Myth Busting - did you know that...
Understanding the decision making of asylum seekers
New research just published by the Home Office exploring the factors
that influence the decision making of asylum seekers and their
reasons for choosing the UK in preference to other destinations,
has exploded the myth that the majority of people coming to this
country have a detailed knowledge of our immigration and/or our
The research interviewed 65 asylum seekers and refugees already
living in the UK as well as reviewing other research. The majority
of the interviewees were ultimately driven by the need to reach
a place of safety, irrespective of the country they found themselves
The key findings of the report highlight that the interviewees
also took the following into account when deciding on a destination:
The report also highlights once again the key role of agents in
channeling asylum seekers to certain destinations. Some asylum
seekers had no choice over their final destination, whilst others
could decide their final destination.
- the presence of relatives and friends already in the UK
- the belief that the UK is a safe, tolerant and democratic country
- previous links between their country and the UK (including previous
British colony and ability to speak English)
Vitally, the report highlights very little evidence amongst the
interviewees that they had any detailed knowledge of UK immigration
procedures, their entitlements to benefits whilst in the UK or
the availability of work once in the UK. Most interviewees stated
a desire to work and support themselves during their asylum application
rather than be dependant on the state.
To view the complete
Home Office report please click here. (220kb PDF Document)
MORI Poll June 2002
A poll carried
out by MORI to coincide with Refugee Week (June 17-23) shows that
the vast majority of the British public are sympathetic
towards refugees and asylum seekers, and when faced with a refugee,
are four times more likely to show a positive
that person than a negative one.
The poll also confirms other earlier findings about public misunderstandings
over refugee numbers in the UK and their entitlement to state benefits.
The poll also highlights the public belief that the media are more
likely to portray refugee stories negatively rather than positively.
The key findings of the report show:
that the public overestimate by 10 times the number
of refugees claiming asylum in the UK.
85% of respondents believe the media to be overtly negative in
covering refugee issues
The term ‘illegal immigrant’ was the most associated
with media reporting of the issues, with 64% highlighting this
4% said, if forced to seek refuge themselves, they would want to
be able to work to provide for themselves and their families
Young people were also less informed of refugee issues and therefore
less likely to have a positive impression than the overall population.
Taken from BNP website April 2002
"BNP councilors will oppose the influx of 'asylum seekers'
and 'refugees', and will refuse to lavish money on these economic
We believe that the money the council raises through tax should
be spent exclusively on local British people to provide quality
services for them. By halting all further expenditure on 'asylum
seekers', we will be in a position to make substantial council
tax cuts, or to increase spending on services - and we'll ask council-tax
payers which they want."
Firstly, NERS questions the BNP's use of the term 'economic migrant'.
A single asylum seeker aged between 18-24 receives £29.89 a week. This can hardly be considered an attraction for those who
are fleeing their countries of origin. By clumsily labeling all
asylum seekers as economic migrants, the BNP shows itself to be
totally unaware of the vast differences between what constitutes
an economic migrant and an asylum seeker.
By halting all expenditure on asylum seekers, the BNP shows itself
to not only be unaware of the UK's international commitments (the
UK is a signatory of the 1951 Geneva Convention, which guarantees
protection for refugees) but also shows blatant disregard for making
people destitute. The nationality of a person should not
be the deciding factor in whether a person receives assistance