A group of us are trying to get together a letter to the editor about the ‘Go Home’ van and other racist and divisive Home Office initiatives. If you’d like to sign this letter, please email me directly. Feel free to forward.
We are writing to express our concern about recent intiatives taken by the Government against illegal immigration. The most recent of these include the ‘Go Home’ van campaign, which echoes the National Front graffiti slogans in the 1970s, and the immigration raids on tube stations in poor, mixed urban areas, which according to Doreen Lawrence and eyewitness accounts have involved racial profiling. Proposals to require tourists from six Asian and African countries to pay a £3000 bond; to charge non-EU migrants for healthcare; and to require private landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants also open the door to a great deal of discrimination and abuse. These initiatives, combined with their promotion through inflammatory language on Twitter, represent an increasing politicisation of Home Office policy, where fears about immigration are exploited for a hoped-for electoral gain, whilst creating a climate of fear for migrants and people of colour.
We condemn and demand the withdrawal of these ill –thought-out and reactionary initiatives. We believe that they incite racism and intolerance within our communities and reverse the progress that has been made by previous generations. It is with great urgency that we ask the government to review its approach to immigration policy so that it might sustain and foster equality and halt the spreading of hatred and violence. We also call on others to join us in this condemnation of current government policy.
Kirsten Forkert, Birmingham City University
Gurminder K Bhambra, University of Warwick
Ben Gidley, University of Oxford
Yasmin Gunarathnam, Goldsmiths, University of London
Rita Chadha, Refugee and Migrant Forum East London
Chitra Nagarajan, Black Feminists
Hannah Jones, Open University
Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of East London
Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Goldsmiths, University of London
Emma Jackson, University of Glasgow
Steve Garner, Open University