Justice & Peace Co-ordinating Council Opposes the Illegal Migration Bill

The Justice & Peace Co-ordinating Council has expressed strong opposition to the HM Gov’s recent Illegal Migration Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 7 March 2023. The Council, alongside Catholic charities such as the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales, the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and more, contends that the bill violates human dignity and international law.

The Illegal Migration Bill seeks to halt illegal migration into the UK by eliminating incentives for hazardous small boat crossings, expediting the removal of individuals without the right to be in the UK, and cracking down on the exploitation of modern slavery protections. Additionally, the government pledges to resettle a specific number of vulnerable refugees in the UK every year.

Opponents of the bill advocate for protecting refugees’ rights to seek asylum, upholding the UN Refugee Convention, providing safe routes to prevent dangerous journeys, and promoting a just and compassionate asylum system that fairly reduces the backlog. The Justice & Peace Co-ordinating Council encourages the Catholic community to voice their opposition to the bill and engage with their MPs. CSAN has published the following draft template letter here.

Read more.

Further Reading:

  • Read the Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, Bishop Paul McAleenan comments on the government’s Illegal Migration Bill here.
  • Read the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, ‘Love the Stranger‘ Catholic Response to Migrants and Refugees here.
  • Visit the new Illegal Migrants Bill Campaign Page for more information, facts and links.

Prayer Vigil at Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre (DIRC)

We continue to hold a monthly prayer vigil at the gates to Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre. We believe there are currently about 30 women detained there.

Our next vigil will be on Sunday 2 April at 3.00pm. It is always wonderful to pray together in person, but we realise that it can be difficult for people to travel across to the site. However, we would urge you to pray from home for the people detained there and in detention centres elsewhere. You can find a copy of the prayers we use at the vigil, which you may wish to use here. There is also an online version of the prayer vigil, which you can access through YouTube (view here).

Future dates planned for Sundays in 2023 include; 7 May.

Visit the Justice and Peace webpage where you will find more details, or email: lizarchibald.justiceandpeace@gmail.com.

Tyne & Wear Citizens

On 8 December, Tyne and Wear Citizens launched a new listening campaign to last until November 2023. The question we would like people to ask others is:

What is putting pressure on you, your family and your communities? Please ask around a keep a note of the issues you are hearing. They can be fed back to Fr Chris Hughes by email: northshields.stjoseph@rcdhn.org.uk.

Since the cost of living crisis is a key issue for many people, ensuring that employers are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation as living wage employers is important. This Dioccese along with four other Dioceses in England and Wales have been accredited, which means 17 Dioceses are not! If you would like to be part of the campaign to ensure all England and Wales Diocese are accredited as Living Wage Employers, please get in touch with Fr Chris on the above e-mail address.