Bridget Young, NACCOM’s Director, said: “Whilst not unexpected, the passing of the Illegal Migration Bill marks a profoundly shameful and damaging moment for refugee protection and human rights in the UK, and will cause considerable distress to people seeking protection here, both now and in the future.
The many failures and harmful impacts of the Bill have been explained clearly and in detail to the Government again and again – including by NACCOM and our members. We are devastated that they continue to willfully ignore all evidence and guidance, and choose criminalisation and cruelty over compassion and competence.
Through our frontline network we see each day how chaotic, ineffective and punitive immigration policy-making harms men, women and children in our communities. Homelessness and destitution are already baked into the asylum system – under the new immigration law, thousands more people will be pushed into extreme hardship, with no recourse to justice or adequate support. Trapping people into poverty indefinitely, with no means to provide for themselves, is not what our communities want, or need.
The extra burden this will place on already-overstretched statutory and voluntary services also cannot be ignored. NACCOM stands in solidarity with refugees and people seeking asylum, and will continue to work with our members and partners to mitigate the worst impacts of the Bill/Act, whilst advocating for policies that enable people to live with dignity and agency.”