What forms of coercive state power might be justified against these unruly vagrants – speaking as a leftist, of course? What should our position be on detention centres, deportation flights, and the proliferation of border walls globally? Within a leftist border regime, who would provide refuge for the millions of people displaced by war? Are refugee camps the size of large cities in regions of great scarcity – in Kenya, Turkey, or Jordan – conscionable? And why should such these countries be expected to shoulder the continued ‘burden’ whilst we happily renege on those duties in the interests of shielding our own, ‘indigenous working class’? In the British context, what are our obligations to people displaced by wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – of which we have played a crucial part? This is not just about those who claim asylum here, but our obligations to provide safe passage for people unable to escape. And what should our position be on those migrating from the former colonies – from Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, or Pakistan? How do we justify the exclusion of former colonials, those earlier ‘natives’, especially if we recognise that the story of global capitalism is the story of their dispossession? How should we respond when they remind us that they are here because we were there?

Luke de Noronha in There is no such thing as a ‘left’ case for borders (Redpepper)



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