This Is Not How Asylum Works

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People drowning in the Channel while trying to claim asylum in the UK is not a good look, that is true. It’s even something we might want to do something about. The question becomes, well, what should be done?

The first thing would be to understand the asylum system:

For years, the evidence has been clear. Border policies are the problem; safe and legal routes are one of the solutions. These deaths are avoidable, but still politicians push on with making it near-impossible for people to get to the UK, knowing full well that most people have to be here to submit their asylum application and that most will have no choice but to make life-threatening journeys to do so. The government creates this situation, then tries to make political capital out of it.

No, that’s not it.

Everyone at even risk – let alone reality – of substantial discrimination in their home country has the right, the right, to asylum. This is one of those international things that we should indeed agree with too. Few of us have anything but contempt for those who wouldn’t let Holocaust fleeing Jews (and or gypsies, gays, whatever, it’s just that we have substantial documented evidence about Jews who were turned away) tarnish their national doormats. Few of us think those who abused such limitations are anything but heroes. I even know of one monk who married Jewesses multiple times to bring them out by train. Umm, married multiple people, not one many times. People working within the too restrictive rules even gave us one of the finest moments of TV ever.

So, asylum, good thing.

And here’s the next thing. That right is restricted. To claiming it in the first safe place you get to. This has some oddities, if you leave Sudan by plane and step off at Heathrow then the UK is where you can – righteously – claim asylum. If you come by land then you have passed through many safe places before reaching the UK. You don;t have the right to asylum in the UK and, to be strict about it, don’t even have the right to apply.

So, people drowning in the Channel because they have to make their asylum application once in the UK? This could be true of those who are being oppressed in France. It’s not true of anyone not being oppressed in France. So there is not that need to take the open boat the 26 miles.

Sure, there’s the desire, we all understand that. But that’s a desire, not a right to asylum.

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Boganboy
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Boganboy

It’s because they don’t drown in the Channel that they keep coming. We had this sort of complaint in Oz. But once we made it plain that we wouldn’t rescue people in Indonesian waters because the Indonesians wouldn’t take them back, this nonsense stopped.

As for those actually making it across the Channel, tow them back. No doubt they’ll then follow the route they now use in Oz, and apply for a university place then refuse to leave.

Mr Womby
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Mr Womby

It would appear from reports that the “child” who sadly drowned this week had already been refused asylum in France. Oh, and was also 28 years old. (Allegedly.)

Mark in Mayenne
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Mark in Mayenne

Definitely one of TV’s finest moments

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

AFAIK* the ‘first safe country’ thing is an EU only agreement (Dublin Convention). I don’t know what happens after we (fully) leave – can the Frogs just dump all their unwanted trash on us?

* certainly that’s what all the usual suspects – Amnesty etc – claim, but that’s not a reliable guide

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

Many of those crossing the Channel illegally may be seeking asylum so in that narrow sense they are asylum seekers, yet in all probability a huge proportion, possibly a large majority, are in fact in reality simply economic migrants. Some are no doubt are also criminals fleeing justice, a few might even be terrorists. The UK should amend its legislation come 1st January 2021, to the effect that asylum claims must be made from abroad, either electronically or via a British Embassy/Consulate (excepting in very specific circumstances*). Entering the UK illegally should attract a stiff prison sentence (excepting in very… Read more »

bloke in spain
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bloke in spain

We’re gong to have a fundamental disagreement, here. “Everyone at even risk – let alone reality – of substantial discrimination in their home country has the right, the right, to asylum. This is one of those international things that we should indeed agree with too. ” Why? You go on to mention the Jews fleeing the Holocaust. Because the guilt button never fails & you can’t get a more definite case than that one. Except. I know something of my own family history, here. East Enders from that part of the East End, just east of the city. If you’d… Read more »

Bongo
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Bongo

It should be possible to establish an upper limit on the proportion of refugees. Simply don’t intercept anyone arriving by boat, count the arrivals, and count the arrivals that immediately present themselves to authorities saying “I want to claim asylum”. Alas, we don’t get to be told estimates of those who don’t want to get into difficulty or be intercepted as they just want to disappear into the black economy. It should also be possible to put an upper limit on the number who are the sort of law-abiding citizens that any country would want, and that’s the number who… Read more »

Addolff
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Addolff

I do slightly agree with the Mayor of Calais (I believe it was him) who said half the problem was that, unlike France, it is so easy for these ‘refugees’ to find work in the UK. The Aussies solved the problem of boat people and the inevitable deaths, but there is no chance in hell the great and the good of this country will look at something that worked and copy it.

Penseivat
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Penseivat

Bring in a law that anyone entering the UK unlawfully, will NOT be considered for asylum and will be returned to the country they left last, i.e. France , Belguim, etc. If we can have UK Border Force stationed in France, why can’t we have a department dealing with asylum applications there?