PRESS RELEASEâŠ for immediate releaseâŠ
Monday 10 May
As Queenâs Speech outlines new plans for immigration, anti racists mobilise opposition
Tomorrow the Queenâs Speech will outline the governmentâs new plans for immigration, which anti racists are sounding the alarm that the policy will further intensify a racist âhostile environment for refugees and migrants.
A Sovereign Borders Bill will attempt to introduce further barriers to migrants from crossing the English Channel.
Anti racists warn that one of the most dangerous elements of the plans is that people seeking protection as refugees would have their claim assessed based on how they arrive it Britain.
Care4Calais alongside Stand Up To Racism and others have been running a #FarFromFair campaign, in response to claims by home secretary Priti Patel that the new policy is âfairâ. Highlighted at the centre of the campaign is the fact that less than 1% of the worldâs refugees are chosen for resettlement schemes, the main legal route to asylum.
At a recent protest of hundreds in Glasgow following a dawn raid that led to one of the people whose home was broken into being taken to hospital, campaigners spoke out noting that it is âno coincidence that we are seeing dawn raids appear again at a time when the government is ratcheting up its racist âhostile environmentâ against refugees and migrants with their new plans for immigrationâ. The protest was joined by the âGlasgow Girlsâ â Agnessa, Amal, Rosa, and their then teacher Mr Girvan â who were at the centre of a mass, and successful, campaign in the city in 2005 to stop dawn raids, which became widely known and celebrated with a BBC drama watched by millions.
As the new plans for immigration appear in the Queenâs Speech, indicating that they are earmarked to become law in 2021, anti racists are mobilising to oppose what they are warning is dangerous, unjust and divisive policy.
Clare Moseley, Care4Calais, said
âPriti Patelâs New Plan for Immigration is a direct attack on refugee rights and the government intends to get away with this by misleading the public.
âHow a desperate refugee travels to safety says nothing about whether their claim for asylum is genuine; most refugees are forced to make treacherous journeys as wars and dictators donât do visas. Blaming the victims for this is cruel in the extreme.â
A resident at Napier Barracks forced detention centre said
âThis new asylum bill divides human beings into legal and illegal. It makes more people less eligible to claim for asylum. This bill contravenes the UN Refugee covention which the UK government helped in writing it in 1951.
âPeople who seek asylum are fleeing for their lives. Therefore, there is no way they can travel with documents or apply for visas even if the authorities and dictators in their own countries supply visas.
âCriminalising, dehumanising and discriminating against the vulnerable asylum seekers must be stopped. Itâs not about a specific community, itâs about how we all want to be treated when we are in danger.
âThis bill can send a concerning message to other countries which host more asylum seekers than the UK. When a wealthy country like the UK with relatively low numbers of asylum seekers choose hostile and cruel measures, what we can expect to see from the other countries.
âWe all have to raise our voice and say that treating people who are fleeing from persecution or catastrophe, by discriminating and criminalising them is immoral and shameful.â
Pinar Aksu, human rights campaigner and Stand Up To Racism activist, speaking on the Glasgow protest said
âHow many dawn raids have taken place? Until this day we dont know the answer from the Home OfficeâŠ the family are scared. When he was taken to the hospital, the immigration officers told the daughter âWeâll be backâ.
âWell you know what, when you come back you will be visited by us, we will be there to stop the dawn raids! With the new immigration bill, it is not a coincidence that the dawn raids have started.â
âGlasgow Girlâ Amal Azzudin, speaking on the Glasgow protest said
âNobody chooses to be a refugee, nobody chooses to be an asylum seeker, nobody chooses to leave their home. This is absolutely unacceptable, people have faced so much trauma before coming to the UK. They are innocent families seeking safety and sanctuary.
âPeople â we have done this before and we will absolutely do this again, if we are united. Letâs work together and tell the Home OfficeâŠ this is Glasgow and refugees are welcome here.â
Weyman Bennett, co convenor, Stand Up To Racism, said
âThis government is pushing hard to undermine the incredible anti racist spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement, and push racist division in our communities amidst the pandemic and crisis.
âThey have commissioned a whitewash report denying the existence of institutional racism, attacked the BLM movement as âawfulâ, pushed a policing bill that targets anti racist protest, and their new plans for immigration are a part of this general racist assault on our rights.
âWe stand with all those who want to fight the new racist plans and defend the rights of all those seeking asylum. We say loud and clear, you are welcome here. We need to mobilise that solidarity to drive back the governmentâs racist, dangerous and sickening attack on people seeking only to live in safety.â
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