Two thirds of British people think asylum seekers should be allowed to work - Refugee Council
April 27, 2007

Two thirds of British people think asylum seekers should be allowed to work

A poll commissioned by the Strangers into Citizens campaign has shown that two thirds of people think that asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers should be allowed to work and pay taxes.

The poll shows that 66 per cent of people in the UK would accept refused asylum-seekers and those who had overstayed their visas if they worked and paid taxes. The poll was conducted last weekend by ORB with a sample of 1,004 adults across the UK.

Strangers into Citizens is campaigning for people who have been in the country for more than four years – both asylum seekers and illegal immigrants – to be given a permit to work legally and pay taxes. The government currently estimates there are over 280,000 refused asylum seekers in Britain, of which a large proportion are destitute. As part of its ‘Just.Fair’ campaign, the Refugee Council is calling on the government to offer a form of status to people who are unable to return home and let them work.

Anna Reisenberger, acting Chief executive of the Refugee Council said:

“This poll shows that in the UK we think it’s right to offer asylum seekers the chance to support themselves from when they arrive. Asylum seekers have a huge contribution to make and many do already through voluntary work. Allowing them to work properly would not only be a positive step for them, it would be good for the economy as well. Forcing asylum seekers to rely on handouts, or to become destitute, is in nobody’s interest, and leaves them isolated and marginalised.”