STUDENTS across the country went on strike in defence of migrants’ rights yesterday, as tens of thousands feared further toughening of immigration laws in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.
College and university students interrupted classes during a day of solidarity with international students, whose lives have become more difficult since the Conservatives came to power.
Actions included rallies, banner-drops and the setting-up of mock checkpoints at the gates of university campuses.
National Union of Students international officer Mostafa Rajaai said: “We want to send a clear message to the government that students in this country overwhelmingly reject the attitude and direction that the UK has adopted regarding immigration.
“The failure to respond adequately to the refugee crisis, the mistreatment of international students and the constant attacks on migrants’ rights are all part of the wider anti-migrant sentiment which is on the rise in the UK political establishment and we wholeheartedly oppose it.”
Stricter rules brought in by the Tories have meant foreign students enduring tougher checks and needing more savings to study in Britain.
From this month, overseas students in further education will no longer be allowed to request a work visa unless they leave Britain and apply from abroad.
Visas’ periods of validity have also been cut, with students applying to British colleges receiving a maximum of two years’ leave to remain.
National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts international rep Alex Norman sent his condolences to Parisian students, many of whom were among the victims of Friday’s terrorist massacre.