The Conservative Party said in its 2019 election manifesto: “We want the UK to be a magnet for the best and brightest.” (see p. 20)
They also promised to ‘control’ immigration (see p. 2).
Instead we are a magnet for illegal immigrants and control has gone up the chimney, along with Santa. Thousands of those who are illegally crossing the Channel to get to the UK (both hidden in lorries and in boats) have previously claimed asylum in countries across Europe – and huge numbers have been rejected.
The next stop? The UK.
To take just three examples:
- One man, an Iranian national, came here in 2019 by boat after being rejected for asylum in both Greece and Germany.
- Another man, also Iranian, came here in a boat in July 2020 after his asylum claim in Switzerland was rejected.
- Another Iranian national, helped steer small boats carrying asylum seekers across the English Channel on two separate occasions, in July and December 2019. A previous asylum claim by him in Denmark had already been rejected.
Now the ‘No Borders Industry’ would have us forget this important context and receive everyone coming as a fresh claimant, treated in the same way as someone who has come directly from the place of persecution with no record of having been refused anywhere else. This is patently absurd.
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 has admitted that, in 2019, at least 6,000 people claimed asylum in the UK after already submitting an application in another European state.
And 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 government said last year that 70% of those who claimed asylum after arriving this way were found to be inadmissible (having already traveled through, spent time in and had ample chance to claim asylum in safe European countries – with many actually claiming and being refused). The Home Secretary repeated a similar claim recently, noting that 70% of illegal Channel boat migrants are ‘not genuine refugees’ and are ‘economic migrants’.
It is worse than that however. If someone has been rejected for asylum in Europe then they are someone who has no legal right to be there. They are illegal migrants. Instead of being encouraged to move on to the UK, they should be swiftly returned to their non-EU place of origin.
What are the reasons Europe’s failed applicants fasten onto the UK?
1. One reason that many of those who have already been rejected for asylum in the EU may try their luck here is that our asylum acceptance rates are much higher – our judges and officials, abetted by a well-funded and highly-positioned ‘No Borders Industry’ in the media, law firms, big firms and elsewhere, ensure we are much softer touch.
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 are turning towards the increasingly soft touch that is the UK.
2. The second reason they are likely to come to the UK is because they know that the asylum system is more easy to abuse (e.g. through lying about age or identity) and that, even if their claim is rejected, they are unlikely to ever be removed – i.e. they know the UK is increasingly reluctant to enforce its own immigration law and control its own borders.
This is obviously a public safety nightmare since we have no idea of the real identity of many of those coming in – and there are many examples of those who have had contact with the asylum system going on to commit terrorist and criminal outrages (see our piece – ‘How The Failure To Secure The Border Threatens The Public‘).
And, in the latest, most egregious example, our children are under threat – because asylum age fraud has reached record levels.. There is a worrying degree of scope for asylum claimants who are not children to be treated as minors – and placed alongside vulnerable young people – until a further age assessment (by social workers) attempts to establish the veracity of their claimed age.
A recent Migration Watch UK report found that the number of people found to have lied about their age as part of their asylum claim has reached a record high (with more than 1,100 people who said they were minors found to be 18 years old or more in the most recent year to September 2021) – see our summary and longer briefing paper. This is more than triple the number seen in the previous year to September 2020.
Rocketing asylum age fraud has been driven by surging illegal arrivals in boats, just as we also saw higher numbers in 2016 when the number of people coming in the back of lorries also rose considerably.
The illegal Channel debacle (which is seeing the numbers arriving in small boats skyrocket – see our Tracking Station) is just the latest and most flagrant example of rampant 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.