Cancer sufferer and hospital patient among immigrants ‘stuck in Redbridge’

Homeless people at the night shelter set up by Gurdwara Singh Sabha, High Road, Seven Kings

Homeless people at the night shelter set up by Gurdwara Singh Sabha, High Road, Seven Kings - Credit: Archant

A cancer sufferer who wants to see his family and a person stuck in hospital with a broken limb are among the migrants trapped in Redbridge, according to a councillor.

Last week, the Recorder reported on a project run by gurdwaras helping immigrants to return home if they want to.

Cllr Balvinder Saund, who helps with the scheme, said: “Many of them found bogus colleges when they got here, and no jobs.

“They have fallen prey to people from our own community, who have forced them into low paid work or into prostitution to survive.”

She said people without documentation find it difficult to get a job or benefits, which starts a downward spiral into homelessness and drug and alcohol abuse.

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The Sikh Council UK has been given £60,000 for the scheme which encourages people to go join Voluntary Return programme run by the Home Office.

Critics have slammed it as “political point-scoring” alternative to helping homeless migrants.

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Ilford was featured in last week’s BBC documentary The Hidden World of Britain’s Immigrants.

It showed the stark reality of life for undocumented migrants in the underworld of criminal gangs, drugs and living rough.

Ilford-based charity Ramfel was featured, which is on the brink of financial collapse and needs £61,000 to last until the end of the financial year.

Sangat TV is looking to speak to homeless people overstaying visas in the area for a documentary.

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