Thousands of migrants will take to the streets in London on 7th May to celebrate immigration and call for an amnesty for illegal immigrants and overstayers.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor will concelebrate a multilingual Mass for migrants, followed by a march to Trafalgar Square for speeches.
The Cardinal will be joined by the heads of two other dioceses, Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood.
Migrants will join union and community leaders in a protest against the government’s planned immigration rules changes which could lead to thousands of deportations and curtailments of visas.
Proposed immigration rule changes this year will remove of the 1998 ‘Domestic Workers Concession’, which allows domestic visa holders to change employers.
Around 17,000 non-European Union foreign nationals receive visas every year to work as domestic servants in Britain.
They are legally entitled to leave their employer if they are abused or exploited and to receive basic protection – including the minimum wage – under UK employment law.
This protection will be swept away by proposed changes to immigration rules, which will severely restrict domestic workers’ rights.
In future domestic workers will only be allowed in on non-renewable business visas, which will end their ability to get a new job if they are mistreated by their employer. The Home Office argues that the move is essential to prevent abuse of border controls.
Migrant organisations such as “Kalayaan” are supporting the rally as part of their campaign to keep rights for domestic workers.
The special ‘Mass for Migrants” will be held at Westminster Cathedral, Victoria, London, SW1 at 10am on Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May 2007.
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