Friday, 9 May 2014
Migration Bishop Patrick Lynch calls for legalisation of undocumented migrant children
Southwark auxiliary and Migration Bishop Patrick Lynch has called on the government to address the issue of thousands of undocumented migrant children living in the UK. Celebrating the annual migrant mass at Westminster Cathedral, Bishop Lynch called on the government to look at giving undocumented migrant children a legal documented status. “Many of these children are born in this country and have lived here most of their lives,” said Bishop Lynch. “They are caught up in the conflicting agendas of children’s rights and efforts to implement immigration controls.” The bishop stressed the importance of integration, claiming that we cannot criticise immigration within the EU and yet be happy to benefit from the work of migrant workers. “It is important to create a society fully integrated, socially and economically,” said Bishop Lynch, who called for the Church in England and Wales to speak up for the most vulnerable migrant groups. Bishop Lynch credited the government, and Home Secretary Theresa May in particular, for its efforts in bringing the Anti-human slavery bill onto the statute book. The legislation provides safeguards for the victims of trafficking and help for those providing support. Bishop Lynch paid tribute to “the tremendous contribution that migrants have made to society and the Church.” The bishop cited the contributions made to the NHS and care sectors in particular as “invaluable.” Business secretary Vince Cable became the first Cabinet members to attend the mass in his official government capacity. There was though a notable lack of Westminster politicians otherwise. “It was a beautiful service. I wanted to come and show solidarity with the migrant community of London,” said Cable, who has on occasion been out of step with the government’s hardline immigration policies. “As Bishop Lynch said migrants make an important economic, spiritual and social contribution to our country,” said Cable who pointed out that his late wife was a Goan and a Catholic.