Hundreds march against Westminster against Illegal Migration Bill
Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Parliament to resist the government’s Illegal Migration Bill, which is being debated in the House of Commons.
The law, introduced last week, would prevent people entering the UK illegally from ever applying for asylum in the country.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman described the need for the legislation as “obvious and urgent”, citing the increasing number of small boats making the dangerous voyage across the English Channel.
Speaking to Parliament last Tuesday, she said: “You will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally you will be arrested and quickly deported.”
However, the government’s approach has been criticized by groups including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who said it was “deeply concerned”.
The charity Refugee Action said it would “cause misery, cost taxpayers millions and drive desperate people to undertake increasingly dangerous journeys”, while the Archbishop of York called the law “cruelty without purpose”.
Tonight’s large-scale protest in Parliament Square is the latest demonstration of opposition to the law.
Participants carried signs reading “Refugees are welcome, fascists are not” and “Stop the law, take care of refugees”.
During the second reading of the bill in the House of Commons tonight, the Home Secretary said the detention and deportation element would not apply to children.
She said: “Given the opposing members’ mischaracterization of the bill, I would like to clarify a few things.
“The Interior Minister’s obligation to deport does not apply to the detention and deportation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
“In line with current policy, we will only remove unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from the UK in certain circumstances, such as for family reunification purposes.
“Otherwise they will get the support they need in the UK until they are 18.”
At least one Conservative MP has said he will vote against the law, with former Immigration Secretary Caroline Nokes telling Times Radio she could not support it.
She said: “I didn’t vote for the last one, I won’t vote for this one. I may be an outlier in my party, but I think we have an absolute duty to treat people humanely to keep people safe.
“I am absolutely horrified at the prospect.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/13/hundreds-march-on-westminster-against-illegal-migration-bill-18436123/ Hundreds march against Westminster against Illegal Migration Bill