Justice Secretary’s ‘open-mind’ suggestion needs Activation and Expansion

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3 October 2021: The flyer below was distributed outside the Conservative Party conference in Manchester by members of Status Now

2 October 2021: Justice Secretary’s ‘open-mind’ suggestion needs Activation and Expansion

The Justice Secretary’s ‘open-mind’ about allowing asylum seekers to work while their claims are being processed needs activation and expansion. Dominic Raab, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, reportedly said that allowing asylum seekers to work would assist with integration and contribute to resolving the country’s labour shortages. His remarks are supported by some senior Tories which may indicate a growing recognition that the current law, banning people who seek asylum from being contracted in paid work while they wait for a Home Office decision, is morally and practically wrong. It is irrational that we have tens of thousands of residents in this country who can contribute to alleviating the current labour crisis but are denied the right to work and forced into years of unemployment and poverty while employers are desperate to fill job vacancies.

Noting Raab’s remarks Status Now recalls that, in December 2018, then Home Secretary Sajid Javid told parliament that he would like to review the ban; in July 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Home Office was reviewing the matter and that his government “will announce it soon”; last November, the-then Immigration Minister Chris Philp said a review was ongoing and that he would report back as soon as the Home Office was able to complete it and; very recently, former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland called for the government to allow those seeking asylum to be allowed to work. So why, three years on, has the government still not reviewed the policy? An ‘open mind’ that does not then act in sincerity erodes trust even further, while so many continue having to survive in limbo. 

Status Now knows that first and foremost, being human like every other, migrants exist beyond any attempt to reduce them to cogs in the wheel of the economy, and the right to work, legally, regardless of skills or immigration status is a basic human right that should never be denied. The government’s pattern of using migrants as expendable resources that, once the purpose is served, are discarded is explicitly demonstrated through the Windrush generation’s experience. To avoid any exploitation, the right to work for people seeking asylum must exist under the same conditions as every other worker. Status Now, therefore, urges the government to grant all people without status in this country Indefinite Leave To Remain – that includes all seeking asylum and all those who made the UK their home but who remain undocumented or stuck in the legal system. We resist discrimination in all its guises. 

Please do open your minds. It will help us all!

You are very welcome to join us and grow our network between groups, organisations, individuals

The Status Now Network (SNN) does not use the word ‘amnesty’ – because of its implication of wrongdoing – but supports all actions to raise awareness about routes to regularisation.

The Status Now Network (SNN) calls for Indefinite Leave to Remain for all undocumented migrants and those in the legal process living in Britain and Ireland today. 

You can email us at info@statusnow4all.org

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