We use cookies for site personalization, analytics and advertising. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Sanctuary boroughs in London

United Kingdom
Immigration

A community group is campaigning to turn the London borough of Haringey into a safer place for migrants by asking residents and the council to push back against the Conservative government’s ‘hostile environment’.

Modelled on sanctuary cities in the US, which explicitly defy federal government in order to shelter undocumented migrants, Haringey Welcome was launched earlier this year with support from Labour MPs.

‘There’s a lot councils can do to resist,’ says Akram Salhab from the platform Migrants Organise. He explains that local authorities can decline money to enforce immigration rules, refuse to share data and choose to house families with no access to public funds.

Since 2012, the government has outsourced the policing of immigration controls to ‘an auxiliary militia’ of teachers, doctors and landlords, asking them to perform residency checks on people when they access services, Salhab reports. As a result, vulnerable families are regularly made homeless and migrants are denied free healthcare.

Haringey Welcome is encouraging public sector workers to lobby the council to become an ally against central government while residents are invited to sign a pledge to respect, protect and welcome migrants. Other boroughs have already expressed interest in the scheme and Salhab hopes Haringey will be the first of many.

Charlotte England

New Internationalist issue 512 magazine cover This article is from the May 2018 issue of New Internationalist.
You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Subscribe today »

 

Help us produce more like this

Editor Portrait Patreon is a platform that enables us to offer more to our readership. With a new podcast, eBooks, tote bags and magazine subscriptions on offer, as well as early access to video and articles, we’re very excited about our Patreon! If you’re not on board yet then check it out here.

Support us »

Subscribe   Ethical Shop