Our Open Letter on the
'New Plan for Immigration'
The Home Office recently released their New Plan for Immigration, which can be read here. This proposal contains a number of plans regarding the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the UK which we believe to be harmful.
SolidariTee have written an open letter speaking out against the injustices contained within the proposal, calling for an immediate retraction of plans including the 'one-stop process', and of the intent to penalise asylum seekers based on route of entry to the UK. We outline our objections to the plan, and the reasons we are concerned in our open letter, along with relevant facts and statistics for those who are interested in learning more.
If you are part of an organisation that would be interested in signing the letter with us, please contact our Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Home Office is also carrying out a public consultation regarding their New Plan for Immigration until the 6th May 2021. SolidariTee is putting together guidance on answering this - not because we expect you to answer in a certain way but because some of the questions are confusingly worded and we believe everyone should have the opportunity to have their voice heard.
Our Open Letter
A list of our demands can be found below - to read the full letter, please click the button below.
We call upon the Home Office to:
1. Immediately and unreservedly retract any and all elements of this proposal which seek to penalise, criminalise, or otherwise disadvantage refugees and asylum seekers based on the way in which they enter the UK or the manner in which they present evidence.
These include but are not limited to:
a) The criminalisation of irregular passage or entry into the UK by those with an intent to seek asylum.
b) The “one-stop” process and the “good faith” requirement set out in Chapter 5 of the Plan, which place an unfair burden of responsibility on the asylum seeker who may be initially unable to make all claims due to trauma, fear, or lack of knowledge about the asylum process.
c) The introduction of “new temporary protection status with less generous entitlements and limited family reunion rights” for people unjustly and inappropriately deemed “inadmissible” as outlined in Chapter 4, another example of reducing rights based upon route of entry.
2. Withdraw all segments of the New Plan expressing intent to introduce “reception centres” and the powers to deport asylum seekers before their claims have been processed, per Chapter 4 of the plan, which will place the welfare of asylum seekers at imminent risk. Please also publicly commit to ruling out the use of offshore detention centres, or processing facilities.
3. Retract plans to place the age assessment process in the hands of those who are not social workers, and maintain the age for threshold of certainty as ‘significantly over 25’ instead of ‘significantly over 18’.
4. Facilitate the provision of safe, formalised routes of entry to the UK, to prevent more needless deaths occurring in UK waters, and release your intentions to provide these publicly, before the end of the UK government’s New Plan for Immigration 6 week online consultation process.
5. Provide more clarity as to your intentions and targets for resettlement as a legal and regular form of refugee support, and publicly commit to significantly increasing the UK’s resettlement capacity. We call upon you to publish your intended resettlement targets before the end of the consultation process. Without this information, it is impossible for members of the public to fully understand the government’s intentions and commitments, and this must be part of the consultation process.
6. Participate in an open consultative process with the organisations who have signed this letter, including those with lived experience of seeking asylum and of the journeys you are so quick to criminalise.
Action for Education
Aegean Boat Report
Bail for Immigration Detainees
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Calais Food Collective
Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group
Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign
Climate and Ecological Bill Team
Conversation Over Borders
CU Doctors for All
Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity
Edinburgh Interfaith Association
Empower Her* Voice
Europe Must Act
Fabio Rossi, Somerville College JCR President
Give Your Best
Human Rights Observers (L’Auberge des migrants)
Hull Help for Refugees
Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants
Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN)
Louder Than The Storm
May Armstrong, on behalf of Fridays For Future Scotland
Medecins Sans Frontieres UK Take Action Group
Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment
People's Health Movement Scotland
Philippa Carrick, CEO, Tibet Relief Fund
Prof Rebecca Kay, University of Glasgow
Race & Health
Refugee Support Europe
Refugee Women Connect
Screen Share UK
Stand For All
St Augustine's Centre, Halifax
Steve Ali, Refugee Media Centre
Students for Global Health
Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK)
The Washing Machine Project
The Phoenix Project
Thousand 4 £1000
UK Must Act
Voices Without Borders
West End Refugee Service
Youth Stop AIDS
Looking for ways to use your voice?
1. Share this open letter - knowledge is the first step towards change.
2. Write to your MP to express your views on the New Plan, and to ask them to vote against it. A template email which you can use to base your letter on can be found here, and a list of contact details for MPs can be found here. Please note that letters written to MPs are best received when they are personalized, so please do include your own opinions in your own words.
3. Sign our petition to support the demands laid out in our open letter.
4. Fill in the government's consultation platform - guidance on completing the consultation as an individual can be found here. This guidance is not intended to be persuasive in any way, but instead to break down what is being asked in each question, and will be continuously updated over the coming days.
5. Amplify the work of other organisations - the more initiatives which can come together as possible the better in terms of taking a united stance against the New Plan. Please see below for links to a range of other organisations and campaigns which you can choose to support.