National protest planned against the racist ‘Citizenship Bill’

February 16, 2022    0 comment

Society of Black Lawyers will join campaigners opposed to the controversial Nationality and Borders Bill to take part in a national demonstration against the proposed legislation later this month.

The much-criticised Bill which is currently winding through Parliament gives the Home Secretary the right to strip Britons with foreign ancestry of their nationality without notice.

The Citizenship Bill, as it has been dubbed, furnishes the Secretary of State with an excessive, ill-defined and unconstitutional power to make a deprivation order without notice and with fewer safeguards for those it targets. There is no test or clear definition for the exercise of the proposed powers. The Home Secretary is the judge, jury and executioner.

It is estimated that six million people could be affected if the law comes into force. It stands to have a disproportionate impact on those born overseas or who have a parent born abroad. As such it is racist.

The Bill also targets migrants by giving Border Force officers powers to turn refugees away from the UK while at sea, and makes it a criminal offense to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission.

As such it creates punitive and inhumane barriers for those who rightly deserve asylum, leaving them at the mercy of human traffickers. The Government’s own lawyers have even warned that they would likely lose a case on the lawfulness of forcing migrant boats to reverse course. All this serves to only further entrench an environment that is hostile to migrants and to those with migrant backgrounds.

The demonstration is supported by 21 civil society organisations, which include BARAC UK, Association of Muslim Lawyers, BLM Coalition and African, Caribbean and Asian Lawyers for Justice.