Asylum-seeker and refugee - a vital distinction

02 November 2006


Sir, - The Church Times < href="/80256fa1003e05c1/httppublicpages/b86a4d67aca9808b80257195004e462a?opendocumentNews, 23 June) reported helpfully on a surveyWhat Am I Living For? Living on the streets of Leicester, written bthe Revd Gill Jackson, diocesan director of social responsibility. Thiexamines the situation of 308 destitute failed asylum-seekers now living roughor sleeping on the floor in friends' houses, or, in a few cases, living in hostel for homeless people.The headline, however, was misleading in stating that " refugees="" 'struggle="" tsurvive'".="" "refugees"="" are="" people="" who="" have="" been="" granted="" leave="" to="" remain="" in="" thicountry.="" they="" have="" legal="" status="" and="" legal="" entitlements,="" including="" the="" right="" twork,="" and,="" although="" they="" may="" indeed="" struggle="" to="" survive,="" their="" situation="" is="" great="" deal="" better="" than="" that="" of="" failed="" asylum-seekers,="" who="" have="" no="" legaentitlement="" to="" work,="" no="" financial="" support,="" and="" no="">

It is not an adequate response for the Government to say that "faileasylum-seekers choose not to access support from Central Government." Thisupport is expressly aimed at returning failed asylum-seekers to their countrof origin, from which the vast majority had fled in fear of their lives; so iis not surprising that they do not return willingly.

Many applicants are refused leave to remain for lack of legal adviceinability to provide supporting documents, poor communication because olanguage difficulties, or rejection of well-documented evidence of torture never mind the revelations of incompetence or corruption within the ImmigratioService itsel
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