Government sets damaging new asylum record, says Refugee Action

By Agencies
March 1, 2019

Annual immigration statistics released on 28 February 2019, show that the number of people seeking asylum in the UK who have waited longer than six months for a decision on their claim has reached a record high.

Responding to the figures, the Chief Executive of Refugee Action, Stephen Hale said: “The number of people seeking asylum waiting for longer than six months for a decision on their asylum claim is now at record levels. More people than ever before are stuck in limbo in a system that dehumanises and damages them. This scandal must end. Ministers must urgently improve the speed and quality of decisions on asylum claims.

“Ministers must also let people work, if no decision has been made on their claim after six months. This simple change would vastly improve the lives of the individuals and families currently forced to live in a constant state of anxiety and frustration.

“It would allow people to use their skills, earn a living, contribute to the UK economy and rebuild their lives. The Home Secretary must act now.”

The ongoing campaign to Lift The Ban which prevents people seeking asylum from working has gained support from MPs across the political spectrum and more than 160 organisations, including Refugee Action.

On refugee resettlement, the figures show that 14, 945 people have been resettled from the Syrian conflict to date, with government on track to meet its target of resettling 20,000 affected refugees by 2020.

Judith Dennis, Policy Manager at Refugee Council, said: “The latest figures on refugee resettlement show that with resources and political will, the government can successfully support large numbers of people to rebuild their lives after becoming refugees, and the UK should be rightly proud of that fact.

"The same focus and determination is needed to ensure that people applying through the asylum process are not left in limbo, and are able to receive accurate and timely decisions on their claims.

"It is simply a waste of resources, opportunities and lives to have a growing asylum backlog, and the Home Office must recognise it can do more to turn that around.”

* See Migration Statistics February 2019 here

* Refugee Council https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/

* Refugee Action https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/

* Lift the Ban http://lifttheban.co.uk/

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