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Asylum seeker hotel accommodation needs to be closed, insists Stroud MP

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has told the government it needs to close asylum seeker hotel accommodation across Gloucestershire and find a simple safe and legal route policy for those who need assistance.

Ms Baillie said the safe and legal routes policy needs to be created alongside the Illegal Migration Bill.  She wants policies that reflect that the public want illegal migration to be tackled but while still helping those who are most vulnerable.  

Speaking in the bill debate, Baillie said: “The public expect action on small boats and illegal migration. The main issues raised with me are illegality, asylum seeker hotels, and safe and legal routes.

“It is clearly extremely dangerous and not sustainable to have 45,000 people arriving across the channel in small boats, many of whom are paying people smugglers. It is not sustainable for our own communities, housing and services. Many councils, including Labour councils, say that they absolutely cannot cope and are not able to take additional people. 

“On hotel accommodation, my constituents know that I have worked really hard and been very careful not to use my social media or my platform to draw attention to hotels or to asylum seekers in our county of Gloucestershire. 

“Given the attacks on various hotels and places around the country, I do not think it is fair or responsible to communities to do that. Instead, I have spoken to people directly. I have held meetings and I have had police down to parts of my constituency. I have spoken before about my disappointment and anger that hotels have been placed in inappropriate areas that we know will cause difficulties. The hotels have to close and I want to hear more from the Minister for Immigration about when that will happen.”

The Stroud MP explained many of my constituents also want to see safe and legal routes that are controlled but she added: “We have to nail down what it means. The reality is that the safe and legal route policy should work transparently alongside the Bill. 

“I look to the recent leader in The Spectator, which talked about the simple policy of a safe route being created for each illegal migrant who is returned. That is gloriously simple and I think it would deal with a lot of the concerns of the public.”

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