A BETTER Home Office should be at the centre of a fairer immigration system where newcomers are welcomed, according to a national charity.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) said politicians in the UK had created a system that can make it impossible for people to build and maintain a life here and punishes them for even trying.
It has unveiled a 12-point manifesto aimed at creating a fairer immigration system.
JCWI said its vision was a Britain where newcomers were welcomed and where communities were strong and open, with people not having to suffer just because they have moved.
Its manifesto states that no family should be separated by immigration rules, support should be given to those who come here to work and study and guaranteed shelter and safe passage should be offered to asylum seekers. The hostile environment should also be scrapped, promises to EU nationals should be kept and migrants’ personal data should be kept safe.
It also wants to see the creation of a “better” Home Office.
The manifesto will be shared with MPs and political activists in the coming weeks and JCWI wants to ensure as many candidates as possible in the next General Election are aware of it.
JCWI chief executive Satbir Singh said people have always moved, be it down the road, to the next town or to the nearest city, sometimes because we choose to and sometimes because we have no other choice.
“As any of the millions of British citizens living abroad know, it takes hard work to build a home, learn the language and make friends in a new country,” said Singh.
“But here at home, politicians have built an immigration system that often makes it impossible for people to build and maintain a life and it frequently punishes them for even trying. Every day we see stories about people’s lives, families and communities being torn apart by a tangled mess of complex rules, an overstretched Home Office and a hostile environment.
“It’s hard for anyone to trust that the system can work efficiently or fairly.”
He added that JCWI did not believe it had to be this way: “We believe it’s possible for Britain to be a place where people don’t suffer just because they move.
“Where newcomers are safe and welcome and communities are strong and open. Where policy is grounded in evidence and humanity.
“A place where we tell each other the truth: building fences and walls cannot change the fact that people have always moved and always will. And that all our lives are better because of it.”