Speech in support of Amendment 54 to the Immigration Bill – 3 April 2014

My Lords, when the Government brought in this law, withdrawing the right of asylum seekers who have been here for more than six months to work, I do not know what they intended to achieve, or what they have achieved so far by having that law. It does not prevent any people coming into the country. It is not an immigration issue at all. We are talking about people who are already in this country, asylum seekers whose applications are being dealt with. Through no fault of their own, their applications are taking longer than six months. We are still saying that they should not be able to work.

This law drives people into deep poverty. They are more vulnerable to exploitation. They should have a right to work, like everyone else, and they should be able to feel proud that they are not living on handouts but working for their families. This is one good thing that the children can be proud of as well. Therefore, the amendment moved by my noble friend Lord Roberts should be supported. I support it. I hope that the Minister will look into this and be sympathetic to the cause of the asylum seekers.

From Hansard

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