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.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors are one of the UK’s leading providers of immigration services and can advise on asylum application and appeals, right to work in the UK, spousal visas and British citizenship.
Our immigration specialists and are able to advise on business immigration and Tier-2 visa applications and appeals, student and graduate visas and visa overstays.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide and in most major cities, including more than 20 offices across London and the southeast.
For expert legal advice on UK immigration law, call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 0333 772 0409.
For urgent help with an immigration matter out of hours, including detention, call the Duncan Lewis Solicitors 24-Hour Emergency Helpline on 0333 772 0607, where an accredited immigration lawyer is available 24/7.