Descursive Essay on Asylum Seekers in Britain

Essay by ruairidhJunior High, 7th gradeA, August 2004

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Asylum Seekers: Discursive Essay

I have chosen to do my discursive essay on asylum seekers. I will try to separate the myths, bad press and lies from the facts. I had to think carefully about taking on this subject as the argument of asylum has many faces, there are many people with many views about this topic. The subject of asylum is not just black and white.

There are many claims about asylum seekers that give them a bad name and one of these dubious claims are that Britain is the land of milk and honey for asylum seekers, and that they can what they want here. Is Britain really the land of milk and honey for asylum seekers? In fact, no. Asylum seekers are not allowed to claim mainstream welfare benefits. If they are destitute, the only option for some is to apply for support with the National Asylum Support Service (NASS), the Government department responsible for supporting destitute asylum applicants.

NASS support is very basic indeed. A single adult has to survive on £37.77 a week - 30% below the poverty line. It is irrational to suggest that asylum seekers embark on arduous and often dangerous journeys to the UK for that amount of money. From 8th January the Government will withhold support from the majority of people who apply for asylum once inside the UK, rather than at a port. According to housing and welfare experts, this is likely to lead to chronic destitution and homelessness. There is no sound factual basis for discriminating against those who claim asylum once they are in the UK - in fact the Home Office's own figures show that around 65 per cent of positive decisions are given to in-country applicants. A joint study by Oxfam and the Refugee Council...