'Embed compassion into immigration plan'
The Joint Public Issues Team has joined more than 80 faith groups and faith leaders in asking the Home Office to embed principles of compassion and respect for human dignity in its New Plan for Immigration (NPFI)
An open statement supported by more than 80 signatories from Christian denominations and other faiths was released on Monday (10 May).
'As a coalition of Christian faith groups and faith leaders brought together by the St Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales), we believe these proposals lack humanity and respect for human dignity,' the statement begins. 'We believe it would be wrong to create a system in which the way people enter the UK will impact how their asylum claim is processed and the status they might receive.'
The government announced the NPFI on 24 March, accompanied by a consultation. Following the closure of the consultation on 6 May 2021, the government is planning to introduce a bill to enshrine the proposals into UK law.
The statement continued, 'We welcome the government’s commitment to resettlement through the new UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) and look forward to the announcement of resettlement targets for the years to come, but this must not be at the expense of an asylum system that strives to offer protection to those who need it.
'We urge the Home Secretary to embed principles of welcome, protection and integration into the government’s policies. We must treat individuals and families seeking sanctuary on our shores as our brothers and sisters and valued members of our communities. How we respond to those in need has profound implications for who we are as a society.
'Recognising our obligations to those who seek sanctuary is fundamental to building a just and flourishing nation.'
Read the full statement here.