Responding to the publication today (Thursday 10 October) of the government's immigration bill, which will require people working in banks and the NHS to check the immigration status of their clients and patients, Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary said: “This is the politics of hate and fear from a government that is now using the most vulnerable in society, risking the health of the nation, for callow political gain.
“The truth is that migrants to this country make a net contribution to our society, yet for the most base political advantage this government is preparing to hound needy people further into the shadows. The pressure that this will put on the health service in particular will be profound as the sick will only have our already strained A&E services to turn to. To ask our medical professional members to turn away from people in need is a disgrace and an insult to them both as humans and professionals.
“But Theresa May also wants low waged bank workers to act as border guards, requiring them to check the status of clients. This is appalling, putting working people into potentially confrontational positions.
“Coming the day after their vile racists vans were condemned, instead of thinking hard about community relations this government is determined to worsen them. They seek to turn worker against customer, medical professional against patient and each and every one of us into spies.
“We will oppose this bill every step of the way. It is an affront to the British way of life. We do not spy on our friends and neighbours on behalf of the state. This government has now stepped out of the gutter and into the sewer to plumb new lows in public life.
“Unite will be taking our message of unity to the streets of Liverpool this Saturday. Following a recent attack by the EDL on our Liverpool offices, we have organised a mass celebration of multicultural Britain. Unite is calling on everyone to come along and show that we will not let division contaminate our communities.”
For further information please contact James Bevan on 07711 347 645.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.