‘Sham’: 200 groups criticise UK federal government assessment on refugee

Almost 200 organisations have branded a government assessment on fundamental modifications to refugee policy “a sham”.

A total of 192 refugee, human rights, legal and faith groups have actually signed a public declaration condemning the six-week assessment on the government’s New Prepare for Immigration as “vague, impracticable, cruel and possibly illegal”.

The Office specifies that the consultation, which ends on 6 May, has to do with plans to make the asylum and migration system fairer and more efficient, to deter illegal entry and to make it possible for the federal government to more easily get rid of people they state have no right to be in the UK.

Signatories include Refugee Action, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Asylum Matters, the Scottish Refugee Council, Detention Action and Liberty from Torture.

They have raised issues about the sweeping modifications prepared by the house secretary, Priti Patel, consisting of deporting individuals to third countries, holding refugees in warehouse-style “reception centres”, and requiring people to reapply for protection every 30 months.

The signatories say the assessment is inadequately developed, confusing and inaccessible and includes that it offers organisations fewer than 6 working weeks to react to a process for which three months or more is typical. There are no questions in the assessment which ask people about their individual experiences of fleeing persecution or looking for security in the UK.

The assessment is available just in English and Welsh and most easily accessible online, aspects that might even more leave out refugees from responding.

One academic who submitted a freedom of info request to the Office for a file which offers the evidential basis for the Home Office’s New Plan For Immigration which the home secretary herself describes as “the most substantial overhaul of our asylum system in years” had her demand refused. She stated she has reliable info the document exists.

Officials said they were not prepared to validate whether or not it did exist however that if it did it ought to not be revealed because: “Ministers require a safe area in which to discuss essential policy matters, think about all options and weigh up the threats of particular proposals without the prospect of their concepts being held up to criticism in the general public domain.”

Tim Naor Hilton, chief executive at Refugee Action, said: “This consultation is an effort to present wrap the ugliest attack on the asylum system in a generation. The federal government needs to ditch its proposed changes to refugee policy and work effectively with stakeholders to develop a system that is reasonable, effective and compassionate.”

Chai Patel, legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “The federal government is proposing extreme and hazardous changes to the UK’s refugee defense system, which need severe factor to consider. [The assessment] is a sham intended to misinform parliament into thinking there is benefit to strategies which will deny safety to individuals running away war and persecution.”

The Home Office has been approached for remark.

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