Kneejerk measures targeting asylum seekers will achieve nothing but greater suffering

Last updated August 3, 2015Press release

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has announced a consultation on new plans to further reduce the support given to families seeking asylum. If approved, his proposals will remove or restrict the support given to families whose asylum claims have been refused – even if they are still pursuing a fresh asylum claim, or are unable to leave the UK due to illness or the lack of a safe route to their country of origin.

Refugee Action’s Chief Executive Stephen Hale says:

“The Immigration Minister’s plans are seriously flawed. Families in the asylum system are already forced to survive on around 50% of the equivalent level of income support, and we know this is pushing vulnerable families into poverty. It seems ludicrous to assume that any family would choose to live under such constraints unless they were in fear of their lives.

“These plans might be designed to make the government look tough on asylum, but they will not dissuade anyone from seeking the safety from persecution they so desperately need – and they will leave refugee families in poverty.”

This announcement was followed today by new plans to give private landlords the power to evict people who don’t have leave to remain without a court order.

Stephen Hale continues:

“This is yet another poorly thought out measure, rushed out as a knee-jerk reaction to the situation in Calais. These proposals would push more vulnerable people into destitution and lead to further discrimination of people with the right to remain or to seek to safety in the UK.”

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