Clause 7 — Failed asylum seekers: withdrawal of support

Part of Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, Etc.) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:49 pm on 1st March 2004.

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Photo of Mr Hilton Dawson Mr Hilton Dawson Labour, Lancaster and Wyre 4:49 pm, 1st March 2004

I am not aware of any measure that has reached this stage in the House that would make children in this country destitute. I cannot believe that such a measure is acceptable. Frankly, I cannot believe that it is coming from the party of which I have been a member for more than quarter of a century.

Such a measure is unnecessary and would be counter-productive. Once all advocacy has failed, there is a more effective way to work with families who have to return home. The ultimate sanction for such families is not stripping them of every possible means of livelihood, but enforced removal. The work that needs to be done for those families for whom all efforts to remain have failed includes counselling to help them to face the reality of their situation, practical support to help them to prepare for going home, good communication with non-governmental organisations, public agencies, and family or kinship networks in their home countries to ensure that they will be properly received and that there will be somewhere reasonable for them to go. That involves sensitive, careful and detailed work.