Asylum seekers awaiting removal left without services for months

Thousands of asylum seekers whose applications have been turned
down are being left without support services for months while they
await deportation, according to the Refugee Council.

Alistair Griggs, the council’s director for the regions, said many
asylum seekers who had their applications rejected were not
entitled to help from social services.

He said delays between decisions being made and deportation were
resulting in many of them approaching the Refugee Council because
they were destitute.

For some, social services departments were able to offer assistance
under community care legislation. But government plans to close
loopholes in the law would leave these people unprotected

The National Asylum Support Service offers full-board accommodation
in “hard cases”, for example for heavily pregnant women or those
who cannot return to their home country because their safety is not

But Helen Carr, deputy manager of a scheme run by Refugee Action
for people who cannot be removed from the UK, said delays were
occurring in the provision of help for these cases too.

She said lengthy delays between the withdrawal of Nass support and
the start of “hard cases” help left many asylum seekers relying on
the goodwill of their housing provider to accommodate them.

Griggs said: “On moral grounds it should be the government that
provides help because it is the government that has created the

“On humanitarian grounds voluntary groups might want to help but
the funding is not there.”

A recent survey of 1,000 people carried out by charity Community
Service Volunteers found that refugees were one of the most
unpopular charitable causes.

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