The government just did our job for us. They emailed 315,000 people and sent them a “terrifying and deeply arrogant” rallying cry that they WILL NOT be removing Clause 9 from the Nationality and Borders Bill. On the petition site thy said ‘on 5 January 2022: The Government will not remove Clause 9. It is necessary to ensure deprivation powers can be used effectively and will only apply in very limited circumstances. It does not affect the right to appeal.
We didn’t have access to that mailing list, so thank you South Asian Desi Girlboss Priti Patel for doing our mobilising for us!
The Home Office twitter account also responded to the director of the Good Law Project, Jo Maugham’s thread of tweets here after he said,
‘Next week we will publish advice from @RazaRazahusain and Eleanor Mitchell, instructed by @LeighDay_Law on the removal of citizenship provision in the Nationality and Borders Bill. In the meantime, I want to make some points about what that clause does.”
Presumably the threat/intention to do the first commissioned law advice on Clause 9 as the Home Office snuck it in to the bill so late was what set the Home Office communication manager’s twitter fingers ablaze..
…and nary another word from the home office until an email at 1:17am…Keeping your staff up late again Priti?
Could it be that the combined pressure of a joint letter of 100 leading civil society figures opposing the bill, plus, numerous polemics in the House of Lords, by Tory Lords no less and a protest attended by the public and press has the Home office a little shaky? Only time will tell.
In the meantime we had some choice gifs to disseminate…
In response The Good Law Project has started a new petiton, directed at Priti Patel, Home Secretary
Citizenship is a right, not a privilege
To: Priti Patel, Home Secretary
Citizenship must be a right, not a privilege. Government must scrap the Home Secretary’s power to strip people of their citizenship.
Section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981 gives the Home Secretary some seriously worrying powers. These include the right to strip someone of their UK citizenship if she thinks it “conducive to the public good”. And allowing her to remove a naturalised citizen’s citizenship as long as she has “reasonable grounds” for believing the person has a right to citizenship of another country. This could render them stateless – and for some has.
Phrases like “conducive to the public good” give the Home Secretary huge discretion. Priti Patel recently interpreted it to authorise the deportation of Osime Brown, an autistic teenager, to Jamaica – a country he hasn’t stepped foot in since the age of 4 and where he has no family, friends or support network. That decision was overturned after an intense public campaign. But individual public campaigns don’t do the job. We must address the underlying law.
Citizenship deprivation orders disproportionately affect people of colour, people with dual citizenship and groups that are already marginalised. The existence of Section 40 creates different classes of citizenship – white indigenous citizens have rights and freedoms that other citizens do not.
No civilised country should embed racism in its legal system. ‘Citizenship’ has no meaning if it discriminates against people of colour and naturalised citizens. Section 40 must be repealed – or at the very least its use constrained in law. Sign it here
A last word from CAGE
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For ideas about how you may resist the bill use BID Detention’s template to email your MP that the #BordersBill will criminalise refugees, erode the meagre rights of those subject to immigration control & sow further division into UK society. Click here for the petition. opposing clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill. Sign, and share on your social media channels.
Find out who your MP is and what their email address is by going to writetothem.com and entering your postcode. Also find out which Lord is interested in the Nationality and Borders Bill and write to them by searching here. Template here