15 February 2022 - Central England Law Centre ("the law centre") has joined more than 60 organisations across the West Midland, including Coventry City Council and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC), in opposing the Nationality and Borders Bill.

As an organisation, the law centre is committed to protecting the rights of socially and economically-disadvantaged individuals and communities.  Under the proposed Bill people fleeing persecution, conflict and poverty in their home countries will be denied their right to seek safe passage and will instead be criminalised, threatened with removal and forced into destitution.

The law centre supports newly-arrived people in Coventry, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands area to understand and access their rights and works in partnership with Coventry City Council and CRMC to help them integrate so that they can begin to rebuild their lives alongside their families with dignity and compassion.

Co-ordinated by Asylum Matters, the pledge is published on the six-month anniversary of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban which resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people.  The full pledge can be read below.

As local community representatives in the West Midlands, we look after our neighbours, we care about each other, and are proud to be a place of welcome. 

We know that our towns and cities are strengthened by people seeking safety because we see this every day. As members and representatives of voluntary, community, arts, and faith groups/organisations across the West Midlands, we spend our days inspired by those we work with. The outpouring of support across our region for people fleeing Afghanistan is testament to this. Our spirit of care and solidarity with people seeking safety is stronger than ever, regardless of how they arrived in the UK. 

That is why we have to speak out against the Government’s proposals to rewrite the asylum system, and the consequences they will have for refugees and for our communities. This year, people seeking sanctuary who are fleeing countries suffering terror and conflict, including Afghanistan, will reach the UK. Under the proposed Nationality and Borders Bill, they will be criminalised, threatened with removal, separated from their families, warehoused in unsuitable accommodation, have their asylum claims deemed ‘inadmissible’ and be prevented from feeling secure or safe.

This ‘anti-refugee’ Bill will punish people, not protect them. It will increase destitution, homelessness and exploitation. It will lead to ever more dangerous routes for those seeking safety and will stop people who have fled violence and persecution from rebuilding their lives.

We are united in opposing the policies this Bill will implement and ask all of our leaders in the West Midlands to stand with us, and call on the UK Government to scrap these harmful and divisive proposals.