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Some Progress On The Horizon On Asylum Anomaly

29 April, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member Bairbre de Brún this morning spoke with the British Home Office Minister responsible for Asylum seekers, Des Browne. The contact was part of Sinn Féin efforts to address an anomaly that has arisen in the regulations which will see those seeking asylum from the ten countries due to join the EU this weekend lose their entitlement to both their accommodation and living allowance.

Ms de Brún said:

" Since this serious problem became apparent earlier this week when those seeking asylum from the accession countries received letter telling them to vacate their homes I have been in touch with a variety of agencies seeking a resolution to this problem.

" This morning I spoke with Des Browne the Minister responsible for asylum issues in the British Home Office. He advised me that he is not legally in a position to continue making the same subsistence arrangements for those from the accession countries who had been previously claiming asylum.

" However the Minister has told me that he will ensure that people caught in this loophole are permitted to remain in their current accommodation for a period provided they are able to pay their own rent. This is clearly not ideal but is nevertheless some progress. It removes the need for a deposit and advance rent for new accommodation to be required immediately.

" We now need to see swift progress in processing work permits and registration allowing these people to become self supporting as quickly as possible." ENDS

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