Time to Lift The Ban says Liz Saville Roberts

It cannot be right that asylum-seekers are frozen in destitution waiting months – if not years – while they await a decision” 

On Wednesday 28 April, the Illegal Migration Bill was voted on in the House of Commons. This Bill is cruel and unworkable and goes against Wales’s ambition to become a Nation of Sanctuary.  Yet, amongst the amendments was a glimmer of hope.  

Liz Saville Roberts – Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader – proposed a motion to allow asylum seekers to work in the UK after six months. Currently, asylum-seekers are only granted the right to work after waiting 12 months – and only on a limited number of jobs on the shortage occupation list.  

Ms Saville Roberts told the Mirror “The right to work is a fundamental human right, and it is crucial for the wellbeing of asylum seekers and their integration into society. It is also beneficial for the economy, as businesses want to be able to access the skills and experience of asylum seekers.” 

Liz Saville Roberts also took the opportunity to share the experience of Seeye – an asylum-seeker in Cardiff.  

“I am losing hope. All I want is a bright future. I am young, I can work. I am ready to start tomorrow and fund for myself. With work I could pay for rent, even council tax, and not have to rely on benefits.” 

You can watch Seeye’s Story being told in the House of Commons here.  

Seeye continued saying “The right to work would be beneficial to all asylum seekers. We are waiting, sitting about, and spending public money. We need to be able to encourage asylum seekers to work and help them become confident again” 

We agree with Seeye. Letting asylum-seekers work is common sense. Asylum seekers have a lot of much-needed skills to contribute to the United Kingdom. It’s time to reject the nonsensical hostile environment and instead embrace the skills of sanctuary-seekers in Wales and the UK.  

Do you agree with Seeye? Contact albert@wrc.wales to explain why you support giving Sanctuary-Seekers the right to work in Wales.  Are you a Local Business Owner? Why not become a Lift the Ban Business Ally. Click here for more information.