We Oppose the Illegal Immigration Bill—Open Letter from Climate activists

Dear Prime Minister and Home Secretary,

We are writing as members of the climate justice movement to voice our opposition to the Illegal Migration Bill, introduced in Parliament on Tuesday 7th March. As a community committed to creating a green future that is fair and equitable for all, we believe this bill is unjust, heartless, and risks violating the human rights of the most vulnerable in our society.

Recent years have seen a growth in the number of people crossing the channel in small boats to seek asylum in the UK. Making such a crossing is dangerous, and we have already seen people losing their lives making this journey. 90% of those making this crossing go on to seek asylum. The government believes that this bill will reduce the number of people entering the UK in this way, by ruling the claims of anyone entering through an unconventional route 'inadmissible' and deporting them to either their own country or a 'safe third country'. There are currently no viable alternatives for many people fleeing war and persecution, and the government has yet to propose any. Although the Homes for Ukraine Scheme has been successful in supporting thousands of Ukrainians seeking sanctuary, the Afghan Resettlement Scheme resettled a mere 22 people in the UK last year, and there are no routes for people attempting to reach the UK from most other countries.

The bill also aims to prevent anyone entering the UK through unconventional routes from accessing the UK’s modern slavery support system. This will unfairly criminalise people who are trafficked into the UK as victims of modern slavery and deny them the support they vitally need.

Successive home secretaries have stoked up hostile attitudes towards refugees by describing refugees as ‘illegal migrants’, introducing policies such as deploying vans telling people to ‘Go Home’, and attempting to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. This, combined with anti-refugee media coverage, has contributed to recent violence at a hotel housing asylum seekers in Knowsley earlier this year. The government is also failing in its duty of care to refugees. The Manston detention centre has been shut down after it was found that people were being held there for weeks at a time in unhygienic conditions, and it recently emerged that hundreds of children have gone missing from government facilities. Vulnerable, traumatised people deserve to live in safety and dignity while their claims are processed, and the government must do more to safeguard vulnerable children.

Additionally, current government policies make it impossible for refugees to live full lives in the UK whilst their asylum claims are processed. The UK is currently the only country in Europe where it is legal to detain someone indefinitely while their claim is processed. This is an inhumane way to treat people who have suffered violence and trauma. Asylum seekers are also not allowed to work in the UK while their claim is processed, and must live on less than £7 a day; this leaves vulnerable people at risk of destitution. The number of people awaiting decisions on their asylum claims reached a record high of 166,000 in February 2023, and 110,000 people have been waiting more than 6 months for their claims to be assessed.

The UK takes fewer refugees than most European countries. In 2021, Germany received 190,500 asylum applications, France received 120,700, but the UK only received 50,000. We know that most people displaced by war or natural disasters remain close to their country of origin, meaning that many countries take on significantly higher numbers of refugees. Those that do come to the UK usually do so because they have family ties here, or speak English.

Climate change will lead to extreme weather which, as well as causing loss of life, livelihoods and homes, can result in political instability and conflict. This will increase the number of people who are forced to leave their homes, and some of them may seek to come to the UK. As a country with a historic responsibility for contributing to climate change, we must ensure that people are able to seek refuge here and that safe routes are introduced for those seeking asylum.

We call on the government to:

  • Drop the Illegal Migration Bill and all policies that seek to criminalise asylum seekers who enter the UK through unconventional routes

  • Introduce safe routes for those attempting to cross the channel to seek asylum

  • Take action to ensure the safety of children missing from hotels

  • Clear the backlog of asylum cases that has been growing since the pandemic

  • End the indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers

  • Allow asylum seekers the right to work while their cases are being processed

In solidarity,


Tatiana Garavito, Tipping Point UK, Care & repair lead

Raeeka Yassaie, Parents For Future Dacorum

Rhiannon Osborne, Health for a Green New Deal

Katie Williams, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Joshua Bloodworth, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Lucy Jordan, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Connie Muir, Croydon Community Energy

Scott Kirby, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Sarah McArthur, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Pia Eldergill, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Sinéad Magner, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Riya Patel, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Abi Deivanayagam, Race and Health, UK

Tarun Gidwani, South Asia Solidarity Group

Josie M, Fossil Free London

Julie Reid

Paul Hostler

David Taplin

Marian Hussenbux

Peter Gunn

Ailsa Newcombe

Amanda Cole

Tony Kennedy

John Creaser

David Evans

Lesley Bryan

Derek West

Terry Brough

Michael Rozdoba

Samantha Gibbins

Keren Barley

David Vaughan

Susan Chapman

Juan Pablo Lobo-Guerrero

Kate March

Peter Chadwick

Eve Middleron

David Southcombe

Gemma Drake

Rachel Powell

Angela Scoble

Ana Aaissbein

Alfie Burgh

Dilys McGill

Helena Robinson

Sonia Scanlon

Sara Ellis

Dr Electra Soady

Pete Etheridge

Susan Jackson

JL Angell

Ken Ilett

Matthew Gray

James Nye

Doug Lennon

Jean Churm

John Bull

Emma Jefkins

Juliet Chaplin

Mike Thomas

Dereck Prentis

Patrick Owen

Tony Martin, ACORN (Swindon) & Greenpeace

Ann Prosser

Marilyn Brown

Elliot Jenkins

Peter McKay

Tony Jenkins

Katherine Linsley, Stop Cambo

John Broome

John Cummings

Alina Oprea

carole odell

Michael Shaw

Mohammed Seghir

Joan How

Lyn Ostick

Christopher Gregory

Joe Jenkins

claire francis

Cristina Jerry

Steve Doone

David Perrow

Leslie Cunningham

Sara Seydi

Allison Rensch

Juliette Brown, Doctors XR

Pam Rosling

Laura Thomas

Angela Hoehne

Graham McGoldrick

Philip Brown

Ray Corness

Adrian Widdowson

Layla Haidrani

Emily House

Kathryn Summerfield, The Mission to Seafarers.

Sally Robinson

Stephen Briault

Caro Hall

Gillan Garland

Christine Jenkins

Zara Kingsbury Hale

Angus Brown

E Croft

Claire Hart

Marian Hussenbux

Louise Hazan, Tipping Point UK

Parus Shah

isaac marks individual

Salma Haidrani

Peter Roberts

Keith Francis

Venice van Someren

Rosalind Kent

Barbara Trauer

Richard Salsbury

Gonny Huissoon

Therese De Silva

Manaf Suleman, Youth Climate Council

Peter Pope, Transition Cambridge

Mary Robertson

Ian Brown

Vivien Evans

Sivan Halevi

Susan Christie

Gavin Lundy

Raeeka Yassaie, Parents For Future Dacorum

Gail Sirmais

Bel Evans

Ben Hull

Paola Catapano

Christopher Manley

Cat Wright

Sharon Batty

John Philpott

Brian Jimack

Stefan Davies

Sadie Ezard

Stuart Bretherton, Fuel Poverty Action

Onesmus Mulima, Act4sdgs.org

Emma Harrison Beesley

Mel Vance

Julia Famlonga

Astrid Brown

Valerie Nordberg

Lilla Mocsonoky

Chevonne Le Monnier

Jessica Martin

Stu Tomlinson

Orin Cooley-Greene, Extinction Rebellion

Louise McIntosh, Humanity

Marianne Sorrell

Mary O'Brien

Marc Rogers

Nicholas Couchman

Kaviya Selvamanickam, Stop Cambo

Geoff Pearson

Lauren MacDonald, #StopRosebank


Mary McGuiggan, Edenreagh Therapies

Jay Harrow

Tamsin Wake

Jim Annand

Monika Frontczak

William Weeks

Stephen Brown

Gordon & Norma Hinks

Jennifer Brewer

Lucii Richardson

Janet Matthews, People's Assembly

Clara Paillard, Unite the Union Grassroot Climate Justice Caucus

Catherine Hughes High Peak, Green New Deal

Steve Wilkins Kent Unite Community Branch, Campaign against Climate Change, Medway Trades Union Council

James Garner

John Cooper Brum, Climate Justice Coalition

Suami Rocha, IWGB

Claire Preston Cambs, Climate Justice Coalition

Catherine Hanley

Louise Allcoat

Laura Carolina Zanetti Domingues, XR and Global Justice Now

Jack Czauderna

Claire James, Campaign against Climate Change

Dani Esposito, Extinction Rebellion

Jeff Dawson, Bolton Socialist club, Bolton Black History Group & Wigan Diggers festival

Lee Wellstead

Greta Mattar

Romane Audéoud, StopEacop

Dave Sherry, Unite the Union & CACCTU

Tony Goodchild, Extinction Rebellion

Jane Garde, Extinction Rebellion

Pete Firmin

Ellen Robottom, Yorks and Humber Climate Justice Coalition

Nikki Dancey

Linda Oerkins

Anthony Gardm The Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary

Zita Holbourne BARAC UK

Alice Miller

Julie Hope, Unite Community

David Bridge, Stand Up To Racism

James Lochery

Lucille Corby

Susan Penny

Barbara Gleave Extinction Rebellion

Elara Shurety Coal Action Network

Eleanor Frostick Restart

George Arthur Barnsley TUC

Rime Hadri XR

Mary Brady

Miranda Whelehan No Border in Climate Justice

Anjelica Cleaver No Borders In Climate Justice

Hally Kelly Just Stop Oil

Geoff Simpson

Peter Marinker Marinker XR

Catherine O'Rourke "Sefton Climate Action group

Save Rimrose Valley Park "

Neil Tees

Jenni Morgan

Elizabeth Phillips

Leslie Anstee XR

Daisy Brown

Andrew James Christian Climate Action

Tim Beecher

Mary Robertson Brum CJC

Peter Rutherford

Sasha Haddad

Kathy Dolan

Aislinn Hastings, Student Rebellion Leeds

Rukshana A

Melany Zarate

Denise Lysaght

Marie Willingham

Caspian Sunerton-Burl

Ben Koh

Ralph Reay Student Rebellion Leeds

Lilah McKim, Just Stop Oil

Jan Yarker XR

Jaz Corkhill

Ben Mitchell

Sylvia Godfrey

Evan Usher, Student Rebellion Leeds

Sam Townson, Greenpeace UK

Jessica Goodwin, Plant Based Unis

Georgina Wong

Lucy Brimelow, Student Rebellion

Ed Louise

Ismael Foronda

Madeleine Birchmore

Rory O'Dwyer, Student Rebellion Leeds

Emily Brewster

Paul McGowan, Chairperson, LGBT+ Socialists

Carmel Cadden, Unite Community

Ryan Clark

Lisa Hill

Ian Birch, Extinction Rebellion

Anna Marshall

Gary Freer

Suzanne Coombs

Izzy Russell, Extinction Rebellion Youth

Josephine Johnson

Rosalind Monaghan, Student Rebellion

Anna Heywood

Carol Mills, Unite Community

Charmian Goldwyn

Dwayne Thomas

Anne Litherland, Our Common home Holy Apostles and Martyrs Parish Wallasey

Tommy Hodgson

Ricky Lowes, Climate Action Plymouth

Lesley Price

M Collet

Christine Dolan

Hazel Graham

Robyn Mcsharry, Socialist Workers Party

Keenal Shah, Plant-Based Universities

Annette Roa, Medact

Mary Cahill

Vash Ravi

Charlotte Pettett

Dylan Elks

Ruth Austen-Vincent, XR Liverpool

Henry Goodwin, Carlisle Refugee Action Group

Peter Kerr

Lauren Nightingale

Tony Dowling, North East Climate Justice Coalition

Laura Pelling

Andrea Haynes, Friends of the Earth

Erica Eden

Andrea Hughes, XR

Brenda Ashton

Adrian Edgington, Babour party

Jeremy Johnson

Richard Hamilton

Claude Fourcroy

Sylvia Wood  

Rosa Thorlby

Ian Browne

Paul Reddy

Michele Phillips

Judith Warren

wendy Micklewright

Lou Hadden, Just Stop Oil

Christine Whitworth

G Pirie, Friends of the Earth

Angela C

Nick Comrie

Angela Frewin

Maraia B

Jane Creagh-Osborne

Lynn Kennedy

Charlotte Howell, Parents Fur Future

Trudy Sellers

Brendan Cavaciuti

Charlotte Slaven

Frances Gallagher, Justice & Peace Scotland

Christine Williams

Eleanor Cosford, University of Oxford

Cristina Jerry

JM Moring, Parents for Future UK

Davina Kaur, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Robert Anderson

Lucy Parr

Richard Lane

Helen Leonard-Williams, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Pascoe Sabido, Corporate Europe Observatory

Tahir Latif, Greener Jobs Alliance

Kenneth Burgess, Green Party of England and Wales and GMB

Indie Foolheea

Anne Calderbank

Madeleine Scobie

Anne Campbell

Juliet Robertstone, Stop Rosebank Coalition

Mikaela Loach

Rory Maclagan

Naomi Seadon

Sneha Tandon

Arthur Nicoll, Unison

Sophie Stephenson

James Dickins

David Hughes

Graham Cox, Extinction Rebellion

Victoria Spilca, PFF

Lucy St. John

Rachelle Mesley, Parents for Future Dacorum

Sophia Pankenier, Mother's Rebellion

Sarah Burgess, Parents for futures Dacorum

Laura Stephenson

Kim Senior Parents for future

Leanne Lawrence, Parents for Future

Symra Khan

Corali Houlton, Parents For Future

Elizabeth Lee LEE

Jess Podevyn

Jasmin Abbott Medact

Chloe Goode

Laila Mehrpour

Suzanne Flanegan

Reinhard Huss, UBI Lab Leeds, UBI Lab Network

Jennifer Agricola

Sam Holmes

Jo Rodriguez

Laura Groves

Catherine Thomas


Jennifer Whiteway-Bell

Elouise Mayall, UKYCC

Sue Hampton, XR Dacorum

Natalie Meade

Peter Garbutt

Dylan Lewis-Creser Co-Chair, LGBTIQA+ Greens of England and Wales

Ben Buse, XR, JSO, IB, AR, CCA

Jessica Kleczka Hero, UK Climate Justice Circle

Sandra Albu

Melisa James

Joseph Harrington

Inigo Jons

Jérémy OUDIN

Dale Beckwith

cait ni cadlaig individual

Alexi Dimond

Rohana Khattak

Jessica Mackney

Carolin Held

Maria Ravara

George Steedman Jones

maddy wade

Álvaro Flores Balado

Kate Brown

Maya Navarrete

Leila Hoballah XR

Itsasme Garcia

Jack Stead

Celina Thaller de Zarate

Andrea Chaverra Valencia

Martin Phipps

Tony Staunton, Campaign against Climate Change (signed in a personal capacity)

Emily Kittle

Carol Broom, Green party, Extinction Rebellion.

Kim Barr

Eugenia Guterres

Alex Hilton

Shannon Finnan, Global Justice Edinburgh Youth

Lara Fahey

William Barnes

Leyla Canbas

Anna Collar

Aliki Danou

Vince Hayward

Tricia Wright

Amy McMillan

Lizzie Morgan

Miriam Sanchez

Anne Sofie Hammerich

Michelle Craigie

Katarína Jarinova

Hannah Wall

Aideen McIlroy

Carol Hawkins

Peppi Nykänen

Leah Simmons

Lesley Reeves

Joeann Cantillon

Lily Horgan

Keir Mccabe

Charlie Bates

Sydney Lawson

Becky Hughes

Katherine Wood

Kimberley Smith

Veronika Jásková

Kim Overington

Emily Marsay, UKYCC; Carbon Literacy Project, Me & Youth

Kelsey Ransick

Victoria Froehling

Zarria Phillips, Unite Community

Irene Gironès

Iain Melville

Chantal Sandeford

Laura Bryan

Ella Hatch, Green New Deal Rising

Laura Bryan

Ellen Monaghan

Denise Sutton

Elsa Pohjanperä

Julia Dowling, Friends of the Earth

Rebecca Warren

Susan Tibbles, UNISON

Abi Gilchrist

Enhejirigalang Enhejirigalang

Tobias Forster


Kate Hendry

Elizabeth Westwood, Medact Leeds

Monique Lakhman

Rachel Wallace

Sam Hamilton

Eloise Greenwood

Kudzai Matsvai

Peter Murry, Green Left (an ecosocialist tendency within the Green Party of England and Wales)

Rob Bryher

Alastair Binnie, Lubbock Hackney Green Party

Jake Rayson

Claire Miles

Emily Laurens, Cadernid Emlyn Resilience

Jane Mansfield, West Wales Climate Coalition. XR

Branwen Munn

Kevin Treweeks

Jessica Webb

Eleanor Clegg, West Wales Climate Campaign

Denise Ashurst, Extinction Rebellion

Christine Whitworth

Mark Evams

Hollie Hammond

Kelsey Ransick

Harriet Hodgson

Ruairi Brogan, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Helen Williams, Christian Climate Action

Allan Gray

Luc Mugnier, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Monique Lakhman

Henry Rossmiller

Sima Cutting, Extinction Rebellion

Lucy Gough

Clare Robinson

Joan Keating-Majorel

Surabhi Vanalia

David Kilner, Extinction Rebellion Cardiff

Robin Majhi

Ella Clark UK, Youth Climate Coalition

Frances Gallagher, Justice & Peace Scotland

Eleanor Miller, XR Lambeth

Helen Whitall

Marie Cooke

Lewis Carr

Louise Brown, Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland

Masharof Ahmed, Friends of the Earth

Ria Patel, Green Party Councillor, Croydon Council

Jenny Thatcher

Cristian Ramis

Jenny Rosenberg

Amelia Thomas

Nicola Tattersall

Amanda Webb

Meg Hughes

Simon Burton

Louise Hazan, Tipping Point UK

Katherine Linsley, Stop Cambo

Hannah Box-Saayman, Green New Deal Rising

Lois Yu, Green New Deal Rising

Charlotte Howell-Jones, Parents for Future UK

Christina Holmes, Parents For Future Bristol/Bath

Eleanor Baptista

Marisa Orland

Marina Chymyshyn

Emily Thompson

Jasmin Harsono

Juan Pablo Lobo-Guerrero

Negin Erfani

Patricia Ehrmann

Laila Mehrpour

Florence Bryant

Elliot Jenkins

Rae Soyode

Wren Edwards

Paisley Weir

Zavira Heinze

Audrey Lejeune

Virginia Mallin

Sam Holmes

Kaye dunnings

Ella Best, Parents For Future

Clara Patrick

Isobel H

Elizabeth Lymer

Laura Minton

Annie Lane, Stop Cambo

Caitlin Rangecroft

Marged Ioan

Madeleine Scobie

Christina McConnell


Sofia Kotlarz

Elizabeth Johnson

Becky Turner-Jones, Parents for Future

Rachelle Mesley, Parents for Future Dacorum

Michael Dicus

Quinn Eilbeck

Emma Watts

L Tin

Patrick Walker

Naomi Wilmshurst

Alice Rayner

Victoria Thomas

Kathryn Wood

Sarah Amandes, Parents For Future

Jessica Neil

Marisa Orland

Hayley Gardiner

Kate Logan, Parents for Future

Christina Holmes, Parents For Future Bristol/Bath

Alice Rushworth

Georgie McCleary

Emily Mundy

Vanessa Christie

Emma Jamison, Parents for Future

Catherine Southard Jennings

Jane Trobridge, Bee Friendly Brum

Laura Bellinger-Sheppard

Rachelle Mesley, Parents for Future Dacorum

Jemma Russell

Gemma Annan, Frome families for the future

Julie Dutson

Elizabeth Venning

Alice Ojeda

Sam Holmes

Alicia Enston

Anita Bagdi

Alexandra Flemmings

Adriana Taylor

Francesca Challis

Zoe Bizicki UKYCC

Dan Hankinson

Leo Hall-Howl

Paul Stewart, Global Justice Now

Gill Haggie, Rotherham Interfaith Group

Deborah Cobbett, UCU

Rosalind Dean

Eloise Dethier-Eaton

Andrew Jenkins

Coco Tas

Zara Verryt

Peter Robin Fletcher

Helen Leonard-Williams, UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Lauren Twemlow

</p><p>UK Youth Climate Coalition
Croydon Climate Action
Croydon Community Energy
London Friends of the Earth Network
Race & Health
Tipping Point
Stand Up To Racism
Socialist Workers Party
Campaign Against Climate Change
Global Justice Sheffield
Stop the War
Peace and Justice Project</p>