A proportion of those who are illegally crossing the Channel to get to the UK appear to have repeatedly claimed asylum in countries across Europe but then been rejected.
The next stop? The UK.
The Home Office noted earlier this year the case of an individual who ‘claimed asylum in a European country, and then travelled to the UK via small boat on multiple separate occasions, claiming asylum each time‘.
The government said last year that 70% of those who claimed asylum after arriving this way were found to be inadmissible (having already traveled through safe European countries).
Asylum rejection rates at first instance are much higher in France and the EU than the UK. Only 20% of asylum claims at accepted at first consideration in France.
In the Uk, over half (55%) of the initial decisions in the year ending June 2021 were grants of asylum, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave. The proportion of grants is slightly higher than the previous year (53%), and higher than levels prior to 2019, when around a third of initial decisions were grants.
If bogus claimants realise they are not going to be granted asylum in France or elsewhere they may be turning towards the increasingly soft touch that is the UK.
Last year the press reported the case of Iranian Ali Tahmasbi, who had been refused asylum [in Germany] twice and his permission to work removed as a result. He said: “I work at the restaurant illegally to save money to get to France and reach England on the traffickers’ boats or lorries. I have two friends, a couple, who were refused asylum here and reached England a few weeks ago. I know others too” (see media report).
The illegal Channel debacle (which is seeing numbers skyrocket – make sure you regularly visit our Tracking Station) is just the latest and most flagrant example of rampant asylum abuse.
Data released by the Home Office last year confirmed that the cost of the asylum system rose from £474 million in 2014/15 to £956 million in 2019/20.
The latter total is equivalent to paying salaries of over 30,000 police officers (see average police office salary here).
The data was quietly issued as part of this Home Office release in late August – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020
More recently the Home Office put the annual cost of asylum operations at £1.3 billion.
Total costs include increased spending on free housing and payments for around 60,000 asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers.
The number receiving their living costs from the taxpayer has increased by 40% since 2015, according to the Home Office data.
Yet despite the increased spending the Home Office has said there has been an ‘increase’ in asylum abuse
The occurrence of such abuse has been corroborated by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders, former senior Home Office personnel, a number of think tanks (e.g. Policy Exchange and Civitas) and judges (for more see our separate blog post about asylum abuse).
Abuse of the asylum system is unfair and must be stopped.