Controversial asylum plans pass unchanged through Commons

The government’s controversial plans to reduce the appeal rights
of asylum seekers and remove their entitlement to benefits made it
through the House of Commons unchanged this week despite a double
backbench rebellion, writes Amy

Thirty six Labour MPs voted against plans to remove asylum
seekers’ rights to seek judicial review in the High Court over
appeal decisions.

Plans to deny support to families who refuse to go home after
their asylum claims have failed, which could result in their
children being taken into care, were also opposed by 28 Labour MPs.
The Liberal Democrats went against the government on both

Labour MP and former social worker Hilton Dawson, who backed
both failed amendments, told the Commons: “I absolutely and
firmly believe that it is morally wrong to make families destitute
– or, indeed, to threaten to make them destitute – as
part of a process to encourage them to return home.”

The proposal for a single tier of appeal came under further
criticism in a report from the Constitutional Affairs Committee,
published last week. The cross party committee warned that the
plans could lead to upheaval, confusion and more delays.

Despite the opposition, the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of
Claimants) Bill, passed through the Commons with a large majority.
However, it will now move to the House of Lords where it is
expected to encounter further obstruction from peers.

N Asylum and Immigration Appeals second report on the session
2003-4 from:


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