Give the Tees Valley the facilities needed to support asylum seeker registration, says Alex

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has voiced his concerns over the fact asylum seekers in the Tees Valley are being forced to travel long distances – in some cases as far as Sheffield – to register their biometric details.

In a written question to the Home Secretary, Alex asked if her department had plans to extend biometric documentation provision to the Tees Valley – an area with a high number of asylum seekers. The biometric residence permit shows a person’s details, immigration status and certain rights when it comes to things such as the ability to work.

Responding to Alex’s question the Home Office told him that the system of registration evolved on need with increased capacity and centres put in place if required, with market research determining the locations.

Alex said:

“It is well known that our area has a high proportion of asylum seekers living here, and it is surely only right that our area has local facilities to carry out documentation. Many asylum seekers will be uncertain about the area, and know only the location they have been sent to live in. It’s wrong to force them to travel across the country to get registered.

“The Government should ensure the private company contracted to carry out this work sets up facilities in areas of real need – not based on ‘market research’ – to ensure people don’t have to travel ridiculous distances to carry out registration processes they are required to follow.”