We should be competing to attract asylum seekers, not chase them away

By Mason Quah


THE number of migrants making small boat crossings across the English Channel has, so far in 2021, surpassed double the number of such crossings in 2020.

The number in 2020 was already breaking records for the years before it, and coincided with a massive drop on asylum applicants by traditional ports of entry, many of which had been forced closed by the pandemic.

Whether our decision is to intercept refugee boats at sea or to wait for them to land before punting them back to France, both are equally against the terms to the 1951 refugee convention that the UK willingly signed onto (more than 20 years before our adoption into the EU).

The treaty acknowledges that refugees fleeing areas of crisis often are required to break laws in the process of reaching safety.

In this way, the treaty protects them from being punished for illegally entering a country with the intent to declare asylum seeking status.

Even when passing through another safe country first, our obligation is unchanged: The Dublin III regulation, an EU law that allowed us to deport asylum seekers to other EU countries, no longer applies to Britain as a Non-EU state.

International law, however, has a reputation for being more guidelines than binding agreement.

However poorly Britain treats refugees the country is unlikely to see political consequences for breaking something as minor as a United Nations Treaty.

Instead of looking at our legal obligations, the stronger case for allowing asylum seekers is the same one that applies to all forms of immigration.

It benefits British people.

The economic analysis has been consistent for years in that there are only benefits to allowing desperate, working aged people into the country who will be eternally grateful to the nation that accepted them.

Economic and business analysts have failed to find any job losses that stem from immigration, since when more people are in the workforce, the labour market creates new jobs for those people.

The most significant loss in wages found by a 2015 study were a penny-per-hour decrease for unskilled service work over a decade, a miniscule impact alongside the much larger changes produced by technological advances, tax policy and minimum wage.

Any drain they might pose to social infrastructure is nothing compared to the cost of providing medical care and education to British born children from birth to working age and is immediately outweighed by their economic contribution.

Rather than rejecting 70 per cent and handing them off to EU countries we should be competing over the right to take these people in and reaping the benefits they offer.

It’s demonstrable that we have the capacity to accept refugees because we are willing to do so as a point scoring exercise against China.

In a statement for Hong Kong Nationals seeking refugee in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “The UK has a long and proud history of embracing those who arrive on our shores seeking the inalienable rights and freedoms denied to them in their homeland.”

The sentiment also echoed by Priti Patel, Secretary of State for the Home Department, is rather at odds with the rhetoric and actions directed towards Iraqi and Iranian refugees.

It seems the migrant crisis has an oft overlooked solution: let them in, give them jobs and collect taxes.


Opinion articles featured on Redaction Report reflect the views of their author, not those of the publication as a whole. Only Editorials display the opinions of our management.


Featured Image: Global Justice Now @Flickr

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