Over 26,000 People Being Housed Asylum Seeker Hotel Accommodation in Britain

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 01: Demonstrators join a 'Refugees Lives Matter' protest on July 1, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. The anti-racism demonstration called for an end to the detention of asylum seekers in hotels after six people were injured in a knife attack at Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow last …
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The number of alleged asylum seekers being put up in hotels across the country increased by nearly threefold last year, with over 26,000 migrants living in hotel accommodations.

A report from the pro-migrant Refugee Council NGO entitled: Lives on Hold: The Experiences of People in Hotel Asylum Accommodation found that as of the end of 2021, there were 26,380 asylum seekers living in hotels across the UK, compared to 11,076 at the end of 2020 and 1,490 in 2019.

The Home Office has claimed that it was necessary to use hotel accommodation to house alleged asylum seekers during the Chinese coronavirus crisis in order to maintain social distancing. The government had promised to reduce the numbers staying in hotels, which is costing the taxpayer millions per day, however, this has yet to materialise.

With the record numbers of migrants crossing the English Channel illegally after which nearly all claim asylum, the backlog for processing claims has increased by 300 per cent over the past four years.

The report claimed that staying in hotels for long periods of time is having a negative impact on people’s mental health, and that often the asylum seekers are not provided with “access to clothing, appropriate footwear and other basic essentials such as paracetamol, mobile phones and internet data.”

It found that some 378 people have been living an hotel rooms for over a year and 2,826 for over six months.The number of families being put up in hotels jumped by 27 per cent last year, including 2,500 children.

Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said: “We are deeply disappointed that despite government promises to move people out of hotels, the numbers of men, women and children trapped in unsuitable hotel accommodation has trebled in a year alone.

“The huge increase in the number of families and vulnerable children stuck between the four walls of a hotel room, from morning till night, is the brutal reality of a broken system.”

The revelation that the government was housing migrants in hotel accommodation was first brought to light in 2020 by Brexit leader Nigel Farage, who uncovered a hotel in the West Midlands housing 147 migrants while refusing to take bookings from native Britons.

The Brexiteer also unearthed that migrants being given VIP treatment with private tours of Anfield Stadium after a Premier League match. Then in an embarrassing revelation for the government, migrants were found to be living in a hotel in Home Secretary Priti Patel’s home constituency, which was quickly shut down after public backlash.

The hotel scheme has also come with some instances of violence, including when a Sudanese migrant went on a stabbing spree inside his Glasgow hotel, injuring six people, including a police officer. The alleged asylum seeker, Badreddin Abadlla Adam — who was shot dead during the attack — had reportedly been dissatisfied with the free accommodation and food provided to him, as macaroni and cheese was not “culturally appropriate” for him.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The asylum accommodation system is under enormous pressure due to increase in dangerous small boat crossings, which is why our New Plan for Immigration targets people smugglers and will speed up the removal of those with no right to be here.

“The new fairer asylum dispersal model will also reduce the use of hotels which is costing taxpayers nearly £5 million a day. Asylum seekers have access to free health and social care services from point of arrival in the UK – just like British citizens and other permanent residents, to suggest otherwise is wrong.”

The government has attempted to house asylum seekers in Rwanda while their claims are being processed, however, the plan has yet to come into action and may take until October at the earliest before a deportation flight takes off.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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