Asylum Seekers: Missing from Registered Address Debate

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Lord Bishop of Lincoln

Main Page: Lord Bishop of Lincoln (Bishops - Bishops)

Asylum Seekers: Missing from Registered Address

Lord Bishop of Lincoln Excerpts
Thursday 2nd May 2024

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Gascoigne Portrait Lord Gascoigne (Con)
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I am grateful to my noble friend, who has asked a number of similar questions in this area. This is important. In fact, my first Question at the Dispatch Box was about unaccompanied asylum seekers, and the duty of care to children is obviously something that the department and the whole Government take incredibly seriously. I understand that there are a number of dedicated hubs for children asylum seekers, and I am pleased to say that we have closed all seven hotels that we used to accommodate unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. I do not know the specific statistics for how many have gone missing, but I will take that back to the department and write to my noble friend.

Lord Bishop of Lincoln Portrait The Lord Bishop of Lincoln
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My Lords, the Minister talked about hotels. The population of seaside towns, such as Skegness, have been very welcoming of asylum seekers staying in hotels. In effect, hotels are a way of monitoring the presence of asylum seekers over time. The frustration of people in Skegness and other coastal towns is that the slow progress in processing asylum seekers is having an impact on the tourist industry, the local economy and jobs in these towns. Is the Minister aware of that?

Lord Gascoigne Portrait Lord Gascoigne (Con)
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I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate. I have to say to the people of Skegness that I remember many a fine time in that part of the world when I was a young lad. Sadly, I have not been there recently. The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right that many communities up and down the land have been very hospitable, understanding and supportive. Helping those who need it goes to the vein of what this country is. The general point is that immigration, both legal and illegal, needs to be controlled. I am pleased to say that we have made great strides in clearing the backlog and that 100,000 cases have been processed, as we promised. I am happy to look at any outstanding issues in this area and pick them up with the right reverend Prelate outside the Chamber. He is very right, and we pay tribute to the people of the country for helping all people in need.