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Cardinal Nichols criticises ‘alarmist’ immigration debate

Cardinal Vincent Nichols (PA)

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has warned politicians against using “alarmist” language in the debate over immigration.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said that immigration was a “difficult issue,” but urged politicians to approach it with “realism and a sense of respect”.

He said: “What I would appeal today is that the debate about immigration is done with a sense of realism and a sense of respect – and that it is not cushioned in expressions which are alarmist and evocative of anger or of dismay or distress at all these people coming to this country.”

Cardinal Nichols added that people should “appreciate the richness that immigration brings, not simply to the Catholic church but to the life of hospitals and many public sector areas where we are now embracing and dependent on people who come to this country willing to give and wanting to support their families back home.”

He was speaking after attending an event with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Giuseppe Conlon House, a Catholic-led refuge for men waiting for clearance from the immigration authorities.