On 5th October 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Immigration and Social Security (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020 during the second day of its Report stage. The Bishop of Southwark spoke in favour of amendments to the Bill on
- Child refugees and family reunion
- Providing physical, not just digital, proof of settled and pre-settled status in the UK.
- Placing an upper limit of 28 days on the time an EEA or Swiss national may be held in immigration detention.
The texts of his speeches are below. He and ten other bishops voted on these and other amendments to the Bill and the details are recorded here.
Continue reading “Immigration and Social Security (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020: Bishop of Southwark backs changes on child refugees, detention, documentation”
On 22nd July the Government’s Immigration and Social Security (EU Withdrawal) Bill was debated at Sec0nd Reading in the House of Lords. The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, and the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, spoke in the debate, highlighting modern slavery, work eligibility, EU citizens, visas for ministers of religion, tariffs, and children’s welfare.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, the introduction of this Bill in another place is a signal opportunity for Her Majesty’s Government comprehensively to reset the legislative basis for immigration control in this country, to set out a vision for doing so, and to rationalise and streamline the more than 1,000 pages of immigration legislation under which we labour. It is surprising, therefore, that, as other speakers have pointed out, this Bill is so narrow in scope. Continue reading “Bishops of Southwark and Bristol highlight concerns with Government’s Immigration Bill”
On 9th June the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, received a written answer to a question from Baroness Williams of Trafford on immigrants displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: HL4966 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many residents of immigration removal centres (1) have displayed, or (2) are currently displaying, symptoms of COVID-19; and of those, how many have been tested.
Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about Covid-19 levels in immigration removal centres”
On 14th May 2020 the Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mulally, received a written answer to a question to Government on immigration removal centres:
The Lord Bishop of London: HL3786 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 29 January, the statement that “for detention to be lawful, there must be a realistic prospect of the individual’s removal from the UK within a reasonable timescale”, and the travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what steps they are taking to find alternative ways in which those placed in detention centres are managed. Continue reading “Bishop of London asks Government about pandemic effect on immigration detention and removals”
On 3rd April 2020 the Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, received a written answer to a question on Covid-19 support to people in immigration removal centres:
The Lord Bishop of London: HL2780 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide healthcare and support services to people in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “Bishop of London asks Government about Covid-19 support to people in immigration removal centres”
On 24th March 2020 the House of Lords debated the emergency legislation from the Government to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate, highlighting issues to do with church closures, funerals, and care of the vulnerable, including the homeless, and those in prison or immigration detention:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, in these days I have been reflecting on the words of the Hebrew psalmist who, at the time of his people’s exile, articulated the question:
“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
In many ways we are entering into a strange land, and indeed in some ways a land of exile: a land in which we are exiled from many of our normal patterns of living, in which people of faith are not able to attend their places of worship and in which many people find themselves having to live life in entirely new ways.
Continue reading “Coronavirus Bill: Bishop of Rochester responds on church closures and care for vulnerable”
On 3rd April 2019 Baroness Whitaker asked the Government “whether they intend to implement the recommendations of the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Immigration Detention (HL Paper 279), published on 7 February, in particular those related to indefinite detention.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, the Joint Committee’s report recommends that initial detention decisions be reviewed by a judge within 72 hours. Can the Minister explain why the usual standards of British justice should not apply here? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about timescale of immigration detention review”
On the 15th May 2018 Lord Beecham asked Her Majesty’s Government an urgent (private notice) question, “what measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of asylum seekers during periods of detention in the prison system and during their removal from the United Kingdom”. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question about alternatives to detention:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, would the Minister agree that this case supports why we need to develop alternatives to detention as a matter of priority? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about alternatives to prison detention in immigration removals”
On the 27th February 2018 Lord Paddick asked Her Majesty’s Government an urgent (private notice) question, “what steps they are taking to respond to the hunger strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire”. The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow-up question about the appropriateness of the number of individuals detained in detention centres:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: Can the Minister inform the House what percentage of those held in immigration detention centres are released back into the communities from which they came and what that tells us about the appropriateness of the numbers being detained in that way?
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about immigration detention centres”
On 25th May, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they will make it their policy routinely to publish statistical information on the detention of pregnant women under the Immigration Act 2014.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I would be grateful if the Minister would detail the criteria and give examples of the exceptional circumstances that justify the detention of pregnant women under the Act.
Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Govt about detention of pregnant women under the Immigration Act”