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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2020

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

photo Mary Finch

photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Berkay Kartav, North London Socialist Party

Two years after the Windrush scandal, the Home Office has operated a charter flight to Jamaica forcibly deporting Jamaican-born British citizens. Tragically, this will tear many families apart.

Among those deported to Jamaica are people who moved to Britain as children. Even the courts balked at some of the deportations, granting around half a last-minute reprieve.

As well as lying about ending austerity, Johnson's government is stepping up the hostile environment for black and Asian people and migrant workers. This is aimed at distracting from the real causes of the problems all workers face in austerity Britain - the capitalist exploiters and their cuts politicians.

The government is misleadingly portraying these people as 'foreign criminals' in an attempt to justify their outrageous act. In fact, they were brought up here.

The Tories are also hiding the fact that most of these crimes were committed long ago, when they were young adults, for which they have already spent time in prison, and in many cases reformed. In fact, by deporting them, the Tories are punishing them twice for the same crime.

Rashawn Davis, who was eleven years old when he came to live in Britain, was due to be deported for two cases of robbery - eleven years ago.

These deportations are happening against the backdrop of the leaked draft of 'Windrush Lessons Learned', an independent report that suggests the government should stop deportations of all offenders who came to Britain as children. But far from 'learning lessons', the Tory government is propping up the hostile environment.

However, the Tories are not alone in passing racist laws. 'New Labour' under Tony Blair introduced legislation making it more difficult for people fleeing war to claim asylum - and in fact came up with the phrase "hostile environment."

The deportations also pose the question: who sets and controls immigration policies? While many migrant workers are denied access to public services and face deportations, thieving millionaires and billionaires are permitted to buy property and skip citizenship queues.

Understandably, many have placed their hopes on legal challenges against the government. These are important. But we cannot rely solely on court rulings (or 'independent' reviews) to stop deportations, as the departure of the flight showed. These institutions ultimately defend the interests of the capitalist class against all sections of the working class.

Urgent action needs to be taken by trade unions to defend migrant workers and the whole working class. The RMT union, for example, has a proud record of blocking immigration inspectors' access to its migrant members at work.

A united, working-class campaign for jobs, homes and services for all has the power to cut across Tory attempts to whip up racism. This should be combined with demands to replace the bosses' racist immigration laws with democratic working-class control, to stop the bosses and their politicians pursuing their own class interests by dividing the working class.

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In The Socialist 12 February 2020:


Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

Streatham attack: Johnson's bill can't stop terror

Them & Us

What We Heard


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Unnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

NHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire

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Trade unions - new decade, new challenges

Workplace news

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

University strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

East London school strikes against academisation continue

Foreign Office workers' strike

Solidarity with Turkish workers

Lambeth Unison letter

London NSSN meeting

Solidarity with victimised bus rep Moe

Support Clive Walder


How to resist tory attacks on local communities

Cuts councillors are the real problem

Council houses - not private property developers


Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division


Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

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New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

UC stopped without warning


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