Refugees (Family Reunion) (No.2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:25 pm on 16th March 2018.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee 12:25 pm, 16th March 2018

My hon. Friend is exactly right. To be honest, it is hard for anybody to navigate our immigration system or asylum system, but for someone who is trying to pull together their family and has been through very difficult circumstances, not being able to get any kind of legal aid makes it so much harder.

The next argument that people use is to say that this is going to create a pull factor, and that it will somehow make things much worse. There are three strong responses to that. First, as Anna Soubry argued, this is only about those who have already demonstrated that they meet all the criteria for being refugees. There are tests in the system already. They have shown that they have been fleeing persecution or conflict, and it is now simply about their ability to reunite with their family. Many of them have come through the legal resettlement process that the Government have rightly brought in and extended, and that we all support.