Anti-racism protesters march to Downing Street against UK migrant ban

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Anti-racism protesters march to Downing Street against UK migrant ban

LONDON: Anti-racism protesters marched to Downing Street in London on Saturday, March 18 to protest the government's plan to halt cross-Channel migrant crossings by barring arrivals from applying for asylum.

Around 2,000 people, many carrying signs reading no human being is illegal and bearing trade union logos, said the demonstration was partly a response to the government's inhuman and illegal migration bill.

The people in this country are decent and willing to open their arms to people fleeing terrible circumstances, said Mark Daly, a protest officer who spokeswoman for the PA news agency.

The government is trying to make these people not only unwelcome but illegal. We cannot classify people as illegal, it is a racist policy from a racist government. The Conservative government intends to outlaw all illegal arrivals and transfer them to safer third countries, such as Rwanda, in order to stop thousands of migrants from crossing the Channel on small boats.

The bill proposes detaining people who arrived illegally from seeking asylum before having them sent to a third country deemed safe.

Exceptions would be made for minors, but only if they were unaccompanied.

More than 45,000 migrants arrived in the UK last year by crossing the English Channel on small boats.

The UN children's agency said last week it was deeply concerned about the bill's impact on minors.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons earlier this month that stopping the boats was the people's priority. Interior minister Suella Braverman is currently visiting Rwanda to reaffirm her commitment to the government's policy to deport migrants there.

Braverman said the government is within its rights to stop the migrants crossing the Channel, which she said could total 80,000 this year.

She told Sky News that they are not breaking the law, and they claim to have support from the vast majority of the British public.

She said that the government is in compliance with its international law obligations.