Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Andrew Hewett: We have plenty of examples where somebody applies for asylum support and their application is refused because the Home Office does not believe that they are destitute. What tends to happen is that that person will approach a charity and ask them to write a letter of support to say that, yes, they have seen this person and they can confirm that they are street homeless or destitute. That letter is normally enough to win the appeal. It does not make any sense; if that letter was available earlier on, the case might not have had to go to appeal. There is an awful lot of time and resources wasted in those cases. I urge the Home Office to undertake a deep-dive assessment of the cases that have gone to an asylum support tribunal and that have been overturned on appeal, and to look at the reasons why. Is there any opportunity to change or amend policy to prevent more similar cases from going to appeal? If 60% of cases are being overturned, or are being withdrawn by the Home Office, we cannot credibly sit here today and tell you the reasons why that may be, but it seems as though work has to be undertaken to enable us to understand that.