LAWRS statement on the "New Plan for Immigration"

LAWRS statement on the "New Plan for Immigration"

We have responded to the government’s consultation on the “New Plan for Immigration”. LAWRS holds a long-standing tradition and history upholding the rights of asylum seekers, refugee and migrant women. We are disturbed by the proposals included in this ‘New Immigration Plan’ and the lack of compassion in its approach to ensure people seeking asylum are protected from further victimisation. We are concerned to see that lessons from the Windrush scandal and its review have not been learned, despite the commitments from the government and the Home Office to put ‘people first’ and have a more compassionate approach towards immigration.

LAWRS agrees that the UK asylum system must be reformed to better support people seeking protection, but we oppose the proposals as we do not believe they can lead to a fair asylum system. We believe they threaten the very right to seek asylum in the UK, they will make life harder for those people who do claim asylum here and put people seeking safety more at risk.

We oppose this “New Plan for Immigration” because we believe it will criminalise and punish vulnerable people seeking asylum, including women and children fleeing dire living conditions who have already experienced high levels of abuse and trauma. We are disturbed by the Plan and its lack of evidence to sustain the actual effectiveness of these proposals.

In the last decade, the government has put in place new rules on immigration without considering the negative impacts that they would have on equality and the wellbeing of highly vulnerable groups of people such as victims of VAWG, modern slavery and trafficking. As a frontline organisation supporting migrant women experiencing abuse, exploitation and hardship, we come across the damaging effects of immigration policies and changes on immigration law on extremely vulnerable women and children on a daily basis.

While the government could have used this opportunity to conduct a widespread consultation both with people with lived experience and experts in the field, they have chosen to make this process too quick and complex, and the questions too misleading, to achieve any meaningful results. We are concerned about the lack of opportunities that asylum seekers with lived experience of the UK system will have to participate and engage with this process. This exclusion extends to the fact that the consultation is only available online and in English. Furthermore, the platform and the way the consultation is structured are highly confusing, with minimal opportunities to give substantial feedback as many of the questions are highly misleading and based on assumptions that are not backed up by evidence.

In conclusion, we strongly believe that a fair immigration system should be built on human rights, safety and dignity foundations for everyone who claims asylum in the UK in order to allow asylum seekers and refugees the support needed to rebuild their lives, regardless of their route of entry.

Read LAWRS full response to the consultation here.

Contact: dolores@lawrs.org.uk, elizabeth@lawrs.org.uk


Sin Fronteras: This is who we are

Sin Fronteras, the girls and young women project at the Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) is launching its latest video:
This is who we are, Sin Fronteras. Voices of Young Latin American Migrant Women in London.

This video was created by the young participants of Sin Fronteras, in collaboration with Fotosynthesis, to amplify their voices and to share their message of social justice, gender equality, anti-racism and recognition of the Latin American community in the United Kingdom.

The video is a celebration of our diversity, identities and cultures; a wake-up call for decision-makers to act; and an invitation to other youth groups, feminists, and minority communities, to join forces and support us in our role as agents of change in the British society.

You can watch the video here:

Our voices, our message

Our voices are those of young Latin American migrant women in London.

We come from different countries in Latin America. We speak Spanish, Portuguese, and also English. We are black, white, mestizo, indigenous, we are diverse.

We live in London and our experiences and realities are different. We love this city, we belong to it, and day by day we contribute to its construction and development. We live here and we also matter, we live here, and we are Londoners too.

Our Latin American community has a lot to contribute to British society. We study, we work, we participate, we take care of others. We are active citizens, and we want our identity, diversity, feminism and contributions to be recognised.

We raise our voices to be recognised in this which is also our city.

This is who we are, Sin Fronteras.

                                     Sin Fronteras’ participants.

Join us

If you are a Latin American young woman between 14 and 21 years old living in London, and want to participate in our Sin Fronteras group please fill in our online Google Form, or contact the Sin Fronteras Coordinator, Melissa Munz: 07802 645001 / melissa@lawrs.org.uk