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Nationality and Borders Bill will cause anguish and suffering to refugees and asylum seekers

The Migration Justice Project at Law Centre NI is gravely concerned that the Nationality and Borders Bill has passed its final stage in Parliament and will now become law.

Liz Griffith from the Migration Justice Project said:

This legislation will cause real anguish and suffering.  It flies in the face of the UK’s international obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention, criminalising asylum and creating a system of differentiated treatment for refugees, allowing indefinite detention, off-shore processing and pushbacks at sea.  It also denies refugee protection for people who do not arrive in the United Kingdom through “regular” means when what is needed are safe and legal routes to sanctuary.

We work every day with people who have fled war, conflict and persecution and who have come to Northern Ireland for sanctuary. They deserve a system that provides them with the safety and security that they need and which they are entitled to under international law.  Whilst Westminster is responsible for immigration law, the passing of this legislation must now strengthen our collective resolve to stand for all those who seek sanctuary here.  The Northern Ireland Executive must use the full reach of its powers to make Northern Ireland a place where refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed without prejudice.”