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Asylum seekers: Let them work

To my Member of Parliament, 

We're writing to ask you to fix a shambolic, self-defeating policy that has harmed our country and countless people in it for far too long: the ban on asylum seekers working. 

At the moment, anyone seeking asylum in the UK is barred from employment until their case is decided upon - a process that can take months, or even years.

They could be teachers; they could be engineers, chefs or builders. They are the people who can help alleviate the severe labour shortages in so many sectors and communities post-Brexit. No matter: Instead of earning a decent wage and paying their taxes, they will be forced to choose between illegal employment or a pitiful allowance.

The ban is so convoluted that even doctors - ostensibly exempt from the ban - are often barred from contributing to the NHS.

Instead, they and tens of thousands like them are condemned to idleness when they want to work, handouts when they want to pay taxes, separation when they have so much to share.

The ban benefits nobody - nobody except human traffickers. Allowing asylum seekers to work while they are considered for refugee status would inject £333 million into the economy - at the very least. The public are on side, too: 81 percent of us told YouGov last year they would support lifting the ban.

No financial cost. No political cost. A win for everyone involved.

We urge you - whichever party you belong to - to do everything you can to lift the ban and let them work.

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