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Immigration Bill – catch up

The 2015 Immigration Bill is still progressing and here is an update on amendments with links to key responses from the refugee sector.


Lord’s Committee took  place on 1 and 3 February  and a number of amendments relating to asylum support were tabled. These include: that clause 37 should not stand part of the Bill (which would mean that refused asylum seeking families with children would stay on S95 support); that asylum seekers should have a right of appeal against a decision by the Home Office to refuse or discontinue s95A support; and the move on period for those recognized as refugees before asylum support is cut off should be increased to 40 days.

In addition, important amendments were tabled on detention, family reunion and relocating 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children from European countries to the UK – to name but a few! (UK Govt press release on unaccompanied children)  The full list of tabled amendments is available here.

Peers discussed the support amendments on 3 February. The Minister offered to meet Peers on a number of issues, including care leaver and the move on period, to listen to their concerns, but made no substantive concessions. The Committee will probably sit for an additional day next week to finish its discussion of amendments. The full debate can be accessed here.  Here is the ILPA briefing on the support amendments for background to the debate.

In a letter to PeersIssues raised at Lords Committee 20 01 , Lord Bates outlines the distinction made between volunteering and voluntary work for asylum seekers and confirms that asylum seekers who work without permission, or work in jobs not included on the shortage occupations list when granted permission, will be criminalised under clause 8 of the Bill. An updated impact assessment on the support proposals and other documents are available at: Guidance: Immigration Bill: part 5 – support for certain categories of migrants

Briefings from Still Human Still Here on the first two of these amendments.

Clause 37  (amendments 227)

Right of appeal amendment (amendments 230)

ASAP’s Committee stage Briefing House of Lords Immigration Bill  explaining why they believe that refused asylum seekers’ right to appeal against asylum support decisions should be maintained.

ASAPs latest research  Briefing – Why Appeals Succeed into why appeals succeed to counter arguments that asylum support appeals only win due to the late submission of evidence. The research showed this is only true in 15 out of the 50 cases looked at.

Refugee Council briefing on the amendments to the Immigration Bill relating to asylum support

Refugee Council briefing to amendment 234 on refugee family reunion