People In Movement: The immigration debate

Public Meeting
Saturday 14th November 2009 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Friends’ Meeting House 40 Bull Street Birmingham B4 6AF

Meeting called by: Peace & Progress ~ A party for human rights
Bridget Anderson
Academic and campaigner, author of ‘Doing the Dirty Work? The global politics of domestic labour’ and co-author of ‘Forced Labour and Migration to the UK’
Sue Conlan
Immigration Lawyer, Secretary of Peace & Progress and author of
 ‘Migration, Human Smuggling and Human Rights: a UK perspective’
Frances Webber
Former human rights lawyer, political activist and author of 
‘Asylum: from deterrence to criminalisation’
Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, recently described the offence which led to a £5000 fine for employing an ‘illegal immigrant’ as a "technical fault", like failing to pay the congestion charge.  But police and immigration officials broke down the door of her former cleaner’s house and the cleaner has subsequently been arrested and detained.
Across the UK small businesses, mostly in minority ethnic communities, are being raided, workers arrested and employers fined up to £10,000 for every worker they employ without proper papers.  Meanwhile the Home Office is refusing to follow a High Court judgment about the right of asylum seekers to work.  At the same time, the payment to asylum seekers forced to rely on state payments has been significantly reduced to an amount that is half the level of subsistence benefits.
Under the Australian-styled ‘points-based’ system, universities and employers are forced to become quasi-immigration immigration officials, reporting students or employees who fail to attend classes or the work place.
The English Defence League is turning some of British cities with well-established migrant and black communities into battlegrounds on the pretence of opposing ‘Islamic fundamentalism’.  The tabloids, particularly the Daily Mail, continue to use scare tactics to suggest that Britain is a soft touch.
Immigration is set to be at the heart of the General Election but there is little in the political arena to contribute to the debate and counter the lies and propaganda of the Home Office, the BNP, the media and even the mainstream political parties.
Peace & Progress has organised a meeting to inform the debate and to look for ways to campaign on asylum and immigration in the forthcoming election.
You are invited to attend, to listen, learn, contribute and to become part of a movement that puts the ‘immigration debate’ in a human rights perspective.

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