[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 06:46 GMT
Food parcels for asylum claimants
Jazim in Cardiff
Jazim is one of 106 "overstayers" currently in Cardif
Dozens of failed asylum seekers are being left destitute by Home Office rules, the Welsh Refugee Council says.

The charity said around 100 people in Cardiff who have exhausted the appeals process face being left on the street or returned to their own country.

It is calling for a review of cases where displaced people are removed from their accommodation but not sent home.

The Home Office said the government had a right to send back people whose asylum claim was deemed not legitimate.

Jazim, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd who has lived in Cardiff since arriving in the UK three years ago, is one of 350 so-called "asylum overstayers" in Wales.

One part of the system rejects them, but another does not want to take them home
Reverend Aled Edwards

He fled to Britain from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, where he said he had been imprisoned and beaten, but the Home Office has decided he is not entitled to refugee status and should return to his home city of Mosul.

Jazim was not allowed to work while his asylum application was considered and his benefits have been cut off, so he relies on a few friends to feed him while he waits for the outcome of a court challenge by a man in a similar position to his own.

He is one of 106 "overstayers" currently in Cardiff, 44 of them Iraqi.

Crisis point

He said: "I don't like going back to Iraq. All the people are being killed."

The Welsh Refugee Council said welfare groups in the city have been handing out around 50 food parcels a week for the past three months to people whose claims for asylum have been rejected by the government but who have not yet been deported.

It said some of these people have been evicted from their accommodation because they had not taken so-called 'hard case support' which would see them given food and lodging provided they signed up to being returned home.

The council said some of the overstayers who had taken hard case support had still not been returned home because the Home Office acknowledged that the security situation was unacceptable.

The Reverend Aled Edwards, of Cardiff's Destitute Asylum Seeker Group, said that with the colder weather, and the Christmas break imminent, welfare groups were reaching a crisis point.

'Legitimate claim'

He said: "The system is basically saying go destitute or sign that they are willing to go home.

"One part of the system rejects them, but another does not want to take them home.

"To date, we still don't have the stomach to send people back to Iraq or Zimbabwe."

A Home Office spokesman said: "The hard case support is given to people when they have gone through the appeals process and do not have a legitimate claim and have exhausted their rights of appeal.

"Under those circumstances, the UK Government has a right to send these people back.

"Sometimes it does take some time, but it's not always the case that it's always a security matter, it could be a travel document matter."




SEE ALSO:
Concern at asylum seekers in jail
10 Aug 04 |  South East Wales
Writers tell Welsh asylum stories
22 Jun 04 |  South West Wales


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific