Volunteers who helped in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in London have called for UK immigration immunity for the incident’s survivors.
The government is facing calls to quell fears over the migration status of the Grenfell Tower survivors to ensure all those affected by the fire in North Kensington, London are able to come forward and seek the help they need without fear of being deported.
Councillors met on 19th July for the latest meeting following the fire to vote on a motion that will urge the government to make the survivors’ temporary 12-month UK immigration amnesty permanent.
The calls come as volunteer medial professionals who are helping to deal with the impact of the incident in the local area have reported a reduction in the number of people attending their weekly clinics, prompting concern for their wellbeing.
Nick Harvey, of Doctors of the World, believes that many are afraid that they could be forced to leave the UK if they appear at clinics due to their UK immigration status.
Mr Harvey said: “A lot of people seem to have gone under the radar. What we also seem to be seeing – even though Theresa May said that there would be no immigration checks on people who survived the fire – is a concern by some people about putting their name on to the NHS database, too. “
According to Labour councillor Robert Thompson, who made the original motion, has suggested that the lack of secure UK immigration status for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire could also hinder the progression of the inquiry due to the reduced number of key eyewitnesses willing to come forward.
Furthermore, Thompson stated that the success of the motion could suggest the government is taking a compassionate approach to dealing with the disaster.
“These are people who have experienced what is likely to have been the most traumatic thing in their lives, whether they lost loved ones, or were affected in other ways, and they should be granted an amnesty,” he said.