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Faith leaders oppose Illegal Migration Bill

Progressive Judaism leaders have joined with their Muslim and Christian counterparts to voice opposition to the Illegal Migration Bill.

Those speaking out include Reform Judaism CEO Rabbi Josh Levy, Liberal Judaism President Rabbi Alexandra Wright and Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen of Manchester Reform Synagogue.

They all appear in a powerful video, co-ordinated by Together With Refugees and launched as part Refugee Week. You can watch it below.

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen said: “My very existence is owed to countries who understood their duty to welcome in refugees. My religion repeatedly reminds me that it is because we have had to wander that, in turn, our responsibility is to others who are fleeing from harm now. Judaism demands that we fight for justice and it’s clear that the Illegal Migration Bill is far from just or responsible.”

The 14 contributors to the film also include Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford and member of the House of Lords, and Imam Dr Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, the Chief Imam of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society in the United Kingdom.

Together they state: “As people of faith, we strive to welcome the stranger, to offer hospitality, to love, protect, listen, learn, and show compassion. This is who we are.

“Across the UK, now and throughout history, individuals and communities of faith have welcomed refugees into their homes and lives. When people travel across borders because they are fleeing war, persecution or oppression, we are ready to play our part.

Rabbi Josh Levy

“But the Illegal Migration Bill will deny people desperately seeking safety in the UK the right to community, peace, compassion and security. It will ban people from getting the protection they need, punish them for seeking sanctuary, and separate families. Instead of hospitality, it treats people with hostility, discrimination and distrust. “

The Illegal Migration Bill is currently making its way through Parliament.  It would mean that anyone, including children, who arrives in the UK via an irregular route would never be able to claim asylum here, even if they have had to flee their home country due to persecution or conflict. It also includes extensive powers to detain people, including children, with no time limits.

To find out more about the work of Together With Refugees, please click here.

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