Thursday, 2 June 2011

Scapegoating refugees for political advantage continues

[trigger warning]

So the news today is reporting that the Home Affairs Committee has described the news that 40% of asylum cases since 2006 have been given leave to stay in the UK as an "amnesty".

Well, of course they do. The idea that it's even remotely possible that anywhere near 40% of asylum claims might actually be justified is hardly going to be considered by politicians who view "immigrants" as a convenient scapegoat for all the country's ills.

Cue the usual comments from the usual suspects about "illegal immigration" and "overstaying visas" - none of which apply to asylum claims that are pending a decision, but it's useful to that argument to pretend all immigrants are coming over here to take our jobs and claim our benefits - and how the government hasn't yet succeeded in building a ten-mile high wall around the country to keep those nasty foreigners out. Except the white English-speaking ones, of course.

The idea that people might actually be claiming asylum because they face persecution and possibly death in their original country seems irrelevant - and with large parts of the world being unstable - indeed, with the UK playing its part in keeping large parts of the world unstable - the idea that 40% or more of claims might be justified doesn't seem unreasonable.

Given that the [trigger warning] deportation of LGB asylum seekers back to Uganda and other unsafe countries continues, despite assurances from the government that it wouldn't, it seems there's a very strong case that the UK isn't being generous enough when it comes to saving people's lives.