Defy ID cards: No One is Illegal
Thursday, November 20, 2008
On 25th November, the government will begin introducing ID cards for non-EU nationals living in the UK. We invite all opponents of social control to join us at a protest in Liverpool outside Reliance House (the Border Agency’s offices and a short-term immigration prison) at 12 noon on that day. Reliance House is one of the six centres in the UK for ID cards processing. Other groups campaigning against ID cards on that day are Manchester NO2ID and Liverpool Defy ID and we hope to see Merseyside No Borders activists there as well.
We will travel there as a group, meet at 9am on the steps of the Student Union of Manchester University, Oxford Road. We will try to get everyone into minibuses leaving from there or take the train together from Oxford Road station (£6.20 return with railcard) if there are too many of us.
In Liverpool, assemble in Exchange Flats at 11am and then move around the corner to Reliance House, 20 Water Street, L2 8XU, for the protest from noon to 1pm.
The six Border Agency centres that have been setup to take fingerprints and photographs are Croydon, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow. From the 25th in Croydon, and then rolled out to the other centres over the coming weeks, overseas students and non-EU spouses of UK residents who apply for an extension of their stay in the UK are required to attend one of the fingerprinting centres and have their biometric data registered with the Home Office.
Due to delays, some foreign students are already told not to make travel plans for the near future. Failure to comply could mean the revoking of the permission to stay in the UK, and non-attendance at the centres could lead to fines of up to £1,000. Lecturers will be required to aid the Home Office in identifying foreign students with low attendance rates. Those students would then lose the right to study in the UK.
The law used is the 2007 UK Borders Act, whereas ID cards will be rolled out to UK citizens as part of the 2006 ID Cards Act. The attack on foreigners living or wanting to live in the UK is part of the Home Office’s ‘points-based system’, whereby migrants wanting to settle, study or work in the UK have to earn enough ‘points’ to be granted the right. The rationale is purely economic, in that it allows the government to select foreign workers and students who it deems useful to the economy.
The issue of ID cards is thus an inherently political one. It is no coincidence that ID cards will be rolled out to non-EU nationals first. This is another mechanism for the control and management of undocumented migrants, further reinforcing the division between legal and ‘illegal’ residence status. Whilst we reject ID cards entirely, on 25th November we aim to highlight the links between ID cards and migration management in particular.
No Borders! No Nations!
No One is Illegal
Posted byManchester No Borders at 7:58 AM