In response to the news that the Immigration Advisory Service, one of the UK’s leading asylum charities, has gone into administration with some 200 jobs at risk, Jean Lambert MEP, a leading voice on asylum and immigration, has said:
“It is an absolute tragedy that the Immigration Advisory Service is to close. For almost twenty years, the IAS has provided vital free advice and representations to people faced with real immigration and asylum difficulties – people who often have had nowhere else to turn for support.
“Whilst the reasons behind the closure remain unclear, cuts to the legal aid budget are sure to have played a contributing factor – further proof that the Government’s draconian spending cuts are disproportionately hitting the most vulnerable. With cut backs in legal aid and increased financial pressure on local authorities and other advice agencies, the pool of experienced and knowledgeable immigration advisors is getting smaller by the day. This loss of experience will put lives at risk and lead to miscarriages of justice in our asylum system.”