Nearly 6 million people could find themselves being impacted by clause nine of the Nationality and Borders bill
Two in five people in England and Wales from an ethnic minority background could become eligible to be deprived of their citizenship without warning, due to plans being pushed through by the Home Office.
That means nearly 6 million people could find themselves being impacted by clause nine of the Nationality and Borders bill, according to analysis from the New Statesman.
The bill would allow the home secretary to strip people of their citizenship without notice if it is not “reasonably practicable” to do so, or in the interests of national security, diplomatic relations or otherwise in the public interest.
The Home Office has said that British citizenship is a “privilege” and not a right.
According to the analysis from the New Statesman, it also found that while two in every five people from non-white ethnic minorities (41 per cent) are likely to be eligible for deprivation of citizenship, it compares to just one in 20 people categorised as white (5 per cent).
To comply with international rights obligations against rendering citizens stateless, the government can only deprive citizenship from those with dual nationality or those who have been naturalised, if they believe that they could become a citizen somewhere else.
During PMQs yesterday, Labour MP for Bradford East & Shadow Employment Rights and Protections Minister, Imran Hussain, raised the issue of the Nationality and Borders Bill, when he said the bill could see him and other black and minority ethnic Brits stripped of their citizenship.
He said: “My grandfather along with thousands of others came to this country 70 years ago working seven days a week in squalid conditions to help rebuild this country.
“Yet now the Home Secretary’s Nationality and Borders Bill means she can revoke our British citizenship and deport us for even the most minor wrongdoings.
“Given the Government and the Home Office’s horrific track record with the treatment of minorities, the hostile environment and the Windrush scandals, let me ask the Prime Minister the burning question that is now on the lips of everyone from a BAME background right across the country.
“When is he coming for me?”
Hussain’s comments came hours after Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights warned the Bill is “littered” with measures which are “incompatible” with human rights law.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Removing someone’s British citizenship has been possible for over a century and is a last resort against the most dangerous people or those whose conduct involves very high harm.
“It is rare, cannot leave anyone stateless, and comes with a right to appeal. This change is simply about the process of notification for removal of citizenship.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of of Left Foot Forward
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.