Loving and being loved by our family, friends and partners is the essence of being human. Forcibly separating people from their loved ones is an inhumane act. But this is the aim of the government’s new proposed Immigration Bill. Read more in our short briefing.
What is the Immigration Bill?
The government says that the Immigration Bill is designed to create a ‘hostile environment’ for immigrants in the UK. It will effectively remove many non-British people’s right to a family life, as well as ending free health care for migrants and stopping undocumented migrants from renting accommodation in the private housing markets. Watch this Sky new piece which explains the Bill, and ex-detainee Richard, defending the right to family life.
Why the right to love?
Everyone has the right to love and be loved. Detention Action believes that people who have grown up in the UK or spent decades here with their families should not generally be separated from their loved ones. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights sets out the right of every person to a family and private life, and has been incorporated into British law. Take action with us to defend the right to love.
Toby from Mauritius
“I came here when I was about six, my Dad had got into some serious trouble and people were threatening to kill him and me too so they left, and me and my brother followed a couple of years later. I grew up in East London and Worthing, near Brighton. My family over the years all became British, my parents work in an old people’s home. We never even left the UK to go on holiday. I couldn’t afford to become British though, it cost £1000 and my parents didn’t have the money because of the mortgage, and I was studying and then working as a mechanic and I couldn’t afford it either. I got into some trouble and went to prison; they let me out on bail and said I had to report every month to the police which I did. Recently I got involved in an argument with a man about my brother’s girlfriend, everyone was shouting and someone called the police and I wasn’t convicted with anything but they took me to a detention centre and now I am here like a caged dog. I love my family. I can’t remember anything about Mauritius and I don’t speak the language.”
Vincent from Guadeloupe
“It’s sad. I’ve been living in this country for practically my whole life and suddenly I found myself in detention facing deportation to a country that I don’t even know. I’ve made mistakes in the past but this is home to me. How can I be sent somewhere I don’t know, for reasons I don’t understand? I’m trying to better myself; I did a Plumbing NVQ in prison and I want to go somewhere with that. The next step for me is to do an apprenticeship but I can’t because of the bail conditions. I can be a useful member of society, but instead I’m in No Man’s Land under surveillance.”