WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 18 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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50 hotels for asylum seekers will close by January

50 hotels for asylum seekers will close by January

Justice in a time of austerity: a Justice Gap series

The Minister of State for immigration, Robert Jenrick, has confirmed that 50 hotels will be closed to asylum seekers by January and the government “will not stop there,” the BBC reports.

The rollout of this action will occur over the next few months with hotel contracts ending across all four nations of the UK. This comes just over a month following Jenrick’s statement that the government planned to “stop the boats” and tackle illegal immigration.

There are currently no plans to develop new sites for the hotel occupants to relocate to but they will go to existing alternatives, such as RAF Scampton. In the announcement, Jenrick also made it clear that the government would continue to house people on the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland, Dorset, where migrants have begun returning after legionella bacteria was found in August.

According to the Home Office annual reports, it is estimated that asylum seekers’ lodgings cost almost eight million pounds every day. The ever-increasing number of unprocessed asylum claims has led to a domino effect resulting in an upsurge of hotel usage. According to the House of Commons Library, ‘a total of 47,500 people were in accommodation by the end of March – compared with 9,500 in October 2020.’

The Guardian’s political editor, Peter Walker, emphasised ‘the government has a legal obligation to provide basic housing to asylum seekers while they await a decision on their application.’ Typically, accommodation is provided for a few weeks prior to the provision of longer-term accommodation.

The government is yet to publish a definitive list of the hotels set to close. On this topic, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said that 50 hotels is a ‘drop in the ocean’ and that ‘Every day, millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being spent because of the Conservative government’s abject failure to tackle the backlog of asylum claims, while asylum seekers face appalling conditions.’