I am a proud member of Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary because it is a group that brings together a moral dimension that understands that asylum seekers are humans, unlike the Tory and Labour party, and combines this morality with the best of Liberalism. We understand the plight of boat people and asylum seekers and the Committee Members work very hard to get the message out.
Please see below for the latest LDOSS news and information and please do whatever you can to help either through your campaigning or by asking the candidates of other parties what they are going to do for asylum seekers.
QUESTION ON CHANGING THE RULES ON ASYLUM SEEKERS, HAVING TO TRAVEL TO LIVERPOOL TO SUBMIT NEW EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEIR CASE.
"We are angry at the last minute re-introduction of an idea proposed by the Home Office earlier in the year that asylum seekers who have been refused leave to remain and are appealing have to take new evidence, in person, wherever they are living, to Liverpool.
A new Home Office ruling means that asylum seekers who wish to submit fresh evidence in support of their asylum claim, following a refusal to grant status, from wherever they are in the UK, have to take new evidence, in person, to Liverpool with 10 days’ notice.
At the moment they can take this evidence to a regional centre, North Shields, or the centre where they would normally report which is accessed much easier, if they claimed after March 2007. Asylum seekers have just 70% of income support to live on, but many who have had an initial refusal are on what is called Section 4 and have an Azure Card to spend at named supermarkets – not bus or rail fares.
There are also those who have no support whatsoever, and like nearly all those seeking asylum, are not allowed to work. Travel costs to Liverpool and back, especially without advance booking, are costly. The journey home could usually not be done on the same day by bus. They will have no money for refreshments. They will have nowhere to stay overnight.
There is no known reason why evidence cannot be submitted to a regional office, and transmitted via fax, or be scanned and e-mailed, to Liverpool for the decision makers there. Additionally, caseworkers from the Older Cases Unit have now been moved from Liverpool to Leeds.
Question: Will the candidates work to remove this unjust rule that will make access to justice so difficult, if they are elected to office as an MP?
Please use the following information when you campaign to let people know about the positive work that Lib Dems have done in government.
FACTS AROUND THE ENDING OF CHILD DETENTION
Cedars is a Pre Departure Centre for families, who have been through the immigration system and been refused the right to remain in the UK. It is not a detention centre like Yarlswood where previously 1,000 children a year were detained. It is run under completely different systems, with specialist childcare support delivered by Barnardos’, for the families who have gone through the family returns process.
The families can move freely around the house and gardens, and do not have to have the strict routines experienced in detention. 32 children have been there in the last 12 months. These statistics include families who have both sought asylum and come here for economic reasons and have not been granted status.
In the last 12 months 28 children under the age of 16 have been held at the purpose built family unit at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre. The families who stayed at the unit are not those seeking asylum, but have been refused entry at the border and are going to be returned to their country of origin on the first available flight. A lot of the families are there for only a few hours, but it was recommended by HMIP that it was better that families spent waiting time at Tinsley House rather than in inadequate waiting conditions at airports. The statistics include border cases, which make up the majority of those at Tinsley House.