To mark the national Week of Action on the #AntiRefugeeBill, over 50 civil society groups and individuals across the North East have signed a Regional Pledge and committed to raise their voices and take action to oppose the Government’s cruel and divisive plans.
As civil society representatives from the North East of England, we are proud to be a place of welcome. The outpouring of support across our region for people seeking safety from Afghanistan has shown that our spirit of care and solidarity is stronger than ever.
That is why we must speak out against the Government’s new proposals to rewrite the asylum system, which will have grave consequences for people seeking safety and the communities they live in.
The Nationality and Borders Bill – dubbed the anti-refugee bill – seeks to punish people seeking safety for the journeys they have been forced to make. It will lead to even more dangerous routes to safety, and will prevent people who have fled violence and persecution from rebuilding their lives.
The crisis in Afghanistan has only reinforced the cruelty of this Bill. In a few months’ time, some Afghan refugees will reach the UK after a perilous journey. Under this Bill, they will be criminalised and threatened with deportation – a far cry from the ‘warm welcome’ that this Government had promised to refugees at the start of the crisis.
This cannot happen in our name. We are united in opposing this anti-refugee bill, and call on the UK Government to scrap these cruel and divisive proposals.
The North East is a place that is strengthened by refugees and people seeking safety. We are a region that cares for and stands up for everyone in our communities. Together, we pledge to raise our voices and take action to oppose this cruel anti-refugee bill.
The North East Pledge has been signed by: