Comments by Sanwar Ali:
Perhaps asylum seekers should be allowed to work on farms to help with skills shortages after the end of the Brexit transitional period. It may prove to be difficult finding enough British citizens and residents who are both able and willing to work on the farms.
It is all very well the Government saying that employers must find a way to deal with the “low skilled” worker shortage. But how exactly does the Boris Johnson Government think this can be done, without free movement of EU citizens and without some sort of concession on immigration?
UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, plans to deport thousands of failed UK asylum seekers in a move described as ‘cruel and callous’ by immigrant and human rights’ groups. Thousands of asylum seekers currently accommodated in hotels face removal from the UK, according to a letter issued by the Home Office.
The letter states: “Evictions of refused asylum seekers will take place with immediate effect.” Meanwhile, charities have reported a rise in the number of people being held in UK immigration detention centres.
Asylum seekers whose cases are rejected and have no appeal pending will be given 21 days to leave the UK once they receive notice that they have to exit the country.
UK immigration detention centre closures
The Home Office recently closed the immigration detention centre at Moreton Hall and is now using Yarl’s Wood to process asylum seekers arriving on UK shores having crossed the Channel in small boats from the north of France.
The Home Office has paid for some asylum seekers to be accommodated in hotels. However, other asylum seekers are having their temporary accommodation paid for by local authorities. It’s not yet known whether the latter group will be targeted for deportation, according to a report published by The Guardian.
Migrant population half of homeless people provided with accommodation
According to data, approximately 50% of homeless people provided with hotel or other temporary accommodation since the coronavirus outbreak are migrants.
In the letter sent to charities, the general director of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department of the Home Office, said asylum seekers refused legal entry to the UK will be served with eviction notices with immediate effect in England. The letter added: “Consultation will take place with officials in the devolved administrations before evictions.”
Back in June, amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) raised concerns over the potential fate of UK migrants who have no recourse to public funds.
A spokesperson for the PILC said: “A human being’s right to safety, care and shelter should never depend on where they were born or what papers they hold.”
Meanwhile, Luke Hall, former minister for rough sleeping and housing, wrote a letter to councils on 28 May about accommodating rough sleepers, both UK citizens and migrants. Hall said: “For some people voluntary return to their country of origin may be the best outcome for them.”
The director of Detention Action, Bella Sankey, warned that her organisation was seeing a rise in the number of people being held by UK immigration detention centres. She said: “It is a scandal that in pre-COVID times, people caught up in the asylum system had to rely on charity support for their very survival.”
“To push people – including families – back into homelessness and destitution as we enter a second wave of this pandemic shows a naked disregard for human life at the very highest levels of government,” she added.
Sankey further argued that a large majority of asylum seekers will have initial refusal decisions overturned on appeal, while others can’t be removed because flights are grounded. She said: “This is punitive politicised decision-making at its worst.”
Reduce demand on asylum system
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The phased cessation of support has now begun in order to reduce the demand on the asylum system. We have been clear from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.”
“Those who have received a negative asylum decision, which means they have no right to remain in the UK, are given a 21-day grace period. During this time they are expected to make steps to return to their country of origin while still remaining in accommodation and receiving support.
“Assistance is available for those who leave voluntarily, but for those who do not, enforcement action may be taken to facilitate removal,” the spokesperson added.
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