January 02, 2022

IWA Urges MP’s & Public to Oppose New Nationality and Borders Bill

Leyose Paul

INDIAN Worker’s Association(IWA) has stated that the proposed Nationality and Borders Bill is oppressive, racist, discriminatory and above all, immoral. The new draconian Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 366 votes to 265. The Bill, according to the government, is proposed to increase fairness in the asylum system and to deter illegal entry into the UK and easily remove people that the home secretary, at her discretion, deems to be a threat to the nation.

The IWA strongly believes that the Bill is engineered to keep the migrant population in fear and oppression. The reasons for opposing the Bill according to IWA are:

● The Bill is premised on the idea that refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in, but this is antithetical with the international obligation under the Refugee Convention 1951 and moreover, is contrary to the international law where the primary responsibility for identifying refugees and affording international protection rests with the State in which an asylum-seeker arrives and seeks that protection. It is not a workable solution if the autonomy for checking immigration status lies solely on border agencies as individuals’ immigration circumstances are varied and complex.

● The Bill also seeks to restrict the family members of Group 2 refugees to enter or remain in the UK. This is beyond immoral as the unity of the family is an essential right of the refugee as per the Human Rights Act 1998.

● There are various practical difficulties for refugees and asylum seekers to furnish their documents without enough notification. The legislation is, therefore, in variance with the international goal to combat slavery and human trafficking and clearly disadvantages those who have already fled from traumatic experiences, creating further stress and anxiety for them.

● According to the 2011 ONS(Office for National Statistics) figures, 634,878 Indian residents in the UK can be affected, making Indian nationals the most affected group of people. If the Bill is passed in parliament as it currently stands, the Nationality and Borders Bill would not change the number of people eligible to be deprived of their citizenship, but rather would loosen the requirement on the government to notify people who have been stripped of their citizenship.

The Indian Worker’s Association demanded an urgent withdrawal of this New Immigration Bill.