Branch Secretary :

New Home Office guidance puts homeless at risk of deportation

Support not deport Charter


New guidance setting out circumstances in which non UK nationals sleeping rough would have their permission to remain refused or cancelled could result in forced deportations. The guidance follows a legal change last year which was widely denounced by homelessness agencies and by Unite; the Unite housing workers branch produced a ‘Support not deport Charter’ which we encourage organisations to support.


Email us for zoom details May 13th at 6.00pm


While the implementation of the new legal position may have been limited by the lack of guidance until now, investigations by Liberty have revealed disturbing cooperation with the Home Office by homelessness charities and local authorities. Even organisations which had made public statements pledging not to cooperate have in fact worked with the Home Office leading ‘Streets Kitchen’ to withdraw cooperation with organisations. Vigilance is crucial.


Undermine confidence


The Unite housing branch warns that this guidance will make it harder to offer support to rough sleepers and will undermine confidence in services. It is essential that all agencies give a clear commitment not to cooperate with deportation in any circumstances.  Our members in homelessness agencies call for decent provision to support rough sleepers not forced deportation.


Crisis is right to point out that the mere existence of the rule will prevent “non-UK nationals in vulnerable circumstances” from seeking support.


Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “To be clear, we do not accept this policy and urge authorities not to use these powers in any circumstances.


“..We know that the avenues of support outlined in the guidance, such as specialist immigration advice, are already in very short supply in many areas across the country. The guidance itself acknowledges how few support options are available for people in this situation and we know from our own services that this leaves people trapped sleeping rough with no way out. We urgently need to see a clear, national strategy from the government to end rough sleeping and homelessness. The focus must be on providing the right support for people on our streets – this means a safe place to stay, immigration advice and employment support so that everyone can leave homelessness behind for good..”


Unite housing workers have launched a Charter and we are calling a public zoom meeting to discuss the next steps to fight back against this pernicious legislation.


Email us for zoom details May 13th at 6.00pm


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