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Passion Islam I May 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
UK Muslims back multi-faith
call for migrant amnesty
British Muslims are being urged to join a-million irregular
a mass demonstration in London this migrants were not
month in support of a multi-faith call for recognized and
an amnesty for an estimated 500,000 that ‘it is important
irregular migrants living in the UK. that they and their
The Muslim Council of Britain contribution be
(MCB) said it was backing the recognized, so the
Strangers into Citizens Day of Action whole country can
on May 4, when around 20,000 are benefit’.
expected to join one of the largest Those supporting
ever public acts by faith communities an amnesty include
and the biggest-ever pro-immigrant London Mayor
rally in the UK. Boris Johnson, the
“This is a humanitarian issue. There recently retired UK
are many immigrants who have more Catholic leader Cardinal Cormac institutions two years ago back a call
or less settled in this country, some Murphy-O’Connor and Bishop of for a ‘pathway into citizenship’ to be
with their families,” MCB secretary Sothwark, the Rt Rev Tom Butler as found for many migrants from a total
general, Abdul Bari said. well as several MPs. believed now to exceed 750,000.
“Many have come from various The Strangers into Citizens Day of Critics of the plan have argued
countries for different reasons. Now Action is being held on the May Day that an ‘earned amnesty’ would only
that they are here, and as long as holiday in Britain and also includes encourage more illegal immigrants,
they are undocumented, they cannot celebrations bringing together but campaigners point to Spain,
contribute economically, even though Muslims, Christians, Chinese, where levels of illegal immigration
they contribute to the fabric of society,” Latin-Americans and other diverse have dropped sharply since a one-
said Bari, who is one of the keynote communities. off regularization of 700,000 in 2005
speaker at the rally. The movement has grown into was combined with border-tightening
He said that the estimated half- an alliance of more than 120 civic measures.
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