Ben and Jerry’s ice cream takes aim at UK immigration policy

Comments by Sanwar Ali:

In the past Ben and Jerry’s have had disagreements with immigrant farm workers in the US about working conditions.  Ben and Jerry's that is actually a subsidiary of Unilever is obviously a large purchaser of milk.  They had agreed to sign Migrant Justice’s “Milk with Dignity” program.  It was years until Jostein Solheim, Ben & Jerry’s CEO signed the contract on 3 October 2017.  Solheim had the following to say:

“We love to be part of innovation. We believe in worker-led movements.”

Migrant Justice was launched in 2009 after young dairy worker José Obeth Santiz Cruz was pulled into a mechanized gutter scraper and was strangled to death by his own clothing.  They say that the are fighting for “economic justice and human rights”.

Ice cream brand, Ben and Jerry’s, has taken a swipe at UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and her UK immigration policies, with a series of` tweets on Twitter. The tweets relate to the current illegal immigrant crossing crisis developing in the English Channel and the UK’s spat with France.

One tweet posted by the ice cream brand said: “Hey @PritiPatel, we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture.”

Record numbers of immigrants have crossed the Channel in recent weeks, with more than 200 making the perilous journey and reaching the Kent coast in one weekend alone. Most are arriving from Yemen, Eritrea, Chad, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Egypt, many of which are ravaged by war or overrun by terrorist networks.

Patel’s friends leap to her defence

Ben and Jerry’s Twitter comments was blasted by the Home Secretary’s friends who responded furiously. A Home Office source said: “Priti is working day and night to bring an end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs and are rightly of serious concern to the British people.”

“If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food, then so be it,” the source said.

James Cleverly, the UK’s Foreign Office Minister, said: “Can I have a large scoop of statistically inaccurate virtue signalling with my grossly overpriced ice cream, please?”

More than 4,000 migrants reach UK shores

According to official Home Office data, more than 4,000 people have already made the dangerous trip crossing the Channel to reach UK shores this year. The Home Office has now asked defence chiefs to help make Channel crossings in small boats ‘unviable’, according to a BBC report.

The official Ben and Jerry’s Twitter account tweeted: “People wouldn’t make dangerous journeys if they had any other choice. People cannot be illegal.”

The Channel crossings have sparked tensions between the UK and France. Westminster has urged French officials to ‘crack down on migrant crossings.’ However, the French government has blasted the UK government, accusing them of hypocrisy and saying: ‘Britain shouldn’t make it so welcoming for migrants to come.’

French authorities are also angry with Patel, after she said that they were ‘reluctant to stop boats from crossing the Channel to reach the UK.’

UK immigration minister visits France

Amid the growing crisis, UK immigration minister, Chris Philp, met with French officials in Paris on 11 August in an effort to tackle the issue. The UK government has been accused of fuelling the crisis because increasingly restrictive immigration policies are leading migrants to resort to dangerous ways to gain entry to the UK.

In November 2019, a report published by the Foreign Affairs Committee, predicted such a crisis, stating: “A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups.”

Patel was a member of the committee at the time and was warned that existing measures would not prevent Channel crossings and in fact, they would rise.

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