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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Home truths on refugees

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THIS letter appeared in the Telegraph this week, headed ‘Refugees’ rights’.

Sir – It is not outdated to give protection to our fellow human beings who have been trafficked, exploited or tortured, or who have fled bombs and bullets to stay alive (‘PM: Hostile states using migration to destabilise the West’, report, December 17). The Refugee Convention is just as important today as it has always been.

It reflects a global commitment by nations to share responsibility for providing safety to refugees. Let’s keep that responsibility in perspective: three-quarters of refugees stay in neighbouring countries because they want to get back to their homeland. Those coming to Europe are a fraction of global refugee numbers.

Instead of playing politics and sowing divisions with hostile rhetoric, the Prime Minister should be standing up for multilateralism and the desire to build a better world. Determined action to end conflict and defend and honour human rights would be a serious way to address the number of refugees. Tough talk and policies won’t work. They signal a disturbing shift away from a belief in a shared humanity and a commitment to respecting the rights of refugees.

Enver Solomon
Chief Executive, Refugee Council
London E15

My response:

Enver Solomon appears to assume that every illegal immigrant is a refugee fleeing from something. Here’s just one example that they’re not:

‘Nigerian conman who won refugee status and the right to stay in Britain by saying he is gay, claims he’s bisexual . . . after it was revealed he fathered three children with different women in UK’ (Daily Mail headline). This man is also a criminal who has been jailed for his part in a £220,000 fraud; thankfully, he is due to be expelled.

We have no clue how many cases we have such as this, but it is one of many. The disturbing fact is that such people come prepared and primed to lie and cheat by giving utterly false and invented stories for their reasons for fleeing their country. They are then assisted by the high-minded Mr Solomon’s charity to persuade the government to allow them to enter and stay. This level of outrage is enabled through our bleeding-heart, soft-touch, welcome-to-our-generous-give-away society process. It is also through cowardice from the very top.

Also. not to be dismissed from this equation, ‘Home Office officials have admitted they do not know the whereabouts of more than 17,000 asylum seekers whose claims have been discontinued.’ Disappeared because their false applications of being a refugee would be declined?

Mr Solomon’s dreamland quote is grandiose and impossible: ‘Determined action to end conflict and defend and honour human rights would be a serious way to address the number of refugees.’

Pigs are more likely to fly.

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