To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answers by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 9 February (HL Deb cols 1860–1861) about unaccompanied child refugees, what is their response to the report by the British Red Cross Can’t Stay, Can’t Go concerning refused asylum seekers who cannot be returned.
We are reviewing the report and its findings, but our position remains that individuals who have been found not to need protection and have exhausted all legal avenues in the UK are expected to take steps to leave the UK as soon as possible. If they do not, we will seek to enforce their removal.
The Immigration Act 2016 (‘the Act’) includes measures to remove incentives for migrants to remain in the UK where they have no lawful basis for doing so.
However, failed asylum seekers, including failed asylum seeking families may be eligible for ongoing support while there is a genuine obstacle to their departure. As now, what constitutes a genuine obstacle is expected to include non-receipt of a travel document or a medical reason why they cannot travel. We would to continue to expect failed asylum seekers to demonstrate they are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK.
We want to support those who genuinely need our protection, but also send out a very clear message to those who seek to use the system to gain an unfair immigration advantage.