Deportation Is Freedom! The Orwellian World of Immigration Controls

By Steve Cohen | Go to book overview

1. ORWELL, NINETEEN
EIGHTY-FOUR
AND
IMMIGRATION CONTROLS

AN OVERVIEW OF LANGUAGE
AND POLITICS

You wake up early in the morning to see other people's fears. You
wake up: several people's faces don't exist any more.

– Ugandan refugee speaking of detention
and deportation in the UK1

On 6 December 2004, The Guardian contained an interesting article, though one that in the normal course of events would have been forgotten by now. It is an article worth remembering and reflecting on, because it starts to illuminate some of the Orwellian aspects of immigration controls (and in particular some of the hidden analogies with Nineteen Eighty-Four that are explored and developed in detail throughout this study).

The Guardian article concerned the threatened deportation of Farhat Khan to Pakistan and her militant campaign based in Manchester to stay here. She was a failed asylum-seeker. The central feature of Farhat's story was the revelation that, though the Home Office was intent on removing her, the Queen had invited her to a reception at Buckingham Palace in order to thank her for her socially useful work within migrant communities in Manchester! The article alluded to the fact that Farhat had the support of her local member of parliament, Graham Stringer, who was quoted as saying: 'Twenty years ago a person with Farhat's record of work in the community and with the kind of support that she has in the community would not have been under threat of deportation… humanity and justice have been taken out of the system.'

-17-

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