Clause 17

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Minister, Transport 5:30 pm, 13th March 2007

I accept some of what the hon. Gentleman says, and people in my surgery have actually said that they must do that. Equally, two wrongs do not make a right and the state has certain duties and responsibilities in how we treat people. Resorting to forcing people underground and having them sleep rough on the streets, rely on charities, forage through bins or whatever to survive is not an acceptable way to proceed in this day and age.

There are 283,500 asylum seekers whose cases have all been lost with no right of appeal. Given that fact and the IND’s current rate of removal, we need to be doing something on that issue. I cannot believe that the proposed approach would be possible, but it might be acceptable if the Government were to start sorting those cases out right away. What is not acceptable at the moment is using destitution as a technique. In our fair, just and civilised society we should not be practising it.