Faith leaders from across the UK – including The Liberal Jewish Synagogue’s Rabbi Alexandra Wright and Liberal Judaism interim director Rabbi Charley Baginsky – have written an open letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel urging her not to evict or defund asylum seekers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter protests the Home Office’s decision to restart evictions for people who have had a negative asylum decision, as well as the fact that those with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) will be at significant risk of homelessness and hardship over the winter.
It reads: “Unless there is swift policy change, thousands of people with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ – including those who have sought asylum – could face homelessness and destitution.
“The Home Office has a duty to ensure this does not happen, firstly by reversing the decision to restart evictions from asylum accommodation so that no-one is forced onto the streets during this crisis, and secondly, by ending the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ conditions that stop people getting the housing and support they need when they have nowhere else to turn.”
The letter, which was put together by NACCOM concludes: “Coronavirus has highlighted the devastating consequences of an unjust immigration system that directly results in enforced destitution and homelessness. We must seize this opportunity to put discriminatory policies firmly behind us and work together to create a just society for all.”
For more details on NACCOM’s #StopAsylumEvictions campaign and how you can help, please click here.
Liberal Judaism’s leaders were also among the 25 rabbis signing a second letter, initiated by the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE), further expressing concern at the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
It calls for the Home Secretary to provide safe and legal routes to the UK, reopen resettlement schemes which have been closed since March, and support Lord Dubs’ family reunification amendment to the Immigration Bill.
You can read the letter in the Guardian here.
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