16 June 2022, The Tablet

The bishops seem not to acknowledge that illegal immigration is a problem

The bishops seem not to acknowledge that illegal immigration is a problem

CHURCH OF England bishops took to the usual channels to express their indignation at the Government’s policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. In a letter to The Times they declared their conviction that Britain should not “outsource our ethical responsibilities”. As for the refugees, “Many are desperate people fleeing unspeakable horrors.”

Many of them indeed are. But not from their immediate point of origin. Those who come to Britain on boats are fleeing, not Iran or Syria, but … France, Belgium and other parts of Europe. There they have zero chance of being persecuted. I know one medic who works in surgeries in West London who deals with a great many refugees. Some do bear signs of maltreatment from their countries of origin, though the worst case he came across, a victim of torture, had come to Britain by boat from Denmark, famously the happiest country on earth, and was depressed because he was separated from his family in Denmark and hoped they’d be allowed to join him. They come to Britain because they have relatives or communities they can live with, or think the chances of bettering themselves are greater – all reasonable, human aspirations, but none amounting to a well-founded fear of persecution.

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