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About Don Flynn

Don Flynn is the director of Migrants’ Rights Network, which links the work of over two thousand organisations working with migrants in the UK.  He writes regular commentaries on immigration policy on the MRN’s website and has contributed chapters to several edited books, including Global Surveillance and Policing – edited by Elia Zureik and Mark B. Salter, and Security and insecurity: community, citizenship, and the ‘war on terror’, edited by Pat Noxolo and Jef Huysmans.

Articles by Don Flynn

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Rebuilding trust in Europe will mean a new and more populist way of doing politics

The truth is that ‘trust me’ didn’t work and the much-vaunted expertise of the ‘third way’ politicians have contributed to the disarray we see all around us. 

Needless heartbreak: new UK rules on family migration

Today's report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration exposes deep injustice in new restrictions on family migration. Much pain and trouble might have been avoided had the government paid due regard to human rights.

A ‘Coalition of the Rational’ on immigration? What would we do to make that happen?

At a fringe meeting of Labour’s Party Conference last week, the shadow minister for immigration Chris Bryant MP said a “coalition of the rational” was a prerequisite of serious and rational debate about migration. Was that just an adlibbed comment at an obscure gathering? Or something more promising? Don Flynn, director of Migrants’ Rights Network, explores the notion.

Detention is the essence of immigration control

At any one time more than 2000 people are deprived of their liberty because a UK immigration official considers they have breached a control regulation. In a new book, Alexandra Hall argues that what goes on at the gloomy fringes of the immigration system emerges from principles that define the whole of our society.

'Something there is that doesn't love a border'

The American poet Robert Frost said it about walls and the way the forces of nature do their best to pull them down. After the dismal report of the Home Affairs Committee on the underperformance of the UKBA earlier this week, it seems like we could say pretty much the same thing about borders...

“Mickey Mouse border controls slammed!” Calm down, relax, don't worry

Around one in every 2000 people entering the UK between June 2010 and November 2011 got in on just a visual check of ID papers. So?

Playing the blame game — it's all the immigrants' fault . . .

It isn't just the Italian liner that's on the rocks this morning - it's the entire UK economy. As ministers look for a lifeboat to stumble into, it occurs to them to 'blame the immigrants. . .'

Migration: breaking the deadlock

As the Global Forum on Migration and Development prepares to meet in Geneva, Don Flynn reports on the attempt to break the deadlock between civil society and governments over rights vs security in migration policy

Weekend of scandal for the UK Border Agency

The Home Secretary and her officials tripped over no less than three ‘banana skin’ issues last weekend. But are lessons being learned on immigration in Britain?

Remember Liverpool 1946: Britain needs human rights to prevent immigration crime

The BBC2 documentary series ‘Mixed Britannia’ set out to show how ethnic diversity is central to the UK. Last week's episode took us back to a dark time in British history that demonstrates why immigration policy needs to be constrained by a strong commitment to human rights.

Fair trade, Fair immigration?

The Global Forum on Migration and Development is an example of global civil society activism, and was seen by many as the holy grail of a progressive approach to immigration. Is it really the way forward?

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