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Over 100 groups sign open letter objecting to 'two tier' UK nationality bill

People gather opposite Downing street to protest against the bill on December 19, 2021 in London, England [Guy Smallman/Getty images]
People gather opposite Downing street to protest against the bill on December 19, 2021 in London, England [Guy Smallman/Getty images]

Over 100 organisations from across the UK have expressed their opposition to the Nationality and Borders Bill that is to be debated in the House of Lords today.

Trade unions, mosques, members of the Church of England, law associations, business groups and educational establishments are amongst the signatories of an open letter calling on peers to reject the bill's dehumanising content, including a clause that allows the stripping of citizenship without warning.

"We seek your respectful attention to the overtly racist and prejudicial implications that the Bill will have for approximately 6 million British citizens who are predominantly from an ethnic minority background," said the letter.

The bill, the letter says, will create "a two-tier citizenship" system "where the 'brown' or 'black' man or woman will be subject to the whims of the Home Secretary of the day without any legal oversight whatsoever."

READ: UK government urged to provide safer routes for refugees

The letter insists that it is dangerous to grant such draconian powers to the Home Secretary and warns that such powers can be open to abuse, errors in judgment, and problematic evidence.

"The Nationality and Borders Bill will seek to further enforce the status of second-class on millions of people living in this country. This racist & draconian bill must be opposed by all sections of society," said Raghad Altikriti, president of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and one of the signatories.

"The bill is an existential threat to Britain's ethnic minority communities," said Samantha Asumadu, founder of Media Diversified. "It reinforces a two-tier system of citizenship in Britain. The implications are simply horrifying. Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and more have come together in the last few days to oppose this bill. The opposition will only grow as it approaches its next reading in the House of Lords."

Ahammed Hussain of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK stated: "This bill represents the biggest assault on civil and human rights we have seen in decades. It seeks to weaken the right to citizenship and the courts' ability to hold the Government to account. Both are fundamental cornerstones of UK democracy."

READ: UK court overturns convictions of 4 asylum seekers who crossed English Channel

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