Home Office denies asylum seeker barge is a 'floating prison'
A senior Conservative MP has reacted with fury that the Government is still providing official advice to failed asylum seekers about how to claim money from the British taxpayer.
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt, deputy chairman of the influential rightwing Common Sense Group, has hit out at the Asylum support page on the Government website.
The printable webpage gives a detailed account about what benefits illegal immigrants are entitled to and where they can claim them.
But, infuriatingly for Mr Hunt and others on the Tory benches, the website still provides advice on how to claim more benefits off the UK even after an asylum application has been rejected.
This is despite the new Illegal Migrant Bill being passed in Parliament giving the powers to deport illegal immigrants within days of arrival.
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The advice reads: “If you’ve been refused asylum.
“You can ask for the following if you’re homeless, do not have any money to buy food and you can show that there’s a reason why you cannot leave the UK yet: short-term housing; help with prescriptions for medicine, dental care for your teeth, eyesight tests and glasses; a payment card for food and toiletries.”
It adds: “You will not be given the payment card without the housing and you will not be given any cash.”
In addition, there is advice to “asylum seekers” on getting housing, healthcare and education.
While the site states: “You must return to your country as soon as possible if you’re refused asylum.”
It then goes on to provide links for “short-term support” and medical treatment.
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Mr Hunt said: “Everyone who arrived illegally should be detained and deported. Under no circumstances should they be able to stay.”
He added that with the Bill being passed “you would have thought” the advice would have been removed.
Another Tory MP, who did not wish to be named, said: “You can see why we have no deterrence to illegal migrants in this country.
“That website is practically a welcome mat.
“You can also see why so many failed asylum seekers just don’t leave.”
Recently it was revealed that 91 percent of failed asylum seekers were free to stay in the UK in 2020 compared to 81 percent in 2019 and just 38 percent in 2013.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who is under pressure to stop the small boats crossing the Channel, has argued that the new Bill, which is yet to come into force, will allow the UK to start deportations quickly.
Another member of the Common Sense Group who supports Mr Hunt’s demand for deportations noted that the website was longstanding and was “probably another legal requirement”.
With 13,000 illegal migrants crossing the Channel in 2023 up to the start of July, the issue threatens to overshadow a general election next year unless it is resolved.
One of Rishi Sunak’s five priorities to voters is to “stop the boats”.
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