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Thangam Debonnaire MP visited the BHN Welcome House last week. We were delighted to meet her and give her our views on asylum policy!

Thangam is now the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees which was previously chaired by Sarah Teather MP to great effect. We are hoping with our local MP aware of the issues and seeking to know more about the direct experience of our members, we have a good chance for Thangam to be just as effective in her time in office!

We asked her to focus on:

– Allowing asylum seekers to work throughout the process (they’d pay tax, learn english, feel better, it’s a win win!)

– Reducing wrong decisions in the Home Office by allowing caseowners to give asylum seekers more time to present documentary evidence if this is available and recognising the impossibility of this in many cases (e.g. Eritrean cases)

– Ending Immigration/Asylum Detention

Some members shared their stories with her so she knew how difficult it was. One member was reduced to tears while explaining how the Home Office wanted him to provide evidence that was impossible to get and this meant his life was just on hold. It was a really moving moment.

We took some photos and here they are!

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Thangam hopes to set up an enquiry into destitution in parliament and has asked our members whether they would give evidence. We’d love to end destitution so we;’re hoping that goes ahead and we unmask the reality of life for asylum seekers in our country.

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