Migration

Page updated:

Major revision January 1990

Last amendment March 2009

Background

MG100 The Green Party's long-term global vision is of an international economic order where the relationship between regions is non-exploitative, each region is as self-reliant and economically self- sufficient as practicable and the quality of life (social, political, environmental, cultural and economic) is such that there is less urge to migrate. Logically, in order to move away from the current level of immigration controls, we must create a fairer world.

MG101 The existing economic order and colonialism have both been major causes of migration through direct and indirect violence, disruption of traditional economies, the use of migrants as cheap labour, uneven patterns of development and global division of labour.

MG102 We are aware that, in the 21st century, there is likely to be mass migration of people escaping from the consequences of global warming, environmental degradation, resource shortage and population increase.

MG103 The Green Party recognises the contributions made by many migrants to their recipient area or community. We value the cultural diversity and intercultural awareness resulting from both temporary residence and migration.

Principles

MG200 The Green Party's highest priority is the creation of a just and ecological world order in which environmental devastation is minimised and needs can be met without recourse to migration.

MG201 We believe that the world's people have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure ecological sustainability, human rights and social justice. Within this, they have the right to self determination.

MG202 International action and a willingness to share resources will be required to meet the needs of environmental migrants.

MG203 Richer regions and communities do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term.

MG204 Communities and regions should have the right to restrict inward migration when one or more of the following conditions are satisfied:

a)The ecology of the recipient area would be significantly adversely affected by in-comers to the detriment of the wider community (eg. National Parks, Antarctica);

b)The recipient area is owned or controlled by indigenous peoples (eg Australian aboriginal people) whose traditional lifestyle would be adversely affected by in-comers;

c)The prospective migrants have, on average, equal or greater economic power than the residents of the recipient area and they or their families were not forced to leave the area in the recent past.

MG205 Migration policies should not discriminate directly on grounds of race, colour, religion, political belief, disability, sex or sexual orientation. Preference should not be given to those with resources or desirable skills.

MG206 The Green Party is opposed to forced migration and forced repatriation.

MG207 Regions or communities must have the right to reject specific individuals on grounds of public safety.

MG208 The interests of both prospective migrants and the recipient area or community must be recognised and, hence, the appropriate resolution of a particular situation (unless covered above) must depend on negotiation between the parties affected.

Medium-term Policies

MG300 We will work to achieve greater equity between the UK and non-Western countries. In step with this, we will progressively reduce UK immigration controls.

Short-term Policies

Immigration Law

MG400 We will replace existing British Immigration law with an Immigration law which does not discriminate directly on the grounds listed above (see MG205). This law will be based on the principle of fair and prompt treatment of applicants rather than on excluding dishonest applicants whatever the cost to the honest ones. It will not aim to allow increased net migration to Britain other than for humanitarian reasons or as a result of other Green Party policies. We will consult widely with affected groups to ensure that features of the current law which are of concern to them are addressed.

MG401 We will allow the partners, prospective partners, immediate families and prospective families of British residents to join them without excessive delays or unreasonable requirements for proof of relationship. This will be independent of the financial status of the resident and will not be dependent on her/him providing accommodation (We recognise that this must be implemented in association with a housing policy).

MG402 A person's right to stay will not be linked to that of partners or families but will be independent. Families will not be divided by deportation unless the deportee poses a serious danger to public safety.

MG403 We will abolish the 'primary purpose' rule under which partners are refused entry if it is thought that the primary purpose of relationship is for them to gain entry to the UK.

MG404 We will allow the victims of past errors in immigration decisions to come to the UK where these decisions have resulted in continuing serious deprivation.

MG405 Migrants illegally in the UK for over five years will be allowed to remain unless they pose a serious danger to public safety.

Immigration Process

MG410 We will aim to ensure that UK immigration control takes place primarily at ports of entry so that no resident is required to carry proof of residence.

MG411 We will implement a visibly independent appeal process for Immigration decisions.

MG412 No prospective immigrant will be held in detention for migration-related reasons, other than in the most exceptional circumstances, eg a prospective migrant who poses a serious danger to public safety.

MG413 Deportation costs will be paid by or recovered from the deportee where they can reasonably afford it.

MG414 Transport providers must not be penalised for bringing people without the required visas, etc. to the UK.

MG415 We will provide advice and assistance in appropriate languages at ports of entry and provide legal aid for immigration cases.

MG416 We will provide accurate information about conditions in the UK to prospective migrants.

MG417 We will undertake a thorough review of UK Immigration Practices and the UK Immigration Service to ensure that racist features are removed and immigration officers receive sufficient suitable training. We will encourage greater ethnic minority participation in the Immigration Service.

MG418 We will ensure that sufficient staff and resources are available to effect these policies.

Immigration and the EC

MG420 We will resist all attempts to introduce a 'barrier round Europe' shutting out non-Europeans or giving them more restricted rights of movement within Europe than European Nationals.

Environmental Migrants

MG430 We will produce and implement contingency plans for the future financial and other support of environmental migrants. We will encourage such planning by international agencies, non-governmental organisations, other countries, the European Community and local government.

Other

MG440 We will encourage periods of temporary residence in the UK and abroad, particularly by young people, to promote intercultural awareness.

MG441 We will encourage local authorities to take account of family union requirements of their residents in allocating public housing, independent of the current location of the other family members.

Trafficking in People

MG450. Trafficking in human beings takes place when one person encourages a citizen of another country to enter or stay in another country in order to exploit that person. This may involve the use of deceit or any other form of coercion, or the abuse of the trafficked person's vulnerable position. The United Nations uses the following definition: "'Trafficking in persons' shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation."

MG451. Fees demanded by traffickers often place trafficked people and their families in debt. In some countries this extends to debt bondage. By placing trafficked people in debt bondage, or by exploiting their vulnerable status in a country in which they now live illegally and often without knowledge of local language, traffickers are able to force those who have been trafficked into activities in which they would not otherwise engage. Some are forced to work for a pittance, some into domestic servitude, some, particularly women, into the sex industry, and some into crime.

MG452. The Green Party considers that such trafficking in human beings is a gross violation of human rights. Any proposals to deal with this problem should not further victimise those who are already its victims.

MG453. The Government should recognise that those who have been trafficked are the victims of human rights violations and potential witnesses to criminal investigations and prosecutions of the traffickers. Victims should not be subject to summary deportation or expulsion on the grounds of illegal or irregular entry into or residence in the country. Nor should they be prosecuted for any lack of identity documents or other minor offences which are directly attributable to their position as a victim of trafficking.

MG454. The Government should grant a temporary right to stay in the country to anyone who has been trafficked or appears to have been trafficked. It should also recognise the right of those who have been trafficked to apply for a longer term or permanent immigration status, and should treat such an application on the same basis as others seeking to migrate. Such an application should not be affected by the illegal nature of the trafficked person's original residence in the UK. Consideration of any criminal activities by a trafficked person should include consideration of whether they were performed under duress as a victim of trafficking.

 

Migration chapter updates
Spring 2009 - MG421 removed - refer to EU Migration policy EU781-784

The following additional policy statement can be found in the Green Party Record of Policy Statements (RoPS) on Migration available on the Members webiste:

Connected RoPS

The following additional policy statement can be found in the Green Party Record of Policy Statements (RoPS) on Migration available on the Members webiste:

  • Trafficking in People (January 2001)

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