Forum Topic

Asylum-seekers in hostel or housing get £40 a week to cover everything except rent. Those is hostel get £8 a week as they are deemed to be fed. That £8 has to cover clothes, phone, any transport, toiletries and everything else. Which is OK for a few weeks but very hard for months and years - as is increasingly how long people are in there.Manston of course is a detention centre where people are only supposed to stay 24 hours. Although some have been kept there for 32 days. There are no beds. People sleep on concrete or chairs. There is no space for families. There are few showers or laundry facilities, hence the spreading disease.The cost of the centre and of hotels is all negotiated by the Home Office contractors: round here it is Clearsprings, elsewhere Serco or Mears. Mitie, which runs Manston, is controlled by Mitie, a subset of Mears. These contractors make millions and millions from the contracts and cut all the welfare corners: so the food is often poor and the accommodation overcrowded. But the profits are huge!I think what annoys me most is that this whole "crisis" is a construct of the Home Office; of Patel and Braverman.1. People only cross by little boat because other routes are closed to them. It used to be by lorry, but that wasnt so visible. 2.Numbers are not at an historic high... they were considerably higher around 2002. Just more visible.3. As people from Ukraine and Hong Kong can claim asylum effectively online and while still in their home country, it would be possible for others to do so too. Its the same bombs falling on Syrians in Aleppo, similar pressures on Afghans in Kabul. But they are forced into little boats to claim asylum. You NEVER see a Ukrainian doing tha`tf. Who would if there is a safe option?4. There is only a need for a camp or hotels at all because the Home Office hardly makes any asylum decisions. Each case-worker make just over one decision a week! Look at todays Observer for details of how they are employed, trained and deployed. The back-log is over 100,000 cases. This is a political/policy decision to give Brits someone to hate. Prior to about 20165, there was hardly a backlog at all. It now takes at least TWO YEARS for an asylum-seeker to get a substantive interview. the decision may take anything from 4 months to 4 years after that. Yet over 70% do get refugee status on first application and half of those appealing then win. Only 4% of those arriving by little boat in 2021 have had a decision.5. It is also a political decision to ban asylum-seekers from working while they wait interminably. They are thus forced into destitution and dependency. It's a profoundly un-Tory policy: making people parasitic as a public policy... and for years and years....If all this makes you as cross as it makes me, you could help by supporting either West London Welcome or its Chiswick or Acton drop-ins. https://localgiving.org/charity/westlondonwelcome/Or volunteer, or host through Refugees at Home. Or counter online hate... actually there are a myriad range of things anyone who cares can do.

Sara Nathan ● 94d

As ever there is a lot of heat but little light in these conversations. The current immediate problems at Manston etc are a consequence of a backlog that has built up in dealing with asylum claims over the last couple of years not really because of a large increase in claims themselves. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was a deliberate policy. To read some commentators one might think every would be asylum seeker in the world wants to come to the UK. But we are pretty low down on the european table of numbers of asylum seekers despite our historical reputation, connections and language. To put asylum claims into context in the year up to June 22 there were about 63,000 claims relating to around 75,000 people, compared to yearly immigration of between 600,000 and one million depending how you count/what point you’re trying to make. So, relatively, a pretty small number. The Home Office publish lots of data on all this for those who can be bothered to look at it https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2022Asylum seekers are NOT illegal immigrants though they may have arrived here by illegal means. Many organisations have put forward proposals on improving the asylum system and it usually includes having a safe, legal route. But the government just ignores them all. Obviously the job of determining whether an asylum seeker is genuine is difficult not helped by the fact asylum seekers are advised to destroy all documentation. About 75% of claims are granted. Quite why Albanians should be granted asylum here is a mystery to me. I heard this morning that we grant about half of Albanians asylum compared to 8% in France and none in Germany. So maybe we are too generous in our assessments. Surely it cannot be beyond the wit of government to provide safe routes to genuine asylum seekers (say country specific), treat them decently whilst dealing with their claims, but quickly remove/return chancers such as the recent influx of Albanian men. As for Rwanda that has to be one of the dumbest, nastiest and most expensive policies a Home Secretary has ever come out with.

David Turner ● 99d

To the best of my knowledge, the people who would be put up in hotels would primarily be families with young children to get them away from the unsanitary and dangerous conditions in Manston.Younger single men, particularly those of Albanian origin would be held at Manston until processed because of the obvious danger of them absconding. Unless you can tell me otherwise I would assume very few single men are being accomodated outside Manston.By blocking the increased use of hotels, Suella Braverman is basically condemning children to stay in chronically overcrowded facility where disease is becoming increasingly rife in breach of her legal obligations all to make a gesture to pander to her supporters that even Priti Patel didn't consider.You are right about the Albanians who are generally coming here to do seasonal work of which there is currently more than in continental Europe due to harvest patterns. The suggestion that all Albanians are coming over to work with drug gangs is nonsense - some definitely are but a very small proportion of the total. Seaonsal work was previously done mainly by Latvians and Lithuanians before freedom of movement of labour was ended - they came and went legally generally moving back when the work was finished. Other government departments may be turning a blind eye to the presence of illegal Albanians in the workforce because they know that many domestic businesses wouldn't survive without them. Visas won't be issued for the work to be done legitimately so inevitably it is forced into the black economy.Previously we were signed up to the Dublin and EU Accords which meant that we could simply ship economic migrants like this back to their country of departure. Now they know they have to be processed which they can delay by making spurious asylum or modern slavery claims knowing they will have ample opportunity to abscond.You ask why genuine asylum seekers can't apply for asylum in France. The answer is that most do and France takes far more than we do. Only a minority want to come to England and that could be for a number of reasons but usually because they speak English not French or because they have existing family or other connections here. There is no obligation for an asylum seeker to claim that status in the first 'safe' country that they arrive in. If that was the case then the UK would receive hardly any asylum claims.

Felicity Caborn ● 99d