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Asylum Seekers

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many asylum seekers are living in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Belfast, South. [119668]

I have been asked to reply.The information is not available in the form requested.The availability of information on the location of asylum seekers in the UK is currently linked to the support the asylum seeker receives. Asylum seekers in the UK either receive support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS), local authorities or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), or are supporting themselves.At the end of March 2003, 190

1 asylum seekers (including dependants) were being supported in NASS accommodation in Northern Ireland, of whom 1501 were resident in Belfast. Figures are not currently available for Belfast, South.

At the end of March 2003, 251 asylum seekers (including dependants) were in receipt of subsistence-only support in Northern Ireland, of whom fewer than 20 were resident in Belfast. Figures are not currently available for Belfast, South.

No information is held centrally on the location of residence of asylum seekers supported by DWP or who support themselves.

1 Figures have been rounded to nearest five. These figures exclude cases where support has been ceased.