Slavery Bicentenary Amnesty Call

BBC News, Jan. 2, 2007

Jamaicans living in Bristol are calling for an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

An unknown number live in the city illegally, but want full rights to stay as part of the city’s commemoration of the abolition of the slave trade.

Paulette North, from Bristol Defend the Asylum Seekers, said: “They can then take their place and become citizens.

“As one campaigner said, ‘you’ve used us, abused us and now you refuse us’.” The government says the amnesty is unlikely.

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migration Watch UK said: “Amnesties are a crazy idea.

“They have been tried six times in Spain and five times in Italy.

“On almost every occasion there were more applicants than on the previous one. I can think of no better way of encouraging even more illegal immigration.”

To mark the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, an exhibition on slavery is planned in Bristol.

The local council has already expressed severe regret for the city’s part in the slave trade.

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