Serco and Asylum Seeker Lock-change Evictions

Part of Children’S Future Food Report – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 27th June 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 4:43 pm, 27th June 2019

At no point have I said that these people are not vulnerable. I have tried to set out that they have had an asylum claim that has not been found to be valid and that they have been through the appeals process. If the hon. Gentleman will give me some time, I will move on to discuss the various means of support that are available, particularly to those we heard about earlier: those who are vulnerable, those who have medical conditions and those who have children.

The system that operates in Glasgow is the same system that operates across the United Kingdom and has been operated by successive Governments since the introduction of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Asylum seekers and their dependants who would otherwise be destitute are provided with accommodation and a weekly cash allowance by the Home Office while their asylum claim and any subsequent appeals are considered. This form of support is usually known as section 95 support. If an asylum seeker is granted refugee status, they are free to take employment and become eligible to apply for mainstream benefits in the same way as British citizens and other permanent residents.

If their asylum claim is refused but they have children at the time their appeal rights are exhausted, they remain on section 95 support until their youngest child reaches 18 years of age or they leave UK. Those without children who exhaust the appeals process lose access to section 95 support, but a very similar form of support, known as section 4 support, is provided so long as they take reasonable steps to leave the UK, or, importantly, show that there is a legal or practical obstacle that prevents their departure. Examples of such an obstacle include: those who are too sick to travel, those who need time to obtain a necessary travel document, and those who have made fresh submissions against the refusal of their asylum claim that have not been resolved.