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Home  >  News  >  Immigration Bill Criticised


By dannyman -, CC BY 2.0,
By dannyman -, CC BY 2.0,

Immigration Bill Criticised

Tuesday May 19 2020

The convener of the Church of Scotland’s Faith Impact Forum has criticised the UK government’s immigration bill to which MPs gave initial approval yesterday.

The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown said that the legislation would favour the better-off rather than valuing all people equally, and praised the contribution of migrants to the Church and the country.

The bill introduces the guidelines for who will be allowed to come into the UK after freedom of movement from the EU ends. Although the exact rules haven’t been announced, it paves the way for the government to introduce a points-based system which could take into account skills, qualifications, ability to speak English and a minimum income.

Dr Brown said that the Church’s General Assembly, had it happened this week as planned, would have expressed the Church’s opinion ‘quickly and visibly as one’.

“As it is,” she added, “The Church has offered longstanding support for a positive approach to immigration with a call to put dignity and compassion for all at the heart of any immigration policy. As a Church we know and value the contribution of all human beings equally, whether they were born in the UK or not.

"We also know the enormous contribution of migrants to our society in the areas of culture, economy, public service and especially in the recent weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, to health and social care. We have ministers, elders and members of the Church of Scotland who are migrants and rejoice in that! Our Church has never been so diverse, representing the people of God from all corners of the globe.

“What worries me is that this legislation will reduce migration, making it harder for people to come here, and will favour those with higher incomes, instead of creating a country which allows all people to have the opportunity to come, help and flourish.”

She added that the Faith Impact Forum, which covers the remit of the former World Mission and Church and Society Councils, would ‘be looking for every opportunity to continue to share the principles and priorities we stand by’, and suggested that individuals and congregations may want to contact their MP about the immigration bill.


Elizabeth Macaulay - Friday, May 22nd, 2020

“I do agree with Susan Brown's comments. I find it offensive to judge potential immigrants by means of what they earn, as if all our lives are a matter of money. This a very false and damaging set of values and we should stand out for valuing people as God's children with enormous potential. It is impossible to undevalue the many wonderful people from other countries who work in our service industries, particularly care homes, shops, hotels and of course the NHS. Shop and hospitality workers are not included in the government's recent exemption from having to pay to join the NHS but they and all immigrant workers are truly valuable to us as they work so hard to give us the services and products we expect. Surely we need in our current culture to turn away from seeing people as 'human resources' to be used, and turning to the attitude of valuing our fellow human beings made in God's image.”

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