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Our asylum system is broken. It's time to rip it up and start again - by Nick Timothy

Illegal immigration can no longer be ignored. It is and has been the main concern for British voters for twenty years and still the numbers continue to rise.

In today's Telegraph, Nick Timothy outlines a series of practical steps which need to be taken urgently if the problems are not to overwhelm us. From health and housing to transport, crime and the economy, there is scarcely an area of public policy which is not affected by the exponential increase in the country’s overall population. It is a shocking indictment from those whose job it is to defend this country and keep us safe. No wonder people are so angry.

Where to begin? The present system is clearly not fit for purpose. Instead…

“We need a wholly new model, in which the genuinely needy get support, economic migrants no longer abuse the asylum system, migrants do not believe they can get to Britain illegally, and those who are here illegally are removed promptly.

The Government has made some tentative steps in this direction. It has spent generously in the countries surrounding states in crisis, like Syria and Afghanistan, and created specific asylum schemes for the most vulnerable. It has, starting under Labour and continuing through the Coalition and Conservative governments, attempted to make day-to-day life practically difficult for people who are in the country illegally.

But it has not yet gone the whole hog. Identity cards, or at least public service access cards, would help to distinguish between legal and illegal residents. Much tougher penalties – eye-watering fines, the closure of premises, directorship bans and even custodial sentences – for company executives who employ illegal immigrants and the landlords who house them would help. Appeal rights should be removed and human rights laws reformed. Countries who refuse to accept their own returning citizens should face visa restrictions.

In the end, offshore processing – when asylum applicants are held in another country or territory while their case is considered – is the best way to stop people trying to get to Britain to abuse the system. The Home Secretary appears sympathetic to the argument, but it will take time to identify where the processing should occur and to address legal complications that arise from human rights laws.

If ministers could induce third countries to provide refuge for asylum seekers rather than Britain, that might prove faster. Internationally, the Refugee Convention – drafted in a different era and no longer fit for purpose – will need to be changed, and if we cannot change the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain should be prepared to leave it.

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article by Nick Timothy for the Telegraph - Our asylum system is broken
. It's time to rip
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