The Immigration Charter is a result of extensive discussions and deliberations amongst migrant and refugee communities, with input from campaigners, politicians, case workers, volunteers, and many others who support people affected by harsh immigration policies.
The idea for creating a document that set out shared demands for comprehensive immigration reform emerged during a Migrants Organise strategy session in Manchester, convened in June 2018. Discussions amongst members working on local campaigns across Britain revealed an interdependence of issues and principles, and the need for a movement combining individual national campaigns and local initiatives. It was concluded that this movement be established within a framework of values and specific policy demands that addressed the unprecedented build up of exclusion and injustice towards migrants unashamedly named the ‘Hostile Environment’.
The Charter provides a perspective based on the structures of racism and colonialism experienced by migrants and refugees coming to Britain. It seeks to advance an informed and contextualised understanding of how and why hostile policies were created, and, therefore, how they can be overturned. Effective resistance and action depends on an understanding of the history and pervasiveness of the current structures and discourse in order that appropriate, collective responses can be formulated.
We aim to reshape the public debate away from an obsession with migrants as dehumanised and racialised subjects who arrive to the UK in burdensome numbers, and towards an understanding of the damage caused by current Government policies. We seek to end the normalisation of hostility and conceive a better world based on principles of dignity, justice, welcome and action.
The demands in the Charter are the basic rights well established by international law, the UN Migration Compact and other key documents to which the UK Government is already a signatory.
A number of the most egregious ‘hostile environment’ policies were introduced very recently and previously never existed in Britain. The British Government’s current approach to migration is brutal and extreme in its treatment of migrants and refugees, with no moral, legal, economic or practical justification for these policies. There is nothing utopian or radical in ensuring that these dangerous policies are reversed, and their structural causes immediately addressed.
Migration cannot be separated from the injustices that cause people to move, or from the policies that inhibit their free movement. Therefore, discussing migration necessitates a more inclusive discussion on the impact of the rise of fascist politics, structural racism, austerity, the climate emergency, as well as the struggle against imperialism and colonialism.
The Charter features concerns and demands brought to the discussion by migrant communities, including demands for both domestic policies as well as the promotion of self-determination, fundamental human rights and the free movement of people.
The Charter features concerns and demands brought to the discussion by migrant communities, including demands both for just domestic policies as well as the ….
You can sign the Charter and join our mailing list so that we can keep you posted about actions, news, developments and campaigns that are planned around the country.
You can spread the word and share the Charter and ask your friends and people in your networks to join in and sign the Charter.
You can get in touch and we can connect you with people already organising near you.
For additional information about issues in the FIRM Charter check out the following organisations, campaigns and reports:
Asylum Matters – Campaign for the rights of people seeking asylum and refugees
3 million – EU Citizens rights campaign
BritCits – Campaign for families separated by visa requirements
Detention Forum – network of organisations against immigration detention
Docs Not Cops – NHS professionals and patients’ Campaign to protect NHS
Families Together – Coalition for expansion of the UK’s refugee family reunion rules
Free Movement – legal information website founded by barrister Colin Yeo
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) – 12 Steps to Fairer Immigration
Liberty – A Guide to the Hostile Environment Report
Migrant Voice – My Future Back Campaign for International Students’ Rights
Migrants In Culture – Report on the impact of the Hostile Environment
Migrants Organise – MPs Not Border Guards Campaign
Patients Not Passports – A toolkit for people facing charges for NHS care
Promote the Migrant Vote – Voter Registration Campaign
Right to Remain – Campaign against deportation
We Belong – Young People affected by the Hostile Environment report
Normality is a Luxury Report 2019 Let Us Learn/Just For Kids Law