Today, in the UK, the right to seek safety from war and persecution is under attack.
In April 2022, the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill – also known as the Anti-Refugee Bill – was passed and became the Nationality and Borders Act, enacting measures designed to punish, rather than protect, people seeking safety.
Then, in March 2023, the UK Government introduced the Illegal Migration Bill – the #AntiRefugeeBill2 – yet another cruel and unworkable piece of legislation that means the UK will lock up refugees, simply for asking for protection.
“With these anti-refugee laws, the Government is closing their eyes and throwing people back to war and persecution.” Kidist, Leeds.
Together, we can fight these #AntiRefugeeLaws and defend the right to seek safety in the UK.
What’s wrong with these laws?
The Illegal Migration Bill is just the latest in a long line of hostile policies and anti-refugee laws.
The Nationality and Borders Act criminalises refugees, and paves the way for the UK Government to warehouse people in camps rather than house people in communities. It has also allowed the UK Government to create a two-tier system to punish refugees based on their journey here, rather than their need for protection, separating people from their families and preventing them from rebuilding their lives.
Now, only one year on from the passage of the Nationality and Borders Act, the Government has introduced the appalling Illegal Migration Bill. This Bill will mean the Government will detain and attempt to deport people simply for seeking safety, creating a ban on seeking asylum in the UK. Tens of thousands of people will be left in permanent limbo. It will significantly expand detention powers, including allowing the detention of families with children and pregnant women, and will tear up protections for modern slavery victims. It does nothing to create safe routes, instead requiring an annual cap on the number of people able to enter the UK via safe routes.
The glaring racism at the heart of the Government’s hostile refugee policy — which pulls up the ladder on refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and most of Asia including Afghanistan — must be called out.
“Due to a political problem I was forced to leave Afghanistan and travel to the UK through different countries. These laws will mean people in my situation will have no chance to claim asylum”. Asimgul, Walsall
We know that hostility and deterrence do not work. We believe that people seeking protection from war and persecution should be welcomed, and that everyone’s claim for asylum should be treated equally and fairly.
What can you do?
Throughout the passage of the last Anti-Refugee Bill, communities from across the UK came together to stand up for people seeking safety.
Now that the Nationality and Borders Act is in force and we are facing another Anti-Refugee Bill, over 500 groups have pledged to fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws and ultimately get these cruel laws scrapped and repealed.
- Learn more about the Fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws Pledge and add your group or organisation
- Sign the #AntiRefugeeLaws Pledge as an individual
- Call on your Local Authority to defend the right to seek safety
- Call on your MP to commit to challenging these laws
- Spread the word and share Fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws resources on social media.
We will continue fighting these anti-refugee laws with our partners and the people affected by them. We won’t rest until these damaging measures are overturned.
For our most up to date news on fighting the #AntiRefugeeLaws, check out our news posts below: