The Tory Government in the early 1990s processed legislation which effectively criminalised the behaviour of assylum seekers; taking their finger prints and DNA and electronically tagging some. Criminalised, because we in the UK do not allow this sort of treatment of the regular citizen, only of offenders.
If we hold this information, which I have no doubt we do, then how is it that the government is unable to locate a huge 160,000 of these people?
It could even be argued that we have failed in our UN recognised duty to protect assylum seekers by 'losing them', potentially to further persecution, torture or death.
The inflammatory debate is likely to open up the evidenced confusion between assylum and economic migrants, where so many people consider them to be the same thing.
My general response to the ignorant is firstly, do you know any migrants/and or assylum seekers? How then is society awash with them? And, if I'm feeling paticularly aggressive, I enquire if they would have treated Jews fleeing Hitler in the same manner.
One response to be gleaned from this, however, is the assylum seekers are not taking British jobs or British council houses, for were they to be doing either, we could trace them.
Which brings me back round to my initial point, how, in a world of Nectar cards, vehicles and income tax can we not be able to trace such a vast amount of people?
The article in The Guardian cites Jonathon Ellis from The Refugee Council raising the true issue of asylum. The debate is not about over population or imagined social ills from indirect racism, but is about the genuine situation of victims of torture and persecution fleeing their home countries and seeking somewhere safe to remain.
To be left in limbo while someone decides, unable to live in safety, is diabolical and the Labour government ought to be ashamed of the state they left the system in with the ineffective UK Border Agency. Who, let's be honest, were the conceived from an immensely damaging kneejerk political reaction.
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