A record number of asylum seekers in Britain are being left destitute, and planned legislation could plunge thousands more into poverty, the British Red Cross said on Wednesday. The charity said it had supported more than 9,000 refugees and asylum seekers who were destitute last year, compared with 7,700 in 2014. The youngest was less than one year old and the oldest was 81.
The Red Cross said an Immigration Bill, being debated in the House of Lords – Britain’s upper parliamentary chamber – was expected to reduce asylum support further. Some 29,000 people applied for asylum in Britain between September 2014 and October 2015, 19 percent up from the previous year. Nearly 44 percent of destitute asylum seekers supported by the Red Cross were from Eritrea, Sudan, Iran and Syria, which are among the biggest sources of refugees.
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