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let's turn strangers into citizens

Let's show student support for London and Birmingham Citizens campaign for an amnesty for irregular migrants.

Home office estimates put the number of irregular migrants in Britain today at around 500,000 - thats around 1 in every 120 UK residents.

These people live and work in the UK but have no rights. Their children have no right to go to school, they have no right to life saving NHS operations, they have no right to marry, no right to basic protections and dignity in employment, such as the minimum wage, rest breaks, basic health and safety or protection against discrimination and bullying. They have no recourse to the police should they feel in danger.

All this yet they live and work and often pay taxes with us in our towns, cities, country areas.

This campaign recognises that these people have a right to the basic human dignity we all take for granted. We are calling for an amnesty for irregular migrants who have lived in the UK for more than four years, have no criminal convictions, a good grasp of English and can produce character references from employers or other people of standing in the community. You would be suprised how many of these people you meet every week.

This campaign also notes that the cost of deporting around 500,000 irregular migrants, at an average cost of £11,000 per deportation would come to over £5 billion - an amount we should be unwilling to pay to forcibly exclude people from our country.

This campaign is being strongly backed by business groups and by the trade unions, it is being backed by many religious groups, Catholic and Islamic groups in particular.

We believe that as we buy goods and receive service every week, provided by the labour of irregular migrants, that they have a right to be recognized as full members of our community. That their status should be changed from that of an ignored stranger into that of a rights-bearing citizen.

To watch the campaign video....

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