Dawn Butler and Kim Johnson posted a video to X calling for an end to the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Labour MPs Dawn Butler and Kim Johnson have shared a video on X (formerly known as Twitter) calling for an end to the government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda. The policy has already been ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal earlier this year and has been called out by several organisations for the danger it puts LGBTQIA migrants in.
“Migrants are human beings and it matters how we treat people,” Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, wrote on X. “Our communities are kind, but our asylum policies are not. Sending people by force to Rwanda is wrong.”
This message comes at a time when the Conservative Party has doubled down on their immigration stance, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman even claiming last month that being gay is not an adequate reason to claim asylum.
“We’ve heard a lot of speeches about race and immigration lately,” Dawn Butler said in the video posted on X. “Speeches that try to divide us, instead of bringing us together. No matter how we feel migration should best be managed, I don’t believe those speeches reflect the Britain I know and love.”
Kim Johnson, MP for Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, then said: “Britain is a kind country of decent, caring people. My family has been shaped by migration. Probably yours too. We are truly connected to the word by our friends, neighbours, and loved ones.”
“Because of those connections, Britain will always be a destination for those who want a better or safer life. It is up to us in our country to set fair and realistic rules for how to manage migration,” Dawn Butler added.
Announced in April 2022, the government’s current plan would see some asylum seekers sent to Rwanda to claim asylum there instead of the UK. The government has said that this will deter people coming to the UK using “illegal, dangerous or unnecessary methods” like crossing the English Channel in small boats.
“Those rules aren’t working and don’t reflect the values that make our country great,” Kim Johnson said about the government’s current approach to immigration.
“The current [immigration] system doesn’t work, produces huge amounts of suffering, and is being used by some as a wedge to divide us,” Dawn Butler continued.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the Rwanda scheme was not a safe option to send asylum seekers due to “deficiencies” within Rwanda’s own asylum system which could mean that asylum seekers could be sent back to their home countries and face persecution. The ruling also stated that the scheme breached Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits torture and inhuman treatment.
“People are asking for our help. Let’s see them as a child, woman, or a man instead of a threat,” Kim Johnson said in the video.
“Let’s reject demonising all migrants. It makes us forget to see that how we treat people matters, because when we dehumanise others, we chip away at our own humanity too,” Dawn Butler explained.
The video ended with a powerful and pertinent message, especially in the current climate. “Let’s put kindness and common sense at the heart of our immigration system,” Kim Johnson concluded.
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