Approximately a million undocumented migrants living under the radar in the UK could be at risk not only of contracting Covid-19 but also of starvation because of the crisis created by the pandemic, charities have warned. Nobody knows exactly how many of these migrants are currently in the UK, as the Home Office does not have comprehensive records of their whereabouts. This group includes asylum seekers whose claims the Home Office has rejected but who are fearful of returning to their home countries and temporary workers whose visas have expired.
A report published in November 2019 by the Pew Research Center, a Washington thinktank, estimates that there could be between 800,000 and 1.2 million of these migrants currently in the UK. Asylum seekers with an active claim receive meagre support from the Home Office – £37.75 per week – to buy food and other essentials and no-choice accommodation. However, the vast majority of those whose cases have been refused receive no support at all. They are not allowed to work and survive thanks to a network of charities who provide survival packages of cooked meals at day centres, food parcels, secondhand clothing and supermarket vouchers. However, these charities have closed their day centres because of the pandemic.
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://is.gd/OVjC2w