LETTER:'Misguided' Asylum Bill

Share
Related Topics
From Mr Richard Dunstan

Sir: Nirj Deva, MP, is quite wrong when he states that "most [asylum] applicants arrive from the troubled countries of Eastern Europe, Romania, Russia, Poland and Yugoslavia" ("Another View; "Fair and firm on immigration", 22 November). In 1995 to date, asylum-seekers from these countries have accounted for a mere 11 per cent of all applications. Nigeria alone has accounted for a greater proportion of applicants.

More than 80 per cent of those seeking asylum in the UK are from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Currently, the principal applicant nationalities are Nigeria, India, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Algeria. That is why most, if not all, of these countries would eventually be placed on the Home Office's "white list". Because putting countries such as Romania - which accounts for less than 2 per cent of applications - on the "white list" would not make much impact on decision times and the backlog of some 85,000 cases.

But Mr Deva is right when he says that this is - or should be - a debate about "efficiency". For it is the inefficiencies of the Home Office, and its failure to make the 1993 Act work, that are the root of the wholly undesirable misuse of the asylum process. Falling productivity in the Home Office's Asylum Division, and a severe under-resourcing of the appeals mechanism created in 1993, have resulted in it taking an average of 18 months to process cases. It is these delays and backlogs that have created the incentive to make an unfounded asylum claim as a means of circumventing immigration controls.

The Asylum and Immigration Bill is misguided and unnecessary. Its implementation would result in a serious diminution of the Government's ability to meet fully its obligations under international law. What is needed is a substantial improvement in Home Office efficiency, and a proper resourcing of the procedures established by the 1993 Act.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Dunstan

Refugee Officer

Amnesty International (UK)

London, EC1

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ed Miliband created a crisis of confidence about himself within Labour when he forgot to mention the deficit in his party conference speech  

The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election

Andrew Grice
 

Beware of the jovial buffoon who picks fights overseas

Boyd Tonkin
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect