But as Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants chief executive Habib Rahman said: "Barring up to half a million irregular migrants in the UK from access to rights and services is not a realistic or humane response.
"Rendering them destitute will not encourage or enable them to return to countries riven by human rights abuses, conflict and poverty.
"It will force many onto the doorsteps of already stressed charities and churches, or into the arms of criminals facilitating forced labour."
And one Lib Deb added a caustic comment: "If tough rhetoric and gimmicks were enough to sort out our immigration system, we would have the best in the world."
Read all about it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6424377.stm
As a church (and hopefully not a "stressed" one!..), we see the plight of asylum-seekers as close to God's own heart and as a golden opportunity to bring the gospel to suffering people. The "get rid of 'em" approach is part of the "Englishman's home is his castle" rubbish which we despise. We want to open our heart's wide to those in need.
Do not mistreat or abuse foreigners who live among you. Remember, you were foreigners in Egypt (Exodus 22:21)
We were all foreigners to God's grace once - indeed, the nature of grace is that we remian foreigners, but are accepted nevertheless into God's commonwealth. How then can we turn away our brother-foreigners?
I hate nationalist racsism dressed up in self-righteousness. I'm so glad to be part of a church for and of the poor.