A Word from the British Red Cross . . .

British Red Cross

We need a compassionate system

Hi Ian,

It’s not something everyone knows us for, but the British Red Cross is this country’s largest provider of support to refugees and people seeking asylum. 

We’ve got a proud history of helping people fleeing war and persecution – and that’s why we’re deeply concerned about the Illegal Migration Bill that’s going through parliament right now. 

It’s a complicated topic, so I’ll be honest, this email will be a bit longer than usual.

A catch-22 situation
The only way to claim asylum here is to be on UK soil. The heart of the problem with this bill is that it’s going to leave tens of thousands of people in a terrible catch-22 situation: if they arrive here without a visa or can’t access one of the few safe routes available, they’ll be detained, deported and automatically prevented from claiming asylum. But they won’t be able to get a visa before they arrive, as there are none offered for people fleeing war and persecution.

So this bill will effectively leave people with no way to claim asylum in the UK.

Stuck in limbo

Many people won’t be able to be deported to the county they came from because they aren’t safe. So tens of thousands of people from places like Afghanistan and Syria could be stuck in detention centres or left in limbo indefinitely. They won’t be able to work, but will also get little to no support from the Home Office.

This means people who’ve already fled terrible situations will be plunged into a life of total uncertainty. 

You can imagine how important it is for survivors of modern slavery to have time, support and a safe space to recover and rebuild their lives. But even people who were trafficked here by criminals won’t be able to access support.

What we’re doing

It’s clear that the way we process asylum claims and support refugees in this country needs to change – but building more barriers isn’t the answer. If you’d like to hear why, from someone who’s experienced the asylum system themselves, I’d recommend having a read of this when you’ve got a moment.

We’re currently trying to work with MPs and government so they understand the true impact this bill will have. We want to work with them to create a fairer, more compassionate and more effective asylum system that works for everyone.

Your support will really help us as we try and achieve this, so thank you for standing with us. 

Your opinion

I wasn’t sure how much you already know about this situation, so I didn’t want to ask you straight off the bat – but I’d be really keen to know what you think:

Are you worried about the impact this bill will have on refugees and people seeking asylum?

My answer to the question in the last sentence was “Yes”.

The original message may be seen HERE

About Ian

Retired Clergyman, and former RAF person. Lives in Kirkcudbright, SW Scotland. One wife. Two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren scattered across UK, Europe and the USA. Long time member of the European Movement, and latterly of the Scottish National Party. ""Here's to us; who is as good as us? Damn few, and they're all dead"
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