Archbishop says Church of England is not a ‘passive observer’ of migration policy

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby again criticized the government’s new migration policy and warned that the Church of England “is not a passive observer of migration policy”.

Earlier this month the government announced the new immigration policy, which will see asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats sent for processing to Rwanda, where they will have the right to apply to live.

The Archbishop has previously said government policy will not stand God’s scrutiny, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Mr Welby of being ‘less vocal’ in his condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin than he was. he was not in his attack on politics.

Mr Welby said: ‘Some of my fellow bishops, clergy and faithful have come to the UK to escape persecution or conflict’ (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Welby said: “Some of my fellow bishops, clergy and faithful have come to the UK to escape persecution or conflict.

“We welcome and serve asylum seekers at all levels of society – from providing accommodation, food banks, social support and friendship, to considering legislation in the Lords.”

He added, “Government and church are not the same, but surely we all must want to put humanity and fairness at the heart of our asylum system.

“That is why the Church has called for safe and legal routes for asylum seekers, the provision of visas for humanitarian reasons and the reunification of families.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has questioned the legality of the Rwanda deal (Steve Parsons/PA)
Former Prime Minister Theresa May has questioned the legality of the Rwanda deal (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Welby said there were ‘serious ethical questions’ about the use of ‘deterrence’ to prevent asylum seekers from reaching the UK.

“Like many, I object to sending vulnerable and traumatized people over 4,000 miles away without their consent and paying another country to take them in,” he said.

“People who have been offered refugee status in the UK will be deported without their cases being heard – including those with family or other ties to Britain.”

The Rwandan deal has also been criticized by senior Conservative and Labor officials since its announcement.

Former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May questioned the “legality, practicality and effectiveness” of the plan.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC’s Sunday Morning program the plan was unethical, unworkable and costly.

He added: “I also can’t help but think, I’m afraid, there’s a bit of a distraction tactic in there to stop everyone talking about the prime minister’s wrongdoings. and the cost of living crisis.”

Ms Patel, however, said the deal was intended to try to ’empower’ asylum seekers.

“It has always been a partnership based on resettlement, rebuilding lives. Investing in people,’ she told the Telegraph.

I also can’t help but think, I’m afraid, there’s a bit of a distraction tactic there to keep everyone from talking about the Prime Minister’s wrongdoing and the cost crisis of life.

Mr Keir Starmer

Conservative party chairman Oliver Dowden said some of the criticism leveled at the policy in the media had failed to ‘consider what the alternative is’ unless action was taken to tackle it. against Channel crossings.

“The danger is that more lives will be lost and more criminal gangs will get rich,” he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday.

Mr Dowden added: “I don’t think it’s xenophobic to criticize the government’s plans.

“But I think, in terms of the media reaction to that, it’s not about accepting that a) action needed to be taken and b) I think the situation in Rwanda…Rwanda is a country which is developing rapidly and sometimes some of the views on Rwanda are outdated in this context”.