In Oxford Town Hall on Thursday evening, human rights group No One Is Illegal (NOII) held a public meeting calling for the abolition of anti-immigration laws and opening the borders of Britain.MP John McDonnell and a range of academics, trade unionists and human rights campaigners called for an end of scapegoating immigrants.
In a press release, NOII stated that “Get-tough anti-immigrant policies have backfired on Britain, by promoting values toxic to public life, and malign business interests, which undermine everybody’s welfare.’
‘The soaring human cost of EU anti-immigrant laws (15,181 deaths since 1993, brutal deportations, destitution and “new slavery” for millions) is an outrage the public is waking up to, and could turn against as dramatically as it did against slavery, apartheid and other fundamental injustices.’
At least 15,181 have died at Europe’s borders since 1993 – when the opening of Oxford’s Campsfield detention centre marked the start of what NOII calls “a bidding war between the main political parties, over who can be toughest on migrants”.
Bob Hughes, a founding member of NOII, described why the organisation launched the ‘open borders’ campaign.”
“This treatment of people has become normalized. People have become blind to the fact that it’s racism.
White immigrants might exceed conditions of their working visas and never turn up in immigrant prisons, for example.”
Henry Evans, an OUCA member commented, “I am in favour of freedom of movement, but not at the expense of Britain’s economy or security, so in practice I think that the state needs to retain control over immigration.”
Lincoln Hill, OULC Chair argued “as an international student I myself am an immigrant, and I see the value of immigration to the UK and others. However, it is still legitimate that states which provide security, macroeconomic management, and the administration of justice have the option to control who comes to live and work within their borders.”