Number of asylum-seekers falls

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The Independent Online
The number of people applying for asylum in Britain dropped last year by nearly a third, to 28,000, following tough new immigration restrictions, a government report revealed yesterday.

The drop of 16,000 is believed to be partly due to the decision to increase the number of countries considered free from serious risk of persecution and the removal of some social security benefits for asylum-seekers.

Of the 39,000 cases dealt with in 1996, about 20 per cent - 7,300 - were allowed to stay. These were mainly from the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, and Afghanistan. The number of cases refused asylum increased by a third to 31,700 on the previous year.

Control of Immigration: Statistics UK, Second Half and Year 1996. Home Office, Information and Publications, 0181 760 8340. Free.

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