Centre for the Study of Democracy publishes report on Labour's approach to immigration policy

15 May 2018

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In September 2017, the Department of Politics and International Relations Hannah Cross and Don Flynn (former Director of Migrants' Rights Network) hosted the event 'Immigration Policy: What is the Scope for a Radical Approach from Labour?', which is now available as a report.

Read the report here. (PDF) 

The event was intended as a forum for discussion about the ways in which Labour can inject new ideas into the public conversation about immigration.

Themed panels assessed the scope for radical thinking on immigration policy; the dilemmas that these pose for the Labour Party; and the key issues that will form the basis for progressive policies.

Contributors included:

  • Robin Cohen – Emeritus Professor, former director of International Migration Institute, University of OxfordGracie Mae Bradley – Policy Officer, Liberty
  • Richard Seymour – Journalist and blogger, author of Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
  • Benjamin Morgan - North East London Migrant Action
  • Owen Espley - War on Want
  • Eiri Ohtani - Detention Forum
  • Hugh Lanning - Former Deputy General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
  • Laura Stringhetti - One Day Without Us

Don Flynn in his concluding comments, noted that:

"Those of us concerned with immigration issues have been used to dealing with crises of many sorts on a day-to-day basis, with immediate responses needed to provide people with legal representation, welfare support, and protection from the exploitative conditions that many migrants experience today. The work done to provide this is impressive, but the energy consumed tends to inhibit thinking and planning for the medium and longer term.

Perhaps the main message that needs to come out of our discussion this evening is the need to build capacity for projects that anticipate the even bigger crises that are just beyond the horizon, and which will come to fruition as right wing, pro-market capitalism builds its momentum for life in a post-Brexit Britain. If the left wing oppositional forces which have emerged in recent times are to increase their influence during these turbulent times, the question of immigration will need to have been addressed and the argument that has plagued the working class movement over the course of 50 years – that migrants are responsible for the hardships which exist in modern-day Britain – will have to have been totally refuted and the conditions set for comprehensive solidarity between migrants and citizens."

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