Latest figures for asylum seekers demonstrate failure of Government to protect our borders
November 29, 2002
Commenting on the statistics on asylum seekers for July to September
2002, published on November 29, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of MigrationwatchUK
'The latest figures for asylum seekers are bad news for the Government
and for the country
They show that Government policy has completely failed to achieve
any reduction in the numbers coming here, which continue to climb.
Meanwhile they have failed to remove all but a small percentage
of those who have no right to remain.
The last quarter was the highest on record and 20% above the same
quarter last year. Including dependants, asylum seekers are now
arriving at the rate of 116,000 a year. Meanwhile, removal of those
who have no right to remain in Britain are still only at a rate
of 14,000 a year. By contrast, other countries in Europe such as
Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Norway are achieving substantial
We welcome the end of the policy of Exceptional Leave to Remain
because of the way in which it has been abused as a 'back door'
into Britain. For example in the years 1997- 99 virtually all applicants
from Iraq or Afghanistan were granted either asylum or ELR. It is
hardly a surprise that applications from both countries took off
in the following two years.
Our concern therefore is that similar mistakes will be made again.
There is a real danger that the new status of 'humanitarian protection'
will simply be substituted for ELR and that particular interest
groups will pressurise the Government.
The people of Britain have a right to expect their Government to
protect our borders. On today's evidence they are clearly failing
in that task.'