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Destitution Among Asylum Seekers

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

I should like to present a petition from Mrs. Patricia Hooker and the Churches Together in Roundhay, in my constituency, which has been signed by 181 of my constituents.

The petition states:

The Petition of members of Churches Together in Roundhay,

Declares that we are deeply concerned about the high levels of destitution among asylum seekers, especially refused asylum seekers, and in particular that many people have been left in this dire situation for prolonged periods. Research in Leeds in 2009, indicates that since the Report in 2007, the situation has deteriorated. It demonstrates that destitution happens at all stages of the asylum process, administrative delays worsen destitution, destitution is serious and prolonged, the number of people being made newly destitute is increasing even with the ‘New Asylum Model’—it is not just a ‘legacy’ problem and entitlement to apply for support does not mean entitlement to receive support. Destitute people may be single or families with children; they are being forced into street homelessness and they have worsening health and mental health problems.

The Petitioners therefore request the House of Commons to ensure its legislation is designed and implemented so as to end the destitution of asylum seekers at all stages of the asylum process so they can contribute to the United Kingdom and provide for themselves.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.