From Monday, the Home Office will expect anyone who needs to lodge a further submission on an asylum claim – that is, to submit new evidence that could help their case – to travel to Liverpool to do so. Previously, asylum seekers could do this at their local immigration centre. This change could put justice and protection even further out of reach for some of the most vulnerable people in our asylum system.
Amanda Shah, Head of Influencing, Refugee Action, said:
“This archaic change will force people to travel potentially huge distances and at a great cost in order to progress their asylum claim. These are people with little or no access to financial support, who are unable to work and often extremely vulnerable having survived some of the world’s worst regimes.
“Made without any consultation or forewarning, the change is yet another example of the Home Office trying to save money at the expenses of people who are seeking protection. By making it more difficult for people to submit a fresh claim, the Home Office will hope to reduce the number of people who are entitled to financial support.
“It will be left to charities and local support groups to pick up the pieces. Both in Liverpool, where people will be left stranded unable able to afford the travel fare home, and across the UK where people will be left destitute as they are unable to cover the cost to get to Liverpool. With services for asylum seekers already cut back to a minimum, charities don’t have the resources to provide the additional support that will be needed.
“Instead of placing more obstacles throughout the asylum process, we urge the Home Office to uphold its ‘proud tradition’ of supporting refugees and update our asylum system so that it treats people who are seeking safety as human beings.”
Ask your MP to sign EDM 714, calling for this rule change to be abandoned: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/714