Yesterday I joined a call with the Head of Border Force to discuss the extensive use of hotel accommodation and the large numbers of asylum seekers and economic migrants crossing the Channel. I raised various issues in this call and with Ministers :
My constituents want to see some sense of urgency to transform this totally unacceptable situation.
Unacceptable to taxpayers having to pay £7m a day for hotel bills
Unacceptable to genuine asylum seekers caught in a long queue unable to get their case resolved so they can live and work here
Unacceptable that we allow tens of thousands of people at our expense to stay here not working because we do not get around to making decisions on their cases
Unacceptable that we do not change the law to prevent clever lawyers helping economic migrants pursue false asylum and trafficking cases for too long and with too many appeals
Unacceptable to burden our hotels with people who should either be helped to find appropriate accommodation here or sent back to where they came from. We need the hotels for their intended purposes.
- When are we going to legislate to close the loopholes?
- When are we going to determine claims for people coming from a range of other countries in a timely way, especially those coming from safe countries like Albania?
- When are we going to do more to safeguard our communities from any criminal element that may be trying to use asylum cover to come here to commit crimes?
- When are we going to arrest more of the people traffickers? Why is it so difficult to trade them given the open way they advertise their services? Can’t we follow the money?