UNHCR asks candidates to show leadership on refugees and asylum seekers

  1. Asylum applications were rising before Labour came to power in 1997
  2. Labour inherited a backlog
  3. the figures have been falling since 2002
Despite this, the tories are talking of the situation as a 'crisis' and are seeking to win votes by building peoples insecurity. And I think it is a fairly reprehensible tactic.

Yesterday the UNHCR UK Representative wrote to candidates asking that they show political leadership and social responsibility by sticking to the facts and avoiding asylum myths during the campaign.

"Refuting false and negative stereotypes and promoting a climate of understanding in regards to the reasons why people must still flee murderous regimes will help ensure that asylum seekers and refugees get the support they need while fostering better community cohesion," Anne Dawson-Shepherd wrote.

"Refugees are extremely vulnerable, having experienced violence in their homelands, and arrive in the UK without family or other support networks. They are not a threat, but are threatened, and thus deserve Britain's support and understanding."

As for general immigration, I am persuaded that immigration is good for the country; economically, culturally and socially. Sure there are social issues which arise from immigration but these are more than capable of being handled through constructive and sensitive government policies. The fresh perspective which immigrants (regular and irregular) bring and the resultant social, economic and cultural enrichment is a rich reward.

In fact I am hard pressed to find convincing arguments against any of this and very much regret that this is even an election issue. The politicians and the electorate who make it one do themselves a great disservice.

Posted by Paul in UK General Election 2005 Politics at April 10, 2005 02:29 AM | 0 Comments