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BASW writes to Home Office over new rough sleeping deportation rules

In response to the new rules, BASW UK Chief Executive Ruth Allen wrote to the Home Office raising concerns that this will demonise those people who need support

New rules came into effect on December 1st 2020 which now means that rough sleepers who are not UK nationals may be deported simply for being homelessness and sleeping on the streets.

Concerns from across the sector have highlighted that this will discourage migrant rough sleepers from seeking support services for fear that will it ultimately lead to their deportation, as it will make them known to the authorities.

In response to the new rules, BASW UK Chief Executive Ruth Allen wrote to the Home Office raising concerns that this will demonise those people who need support.

In the letter to the Home Office, Ruth Allen said: "No person chooses to sleep rough. When a person ends up on the streets, this is a systemic failure in society. The lack of affordable housing, an unstable job market, and the absence of a safety net for those who did not have recourse to public funds all contributes to a hostile environment in which people are punished when they need help and support.

“Our members have seen the fallout from reductions in public sector spending and a growing hostility to those who have an insecure immigration status. We fear that rather than looking after people and supporting them to stay in good employment and contribute to society, the Government are removing people from the country and causing distress at the most vulnerable point in their lives.

“We should not reduce a person’s worth based on whether they contribute to economy or not, whilst ignoring the social contribution and the value of them as an individual. Many people who will be deported under this system will have loved ones here in the UK and will have built connections and communities.”