Along with other Sheffield Labour MPs, I’ve called on Priti Patel to respond humanely to the plight of refugees crossing the Channel.
Desperate people fleeing war should not be demonised or seen as a threat. In Sheffield, we are rightly proud that our home was the UK’s first City of Sanctuary for asylum seekers and refugees. However, the fact remains that the UK as a whole takes far less refugees than many of our European neighbours.
We should act with compassion, stand up for sanctuary and welcome people seeking safety. For the government, that means introducing safe, legal routes into the UK so that refugees and asylum seekers are not forced into the hands of criminal gangs to make often fatal journeys.
The government must also stop inflicting its cruel and unjust hostile environment on people whose only crime is to seek a better life for themselves and their families. People are being indefinitely imprisoned in truly terrible conditions in privatised detention centres like Yarlswood. Doctors, landlords, and teachers are expected to act as border guards and root out undocumented migrants. This all has to stop.
Until the government deals with these issues, I will continue to work with MPs and campaign organisations to press for a fairer and more humane asylum and immigration system.