MPs voice disquiet support policies

The Home Affairs select committee has called for an independent
review of the government’s policy of denying housing and support to
asylum seekers unless they make their asylum claim “as soon as
reasonably practicable”.

MPs on the committee said they were disturbed by reports that
section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 was
causing “real distress”.

They added that they were concerned that cases of “unduly harsh
treatment will continue to occur” under section 55, and that this
would lead to further challenges in the courts.

They also stated that the measure might be having a
counter-productive effect on other asylum policies, such as those
on dispersal and tracking of asylum seekers.

Meanwhile, a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights has
raised concerns about parts of immigration legislation currently
going through parliament.

The Asylum and Immigration Bill gives a power to arrest a person
without a warrant on suspicion of not having an immigration
document which establishes their identity and nationality or
citizenship on entering the UK.

But MPs said that such a power raised issues relating to
discrimination and the Refugee Convention.

– Reports from

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