I was asked by the Campaign to Stop the Deportation of Luqman Onikosi and Luqman himself to write an article drawing attention to his case and, crucially, to the infiltration of the border into all realms of life. Luqman is adamant that this campaign not be framed in the individualist terms of human rights but be a radical call to dismantle the border.
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You can read the full article here. The crux of my argument is
So to argue that people such as Onikosi or Ama Sumani, a Ghanaian woman who died after being deported from the UK while undergoing treatment for terminal cancer, should be allowed to stay in the UK is pointless without placing their cases in the context of harsh border control policies. The border is now everywhere; no longer just at ports and airports. Checks of “compliance” with visa regulations are an everyday occurrence. Over the past few years, universities too have been forced by the government to effectively become border guards by monitoring international students’ attendance or stand accused of facilitating “illegal immigration”. Thankfully, Onikosi has been supported by a number of academics at Sussex, but this is at their own risk of violating the terms imposed on universities by the state. Border controls can succeed when everyone is forced to become complicit in enforcing them, even institutions of higher learning that trade on being bastions of freedom and the pursuit of knowledge.
If Onikosi is deported to Nigeria, this brilliant young man will most certainly die. And for those left in the UK, it will be another sign of the encroachment of the border into all areas of society.