Bishop of Chelmsford critical of Rwanda plan for asylum seekers

Faith Matters / Tue 19th Apr 2022 at 02:50pm

A LEADING religious figure in Essex has described the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers 6,000 miles away to Rwanda as ‘cruel and inhumane’.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Rev Guli Francis-Dehqani, has written an open letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel about the controversial new policy.

It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s own criticism of the scheme during his Easter sermon at the weekend.

He described it as ‘sub-contracting out our responsibilities’ and ‘ungodly’.

Rev’d Francis-Dehqani said in her letter that she stood behind Justin Welby’s comments and said she was “extremely anxious” about the scheme.

She wrote: “This policy treats the most vulnerable in our midst in a cruel and inhumane way and it is for this reason that I am compelled to appeal to you, even at this late stage, to listen to the voices that are being raised from a cross section of public opinion.

“Those who find their way to this country, often through treacherous means, deserve to have their cases considered and processed here.

“To do otherwise is, as the Archbishop says, “sub-contracting out our responsibilities … the opposite of the nature of God, who himself took responsibility for our failures”.

Rev’d Francis-Dehqani also took aim at Ms Patel’s own comments in the press in which she said those criticising the asylum plan failed to offer ‘their own solutions’.

The letter to Ms Patel continued: “We are not tasked with providing worked out political solutions – that is the job of Government and politicians.

“But it is our responsibility to point out where there are serious ethical and moral implications arising from Government proposals.

“I would also want to say that it is disingenuous of your cabinet colleague, Mr Rees-Mogg, to suggest that the Archbishop “misunderstands what the policy is trying to achieve”.

“Thoughtful criticism should not be dismissed in this off hand manner.”

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7 Comments for Bishop of Chelmsford critical of Rwanda plan for asylum seekers:

Jamie Henderson
2022-04-19 17:10:15

Yes. Great. So what do the Bishops of Chelmsford and Canterbury, the Labour Party and other detractors propose to stem the flow of illegal migrants and people smugglers? Not heard any concrete plans of late; just the usual whinging. It is unfair to British taxpayers to foot the bill and to lawful migrants who go through the correct procedures. This abuse must stop. These new measures are popular and long overdue.

2022-04-19 18:53:38

Perhaps they can go straight to Rwanda and cut the middle man out.

2022-04-19 19:44:16

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Labour Party have no power to enact any plans, so it is pointless any of them producing any. It is the responsibility of this government to come up with workable, legal and value for money plans and once again they have failed. Popular? Who with? It's not popular with the Tory party, with Theresa May questioning the “legality, practicality and efficacy” of the policy. Tory MP Andrew Mitchell raised “grave concerns” that the policy “simply will not work”. "Brexit Bulldog" David Davis accused the prime minister of “moral delinquency” and declared: “We are better than this - or at least we used to be.” A deterrent? Not likely. Boris has admitted the number of small boat arrivals was “unlikely” to fall to zero soon. It has been reported that sending migrants to Rwanda will cost £30,000 a person. This may be eye watering to some but it is no surprise that this incompetent government is intent on wasting tax payers money. You want a plan? How about this - instead of spending £30,000 a person to send them to Rwanda, lets give them the £30,000 to spend. It could be considered the first year's wages while their application goes through. As this would be wages, it would be taxable, so the tax payer gets some of it back. They spend the money on rent+council tax, vat etc, so even more gets back to the tax payer. This keeps the money in-country instead of sending it overseas. Yes, I know the right-wingnuts will laugh at this idea, but it would be better value to the tax payer than giving Rwanda £30,000 per person. Another idea that has been proposed is to put up those arriving in Britain at the Ritz for a year because it would be cheaper. There you go, two plans which would be cheaper than this Tory government's waste of tax payers money. And I only gave it a few minutes thought.

Jamie Henderson
2022-04-20 06:21:23

JD, I very much doubt that your views resonate with the majority. The current failed system costs £ billions. It is abusive and grossly unfair. The proposed system, if implemented with vigour will act as a deterrent and make would be illegals think twice about coming here as opposed to remaining in another ‘safe’ country.

2022-04-20 09:08:48

All these migrants who cross the channel are perfectly safe in France but they want to get to the UK at any cost. We cannot look after our own indigenous population as it is with the social structure in free fall (health crisis, housing crisis, social crisis all collapsing) and yet the lefty, hand wringing apologists want's the whole world and his wife to come here. It's got to stop.

Jonathan Biscomb
2022-04-20 18:47:37

Labour’s call to Boris Johnson to apologise to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his remarks is an insult to the long suffering people of this country who have had to tolerate and bank thousands of bogus asylum seekers. This country voted for Brexit and to control our borders. At last the Government is doing what people voted for. Labour is just an out of touch, woke metropolitan party that has lost all connection with the people.

2022-04-21 09:35:51

Let's face facts. The vast majority of these people are not refugees fleeing war and oppression like the poor souls in Ukraine, they are fit young men who are economic parasites looking to exploit our weak, hand wringing governments of any stripe. They will arrive here and be set free to set up county lines gangs, commit terrorist acts, and rape and murder.

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