London’s ‘Ghosts’: The Capital and the UK Policy of Destitution of Refused Asylum-Seekers

Bloom, Tendayi (2015). London’s ‘Ghosts’: The Capital and the UK Policy of Destitution of Refused Asylum-Seekers. In: Kerhsen, Anne J. ed. London the Promised Land Revisited: The Changing Face of the London Migrant Landscape in the Early 21st Century. Ashgate.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/London-the-Promised-Land...

Abstract

This chapter introduces London's ghosts - those who, though refused asylum in the UK, remain in the capital - and London's experience of policy leading to their destitution. It presents a disenfranchised population taking what agency they can, opting for invisibility and destitution in London rather than risk deportation or dispersal. It also shows a city disenfranchised, receiving 'burden' relief rather than acknowledgement of need and genuine assistance. London is the UK city hosting the largest proportion of refused asylum-seekers and a city hit by 'austerity cuts' in spending power. This chapter raises questions both for the policy of destitution itself (which it argues is legally, logically and morally unsustainable) and for the way cities and local authorities are forced to manage its results.

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