This site is an archived version of Indymedia prior to 5th November 2012. The current site is at

Labour's Racist Immigration Laws and the Case for Open Borders


While capital, commodities and rich people get to travel more freely around the world, workers’ freedom to move is increasingly restricted. Big companies can move freely to where labour is cheaper, for instance, but workers can’t move freely to where wages are higher. The Labour government favours free trade agreements, for instance, while imposing new racist immigration restrictions.

It’s in the interests of workers to support each other and make common cause for the maximum freedom possible. Come along to this workers’ forum and find out more about Labour’s new immigration controls and how we can fight them.

Christchurch Workers Party forum

7.15pm, Monday, August 25

Workers Educational Association (WEA), 59 Gloucester Street

Links: Assaulting Civil Liberties and Limiting Workers Freedom: The Immigration Bill | Immigration Bill Violates Convention against Torture


Re: Labour's Racist Immigration Laws and the Case for Open Borde

"but workers can’t move freely to where wages are higher"
In the past we had this situation, it was called colonialism. Native Peoples across half the world were swamped by other cultures because of it. Open borders today would cause the same on a global scale. A place like New Zealand would overnight have a population in the tens of millions and transmogrify into a vast third world shantytown.

There is also the impracticality of letting all comers move to already overpopulated countries to consider. How would the UK, France and Germany cope with the environmental impact of having 150 million inhabitants each?

Re: Labour's Racist Immigration Laws and the Case for Open Borde

Anon, get a grip!
Tens of millions overnight - I don't think so.
My immpression is that people tend to love the place they grew up in, their family connections and the culture that goes with their heritige. They leave all that reluctantly, and when they do, count the days when they can save up for a visit "home".

But that's really quite beside the point. We are all citizens of the earth and none of us can put a ring around part of it and say its ours in perpetuity. All any of us can do is use some parts of the earth untill we die and then its someone elses go. Only those with unatural ideas, like capitalists, claim to own bits of the earth and try to deny others the use of them.
Free people find a level and cooperate with one another. That's why we should smash down all the artificial gates in the global village.

Don Franks

Re: Labour's Racist Immigration Laws and the Case for Open Borde

"We are all citizens of the earth and none of us can put a ring around part of it and say its ours in perpetuity."
Good you Workers Party. Working people have no single country. I've just experienced firsthand the difficulties that Non-EU (eg NZ)citizens have with immigration in Britain - we are all treated as suspected terrorists or drug runners! The current legislation going through Westminster is going to allow the British government officials to hold 'terrorism suspects' (especially Muslims and people with brown skin) without charge or access to lawyers, for 42 days! This is creeping-fascism by a country upon whose legal and political system New Zealand has based her own.

Re: Labour's Racist Immigration Laws and the Case for Open Borde

This issue comes down to one simple question Anon.

A poor, probably darker skinned person is fleeing poverty and/or repression in their home country, and trying to come to a wealthy imperialist country like New Zealand. The repressive apparatus of the capitalist state is trying to prevent them from coming here - it's locking them up, seperating them from their families, depriving them of their basic rights, and eventually deporting them back to the place they fled from in the first place! (Thakshila anyone?)

Now, here's my question for you Anaon - WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

As well as this basic question fo who we support and oppose, there's the fact that the economics of you're argument are highly flawed. All wealth in society is created by workers through their labour power, which creates surplus-value.

If immigrants are rapidly integrated into society upon arrival here, are provided with English language classes, and are able to actually get a decent job and start working, they will be creating surplus-value and thus will be "paying their way" (if we have to resort to that kind of terminology), will be creating the wealth necessary to pay for any healthcare, education or other services orovided by the state that they may need.

In a socialist society, immigration would not be an issue whatsoever, and in a socialist WORLD, it would be evn less of an issue, as the primary concern of the former FW countries would be lifting up the global south and thus removing the need for people to leave their homes and seek jobs and better lives abroad.

The problem with colonialism was not the simple immigration of white people (I'm assuming you're not one of the types who think we need to throw the pakeha filth out of NZ!) - it was the forcible subjucation of the people who lived there before, and their being made into second class citizens exploited and oppressed by the lighter skinned ruling class.

Personally, I don't see it as being that likely that immigrants desperately fleeing their lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America are that likely to conquer New Zealand and turn us all into second class citizens!

Open Borders is not just an achievable and desirable alternative to the current racist immigration controls we have - it is an important political demand to raise that challenges capitalism and imperialism, and backward attitudes within the working class itself. It is a demand that the Workers Party has consistently put forward for as long as we have existed, and it's a demand that the left needs to be a lot better at raising.

Re: Labour's Racist Immigration Laws and the Case for Open Borde

Woops, the above comment was by me.