Tory A-lister Sayeeda Warsi has just completed a report for the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust with Kate Adie OBE, Julian Baggini, Courtenay Griffiths QC and Bill Kilgallon OBE. The report – Moving on from Destitution to Contribution – argues that refused asylum seekers should be given "a revocable licence to work" so that they can benefit themselves, the taxpayer and local communities. In an article for today’s Guardian, Ms Warsi describes the current plight of rejected asylum seekers:
"[They are] unable to work or contribute to society, unable to leave and sleeping rough. They are forced into destitution, relying on charity or working in the shadow economy, with all the dangers that can bring. It is wishful thinking to expect that, with little or no source of income, these people will return home voluntarily."
Many will see Ms Warsi’s work as in tune with a Conservatism that is, as she writes, "interested in humanity and fairness." Others will worry that the system she recommends will only encourage more illegal immigration into Britain. This is one comment on the thread below her Guardian piece:
"If they do allow failed asylum seekers the right to work and maybe even benefits on top of that (because it’s cruel to make them sleep rough if they’re paying taxes) then I’ll hop on a plane over to England on a tourist visa and claim asylum myself. It’ll probably be much easier than getting a work visa."
Related link: Tories "very sceptical" of immigration amnesty