The Border Force state

Submitted by martin on 26 August, 2020 - 10:29 Author: Luke Hardy
Border Force

We increasingly live in a "Border Force State". Over the last 25 years the powers, jurisdiction, importance and prestige of what's now called the UK Border Force has grown massively. It has also become much more militarised.

Beyond that, the policing of migrants is becoming an increasing part of the roles of the police, schools, universities, NHS and armed forces. 

This tendency was shown in the most crude way when Priti Patel talked of using the Navy to police the Channel for migrants. However, in a much more subtle way, through NHS charging for instance, the role of border cop is being grafted to others. 

In public policy terms and political debate, the "immigration" question has been central driver of much of political debate, and has justified a more authoritarian, racist and coercive state. Especially towards the most marginalised communities, who are targeted for sweeps and harassment. 

Bosses scare their employees into line and have been known to break union organisation by using UK Border Force sweeps  

A vast industry has built up on the back of these "Border Force" operation. From new tech, to outsourced removal centres, and to the new consultants in this field. 

In the US we saw militarised Border Force people used as a personal army of Donald Trump to crush Black Lives Matter protests. 

In Britain we are not close to that, but the UK Border Force is one of the least transparent, accountable or scrutinised parts of the state apparatus. Unlike police forces, it's under the direct control of the Home Secretary. 

For socialists the dismantling of borders isn't just a moral or theoretical imperative. It's about pushing back against the growing coercive power of the ruling class ranged against our class.

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