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Left Foot Forward: "Asylum system a long way from crisis"


Following Migration Watch's report calling the asylum system a "shambles", the IPPR's Matt Cavanagh says asylum trends across Europe are broadly stable and not particularly high by historical standards

Date of Publication:
25 August 2011

Left Foot Forward: "Asylum system is a long way from crisis"

25 August 2011

While today's Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show asylum claims for the second quarter of 2011 are up 9 per cent on the second quarter in 2010, Matt Cavanagh, Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), writes on Left Foot Forward that the asylum system is "a long way from crisis".

Cavanagh says "it is important to remember that asylum claims remain at historically low levels. This crucial piece of context was deliberately obscured in a tendentious report released yesterday by the pressure group Migration Watch and widely covered in the Sun, Mail, and Express."

According to Cavanagh, the recent Migration Watch report on the asylum system sought to "stoke up alarm about asylum seekers, and paint a picture of a system 'in crisis'" and had averaged the total costs of asylum over the last decade.

"The truth is there was a European asylum crisis in the early years of the last decade, and Britain was heavily affected; but asylum trends across Europe are now broadly stable, not particularly high by historical standards, and the UK is firmly mid-table," Cavanagh continues.

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch, said yesterday: "The asylum system has proved to be a £10 billion shambles. Those who, like ourselves, are serious about protecting genuine refugees should be no less serious about removing bogus claimants and, better still, deterring them in the first place. The system needs to be much faster. Delays in the system leave the door open for appeals based on the right to family life without any consideration for the rights of society in general."