MPS were set to consider a petition calling for an amnesty for undocumented migrants last night as campaigners prepared to rally to demand an end to the hostile environment.
The debate, due to take place later this evening, comes after more than 100,000 people signed the petition demanding that Tory ministers help those with no criminal record to “live their lives as normal human beings” while paying tax to help society.
Activists from Voice of Immigrants UK and other campaign groups including Regularise, a grassroots collective made up of migrants and British citizens, were due to converge on Downing Street as MPs met in Westminster Hall.
A government spokesperson claimed that immigration rules already allow for undocumented migrants to regularise their status “where appropriate.”
But campaigners point out that procedures such as the “20 years rule” force vulnerable people to endure decades of precarious living before being able to submit applications for permanent residency.
In addition to undocumented asylum-seekers fleeing war zones, rights groups warn that migrants often become undocumented after arrival in Britain in circumstances such as via a broken marriage or by exploitative bosses who confiscate passports, leaving them with little available support.
Calling for change, Regularise founder Munya Radzi told the Morning Star that the current system is “completely unjust.”
“It drives people into further precarity and further into the margins where they are put at risk of exploitation and, for women in particular, sexual abuse,” he said.
Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMat