“border control can no longer be a fixed line on a map”
From Tuesday non-Europeans applying for, or renewing visas for study or marriage, will be required to attend a UK Border Agency centre. There they will be interrogated, fingerprinted, have their details stored on a database, and will be presented with a biometric ID Card. This is the first step in a wider strategy of internalising border controls so we all have to carry cards.
On Tuesday 25th November at 12 noon No Borders South Wales will be holding a protest against the introduction of ID cards at the UKBA centre at 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff. We will be distributing this leaflet and demonstrating that it is only through solidarity with the first people to be ‘registered’ that we can hope to oppose this scheme. There will be simultaneous protests happening at other UKBA centres around the country.
At the centre in Birmingham and in towns and cities where there isn’t a UKBA centre, groups and individuals will be taking to the streets to spread the word. If you can make it to any of the above protests, please do. You can download these posters (print out and stick to some card to make a placard) to display.
In targetting a largely voiceless group, with plenty to lose by not complying, the government is following a familiar path for repressive regimes throughout history. Immigration law already gives the Home Office powers it would like to exert over everybody. Under a cloud of anti-immigration hysteria the government is increasing it’s social control and attempting to usher in unprecedented powers of surveillance over the whole population.
Earlier this week the Scottish Parliament voted against ID cards, stating the scheme would not increase security or deter crime, while raising concerns about civil liberties. The Welsh Assembly could do the same thing, but has not debated the issue.