New Bill punishing asylum seekers has been criticised by the St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales)

The government plans to introduce new legislation which will detain and remove people arriving to the UK to claim asylum. The new Illegal Migration will criminalise and punish people seeking asylum rather than provide them with sanctuary, warns the St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales).

The new Illegal Migration Bill, which was introduced to Parliament on March 7th, will prevent most people in need of sanctuary from claiming asylum in the UK. It also fails to provide safe routes for people seeking protection in the UK.

This Bill, if passed in its current form, will allow the Government to make arrangements for the removal of vulnerable people entering the UK to claim protection from war and persecution. It will also make the provision to hold asylum seekers in immigration removal centres including women and people who experienced torture and sexual violence.

Following the introduction of the Bill, Catholic charity, St Vincent de Paul Society, is urging the Government to create an asylum system which protects those seeking sanctuary and doesn’t punish people for seeking a better life.

Pope Francis has called for states to end “the return of migrants to unsafe countries and to give priority to saving lives at sea,” something which the SVP strongly endorses as we believe people from all countries seeking refuge should be welcomed.

As a Catholic charity that supports refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, the SVP is concerned the new Bill will leave vulnerable people at risk, and if passed in its current form will strip people fleeing war and persecution of their right to seek safety in the UK.