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Free clothes & Toys for asylum seekers and immigrants

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Joe Hill
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Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 17 2004 00:37
Free clothes & Toys for asylum seekers and immigrants

Shop in Glasgow provides these, donations also welcome - winter clothing etc.

PaulMarsh's picture
PaulMarsh
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Joined: 26-09-03
Dec 17 2004 06:20

Is this a joke?

In the unlikely circumstances a white working class Glaswegian was interested in your project, and came along explaining they were pissed off with the prices in the high street would you say

"nah mate its for asylum seekers and immigrants only"

???????????????

Joe Hill
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Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 17 2004 23:33

No Paul. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that asylum seekers, who cannot seek work and are reduced to vouchers (I think), as well as facing racism etc might need a bit of help.

I know what you're saying about working class Glaswegians though and we should also have facilities for them/us.

Can lead to racism etc, I know the arguments...

Sometimes it's difficult trying to 'do the right thing'. Give me a break. Cannae win...

Joe Hill
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Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 18 2004 14:34

Also, not my project - the community organising themselves. Also, I did make a mistake - advice & support free, clothes etc as per charity shop prices. May as well remove this thread.

lucy82
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Joined: 31-05-04
Dec 18 2004 14:59

the worst situation is people whose asylum claims have failed and who the government are not deporting. this means they are literally left destitute without access to benefits, healthcare etc etc. and they ARE in a worse position than a white working class glasweigan. they can only rely on an informal support network because the state has washed its hands of any responsiblity or concern.

and if this white working class glasgow guy did come in to a shop giving away free stuff, you could talk to him about high street prices and what shit is going down for these people and for everyone. there are far more subtle ways than saying, "no pie for you, mate"

its good the shop are offering advise and support to people seeking asylum although it would be better if they were offering advise and support to your white working class guy as well.

im taking it that people in the community are organising this themselves and that that community does not consist entirely of destitute asylum seekers getting their own shit together so i don't get your point Paul. why is it unlikely that a white working class glaswegian would be interested in projects of this kind? you saying there all racists or something?

Nick Durie
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Joined: 12-09-04
Dec 18 2004 21:40

i don't like the tone of a lot of the comments in this thread.

First off in response to Lucy's main point. It's shite that asylums seekers who have lost their case are left without access to an income, certainly, but you're missing the point by saying it's worse than if they were deported back to whence they arrived.

The home office keeps a list of countries which it is not safe to return 'failed asylum seekers'; this list came about after the home office started deporting people to Nigeria and they got killed. The government says it is getting tough on asylum seekers, that's it's processed X cases and granted asylum to Y less than it did as a percentage on last year. But these people they've just shat on are not any more likely to be lying than they were last year about being in danger of death if returned, and so what it's done is come up with a new category of person, whereby as you say they get nothing, but basically (because what they say is true, and they are a genuine refugee who's just been shat on by the system for political ends) they are granted leave to remain. It's horrific, and shows the total lack of morality in our society, but it is better than death or torture and persecution.

If folk choose to help asylum seekers out of basic human decency then why knock them. They're worse off. The central thrust here seems to be - 'why should we single asylum seekers out for special support when many Glaswegians are also poor'. That argument just denies the facts in a self-referencing, ideological way.

This is just a non-starter, and in fact bordering on racism. Asylum seekers are objectively at the bottom of the pile in Glasgow, and in the country more generally, and across the UK state as well. They can't work. The money they get is substantially less than the dole, there is no child benefit, they have to spend up to four hours a week, once being security logged, often in offices that are not easy to get to and they are not necessarily particularly well adapted to the exigencies of our 'high street', or familiar with places to get things for cheap. It's not liberal to state that, or to want to help asylum seekers more than citizens - who as I say, even tho I accept that there is a class war going on, have a far easier time of it and aa more more readily accessible source of income.

lucy82
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Joined: 31-05-04
Dec 19 2004 10:12

i didn't say being destitute in this country is worse than if they were deported back but having just reread my first sentance, i can see how you thought i did.

When i said worse situation, i meant the worst situation an asylum seeker can be in in this country, (and a worse situation than this white working class glasweigion guy), because as you say, many people do have access to a reduced rate of benefits etc up to the point of failure of their claim and their situation is shit enough. I'm not advocating that anyone should be deported. The government definition of what is a safe country is absolutely pathetic as any quick trawl round the internet will demonstrate. I also believe that there should be no borders and that no-one should be illegal so i wouldn't advocate deportation in any case. Sorry i didn't make myself clear.

Also, you said that people whose deportation would be to an unsafe countrie automatically get leave to remain. Its not exactly as straight forward as that.

A small minority of asylum seekers who are unsuccessful are allowed to remain in the country temporarily by being granted ‘Humanitarian Protection’ if the Home Office recognises that there is a real risk of death, torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment if the asylum seeker is sent home. Normally they can remain in the country for three years. Others might be granted ‘Discretionary Leave’ to remain if they cannot return home (for example, if they have a serious medical problem or are under 18 years old). If you are granted Humanitarian Protection you can apply for indefinate leave to remain after three years, which the government will then assess.

With all the above, you have broadly the same rights and entitlements to work, welfare benefits and health care as any UK citizen.

People whose claims have not been decided can get around 30% less than the basic level of Income Support. If the claim fails and they do not fit into the categories of Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave, they are left literally with nothing. They will be evicted from their National Asylum Support Service funded property and all their entitlement to benefit and healthcare etc will stop immediately. This is what is happening to the majority of failed asylum seekers. The government does not then deport people immediately. Sometimes people will wait (with all legal avenues of appeal exhausted and the threat of deportation hanging over them) in a position of destitution, for years.

I have a friend who is now living illegally since her asylum claim failed. She comes from Iran, hardly a safe country but not on the governments hot list of unsafe countries. Despite being tortured and imprisioned, her asylum claim and appeals have failed and she has been told it could take years to organise her deportation.

She is entirely dependent on the ad hoc network of support through the relationships she has formed with people. she could, in theory, be deported at any time which is incredibly stressful in itself. Undoubtably, she is a damn sight better off here than she will be if deported, even living under these conditions. However, because she has no immigration status she effectively doesn't exist. She only gets dental treatment because her dentist treats her off the books. Before immigration comes for her, she will try to disappear. She has been living in this inhumane and stressful limbo for two years or more.

The whole asylum system is a disgusting mess which traps people in situations that most of us are fortunate enough never to have to cope with.

Sorry this is such a long post but i think its important when we talk about asylum to clarify the difference between immigration statuses, something that the mainstream media (for obvious reasons) never does.

I do not think that white working class people always feel disenfrancised by what is offered to asylum seekers. That seems to me to be simplistic Daily Mail type thinking and it is pretty patronising. I find when you discuss the facts of the shit thats going on with people, they are often really supportive and distressed that this is happening. Part of the problem is the reduction of the argument into simplistic terms, as the media feeds people constantly.

Finally, in Sighthill in Glasgow, (the poorest constituency in Scotland with the highest unemployment rate) asylum seekers demonstrated alongside local working class people against racism and poverty. The demonstration was sparked by the racist attacks following the increase in BNP activity in the area. There is common ground for struggle between working class people and asylum seekers.

lucy82
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Joined: 31-05-04
Dec 19 2004 11:05

maybe this thread should be moved onto the main discussion boards?

Joe Hill
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Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 21 2004 00:33

Thanks for your support. (BTW, the clothes & toys are free for asylum seekers, but I felt I had to hide that, same as the address here.)