Using the Right to Remain Toolkit to get MPs on your side (maybe!)

Legal Updates

Whatever the outcome of the 2024 General Election, we at Right to Remain and our communities must be ready to remain steadfast through whatever challenges lay ahead. 

A question we are often asked – directly and indirectly – when faced with every expansion of the Hostile Environment is, “What do we do now?”

In our Open Letter, we called on all those working for migration justice to step up in demanding, campaigning and organising for migration justice in your local area and beyond. We called on you to work with each other and bring in new people to build a stronger and bigger migration justice movement. 

We listed a number of actions you can take to do this, and amongst them we encouraged you to use the Right to Remain Toolkit as a calling card to start educating and building connections with your MPs and their staff. 

In this blog, we will explain just how to do that.

Make the Toolkit (and your MPs) work for you 

Many MPs deal with asylum and immigration queries from constituents, increasingly so because of the chronic shortage of legal aid advisors and lawyers. However, many lack working knowledge of the asylum and immigration system. The Right to Remain Toolkit can increase their ability to handle constituents’ inquiries and better equip them to understand the demands and the issues raised by you. 

Use the Toolkit as a ‘calling card’ when you write to them or when you go and meet them face-to-face! When you introduce yourself, your group, and the communities you work with, introduce the Toolkit as well. 

Through the Right to Remain Toolkit, you can provide MPs and their staff teams the opportunity to build practical knowledge of the asylum and immigration system. This will better equip them to understand the demands and the issues raised by local groups and constituents, and increase their ability to handle constituents’ inquiries. The Toolkit is a beneficial foundation from which smaller and grassroots organisations can begin to build meaningful relationships with their MPs.

How?

We have created two simple guides on using the Toolkit to get MPs on your side, or at the very least to build relationships with them. 

The first version is intended for grassroots and community groups. It outlines why and how to use the Toolkit for this purpose, including how specifically to describe the Toolkit. You can download this version below. 

The second version is intended for groups focused on addressing the Legal Aid crisis with their MPs. It provides a summary of the initiative, outlines the issues, and makes recommendations. You can download this version below. 

We encourage members of our community and network to use these tools to serve your purposes, and increase the knowledge of your political representatives on the issues you are tackling everyday. 

We also urge you to remember that parliamentary politics is not everything. The change of government is not a system change. There might be some tweaks and it will have different politicians’ faces on it, but this inherently exclusionary and racist, immigration system will continue to exist. 

With you, we will continue to build knowledge, build radical solidarity and build power in order to challenge and change the system, for a world where no one is illegal.

If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch with us through Yumna yumna@righttoremain.org.uk

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Please note Right to Remain cannot provide immigration legal advice that is specific to your individual asylum and immigration application.

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