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Immigration Solicitors

Homelessness charities are reporting non-UK rough sleepers to the Home Office, resulting in their removal from the UK (10 March 2017)

Date: 10/03/2017
Duncan Lewis, Immigration Solicitors, Homelessness charities are reporting non-UK rough sleepers to the Home Office, resulting in their removal from the UK

In London, more than 50% of rough sleepers are not from the UK and last May the Home Office circulated a new guidance on removing rough sleepers who are not UK nationals.

A report from Corporate Watch has revealed the role that homelessness charities play in referring rough sleepers to immigration enforcement teams. Leading homelessness charities, such as St Mungo’s, have been passing information about some of them to the Home Office, subsequently leading to their removal from the UK.

Corporate Watch made a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to London councils about the extent to which councils and homelessness charities are working with the Home Office. The FoI responses showed the involvement of homelessness charity St Mungo’s, with Islington Council stating that in some cases, St Mungo’s had referred rough sleepers directly to the Home Office ICE teams. Chief executive of St Mungo’s, Howard Sinclair, defended the charity’s involvement with the Home Office:

“The stark reality is that without any intervention people would simply deteriorate on our streets.”

Meanwhile, Martha Spurrier – the director of Liberty – commented:

“Turning unaccountable citizens into immigration officers can only lead to racial profiling, discrimination and alienation, raising tensions in already divided communities.”

Corporate Watch is calling on the workers at homelessness charities to refrain from passing on information about rough sleepers to the Home Office which is then used to deport them.

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