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Labour Conference ’19 Labour members vote to close all immigration detention centres

The new policies also ensure the unconditional right to family reunion, extend free movement and voting rights for British residents

LABOUR delegates have unanimously approved a policy motion calling for the closure of all detention centres, ensuring the unconditional right to family reunion, extension of free movement and an equal right to vote for all British residents.

On the final day of conference today, Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle of Camberwell & Peckham Constituency Labour Party moved the motion on immigration, rejecting the Tories’ cruel legislation, and called for an end to the indefinite detention of migrants.

She told the hall that “murderers get told how many years they get in prison: detainees do not.

“My constituents are terrified of the Tory immigration policies, they are terrified to be locked up indefinitely in cages in what the government call detention centres.

“These decisions to detain are made on the colour of their skin and passports,” Ms Dixon-Fyle said.

There are 10 immigration removal centres in Britain holding thousands of people for indefinite periods.

The conference decision came a day after private security firm G4S announced it would no longer run Brook House removal centre near Gatwick, the subject of a shocking Panorama exposé, after making more than £14 million profit from it over six years.

There should be “no ambiguity, no ambivalence” in Labour pledging to end the “scapegoating and attack on rights for migrants,” Ms Dixon-Fyle said.

She described the Windrush scandal, which saw Commonwealth-born Britons wrongly detained, denied legal rights and medical care and deported, as a “a scar on the conscience of this country.”

Vijay Jackson of Edinburgh Central CLP praised working-class migrants such as cleaners, taxi drivers and delivery workers, explaining that they were “on the cutting edge of the trade union movement.”

He said: “Migrants are striking — and raising your wages … We will not rest until there is full equality and until we send the hostile environment to the graveyard of history.”

The Labour For Free Movement campaign said: “Today we made history. Let it be the moment the labour movement launched its fight back against xenophobia  and came out fighting tooth and nail for migrants’ rights.”

Tuesday’s motion on housing and homelessness, which includes the demand that a Labour government builds an additional three million social rent homes over the next 20 years, was also passed unanimously today.

The vote had been postponed to allow Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to bring forward his closing conference speech following yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament.


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