A new name

Right to Remain is the new name for NCADC, the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns.

In 2013, our members voted to change our name to better reflect the work we do, (and for a name that is much easier to say!). So, what led to the name change?

The nature of our work has changed in response to the changing environment of campaigning for migrants' right to remain in the UK. Campaigning for justice in an asylum and immigration case cannot just begin when removal/deportation is imminent. Our work is increasingly around raising awareness of the legal processes involved in the asylum and immigration system, helping to make sure migrants understand the process better and know what their rights are. Effective campaigns are not (just) campaigns against deportation/removal: they are campaigns for the right to stay.


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A hostile environment

Since 1995, successive governments have introduced ever harsher immigration controls, extending them from the port of entry deep into our society - into our communities, workplaces, schools, colleges, and hospitals.

Access to justice in the legal system has been stripped away, with migrants facing a culture of cynicism and disbelief, and having limited access to good-quality, free legal representation. There has been a vast increase in the numbers imprisoned in detention centres. The rights to work, education and healthcare have been cut back. Migrants often face barriers in accessing the basic necessities of life, leaving people homeless and utterly destitute. These measures were described by a Home Secretary as part of a strategy to make life so "uncomfortable" that those who could not be deported would choose, in desperation, to leave.


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Our response

Campaigners and supporters were increasingly contacted by people at crisis point - usually in detention, and facing imminent removal. More people with little or no community support are in need of help, but long-term, community-based anti-deportation campaigns had become rare, because of the changes detailed above.

The methods of migration control have been transformed. How we campaign for justice in the system, for the right to remain, has had to change too.

One of the key ways that campaigning has had to change is that, in order to be effective, it has to begin earlier in the process. When people contact us with only a matter of days until a removal or deportation is due to take place, there is little that can be done through campaigning.

Community campaigns, with broad active support, take time to organise and grow. But it can be done, and it is essential if we are serious about campaigning for justice.


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Campaigning for justice, campaigning to stay

Campaigning for justice in an asylum and immigration case cannot just begin when removal/deportation is imminent. Our work is increasingly around raising awareness of the legal processes involved in the asylum and immigration system, helping to make sure migrants understand the process better and know what their rights are. They are not (just) campaigns against deportation/removal: they are campaigns for the right to stay.

An anti-deportation campaign may be understood to mean stopping a flight. This may be an important part of a campaign, but is just one step in a campaign for the right to remain.