teej: by <user name=roxicons site=livejournal.com> (susan najarian)
[personal profile] teej
so i noticed something that the politicians and the media are suddenly not talking about post-election while before they couldn't stop talking about it: immigration.

predictably the Conservatives/Liberal Democrats coalition agreements have resulted in the LibDems already sacrificing their pre-election commitment for an amnesty for (some) undocumented migrants. so that clearly wasn't a dealbreaker, or anywhere even near the top priorities for them.

on the absolute about-fucking-time upside the coalition statement does say "We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes" and it is a credit to all the anti-detention campaigners who have been working for this. and now we must hold them to it.

but this is not enough. politicians and the media stirred up and played into anti-immigrant racism in their election campaigns. now they've gone all quiet on the issue. but racism and xenophobia has not  magically gone away.

any hope (if there ever was any) that the government will be involved in challenging anti-immigrant racism has been quashed. back to business as usual it seems. LIbDems have been told to pipe down about the amnesty, and any talk which doesn't centre the need to 'secure borders' or 'implement limits' has been firmly re-established as beyond the pale.

in this climate the campaign to end child detention can be successful (and it must) only because it doesn't actually challenge any of the racist logic which underpins immigration restrictions. instead it reinforces divisions between 'good' and 'bad'  immigrants, deserving and undeserving, innocent victims vs 'illegal' criminals.

and thousands of children, while they may not be detained, will of course still be deported and labelled 'illegal' at the same rate as before. 
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August 2010

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