Migrants and Refugees – Advocacy

The Catholic Church is at the forefront of supporting refugees in the UK – including through the Community Sponsorship programme and assistance for asylum seekers.

Refugees in makeshift camps in Erbil.
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Pope Francis has called on all Catholics to welcome, protect, promote and help to integrate people coming to build their lives in our country.

Informed by the work of Catholic parishes and charities we regularly engage with the government to promote more humane immigration, resettlement and asylum policies.

We consistently called for am extension of the government’s flagship resettlement programme to include anyone affected by the conflict in and around Syria regardless of their background and welcomed the decision to make this change in 2017. Widening resettlement opportunities remains a priority.

Our Bishops have also led calls for just treatment of asylum seekers including a time limit on immigration detention and an end to dehumanising rhetoric.

Links and documents

Church calls on MPs to end indefinite detention
Bishop Paul McAleenan has called for MPs to support a 28-day time limit on immigration detention, saying that detaining people indefinitely “does not reflect the justice due to every person that we as a nation pride ourselves on upholding”

Cardinal’s statement on the extension of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme
His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols has issued the following statement in response to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s announcement that the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) will be extended with immediate effect to include non-Syrians fleeing the conflict area.

Bishop Paul speaks out against dehumanising rhetoric
The Lead Catholic Bishop for Migration and Asylum has called for asylum seekers crossing the English Channel to be treated with dignity and spoken out against the dehumanising rhetoric that has characterised debate in recent weeks.

Cardinal says treatment of asylum seekers is a “shame on our country”
On a visit to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Cardinal Vincent Nichols told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme that the UK government’s treatment of asylum seekers was “a shame on our country”.