Some Britons are only concerned about “brown people” immigration but will open their homes to others, a bishop has said.
The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said he had not heard complaints about people coming into the UK from Ukraine or Hong Kong.
She told BBC HARDtalk that she found that “interesting”.
“It is wrong to compare and categorize victim groups against each other,” a government spokesman said.
The bishop was speaking to a BBC program about his parishioners’ concerns about small boats on the Kent coast.
Bishop Hudson Wilkin, who was born in Jamaica and became the first black woman bishop to be ordained in the Church of England, said some English people “don’t understand their own history”.
“I like to remember that when the British went to Africa, when they went to Asia, when they went to the Caribbean, they were economic migrants,” she said.
“They wanted to improve their lives. That’s what these people do.”
She added that people felt a “natural kinship and connection” with the UK and wanted to come here because of those global historical connections.
‘Hope for a Better Future’
In the year By 2022, tens of thousands of people have crossed the Channel in small boats, many of them from some of the poorest and most chaotic parts of the world.
So far in 2023, they’ve made more than 8,000 trips, about 2,000 fewer than at the same point last year.
The Government’s Illegal Immigration Bill, which is going through Parliament, is proposed to give ministers the power to remove anyone who enters the UK illegally and then stops them from claiming asylum.
Under the law, illegal immigrants are deported to Rwanda or another “safe country”.
“Since ancient times, people have moved, people have picked themselves up, picked up their families and decided to move to a better place,” Bishop Hudson-Wilkin said of the government’s plans.
A government spokesperson said, “It is wrong to compare and set up victim groups against each other.”
“The UK has a proud history of supporting those in need of protection.”
“Our resettlement programs have provided safe and legal pathways to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
“But the world is facing an unprecedented global migration crisis, and change is needed to prevent rogue smugglers from putting lives at risk and to fix the broken international asylum system.”
He added that Rwanda is “a fundamentally safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers.”
You can listen to the full interview with Rose-Hudson Wilkin, Bishop of Dover The BBC listens. Or BBC iPlayer.
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