NEW LAW MAY GIVE ASYLUM TO 22,500 REFUGEES
By Nick Fagge
Wednesday April 29,2009
Thousands more asylum seekers will be given the right to live, work and claim benefits in Britain.
Controversial plans will require the UK to accept one in eight of all migrants who set foot in any of the 27 European Union countries and demand refugee status.
It could mean an estimated 22,500 more people coming to Britain.
Taxpayers will be expected to foot the bill for their food, accommodation and clothing, plus legal fees while they apply for international protection.
Asylum seekers must also be given the right to work within six months of their arrival, enabling them to claim thousands of pounds in benefits if they cannot find a job. Their children must also be found school places.
Migrants can only be detained as a last resort and must not be held in secure accommodation more than 72 hours without a judges approval.
The proposals, supported by Labour MEPs, are part of the EUs Common European Asylum System and will be put to the European Parliament in Strasbourg for approval.
Last night Conservative MEP Philip Bradbourn said: Economic migrants posing as asylum seekers would have an easy ride under these plans.
Once again, the EU thinks the only answer to justified immigration concerns is to take control of asylum policy. Controlling our borders is one of the most important roles of government.
For more than a decade, Labour has been unable to form a coherent immigration policy, but that should not justify handing it to Brussels.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said: Brussels will soon be dictating who has the right to live and work in Britain. The EU is pushing for a common asylum and immigration policy but it is being pushed through without proper thought.
EU member states will be forced to take refugees or face huge fines under the proposals outlined on Monday.
Migrants will be rehoused from states confronted with a large number of asylum applications such as Malta, Greece, Italy and Spains Canary Islands to larger countries such as the UK a reversal of the rule that requires applicants to seek sanctuary in the first safe country.
Member states would be compelled to accept a percentage of applicants in accordance with their population.
This would mean the UK taking in 13 per cent of all refugees arriving in the EU or 22,500 of the 322,000 average arrivals over the last 10 years.
A Home Office spokeswoman said last night: The UK operates a firm but fair asylum system that is delivering faster decisions to help those who need our protection.
We would not agree to any proposal that limits the UKs abilities to control our borders, which is why we have decided not to opt in to measures that propose allowing asylum seekers to work.
If that changes, well reconsider.