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DNA tests for asylum seekers

The proposed tests to confirm their nationality

Tags: Jacques Barrot, Home Office, Jungle
21st September 2009: The UK Borders Agency staff is working out the modalities for coming out with a scheme to give asylum seekers DNA tests in an apparent attempt to confirm their nationality.
The development is significant as the number of applicants for asylum has been witnessing a steady rise over the years. Home office figures reveal as approximately 25,930 asylum seekers applied to enter Britain last year, compared with 23,430 the year before it. Out of the total, only about one in seven is usually allowed to stay back; the rest have to go.
The move comes at a time when demand is being made by some to change the law to pave way for thousands of Asians heading for Britain through Italy and Greece, allowing them in, rather than sending them back to the Mediterranean.
In fact, senior French Eurocrat Jacques Barrot is demanding the change to allow “Britain-obsessed” asylum-seekers an easier entry.
Barrot wants the asylum-seekers to be allowed the right to settle anywhere they choose, even as the police is all set to disperse migrants sleeping rough in the Jungle – only to see them set up alternative camps elsewhere.
Barrot says he is facing difficulties in introducing the new law due to British opposition, adding it was necessary to share the burden between France and Great Britain when it came to asylum seekers.
This is not the first time concerns have expressed regarding asylum seekers. A damning report suggests even their deportation is not hassle free.
The report into the system for removing immigrants and failed asylum seekers says the refugees deported from Britain are at risk of ill-treatment and abuse by immigration officers and security guards.
The findings, published by the chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers, further suggest the use of force in most cases has the opposite effect during the deportation process; and results in the removal attempt being abandoned.
It refers to a case where an immigrant at the last minute refused to comply due to intimidating behaviour towards the detainees by overseas escort staff.
The report also talks of inconsistent use of force by immigration officers, and failure to provide medical help, besides gaps and weaknesses in the system for complaints made by asylum seekers and in monitoring the removal process.
Ms Owers asserts the investigation also found variable practice, with no evidence that the good and thoughtful approach of some staff was mirrored in clear and consistent standards of treatment, support and communication. This heightened the risk of ill-treatment or abuse, and was also likely to lead to failed removals.

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