In response to the statement by the Home Secretary John Reid today on reforming the immigration system, Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“Reform of the asylum system is clearly needed, but it is disappointing that the government has not taken this opportunity to radically rethink the way asylum decisions are made. A truly independent decision-making body, that is free of political constraints and more resilient towards media pressures, would be an excellent first step. It could just get on with making good decisions first time round, ensuring those who need protection the UK are able to stay and those who don’t can be removed safely.
“Border controls matter but mustn’t stop people whose lives are in danger from being able to get to safety here. There need to be safe routes for people fleeing persecution to get to the UK. And whether or not they wear uniforms, immigration officers must be able to identify people who need protection and ensure that they are not turned away.”
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Download the Home Office’s report: Fair, Effective, Transparent and Trusted: Rebuilding confidence in our immigration system