Home » Politics » UK headed for ‘humanitarian crisis’ Homes for Ukraine host dismantles immigration strategy
UK headed for ‘humanitarian crisis’ Homes for Ukraine host dismantles immigration strategy
August 2, 2022
Ukraine: Refugee host warns of 'humanitarian crisis' in UK
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An LBC caller raised alarm bells around the Homes for Ukraine scheme, as she argued the current strategy fails Ukrainians after the six-month period of hosting them – leaving them practically “homeless”. Home Secretary Priti Patel has already come under fire after an 11-year-old girl fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine was denied a visa. Now, the LBC caller slammed Secretary Patel for her lack of anticipation, as the UK is on brink of a “humanitarian crisis.”
Suzanne Doré, who volunteered to host Ukrainian through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, told her own experience with the scheme on LBC: “I found out two weeks ago that there is no onward plan.
“There’s no phase 2, stage 2 – whatever 2 you want to call it. Stage 1 being us taking them for six months to allow the councils time to sort accommodation for them.
“And then, I found out there is nothing. And what we will have to do is make them homeless by either taking them to the Council Office or to a hotel for the night and with a letter saying they’re no longer welcome in our house.
“And I have to say that cut me to my core.”
Though she does not blame her local council for the failed plan, Ms Doré said: “It’s a difficult situation that’s been thrust upon us. But by not doing anything at the moment, we are sleepwalking into a humanitarian crisis on our own shores.”
Ms Doré hosted two Ukrainians in her house as part of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme – a plan introduced by the Home Office, which allows people who are fleeing Ukraine and seeking refuge in the UK to find a home for a minimum period of six months.
However, the scheme fails to provide additional plans or any protections for Ukrainians when hosts decide to stop helping them.
“Well, we signed up for the 6 months because we thought, you know the least we could do was six months of our life, giving our house over to share with someone else,” Ms Doré said.
“And we thought that was really quite long enough.”
Ms Doré said she felt distressed when she had to tell the two Ukrainians whom she had hosted that she could no longer put them up.
She said: “They were wonderful, they were amazing. They’ve just been an absolute delight to have here. There’s no problem with them at all.”
The Home Secretary pledged to welcome Ukrainians to the UK “legitimately and legally”, adding there is “no reason” for Ukrainian refugees to be transferred to Rwanda under her new immigration policy.
The Rwanda Policy raised fears among undocumented Ukrainian refugees who fled the war in their home country.
In the early stages of the scheme, many Ukrainian refugees in Britain faced administration backlogs and delays to have their visa applications processed – for which Secretary Patel apologised.
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In April, the UNCHR raised concerns about the UK system after refugees had to be rehoused after being placed in unsuitable accommodation.
The UN agency called for “adequate safeguards and vetting measures to be in place against exploitation”.
Under the scheme, documented Ukrainian refugees have access to the NHS and public services, and their children can attend local schools.
They can legally stay and work in the UK for up to three years.
As of 19 July, the Home Office has issued 162,000 visas from 194,7000 applications.
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