The situation in Afghanistan has been a stark reminder that people who are forced to flee violence and persecution have very few options to find safety.
The crisis has also reinforced the cruelty of the proposals in the Nationality and Borders Bill, which is returning to Parliament this Autumn. This anti-refugee Bill aims to criminalise people travelling via so-called ‘irregular’ routes — often the only routes available to people forced to flee for their lives, like many of those in Afghanistan desperately seeking safety.
It is shameful that in a few months’ time, some Afghan refugees will reach the UK after a perilous journey because of the lack of safe routes to get here. Under this Bill, they will then be criminalised, warehoused in reception centres, and threatened with deportation. No-one seeking sanctuary should be punished for the journey they are forced to make.
We must stand together against this anti-refugee Bill and call for it to be thrown out. There are many ways you can take action, including:
- Writing to your MP using our template letter. You can download a Word version of the letter, or open it as a Google Doc.
- Writing to a local newspaper using our template letter to the editor to make sure other people in your area know about this Bill and the harm it will cause. You can download a Word version of the letter, or open it as a Google Doc.
Please do let us know if you use these resources and what response you receive! You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get in touch with your regional Campaigns Manager.
A number of organisations have also made further recommendations about how the UK should respond to this crisis, including making a long-term commitment to a global resettlement scheme, the rapid resolution of pending Afghan asylum claims and asylum appeals, and the review of family reunion rules. You can find a range of briefings with further information here.