LAST week Migration Watch sent out an email to their followers titled: ‘Are asylum lawyers a law unto themselves? How many shysters are there among them?’
They were commenting on groundbreaking (for the mainstream media) investigative journalism by the Daily Mail which confirmed what many of us have suspected, that dodgy (in fact, criminal) lawyers have been offering to invent back-stories for their illegal immigrant clients to secure asylum for them. Staff at solicitors’ firms readily agreed to help an undercover reporter posing as an economic migrant who’d arrived on a small boat, to get refugee status. This was despite being told he had no legitimate reason to stay in the UK.
‘One lawyer offered to concoct a heart-rending tale of woe in return for £10,000. The phony yarn could include claims of torture, enslavement, corporal punishment and death threats. Since none of it would be disprovable, it would of course elicit the right decision.’
In another example, ‘an asylum lawyer bragged that he had had a 90 per cent success rate with bogus applications that had hoodwinked the asylum system.’
Migration Watch have long argued that the boundary of proof in asylum cases has been set far too low and point out that Chris Philp MP, one-time Immigration Minister, said as much last year in relation to modern slavery claims by asylum seekers.
They go on to write in their email: ‘The asylum lobby would have you believe that everyone pitching up on our shores, having made their way here illegally from a safe country and after paying criminals to transport them here, is a genuine asylum seeker who should be taken in, housed, looked after by the state and provided with spending money.
‘The asylum lobby is very quick to point out that 70 per cent of asylum applicants are successful at the initial stage. There is however a marked reluctance to look at the level of success at the same stage in comparable countries like France, where the grant rate is a third of the UK’s.
‘The lobby also glosses over the fact that many of those who end up here have already been rejected elsewhere. Nor does the lobby explain why those arriving have mostly destroyed their identity documents. And around three-quarters are working-age men. Add to this the ease with which decisions can be challenged (with taxpayers’ money) in our, seemingly, credulous courts and one can begin to understand why so many applications are successful.’
They pertinently ask: ‘Why would an official refuse an application when time and again similar applications have succeeded following refusal?’
As things are, they write, and notwithstanding the new legislation which has received Royal Assent in the past few days, they do not expect the flow of illegal Channel crossings to diminish any time soon. Since it all started in 2018, the 100,000 mark is about to be reached.
Last week, we ran our own ironic report on the well-appointed Bibby Stockholm, the government’s latest short-term (and once again very expensive) solution to the problem. Now it looks as though this too may going the way of the Rwanda wheeze. Yes, the Home Office has announced a delay. Asylum seekers should have begun to board it this week, but it won’t be until next week (at the earliest) to allow time to prepare the barge for use. What’s the guess that there will be a legal challenge in the meantime?
Migration Watch point out somewhat tersely: ‘For the record, since the government announced it would utilise this 500-bed barge, about 11,000 migrants have entered the UK by small boat.’
The High Court, meanwhile, has ruled that the ‘routine’ practice by the Home Office of housing unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in hotels is unlawful. These arrangements, the High Court says, are ‘not fit for purpose’. But what, ask Migration Watch, is the alternative, your lordships?
Home Secretary Suella Braverman continues to get it in the neck whatever proposal she does, or rather doesn’t, manage to put in place in an attempt to halt the problem. Within hours of her latest plan to house migrants in marquees on disused military bases (irony upon irony again – surely they would need to be run by the Army – who else is competent?) the outraged onslaught on her ‘cruel plan’ and backlash began.
Braverman is a glutton for punishment. Yes, on the one hand she is to be congratulated on one level for her apparent persistence and determination. On the other, when will she wake up to the Sisyphean task before her? Unless she gets the whole of government and the civil service behind her, unless she demands we pull the plug on the EHCR and simply refuse entry by policing the coastline and sending back the boats, as did Tony Abbott, the former Australian PM, she faces endless thwarting of her attempts. (It’s about the one policy on which the doomed Conservative Party could win the next election.)
Just look at the counter-actions of her own unmanageable Home Office. While she is desperately trying to plug the migration hole as the tides continues to roll in, her staff are busy seeking to put in place reciprocal arrangements with some EU countries to open up Britain to working holidaymakers (two-year stays for 18-to-30-year-olds, and a nice new opening to never leaving). https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jul/08/tory-brexiter-george-eustice-visas-young-eu-workers-labour-shortage Why? Because the hospitality and service sectors claim that there is a shortage of baristas, waiters, au pairs and the like. How hard have they looked at what’s available in our own labour market? Why since Brexit have they not between them set up catering training schools for unemployed young British people? They have had several years to get their act together. Once again Migration Watch are on the money when they say this will be highly concerning to British hospitality workers, who from 2021 to 2022 saw the highest average increase in earnings of any sector. Of course, the government wouldn’t want British workers either to be properly trained – to Swiss/Portuguese or Cretan standards would be good – or to get paid too much, would they?
For once, it seems, the Daily Mail are on to it. Stephen Glover at least is recognising the work of Migration Watch. In this article he comprehensively references their research which shows that the UK will see population growth equivalent to 15 Birminghams in a little over 20 years if recent levels of migration continue.
‘Here I turn to Migration Watch, an organisation which has an impeccable record in predicting migrant flows, as was the case in 2014 when Romanians were first allowed to come here freely. I trust it. If present trends continue, Migration Watch reckons the population will rise by at least 16million to between 83 and 87million by 2046.’
They deserve this recognition. Alone amongst the ‘migration’ think tanks and university departments, they have been consistently spelling out the truth. You can see details of their current petition here.