The Home Office is expanding migrant surveillance

The Home Office is expanding migrant surveillance

Fortnightly Bulletin

Written by: IRR News Team

IRR News 11 – 26 October 2022

Dear IRR News Subscriber,

This week IRR News takes aim at the creeping, largely unnoticed expansion of electronic surveillance in immigration control – whether it takes the form of ankle tags as a condition of immigration bail, or unreliable and racially discriminatory facial recognition technology. In From GPS tagging to facial recognition watches: expanding surveillance of migrants in the UK, Lucie Audibert and Monish Bhatia provide a detailed picture of the indignity and mental health implications of living under 24-hour monitoring control.

The wider indignities of Europe’s asylum and migration systems and the role technologies play in them is also featured in this week’s Calendar of Racism and Resistance, as is the role of politicians in whipping up anger about migrants and refugees for electoral gain. Italy’s new far-right government – which some mainstream voices are normalising, citing the prime minister’s support for NATO war aims in Ukraine – is a case in point. It has pledged to stop boats emanating from North Africa from docking, immediately targeting the sea-rescue boats Ocean Viking and Humanity1.

It is Black and Brown people, migrants and refugees, Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, as well as sexual minorities, who are the first victims of a culture that normalises far-right positions. A point recognised by Slovakia’s president who called on politicians to stop spreading hate after two young men were shot dead outside the Tepláreň, popular LGBTQ+ bar in Bratislava. The gunman, who committed suicide, left a 65-page manifesto in which he expressed admiration for the white supremacist who killed ten Black people in a supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York in May 2022. More proof, if proof is needed, of the need for unity in struggle against a far Right that is linking its various resentments in manifestos of violence and hate.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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