Response from Hastings refugee support community to Sally Ann Hart’s open letter to Home Secretary concerning people arriving on south coast from Northern France
On behalf of the Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings Community of Sanctuary and Hastings Supports Refugees, Alex Kempton, Operations Manager at the Hastings & Rother Refugee Buddy Project, has written a powerful challenge to local MP Sally Ann Hart’s comments posted on social media. These comments were accompanied by Ms Hart’s open letter to the Home Secretary claiming to represent wide concern in her constituency that people arriving (she suggests they are being trafficked) in recent weeks in small boats from Northern France are coming illegally and carrying disease. See here for more information about the recent boat crossings and the inhuman conditions people seeking refuge are currently experiencing in Northern France.
It is our understanding that the great majority of people making this dangerous crossing are not being trafficked (a crime which we join the Home Office in deploring utterly) and that they are claiming asylum with us because of intolerable persecution, war or poverty – which is entirely legal and their right under international law. We urge Ms Hart to reflect upon the reality of why people are crossing the sea to land wherever their boat drifts, and we hope that she will ascertain for herself before publishing her thoughts on social media, what established procedures are being followed in respect of these groups of vulnerable people when they are processed by Border Force and dispersed across the UK, with protection if required if they are found to be affected by Corona virus.
You can read the OPEN LETTER TO SALLY ANN HART here.