Everyone should be able to seek safety

28 April 2022

Last night, Parliament voted to pass the Nationality and Borders Bill – the #AntiRefugeeBill – into law. This is a dark day for the UK.  But there is hope, and we will keep on fighting. Here’s what you can do.

The Nationality and Borders Act is a cruel and inhumane piece of legislation that will cause untold harm to people fleeing war and persecution. No one chooses to be a refugee and anyone could find themselves forced to flee their home. We all have the right to seek sanctuary and be treated with compassion, dignity and respect. Today, in the UK, that basic right is under attack.

These new laws are a disgrace. From now on, whether or not you’re escaping from conflict or persecution won’t matter. Whether you are granted protection will depend on how you travel to the UK, not what you’re running from. People trying to find a place of safety for themselves and their families will be treated like criminals, detained and deported, or sent to offshore centres in other countries like Rwanda. Contrary to the government’s claims, these laws do not provide more safe routes and will separate people from their families, forcing more people to make dangerous and deadly journeys to reach the UK.

While this is a huge blow, there is hope. Together with all of the many organisations and people who stand against these laws, we have already made significant progress. More MPs stand with us and more people have joined us to raise their voices in support of refugees. And there have been significant wins. Just this week the government was forced to abandon its cruel refugee pushback policy. In February, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Parliament and the London Assembly all voted to reject the Bill. In March, polling found that 81% of the public support the right to work for people seeking asylum in the UK, and a number of senior Conservative MPs and peers have come out in support of lifting the ban.

There is also what you are all already doing, in communities across the UK, to offer friendship, solidarity and welcome to people seeking safety. This matters even more now. 

We will keep on fighting. We will keep on building welcoming communities. To everyone affected – we stand with you. 

 

Join us. Here’s what you can do:
1. Support the pledge to fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws

STAR & over 250 other organisations have signed a pledge to stand against the anti-refugee laws. 

Pledge to Fight the #AntiRefugeeLaws

Your STAR group or organisation can sign the pledge here:

Email your MP to ask them to sign the pledge:

2. Show refugees in your local community they are welcome

It’s more important than ever to show people seeking sanctuary that they are welcome.  STAR groups all over the UK are making a huge difference to the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum by volunteering in partnership with local organisations and providing community projects like English language conversation clubs to women’s groups and sports clubs. 

Join a STAR group or set up a new group at your uni to get involved.

3. Raise your voice for the rights of people seeking asylum

Each year, thousands of STAR students across the UK take action to challenge the hostile environment and demand policy change. We campaign for the right to work while seeking asylum, family reunion rights for refugees, and to end immigration detention. We lead our own campaign, Equal Access, to ensure that refugees and people seeking asylum can join us at university.

Read more on our Take Action pages and sign up to the Friends of STAR mailing list to stay up to date on campaign actions.

4. Say it loud and clear: Refugees are welcome here

This legislation does not reflect the views of the majority of people in the UK, and especially of the thousands of students of all backgrounds who make up the STAR network. It’s more important than ever to make your voice heard and stand up for refugee rights. Share this post on social media, talk to your friends and family, and spread the message far and wide:

The #AntiRefugeeLaws do not represent us. Refugees are welcome here.
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