The United Reformed Church (URC), together with several Christian faith groups, have signed a joint letter urging the Home Secretary to rethink the government’s New Plan for Immigration (NPFI).

While they welcomed the new UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) and looked forward to resettlement targets to be announced in future, they felt that it could not be done at the expense of an asylum system that offers protection to those who need it.

In the statement, they called for principles of welcome, protection and integration to be embedded into government policies, and said that to penalise people who have no choice but to flee their homes is to abandon the very principles of international protection.

Instead of reducing the plight of asylum seekers to a statistic, they should recognise common interests of family, community and faith, and embrace the diversity which makes communities dynamic and vibrant.