New Plan for Immigration 2021
New Plan for Immigration 2021
If you are a refugee or if you have recently arrived to the UK seeking asylum you can read this useful explanation of what this New Plan means for you and how you can get your views heard by clicking here. We plan to hold a number of zoom meetings in different languages to explain the proposals, hear your views and see how we can work together.
A new Sovereign Borders Bill is proposed that will deeply affect the treatment of Asylum Seekers in the UK. Many aspects of the changes are worrying, and Asylum Welcome will be working with other organisations to make challenges to the plans. The details were revealed in a statement by Priti Patel, Home Secretary, in a statement to the House of Commons on 24th March. You can read her speech and the debate here. The paper can be read here.
Please write to your MP about your concerns. Here is some guidance on how best to do this: WRITING TO YOUR MP ABOUT THE NEW PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION
Our key concerns are:
• Creation of a two-tier system of immigration based on how Asylum Seekers come to the UK instead of the validity of their claim. Some commentators suggest it breaches the UN refugee convention requirement not to judge a claimant’s claim based on how they come to the country.
• A commitment to more ‘legal routes’ without outlining any targets on numbers to be resettled. Whilst we are delighted if more safer routes are created, we recognise that the 25,000 Syrians resettled through the VPRS process that Priti Patel mentions are a drop in the ocean of the 26m refugees in the world of whom 6.6m are Syrian (UNHCR).
• Those who come by ‘illegal routes’, even if their claims for asylum are accepted, will have insecure status with constant reviews (reassessed by the Home Office every 30 months), reduced rights to benefits and family reunion. Many have no choice but to use such ‘illegal routes’. This will increase their destitution and keep Asylum Seekers in a constant state of uncertainty and mental distress.
• Retaining the possibility of offshore detention centres.
• Changing the way asylum decisions are made and fast-tracking appeals, for certain categories of applicants, plus introducing faster removal procedures. Whilst we welcome speeding up decisions for asylum seekers in general, we are concerned by the presumption of no merit to the case of for those who come though ‘illegal routes’ and that the process suggested will not allow cases to be reviewed fully with timely access to legal representation.
• Replacing current arrangements for accommodation with reception centres in the south of England. Will this mean more situations like Napier Barracks? See what a resident says about his experience in Napier and his need to use an ‘illegal route’ to get to safety here.
For a more comprehensive summary see here.
There is now a consultation on the paper which closes at 11.45pm on 6th May. You can respond to the paper and contribute to the consultation here. You may find Asylum Welcome's guidance on responding to the consultation useful here.
If you have any questions or want to get involved , please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-24th March 2021, Priti Patel speech and the debate here.