Support for asylum seekers

Serious concerns have been raised about the proposal to remove support for individuals and families who have had their asylum claim rejected.

I believe that the Government’s Immigration Bill contains a number of highly problematic measures, including the removal of support from children of failed asylum claimants.

I do not support the removal of all support where an asylum claim has failed, and I am deeply worried that this could lead to families being made homeless and children being pushed into destitution. No child should ever face destitution in this country, whoever they are, wherever they come from.

Overall, I believe that the Government’s Immigration Bill is disproportionate and divisive and that it will not reduce illegal immigration. Instead, I fear it will lead to reduced social cohesion, widespread discrimination and the punishment of the children of illegal immigrants for their parents’ actions.

It is for these reasons that I supported a reasoned amendment to the Bill at its Second Reading in the House of Commons on October 13, which would have stopped the Bill proceeding any further. Unfortunately the Government defeated this amendment, and although my colleagues and I then voted against the Bill, it passed Second Reading through the support of Government MPs.

It will now be incredibly important that the Government listen carefully to the many serious concerns that have been raised about some of the proposals in their Bill, both by MPs during the Bill’s debate and by charities, and seek to amend it as it progresses through Parliament.