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We also contribute to the debates on asylum and detention in the media.

Oxford has a heart – and it’s orange

Monday, May 10, 2021

The UK government seeks to undermine the rights of those fleeing persecution and war. We believe the New Plan for Immigration is driven more by a desire to protect our borders than by our responsibility to offer protection to those genuinely fearing persecution. It is deeply flawed, inhumane and is unlikely to achieve many of its desired aims.

We want to show refugees and asylum seekers that they aren’t alone - we are fighting with them. We’re asking Oxfordshire to show that we oppose the government’s unfair plans and stand in solidarity with refugees.

To do this, we are using the symbol of the orange heart. We want to create a welcoming community by showing the hearts in our front windows, across social media and in public places. We will come together to tell asylum seekers and refugees who live amongst us that, despite the negative voices they hear in the debate over the Plan, there are many in Oxfordshire who welcome asylum seekers.

Please join us and share a photo of yourself with your heart on social media @AsylumWelcome to show the UK government #WhoWeAre

What is the orange heart?

On 10th May, a new national coalition of refugee charities is being launched called Together with Refugees.  Asylum Welcome is part of this coalition. The coalition’s symbol is an orange heart, the colour of the refugee flag, and it is designed to become a unifying visual symbol that all can stand behind to express their solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees.

You can watch this short video to learn a bit more about it by clicking here.

Ashia escaped fighting in her own country to seek safety in the UK and now lives in Oxford. “I had a beautiful life. I did not want to leave. We had no choice to leave and find safety. Our hearts are broken. We will get shot if we go home. We are grateful that the door was opened for us. Why are they shutting it now? My family are doctors here and have been helping to fight Covid. We support and do all we can to give back.” 

We want to show that Oxfordshire welcomes refugees like Ashia, and to help to reframe the argument that there is a public mandate for immigration reform that welcomes asylum seekers rather than provides a hostile environment.

For more information on the New Plan For Immigration, and how to write to your MP, see our resources.