While we were distracted by No 10’s Christmas party, the government rubber-stamped its racist immigration bill

Home Secretary Priti Patel
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While UK headlines were concerned with prime minister Boris Johnson’s 2020 Christmas party, home secretary Priti Patel’s controversial nationality and borders bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons on 8 December. International and human rights lawyers have called the legality of the draconian legislation into question. MPs and campaigners took to Twitter to speak out against the bill, labelling it racist and inhumane.

A Tory majority in parliament

Announcing the results of the Commons vote, Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana tweeted:

Indeed, 298 MPs voted in support of the controversial bill, while only 231 voted against it. This gave the government a 67 vote majority. Sharing the devastating news, Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum – who had tabled an amendment to the draconian bill – said:

Sending solidarity to those impacted by the bill, writer Ilyas Nagdee shared:

A racist immigration bill
The bill will allow the home secretary to remove a person’s citizenship without warning. Analysis by the New Statesman found that under the new legislation, two in five racially minoritised Britons could become eligible to be deprived of their citizen status without warning. This is compared to just one in 20 people from a white background. According to Institute of Race Relations vice-chair Francis Weber: 
People with ethnic minority heritage become, effectively, sort of second-class citizens.

Linking this to the government’s longstanding ‘hostile environment’, Black Lives Matter UK tweeted:

Lamenting the limited coverage of the legislation which could impact the lives of countless racially minoritised Britons, Mish Rahman tweeted:

The bill will also empower the home secretary to remove the citizenship of anyone who also has citizenship in another country. This has the potential to continue rendering them stateless. Highlighting the unprecedented case of Shamima Begum, journalist Ash Sarkar said:

Inhumane legislation

Ahead of the Commons vote, a Lords committee questioned the legality of the home secretary’s bill. Peers raised particular concerns about Patel’s plan to make border force officials push boats crossing the Channel back into French waters. The inhumane bill will grant immunity to border force staff if people die in these dangerous operations, while criminalising anyone trying to help drowning refugees and asylum seekers.

The Insider news fellow Bethany Dawson tweeted:

The United Nations Refugee Agency warns that the bill “would penalise most refugees seeking asylum in the country”. And said it could create a model that “undermines established international refugee protection rules and practices”. Due to its multiple breaches of international and human rights law, Patel’s bill will likely come up against further legal challenges.

Take a stand against the bill

Calling on opponents of the overtly racist bill to “resist by any means necessary“, campaign group Movement for Justice shared:

Highlighting the need for broad-based collective action against the draconian bill and the encroaching carceral state, Garden Court Law barrister Zehrah Hasan shared:

Additionally, media campaign group, Media Diversified is pushing for people to mobilise against the bill and sign the its petition:

Indeed, from the racist immigration bill to the anti-protest policing bill, the Tories are trying to push through the most oppressive legislation we have seen in recent history. We must unite to fight the government’s populist, authoritarian, ultra-nationalistic agenda before it’s too late.

Featured image via UK Parliament/YouTube

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Get involved

  • Mobilise against the bill and sign the petition

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  • Show Comments
    1. Nothing to do with party distractions, that was the 3rd reading and was reported by PressTV and RT over a week ago. Still a Most frightening thing! Unimaginable that home the place you love could put us out with the trash! Most of us probably couldn’t survive or live in our countries of birth, we feel foreign there, this is our home!
      Ironically Psycho Polly and her family would be sent back to Uganda, by her own rules, if she was taken to court for her “sackable offences” in Israel, that could be deemed treason if investigated!
      Now with Julian Assange to be extradited, we’re all just a bit Fucked! The Government is an Arse, the equally or worse evil so called “Opposition”, Thatcher/Blair’s Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES is an Arse, The Law is an Arse, what hope do Neo-New-Labour’s “UNDESERVING POOR” have!?

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