Green councillors have called on Sheffield City Council to reaffirm its commitment to help refugees and asylum seekers and Sheffield’s status as a City of Sanctuary,
The motion, which has been developed in collaboration with people seeking sanctuary, campaigners & members of other parties, asks the Council to:
- Sign the ‘Fight the Anti-Refugee Laws’ pledge and join the “Lift the Ban” coalition
- refuse to adopt and enforce new housing regulations which discriminate against migrants
- call on the government to withdraw the UK-Rwanda agreement, repeal the Nationality and Borders Act, Illegal Migration Bill
- call on the government to recognise the impact of climate change as a legitimate reason to seek safety
- reaffirm our status as a City of Sanctuary, and work with the Local Authorities of Sanctuary network to ensure we are meeting the accreditation criteria
- investigate ways to fund advice to asylum seekers which was previously delivered by the Sheffield Law Centre
- work in partnership with organisations and people with lived experience of the asylum system to identify strategies for mitigating the adverse effects of government policies within Sheffield
- introduce a Councillor ‘Migrant Champion’
Councillor Alexi Dimond, Green Councillor for Gleadless Valley said,
“Sheffield is rightly proud of being a welcoming city which strives to be inclusive of everyone. However a lot has changed since we first declared ourselves the UK’s first City of Sanctuary. Violence & persecution has increased as the world has been destabilised by a dysfunctional system fueling conflict and climate change.
“We have had 13 years of an increasingly far right Conservative government which seeks to blame the most vulnerable people for its own failings. Racist policies & avoidable tragedies such as the deaths of up to 650 migrants in the Mediterranean means it is more vital than ever to reaffirm Sheffield as a City of Sanctuary and oppose the government’s hostile environment.
“Sheffield Green Party hopes that all the parties in Sheffield will be able to support this vital motion, which follows the amazing success of the Migration Matters festival – the biggest celebration of migration in the UK.”
1) Green councillors will also be asking for a minute’s silence to remember the 650 migrating people who drowned off the Greek coast
2) Migration matters website is https://www.migrationmattersfestival.co.uk/