Thursday, June 22, 2017

Theresa May Vows Grenfell Tower Fire Victims Will Not Have to Face Immigration Checks
London Evening Standard

Theresa May has promised the Grenfell Tower tragedy will not be used as excuse to carry out immigration checks, after it emerged victims were not seeking help over fears they would be reported to the Home Office.

In statement given to the House of Commons on Thursday, the Prime Minister said the immigration status of those affected by the tragedy or those providing “vital” information would not be investigated.

She said: “And I would also like to reassure people that we will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved or on those providing vital information to identify victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation.

“We will make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need, including healthcare and accommodation.”

It came after calls grew for any undocumented migrants who have survived the Grenfell Tower fire to be given the right to remain in the UK.

Migrant organisations Runnymede Trust and Migrants' Rights Network said in a joint statement earlier this week: "We are aware that lack of residency status will and is preventing survivors from coming forward to seek the help and support they deserve at this distressing time.

"We need to ensure that justice is available for all victims of Grenfell, including those who are here without papers."

Mrs May also announced that a probe into whether cladding in Grenfell Tower met fire safety regulations will be published in the next 48 hours, and faced questions over whether the material had passed fire and building safety tests when the west London tower block was refurbished.

Calls were made for combustible materials to be banned in tower blocks during the urgent statement on the deadly fire.

It came as it emerged that six hundred high rise blocks in the United Kingdom could have cladding similar to Grenfell Tower.

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