Chief among the valid reasons is the reasonable likelihood that some - a distinct minority - will abscond. Among the invalid reasons is the deterrence of persons from seeking asylum, a guaranteed right under both international and UK law. Some suspect, but have not proven, that many European governments are increasing detention as part of an overall policy of keeping asylum-seekers at bay, a policy which includes carriers liability and visa requirements.
How can the Government's legitimate concerns with disappearing asylum-seekers and its legal commitments be reconciled? Here the American experience may be instructive. The US Immigration Service has implemented a programme of allowing community groups to post bond for asylum-seekers deemed likely to abscond. This gives such groups a financial and political stake in assuring that their compatriots will co-operate with the Immigration Service. Although some applicants still disappear, most parties, including the Immigration Service, consider the programme a success.
If the genuine intent of the Home Office is to assure compliance with refugee status determination procedures and to meet its legal commitments, then a willingness to consider such an arrangement should be forthcoming. Its unwillingness would lead to other conclusions.
Lecturer in Law
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