Priti Patel’s UK immigration reforms could mean two-thirds of women and child refugees would be turned away
Two thirds of women and children who would be accepted as refugees in the UK now, would be turned away under tough new immigration rules proposed by Priti Patel, campaigners have claimed.
It comes as a former refugee, who now works for the NHS, pleaded with the Government not to abandon people like her who have to flee inhumane situations in their home country.
The Home Secretary’s New Plan for Immigration will seek to remove people who enter the UK “illegally” – including in boats across the English Channel – after travelling through another country where they could have claimed asylum.
Sabir Zazai, a former refugee and spokesperson for the coalition, said: “These are mothers escaping war-torn Syria, women fleeing sexual violence in Congo or children escaping life-long conscription into the military in Eritrea. These are people in fear of their lives. These are people like me. These are also people like you, people who want to live in safety and dignity.
“The majority of people in Britain believe in protecting refugees, and the Government themselves have said they want to protect the most vulnerable including women and children. That’s why we are calling for a more effective, fair and humane approach to supporting refugees.”
Together with Refugees, made up of more than 200 organisations, called on the Government to allow refugees to have a fair hearing about staying in the UK.
Aster, who arrived from Eritrea in the back of a lorry in 2009, thanked the UK for saving her and for giving her an opportunity. She now works as a clinical support worker on a Covid-19 ward in Leeds, adding that she does not want to depend on the state.
Aster said: “When I left Eritrea, I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. I just knew I had to get out. Every day, I thank God for bringing me here… Every time you give someone sanctuary, you have the opportunity to save a life.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have a responsibility to put the ‘New Plan for Immigration’ into action so that we can fix the broken asylum system, helping people based on need, not the ability to pay people smugglers.
“People should be reassured by our track record – since 2015 we have resettled over 25,000 vulnerable refugees, many women and children so they can rebuild their lives here.
“We will continue to work closely with the UNHCR to ensure those in greatest need get our support.
“We make no apology for seeking to fix a system which is being exploited by human traffickers, who are encouraging women and children to risk their lives crossing the Channel.”
- ^ tough new immigration rules proposed by Priti Patel (inews.co.uk)
- ^ Home Secretary’s New Plan for Immigration (www.gov.uk)
- ^ seek to remove people who enter the UK “illegally” (inews.co.uk)
- ^ Together with Refugees (togetherwithrefugees.org.uk)
- ^ war-torn Syria (inews.co.uk)
- ^ protecting refugees (inews.co.uk)
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