Fight the Anti-Refugee Laws

Today, in the UK, the right to seek safety from war and persecution is under attack.

In July 2023, the UK Government’s Illegal Migration Act passed into law, destroying the right to seek safety in the UK. This cruel and unworkable piece of legislation followed the 2022 Nationality and Borders Act, which allows the UK Government to criminalise and punish, rather than protect, people seeking safety.

“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 Act 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 are facing 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.

This appalling legislation is just the latest in a long line of hostile policies and anti-refugee laws. The 2022 Nationality and Borders Act criminalises refugees, and has paved the way for the UK Government to warehouse people in camps rather than house people in communities.

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 has the right to seek safety.

What can you do?

Throughout the passage of the the Illegal Migration Act, local leaders and communities came together to stand up for people seeking safety. This campaigning built on the strength of community response to the Nationality and Borders Act just one year earlier. And now, over 540 groups, many Local Authorities (including Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Ealing, Newcastle, Newham, and Sheffield), and dozens of MPs, have pledged to fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws and ultimately get these cruel laws scrapped and repealed.

As we now face the Illegal Migration Act coming into force and the ongoing cruelty of the Nationality and Borders Act, there are many actions everyone can take to fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws:

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

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