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Refugees and asylum seekers - the facts.

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Introduction

Refugees and asylum seekers - the facts Much has been written about refugees and asylum seekers in recent months. Unfortunately, everything said is not always based on fact. This page seeks to clarify the truth. What people say Asylum seekers live in the lap of luxury while they are here, while pensioners have to make do. The facts In 2003, a single pensioner gets a guaranteed minimum income of �98.15 a week. A single asylum seeker gets less than half of that - only �37.77 a week - 30% below the poverty line. Asylum seekers are not allowed to claim welfare benefits. If they are destitute, all they can do is to apply for help to the National Asylum Support Service (NASS), the government department responsible for supporting destitute asylum applicants. There is no question of an asylum seeker being able to choose where they live and the accommodation is nearly always in hard-to-let areas where few people want to live. NASS does not give either asylum seekers or landlords any money for luxury items or furnishings. Asylum in the UK (Home Office) top What people say Asylum seekers are responsible for higher council tax. ...read more.

Middle

There is also reliance on migrants to fill the gaps present in the UK labour market, according to the Greater London Authority, 23% of doctors and 47% of nurses working within the NHS were born outside the UK. The UK's working population is declining. The UN's Population Division reports that low birth rates mean the EU will need to import 1.6 million migrants a year simply to keep its working-age population stable between now and 2050. UN Population Division Greater London Authority top What people say Asylum seekers are more likely to commit crimes than anyone else The facts Many media headlines wrongly imply that all asylum seekers are criminals. A report published by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) recently confirmed that there is no evidence that refugees and asylum seekers are more likely than other people to commit crimes. Ironically, the evidence suggests that people trying to find protection from victimisation in their home country, are likely to become victims of crime in the UK. There have been countless attacks on asylum seekers, around Britain, including the murder of an asylum seeker in Glasgow in 2001. The murder in Glasgow prompted the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to condemn the British media for provoking racial hatred. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yes, some of the Sangatte refugees wanted to seek asylum in the UK, according to Home Office research, reasons for doing so will have included a wish to join family, friends and communities settled in the UK and others because of an affinity with the UK in terms of language and historical ties. The idea that Britain, or indeed any other European country, is a 'soft touch' is simply not true. As European countries - introduce increasingly tougher immigration controls, it is becoming extremely difficult to enter Europe. UNHCR Attitudes towards Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A Survey of Public Opinion (MORI) Understanding the decision-making of asylum seekers (Home Office Research Study 243) top What people say Most asylum seekers are terrorists and should be locked up in detention centres on arrival for our security. The facts A policy of detaining all asylum seekers on arrival will do little to improve security. It is very unlikely that organised terrorists are going to use the asylum system because they know this will bring them to the attention of the authorities. Asylum seekers in the UK are screened, fingerprinted, issued with ID cards, and security checked. ...read more.

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