BY SCO Admin | November 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholic concern for refugees’ future

Protest and petition planned after Glasgow loses asylum contract

Catholics in Glasgow have raised their extreme concerns about the coalitions Government’s decision to abolish funding for asylum seekers in the city.

Justice and Peace Scotland, the social justice arm of the Scottish Bishop’s Conference, is also backing a public protest tomorrow in Glasgow against news that 600 families who are facing enforced removal from Glasgow City Council accommodation.

A message from Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow, who is currently in Rome, denouncing the plans to remove the asylum seekers and resettle them elsewhere will be read out at the demonstration tomorrow.

“I call upon the UK Government, the Scotland Office and the Home Office to call a halt to this dreadful decision which, if allowed to stand, will cause untold distress and pain,” the archbishop said.

The refugee families were given just three days notice to leave their homes and schools, where many have been settled for as long as nine years. Pupils from Lourdes Secondary School, Cardonald, Glasgow, also plan to present a petition with 1000 signatures to the First Minister Alex Salmond MSP next Thursday in support of the refugees.

The protest against the removal of the refugee families will take place at 10.30 am for 11 am tomorrow outside United Kingdom Borders Authority, Brand Street, Govan, Glasgow.

The evictions are taking place as a result of the UK Border Agency’s unilateral decision to terminate the £10 million Glasgow asylum contract. Faith groups, schools and community organisations are among those planning to attend the peaceful demonstration calling for the UKBA to renegotiates a contract with Glasgow City Council.

The council will now have to foot the bill for homelessness and social services required by remaining refugees in the city, and council taxes could rise.

The UKBA sent out letters of removal to 600 families on November 5 creating mass panic which resulted in agencies being deluged with calls and visits from upset service users.
A spokeswoman from the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees said: “At least two women refugees were hospitalised after breaking down when they received the removal letter. The detrimental impact of the UKBA’s communications on Glasgow refugee families cannot be under-estimated.”

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