Housing and Immigration Ministers join forces against working class migrants

housing

On Friday British Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Immigration Minister Damian Green made a joint statement announcing a campaign against ‘rogue landlords’ providing poor quality housing to migrants. Their pretence of concern for migrants’ welfare wears pretty thin as you read the statement, which includes racist overtones of ‘suburban shanty towns’ that it is claimed ‘blight entire neighbourhoods’. The reality is that it is the government’s immigration and housing policies that make migrants vulnerable in the first place, by denying them equal rights to take paid work and access services. In the showcase raids that Shapps and Green joined on Friday, 19 migrant tenants were detained and presumably now face deportation. The new guidance issued to councils includes measures to arrest undocumented migrants (‘tackle linked criminal behaviour’), force them out of their homes and criminalise those who house them. There is no mention of providing decent housing as an alternative, despite the government’s own statement admitting that the only options available to many migrants is ‘to either live in these outbuildings or face living on the streets’. This initiative therefore has nothing whatsoever to do with combating substandard housing conditions – it is an attempt to remove the only alternative many people have to living on the streets, to increase the pressure on working class immigrants to leave Britain. It must be resisted. http://ow.ly/dqdd1

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