Illegal Migration Bill

A statement signed by more than 1,450 church leaders opposing the government’s Illegal Migration Bill has been handed to 10 Downing Street.
The Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson, United Reformed Church General Assembly Moderator-Elect 2022-2023, helped deliver the statement in which the church leaders say that the government’s proposals are “incompatible with our Christian conviction that all human beings are made in the image of God”.
The leaders go on to say that they are “appalled” by the proposals in the government’s Illegal Migration Bill to “detain, punish and reject thousands of people seeking safety”, and that they will “foster discrimination and distrust” and cause “immeasurable harm”.
Church leaders are calling on the government to withdraw the legislation, and to honour the UK’s “moral and international obligations” by establishing “safe and accessible routes to enable the UK to play its part in welcoming people in need of safety”.
Statistics show that two out of three people crossing the channel have their claim for asylum accepted when they have been processed. This means that the majority of people who come are legitimate refugees who should be awarded protection. However, the new rules mean that these people would have their claim for asylum automatically dismissed without having their claim heard, simply because they came here via a small boat over the channel. The leaders argue that this essentially puts a ban on claiming asylum in the UK for many people.
The statement was initially released in March by senior leaders from the URC, The Methodist Church, and the Baptist Union of Great Britain and has since gathered support from more than 1,450 church leaders in communities across the UK.
Representatives from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and Churches Together in England, also attended the hand-in at Downing Street, representing church leaders from a range of denominations in the UK who signed the statement.
The Illegal Migration Bill passed Committee Stage in the House of Commons on 28 March and will return for a vote by MPs after the Easter recess.

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