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Response to the Consultation on New Immigration Plan

Please read this post in conjunction with our statement on our response to the new immigration plans – Together we will Stand up for Sanctuary. 

The Asylum Matters team has prepared an online resource to support partner organisations who want to submit a response to the UK Government’s consultation on its New Plan for Immigration.  This is to inform a sector wide consistent response to the consultation.

The Guidance Resource

This resource is designed to help refugee-led organisations, community groups and frontline organisations working with refugees and people seeking asylum to understand the consultation process and questions, as well as to signpost to other helpful information and resources. It covers the following themes:
  • About the New Plan for Immigration and the consultation process
  • Concerns about the consultation process
  • How to respond to the consultation
  • Understanding the consultation questions and preparing your response
  • The consultation questions themselves, with information and resources to help with responses
This is a live working document which they will update with further links and resources on an ongoing basis, up to the closure of the consultation on 6 May. Please get in touch with Asylum Matters at [email protected] if you have any suggestions of items to include.

If you are responding as an Individual

If you are filling it in as an individual, there are two separate questionnaires and the two pdf documents on the following web-page take you through question by question (it is a Quaker document but it can be used by anybody):
How Quakers can respond to the government’s new immigration plan – Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network

Or you can follow the guidance provided by Amnesty International.

You do not have to answer all the questions. In fact, we in CoS UK will not be answering many of the multiple choice questions because they are leading questions and they do not allow participants to provide a meaningful answer.

If you would like to respond to the questions of the consultation without using the online platform, you can use the New Plan for Immigration – Stakeholder Questionnaire PDF of the questions to formulate your response and send it to this email address by the 30th of April: [email protected]

What else can you do about the consultation? 

The consultation is being run by Britain Thinks on behalf of the Government, and people can e-mail them at [email protected] to complain about the process itself. You can also write to your MP. We have the following concerns which we think should be raised:-

  • The consultation is only running for 6 weeks (Government guidelines state that consultations should be run over a 12 week period). These six weeks include Easter holidays, a May bank holiday and is been run during a pre-election period (elections for Local Government, Mayoral and devolved nations).  
  • The document is only in English and Welsh, many people with lived experience will therefore be unable to respond.
  • The questions are leading and do not allow for meaningful answers. The claims made in the  Immigration Plan itself are not based on evidence and the consultation itself has been designed in order to lead people to endorse the plan.
  • The consultation is poorly designed and the sign-up process makes it incredible inaccessible.
  • The consultation ends on the 6th May, the Government intends to announce the Bill in the Queen’s Speech on the 11th May. It will be impossible for the Government to fully take account of the consultation responses in 4 days. A consultation should be an opportunity to hold the Government to account – it is in fact a sham.

Sign up to sector wide responses

Refugee Action has developed a public statement in response to the New Plan for Immigration Consultation, City of Sanctuary UK wholeheartedly supports this statement and is a signatory. It will be made available to the public shortly and we will update the network with details on how you can sign up.

Over the last few months the Asylum Reform Initiative have been developing the idea of a new, broad-based coalition to campaign for deep change in the UK’s whole approach to asylum-seekers and refugees – for a system that is truly fair, effective and humane. This work will shortly begin to come to fruition. Further information to follow.