Bishop of Southwark asks a question on immigration

The Bishop of Southwark asked a question in a debate on the government’s immigration policy and deportations to Rwanda on 15th June 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, in response to the Home Office Oral Statement, we on these Benches ask if it is not immoral that those who are to be deported to Rwanda have had no chance to appeal or to reunite with family in Britain. Is it not immoral that they have had no consideration of their asylum claims, recognition of their medical or other needs, or attempts to understand their predicament, given that many are desperate people fleeing unspeakable horrors?

Would the Minister welcome the very good work done in parishes up and down the country in support of refugees and asylum seekers—endeavours that are strongly endorsed by these Benches? In the light of the Home Secretary’s challenge to articulate more clearly alternatives to government policy, I ask the Minister what consideration Her Majesty’s Government have given to humanitarian corridors, as practised in France and Italy, and in which churches have played a prominent part.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): My Lords, we had a good discussion on morality yesterday. As I said then, and shall say now, I think it is not moral to not do everything you can to prevent people drowning at sea or being delivered into the hands of criminals; I do not find that moral at all. On alternative humanitarian corridors, we have provided resettlement schemes for our Afghan, Ukrainian, Syrian and Hong Kong friends who are fleeing regimes which put them in danger. They are the sorts of things that we are doing. There are safe and legal routes. It is perfectly legitimate to say that we should widen the safe and legal route so that literally anyone can come here, but we have to tailor our hospitality and our refuge to the people who need it most, and that is what we are doing. However, I will not let this go by without thanking the Church for the work it does in supporting those in need.


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