Central England Quaker Peace Committee
Central England Asylum Group
Have you noticed the government’s “change of heart” about receiving Syrian refugees?
Are you aware that the new approach to these refugees is in direct contrast to the measures introduced by the government to create a “hostile environment” for asylum-seekers?
Are you worried that a “hierarchy” of asylum-seekers and refugees might lead to further distress for the thousands from all over the world who are already here?
Would you like to make your views heard?
If so, please write to your MP, and encourage others in your Meeting to do so too.
Although public statements about asylum-seekers have been made by political leaders rather than your local MP, your MP is obliged to contact those political leaders if requested to do so by a constituent.
We welcome the proposal to take increased numbers through the United Nations Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Those who come under this scheme will receive refugee status on arrival. They will come with UN funding for the first year, and will then be expected to be supported by local authorities.
Write to your MP to ask the Chancellor George Osborne that local authorities who are accepting refugees under this scheme will be given additional government funding to ensure that they can fulfil their responsibilities under this commitment.
Write to your MP to ask the Prime Minister that the necessary emotional and pastoral support will not be off-loaded to charities which will not receive any funding to do this work.
The ongoing concern
At the end of 2014, the population in the UK there was a total of stateless persons made up of 117,161 refugees, 36,383 pending asylum cases and 16 stateless persons – 0.24% of the population. (Statistics from UNHCR). However, there are thousands more whose cases have been refused and who are destitute – some agencies put this figure at more than 200,000. There are many reasons why asylum-seekers become destitute – they may not be able to be returned, they may fear for their lives if they return, they may have forged relationships here or have children who know no other life. On appeal, many of these “failed” cases are successful. They are at constant risk of detention and deportation.
Write to your MP asking Theresa May to give an assurance that any increase in the number of refugees will not lead to an unjustifiable increase in deportations.
Write to your MP asking for a meeting to discuss the draconian measures contained in the new Asylum Bill which, if implemented, would cause panic and distress by rendering entire families homeless and destitute – contact a local refugee support organisation or a QARN member for support if necessary.
For further information on this and other aspects of our asylum concern, look at the website of the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network: www.qarn.org.uk
Please inform clerk of Peace Committee, John Cockcroft, of any replies you receive. Central England Quaker Peace Committee will be suggesting letter-writing topics on matters of concern, on a monthly basis.