Labour MPs call for ‘kindness and common sense’ at heart of UK’s immigration policy

Labour MPs Dawn Butler and Kim Johnson

Two Labour MPs have called for “kindness and common sense” towards migrants in the UK, urging for an end to the government’s Rwanda asylum plan.

MPs Dawn Butler and Kim Johnson have come together in a video, explaining that “our communities are kind, but our asylum policies are not”, and urging for a “new approach” towards treating migrants

“The current [immigration] system doesn’t work, produces huge amounts of suffering, and is being used by some as a wedge to divide us,” Butler, MP for Brent Central, said in the video.  

She added: “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.”

Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside, added that current immigration rules “aren’t working”, and “don’t reflect the values that make our country great”. 

Johnson added: “My family has been shaped by migration, probably yours too.”

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The pair’s tweet addressed the government’s controversial plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda. The scheme, which was announced in April 2022, could see people who arrive in the UK on boats in the Channel or in the back of a lorry sent to have their asylum application processed in Rwanda.

The proposed scheme has been heavily criticised, with many Brits claiming it could put the lives of LGBTQ+ migrants at risk. 

In June, the plan was ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court is now deciding whether to back the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

While homosexuality is not illegal in Rwanda, campaigners have argued that Rwanda is unsafe for LGBTQ+ people, and even the Home Office states in its official foreign travel advice that LGBTQ+ people “can experience discrimination and abuse” in Rwanda.

“Sending people by force to Rwanda is wrong,” the two Labour MPs wrote in a tweet. 

Johnson added that migrants should be treated as “a child, woman, or a man instead of a threat”. 

“Let’s put kindness and common sense at the heart of our immigration system,” she said.  

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