Section nine faces new appraisal

The Home Office has begun an evaluation of the policy that can lead to failed asylum seekers having their children taken into care.

The evaluation of section nine of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 is set to finish by February when a report will be passed to immigration minister Tony McNulty.

A review recently carried out by Barnardo’s found that 35 families subject to the policy had disappeared.

Section nine removes support from asylum seekers whose claims have failed, making them destitute if they have not taken reasonable steps to leave the UK.

In a parliamentary answer last week, McNulty said three families had had their support reinstated after a change in their circumstances, to avoid a breach of their human rights.

A Home Office spokesperson said that such changes could include a family member becoming pregnant or seriously ill and unable to fly.

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