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Letter: Refugees Should Be Allowed to Work While Awaiting their Case Outcomes

Published on: 11 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 11 Nov, 2022

From: Jules Cranwell

In response to: Supporting Refugees in the Borough ‘Very Challenging’ Says Council

Local volunteers, of which I am happy to be one, have been doing so much more than delivering baby milk.

We have been collecting, and servicing/repairing at least 25 bikes, with accessories to provide transport for those attending schools and colleges, and for shopping trips. We run twice weekly drives for shopping, in the village bus, staffed entirely by volunteers. Guildford Refugee Aid, with which we work, collects and distributes donated clothing, laptops, mobile phones etc.

However, I have to say I have not seen any evidence of particular trauma evidenced in those I have met, which is at least half of them. Their principal concern is the length of time it is taking for their asylum claims to be processed.

What was something of a surprise is the diversity of our guests. I have met folks from San Salvador, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Afgan, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine, amongst others.

They all seem to rub along quite nicely together, despite the language challenges.

On the whole, most would be more than willing to work. Amongst them are doctors, mechanics, agricultural workers etc, most of which are in short supply in the UK just now.

I really cannot understand why the home office prevents these willing contributors from working, whilst awaiting landed status.

Perhaps our council or MP would care to comment?

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