Launching a campaign to give asylum seekers the right to work in Britain
British NGOs and experts have launched a campaign to grant the right to work for migrants seeking asylum in Britain irregularly on small boats in the English Channel.
Amid the debate since Downing Street introduced legislation to curb asylum, UK Prime Minister Richie Chung and French President Emmanuel Macron’s summit talks in Paris on Friday focused attention. The issue of irregular migration across the Channel to Britain has prompted calls for experts and organizations to process asylum-seeker files more quickly, rather than spend months or even years paying for expensive hotels.
And the British Home Secretary, Svella Braverman, said that the cost of hotel accommodation for asylum seekers in the United Kingdom is six million pounds (about seven million and 220 thousand US dollars) per day, and they also get less weekly. Accommodation allowance. Braverman pointed out that this has put a huge burden on the public treasury since the 160,000 asylum application files for migrants in Oz have piled up, at a total cost of three billion pounds (about three billion and 610 million dollars) annually.
“If money is the problem, why not help asylum seekers work and get their claims processed faster?” asks Nando Seguna, a professor of migration research at the University of Birmingham in the UK. The new bill allows for the speedy deportation of irregular migrants, preventing them from claiming asylum, thereby settling in the UK or applying for British citizenship. The bill also makes it easier to detain migrants until they can be deported to another (third) country deemed safe.
The number of people arriving in the UK on small boats across the English Channel has risen from 299 in 2018 to more than 45,700 in 2022. Previously, many migrants would hide in trucks, but restrictions have been tightened.
Sekona told AFP that the backlog of late files predated the coronavirus pandemic crisis and was caused specifically by “Brexit”, which would complicate deportations if asylum applications were rejected. He says that “detention centers are full” and that the number of people deported has been falling for more than a decade due to leaving the EU.
Lift the Pan, a coalition of 200 NGOs, is campaigning to end the ban on asylum seekers working, with the UK having one of the toughest laws in the world. Agence France-Presse could not reach a spokesman for the interior ministry for comment on the matter.
Asylum seekers are not allowed to apply for work permits until their applications are considered for up to 12 months, and only from a specific list drawn up by London that includes sectors affected by labor shortages. The country is without hundreds of workers, which costs companies and hampers their operations. Meanwhile, asylum seekers are scattered in hotels across the UK, “forgotten, isolated and hopeless”, according to Sekona.
Jonathan Ports, an economist at King’s College London, told AFP that “there is clear evidence that there are significant economic benefits in the short and long term if asylum seekers are allowed to work in the UK”. “If people continue to arrive in the UK on small boats, the inability to process their asylum claims will lead to operational chaos and huge costs,” Bertrand Walsh of Oxford University’s Migration Laboratory told AFP.
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