30 December 2016

Dear Home Secretary, 

I have written to you previously in November (no acknowledgement received) regarding your continuing failure to adequately address the claims of numerous child refugees and asylum seekers. At the time of my last letter, the majority were resident in the Calais camps; now they have been widely dispersed. 

I read reports of a few hundred who have been "processed" and of some who have gained entry to reception centres in the UK. However, it is clear from numerous independent, investigative reports that very many more remain stuck in limbo or have been refused without representation or receiving written grounds. This is entirely contrary to the "tolerant, fair and welcoming" country that you are responsible for governing.  [I invite you to read the opening pages of your own 'Life in the UK' handbook which immigrants are expected to familiarise themselves with as espousing British values.] 

The continuing delay, obfuscation and avoidance seems no more that a continuation of the policy of creating a "hostile environment" for all immigrants.  Your policies and actions fall well short of your much vaunted 'British values'.

In Peace, (Rev) Tim Pickles

 

 

Rt Hon Teresa May MP,
10 Downing Street,
Westminster,
London
WC1A 2AA

30 October 2016

Dear Prime Minister,

Your actions - and those of your ministers, officials, and Immigration Directorate staff -towards the young refugee people in and around Calais are deplorable and seemingly without any regard to human compassion and integrity.

You have been aware of the developing situation faced by these young and vulnerable people for many months. There have been multiple warnings by the aid agencies on the ground. Throughout this year, your government has sought to deliberately and consciously delay, push away, frustrate, obfuscate, and bureaucratise any response. I remind you that these young people are still legally children. Many have witnessed the horrors of war including terror attacks, bombing, killings and mutilations. Many are separated from, or have lost, their families. They have no income. They have risked perilous journeys to reach a strange country – because the alternative of staying in their own country was worse. They face the constant risk of bullying, sexual exploitation, slavery and trafficking – all things that you claim you want to eradicate.

Many of the same points can be made about the boat refugees who have landed, by accident, on the British sovereign military territories on Cyprus, and whom you also fail to process expeditiously.

I expect my government to show respect, compassion and care towards all people in such desperate situations. Your attitude towards these young people lacks justice, fairness, humanity, leadership and moral responsibility. All human beings on our shared planet are of equal worth, deserving of common respect and humanity. You are failing to give this.

I ask that you abandon the pernicious and labyrinthine “hostile environment towards immigrants” [of which my non-EU spouse and I also have personal experience] and quickly and gracefully grasp your responsibilities towards all these vulnerable refugees.

This is my Truth speaking to your power,

 

Rev Tim Pickles