The Home Office and police have made a promise of amnesty to illegal migrants who resided in the Grenfell Tower if they come forward to police. Many residents may also be given luxury flats – whilst 7,000 UK veterans remain homeless.The pledge of amnesty was made by the Home Office this week as many have expressed concern that illegal migrants living in the tower block may be afraid to come forward to authorities fearing potential deportation.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved and those providing information,” The Times reports.
Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed the lives of at least 79 people, could be relocated to luxury apartments according to a report in the Evening Standard. Sixty-eight flats in a £2 billion luxury development in Kensington have been purchased by the City of London Corporation at a cost of tens of million pounds to permanently house those affected.
The luxury complex includes a swimming pool, a 24-hour concierge service, and a full gym. A source close to the development of the apartment complex said: “It is crazy money. The garage is full of Maseratis and Ferraris. But I think maybe the people here wouldn’t mind the empty flats being used – it would be a way of giving something back.”
It is unclear whether or not the illegal migrants who will be given amnesty will qualify for the relocation to the luxury building. Jolyon Maugham, QC, barrister, and director of the Good Law Project, has claimed that there is no clear guideline as to whether or not illegal migrants will receive any compensation or money from the government.
The move comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the “Chavez-style” seizure of properties last week to house the victims of the fire. “Properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally,” Corbyn said.
The left has also called for the toppling of the government in response to the fire and many have become radicalised – even beating up a volunteer helping victims who they thought was a council worker.
Meanwhile, statistics compiled by homelessness charities show there are at least 7,000 homeless veterans in the UK, though the Department of Communities and Local Government say they keep no records as to how many veterans require housing.
In 2012, the Armed Forces and Community Covenant was signed by 407 local authorities to give veterans priority for housing. But because the covenant used the word “should” instead of “must”, the agreement has been sparsely upheld.