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Syrian asylum seekers rejected, detained and removed in 2013


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A Parliamentary written answer yesterday revealed that of the Syrians that managed to get to the UK to claim asylum in 2013, 24 were forcibly removed and a further 20 remain in immigration detention today. That seems to me truly shocking. It certainly gives lie to the UK Government’s hollow claim to a humanitarian approach to Syrians affected by the crisis. Who or what are the people at the Home Office that make these decisions?

Via @AVIDdetention.

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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.


8 Responses

  1. Am I being too charitable in believing that these – or at least the vast majority of these – must be third country cases? They are the only type of Syrian case that we’ve had a problem with in the last couple of years

    1. Could be – but even then, it is utterly contrary to the idea of burden sharing and detaining them is so obviously unjustified and unlawful that even after all these years it seems astonishingly inhumane.

  2. Bizarre given the UK has agreed to resettle 500 Syrians (although not clear whether these are extras, or just part of the normal annual resettlement quota of 750).

    1. The 500 are extra as it looks like no Syrians have been admitted under the resettlement programme – I did a FOI request about it. Jamie, the FOI request also has the numbers of claims.

    2. Thanks Colin, very useful FOI request. None have been resettled here previously, but it doesn’t reveal whether they will be part of the quota in future – however I have just been told that at the National Asylum Stateholder Forum meeting this week the 500 Syrians have been described as “additional” to the normal programme, with as *many* as 150 coming this year, the rest to follow in subsequent years. Germany meanwhile are taking 10,000…

  3. It’s so depressing that this isn’t higher on the news agenda, as it is a further indictment of Britain’s self-portrayal as a just, tolerant country. I guess that with the general hostility towards asylum-seekers and immigration, it will be a fine day when the public and the media get worked up about our immigration system being unfair.
    I also wonder if there aren’t other forces at work. I think the government is working pretty hard trying to frame the conflict as a national security issue, rather than a humanitarian crisis. As such, Syria is being framed more as a potential terrorist threat than as a humanitarian crisis. This is how they can get away with hollow humanitarian claims and justify their need for wider-reaching terrorism powers.