JISPIL Vol 3 Issue 1 2007 - A1


There are serious public worries about the acceptance of asylum seekers in the United Kingdom. The country is variously described to be a destination of choice because it is regarded by economic migrants as a soft touch and the realisation on their part that, even if they are duly refused asylum, they are not likely to be removed. Ms Ann Widdecombe, Conservative spokesperson on Home Affairs, wants Ministers to be more tough and says “We got to ask ourselves why people come here. One glaring answer is that once you are here the statistical likelihood of your ever been removed is very very small indeed. Therefore, what we need to do is to remove that incentive. I think if the message goes out to people that if you are coming to Britain to play the system, you will be detained, you will be dealt with quickly and you will be removed. The sober commentators are concerned that the government is muddling its policies on immigration to accommodate public alarm. The Immigration Service Union was reported to say about 200,000 illegal migrants enter the UK every year. According to the Union, approximately 1 million migrants are living in the UK illegally. The former British Home Secretary, Mr. David Blunkett (who resigned on 15 December 2004), said that, since many people have English as their second language and wish to join some of their relatives already residing in the UK, he would not dispute with the statement that for many asylum seekers the United Kingdom is a destination of choice, as distinct from France specifically.

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