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Home Office asylum interview question (May 2012)


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After all this time in prison, what makes you believe that you are still gay?

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


11 Responses

  1. I can’t help it. What the hell. No question on sexuality should be asked if substituting hetrosexual for gay would make the question offensive or nonsensical. This is just so incredibly idiotic. Where are these staff hired from and who trains them??

    1. The attitudes shown by the Home Office, Border Agency and its contractors comes right from the top ie. the Govt Ministers responsible for that department and the PM who appoints such a Minister.
      Today at 3.30pm in the Commons questions were being asked by the Shadow Home Secretary and other MPs, about the most recent death, and others, in Yarls Wood detention centre.
      Ms May was conspicuous by her absence. Instead she had James Brokenshire respond to Yvette Cooper and other MPs.
      Why was Ms May absent from such a vital Government matter concerning the UK and its treatment of people locked up in its detention centres?
      Cameron preaches human rights to the world. But neglects human rights in the UK.
      Such is Tory nasty party hypocracy. When will Cameron and May accept they are ultimately responsible and not their junior Ministers. Where are their ‘guts’.

    2. Where are these staff hired from and who trains them??

      Reply The same enablers who espouse to lead our country wasting tax payers money and getting away with it!

  2. I think I mentioned already, so forgive repetition, but I thought Wilsons had given some training on these issues. But I might be wrong and it may not have been to interviewers, or perhaps the ones that were trained have left… What would be so bad about having a few experts?
    Anyone who reads interview records will be aware of the multiple spelling and grammar mistakes and misunderstandings, which just add to the muddle. And I agree about the lack of compassion. Even if you had to say in the end that you did not believe the account, what would be wrong with showing a bit of sympathy and understanding when listening e.g;. to an account of torture or relatives being killed?

    1. Why do they need “Training” ?
      I’d have thought that “Any Intelligent Person Plucked Off The Street” could do a better job than these Idiots !
      In fact you don’t even need a person ….. a reasonably bright Monkey would also out perform them !

      As it has been said elsewhere, instructions throughout the Home Office “Empire” come down from the top. Theresa May is the one steering this ship and she’s the one with “Blood on her Hands”.

      She is such a COWARD !
      Despite running the Home Office with an Iron Fist she NEVER accepts responsibility for anything. Whenever the “Brown Stuff Hits The Fan” she always pretends to be unaware of any mal-practice and says she’ll organise an enquiry or a review of Home Office practice. She never admits that it’s HER Instructions and Leadership that are at fault.
      If the problem is too serious to brush under the carpet, she ALWAYS finds a subordinate to Fall On Their Sword.
      This happens so often that I suspect it’s written into the Contract of Employment all Home Office Managers have to sign.

  3. One of my colleagues, many years ago in a different job, was asked to train some Home Office asylum case owners. Their ignorance was astonishing: worse they were deliberately isolated from the relevant case law by the senior case workers, so she had to smuggle extra copies in… (they did actually want to know, which was I suppose a good sign).

    Just had an asylum decision (3 years and 2 months after asylum interview) – domestic violence in Pakistan. Says police provide effective protection against dv in Pakistan and refers to the “case law above”. Except there is no case law above… possibly because there is no case law to that effect? (Please tell me if I’m wrong there). Also contains the splendid reasoning, that because her husband’s abusive emails were written in English (and Urdu) and he speaks Urdu (as well as English) he must have concocted the emails in order to bolster her asylum claim…. madness (On the positive side, I guess the Home Office have thereby conceded he actually wrote the emails).

    1. Robert I agree entirely with your comments except for one which is – ‘she runs the Home Office with an iron fist’ . That maybe correct for the lower ranks because she is a bully.
      But the senior ranks she pays them £10,000 annual bonuses to do her bidding’.
      These payments have been criticised by the Home Affairs Select committee who recommended they are stopped. But Ms May has failed to stop them and I have seen reported in the press that the HO overspent its budget by £50M last year.
      Plus the HO will not meet a Freedom of Information request to divulge the cost of its legal fees!
      So it seems it a combination of bullying bribery and a policy of avoiding accountability and taking responsibility. Which as you rightly say has been Ms May’s style since 2010.

  4. To be fair, proper implementation of the government’s immigration policy would require massive increases in funding to the Home Office. When I said it was bankrupt, I didn’t just mean figuratively.

    The more realistic, fiscally conservative approach would be a generous amnesty, clearing the backlog and allowing hundreds of thousands of people who are currently unable to work lawfully to enter legitimate employment and start paying taxes on their earnings. Even that would probably require a short term injection of funds so as to issue documents to them all.

    Unfortunately no amnesty will ever occur under the current Conservative Leadership and it is pretty unlikely whatever party is in power.

  5. Although this question on first glance appears to hang on an idiotic premise, is it not the case that asking this question might produce an interesting and evidentially useful answer? Is it never appropriate to ask a ‘dumb’ question not to see what the answer is, but to see in what way it is answered?

    1. That would seem to be a variant on “fishing” -and one in extremely poor taste. One might as well ask “After all this time in prison why do you still believe you were tortured in your home country?” No doubt “evidentially useful answers” for the Home Office could result!