Robert Jenrick, the Immigration Minister, has disregarded the call for more safe routes for refugees by 1500 church leaders.  In his response, (see link below), he doubles down on the Rwanda deportation policy for refugees arriving in the UK “illegally”.

The organisers of the original statement, JPIT, the Joint Public Issues Team of three church denominations working together for peace and justice, has urged people to write again to their MPs opposing the Illegal Migration Bill, which will soon return to the Commons for further debate.

Here is JPIT’s letter to supporters:

Dear friends

Back in March, over 1500 of you supported our joint statement opposing the Illegal Migration Bill. We handed the statement in to 10 Downing Street in April, and we have now received a formal response.

Click here to read the reply from Robert Jenrick, Immigration Minister.

The reply focusses on the justification for the Bill, naming the increase in small boat arrivals and the Prime Minister’s promise small boat channel crossings. It also lays out the increased funding for border force and detention, as well as justifying the Rwanda plan and the UK’s contribution to taking refugees to date.

The reply reinstates the argument that the UK cannot ‘make routes available for every eventuality’, but dodges the statements call for new safe routes to be established. As the Illegal Migration Bill makes its way through the House of Lords, we need to continue to raise the call for a more compassionate approach towards people seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Refugee Week – 19-25 June

We have another opportunity to raise this call in the upcoming refugee week, from 19-25 June. This is a chance to stand together again to show solidarity for people seeking asylum and call for a better approach. We’re inviting you to:

The Illegal Migration Bill will continue in the House of Lords for the next few weeks, where it will face a number of amendments. Now is a good time to write to your MP or to ask to meet with them, to ask them to support changes when the Bill returns to the Commons. Click here to find details of amendments.

Thank you for continuing to support refugees and people seeking asylum by advocating for a fairer and more compassionate approach.


Campaigns and Church Engagement Officer, JPIT

The Joint Public Issues Team is the Methodist Church, Baptist Union and United Reformed Church working together for peace and justice. Click here to find out more about our work.