Letter: Asylum lunacy

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The Independent Online
Sir: I share your correspondents' despair over asylum seekers (letter, 15 December). Fortress Europe at any cost seems to be the current government policy.

If any other department took as long as the Immigration and Nationality Department to make a decision there would be an uproar in Parliament. Policies and procedures are made and changed so frequently as to leave practitioners bewildered. Stories are fed to the tabloid press of "bogus" asylum seekers.

The credibility of applicants is judged using Western standards without due regard to custom, intellect, personality, or linguistic nuances. This results in absurd decisions being made where one member of the family is recognised as a refugee while the other is refused, both on the same facts.

The appeals system is in shambles, with special adjudicators issuing directions and changing procedures at an alarming rate.

If the Government fails to act the High Court will be inundated with judicial reviews.

S Osman

Scudamore Osman, Solicitors

London W6

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