ASYLUM SEEKERS from Eastern Europe face being turned out on to the streets of Huddersfield on Friday.

Thirteen families who fled to the UK from countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland have been told their circumstances will change completely when their homelands join the European Union on May 1.

A Catch-22 position means they will no longer be eligible for support as asylum seekers and face being made homeless in just three days' time.

Workers at Kirklees Refugees and Friends Together (Kraft) are now desperately trying to find them houses and work.

At the moment, all the families live in National Asylum Support Service housing provided by the Government.

But they will no longer be allowed to remain when 10 Eastern European nations join the European Community.

And as the Home Office retains passports of asylum seekers, they have no other identity but a small Asylum Seekers' Registration Card.

The card states the holder is not eligible to work should any of the families wish to look for jobs over the next few days.

Pam Bye, the director of Kraft, said with no addresses, the former asylum-seekers would find it virtually impossible to find employment.

They will only be able to access benefits once in work.

Among those threatened with homelessness are a Lithuanian family with two children, a single dad from Hungary with two children and a mother from the Czech Republic with two babies.

Kristine Veidemane, aged 25, fled from Latvia in September, 2000, after being attacked and kidnapped for being half Russian. She was kept against her will for more than five months.

Pam Bye said of her: "Asylum seekers are not allowed to work.

"This young girl has been trying to get a job already and all she had for identification was this Asylum Seekers' registration card."

Luckily, someone has offered to house Kristine and her son David, who is three.

"I have got to totally rely on charity," she said.

She added that returning to Latvia was not an option. "I have to look after my son. I don't want him to suffer."

A spokeswoman for the Refugee Council said: "We did hope to have some transitional arrangements put in place to help people."

She added that families and individuals would be unable to support themselves.

"It's going to be extremely difficult for anybody in this position to find a job and have it registered by May 1."

She said there appeared to be very limited planning for the unique situation asylum seekers now found themselves in.