Detention is traumatic. At least compensate them monetarily 16th August 2011: They have been turned down. They have been pushed around. They have been subjected to snarls and sneers. They have been detained, wrongly. And finally when the asylum seekers get compensation, you have so many organisations coming up with unfair and uncalled for criticism.
At the receiving end almost always, the asylum seekers were paid damages of more than £14million on the complaints of being wrongly held, last year.
In fact, payments of as much as £250,000 each were handed out.
Detention, if not called for, is not only unlawful, but also traumatic. What so many critics fail to realise is that it is almost always also stigmatic. The migrants carry along with them the `disgrace’ of having been held, even if it is wrongly
Back home, in the native lands of the migrants, few realise the detention was uncalled for. Under these circumstances, it is only fair to compensate them — even if it is only in monetary terms.
The statistics reveal the amount of compensation was up £2m from the previous year. It included £7.7m in legal fees. In all, compensation of £4m was paid to 152 claimants.
Out of the total, many cases of foreigners alleging they were unlawfully detained and shown the door were settled out of the court.
One of the asylum seekers, who had sustained injuries during his unlawful detention received £175,000 in damages.
As per the Home Office, the UK Border Agency handled more than 1,000 complaints last year. It was up from 691 in 2010.
Responding, director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance Matthew Sinclair said taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay out millions for compensation.
Whether it is the result of UKBA’s failure to manage chaotic border controls, or dubious cases in European courts – either way action is needed to get costs under control.
The Home Office also came under fire for letting costs go up by not settling claims quickly and avoid court.
Calculations show the bill in 2011 could be even higher, as the failed asylum seekers have won a landmark human rights matter in January.
The UKBA, on the other hand, said it had already set aside £4m for the purpose of making the payments.
A spokesman said detention was a necessary part of the process to remove some individuals with no right to be here.
The cases, he said, varied from foreign national prisoners who have served their sentences but are awaiting deportation, to failed asylum cases and individuals found overstaying their visas.
They use their powers to detain individuals when they believe it is reasonable and lawful to do so.