Migration is positive. The NHS could not survive without migrants and the descendants of migrants (Picture: Guy Smallman)

The Tories and Labour want to paint migrants as the biggest threat to ordinary people, as they create panic about the latest migration figures. Net migration figures released on Thursday showed 672,000 people came to Britain in the 12 months to June 2023.

In its last figures released in May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number for last year was 606,000.

But looking at the numbers again, the ONS now says the actual figure was almost 140,000 higher than first thought at 745,000. The higher figure is because of a rise in the number of overseas professionals arriving to work in the NHS and care homes. We should be grateful for their arrival.

Like all migrants, they are not a burden but people to be welcomed.

Would racists prefer an NHS with even fewer staff and longer waiting lists? Would they celebrate care services collapsing because of a lack of workers?

The Tories are now setting their efforts on demonising people coming to Britain, both across the Channel and on visas, to distract from their failures.

The price of such scapegoating was underlined on Wednesday when two people drowned in the Channel desperately trying to reach Britain in a small boat because all other routes were blocked.

And Friday is two years since the mass drowning of over 30 people who froze to death or drowned in the Channel.

The Tories, who have staked their political reputation on cutting migration numbers, now plan a further attack—including migrants who are in Britain “legally” under the government’s brutal laws.

Ministers want to make it harder for migrant health and care workers to bring their family members and dependents to come to Britain. This only serves our rulers and bosses who benefit from division.

Rishi Sunak was quick to demonise migrants. He said migration was putting “unsustainable pressure on communities and councils”.

Home Secretary James Cleverly added that the Tories remained “completely committed” to reducing levels of migration and “stopping the boats”.

But the Tories are now under pressure from their own party. Backbencher group The New Conservatives called on Sunak and Cleverley for “drastic action” to reduce numbers before the election.

“The word existential has been used a lot in recent days but this really is do or die for our party,” they said.

Former home secretary Suella Braverman called the latest statistics “a slap in the face to the British public who have voted to control and reduce migration at every opportunity”.

The Tories’ real view of “the British public” came the day before the release of the migration figures. A Labour MP has claimed that his constituency was described as a “shit-hole” by Cleverly, during prime minister’s questions.

Alex Cunningham said Cleverly had uttered the phrase when the Labour MP for Stockton North asked: “Why are 34 percent of children in my constituency living in poverty?”

Cunningham said of Cleverly, “He was seen and heard to say, ‘Because it’s a shit-hole’.”

Labour disgracefully accused the Tories of “utter failure” over the economy and immigration.

Keir Starmer said the figure is “shockingly high” and continued to back a call for fewer overseas workers. Such words parrot the government’s line and target migrants.

The reason migration figures are high is because capitalism needs migration. Bosses rely on migrant labour. At the same time, they peddle racism to keep workers divided.

The biggest threat to ordinary people is the Tories, bosses and supporters of a racist system. Uniting with workers coming to Britain, or those looking for a better life, is our best chance of beating them.   

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