New legal service for city’s asylum seekers

Angel Lodge, a temporary hostel for asylum seekers, is being closed down by government spending cuts.

Angel Lodge, a temporary hostel for asylum seekers, is being closed down by government spending cuts.

0
Have your say

A new immigration consultancy has opened up to help asylum seekers who arrive in the city.

Sheffield-based law firm Morgan Dias Immigration Consultants has won a new contract from the Legal Aid Agency to offer services in the Wakefield area.

The new agency at Langdon Business Centre, on Westgate, will help asylum seekers who are housed at nearby Angel Lodge, an accommodation centre on Love Lane.

Morgan Dias managing Director Bettina Yarde, 33, said she saw there was a need to open a new branch in West Yorkshire.

Miss Yarde, who set up the company in 2007, said: “We’re seeing a large number of cases of people fleeing from Syria due to the political conflict there.

“We try and help them claim refugee status so that people can get a job and settle in the UK.”

Miss Yarde said many of her clients faced a long wait due to the Home Office’s reported 10-year backlog of asylum cases.

She added: “The Home Office aren’t trained or legally qualified to deal with cases like we are.

“A lot of us practitioners have cases of people who have been waiting six or seven years for their case to be processed.

“People are being left in limbo and are unable to get a job or study without a Leave to Remain card.”

Angel Lodge was closed down in 2011 when its funding was cut, but UK Border Agency chiefs reopened the centre in October last year.

It has capacity for 220 asylum seekers and provides initial accommodation before they move to permaenthomes.