26. Memorandum submitted by Luton
Accommodation and Move On Project
We are a homeless charity working in Luton to
help homeless single people from the age of 16-25. As is well
documented, Luton has a large culturally diverse population. Our
funding for resettlement is met by Supporting People and Connexions.
Initially we find affordable accommodation for young people and
provide ongoing support.
We are one of the few agencies who are willing
to help asylum seekers and refugees. We work closely with the
Luton Asylum Team and attend the local Multi Agency Asylum Forum.
Having to cope with this age group enables us
to help young Asylum Seekers with their applications for DLR from
their interview at the Home Office and through the appeal stage.
This is a traumatic time, particularly for young people who have
been in this country from a young age, some from foster care.
By the time this proccess is completed they have enevitably established
a good life in England. Most are either in regular employment
or studying at College. A large proportion are now being returned
to their country of origin.
My visits to Detention Centres have not been
good. I particularly found Manchester Detention Centre extremely
oppressive. There were no windows, no fresh air and a permanent
thick smoky atmosphere. In this case the detainee was moved to
Gatwick as it was against the European Convention to allow him
to remain without fresh air for longer than five days.
Most failed asylum seekers return to poverty
and mass unemployment. I have had personally experienced of this
having supported a young A level student through the detention
and return proccess and maintained contact with him. Others have
been valuable employees who have worked hard.
The entry (visa) clearance system is also aimed
at preventing these young people to return to continue their studies
even when it is proved that there are people here who are willing
to provide support and finance.
It seems inhuman to give these young people
hope, ambition and support then take it away. Some have been here
for six years or more and adopted the English culture as theirs.
To invest so much money in their futures and when they are working,
paying taxes and/or making a positive contribution to this country
return them to nothing is not only a loss to our economy, but
a cruel blow to young people who have already suffered.
We as an organisation would like to see an amnesty
system in place for those who deserve the right to remain and
work or study in this country.
7 December 2005