Britons protest government’s migration policies

Residents of the UK staged a protest Monday over the government’s anti-immigrant law preparations and government officials’ anti-immigration statements.

People gathered in front of parliament to protest the government’s migration policies in an activity organized by the Stop Racism platform, the National Education Union, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union and the Care 4 Calais platform.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the main opposition Labor Party member of parliament and shadow minister for immigration, criticized the government’s plans to deport irregular migrants to Rwanda with the Illegal Immigration Bill.

The Rwanda plan and other anti-migration efforts are “not viable, wrong and against international law,” Ribeiro-Addy said, noting that British society did not agree with the government.

Saying that some asylum seekers in the UK really need protection, she noted that many companies also make a lot of money thanks to immigrants.

“It is our moral and legal obligation to open our doors to immigrants,” she added.

Paul O’Connor from the PCS union said in his speech that members working in the Interior Ministry struggle with anti-immigrant sentiment and activities in the ministry as much as they fight for their own rights.

Emphasizing that irregular migrants trying to cross the English Channel in boats should have the same rights as Ukrainian and Hong Kong migrants, O’Connor urged the British people to oppose the scapegoating of migrants everywhere.

Introduced early this month, the government’s Illegal Migration Bill is aimed at removing migrants entering the country in small boats. The plan includes detaining the majority of those arriving in small boats for the first 28 days without bail or judicial review.

Last year, the British government announced a new and controversial relocation plan that would see asylum seekers attempting to enter the UK being sent to Rwanda for resettlement.

More than 44,000 migrants arrived in the UK through the English Channel last year.

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