A judicial ruling, last month, has forced the Government to suspend its system of fast tracking asylum seekers’ appeals.
This system leaves appellants in asylum cases detained and facing “kangaroo courts”, in a process deemed to be unlawful and ‘structurally unfair’ by the judge.
800 cases are to be reviewed, and 100 asylum seekers recently entered into the fast track detention system are to be released while this goes on. Most of those in the fast track system are to remain in detention because they face imminent deportation.
The use of detained fast track has rapidly increased in recent years, and one in five appeals are heard through this system, which has a 99% rejection rate. Previously, charities have shown that the initial ruling on asylum cases is found wrong on appeal in 26% of cases. For women, this figure rises to 50%.
While the ruling is a positive step, the UK asylum system remains incredibly unjust and punitive — several detention centres are run for-profit and investigations have revealed that reports of sexual abuse and harassment by guards are common, racism is rife; and detainees receive inadequate health care and poor accommodation.
There have been numerous acts of resistance by detainees in response to their poor treatment and conditions, such the hunger strike earlier this year, which spread from Harmondsworth to Morton Hall.
The civil rights group “Movement for Justice by any Means Necessary” have been organising demonstrations outside detention centres — the next one is on the 8 of August at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedford.
Immigration and asylum are fundamentally class issues. Asylum seekers seek refuge from the war, torture and political repression that is instigated by capitalist states and anti-democratic regimes.
Socialists must build solidarity with all migrants and puncture the racist narratives of the elite who seek to turn workers against members of their own class.