amnesty for some, or papers for all?

At yesterday’s Hands Off My Workmate conference a speaker from London Citizens argued for a limited and conditional amnesty for some unregularised migrants as the only ‘pragmatic’ means of helping them settle in Britain. Similar arguments were made at a May 4th demonstration organised by London Citizens, and here we present a translation of a text distributed at that event by the Coordinadora Latinoamericana.

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In a political context, the expression ‘amnesty’ means a general ‘pardon’, turning the page and forgetting the past. In the immigration context this means a ‘grace’ which certain states eventually give to allow certain immigrants meeting given conditions to be able to be regularised. In our view, the idea of amnesty must have the widest possible meaning and cover and benefit all immigrants. In other words, amnesty must mean papers for all. Continue reading “amnesty for some, or papers for all?”

report on ‘strangers into citizens’ demonstration

by David Broder

Today several thousand people marched from Elephant & Castle and Westminster to London’s Trafalgar Square in a demonstration calling for the regularisation of undocumented immigrants.

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The organisers of the march, London Citizens, have an extremely conservative stance similar to that of Mayor Boris Johnson, commenting on their website that they have been “calling for the Government to implement a one-off regularisation measure that would allow refused asylum seekers and visa overstayers who have put down roots in Britain to become legal. Campaigners argue that strict conditions – residence of at least four years followed by a two-year “pathway” period, a clean criminal record, good English, character references, etc. – should be applied.”

However, others on the march argued that immigrants should not only be let stay because of “good behaviour” or because they are hard-working (i.e. making a business case for exploiting migrants) but rather because everyone has a right to settle where they please. Continue reading “report on ‘strangers into citizens’ demonstration”