We are committed to providing a welcome to Sanctuary Seekers in Chester. In providing a local welcome we cannot ignore the national factors which impede a welcoming environment. For this reason we feel we should campaign to improve the situation.
Our Vision of a Welcoming Britain
Here is our positive vision for what a welcoming Britain could look like, informed by people who have experienced the current system.
1) Ensure that people are able to seek safety in the UK, no matter how they came here
Everybody needing protection should be able to apply for refugee status – no matter their country of origin or journey to safety. Those seeking protection should be offered safe routes to the UK.
2) Create a fair, compassionate and efficient decision making process
Put in place a fair, transparent and independent system to decide on people’s claims for protection. People claiming asylum should receive high quality legal advice, humane treatment and fast, accurate decisions. We understand not everyone will be given protection, but we need a system that respects the humanity of all those who make an application.
3) End immigration detention
Nobody should be held in detention because of their immigration status.
4) Offer people seeking asylum decent housing in local communities across the UK
Just like everyone else people seeking asylum need local community housing that gives them the dignity of living in safety.
5) Create an adequately funded refugee and asylum integration service.
Support refugees and people seeking asylum to build new futures in Britain. Policies should help people realise their full potential, empowering them to make a positive contribution to their communities through access to work, education and health services.
6) Help an agreed number of people annually to find safety and settle sustainably in the UK
We believe the UK should play its’ role in providing sustainable solutions to forced migration through the resettlement in the UK of an agreed number of refugees each year.
7) Ensure that refugee family reunion is a fast, safe and legal way for families to reunite
Make refugee family reunion a process that is accessible, safe and considers the vulnerabilities and protection needs faced by these families after they have been torn apart by war and persecution.
Here we outline relevant campaigns and invite you to find out more and consider joining these by actions such as signing petitions or writing to your MP.
‘Illegal Migration Bill’ (updated 15/8/23)
Despite protests, this Bill has now passed into law. To find out what this means follow this link.
‘Detention: expensive, ineffective and inhumane’ (taken from ‘These Walls Must Fall’ website). Updated 9/11/22.
No doubt you will have heard about the conditions at Western Jet Foil Immigration Centre. Currently the UK is the only European country to allow indefinite immigration detention. This can only be changed by a change in Home Office policy or a legal change voted in by Parliament. The campaign ‘These Walls Must Fall’ explains the situation in detail and gives links to letters you can sign and other actions you can take. See
One Strong Voice
You may be interested in this organisation which has been formed by those with lived experience of the immigration and asylum system. They have compiled a 7-point plan to make the system more compassionate and a petition you can add your name to.This is particularly relevant in view of the governments plans to alter the system. These are the people who know what works and what doesn’t, have a look at what they have to say via this link: https://www.onestrongvoice.org.uk/#who-we-are