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Then you should be concerned about the repression of migrants by government and corporate immigration ‘services’. ID cards have already been tested on migrants seeking asylum and will be used next on other ‘foreigners’.

The Application Registration Card has to be carried by everyone seeking asylum for their regular reporting and to obtain National Asylum Support Service payments from the post office. It is an ID card containing the bearer’s fingerprint, photograph, name, date of birth and nationality.

From this November foreign nationals wanting to enter the UK will have to apply for “biometric residence permits” and their details will be entered into a national identity database. From next year foreign nationals living in the UK will begin to be issued with ID cards. Once migrants have been used to test the scheme, the government’s plan is to issue identity cards to UK citizens on a voluntary basis from 2010, then in 2011 bringing in compulsory  ‘choice’ of a passport, ID card or both.

The fact that ID cards and fingerprinting technology has been tested on refugees shows that the state is prepared to impose ID on those people with the least voice to oppose it, before rolling it out to the whole population. The government is trying to get ID plans accepted by cynical scapegoating of immigrants especially ‘asylum seekers’ . 

No Borders South Wales will be holding a protest against ID cards, biometric passports, and the surveillance society in general on Saturday 4th October at 2pm outside the Passport Office, Olympia House, Upper Dock Street, Newport, NP20 1XA (map). We will be distributing leaflets and raising awareness about the new ID laws that come into force this November. Come and join us.

This article first appeared in the new No Borders South Wales Newsletter, you can download a copy here.

Last night there was a NO2ID benefit gig in Cardiff, organised by the local group, a few members of No Borders South Wales attended, and were well entertained by the performers; Lou Noble, Cosmo, Missdalogik, The Fix Up, New State Radio and Sicknote.

We used the opportunity of the gig to give out copies of our new leaflet against ID cards that draws attention to the way in which migrants are being used as a testing ground for a repressive system that the UK government wants to impose on everyone.

An article on the Cardiff Radical Socialist Forum “No2ID – with friends like these, who needs enemies?” has been the subject of some debate. ID cards has long been an unpopular concept in the UK, meaning authoritarian organisations with no real respect for personal freedom have given their backing to the NO2ID campaign.

We encourage opponents of ID cards to look at what is happening with the control of migrants, and see the thin end of wedge of the surveillance society. No doubt some of the less libertarian supporters of NO2ID would disagree with our stance on freedom of movement, hopefully others will agree. We wholeheartedly believe that the frontline of opposition to the creeping surveillance state is the defence of migrants, especially asylum seekers.

Politically No Borders has affinity with the Defy-ID network, which came out of the libertarian milieu. There was a Cardiff Defy-ID group, though it appears inactive. No Borders Nottingham and Defy-ID Nottingham published an article “Defy-ID and No Borders – Better together” we echo their sentiments.

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