The UK Government should show more compassion for Syrian refugees who face deportation because they have travelled to the UK from other European countries to join relatives, Migrant Voice Director Nazek Ramadan told BBC News.
Migrant Voice is calling on the Home Secretary to exercise discretion when applying the Dublin Regulations, on the basis on the spirit of the law, and to show more compassion towards asylum seekers affected by these rules.
In recent months, Migrant Voice has seen more and more Syrians (and others) who have arrived in the UK, have family settled in the UK with leave to remain, and yet face destitution and deportation because their fingerprints have been recorded in another European country. Under EU law, known as the Dublin Regulations, the Home Office can send people back to apply for asylum in the first European country they arrived in.
One Migrant Voice member, Marwan, shared his story with BBC News. After escaping torture and imprisonment in Syria Marwan fled to the UK where he has many family members settled here. But the UK Government has refused his asylum claim and are attempting to send him back to Italy where he first arrived in Europe. Detained in Italy, Marwan was beaten by Italian officials and coerced into giving his fingerprints.
"I came here not to save myself but to save my family," he told BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent, June Kelly. "The whole point of me coming here is so that I can find a safe place for my children.”
Migrant Voice is very concerned that an increasing number of its members are being kept apart from their families as a result of the rigid application of these rules.
Watch Marwan tell his story and Nazek Ramadan speak about her concerns with the UK’s rigid application of the Dublin Regulations: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34929055