Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen advises Home Secretary Priti Patel to reform the inhumane immigration system, which is considered by legal experts to be ‘broken’
“Priti Patel must grasp this opportunity to fix a broken and deeply harmful immigration system.
“The appalling treatment of the Windrush generation exposed the damage Home Office policies have caused – and continue to cause – to people, families and communities right across the UK.
“Priti Patel should now ensure the Home Office protects and supports some of the UK’s most vulnerable and marginalised people.
“Amongst other things, there needs to be an immediate change to the UK’s refugee family reunion rules which currently condemn children to life without their families; a review of the extortionate fees which deny tens of thousands of children their rights to British citizenship; reform to the UK’s harmful indefinite detention policies; and a commitment to ensuring that vital protections for migrant women are included in the upcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.
“After the incredibly harmful policies of the past, people must now be put at the heart of the Home Office’s policies and practices.”
What kind of record does Priti Patel have?
Here are five of the past decisions made by our current Home Secretary in fields that are relevant to her position now.
1.) Voted against raising benefits in line with costs
In 2013, she voted 5 times against the increase of benefits in line with the costs of living. She voted to cap all benefits at 1%, whilst the motion suggested raising benefits to 2.2% in line with food, electricity and rent costs.
2.) Voted against investigating the Iraq war
In 2016 she was one of the Conservative MPs who voted against investigating the contrast between public statements and private actions in the lead-up to the Iraq war, aka the Chilcot Inquiry.
3.) Voted against most human rights protections
In 2013, Priti Patel voted against making it illegal to discriminate against caste in the UK. In 2016, she voted in favour of repealing the 1998 Human Rights Act – which is the UK’s only solid legislation on human rights protections. Lately, her decisions have been based on more general human rights policies. Last year in 2018, she voted against the UK keeping the EU “Charter of Fundamental Rights” after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
4.) Voted for stricter asylum measures
She voted against giving asylum seekers the ability to work if their application decision is taking longer six months, which happened in 2016 with the majority of MPs. Many asylum seekers end up destitute as they run out of money, leading them to seek illegal employment or become homeless. She also voted for stronger enforcement of immigration laws, including making the provision of services such as housing and bank accounts a criminal offence.
5.) Voted for mass surveillance measures
In 2014, she voted in favour of mass retention of information about individual communications. She further voted to require internet-based services like Google and Facebook to comply with UK warrants for data searches. Yet, she also voted for limited use of such interceptions, whilst voting to extend the power of the police to access communication data in the interests of ‘national security’.
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