The government should not make asylum seekers destitute as a way of trying to get them to comply with being removed, the Church of England said today.
It also called on the government to lead rather than follow public opinion on immigration, refugee and asylum policy, in a new report published today.
The Church wants asylum seekers to be allowed to work in order to support themselves. Currently only asylum seekers whose claims have taken over 12 months to process are allowed to work.
Commenting on the report Maeve Sherlock, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We welcome this acutely observed and timely report. It is a wake up call to politicians to give a lead to public opinion. If they fail to do so the losers are those asylum seekers living in extreme hardship or forced into destitution in order to ‘encourage’ them to leave the UK.”
The research also raises concerns that millions of pounds pumped into regeneration initiatives since the 1980s have increased polarisation between rich and poor.