Joint Letter to the Prime Minister: Illegal Migration Bill


Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you now regarding the Illegal Migration Bill. As charities, unions and community organisations that stand with refugees, and people with lived experience of seeking asylum and being refugees, we are horrified by the proposed legislation that shames this Government and marks the UK as running roughshod over human rights.

The need to seek safety is a reality for people fleeing war and persecution across the world. The right to do so, and be treated fairly, is a long-established international principle. Like every country party to the Refugee Convention, the United Kingdom has committed to do its fair share to provide sanctuary and support people to rebuild their lives. This Bill, which proposes we lock up families, children and other refugees simply for asking for protection, fundamentally undermines this principle and makes a mockery of our international commitments.

This cruel and unworkable legislation will be just as damaging as last year’s Nationality and Borders Act. It will cause misery, cost millions to the taxpayer and drive desperate people to take ever more dangerous journeys having been left with no other route to safety. The Government boasts of our proud history of welcoming refugees, but this asylum ban does the exact opposite — it shuts the door on desperate people in need of protection. The glaring racism at the heart of the Government’s hostile refugee policy — which pulls up the ladder on refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and most of Asia including Afghanistan — must be called out.

Hostility and deterrence do not work. Last year’s anti-refugee Nationality and Borders Act proves it. What’s needed is a focus on improving the system. This includes better and faster decision-making to tackle a backlog that leaves people languishing in hotels; it means giving people seeking asylum the right to work; and it means supporting people to live safely and in dignity in our communities in humane housing. If passed, this Bill will cause more chaos to the asylum system by leaving thousands of people trapped in permanent limbo.

The Government must scrap this Bill and uphold its commitment to the Refugee Convention. This means considering people’s claims for asylum based on their merits and not the journey they took to get here, and supporting people to rebuild their lives in our communities.

We urge Ministers to rein in their inflammatory words that all too often echo the language used by racist groups. Dehumanising people in order to target minority and protected groups of people can only draw frightening parallels from history.

As signatories to this letter, we have pledged to defend the right to seek safety from war and persecution in the UK and oppose the long line of anti-refugee laws of which this Bill is the latest. In response to this Bill, we ask the Government to urgently rethink these measures, which do not reflect the proud history of welcome in the UK of which you speak so often.


Yours sincerely,


Abigail Housing

Action Foundation

African Community centre

African Rainbow Family

Alghochak – Afghan Association NI

Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU)

Ardoyne Youth Enterprise

Ashton Churches Asylum Project

Asylum Link Merseyside

Asylum Matters

Asylum Support Appeals Project

Asylum Welcome

Bail for Immigration Detainees


Bath Trades Union Council


Belfast Friendship Club

Ben & Jerry’s

Bentham Area Refugee Support Group

Best for Britain

Bristol Hospitality Network

Bradford Immigration and Asylum Support and Advice Network (BIASAN)

Big Leaf Foundation

Birmingham Community Hosting Network (BIRCH)

Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid

Black Europeans

Bloody Good Period

Bradford City of Sanctuary

Bridgwater Trades Union Council

Brighton Migrant English Project

Bristol City of Sanctuary

Bristol Defend the Asylum Seekers Campaign

Bristol Refugee Rights

Bromsgrove Justice and Peace Group

Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcome Refugees

Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group

Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign



Caritas Leeds (Catholic Diocese)

Caritas Shrewsbury

Carlisle Refugee Action Group

C-Change Scotland

Child Rights International Network (CRIN)

Children England

Children in Wales

Children’s Law Centre

City of Sanctuary UK

Come2Calais Volunteering

Committee on the Administration of Justice

Community Policy Forum

Connect Aid

Coventry Against Racism

Coventry refugee and migrant centre

Craven District of Sanctuary

CRIBS International

Croeso Menai

Curious monkey

Cyfoeth Y Coed

Da’aro Youth Project

DARE Darwen Asylum Refugee Enterprise

Derby Refugee Forum

Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity

Digbeth in the Fields, United Reformed Church in Birmingham

Diverse Cymru

Doctors of the World

Doncaster Conversation Club

Dr Zigs

Durham City of Sanctuary

Dyma Ni

Ecojustice Ireland


End Deportations Belfast

End Violence Against Women Coalition


Epsom and Ewell refugee network

ERANO -Empowering Refugees and Newcomers Organisation

Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales (EYST)


Everyday Language Solutions

Evesham Vale Welcomes Refugees

Fair Vote UK

Faith Network for Manchester

Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)


Freedom from Torture

Freedom United

Friends of the Drop in for Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

George House Trust

Global Link (Lancaster)

Good Chance Theatre

Govan Community Project

Grassington Peace Group

Greater Manchester Equality Alliance (GM=EqAl)

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

Growing Together Levenshulme

Guildford Refugee Aid

Hackney Stand Up to Racism

Haringey Migrant Support Centre

Haringey Welcome

Hastings Community of Sanctuary

Hastings Supports Refugees

Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees

Helen Bamber Foundation

Helping Empower Lives in Peterborough (HELP)

Her Centre

Here for Good Law

Here NI

Herts for Refugees

Hope and Aid Direct

Hope Cafe Athens

Hope into Action: UK

HOPE not hate

Hope Projects

Human Rights Consortium

Human Rights Consortium Scotland

Human Rights Watch

Humans for Rights Network

Humans of Wolverhampton

Inclusion London

Jesuit Refugee Service UK

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)

Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

Justice First

Just Right Scotland

Kairos Women Working Together


Keep our NHS Public Merseyside and Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign

Lancaster Cohousing Black Lives Matter Group

Latin American Women’s Rights Service

Law Centres Network

Lawrence Street Workshops

Learn for Life Enterprise


M W Accounting

Magic for Smiles

Maison Foo

Manchester City of Sanctuary

Manchester Community Central

Manchester Migrant Solidarity

Marlow Refugee Action

Mary Thompson Fund

Maryhill Integration Network

Medical Aid for Refugees & Displaced People

Medical Justice

Methodist Central Hall Manchester

Methodist Church

Metropolitan Community Church of North London

Micro Rainbow

Middlesbrough Diocese Justice and Peace Commission.

Migrants At Work Ltd

Migrant Centre NI

Migrant Voice

Migrants Organise

Migrants’ Rights Network

Migration Justice Project at Law Centre NI

Migration Policy and Practice

Minority Ethnic Achievement Service

Museum of Homelessness

Muslim Council of Britain


Neath Port Talbot Friends of the Earth

New Europeans UK

New to the UK, North Shields

Newcastle Reform Synagogue

No To Hassockfield

North East Law Centre

North East Migration Project

North of England Refugee Service

North Wales Regional Equality Network

North West Migrants Forum

Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group

Northumberland County of Sanctuary

Northumbria People

Nottingham Arimathea Trust

Oasis Church Inner Birmingham

Open Hearts Open Borders Ltd

Open Britain

Open Door North East

Our Second Home

Participation and the Practice of Rights

Pendle New Neighbours

Penrith and Eden Refugee Network

Phoenix Law Human Rights Lawyers

Phone Credit For Refugees

Plan International UK

Plymouth in Unison

Plymouth Trades Council

Pobl i Bobl – Supporting Refugees


Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)

Positive Action In Housing


Prisoners’ Advice Service

Psychologists for Social Change Leeds

Psychologists For Social Change North East

Public Law Project

Quaker Service

Ra Football Club

Rainbow Refugees NI

Raise South West CIC

Refugee Asylum Seeker Migrant Action

Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London


Rape Crisis England & Wales

RAS Voice

Reading City of Sanctuary

Reboot GB

Reclaim the Agenda

Red Rope Socialist Walking and Climbing Club

Refugee Action

Refugee Aid Network

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton

Refugee and Migrant Centre (West Midlands)

Refugee Biriyani & Bananas

Refugee Council

Refugee Futures

Refugee Relief Ynys Mon

Refugee Support Group Berkshire

Refugee Tales, Cymru

Refugee Women of Bristol

Refugee Youth Service

Refugee, Asylum seeker and Migrant Action

Refugees at Home

Regional Refugee Forum North East

René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights


Restore – a project of Birmingham Churches Together

Rights of Women

Ripon City of Sanctuary

Roger Baron IFA Ltd

Room to Heal



Salford CVS

Saltburn & East Cleveland Befrienders

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Save The Children

Scarborough Friends of Refugees

Scottish Refugee Council

STDWR stroud

SHARe Knowsley

Simon Community Scotland

Six Ways Erdington Baptist Church

Skipton & Craven Refugee Support Network

Skipton Refugee Support Group

SMK Law Solicitors

Socialist Workers Party

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group

South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice

Southampton Action

St Albans for Refugees

St Augustine’s Centre

St Chad’s Sanctuary

St Thomas Aquinas School

St Vincent de Paul RC Church, Justice & Peace Group Liverpool

St Vincent’s Support Centre

St. James Church, Swansea

St.Thomas Church Ashton-in-Makerfield Lancashire

Stand & Be Counted Theatre

Stand Together Andover

Stand Up To Racism Birmingham

Stand up to Racism Llanelli

STAR Exeter

Starling Collective


Step Up Migrant Women UK

Stockton Baptist Church

Stories of Hope and Home

Stroud Quaker Meeting

Student Action for Refugees

Sunderland City of Sanctuary

Surviving Economic Abuse

Swansea Asylum Seeker Support

Swansea City of Sanctuary

Support for Wigan Arrivals Project

Swindon City of Sanctuary

Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group

Tara Centre Lancaster

Team Parish of St Luke in the City, Liverpool

Tees Valley of Sanctuary

The Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees

The Bike Project

The Birth Partner Project

The Church at Carrs Lane

The Cotton Tree Trust

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

The PILS Project

The Rainbow Project

The Refugee Rights Project

The Runnymede Trust

The William Gomes Podcast

The Women’s Centre Derry

Trinity Safe Space Charity

Tynemouth Together with Refugees

Tyneside Welcomes

U it’s Community Cornwall Branch

UCL Student Action for Refugees


Unlock Democracy

Upbeat Communities

Voice Ability

Voices in Exile

Voices Without Borders

Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (VONNE)

Volunteering Bradford – Inclusive Support

Walking With in North Tyneside

Walsall Quakers

WAST (Manchester Women Asylum Seekers Together)

We Belong

Welcome House

Wells Refugee Action Group

Welsh Centre for International Affairs

West London Welcome

With Love – baby blankets for refugees

Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary

Women for Refugee Women

Women’s Platform


Young Roots

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