Met this week with Brighter Futures – a group of young asylum seekers fighting for the right to be able to work and/or continue their education when their initial leave to stay runs out – and whilst they wait for the Home Office to process their applications.
Our bloody Home Office can take years and years and years. And imagine – you have come here from a war torn hell – to safety, to school – and then nothing. You are in limbo – not allowed to work or go to college while you wait on the Home Office’s pleasure. It is just a terrible thing to make a young person wait endlessly, barring them virtually from a place in the normal community and keeping them endlessly in suspended animation. I should think it leads to depression, isolation and misery. And how deeply ironic that when we have asylum seekers wanting to work and contribute to the community they are living in – the Home Office is stopping it happen.
However, the three who came to see me were bright as buttons. I will be writing to the Minister asap because all they need – literally all they need – is a letter from the Home Office stating that they have the right to work (which they do – but no employer will employ them without their official status papers – which they don’t have whilst waiting for the new right to stay to come through). If the Home Office just sent out an official letter on receipt of every application from a young asylum seeker who is applying to get their adult status saying to any employer or college that the young person has applied and that this letter should be taken as evidence of their legality to work. That is all they need.
So bloody simple.