THE Nationality and Borders Bill is being debated in parliament and there will be attempts to push this bill through quickly, as urgency from the government has been announced; this does nothing to provide safe passage to refugees seeking help from the UK.

Most people getting into the UK by boat are refugees, not economic migrants.

At present, safe passage is where refugees seek asylum from their own country and make applications to the UK. Whereby they require documents, proof of persecution/danger and a means of getting all of this to the attention of authorities here.

Impossible for most, which results in them having to remain within that regime, which is driving them to seek safety, pushing them into the arms of criminal people traffickers.

No safe passage means we are seeing increasing numbers of desperate people climbing into dinghies to cross the English Channel.

It is reported that most of these are young men, untrue, this is what the xenophobic media wants us to see.

It is also reported that we are the most sought country for refuge. This is untrue. We are the eighth country of choice; Germany is favoured by the majority.

People arriving at our shores are expected to make disclosures.

These are people terrified by their experiences, treated as criminals on arrival, locked in barracks which may have been the source of what they were fleeing from, reminding them daily of the horrors, which is unimaginable.

This is inhumane detention, with people transported between centres with untreated broken bones, burns and cancer, behind barbed wire fences, and supervised by guards.

Those that fail to make these disclosures are returned to the country they were fleeing.

I ask you both to vote against this bill, which has been described as inhumane by the British Red Cross Society and condemned by Amnesty and the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission).

Amelia Washbourne


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