Refugees welcome here: responding to the US ban on refugees

This weekend, the US President Donald Trump signed an executive order which bans entry from citizens of 7 majority Muslim countries and immediately stopped all refugees from entering the USA. The order states:

  • Total suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days;
  • Indefinite ban on Syrian refugees;
  • A cap of 50,000 refugees to be accepted in 2017 (reduced from the 110,000 quota set by former President Barack Obama);
  • Priority will be given to religious minorities facing persecution, particularly Syrian Christians.

We are horrified by this refugee ban, which has seen survivors of persecution who had already been granted permission to enter, detained on arrival in the US. Many thousands more refugees are now stuck in dangerous situations, unable to board that hoped for journey to safety in the US. This is a devastating, inhumane act against the most vulnerable people in the world.

We are proud that the UK is committed to protecting refugees and it’s time to ensure that this commitment continues, and grows.

It’s time to make our voices heard, louder than ever before.

The message is simple:

REFUGEES WILL ALWAYS BE WELCOME HERE!

 

All across the UK, today and over the weekend, there will be demonstrations in support of refugees and the right to seek safety from persecution. You can find your local demonstration here. If you can, we urge you go to these demonstrations.

It’s more important than ever that we make sure our voices are heard. Love is always stronger than hate. Lets send a clear message that refugees are always welcome here.

Banner Refugees Welcome

Refugees Welcome? Get your voice heard in the new APPG on refugees inquiry!

Parliamentary Campaigning
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees is a group of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Lords from all political parties with an interest in refugees. APPGs can call for inquiries into particular issues. They ask for written and oral evidence from experts and those with direct experience of the issue. The APPG then discusses this evidence and decides on recommendations for action. They publish the findings from inquiries in reports which can be used to lobby for change.

On the 19th July, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees launched an inquiry into the experiences of new refugees in the UK. This is a brilliant opportunity for refugees and people working with them to tell people in power about the challenges faced by refugees in the UK, as well showcasing areas of innovation and good practice. The inquiry will look into the experiences of refugees who have claimed asylum in the UK, as well as those who have arrived as refugees in the UK through resettlement schemes.You can read the full terms of reference for the inquiry on the Refugee Council website.

Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words and must be submitted in a Word format to Jonathan Featonby at the Refugee Council.

DEADLINE FOR RESPONSES: Saturday 1st October 2016

By email
jonathan.featonby@refugeecouncil.org.uk     OR
By post
Jonathan Featonby, Refugee Council, PO Box 68614, London, E15 9DQ

We know that contributing to inquiries can be very time-consuming for individuals and small organisations, but Regional Asylum Activism is here to help! In the past, we’ve supported individuals and organisations to submit evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention and the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into Asylum. You can read more about our previous work here!

So how can you get involved? 

  • Responding as a group or as an organisation
    We’ve written a guidance document for groups wanting to submit evidence to the APPG inquiry. You can download it here!
  • Sharing your own experience as a refugee
    The inquiry is keen to hear from those who have been granted refugee status within the last year. Do you want to tell your own story? Or do you know someone who might? We’ve created a helpful testimony template form that can help you get started. Check it out here and get in touch if you need any help!
  • Contributing to a joint response from your town or city!
    Sometimes we’re stronger together. Get in touch with your Regional Asylum Activism coordinator to see whether you can get involved in a joint response.
  • Not too sure what to do?
    Talk to us; we’re here to help!

Julia Savage – North West (Maternity Cover) – northwest@regionalasylumactivism.org – 07557 983 264
Lorna Gledhill – Yorkshire and Humberside – yandh@regionalasylumactivism.org  – 07557 982 498
Emma Birks – West Midlands – westmidlands@regionalasylumactivism.org – 07557 983 227