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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

In April 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women.

At that time (April 2019) Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the Home Office’s assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

In July 2019, Darren updated that:

“Charging high visa fees to those who have sacrificed, and put their life on the line, to serve this country is no way to thank them. The fees for Leave to Remain are over £3000, so this is not a small amount were asking brace service personnel to find! The Royal British Legion are now running a campaign to help raise awareness of this injustice and are asking for people to write to their MP. Whilst I welcome any contact from my constituents, I have already pledged my support to this campaign and will proudly continue to do so”.

 

 

 

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Darren calls for better support for young asylum seekers

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has signed a cross-party letter supporting calls young asylum seekers to get the same framework of care offered to young care leavers.

Darren said:

“I’ve signed a joint letter to the Home Secretary asking that he urgently review the health and well-being support available for young asylum seekers. I believe young asylum seekers, aged 18-25, should have the same framework of support we offer to care leavers of that age.

Aged 18, young people, who are likely to have no family in the country and may speak little English, may have witnessed or experienced trauma should not find they have no age-appropriate support. The government’s own Care Leavers Strategy acknowledges the difficulties faced by young adults leaving care, the struggle of independent living and the need for guidance, help and support that young people would usually receive from a parent or guardian. Young asylum seekers are no different.

That’s why, I’ve called for Youth Welfare Officers to be based in adult accommodation provided to young asylum seekers”.

                                                   

 

 

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Darren supports LGBT+ asylum seekers

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has signed a cross-party letter supporting calls for the Home Office to urgently review how it assesses LGBT+ asylum seekers claims where they may be forced to return to countries with anti-LGBT+ laws.

Darren said:

” I’ve signed a joint letter with regional Labour MPs and the Co-chairs of the LGBT+ Labour South West, calling on the Home Secretary to urgently review how it handles cases involving LGBT+ people from countries that have anti-LGBT laws.

No one, including Kenneth Macharia from Bristol who plays for the Bristol Bisons RFC, should be at risk of being deported back to a country where they face persecution and even death for being who they are”.

 

 

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Darren backs Lift The Ban

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has spoken out in favour of allowing asylum seekers the right to work – and contribute to the UK by paying taxes – whilst their applications are assessed.

At present, the law prevents asylum seekers from working whilst their claims are assessed and that can take years. All the whilst, asylum seekers get just £37.75 per week loaded onto a card to live on as well as (often very basic and crowded) accommodation. In cities, where costs are high and £37 will just about feed a person, asylum seekers struggle to use public transport, buy toiletries and clothe themselves and have to rely on charities for the very basics. They are prevented from earning more money to improve their situation.

Darren said:

“Today, I’ve received an interesting report from ACH that ran a pilot project in Bristol focused on supporting asylum seekers with job-hunting skills such as writing CV’s, employment rights and linking them to variety of local employers. The project found:

1- Most asylum seekers have the levels of English that would be required in the workplace.
2- Asylum seekers often had high levels of education and skills from their home countries and have training and work experiences that would be of use to the UK.
3- Everyone in the project wanted to contribute to the UK instead of taking government money and being unemployed. There were high levels of attendance at all visits with employers and meetings.

By stopping asylum seekers from working, I sense we’re frankly cutting off our nose to spite our face and creating a group of people who feel powerless to change their situation or contribute to a country they wish to make their home. This has got to change – we must lift the ban”.

You can find out more about ACH by visiting: www.ach.org.uk/

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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women who, after their service to this country, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (which costs £2389 per person, per application).

Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those  who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren speaks out against anti-immigrant Immigration Bill

The Immigration Bill will set out the ending of Freedom of Movement and outline new arrangements for those who are currently covered by it. Darren criticised it for being anti-immigrant; he spoke about how the bill fails to provided for a welcoming environment for immigration, gives the Government undue power and fails to set out a positive vision for the country.