THE North West Migrants Forum says the UK government’s illegal migration bill dehumanises those seeking international protection.
The bill is to become law after the government saw off a series of proposed amendments by the House of Lords on Monday night.
Naomi Green is Programmes Manager with the North West Migrants Forum.
She said the new legislation will have a tremendous impact on people seeking international protection.
“It is against international law and it is against the commitments the UK signed up to when it joined the Refugee Convention in 1951,” said Ms Green.
“I think it is shameful and it is dehumanising because ultimately it doesn’t matter how someone got here, it is about what they have been through, what persecution they have faced or that they are fleeing war. Their circumstances are not going to change by punishing people for coming to the UK the only way they can.
“Already people are facing tremendous delays in having their applications assessed. These are individuals and families who have come from trauma and despite what some might say, they are not being treated to five-star luxury hotels. They are living in very difficult and restrictive conditions, they can’t work and what they eat and what they spend is highly controlled. This will impact further on how people are received and welcomed in this country because it is institutionalised discrimination against people genuinely seeking asylum.
“This bill will only heap further misery and hurt on people who have already been through trauma. This will impact further on how people are received and welcomed in this country because it is institutionalised discrimination against people genuinely seeking asylum. It has become government policy. By pushing through this legislation the government is giving them more uncertainty and they are only increasing racism and intolerance, because now it is coming from the government.
“We have seen a rise in the general public’s negative opinion towards those seeking protection, and it is not by accident that society is being radicalised in this way. A few years ago we had the far right on the street expressing these sorts of demeaning views and we were told it was just an irrelevant minority. Now it is the UK government doing it, it has become government policy.”