Bishop of Durham asks Government about community sponsorship of refugees

On 25th April 2019 Baroness Sheehan asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the progress of the community sponsorship scheme in supporting resettled refugees in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I declare an interest as a trustee of Reset. Thanks to the work of Reset, the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative and others, community sponsorship is now being taken up more rapidly, as the Minister said, and explored in communities across the world. This growth underlines the importance of measuring and learning from the outcomes on sponsored refugees and the sponsoring community. What data does the Government collect? Will they make it public so that community sponsorship can keep growing in number and quality? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about community sponsorship of refugees”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government what consultation takes place with religious communities to inform asylum decision making

On 9th April 2019 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, received written answers to two questions about asylum decisions and consultation with religious communities:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester:

(i) (HL14943) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what processes they operate for monitoring and reviewing decisions on asylum claims.

(ii) (HL14942 ) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultation they have undertaken with religious communities to inform decision-making processes for asylum claims.

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Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about religious literacy training for Home Office immigration caseworkers

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn 3rd April 2019 the Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, about the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, responded with a follow up question about religious literacy in determining asylum applications:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, while grateful for the Statement and the compensation scheme, I have a particular concern to raise with the Minister. We have recently seen publicity about very poor decisions on immigration made in the Home Office, suggesting that decisions are being made by staff who are perhaps too junior or not adequately trained. Can we be assured that there will be enough staff working on this scheme who are of sufficient seniority and adequately trained?

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about timescale of immigration detention review

19.01.07 durhamOn 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”

Bishop of Chester asks Government about transition process from asylum seeker to refugee

On 20th March 2019 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the Government “what steps they are taking to prevent destitution among newly recognised refugees in the light of the British Red Cross Report Still an ordeal, published in December 2018.” The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow-up question:

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about arrangements for refugee family reunion after Brexit

On 18th March 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion to Approve the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is striking how small a part asylum and resettlement have played in the conversation about a post-Brexit immigration system. Assuming—and praying—that we do not leave without a deal, I hope that discussion of these vital areas will not be limited to the margins of an already limited engagement with the immigration White Paper and the SIs. I have a series of questions for the Minister.

It might just be me, but I often struggle to see evidence of the Home Office applying the family test in SIs and other areas. Can the Minister assure me that the family test has been applied to these SIs?

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Bishop of Durham – We need an immigration policy led by the needs of communities and the personhood of migrants

On 14th February 2019 the House of Lords held a short debate on a question from Lord Roberts of Llandudno, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to improve immigration procedures in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, took part:

Given the velocity with which the incredibly narrow immigration Bill will likely be sped through this House, any and all opportunities for Parliament to provide scrutiny of immigration is to be welcomed. Without more scrutiny we seem to risk squandering the potential for a reset moment in the way that the UK thinks, debates and legislates about migration.

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