Those seeking asylum deserve so much better than this government

JVL Introduction

We repost here the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCore) Statement on the Tory government’s vindictive “New Plan for Immigration” together with a JCore letter on the topic, published in the Guardian on 29th March.

We include as well the JCore Haggadah Supplement “Let the People In!”

This article was originally published by the Guardian on Mon 29 Mar 2021. Read the original here.

Those seeking asylum deserve so much better than this government

As members of a community with a long history of seeking sanctuary from persecution, we are deeply concerned by the government’s new plan for immigration (UN refugee agency hits out at Priti Patel’s plans for UK asylum overhaulMigrants entering UK illegally to be liable for removal at any time, 23 March).

Seventy years on from the refugee convention, it is extremely disturbing to see the government seeking to violate international law and pledging to remove asylum seekers who have entered the UK after passing through “safe countries”. Under such plans, many Jewish refugees who fled to the UK from mainland Europe in the 1930s would not have been protected.

It is also extremely worrying that such proposals will limit family reunification rights, and would probably leave child refugees stranded in often appalling conditions. The lack of safe and legal routes for present-day child refugees is a shameful betrayal of the humanitarian spirit of Kindertransport, and we urge the home secretary to take urgent action to reopen pathways for unaccompanied children to reach sanctuary in this country. While the government of the day could arguably have saved many more lives, the UK was able to provide sanctuary to about 70,000 Jewish people fleeing Europe before the start of the start of the second world war.

These plans are a betrayal of this country’s history of accepting refugees – those escaping conflict today deserve so much better.

Dr Edie Friedman Executive director, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, Adam Rose Chair, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality


JCore Statement on the ‘New Plan for Immigration’


“The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) is deeply concerned by plans outlined today by the government for the UK’s asylum system. While the proposals promise fairness, they would result in the cruel creation of a two-tier system, which would seek to divide vulnerable people through the routes in which they have fled to the this country to escape persecution and conflict.

Although the government’s commitment to improving the UK’s resettlement schemes is welcome, such pathways provide protections for only a very small number of those who seek sanctuary in this country. The Home Secretary’s ill-judged pledges to remove asylum seekers who have entered the UK after passing through a “safe country” are a shameful attack on international refugee law, and will only introduce torment and uncertainty to the lives of those seeking sanctuary. Under such plans, many Jewish refugees who fled to the UK from mainland Europe in the 1930s would not have been provided with protections.

It is also extremely concerning that such proposals will limit family reunification rights, and would likely leave child refugees stranded in often appalling conditions. If the Home Secretary is serious about protecting children, and preventing vulnerable refugees from being forced into dangerous journeys at the hands of people traffickers, then she must instead introduce a wide range of safe and legal routes to the UK, and re-open pathways for unaccompanied children to reach sanctuary in this country closed by her government.”


JCore Haggadah Supplement

Comments (1)

  • Terry Messenger says:

    But weren’t Jewish people turned away from our shores in the 1930s? The Allies staged the Evian Conference in 1938 to decide whether to accept Jewish people fleeing the Nazis. They decided …. no. Our cruel indifference to the Jewish plight under the Nazis should be a matter of eternal shame. Never again – for anyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Évian_Conference

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