Thousands of asylum seekers who are currently living in hotels will be removed from the UK, according tot he Home Office. Asylum seekers who have been refused leave to remain will begin receiving notices to leave within 21 days, from this week.
In the letter to charities last Tuesday, the director general of UK Visas and Immigration said asylum seekers with negative decisions would be served eviction notices “with immediate effect” in England.
Charities and MPs said it was a “reckless and irresponsible” move that would put both asylum seekers and the public at risk, and accused the government of making already cash-strapped local authorities and third sector groups responsible for its actions.
Mariam Kemple-Hardy, head of campaigns at Refugee Action, said starting mass evictions just as Covid appeared to be snowballing was a “sucker punch” from the Home Office for people seeking asylum.
“There has been no warning to ensure the system – including the voluntary sector – is prepared to cope with vulnerable people being turfed out onto the streets. The government must share what plans it has in place to protect people in the asylum system as the pandemic looks set to worsen with winter coming,” she said.