Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) has given its support to changes in the law to allow asylum seekers the right to work in the UK.
CSAN, the social action arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has endorsed Lord Alton’s proposed amendment to the Immigration Bill, which is currently going through Parliament. The amendment would allow asylum seekers, whose applications had not been processed within six months, to begin working despite their legal status.
Under the current law, those seeking asylum cannot pursue employment and live off just over £5 per day.
Lord Alton claims that 3,500 people had waited six months or more for their applications to be processed at the end of 2015. He hopes the changes to the bill would end the “enforced workhouse destitution” faced by asylum seekers.
“How many of us could exist on just over £5 a day while an asylum application was being considered? This is way below the poverty line,” said Lord Alton.
CSAN has called on the Catholic community to write to their local MPs and ask them to support the new amendment before the third reading of the bill on Tuesday.
CSAN say that, “Catholic Social Teaching encourages us to focus on the dignity of migrants during the asylum process. The Church recognises the importance of work as an important human need and duty.”
The third reading of the Immigration Bill – the final chance to amend it – is scheduled for April 12.
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