sands

Guantanamo inmates not entitled to UK help, court rules

4 May 06

SOAS Students take on SODEXHO

Asylum Support Service Makes Appeal for Calm

Refugees' Red Cross Role

A Helping Hand For War Zone's Traumatised Young

3 May 06

Stars back campaign for Chilean

Black communities must respond to the Equalities Review to reject it
The government's Equalities Review Interim Report must be rejected as a
flawed and dangerous analysis on equalities in general and racism in

02: World

UN envoy calls for 'litre of water per day' for people in world's
poorest countries

Study: Many Nations Harsher on Immigrants

The end of global child labour is 'within our reach', says UN agency

Albania takes Guantanamo Uighurs 

Bolivia wins first round of gas battle after Brazil backs down

Congo's tragedy: the war the world forgot

Egypt: Troops Smother Protests, Detain Activists

Indonesia: Terrorism in Indonesia: Noordin’s Networks

Iran: Top Scholar Detained Without Charge

Ireland: Footballer's life in a Dublin limbo
Officials fear human rights backlash if a soccer-playing Sierra Leone
asylum seeker is deported

Irish families forced to flee from Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka: Tigers tear each other apart

Iraqi police 'killed 14-year-old boy for being homosexual'

Israel/Occupied Territories: Prime minister pins his colours to 'new
look' Israel

Israel/Occupied Territories: Five dead as Israelis strike Gaza 

Korea South: Thousands of riot police in bloody eviction for US base --
photos and resources

Russia bullies Europe

Russia's Nazis launch wave of racist attacks

Sudan: Rebels sign Darfur peace deal after two years of talks

Sudan: Annan presses Sudan on UN force 

Sudan: UN rights chief paints grim picture of worsening Darfur crisis

Sudan: Peace Deal Must Deliver on Darfur Aid 

Trinidad and Tobago: Unlawful police killings must not go unpunished

US: Dream or disaster?
Are immigrant workers good or bad for the US economy? 

US: Bush tells immigrants to learn English

US: Korean sex slaves take refuge in U.S.
Group first to be granted status since 2004 law relaxed conditions

03; Europe

04: Events

Wednesday, 31st May 2006
New Workshop on Providing Education & Training to Refugees and Asylum
EMPOWER, 81 St.Vincent St, Glasgow

Asylum destitution in Scotland:
Govan Integration Network open meeting
Thursday 11 May, 1pm - 4pm, Pearce Institute, Govan

Thursday 11th May 2006 
Colombian peace community leader in London (11th and 12th May)
- Public talk organized by
PBI and Peace Direct.    Venue: St Ethelburga's Centre
for  Reconciliation and Peace, 78 Bishopsgate, London,
EC2N 4AG. Time: 7 p.m

Friday 12th May 2006 
Colombian peace community leader in London (11th and 12th May)
- Public talk organized by PBI
and Amnesty International.  Venue: Amnesty
International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre 17-25
New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA. Time: 7 p.m

05: Terrorism in UK law

Our submission to the review on the definition of terrorism in UK law 

06: Swansea to Newport walk

Walk between Quaker Meeting House in Swansea to the AsylumTribunal in
Newport, to raise money for Asylum Justice and Welsh Refugee Council's
Hardship Fund.Whole walk about 60 miles.First walk Sunday April 30,
Margam area. Then 7 May, circular walk from Bryngarw Country Park.21 May
Taff Ely Ridgeway, near Llantrisant.

07: Job - Coordinator at Peace Brigades International


[B] 'children and young people, transitions, best practice'
     5 May 06 - 8 items

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A key, indispensable, unparalleled, one-stop service on asylum,
anti-racism, immigration, oppression, conflict, war and human rights

>>>> 'children and young people, transitions, best practice'

'Child first, migrant second: Ensuring that every child matters'
Feb 06

'Working with children and young people subject to immigration control:
Guidelines for best practice'
Nov 2004

Guidance for Social Workers, Personal Advisers and their Managers
working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC).
72 page Word doc (final version Feb 06)
Source: http://www.adss.org.uk

Age Assessment. Joint Working Protocol between Immigration and
Nationality Directorate of the Home Office (IND) and the Association of
Directors of Social Services (ADSS) (Publications/Guidance

Children: Asylum Policy Instruction
Appril 06

No Place for a Child campaign

Local Authority Support to Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Young People
report from Save the Children (January 2006)

Children's Legal Centre website area for the Refugee and Asylum Seeking
Children's Project.

[C] 'knee-jerk, failures, Double Punishment'
     4 May 06 - 65 items

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A key, indispensable, unparalleled, one-stop service on asylum,
anti-racism, immigration, oppression, conflict, war and human rights

01: UK
02: World
03: Europe
04: Events
05: The sound of hope
06: Revolution in the Andes
07:  Failed States Index 2006
08: Children - Asylum Policy Instruction
09: Asylum, migration and human rights – an interdisciplinary conference
10: How to cancel or change your subscription to asylumpolicy.info

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Lead: - 'knee-jerk, failures, double punishment'

The real Home Office failures

Clarke accused over 'knee-jerk' response

The failure is systemic, and the system is Blair's

Sex And Drugs And Immigration Control The Double Punishment And Deportation Of Black Prisoners
6 page Word doc

Will firing Charles Clarke bring order to Home Office chaos? Not a

Deportation plans are bad practice

01: UK

4 May 06

Is a refugee from Pinochet the victim of a witch-hunt?

Blanche, Irina & Parrell Must Stay

Same-sex couples forced into exile from US flock to Britain
U.S. Immigration Law Inhumane to Same-Sex Couples
New Immigration Reforms Must End Discrimination against Lesbians, Gays

'We won't be treated as well in America'

Government move is the latest in a series of assaults on civil liberties

3 May 06

Mansoor Hassan's case returns to court

The price of freedom
In many countries honest journalism can be fatal

Moving with the times
EU expansion brought fears of an influx of cheap Polish builders. Not so

Doctors consider legal action against the Government

Cardinal suggests UK amnesty for illegal immigrants

Victims of a colonial injustice

Soldiers 'allowed Iraqi boy to drown'

An open-ended operation?
British troops could be bogged down in Afghanistan for decades

BBC news 'favours Israel' at expense of Palestinian view

New course on being British

Williard `not safe' in Zimbabwe - lawyer

2 May 06

Warning on threat to doctor numbers

Detainees despair in unit 'like prison'

Fight Against Deportations

Migrant workers not exploited – expect more hype when Bulgaria and
Romania join the EU
Changing status, changing lives? The socio-economic impact of EU
Enlargement on low wage migrant labour in the UK

City refuses refugees a free television

Why I may have to give myself up

BBC 'must improve Mid-East view'

Protesters jeer mayor on asylum

Call a terrorist a terrorist, BBC told

1 May 06

Report: Tyneside May Day - Asylum Seekers Demand the Right to Work

02: World

The Big Question: Is Sri Lanka again on the brink of civil war?

CrisisWatch No: 33, 1 May 2006

This high-octane rocket-rattling against Tehran is unlikely to succeed

Tsunami warning in Pacific
Warning for New Zealand and Fiji after magnitude 8.0 quake in Tonga.

25% of world's children underweight

Bolivia's military seizes gas fields

Congo DR: UN denounces human rights violations in Katanga

France reviews immigration rules

Iraq hit by another wave of violence

Italy: Migrants land on Italian island

Kashmir: 35 Hindus shot dead in Kashmir

Korea North tops censorship league

Pakistan's power shift

Russian racism 'out of control'

Sudan tops 'failed states index'

Sudan: Stark warning at the Darfur talks

US warns of tough Iran resolution

US: 1M Immigrants Skip Work for Demonstration

US: Immigrants Try to Extand Boycott Momentum

US: Millions mark America's 'day without immigrants'

US: Human rights group claims immigration law discriminates gay couples

US: Drive for strict US immigrant law

US accused of creating ‘climate of torture’ - report to UN Torture

03: Europe

EU halts Serbia talks over Mladic

Europe puts sanctions at top of UN's Iran agenda

ECRAN weekly update
28 April 2006

In this ECRAN weekly update you will find information on:

Council of the European Union
Migration poses main challenge to EU in terms of security - Austrian
Interior Minister; Council calls for increase in the use of joint return
flights; Council conclusions on improved operational cooperation on
joint return operations by air; Council conclusions on strengthened
practical cooperation
European Parliament
No single model for integration Frattini tells European Parliament
EU needs to play a greater role in the global protection responsibility-
ECRE; Launch of ECRE’s “Agenda for Change” for Europe’s role in refugee
protection; ECRE calls for sharing for expertise, information and best
practice in order improve asylum procedures
UNHCR: UNHCR highlights problems faced by refugees at Slovak-Ukrainian
border; UNCHR urges European Commission to avoid lowest common
denominator on asylum
MISCELLANEOUS: New report on practical cooperation on country of origin

Read in full: Word version
Sign up to receive the ECRAN weekly up date direct to your email here

04: Events

Invitation to NCADC Annual General Meeting

4th July 2006
Integration of Migrants: Engaging Employers, Unions and the Voluntary

05: The sound of hope

The sound of America's protesters is the sound of hope.

06: Revolution in the Andes

Evo Morales went for a characteristically theatrical gesture when he
sent in troops to seize Bolivia's natural gas fields, pipelines and
refineries on May Day.

07:  Failed States Index 2006

We are pleased to present the second annual Failed States Index. Tens of
thousands of articles from global and regional sources were collected
from May to December 2005 using Thomson Dialog.

08: Children - Asylum Policy Instruction

Updated April

09: Asylum, migration and human rights – an interdisciplinary conference

This major interdisciplinary conference will be an attempt to make a
paradigm shift in the understanding of the relationship between human
rights, asylum and migration.

Date: 20th - 21st September 2006


[D] 'talking to press'
     Sent 2 May 06 - 71 items

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A key, indispensable, unparalleled, one-stop service on asylum,
anti-racism, immigration, oppression, conflict, war and human rights

01: UK
02: World
03: Europe
04: Events
05: How to cancel or change your subscription to asylumpolicy.info

     Got something to share?

     If you have any events, news or information to share with
     us or 5000 plus+ subscribers please send details by:
     1.Email: frank.corrigan at asylumpolicy.info
     2.Online: http://www.asylumpolicy.info/share.htm
     3.Fax: 0870 285 6021
     4.Post: EXILE 27 Old Gloucester Street London WC1N 3XX

Lead: - 'talking to press'

Detainee 'beaten' after talking to press

01: UK

1 May 06

New JRF study reveals UK employers prefer migrants for low waged and
precarious jobs unacceptable to UK workers

Central and East European migrants in low wage employment in the UK

May Day Virtual Sit-In!

Solidarity isn't nostalgia, it's a necessity for our times
Only by organising the new workforce across companies and national
borders can we win social justice and equality

30 Apr 06

Archbishop urges 'anti-fear vote'

IAS supports the churches firm stand

Rough guide to British history

It's time to sort out immigration

Clarke quit? Make him stay and rebuild a wrecked Home Office

Bisher Al-Rawi's terrifying journey from public-school to Camp Delta

We may have to bomb Iran

Sarandon tells of Iraq death threat

The price of sparkle is child slavery

29 Apr 06

Gift of refuge...for refugees

City's march to support refugees

Citizenship guide fails its history exam

Payout to owners of art stolen by Nazis

28 Apr 06

Teesside asylum seekers travel to London
Inside the Guantanamo system

'Quick death is preferable to slow death'

>From deterrence to criminalisation

Read my lips – no attacks on Iran
Three months ago world leaders were heading for agreement on action. Not
any more

Australian 'tortured and beaten' by British soldiers

Beware the hypocrisy of international allegiances

27 Apr 06

Publication of the 2nd Annual Report of the Independent Monitor of
Certification of Claims as Clearly Unfounded Under Section 94 of the
Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

Sixty-eight racist murders since Stephen Lawrence

02: World

A battle for oil could set the world aflame

Armageddon? Great, bring it on

Pressure grows for Darfur peace

West to seek UN action on Iranian bomb threat

US brands Iran enemy No 1

China: 40 years on, the Cultural Revolution comes full circle

China pays for boy, 15, killed after 1989 arrest

Colombia: Civilians could be forced to live next to human rights
abusers, warns Amnesty

Congo DR anger at Uganda 'raid'

East Timor: Violence erupts at E Timor rally

France's Sarkozy defends law over xenophobia charge

France: Protests mount against French draft immigration bill

India: The next Gandhi: I'll make India better off than Britain

Iran 'has ignored UN deadline'

Iran in maps
Find out more about the people, land and infrastructure

Iraq 'could become haven for terror'

Iraq : Billions wasted in Iraq, says US audit

Nepal: Legacy of insanity
Path from a royal massacre to anti-monarchy protests

Nepal's parliament reconvenes

Nepal: Maoists declare ceasefire after success of protests

Nepalese PM sworn in by king

Pakistan: Musharraf insists: I'm not George Bush's poodle

Poland recalls Hitler-Stalin pact amid fears over pipeline

Russian Federation: Leaders' gun battle threatens Chechen stability

Russian Federation: In the torture cell of Chechnya's tyrant

Sri Lanka: Refugees facing bleak future as Tigers hit back

Sri Lanka: After the bombs
Residents and Tamil Tigers react to Sri Lanka air raids

Sri Lanka rebels 'kill renegades'

Sri Lanka: Amnesty calls for respect for human rights as violence

Sri Lanka: Cycle of violence brings Sri Lanka to edge of war

Sudan: Darfur food rations cut in half

Sudan accepts Darfur peace deal but rebels dig in

Sudan: Darfur peace hopes collapse

Sudan: Tales of fear and loss: Refugees in Darfur tell their stories

Thailand: King halts Thailand's troubles

Thailand: Investigate Krue Se Mosque Raid

US says Iran top terror sponsor

US protesters stage one-day boycott over immigrant bill

U.S. immigrants set for massive rallies

US: Immigration reform could cost you
With nationwide protests set for Monday, a look at what restrictions on
immigrant labor could cost Americans.

US war costs 'could hit $811bn'

US: An invisible army of workers strikes for the right to be seen

US: Raid Rumors Fuel Fear Among Immigrants

03: Europe

EU warns Serbia on Mladic arrest

04: Events

Housing & Settlement Information Day for Asylum-seekers and Refugees
Knightswood Community Centre, 201 Alderman Road
Know you rights when you receive a positive decision! Time: 10am - 3pm
Lots of information and advice on housing and welfare, money, furniture,
befriending, etc. Buffet...

Asylum Destitution in Scotland: Public Meeting
Pearce Institue, 840 Govan Road, Glasgow
Time: 1pm - 4pm "Building a humanitarian support network and lobbying
for an end to asylum destitution" Govan Integration Network is hosting
an open meeting to discuss ways...

Tuesday May 23rd, 7.30-9.30 pm,
Public Meeting in Oxford - "Destroying Minds at Public Expense"
Oxford Town Hall

17th June 2006.
Medact AGM and Conference
Global inequality and climate change; confronting the problem
120 Belsize Lane, London NW5 5BA

[E] 'Trade Union Conference Against Immigration Controls'
     1 May 06 - 1 item

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A key, indispensable, unparalleled, one-stop service on asylum,
anti-racism, immigration, oppression, conflict, war and human rights

>>>> 'Trade Union Conference Against Immigration Controls'

Help Build The National Trade Union Conference Against Immigration

               Planning meeting Saturday July 15th
               1-5.30, Cross Street Chapel
               Cross Street, Manchester

The No-One Illegal pamphlet “Workers Control not Immigration Controls”
has already been sponsored by several trades council and trade union
branches – and has been endorsed by the general secretary of NAFTHE.

The pamphlet, (copy below) along with unions such as the NUJ and NAFTHE,
adopts a position of total opposition to controls. In  arguing for this
position it goes beyond the justified support for all campaigns against
deportations and detentions. It  also examines how controls directly
affect trade unionists. In particular it  looks at:

-Employer sanctions. This is the transformation of employers into spies
  for the Home Office by criminalising them for employing undocumented

-Trafficking – how to oppose traffickers whilst fighting for the
  absolute right to remain of those subject to trafficking

-Defiance not compliance – how the relationship between welfare
  provision and immigration status means that health, benefit and social
  workers are being placed in the role of immigration control enforcers

-The right to work of all irrespective of immigration status. At the
  moment asylum seekers are prohibited from working

-Alternatively the right of undocumented labour not to be treated as
  slave labour. For instance the latest legislation allows those detained
  in removal centres to work – without minimum wage protection.

-How trade unions  should recruit workers irrespective of immigration
  status and  should fight both for the equality of wages/conditions of
  all workers and for the regularisation  of those presently without full
  immigration status.

-How certain jobs, particularly within the civil service, are only open
  to those with full immigration status.

-The strange position of immigration officers who are themselves often
  in trade unions (in particular the PCS) and whose role is to detain and
  deport other workers.

No One Is Illegal: 16 Wood St, Bolton BL1 IDY,  email info at noii.org.uk  
web http://www.noii.org.uk  

Pamphlet  (full text below)

Download original 31 page PDF version

Workers Control Not Immigration Controls

A programme for Trades Unions proposed by No One Is Illegal

“NATFHE welcomes the publication of this pamphlet to stimulate debate in
the trade union movement on this vital issue”
Paul Mackney, General Secretary, NATFHE – The University & College
Lecturers Union, April 2006

This pamphlet is sponsored by the following Trades Councils:

Bolton • Bury • Oldham • Oxford • Stockport • Tameside
Waltham Forest • and the following Trades Union Branches
Bolton Unison • Bolton NUT • Ilford & Romford AMICUS


No immigration controls in the workplace!

The well known phrase “workers of the world unite” does not mean “only
workers with the correct immigration status” unite. It means all workers
both here and internationally. The function of immigration controls is
to ensure the absolute reversal of this principal. It is to ensure the
global division and antagonism between workers.This is divide and rule
based on the crudest nationalism and racism. Workers’ unity means
getting rid of controls. This may seem unrealistic, fantastic and
utopian. It would certainly require an enormous political upheaval.

Some unions have indeed at some times adopted resolutions in opposition
to controls in principle and in so doing have effectively accepted the
slogan No One Is Illegal. This has been the result of the
self-organisation of those threatened by controls – organising either
within the unions or through anti-deportation campaigns.

- - - - - - - - -
The 1989 NALGO (the predecessor of UNISON) conference demanded the
abolition of all controls. In the same period NAPO (the probation
workers union) adopted a similar position. In the recent period the 2005
conference of NAFTHE (workers in higher education) passed a resolution
committing the union to “support the right of any person to come and
live and seek employment in the UK for whatever reason”. The 2006 NUJ
(journalists) conference passed a resolution ”to campaign for a policy
of opposing all immigration controls and to promote the right to free
movement, together with equal rights for all residents of whatever
- - - - - - - - -

The programme that dare not speak its name

However opposition to controls in their totality has with rare
exceptions become the programme that dare not speak its name. Instead
another and opposite orthodoxy is dominant in the labour
movement. This is the demand for “fair” or “benign” or “compassionate”
controls. And meeting this demand would not require a political
upheaval. It would require a miracle. By their very definition controls
are inevitably, unjust and malign. It is the idea that controls can be
non-racist or fair that is unrealistic. There cannot be equal
opportunities immigration control.

Most of the reasons why there cannot be “fair” controls are really
transparent and don’t require much reflection. First, the initial
legislative controls, the 1905 Aliens Act, were based on that most
primitive of racisms, anti-Semitism, and were directed against Jewish
refugees fleeing Tsarist Russia. Second, the next wave of controls,
starting with the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act, were directed at
black people(this itself being in some ways anticipated as early as 1925
in a Coloured Alien Seamen Order requiring the enforced registration
with the police of “coloured” seafarers). None of this is much of an
advert for the idea that controls can be turned inside out and rendered
“non-racist”. Third, controls are anyhow based on the vilest nationalism
– the idea that the right to come to or stay in the UK should be a
reserved only for members of a privileged club who somehow have managed
to acquire the franchise. This is why there should be opposed both the
present work permit scheme and also the proposed new scheme based on a
points system for workers. Fourth, controls can never, by any definition
or redefinition, be “fair” to those excluded by them. Fifth, the very
first control on peoples’ global movement prior to legislation was
slavery out of Africa – which again was hardly susceptible of being
rendered benign or compassionate.

All this is obvious. What is less obvious, because less known, is that
controls are in fact a result of successful fascistic agitation. The
1905 Act was largely the result of agitation by an organisation now lost
(suppressed) to history – the British Brothers League. The 1962 Act
followed quickly on the so-called Notting Hill riots (actually racist
white riots) of 1958 which were organised by fascist groups such as
Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement. The idea that a political construct such
as immigration restrictions which are a product of fascistic activity
can somehow be sanitised and rendered harmless simply does not make
sense. It is equivalent to arguing that all that is wrong with
fascist groups like the British National Party is that they are
“unfair” and we ought to fight to make them non-racist. As the saying
goes – a leopard can’t change its spots.

Workplace immigration controls

The fact that the destruction of controls would require a huge political
movement – maybe even a revolution – is not a statement of pessimism. It
does not imply any acceptance of controls until the day of complete
deliverance. Rather it is a statement that all criticisms of control,
all demands made against particular controls, should be on the basis of
opposition to restrictions in principle – on the basis that No One Is
Illegal! Within this political framework trade union agitation becomes

This is because of something often ignored – namely immigration controls
come into conflict with union organisation on a daily basis at the
workplace. Immigration laws are a total system - they are about internal
controls as well as exclusion and deportation. In particular most
welfare entitlements ( social housing, non-contributory benefits,
hospital treatment) are dependent on immigration status as is the right
to work itself. As a consequence of this total system it is inevitable
that controls regularly and directly impinge upon workers in the course
of their employment or their union activities. Of course trade unionists
should oppose controls in every context in which they arise – such as
detentions and deportations – because in every context in which they
arise they are a manifestation of racism. However the need for trade
union involvement goes well beyond this and extends into the heart of
the employment relationship itself.

A danger to all workers

Immigration controls are a danger to all trade unionists. – including
those workers with full immigration status. One of the functions of
immigration control is to undercut the wages and conditions of all
workers by transforming migrant labour and labour without any
immigration status into a non-unionised low-waged workforce unprotected
by labour legislation. Which is why there is a need to fight for the
regularisation of immigration status, for full
unionisation and for equality of wages and conditions for all. In the
past the trade union movement has, unfortunately, often been in the
forefront of agitating for controls. For instance the very first
controls – the 1905 Aliens Act aimed at Jewish refugees – was preceded
by the TUC demanding controls. Again in the 1950s and 1960s the TUC
supported controls against black commonwealth workers.

- - - - - - - - -
But it should be remembered that though some unions regrettably
supported the 1905 Act yet other unions even then opposed immigration
laws on principle. In 1895 these mainly Jewish trade unions produced a
pamphlet against controls – A Voice From The Aliens – which persuaded
some English trade unionists to reject controls. This has been
reproduced on the No One Is Illegal website.
- - - - - - - - -

Today the labour movement has once again begun to change its position,
to begin to take a critical position towards the present laws – and
again this is due to a great extent to the resistance and
anti-deportation campaigns of those threatened by controls. Today it is
possible to once again open up the whole debate. It is possible to start
to challenge the very existence of controls

:: Part one
   For a trade union action programme against controls

Closing down Immigration controls

What has to be faced up to is that it is now utterly inadequate to give
lip service to the appalling cruelty inflicted by immigration control.
What has to be acknowledged is that controls cannot be sanitised on a
case by case basis – no more than a tiger can be tamed by the extraction
of tooth by tooth.

Trades unions are central here. For instance would any union tolerate
its members as part of their job contract being made to impose quotas
for job opportunities or housing opportunities or health treatment or
welfare support on black people? We assume not. However in effect
immigration controls, by linking entitlements to immigration status,
impose quotas on the undocumented in respect to virtually all welfare
provision. Indeed asylum seekers have been removed totally from the
welfare state and are now subject to a new poor law administered by the
“welfare wing” of the Home Office – the National Asylum Support Service
(NASS). This a poor law based on maintenance at 70% of income support
level, forced dispersal throughout the country and eviction onto the
streets for rejected asylum seekers. And all this is administered by
trade unionists.

Trade unions in this country are still very powerful. If the labour
movement had the political will it could pull the plug on immigration
controls and close them down. This is precisely because many of the
crucial sectors that enforce immigration control are heavily unionised.
Proper use of this trade union organisation could make controls

This is clearly the case at the epicentres of controls. The
administrative nerve centre of immigration restrictions is the
Immigration and Nationality Directorate based at Lunar House in Croydon.
A few years ago the system was almost brought to its knees
when the computer system malfunctioned. Imagine what a strike would
achieve in combating the racism of controls!

Another organisational base of immigration control is at airports. Trade
union action at airports could effectively stop deportations by refusing
to service or fly planes carrying passengers being expelled.

- - - - - - - - -
In Germany an organisation known as Deportation Class has campaigned
against Lufthansa Airlines to prevent deportations. Law experts of the
German pilots’ association “Cockpit” have declared that it is illegal to
deport human beings who are brought into the airplane in shackles.
According to their opinion, the captain should refuse to participate in
such a deportation, due to the risk of criminal proceedings against
himself. Accordingly, “Cockpit” call all their members to make sure
before take-off that anybody in the process of being deported is staying
voluntarily inside the airplane. The international pilots’ association
also considers it to be a prerequisite that the person in question is
“willing to travel”. There are examples of pilots and air crew in the UK
refusing to fly out deportees
- - - - - - - - -

No One Is Illegal!

In all other areas of the law it is the activity that is unlawful. Under
immigration controls it is humanity that is reduced to being unlawful.
The phrase “No One Is Illegal” means what it says. It does not mean only
some people are legal. It goes beyond fighting just for asylum-seekers.
Asylum-seekers are only the latest of the unwanted to be demonised. In
the past it was immigrants, those wanting to settle here, often seeking
to join their family. Or else it was migrants, those wanting to work
here. And these groups are still unwanted. In the future it will be some
other group. Today’s lawful presence will be tomorrow’s unlawful
presence. None of this law has anything to do with morality. It has all
to do with politics and power. As Martin Luther King once said “Never
forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal”. Which is again
why we proclaim No One Is Illegal. This means fighting for whoever wants
to come or stay irrespective of their motive.

The political language of controls

Controls are not a “natural” phenomenon. They are a result of political
activity. Immigration law is not god-given. It is the result of
political agitation. Everything about immigration controls is political
- including language. And this applies to the language of those affected
by controls. How should these be described? It is Bob Dylan who sang
“pity the poor immigrant” But terms such as immigrant, migrant or
refugee are quite inadequate collectively in describing all those at the
mercy of controls. This is not because other groups are presently
affected, such as students. It is not because in the past yet other
categories were the victims, for instance after the Russian revolution
it was members of the Communist Party and from the mid 1920s it was
black seafarers. It is not even because in the future hitherto unthought
of groups will be affected. It is also because those possessed of proper
immigration documents are carved up into a hierarchy depending on the
conditions of stay, length of stay, whether employment is restricted
during stay and rights (or lack of them) to benefits. And those granted
the documents of permanent settlement are attacked vicariously through
immigration controls by the denial of family members to join them. Under
the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act even the holy grail of
citizenship becomes revocable with ease. It is at these points that
documents themselves become pointless. Which is why those resisting
controls have claimed for themselves the political language of the
undocumented or the sans papiers. This is the language which unites all
those subject to controls. All other language divides them.

:: Part two
   The proposed programme

Defiance not compliance!

The vast majority of workers within the welfare sector join that sector
with the motivation to help other people. However the implementation of
internal controls is only possible through the active co-operation of
these workers, these trade unionists, who find themselves having to
determine welfare provision on the basis of immigration status.

But it is precisely this role which presents a weak link in the whole
chain of controls. Individual or even groups of workers would be exposed
to victimisation if they tried to break this link without union backing.
However internal controls could be brought to a halt by public sector
workers organised in their unions. Public sector unions – based in, for
example, the health, local authority and welfare benefit sectors -
should adopt a policy of non co-operation and non-implementation of
internal controls by supporting their members in refusing to ask
questions as to immigration status and by refusing to pass on
information to the Home Office. Workers within each relevant sector –
for instance local authority housing workers – should start to organise
rank and file groups within their unions where these issues could be
discussed, debated and acted on.

Under pressure of campaigns by the undocumented there has been the start
by unions of adopting a policy of defiance.

- - - - - - - - -
The 2005 UNISON Health Workers Conference resolved to “support health
workers in refusing to monitor or provide information on asylum seekers
to government bodies”. Workers in other sectors are also moving towards
a position of defiance. For instance under section 9 of the 2004
legislation rejected asylum seekers with children can be evicted from
National Asylum Support Service administered accommodation if they
persist in fighting their case and refusing to return to the country
from which they fled. One consequence of this is that children may end
up taken from their
parents by social services and placed in care. UNISON North West
Regional Council has condemned this as abduction not in the interests
of the child but of immigration control and has voted to support any of
its members who defy implementing section 9. Even the professional body
The British Association of Social Workers has said it expects social
workers “to strongly resist the implementation of this brutal power”.
- - - - - - - - -

As a result of these threats by organised workers – themselves
stimulated by various anti deportation campaigns – there is a serious
possibility the government will withdraw from implementing section 9 as

No workplace raids!

Workplace swoops by the police and immigration service are now a regular
occurrence. Factories, fast food places, garages, nursing homes and
hotels are the frequent subject of raids in the search for undocumented
workers. As early as 1980 and after a series of raids the Transport and
General Workers Union and the General and Municipal Workers Union issued
a joint statement saying that black workers had “have to carry at all
times their papers proving their right to live and work here. This is a
situation more reminiscent of the apartheid system in South Africa than
of Great Britain” (Guardian July 7th).

It is a matter of obvious concern to all trade unionists if co-workers
are dragged from the workplace by the immigration service. A basic trade
union demand should be that employers ban the immigration service or
those acting on their behalf, such as the police, from entering the

No employer sanctions!

The Tory’s 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act represented a direct attack
on workers’ organisation and workers’ unity. It penalised (fined) bosses
for employing workers without the “correct” immigration status – without
the correct documents. These are the undocumented workers of popular
imagination and the laws are
known as employer sanctions. These laws have been significantly
strengthened by Labour’s 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act
which allows for on the spot civil penalties as an alternative to
criminal procedures. Employer sanctions are completely reactionary.
They require workers to disclose their immigration status to their
employer. They transform the bosses into agents of immigration control.
They bring immigration control into the workplace. They drive a wedge
between “lawful” and “unlawful” workers. They point the finger at all
undocumented workers. They weaken trade union organisation by creating
a pariah class of workers without immigration status who have to
conceal their identity.

Employer sanctions are part of the grand plan for Fortress Europe. As
long ago as 1976 the European Commission produced a draft directive “On
the harmonisation of laws in the Member States to combat illegal
migration and illegal employment”. This called for employer sanctions.
Such sanctions now exist in all the main centres of industrial might.
They were introduced into the USA in 1986 in the Immigration Control and
Reform Act. They are part of the internationalisation of immigration
controls. They point to a future where worker surveillance extends
further into the workplace and where the undocumented worker is subject
to a Big Brother regime. When the European draft directive was debated
in parliament in June 1977, Gwnyth Dunwoody MP pointed out that there
had been suggestions by the European Commission that “the wages council
and factory inspectors should be used as a method of checking...

- - - - - - - - -
The TUC did oppose employer sanctions when first introduced in 1996 and
all labour movement bodies should follow this.
- - - - - - - - -

However this TUC opposition was not always the case. As long ago as 1978
the House of Commons Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration
pointed out the TUC was in favour of such laws. Two justifications are
normally given by union leaders for employer sanctions. These reasons
are quite contradictory. The first justification is that workers without
immigration status somehow weaken trade union negotiated work place
conditions (see the TUC’s Hotel and Catering Industry Committee in its
minutes of April 1978). This is
exactly the same argument used historically to justify immigration
control on all workers whether “authorised” or not - namely that cheap
imported labour undermine wages and bargaining positions. The other
justification is that employer sanctions somehow protects undocumented
immigrant workers by preventing their exploitation (see the General
Council’s Statement on Immigration and Racism issued at the 1990
conference in response to a NALGO resolution against controls in
principle). However it is a very strange way of protecting exploited
workers by transforming their bosses into stool-pigeons for the
immigration service who can then deport these same workers!

Solidarity not sanctions!
Better pay and conditions for all!

In essence employer sanctions are about snatching, penalising and
expelling undocumented workers. They are not about attacking bosses. The
figures show this. In June 2005 the Home Office produced a so-called
“Regulatory Impact Assessment” on the then Immigration, Asylum and
Nationality Bill. This shows that, for example, in 2004 there were 1098
“successful operations” (i.e. raids) by the immigration service which
resulted in the arrest of 3332 workers – but only the successful
prosecution of 8 employers! In the previous year only one boss was
successfully prosecuted – but 1779 workers arrested, removed from the
workplace and presumably deported. No equality here.

- - - - - - - - -
Recently one section of the trade union movement has again recognised
the danger of employer sanctions on the shop floor. In December 2005 it
was widely reported that at least one branch of the retail giant ASDA
had been demanding that Asian employees produce their passports – and
that their names had been read out publicly over the store tannoy asking
for their documents. The workers union, the GMB, denounced this. This
denunciation should be the start of a campaign against employer
- - - - - - - - -

Trade union strength and organisation does not rest on the arrest and
deportation of workers. It rests on solidarity. It rests on preventing
the exploitation of workers without immigration status
by organising those workers in unions and campaigning with them against
deportation and for the regularisation of their stay in this country.
The labour movement should refuse to accept the definition of workers
into “lawful” and “unlawful”. Instead unions should campaign under the
slogan of No Worker Is Illegal

Low wages are not fought by making employers into immigration spies.
They are fought by unionising all workers to fight together for better
conditions irrespective of their immigration status. Equality and
improvement of wage rates, health and safety conditions, holiday,
sickness and redundancy entitlements – these all have to be fought for
irrespective of immigration status.

- - - - - - - - -
A recent, December 2005, massive example of this was the action in Eire
against the attempt to by the Irish Ferry company to import Baltic
workers at a wage rate below the minimum standard. This was met by trade
union action – unfortunately abandoned before final victory - including
the occupation of one ferry, the prevention of another sailing and a
demonstration of 100000. Union leaflets were printed in Latvian and
Lithuanian, welcoming the migrant workers and demanding equality of
rates and conditions for all irrespective of immigration status.
- - - - - - - - -

In 2002 the TUC produced a pamphlet, Migrant Workers a TUC Guide. This
should be in the hands of every shop steward both because of the clarity
of its legal explanations and because of its encouragement to organise
in defence of the undocumented – both in the workplace for better
conditions and against deportations. It gives many examples of support
for migrant workers to attain better working conditions. For instance:

- - - - - - - - -
“Its (the Transport and General Worker’s Union) most recent successful
campaign involved Chinese workers at the New Diamond restaurant in
London’s Soho. The workers worked long hours without a break. They
received no compensation if they had an accident at work. They were
never given a payslip and had no holidays. Health and safety standards
were very low. After a recruitment campaign, workers at the restaurant
took industrial action when four members of the union were dismissed.
successfully picketed the restaurant while lodging their claims at an
employment tribunal. The employers were forced to settle, paying a
significant sum of money to the four workers”
The TGWU has also taken the initiative in recruiting cleaners – many of
whom are migrant workers – and in November 2005 organised a Justice For
Cleaners picket outside the Deutsche bank against poverty wages. The
same union has sponsored a Tube Cleaners Support Group. This has already
had one victory in forcing Metronet Rail (London underground) to
withdraw from its contract with the Blue Diamond cleaning company which
had been paying its often undocumented workers at below agreed wage
- - - - - - - - -

All this is modelled on the vibrant Justice For Janitors campaign in the
USA where the Service Employees International Union is fighting for the
rights of janitors without immigration status. It is clear from all this
that even if there is ever achieved a situation of no controls then
there will still have to be laws protecting and actions defending the
rights and conditions of migrant workers and those who they have come to
join. This is just the same as the need to equalise the rights of, for
instance, part time or temporary workers – a situation which in any
event many of the undocumented find themselves – alongside full time or
permanent workers.

Control of gangmasters not undocumented workers!

In February 2004 there occurred the tragic scandal of the death by
drowning of 19 Chinese cockle gatherers in Morecambe Bay after being
trapped by rising tides. The cockle pickers had been employed and
exploited by gangmasters – these being basically employment gangsters or
pimps who either themselves hire or hand on workers to other
contractors. By July 2004 there was enacted the Gangmasters (Licensing)
Act – the speed of enactment not being unrelated to the international
publicity given to the tragedy. The Act provides for a compulsory
registration scheme for gangmasters within the agricultural and shell
fish and associated processing and packaging sectors. There had in fact
been control of gangmasters within agriculture since laws passed in 1867
– which were repealed by Labour in 1965. The new legislation should be
supported if it saves
lives and prevents super-exploitation. Indeed at least one union, the
GMB, has called for the legislation to be extended across the board to
all industry.

However as Virgil, the classical Roman poet, wrote – Beware the Greeks
bearing gifts. It would seem that the Chinese workers who died were
without immigration status – which made them doubly vulnerable to the
gangmasters. The cross-party support in the parliamentary debate of 9
February 2004 for the gangmaster legislation presented it as though it
is were a way of preventing the exploitation of other economically
vulnerable undocumented workers by preventing them staying in the
country! Like the same spurious justifications given to employer
sanctions this again stands reality on its head. The way to provide
protection and prevent super exploitation caused by vulnerability
through lack of immigration status is to get rid of the cause of the
vulnerability – immigration controls and the whole concept of
immigration status. However the Home Office appears to be hoping that
registered gangmasters will not only not employ the undocumented but
will in some way act as yet another arm in tracking them down and
reporting them. And of course any future cockle gatherers without
appropriate documents whose lives might be discovered to be in danger
will not be allowed to remain but will be forcibly deported.

Similar deportations are already happening and the labour movement is
turning a blind eye to them. In April 2004 over twenty undocumented East
European workers were subject to raids and arrests in Cheetham,
Manchester and elsewhere. The General Secretary of the Transport and
General Workers Union welcomed this as disrupting the work of
gangmasters – though no gangmaster was reported as being arrested.
Instead the BBC’s report was headed “Illegal workers face deportation”.
As is asked by Shakespeare in King Lear – “Which is the justice? Which
is the thief?” The thieves are the exploitative gangmasters and the
racist Home Office. The justice is with the workers of whatever
nationality. The only principled and effective trade union position is
for gangmasters to be regulated within the context of the right to
remain –the regularisation – of all those workers without status, of the
end to employer sanctions and of the dismantling of immigration
restrictions themselves.

No slave labour!
For the right to work!

The ultimate exploitation of the undocumented and the most extreme
undermining of trade union cohesion is the reduction of those without
immigration status to a position of actual slavery. Indeed the TUC in
its pamphlet Overworked, Underpaid and Over Here, published in 2003,
drew attention to the “slavery or forced labour” of those undertaking
undocumented work. And this position has now been given statutory
confirmation courtesy of section 10 of the 2004 Asylum and Immigration

Section 10 represents the most extreme example yet of internal controls.
It makes housing and other poor-law support for certain refugees to be
made conditional on undertaking “community services”. These are refugees
whose claim has been rejected by the Home Office but are unable to
return home because of circumstances beyond their control – because they
are stateless or ill or (paradoxically in the case of a rejected asylum
application) the country of return is too dangerous. Section 10
transforms asylum-seekers into slaves. It makes their labour compulsory,
as refusal to participate will mean deprivation of housing and other
support. When the Act was being debated in its committee stage in the
House of Lords (15 June 2004), Lord Rooker encouraged voluntary sector
groups to get involved in tendering to NASS for this slave labour. He
also suggested that this compulsory refugee labour could be used for the
maintenance of the refugee’s own accommodation – which is a way local
authorities and private companies could get otherwise run-down
unlettable properties updated for free.

- - - - - - - - -
There has been successful resistance to the implementation of section
10. In Liverpool the YMCA tendered for the scheme. But after outrage was
expressed by the undocumented and their supporters the tender was
- - - - - - - - -

The paradoxical flip side of this slave labour scheme is that asylum
seekers awaiting a determination of their refugee application are
normally prohibited from exercising another basic trade union right –
the right to work. This leads to further impoverishment and pushes the
undocumented into the hands of exploitative bosses. Trade
unions need to resist the implementation of section 10, to be alert to
the employment of slave labour and to the existence of rogue employers.
And they should fight for the right to work for all irrespective of
immigration status.

This reduction of those without immigration status to slave labour has
now taken a new twist. They are to become the equivalent of prison
labour. The latest Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Act allows one
class of person the “privilege” of being allowed to work. This is those
detained in a removal centre and waiting deportation. Soon it may be
compulsory labour. In the meantime the new law exempts this work from
the national minimum wage. This clearly needs to be opposed not least
because it undercuts national wage levels.

No employment restrictions based on nationality status!

Immigration controls often operate in ways that are hidden to everyone
except those discriminated against by them. An example of this is the
law making eligibility for employment within various branches of the
civil service dependant upon having British citizenship. The origins of
this go far back into history and are an anachronism. The exclusion can
be found in the Act of Settlement of 1700. It was reproduced as long ago
as the 1919 Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act – in the wake of post war
anti-German, anti-Jewish and anti-Communist hysteria. And all this law
still exists today with some amendments. Whenever there has been an
attempt to repeal it then its defenders have used the most reactionary
arguments. In a parliamentary debate of 14 May 2004 the Tory MP Eric
Forth said “At least at the moment we should be able to sleep in our
beds at night in the secure knowledge that all sorts of suspicious
aliens have not inveigled their way into our governmental system and
into the civil service”.

This prohibition on employment – this time based on nationality – is yet
another way that workers are split through the use of nationalism and
needs to be opposed by the trade union movement.

No to traffickers!
Yes to rescuers!

Trafficking in humanity for financial gain is once more just another
form of pimping. This the case whether or not the trafficking is part of
a supply chain to the sex industry. Indeed trafficking cannot be reduced
to the sex trade and also provides cheap, vulnerable labour to other
more conventional sectors. Some of the recent immigration control laws
contain new criminal offences in relation to this trade in human cargo.
Section 145 of the 2002 legislation outlaws trafficking for purposes of
prostitution and section 4 of the 2004 legislation extends this to
trafficking for exploitation generally with a surprisingly wide
definition of “exploitation” – including the provision of any service
through “force, threats or deception”. Irrespective of these specific
issues, there have been general provisions since the 1971 Immigration
Act against “assisting illegal entry and harbouring”.

Given the disreputable nature of trafficking for gain then should trade
unionists support all legislation designed to suppress the trade? The
answer is no! Once again as in the case of gangmasters - beware the
politicians bearing gifts. In particular beware laws demonising
traffickers which are part of, and included in, far wider legislation
designed to further control the entry of the undocumented.
Anti-trafficking measures are being used to prevent the migration of
people who are driven by poverty and persecution to move country.

Three situations need to be distinguished. First is trafficking which
involves trickery or violence or lack of any consent – which is
essentially trans-national kidnapping. In September 2005 there was much
publicity given to the discovery in Birmingham of 19 women from East
Europe who were being forcibly imprisoned in a brothel after being
deceived into coming to the UK by traffickers. Sex by clients in this
situation is in effect rape. The prosecuting and outlawing of the
traffickers should be supported by everyone. At the same time the
victims of such forced trafficking should be given the absolute right to
remain – not, as at present, being liable to deportation. Criminalising
the victims of trafficking is racist, hypocritical and cruel. Again we
should ask – Which is the justice? Which is the thief? At the moment the
British government is not even prepared to give its signature to the
extremely limited European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in
Human Beings – which allows for temporary residence for those
trafficked. Moreover global trafficking in some form could continue even
after the abolition of controls – just as it existed, for instance in
the guise of the white slave trade, before controls. And measures will
be necessary to prevent this where violence or deception is involved.
However the super-exploitation that results today from trafficking – not
least the blackmailing and threats of exposure by the traffickers on
those they smuggle here – is frequently the consequence of immigration
controls themselves and can only be solved or ameliorated by the
dismantling of controls. And it should never be forgotten that the
biggest trafficker of people without their consent is the Home Office –
whose deportation programme is far in advance of that of the private
dealers in people misery.

The second situation is smuggling of people for profit – but where those
being smuggled consent to this as the only way of exiting the country of
origin and entering the UK. This is a disgusting trade. However given
the existence of immigration controls it is a life-line to those who
wish to exercise their fundamental human right to freedom of movement.
The prevalence of smuggling for profit will only end when immigration
controls end. Until then outlawing it will only cut off the means of
escape to those who want to flee their country of origin.

The third situation is the rescuing of the impoverished and the
persecuted. Trade unionists should oppose the criminalisation of those
who out of political consciousness or family solidarity help to ease the
entry of the undocumented. Indeed trade unions should actively encourage
and sponsor and aid this free movement. “Underground railways” providing
rescue and freedom, or at least safety, – such as existed for slaves
escaping the plantations of the American south or for some Jews trapped
in Nazi Europe – need to be developed in the twenty first century for
those trapped in persecution or poverty or who wish to otherwise migrate
for reasons of their choice.

No deportation or intimidation of trade union activists through

The potential for immigration controls to be divisive and undermine
workers unity is almost infinite.

Controls can be used to create disunity by intimidating trade union
activists who have not got a secure immigration status. There have been
several examples of trade unions actively fighting to defend members
against such threats.

- - - - - - - - -
It is also now a legitimate trade union practice to support members
under threat of deportation. For instance UNISON, and its forerunner
NALGO, has consistently and actively campaigned against the deportation
of its members since it successfully fought in the early 1980’s the
threatened deportation of Mohammed Idrish, a worker from Birmingham. In
the mid 1980s UCATT, the building workers union, organised a lunch-time
walk out from Manchester town hall as part of the victorious defence of
one of its members, George Roucou, who was employed by the council’s
direct works and was under threat of deportation. The National Union of
Journalists is presently fighting to stop the removal of Mansoor Hassan
– a campaigning writer who has exposed the practice of so-called “honour
killings” in Pakistan.
- - - - - - - - -

In some ways times have moved on. The militancy of the undocumented
community both in the workplace and on the streets, both against working
conditions and against deportations, has forced the TUC to acknowledge
there are real issues here.

- - - - - - - - -
The TUC pamphlet, Migrant Workers a TUC Guide makes it clear that “trade
unions have a role to play in assisting migrant workers who have been
subject to negative decisions by the immigration authorities”.
- - - - - - - - -

Likewise this TUC pamphlet expresses support for campaigns against
deportations – and it provides examples of the attempt to deport people
who happen to be trade unionists and examples of trade union support
against their deportation. For instance:

- - - - - - - - -
“RC was one of the many migrant domestic workers who joined the TGWU
through its involvement with the migrants’ organisation Kalayaan. In
1998 she was detained and was about to be deported when the union found
out. It was able to make immediate representations to the government,
reminding it that at the very time it was in the process of announcing
that it was going to regularise the position of migrant workers like
her. The union’s intervention was successful and she was allowed to
- - - - - - - - -

However none of these threatened deportations described above were a
response to trade union activity as such. Nonetheless as long ago as the
Alien Restriction Act of 1919 it was made a criminal offence for a
non-British citizen to “promote or attempt to promote industrial unrest
in any industry in which he has not been bona fide engaged for at least
two years”. Conviction of such an offence could lead to a recommendation
of deportation by the court. This provision is now another piece of the
forgotten and hidden history of immigration control. It was aimed at
both trade unionists and Communists and was enacted in the middle of the
anti-communist hysteria following the Russian revolution. Once again
Jewish workers were its main and intended victims. It was successful in
weakening trade union organisation.

On the one hand there were actual deportations of trade union militants.
The Stepney Trades Council Annual Report for 1919/1 920 records that:
“The government policy to crush Trades Union and Labour organisations of
the alien population by means of the Alien Restriction Order and the
action of the government in arresting and deporting Trade Union
officials where no case can be made, has been a matter of grave concern
to this Council. The organisation of alien workers has not been an easy
task and the position of every trade unionist was threatened by the
government policy which made it a criminal offence for an alien to take
part in the industrial movement”.

On the other hand the very existence of this legislation served to
intimidate some Jewish workers from trade union activity. In a
parliamentary debate of October 22nd 1919 Colonel Wedgewood, an
opponent of this law, said: “I understand that there are numerous
officials of Jewish trade unions in the East End, most of which unions
are affiliated with the local trade and labour councils, and the
officials are already resigning from their posts as secretaries and
from the trade and labour councils because they are afraid that, by
being on the trades and labour councils, they may involve themselves on
a charge of promoting or attempting to promote industrial unrest”.

Trade union activists today

This power to prosecute and deport for promoting industrial unrest is
still law. It has never been repealed, though it apparently has not been
used since the 1920s. However under the 1971 immigration Act the Home
Secretary can initiate deportation procedures on so-called “conducive to
public good” grounds. This provision can potentially be used against
trade union militants and on at least one occasion has been so used.

- - - - - - - - -
In 1974 Franco Caprino, an Italian worker in the catering industry, was
arrested and threatened with deportation on the grounds that his
presence in the UK was not conducive to the public good. He had been
active in unionising migrant workers in the catering trade –
particularly those coming from the underdeveloped areas of Southern
Europe. A successful campaign against deportation was fought by the
Franco Caprino Support Committee and with the support of Franco’s union,
the Transport and General Workers Union.
- - - - - - - - -

Unionise the undocumented
– rethink the unionisation of immigration officials!

Unity is strength. At the moment many undocumented workers are isolated,
atom ised and vulnerable – vulnerable to deportation as well as
exploitation by rogue employers. This vulnerability could be broken down
through trade union organisation. Trade unions should embark on a
deliberate policy of recruitment of the undocumented. This must include
the active recruitment of those without immigration status. Unions
should cooperate between themselves in this membership drive and not
enter into competition for recruits – a
competition which could further divide undocumented workers. And those
workers without full or any immigration status must be given full union
membership not (as in some unions) just associate or second class
membership. Unions must reject in every sphere the whole divisive
distinction between “legal” and “illegal”. They must fight for the
regularisation of status of all they recruit – as part of a policy of
support for everyone, union members or not, under threat of deportation
and as part of a policy of opposition to controls in principle.

The flip side to this is the present unionisation of immigration
officers. Many immigration officers are in their own scab outfit, the
Immigration Service Union, which is not affiliated to the TUC. The ISU
is essentially an in-house union which operates as a wing of the Home
Office itself – as such it is an enemy of the undocumented and should be
treated as such.

However other officers are organised in the immigration branch of PCSU
–the Public and Commercial Service Union. PCSU is a legitimate, mass
union affiliated to the TUC. This obviously raises a fundamental
question of principle – should a union be organising people whose
function is to harass, detain and deport the undocumented? There could
arise, there may have arisen, a situation where one PCSU member is
deporting another PCSU member. The PCSU normalizes immigration controls
by regarding workers within the immigration service as “ordinary”
employees undertaking ordinary employment. This is made clear in the
November 2003 edition of the union’s Journal. The General Secretary,
whilst condemning “prejudice” against asylum-seekers, compliments union
members in the immigration service as undertaking a “professional job”
to which the PCSU “has given and will continue to give 100% support”.
The December 2005 issue of its journal attacked those clauses in the
then Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill which allow private
companies to search vehicles at sea and air ports for people without the
“correct” immigration documents. However this was not based on any
principled objection to controls. It was not based on solidarity with
the undocumented. Rather it was based on the protection of members’ jobs
– members who “prevent illegal people and materials entering the country
by searching vehicles quickly and professionally”.

The PCSU Immigration Staff Branch does not view its main, or any
purpose, as representing a challenge to controls. Its main concerns are
the everyday conditions of its members. In expressing these concerns,
the PCSU inevitably legitimizes the politically illegitimate. In its
written evidence to the 2002 House of Commons Home Affairs Committee
report on Asylum Removals, it expresses “discontent with the system for
removing failed asylum-seekers”, but it does this not from the
perspective of the refugee but rather “on the basis of improving the
working conditions of members of the union”. It offers no principled
objection to controls or their implementation; rather it criticizes the
Home Office’s “business plan” and “the setting of unrealistic targets”.
The latter term refers to the forced and potentially violent removal of
human beings. In November 2005 the PCSU virtually acted as a scab outfit
in respect to a protest in Glasgow by asylum-seekers and their
supporters who protested outside and inside NASS offices in Glasgow. The
union condemned this as being antagonistic to the “health and safety” of
its members. There was no consideration given to the health and safety
of those undocumented who exist without welfare and in a state of
destitution before facing detention and deportation. There was no
consideration given to joint actions of solidarity with the asylum

What position should be taken on this? What should be done? In many ways
the problem here is similar to the problem of unionisation of workers in
industries which progressive wings of the labour movement opposes – such
as arms manufacture. Without immigration controls the work of
immigration officers would not exist. There is an obvious conflict here
between job security and fighting racism. However unions which claim
opposition to racism cannot simply ignore this contradiction. One way
forward would be to refuse to unionise, and to refuse to give labour
movement recognition to the unionisation of, immigration officers and
all other workers within the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of
the Home Office. This would be one possible principled position. The
problem however is that because of internal controls and in particular
the link between immigration status and welfare entitlement then it
could be said “we are all immigration officers now”. Members of other
unions – for example UNISON, the local government union - are at present
continually collusive with controls.

Indeed it is a measure of the far-reaching nature of controls that
non-unionisation of those enforcing them directly or indirectly would
lead to a decimation of trade union membership.

So another suggested better way forward is that all members of all
unions (such is the expansive nature of controls) should be recruited on
the basis that their union is in support of non co-operation with all
aspects of control and will guarantee to provide full union defence,
legal and political, of all members victimised for non co-operation. Of
course from the reality of today’s politics this might seem fantastic –
but today’s trade union politics is that there can be “fair” controls
and this is what is really fantastic.

For full civic rights!
For the right to vote!

The racism of internal control goes beyond the factory floor. It goes
beyond linking welfare entitlements to immigration status. It extends
into the most fundamental of democratic rights – the right to vote. The
basic rule is that only people with a British (or Irish) nationality
have the right to vote in the UK – for parliamentary, local and European
elections. Commonwealth citizens have the right to vote but can only
vote in local elections if they have permanent stay here. European Union
citizens are permitted to vote only in local and European elections.
Everyone else is voteless. So even if voting could change matters, the
undocumented are undemocratically excluded from the system. They share
this exclusion with convicted prisoners and certain people judged
mentally unfit – all constitute an unholy trinity in the eyes of the
British state.

:: Part three
   A proposed model trade union
   resolution and action programme
   against controls

(A) This trade union organisation;

(1) NOTES the existence of immigration control legislation which deports
individuals, divides families and prevents the entry of asylum-seekers.

(2) CONDEMNS this legislation as racist.

(3) CONSIDERS all immigration controls to be intrinsically and
inevitably racist. Immigration laws were introduced in this country in
1905 in order to keep out. Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe. These
laws were then used to exclude the victims of Nazism. In the second half
of the century controls targeted black people. They now target all the
undocumented – in particular, but not only, migrants (those coming to
work), immigrants (those coming for settlement) and refugees.

(4) OBSERVES immigration law is unique. It is a result of fascistic
agitation. The 1905 Act was the result of activity by the proto-fascist
British Brothers League. The post-war legislation followed the 1958
Notting Hill “race riots” provoked by Oswald Mosley’s fascists.
“Non-racist” or “fair” immigration controls are impossible.

(5) REGARDS immigration controls as divisive of trade union and labour
organisation by splitting workers into “legal” and “illegal” and
“British” and “foreign”

(6) WELCOMES the self-organisation of all those threatened by
immigration controls

(7) VIEWS employer sanctions as the most divisive form of immigration
control. They turn the bosses into agents of immigration control in the
workplace – by criminalising the employment of undocumented labour.

(8) OPPOSES the linking of entitlements (including the right to vote) to
immigration status along with the establishment of the National Asylum
Support Service and its administering of a new
poor law for asylum seekers. The latter exists outside the welfare
state with the help of local authorities which collaborate with the
forced dispersal scheme.

(9) IS CONCERNED trade unionists are used to enforce both immigration
controls and internal immigration controls – e.g. in hospitals, benefit
agencies and local authority housing departments where entitlements are
linked to immigration status.

(10) IS APPALLED BY the forced trafficking of human being. We support
the right of people to freely come to the UK by any means necessary and
we support the right to remain of those trafficked.

(B) This trade union organisation

RESOLVES to contest all immigration controls and internal controls and
(1) Actively embark on a recruitment drive of all workers irrespective
of their immigration status

(2) Fight for the right to work and for equality of conditions and pay
at not below minimum wage levels for all workers irrespective of
immigration status – and an end to both compulsory labour and also to
all links between employment opportunity and nationality status.

(3) Support all members or non-members threatened by immigration
controls or refused welfare entitlements because of their immigration

(4) Defend all members who refuse to implement immigration or internal

(5) Encourage the self-organisation of those threatened by controls

(6) Support all campaigns against deportation or detention and
fight for the right to come & stay (regularisation) of everyone.

(7) Support campaigns for the restoration of entitlements for all
irrespective of status.

(8) Oppose employer sanctions.

(9) Oppose any attempt by the Immigration Service to enter the
workplace in order to arrest, detain and deport workers.

(10) Campaign for the right to vote in all elections for everyone
living in the UK irrespective of immigration status

CALLS UPON the TUC and this union regionally/nationally to adopt the

Campaigns against deportations, detentions, lack of adequate or any
welfare – these are now part of the everyday struggles of refugees and
all others threatened by immigration controls. As a result the issue of
immigration control is now a live one within the trade union and wider
labour movement.

Support for anti-deportation campaigns and passing resolutions against
aspects of control are now correctly seen as legitimate trade union
activity. Some unions, such as NAFTHE (teachers in higher education),
have adopted policies which are in effect against controls in principle.

The aims of the present pamphlet are four-fold. First to show that there
cannot be such an animal as fair or just, or benign or reasonable or
non-racist controls. All controls are by their nature oppressive and
racist. Second it is to show that immigration controls effect trade
unions and trade unionists in the workplace. There are a whole series of
issues which hitherto have largely gone unaddressed by both campaigners
against controls and by trade unions but which are detrimental to all
workers. Trade union resolutions and activities need to get beyond
generalities and address these. Third we highlight examples of good
trade union practice. Fourth we present a model trade union resolution.
Altogether this amounts to a trade union programme of opposition to

No One Is Illegal is an organisation of people who have been fighting
immigration controls for many years. By definition immigration controls
are global and we have links internationally with other organisations of
the undocumented. We thought it important, and continue to think it
important, to highlight why controls need to be opposed in their
totality. With this aim we have already produced a Manifesto against
controls. This and our other literature and activity can be found on our
web site.

Contact details;
c/o Bolton Socialist Club, 16, Wood Street, Bolton, BL1 1DY Web:
Email: info at noii.org.uk

This trade union programme is being distributed without charge (or by
voluntary donation). However No One Is Illegal is only able to produce
material because of the donations we receive. If you or your
organisation wish to make a donation please send a cheque payable to “No
One Is Illegal” to the address below.
This pamphlet has been sponsored by various trade union bodies. We
welcome further sponsorship for our activities – in particular for a
planned conference for trade unionists on the issues raised in the
Where possible we would be happy to provide a speaker for your branch.
Our web site is www.noii.org.uk. Our email is info at noii.org.uk Our
address is No One Is Illegal c/o Bolton Socialist Club, 16 Wood St,
Bolton BL1 1 DY.
Cover photograph is by Jaggi Singh. It is taken from the
No One Is Illegal/World Without Borders June 2005 march in Canada from
Montreal to Ottawa
Pamphlet published May Day 2006

[F] 'TUFR, May 1 boycott, One step forward – two steps back'
     28 Apr 06 - 3 items

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>>>> 'TUFR, May 1 boycott, One step forward – two steps back'

:: May 1 immigrant boycott aims to "close" U.S. cities

Pro-immigration activists say a national boycott and marches planned for
May 1 will flood America's streets with millions of Latinos to demand
amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it
debates reform.

Such a massive turnout could make for the largest protests since the
civil rights era of the 1960s, though not all Latinos were comfortable
with such militancy, fearing a backlash in Middle America.

"There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles
alone. We're going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson,
Phoenix, Fresno," said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped
organise earlier rallies credited with rattling Congress as it weighs
the issue.


:: Australia: One step forward – two steps back

Amnesty International calls for an immediate halt to proposed
legislation to punish asylum seekers arriving by boat

:: May Day March in Manchester

sea of red flags will flutter to the sound of Samba drums in the
streets of Manchester on Monday as trade unions and other labour
organisations celebrate international workers' day.

To ensure that this year's May Day has a truly global feel, the march
and rally are being organised by TUFR (Trades Unions for Refugees).
Asylum seekers, refugees and their supporters will be marching alongside
trade unionists from Manchester and other North West towns and cities.

The march, which is supported by Manchester Trades Union Council, starts
at 12 noon from All Saints' Park in Oxford Road and will be led by 10
drummers from the Rhythms of Resistance Samba Band.

It will finish with a rally in Albert Square where speakers  include the
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Azfal Khan, trades unionists, and
organisations representing refugees and asylum seekers.

Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists, and
Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades' Union, are both
backing the march and rally and will send messages of support.

Bob Pounder, secretary of Trades Unions for Refugees and a member of the
National Union of Journalists, says:

'May Day is international workers' day and we thought it was important
to include those workers who have been forced to flee their own
countries and seek asylum in Britain.  We wanted to show solidarity with

'Trades Unions for Refugees has been set up by workers in Manchester and
we hope it will eventually grow into a strong national organisation.'

For more information, please ring

Bob Pounder  078375 58036

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