Protests in London against illegal migration bill

Protesters gathered at Portland Place, outside BBC headquarters in central London

London: Thousands of protesters in London took to the streets to march against the government’s illegal migration on Saturday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The protesters gathered at Portland Place, outside the BBC headquarters in central London, chanting slogans such as “refugees are welcome here.”

The protest was organised by the Stand Up To Racism group and supported by many different groups and organisations, including Stop the War Coalition, Black Lives Matter, Muslims and Jewish societies as well as several unions and environmental organizations, reported Anadolu Agency.

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The protesters rejected the Conservative party’s migration policies, and criticized the country’s Interior Minister Suella Braverman over the controversial “Rwanda plan” and the recent “Illegal Migration Bill.”

“Stop deportation”, “Safe passage, not Rwanda flights” and “Seeking refuge is not a crime” were among banners and signs held by protesters during the rally. The protesters later marched toward Downing Street.

Speaking to Anadolu, Melly, a protester, said that she attended the demonstration to show solidarity with those who arrived in the country and are not “treated fairly as they should.”

On the government’s Rwanda plan, she said that “it is illegal,” as everyone should have a choice, adding that the plan has caused “stress and trauma” for many immigrants.

Introduced in March this year, the UK government’s “Illegal Migration Bill,” makes the provision for and in connection with the removal from the United Kingdom of persons who have entered or arrived in breach of immigration control; to make provision about detention for immigration purposes, according to the statement released by UK government.

“To make provision about unaccompanied children; to make provision about victims of slavery or human trafficking; to make provision about leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom,” the statement read.

“To make provision about citizenship; to make provision about the inadmissibility of certain protection and certain human rights claims relating to immigration; to make provision about the maximum number of persons entering the United Kingdom annually using safe and legal routes; and for connected purposes,” the statement added.

After the British Home Secretary introduced the Migration Bill, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that the UK asylum bill would ‘undermine’ international law.

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman introduced an Illegal Migration Bill this week aimed at tackling people crossing the English Channel to reach the UK, which if passed “would amount to an asylum ban,” the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a statement.

Migrants who come to Britain illegally by boat “will be detained, removed” and “banned from re-entering” the country,” said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Over 45,000 people illegally crossed the Channel in small boats last year.

“That is unfair to those who come here legally and unfair to the British people who play by the rules. Today’s Illegal Migration Bill introduces new laws to stop the boats,” said Sunak.

“The Illegal Migration Bill ensures that if you come to the UK illegally you can’t stay. People must know that coming here illegally will result in their detention and swift removal – once they do, they will not come, and the boats will stop,” he added.

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