IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

After Windrush, what else can the state do to us now?

04 May, 2018

• THE fact that immigration became an issue in the run-up to the local elections is due to a mixture of government lies and a Home Office cover-up. Immigration is not a problem.

There are more than five million British citizens living in the rest of the EU. The figure for the rest of the world would be about the eight million mark.

Many British people work and live in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the Caribbean. So, let us stop doing what the far-right media does and run around claiming there is a great secret about immigration, and that the public are being experimented on, which is simply a lie.

After two world wars, the British government deliberately recruited people from the Empire to work in Britain, from miners, car-makers, textile workers to doctors, nurses and builders. So do not listen to those in the media who rewrite and whitewash history.

I came across the “Windrush generation” issue three years ago by accident and I was very disturbed by it. British citizens had been deported for no apparent reason.

They get a letter asking them to report to the Home Office and then are told they are undocumented, arrested and forced to sign on every week “as if they were criminals”, as one person so accurately put it. But where is the crime? What had these people done?

In Britain, there are more than 22 million people who do not have a passport and have never applied for one. So, if being without a passport is now a crime, then why does the Home Office not arrest the 22 million without passports? The answer is simple: low-hanging fruit.

It is far easier to pick on a small group and deport people from Africa, India and the Caribbean who have come to Britain or whose parents came here on family passports, a common practice in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. These people are mainly black or dark-skinned and therefore look the part.

Theresa May, home secretary in 2010, decided to have a “hostile illegal immigration policy”. The system of targets that was introduced, and later followed by Amber Rudd, resulted in an abuse of the law.

People who were British citizens were being arrested and then deported without any evidence or even a court hearing. Many were denied jobs, lost homes, were refused medical treatment and even stopped from driving.

The question people need to ask is: “If this can happen to British citizens, under false claims of illegal immigration, what else can the state do to you?” Ms May betrayed British citizens whom she had a responsibility to serve. What we all need to ask is: who is the government really working for – us or themselves?

The lesson, as we have seen by the many promised and forced apologies, is that they were found out, not that they did not know what they were doing. They did know but tried to hide it.

RAPHAEL ANDREWS
British citizen and passport holder

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