Bishop of Durham asks about immigration detention centres

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 6th December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many propositions for new Immigration Removal Centres have been announced to market in the last two years.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): In the period 23 November 2020 to 23 November 2022 the Home Office has announced to the market three new Immigration Removals Centres: Derwentside IRC, Campsfield IRC, and Haslar IRC.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about permits for overseas agricultural workers

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 14th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to grant more overseas workers permits for work in food production in the Lee Valley.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): Our skills-based immigration system enables us to treat people from every part of the world equally. We have broadened the eligibility of Skilled Worker visas from graduate jobs only to include jobs skilled to RQF level 3 and lowered the salary threshold to £25,600, making more overseas worker eligible to enter the UK. There are already a range of occupations in the agri-food sector which are eligible under our immigration system, if English language and salary requirements are met. Our immigration system is not regional and therefore available to all employers (including those in the Lee Valley area).

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Bishop of Durham asks about detention and accommodation of migrants

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 9th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government whether they have adopted the recommendation in the report by Stephen Shaw Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons (Cm 9186), published in January 2016, to reduce the use of detention for immigration purposes and to explore alternatives.

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Bishop of Exeter asks about seasonal workers in the horticultural industry

The Bishop of Exeter received the following written answer on 10th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Exeter asked Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to increase the number of visas for seasonal workers given the estimated £60 million losses by the horticultural industry for the first half of this year’s growing season.

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Votes: Nationality and Borders Bill

On 8th March 2022, the House of Lords debated amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill in its third day of the Report stage. Votes were held on several amendments, in which Bishops took part.

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Bishop of Bristol on migrant tragedy: English Channel must not become a graveyard for children

On 29th October Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked the Government, “following the deaths of at least four people in the English Channel, what steps they are taking to protect asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking who are fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in the UK.”. The Bishop of Bristol asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Bristol [V]: My Lords, as we have already heard, the death of anyone trying to reach the UK in search of safety is tragic, and the tragedy is multiplied when it is the death of a family. Save the Children is right to say that the English Channel must not become a graveyard for children. With that in mind, can the Minister update the House on the resumption of the refugee resettlement programme which was suspended in March? Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol on migrant tragedy: English Channel must not become a graveyard for children”

Bishops of Southwark and Bristol highlight concerns with Government’s Immigration Bill

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”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about support for asylum seekers during Covid-19

On 30th June there was a repeat of an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on support and accommodation for Asylum Seekers during Covid-19. The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, asked a follow up question focusing on supporting vulnerable people with wrap around care.

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, vulnerability assessments are so important. There are questions about when they happen and the need for them to be ongoing and serious. There is also a question about how. Is the Minister satisfied that the vulnerability assessments are sufficiently tuned to the experiences and needs of asylum seekers in their extremity, and take into consideration the whole person and the impact of the ongoing experience of lockdown?

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Bishop of Southwark asks about sanctions on Commonwealth citizens with right of abode but without documentation

On 30th June the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, received a written answer to a question from Baroness Williams of Trafford on sanctions towards Commonwealth citizens with right of abode but incorrect documentation.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: HL5625 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the level of oversight of sanctions, including denial of employment, health services, benefits and housing, to Commonwealth Citizens who do not have correct documentation but who have (1) right of abode or (2) right to remain in the UK.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about child refugees in Greece

On 25th June the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, received a written answer to a question on child refugees in Greece.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL5618 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the conditions for child refugees in Greece; what humanitarian and medical aid they have provided to those refugees; and what plans they have, if any, to allow them to come to the UK.

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