Letter: Home Office adds insult to injury over lone child refugees

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Sir: The Home Office minister Tim Kirkhope denounces as "immoral" the actions of parents who send their children alone to Britain to claim asylum. Has he considered the immorality of the British Government's actions that have prevented those parents from bringing the children themselves?

By visa controls and fines on carriers, the Home Office has made legal travel to Britain for asylum well-nigh impossible. Faced with costs of thousands of dollars per person for the forged documents or illegal travel required to escape from hell (whether in Somalia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria or Algeria), most can't afford it. To castigate families in such dire straits as immoral for trying at least to get their children out adds insult to the massive injury done to refugees, and to the concept of asylum, by Mr Kirkhope's predecessors over the past decade.

The real agenda behind this manufactured outrage is to provide bogus justification for the most draconian assault on refugees ever: the Lilley- Howard package of Bill and regulations that abandon victims of war, civil war and oppression to homelessness and destitution, and reduce asylum rights to hollow mockeries.

Yours faithfully,

Frances Webber

Two Garden Court Chambers

London, EC4