Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said she will have no part in ‘inhumane’ new rules by the British Home Office targeting rough sleepers for deportation.
The new measure allows the Home Office to deport homeless non-nationals on the grounds of rough sleeping, even if they have previously been granted permission to stay.
Minister Hargey has outlined her opposition directly to the Home Office adding:
“The very few people sleeping rough here need our help to resolve their issues and move on with their lives, not face threats of deportation. Deporting them to an uncertain future in another country is no way to address rough sleeping, it is a failure to address rough sleeping.
“The decision to remove non-nationals for simply rough sleeping is an inhumane policy devoid of compassion and fairness. I will have no part in it. I have told the organisations that my Department funds my view on this and I know I have their support on that.
“My Department will continue to work closely with the Housing Executive to monitor how the Home Office policy affects those who are rough sleeping here.
“The Housing Executive and homeless providers will also continue to ensure that any person wherever possible who is rough sleeping is engaging with support services, because it is the right thing to do, and because now more so than ever, it will protect them from this ill-conceived and cruel policy.”
Notes to editors:
1. On 1 December 2020, the Immigration Rules were amended to introduce a more robust framework against which immigration applications are assessed or permission cancelled on suitability grounds.
2. On the 15 April 2021, the Home Office issued guidance stating when an application for permission to stay may be refused, or any permission held may be cancelled on the grounds of rough sleeping in the UK. The Guidance sets out that rough sleepers engaging with support services cannot be subject to this process.
3. This guidance applies to applications made on or after 1 December 2020 and decisions to cancel taken on or after 1 December 2020.
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