• Spencer Payne

Home Office Set To Restart Asylum Seeker Evictions

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

Human rights campaigners and charities have come together to condemn the apparent decision by the Home Office to restart evicting some asylum seekers from their accommodation, after this was put on hold for nearly 12 months as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

This is according to internal documents seen by the Guardian, revealing that it is expected that the Home Office will be targeting thousands of asylum seekers for both eviction and deportation.

Concerns have been raised, however, that the move could see an increase in the numbers of people sleeping rough or couch surfing, as well as driving a rise in cases of coronavirus. And Public Health England recently detailed how homelessness can create an elevated risk of covid.

It’s thought that there are approximately 60,000 asylum seekers currently supported by the Home Office, with the majority housed in section 95 accommodation.

The Home Office has now said evictions will be pursued against those whose cases have been refused - and the fear is that as the country emerges from lockdown, there will be many more people receiving refusals and facing eviction.

Interim chief executive of charity Refugee Action Tim Naor Hilton said: “Kicking people out on the streets at any time is appalling, but in a pandemic it’s reckless and inhumane. Providing safe and habitable accommodation and preventing poverty is the very least the government can do for people who come to this country seeking refuge.”

New measures recently revealed by home secretary Priti Patel would see refugees arriving in the UK via unauthorised routes denied the automatic right to asylum. Instead, they would be forcibly removed to countries they passed through before they reached Britain - usually in the EU.

But, according to the Independent, EU countries have dealt this plan a blow, saying they won’t be striking bilateral agreements to facilitate refugee deportations to Europe.

Do you need UK immigration help at the moment? Get in touch with Hill House Chambers today.

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