University of Birmingham branch of UCU (BUCU) notes:
- the ever-increasing hostility of government policy towards migrants, who are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society, including the toxic normalisation of targeting “illegal migrants”, those arriving on “small boats”, and “Albanians”, the “Rwanda Plan”, and the damaging impact that this anti-migrant stance has upon staff and students within the University system;
- the crucial work that a relatively small number of migrant support groups do across our society, and often with very limited resources;
- the commitment made by BUCU in 2020 to take a more active stance in our anti-racism activity and migrant support work, and to do so through ongoing support for the consistently impressive work of Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC);
- the concerning decision by the Trustee Board of the longstanding Birmingham-based migrant support charity ASIRT (Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team) to close the charity, ostensibly on grounds that they were unable to recruit a CEO, but in a context of an industrial dispute with their employees;
- the case of migrant student, Riham Sheble, a PGR student at Warwick University and UCU member suffering from a rare form of cancer and currently receiving end of life care with 3-6 months to live, who is being supported by URBC in her attempt to ensure her right to stay in the country as part of the #LetRihamStay campaign.
University of Birmingham branch of UCU (BUCU) resolves:
- to continue to support URBC in their stellar and crucial work throughout 2023, including with a new year donation of £500 to support their current campaigns;
- to call publicly for the Chair of the ASIRT board, Isata Kanneh, to lead a reconsideration of the questionable decision to close ASIRT, or otherwise for the Board to step down to allow an alternative board to be formed that is more clearly committed to ASIRT’s long-term survival.
Motion adopted 9 January 2023