Statement from Liverpool voluntary sector organisations

in relation to the Liverpool City Council motion of 26th January 2022 and the Nationality and Borders Bill

We are organisations and groups in Liverpool working alongside people seeking asylum, refugees and others adversely affected by the immigration system. We applaud the motion passed in Liverpool Council to condemn the Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill and are proud to stand united and together with our councillors and Mayor in opposition to this divisive and cruel Bill. We are proud that Liverpool is a community of welcome, in which people treat each other with care and with dignity.


Every day we see the brutal impacts of an asylum system that is designed to punish, not protect. We see our friends and neighbours forced into homelessness, locked into poverty, living in uncertainty and robbed of the ability to contribute through work, for years on end.


Now, far from addressing the injustices of the current system, this Bill threatens to increase destitution and homelessness, add to the backlog of asylum cases which leaves people living in limbo, and separate families, forcing them to make ever more dangerous journeys.


Under this Bill, people will be criminalised for their arrival in the UK and turned away from safety. There will be even greater delays in the system, as the backlog of asylum applications and ‘inadmissible’ claims increases. Routes to family reunion will be shut down. People looking for protection will be warehoused in unacceptable conditions and many with a grant of status will receive only temporary protection with no recourse to public funds, robbed of the sense of security and stability they need to rebuild their lives. We are deeply concerned that the levels of destitution in Liverpool will increase when, under the new proposals, more people in our community are placed at risk of homelessness and poverty.


Our services, our local authority, and our communities will bear the brunt of these unworkable changes. We cannot accept a system that further fails people in need of our protection.


The Government must urgently scrap these harmful proposals and invest in an asylum system that enables people to keep themselves safe in our communities and rebuild their lives. People must be able to live in dignity while they wait for a decision, have the opportunity to work to provide for themselves and their family, receive swift and fair outcomes on their claims for protection and get the right support to build new lives within our community in Liverpool.


Signed:


Beverley Williams, Chair, Amadudu

Ewan Roberts, Centre Manager, staff and volunteers Asylum Link Merseyside

Julia Savage, Project Manager, Asylum Matters

Annette Burghes, Executive Director, Collective Encounters

Tim Beyer Helm, Chair, EMM European Movement Merseyside (LCR Region) and Co Founder, WWW World Wide Wednesday

Jason Ward, Director/Senior Therapist, Family Refugee Support Project

MaryAnne Francalanza, FCJ Sisters

Dr Naomi Maynard, Good Food Programme Director, Feeding Liverpool

Denise McDowell, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

Paula Nolan, Chief Executive Officer, Health Energy Advice Team & Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service

Michelle Blay, Insight & Intelligence Officer, Healthwatch Liverpool

Elena Remigi, Founder / Director, In Limbo Project

Rozanne McCoy, Liverpool Afghan Resettlement Group (LARG)

Sarah Stevens, Member, Liverpool Migrant Solidarity Network

Tahir Khan, Trustee, Liverpool Muslim Outreach Society

Mollie Eadsforth, Focal Point Coordinator , Liverpool Must Act

Ella Hatch, President, Liverpool University Student Action For Refugees

Rosie Ashton, Education Manager, Make CIC

Iqra Mazhir, Operations Manager, Mary Seacole House

Helena Mannix, Director, Maymann Ltd

Janet Coe, David Kenny, Sophie Brown, Merseyside Law Centre

Seana Roberts, Manager, Merseyside Refugee Support Network and Administrator of Liverpool City of Sanctuary Group and Lois Brown, Liverpool Resident, Member of Merseyside Refugee Support Network

Nina Houghton, Merseyside Solidarity Knows No Borders

Emma Howarth, Director of Operations, MitE Chaplaincy

Dorothy Bowman, June Kelly, no organisational affiliation

Anne Edwards, Administrator, PH Holt Foundation

Alison Moore, CEO, Refugee Women Connect

Magdaline Moyo, These Walls Must Fall, Merseyside

Steve Earle, Services Support Manager, Sahir House

Ann O’Connell, Second Chance

Margarey Roche, Manager, Share Knowsley

Peter Morgan, Parish Priest, St Anne's St Bernard's RC parish

Helene Santamera, Solicitor (np)

Debbie Wright, Chief Executive, The Greenhouse Multi-Cultural Play and Arts Project

Ellen Loudon, Chair of Trustees, Together Liverpool

Carol Hamlett, Director, Transforming Choice

Ruth Williams, retired social worker, Unison

Siobhan Taylor-Ward, Housing Solicitor, Vauxhall Community Law Centre