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The Experience Of Asylum Seekers Illegal Immigrants

The Experience Of Asylum Seekers/ Illegal Immigrants Coming To Britain Today Essay, Research Paper

Asylum seekers and

illegal immigrants have been in the media recently because the government is

facing problems over the number of immigrants coming into the country every

year, due to financial problems and the backlog of applications waiting to be

approved. Over the past couple of months newspapers have reported tragic

incidents where illegal immigrants in their desperate need to come to the West

have gone to extremes, putting their lives at danger to escape from their home

country.There is a difference

between asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. Asylum seekers are genuine

refugees that if they remain in their native country will be persecuted for

their religious beliefs, nationality, race or membership in a social of

political opinion. They wish to come to Britain because they see it as a way to

freedom. Illegal immigrants however are people that enter the country for none

of these reasons, most probably because they want to take advantage of the

benefits given to asylum seekers like candy by the government. However, most

illegal immigrants when arriving in Britain will claim asylum, however this is

not genuine. The main countries of

origin of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are those that are

significantly less well off than the West, usually with a communist government

and/or places where there is conflict. These are countries like Afganistan,

Yugoslavia, Romania, China, Iraq and Iran.The ways in which

illegal immigrants and asylum seekers arrive in this country vary enormously.

In the news a couple of months ago, 58 chinese men were discovered dead in the

back of a lorry where they had suffocated to death while being smuggled across

the Channel. These were all illegal immigrants. Families of these paid a human

trafficking gang "the Snakeheads" £14,000 to smuggle one individual

from China to England. Only two men survived, and were found semi-comatose

under a pile of corpses. Most illegal immigrants are smuggled into the country

by gangs who hide them in lorries under produce which is being imported in.

Whilst still in their native country, the families can pay approximately half

of the money as a deposit, and once they arrive at their destination they must

pay the rest, else will be held captive. In the past, there have been reports

of Romanian women who cannot afford the second payment and are forced into

prostitution, begging or crime to pay off their debt. However this is extreme.

Other illegal immigrants travel into the country without the help of gangs,

just like the people that two days ago were discovered under the Eurostar train

that travelled from France to London. If they are caught coming into the

country, the illegal immigrant can make a verbal claim that they are seeking

asylum. Any person found smuggling an illegal immigrant can be fined.Asylum seekers apply to

the Home Office for residency in the country. If this is granted they are

allowed in legally, and are given various benefits that I will discuss later.

For an application to be granted, they have to meet one in five of the criteria

mentioned in the 1951 UN convention’s definition of a refugee. However, the

government is introducing a new immigration and asylum act which makes in

virtually impossible for a genuine asylum seeker to reach Britain legally. Only

one in five applications for residence are accepted. This means that more

people will enter Britain illegally, rather than be rejected by the Home

Office. If the application is

rejected, the asylum seeker can appeal against the decision. Ideally, the

seeker should obtain legal assistance when applying, but usually they speak

very little English and have no contacts over in Britain, so legal advice is

difficult to obtain. They should collect evidence that shows they suffered

persecution in their native country, this makes the application more likely to

be accepted. If the appeal is also rejected, the asylum seeker is either then

immediately deported, or fingerprinted and released on temporary admission.If the Home Office

grants an immigrant asylum, they are given certain benefits so they have the

basic amenities to live off. Firstly, every single asylum seeker granted

admission is given a £25 voucher to spend in supermarkets to buy their food. In

addition to this they receive ten pounds in cash as their ?pocket money?. The

Home Secretary Jack Straw recently instructed that the supermarkets do not give

change from the vouchers, as immigrants were spending the vouchers on something

very small, such as a Mars Bar, then using the change to buy additional,

non-vital purchases. The no-change system also keeps the cost down of asylum

seekers. On top, the immigrants are given housing benefits or free housing.Many people become very

bitter by the hand-outs given to immigrants in this country. This can lead to

prejudice, and violence against the immigrants. Many people do not believe it

is right for asylum seekers to receive food vouchers, pocket money and housing

benefits, while they have to work and struggle to pay for these. This makes

racism worse, and attacks on asylum seekers on Glasgow housing estates has been

in the media in the past. Currently Calais has a problem with violence as human

trafficking gangs are having disputes.Another problem that is

connected with asylum seekers and illegal immigrants is at the Home Office. The

applications for entry to the country has suffered a backlog and over 104,000

applications are waiting to be approved. This backlog occurred after the computerised

administration system went wrong and at its worse, only 800 decisions were made

in one month. The government has

introduced new measures over the applications. An extra 600 million pounds has

been given to help clear this backlog, and this also goes toward employing

another 6,000 people to approve or rejection applications, and make the whole

system much quicker. A new immigration and asylum act is being introduced this

April to make it more difficult for asylum seekers to enter into the country.

However,? this could make the number of

illegal immigrants entering Britain rise, so there are increased checks on

lorries coming into the Dover and Folkestone ports. The government is also

trying to spread the asylum seekers out over the whole of the United Kingdom as

so many reside in Kent, the council there was struggling for its resources. It

is evident how many asylum seekers there are when you walk around Margate in

Kent and see them all in the bed and breakfasts. Another problem for the Home

Office is that the cashless payment system with vouchers is a very complex

process and currently costs three times as much to run as it would to just hand

out the cash. It has gone round many times, where asylum seekers were not

receiving their food vouchers for weeks on end and were literally starving.

Many people are worrying because the first time ever, the number of immigrants

entering the country has overtaken the natural population growth, with

migration figures standing at 140,000 per year, and natural population growth

standing at 90,000 per year.In conclusion: