On March 24, Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled the government’s ‘New Plan for Immigration’ policy paper. It proposes that only people arriving to the UK through official routes, like resettlement schemes, will be permitted to settle in the UK permanently.
If put into place, this policy would deny refugee status to anyone who passes through a third ‘safe’ country before arrival to the UK.
Anyone who makes a clandestine journey to the UK will be granted a new ‘temporary protection status’.
This temporary status will make it nearly impossible for asylum seekers to build a new life in the UK. They will be assessed for removal every 30 months. They will have fewer rights to family reunion. And they will have no recourse to public funds except in cases of destitution.
Article 31 of the Refugee Convention states:
The New Plan fails to acknowledge that not everyone can enter the UK via a legal route.
Currently, only a very small proportion of refugees come to the UK through resettlement schemes. And, for many people, it is simply not possible to obtain a visa to travel.
How someone arrives here shouldn’t determine the validity of their claim. People fleeing for their lives do not have the luxury of choosing how they escape.
The New Plan talks about the importance of integration. But it also proposes accommodating asylum seekers who arrive through illegal routes in ‘reception centres’ while their claims are processed. Some asylum claims could be processed offshore.
This doesn’t add up.
Mears’ recent introduction of a mother and baby unit in Glasgow is indicative of a general move by the Home Office towards institutional accommodation for asylum seekers. The New Plan takes things one step further by completely segregating those seeking safety from communities.
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On March 8, 2022, Amma Birth Companions is taking part in the Big Give ‘Women and Girls Match Fund’ campaign, with an ambitious target to raise £20,000 in just one week. All funds raised will go towards the creation of the Amma Access Fund: a new grant designed to make training in birth work more accessible to women from underrepresented groups.
In Scotland we have a proud history of protest, of raising our voices against the injustices that blight our society and speaking truth to power.
We – the undersigned – are proud to work in a country that values compassion and fairness. Though across our communities and sectors we work to achieve different things, today we are united in our opposition to the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill.