The Socialist 9 January 2019 |
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Javid's migrant 'emergency' caused by austerity and capitalism
Fight for jobs, homes and services for all
Refugees risk their lives at sea photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Lawanya Ramajeyam, Refugee Rights campaign
Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared the rising numbers of migrants attempting to cross the Channel in small boats an "emergency" over Christmas. He held a conference call with officials from the Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, and National Crime Agency.
When he took the job, Javid said he would change the Tories' "hostile environment" immigration policy. He is from an Asian background, but he is a big business politician - so he hasn't changed the Tories' policies.
Many migrants and asylum seekers have been completely scarred by their experiences. Many are not even keen to seek asylum in a country where we have been treated so poorly. But what choice do we have?
Worldwide, over 65 million people had been displaced from their homes due to conflict and persecution. This figure has continued to rise alongside war, poverty, and repressive regimes. Globally, we are experiencing a huge refugee crisis.
But refugees are not the source of the problem. In many cases, we are victims of the imperialist foreign policies of governments that put the interests of their capitalist class ahead of the lives of ordinary people. Yet governments across the globe treat refugees like criminals!
Austerity in Europe is worsening the already insufficient jobs, homes and services capitalism provides. It's the profit system which is responsible for taking these things from workers in Britain, not refugees.
In fact, cuts are in turn intensifying the refugee crisis, making it impossible for refugees to have decent living standards in the countries we are fleeing to, even if we survive an often-dangerous journey.
Capitalist governments, including the UK, deny refugees basic rights such as the right to work. They put us in special prisons called 'detention centres', despite our having committed no crime.
This government says that if you seek asylum, it will give you a house or a flat, weekly money, food, clothes and toiletries. But that's only on the website.
The truth is they cut all the ways for refugees to survive and contribute in most cases. Even so, the establishment politicians and media try to use this to say refugees get handouts while workers already here get nothing.
We demand the right to work for all. We need to be part of society, not out of society. We want all workers and refugees to be treated with respect and dignity.
Refugee Rights is such a campaign. In Britain, young Tamil refugees who face the brutality of this system got together and organised ourselves.
We are already beginning to gain attention and support from trade unions, anti-racist campaigners and socialists.
We fight for jobs, homes and services for all - not trying to play one section of the working class against another to enrich the bosses.