Security now paramount consideration...

January 16, 2003

The increased terrorist threat to the UK leaves little alternative but to detain those asylum seekers who destroy their documents until their identities have been established and security checks made, says independent think-tank MigrationwatchUK.

'While the vast majority of asylum seekers are law-abiding people recent events have graphically demonstrated that they include a small, but very dangerous minority,' said MigrationwatchUK Chairman, Sir Andrew Green.

Some 80-90% of all asylum seekers arrive with no travel or identification documents in order to make it more difficult for them to be removed. After a lengthy process costing some £700m a year 90% stay on, most of them illegally.

Said Sir Andrew: 'We should not overreact but the level of threat we now face means that some fundamental changes to the asylum system are now essential...

'It is important that the human rights of asylum seekers are protected - but British citizens also have human rights - including the right to live in peace and security,' he said.

MigrationwatchUK note that the Home Secretary is reported as saying that Britain received 90m visitors each year. In fact he was referring to passenger arrivals of whom 60m are British and 15m from Western Europe.

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