This document has been put together in haste – following a discussion at Tuesday’s LMP Ops meeting – so apologies to any orgs who have been missed out.
It’s inspired by/rips off of a document produced last week by Sheffield City of Sanctuary. Thank you to them for letting us steal the idea/format
All the logos in the document are hyperlinked, in an attempt to make life easier. Please note the demo on Saturday, and scroll down for some more info on the New Plan For Immigration and how Afghan people and others will be affected by this.
Jon from LASSN offers these thoughts on the current situation
Most of the orgs working with refugees in Leeds work with people who have come to the UK without an invitation. Some of those people are from Afghanistan, but most refugees in Leeds are not eligible for the help offered to people who’ve been hand-picked by the Home Office.
And although the Home Office have asked that all offers of help for Afghan people go through them – it’s actually much better to contact the Council (if you have an empty property that could be used to house people) or Migration Yorkshire – who are coordinating things on a regional level. They have produced an excellent in depth explanation of how people can offer help.
A local legal charity – Manuel Bravo – have also produced an excellent list of things you can do
Collecting, storing, cleaning and organising goods is an expensive and time consuming task. Charity shops like St Vincent’s do this brilliantly well, as well as offering support to people seeking asylum as well as refugees. It’s generally cheaper to buy new from Asda/Primark. Plus, from a human perspective – there’s enormous dignity in not being forced to wear second hand undies.
If UK people want to show support for refugees more generally – there’s an opportunity for them to speak out against the Government’s New Plan for Immigration.
This New Plan intends to create a two tier system for refugees. One group will arrive at the invitation of the UK Government, selected from particular refugee camps. These are called resettlement schemes.
If the New Plan passes into law, the other group – the people who have not arrived on UK Gov chartered planes or at UK invitation – will be said to have arrived here illegally.
So even if people seeking refuge persuade the Home Office that their lives are in danger, and they cannot return home (for example that they are from Afghanistan and are wanted by the Taliban) they will be treated differently. This is not an accident or an oversight. It’s central message of the New Plan. If you arrive in the UK without an invitation, you should expect to be treated differently.
The New Plan says that people who arrive without invitation will only be awarded protection for a maximum of two and half years, and with no right to free health care, social care, or benefits – even if they are too sick or injured to work (what is called No Recourse to Public Funds). LASSN -and many others – are very concerned that if the New Plan passes into law, people who come to the UK seeking refuge will be made destitute, even though they are accepted by UK Home Office as “genuine” refugees.
You can find out more about how UK Government describe these plans here.
You can find out here why The United Nations High Commision for Refugees have expressed some concerns with them
You can find out more about the opposition to these plans here.
LASSN – alongside many many others – is a signatory to this campaign.
If you feel moved to contact a politician to tell them what you think of the new plans, you can do so easily – here.