The Jesuit Refugee Service has renewed calls for the government to abandon its controversial Illegal Migration Bill.
The Catholic charity spoke out in the wake of a new report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) that states that the Bill would “deny the vast majority of refugees access to the UK’s asylum system” and “breaches the object and purpose of the Refugee Convention”.
in written evidence to the JCHR, JRS UK said that the Bill would ban most refugees from claiming asylum in the UK, hugely expand the use of immigration detention, strip modern slavery survivors of protection and create a fresh risk of long-term destitution for refugees in the UK.
JRS director Sarah Teather, said, “The JCHR’S findings are the latest in an overwhelming catalogue of evidence of the Illegal Migration Bill's callous cruelty. This Bill would create a refugee ban. It would wreak vast human suffering and it would serve no good purpose. The Bill must be abandoned in its entirety.”
The JCHR is a cross-party parliamentary committee and authoritative voice on human rights. Its report, Legislative Scrutiny: Illegal Migration Bill, was published on Sunday. The JCHR critiques the Bill on multiple other related levels including expressing extreme concerns about “the expansion of powers of immigration detention under the Bill and the apparent intention to use detention as a matter of course”.
The JCHR recommends removal from the Bill of clauses that would render most asylum claims inadmissible to the UK asylum system and place Home Secretary, currently Suella Braverman, in charge of removing those deemed inadmissible. These clauses are at the heart of the Bill, which has been widely criticised.
The Illegal Migration Bill is currently in committee stage in the House of Lords, where it may be amended. It will then return to the House of Commons.