The Nationality & Borders Bill introduces a two-tier system so that anyone entering the UK by a so-called illegal route will no longer be entitled to full refugee status. Instead, you will only get “temporary protection status” lasting no longer than 30 months. You will have limited access to benefits and family reunion, and could be removed from the UK while your claim is being decided. You will get only one chance to make an application and it will be easier for your claim to be dismissed as “unsubstantiated”. Even rape survivors will be expected to speak about everything they suffered at the very beginning regardless of trauma and the fear of stigma and discrimination. Boats can be turned back in the Channel meaning more people fleeing for their lives will be left to drown.
- The Bill penalises women, especially mothers and/or rape survivors. Rape victims who delay reporting will be fast tracked for deportation; their claims dismissed as “unsubstantiated”. Mothers who win only temporary status are prevented from reuniting with children they were forced to leave behind when they fled.
- New reception centres (detention by any other name) and off shore processing will lead to more abuse, including rape.
- The Bill aims to divide people and is based on lies, for example, immigrant people are not a drain on the UK; Britain takes many fewer asylum seekers than most other European countries.
- Immigration policy is economic policy – promoting racism and making people destitute boosts profits for big business as all workers have less power to refuse exploitation and low pay. 48% of women asylum seekers were found to be destitute in a recent survey: Up from Destitution.
- Immigration policy supports imperialist proxy wars for corporate profit, the arms trade and environmental destruction. People have the right to be here to claim the wealth stolen from Africa, India etc. over centuries of slavery and colonialism.
- Treating asylum seekers and refugees as disposable aims to lower everyone’s standards, to get people used to some lives not counting.
UK-born or not, with or without papers, in defending immigrants and asylum seekers we defend ourselves from a criminal and callous government. The Nationality & Borders Bill must go.
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