Migration

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers face a sustained campaign of vilification from all the main political parties, cheered on by the right-wing media’s scare stories. Labour and the Tories have reacted to the rise of UKIP by competing with each other over their anti-immigration rhetoric.

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers have had their rights to benefits, housing, health, work, and legal representation removed or restricted. They face raids at home, in places of employment, at cafes and social events. An ever-widening number of professionals are expected to act as ‘immigration spies’, legally obliged to check the immigration status of their clients.

Many such professionals refuse to act as proxy immigration officers and some have set up organisations like Docs Not Cops and Patients Not Passports. We support 100% such initiatives and campaign to make the trade unions defend their members who refuse and encourage such refusal. Defiance Not Compliance!

A strong pro-migrant voice

Like on so many other issues there is simply no pro-migration, anti-racist voice in party politics shaping the agenda. Left Unity wants to be that voice: we completely reject all anti-immigration arguments and rhetoric.

Capitalism does not provide jobs for all those able and willing to work. This has nothing to do with immigration but is entirely based on the ‘artificial scarcity’ capitalism creates when there are more people looking for work than can be profitably employed. Shortages of housing and public services are also not migrants’ fault: they should be solved by investment in those services.

We believe mass migration has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on society. It brings experiences of global struggles, opens up new and exciting avenues for cultural and artistic change and helps break down racist myths and stereotypes.

We recognise and respect the extraordinary sacrifices that people have made and continue to make to come to Britain, and we unreservedly defend their right to stay, to bring their families, and to build a new life for themselves.

Defend freedom of movement

We believe that it is in the interests of the working class as a whole, migrant and non-migrant, in Britain and internationally, to have equal rights to move across borders. We defend freedom of movement, including the existing EU rights on this issue.

Immigration controls divide and weaken the working class and are therefore against the interests of all workers.

In Britain we enjoy freedoms to move and work overseas that should not be denied to others. Meanwhile the global super-rich enjoy near total freedom of movement across the world’s borders that is denied to the poor and marginalised. The current large-scale movement of people is caused by war, poverty and environmental disasters.

We are opposed to all laws which make people illegal because of who they are, where they or their parents were born, the colour of their skin or what language they speak. So, there can be no ‘fair’ or ‘non-racist’ immigration controls. The Government pretends that their proposed Points System is meritocratic but what it does is put an extra test of suitability to the needs of capital on top of a structure which is inherently racist and discriminatory. Existing ‘illegal’ immigrants should be given leave to remain, to stay, work and pay taxes so they can contribute to the economy. We oppose deportations and welcome people fleeing war and poverty.

Close down all immigration detention centres like Yarl’s Wood and Harmondsworth. We are for the prosecution of all immigration or security officers involved in physical and sexual assaults on those detained or the murder of deportees.

Read the full policy this part of the manifesto is based on.


Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.

About Left Unity   Read our manifesto

Left Unity is a member of the European Left Party.

Read the European Left Manifesto  

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