CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Government’s shame over systemic failures in dealing with asylum cases

20 April, 2017

Stoly Jankovic

• IT is wonderful Stoly Jankovic has so many friends and access to a top barrister to fight his deportation (‘In limbo’ Stoly unable to work, April 13).

But, as he himself has said, his situation is immeasurably better than those of, for example, the clients with whom I work at Freedom from Torture.

Many of them wait years – not uncommonly more than 10 – not knowing, every day, whether the arbitrary and impenetrable system will decide this is the day they get sent back to their torturers.

The fact 70 per cent of all asylum cases are overturned on appeal is testimony not just to systemic failures but also the incredible waste of public money the government’s attitude perpetuates.

And yet these “failed asylum seekers”, who have lost everything, are frequently traumatised and want, like Stoly, only to work hard, pay their taxes, and build a new life in what they hoped would be a civilised new home, are the people whom the government has now lumped together with “foreign criminals” in its threats of a new “fast track” system that will deny them the just outcome for which they wait so long.

The statistics show that this is an ideological, not practical, proposal; asylum applications stood at just over 30,000 altogether in 2015, a tiny number for this country to absorb and only 7 per cent of all migration. These people are being scapegoated by a cowardly and dishonest government.

SHEILA HAYMAN, NW1

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