Over 80 local authorities and homelessness organisations have pledged to stand against the new rough sleeping Immigration Rules which make rough sleeping grounds for refusing a person’s leave to remain in the UK.
Changes to the Immigration Rules published in October 2020 made rough sleeping grounds for refusing or cancelling a person’s right to remain in the UK. The Home Office published guidance last month intended to clarify its approach.
The charity Homeless Link welcomed the clarification, particularly its emphasis on the fact that the new rules only apply when an individual refuses repeated offers of suitable support and engages in persistent anti-social behaviour.
However, as the charity wrote in a blog post recently, these limitations remain ‘worryingly open to interpretation’ and could impact those who face discrimination, trauma and mental health issues.
In response to the new Immigration Rules, Homeless Link has launched a new campaign called #SupportDontDeport, which is supported by the Mayor of London and a number of local authorities, including Southwark and Haringey councils.
‘Homelessness organisations and local authorities across England are standing against these damaging rules and in solidarity with non-UK nationals who need our support,’ said the charity.
‘In doing so, we are standing for a trauma-informed, support-led homelessness system, that is trusted by everyone who needs it.
‘We are urging the Government to scrap these damaging new rules immediately. And we have signed a joint statement with other homelessness organisations.’
The Home Office has been approached for a comment.