Facts

1. Aren’t Asylum Seekers Just on the Make & Abusing the Welfare System?

Actually the facts show a very different picture; one in three applications succeed. This means these people were able to prove that they were being persecuted by oppressive regimes. Half of all applicants are found to be in need of some kind of humanitarian protection.

Asylum seekers get just £35.52 a week- 30% below the poverty line. They are not allowed to claim other benefits.

A refused Asylum Seeker, that is an individual whose claim has been refused, can appeal or make a fresh claim but they will be homeless with no rights until their appeal or claim is processed. At present 30% receive a positive decision once their appeal or claim has been reviewed by an independent tribunal.

Asylum Seekers are not refused asylum because it is proven that they are in no danger or the reasons that they fled are not genuine, it is only that they have not been fully proven as witnesses and evidence are extremely difficult to obtain.

2. Are Asylum Seekers and Migrants “Swamping the UK?”

An opinion poll last year showed the public overestimates the number of asylum-seekers in the UK by a factor of 10- which means people think there are 1000% more asylum seekers in Britain than are really here.
After years of anti-asylum press stories, British people believe on average that the UK has 23 per cent of the world’s refugees. The real figure is below 2%.

3. Are Immigrants Draining Britain’s Resources?

The Government’s own figures show that migrants and refugees make a huge overall contribution to national wealth. They made a net contribution of around £2.5 billion to income tax in 1999-2000. This means they bring in £800 million a year more than the cost of running the entire asylum and immigration system.

4. Are Asylum Seekers Just on the Make? Are they Mainly Bogus?

If so, they’d come from any poor country, not just ones where there is war and persecution. But the countries asylum seekers come from closely follows the pattern of wars, conflicts and repression around the world.
In 2002-2003 they mainly came from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. In the 1990s it was the Balkans. In the 1970s it was South East Asia. In the 1940s it was Poland. The only thing these states have in common is war and repression. These are the common cause of mass movements of people seeking asylum.

5. Aren’t they Mainly Illegal?

No- there is no such thing as an illegal or bogus asylum seeker. Under the 1951 Convention on Refugees, which the UK has signed, anyone has the right to apply for asylum in the UK, and to stay here until there is a final decision on their application.

6. Does Britain Take More than its Fair Share?

Far from it; Britain is 32nd in a worldwide league table of countries taking asylum seekers. The countries with the highest numbers are all poor, developing countries. Pakistan has most refugees, with over 2 million. Then comes Iran with over 1.8 million- over 27 for every 1000 inhabitants. Even in Europe, Britain comes eighth for the number of applicants for asylum per 1000 inhabitants- after Austria, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium. When you take size of population and the wealth of the countries into account, Britain comes tenth in Europe.

7. But Don’t Many Asylum Seekers Use False Documents?

For most (many) seeking asylum, false documents are essential to get away from repressive regimes. That’s why Article 31 of the 1951 Convention on Refugees prohibits governments from penalising refugees who use false documents.

8. Are they Pushing up Council Tax?

No. Services for asylum seekers are not paid for out of local taxes.

9. Don’t Asylum Seekers and Migrants cause an Increase in Crime?

There is no evidence for this. A report from the Association of Chief Police Officers found that people trying to find protection from victimisation in their home country are likely to become victims of crime in the UK.

10. Are Asylum Seekers Causing Unemployment & Undercutting Wages?

No. Asylum seekers are not allowed to register for work even though the EU estimates that Europe needs 1.6 million new workers a year.

11. Asylum Seekers & the NHS

GPs are allowed to refuse any new patients if their lists are full. Asylum seekers that are refused by GP’s have to go to the Accident and Emergency ward at their nearest hospital if they need treatment.

12. But I Read that they Bring Disease and Aids into the UK…

The General Medical Council says there is no evidence that asylum seekers pose a threat to public health or that they are more likely to carry dangerous diseases than anyone else.

13. The Asylum System can be used by Terrorists

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR THIS.

Definitions

Asylum Seeker

A person that has fled from persecution in their own country, made a claim for protection with the Home Office and is waiting for a decision on their asylum application on the basis of the: 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees which states “A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it..” or Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which states “No one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

Illegal Asylum Seeker

This term has been misused in the press and has no legal definition; Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”. In other words, there is no such thing as an “illegal Asylum Seeker”.

Refugee

A person who has made an asylum application and it has been successful.

Refused (or failed) Asylum Seeker

A Refused Asylum Seeker is an individual whose claim has been refused. A Refused Asylum Seeker normally appeals or makes a fresh claim and will be homeless with no rights until that claim is processed. At present 30% receive a positive decision once reviewed by an independent tribunal.
Asylum Seekers are not refused asylum because it is proven that they are in no danger or the reasons that they fled are not genuine, it is just that they have not been fully proven as witnesses and evidence are extremely difficult to obtain.

Migrant Worker /Economic Migrant

A person who migrates from one country to another for work.

Immigrant

A migrant who has chosen to settle in the country into which they have crossed and therefore takes up permanent residence.

Illegal Immigrant

An illegal immigrant is a person who either enters a country illegally or who enters legally but subsequently violates the terms of their Visa or Permanent Resident Permit.

Questions and Anwers

1. Most Asylum Seekers are really from safe countries.

FALSE
FACT:
Most Asylum Seekers come from war torn countries or are fleeing brutal regimes.
The top ten countries of origin are as follows: Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Eritrea, China, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan and Bangladesh.
(Source: Home Office)

2. The UK takes more than its fair share of Asylum Seekers.

FALSE
FACT:
The UK is ranked 8th in Europe for asylum applications received in relation to overall population and 32nd in the world.

3. Britain is home to less than 2% of the world’s Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

TRUE
FACT:
Poor countries – not the UK – look after most of the world’s Refugees.
The UK is home to less than 2% of the world’s Refugees – out of more than 15 million worldwide. (UNHCRGlobal Trends 2011)

About 80% of the world’s Refugees are living in developing countries, often in refugee camps. Africa and Asia between them host more than three quarters of the world’s Refugees. Europe looks after just 15%.
(UNHCR Global Trends 2011)

4. Asylum Seekers cause an increase in crime.

FALSE
FACT:
There is no evidence for this. A report from the Association of Chief Police Officers found that people trying to find protection from victimisation in their home country are likely to become victims of crime in the UK.

5. There is no such thing as an illegal Asylum Seeker.

TRUE
FACT:
If you have made an asylum claim you have the legal right to stay in this country until a final decision on your case has been made.

6. Asylum Seekers jump the housing queue.

FALSE
FACT:
Unlike other destitute people, Asylum Seekers are not entitled to housing from local authorities but are given temporary housing funded by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) via their housing provider who rent properties from private landlords.

7. Asylum Seekers aren’t allowed to work in the UK.

TRUE
FACT:
Single Asylum Seekers are given £35.52 per week = 30% below the official poverty line.

8. Everybody in the world has the right to claim asylum.

TRUE
FACT:
Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everybody has the right to flee persecution.

9. The asylum system can be used by terrorists.

FALSE
There is no evidence for this.

10. Immigrants are draining Britain’s resources.

FALSE
The Government’s own figures show that migrants and Refugees make a huge overall contribution to national wealth. They made a net contribution of around £2.5 billion to income tax in 1999-2000. This means they bring in £800 million a year more than the cost of running the entire asylum and immigration system.