Author: National Newsdesk
HOME Secretary Sajid Javid has been invited to Scotland to meet asylum seekers amid plans to evict more than 300 people.
Church of Scotland minister Rev Brian Casey has urged Javid to visit his parish and “look desperate asylum seekers in the eye and tell me they are at it”.
Home Office contractor Serco announced it will start evicting more than 300 people who have had refugee status bids turned down, and who can no longer claim public support.
Yesterday, the private firm served six of the asylum seekers with a seven-day notice that they would be changing locks.
The move has provoked public outcry and prompted an unprecedented declaration from all of the city’s MPs as well as council leaders.
In a letter to the Home Secretary, Rev Casey wrote: “It would be absolutely unconscionable to think that human beings, no matter what legal status they may have, are tossed out on the street, children included, to live an uncertain future in a city they regard as home.”
Rev Brian Casey posting his letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid
“These are people who have fled their homeland and lived under the strict controls of the Home Office and have followed every directive given to them, including living in penury until their decision is heard.
“I know that many people, with no idea of the reality of the asylum process in the UK, will say that they are only here as economic migrants seeking to exploit our benefits system.
“I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to come to the north of Glasgow as my guest and visit my parishioners.
“Come and hear their concerns and listen to the asylum seekers.
“Look them in the eye and tell me that they are ‘at it’.
“UK citizens in my parish and around Glasgow are helping asylum seekers furnish their homes despite having very little themselves.
“The people of Glasgow care and I would ask that you and your department start to care too.”
Casey, of Springburn Parish Church in Glasgow, is also leading the campaign to ensure 10-year-old orphan asylum seeker Giorgi Kakava and his grandmother Ketino Baikhadze are granted indefinite right to remain in the UK.
Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council, said the Church of Scotland were “deeply, deeply concerned” by the eviction plans.
He said: “Whilst these are individuals and families who have had their right to remain in this country turned down, past evidence suggests that half will win their appeal against that decision.
“In the meantime, we have a clear moral responsibility to be providing housing.
“Many of those facing eviction have already needed to flee their homes in the past from appalling violence, terror and war.
“It is unacceptable that this should be happening.”