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17,000 people are missing and the Government just admitted they ‘don’t know’ where they are
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17,000 people are missing and the Government just admitted...


The Government must learn that grandstanding cruelty cannot take away the need for solutions (Picture: EPA/CHRIS RATCLIFFE / POOL)

‘I don’t think we know where all those people are.’

In a staggering admission of incompetence, a Home Office official revealed last month that they do not know the whereabouts of around 17,000 asylum seekers in the UK in the last year.

During questioning at the Home Affairs Select Committee, Conservative MP Tim Loughton asked what happened to 17,316 ‘withdrawn’ asylum applications (meaning people who submitted claims for asylum but failed to ‘engage with the process’) and if these applicants had gone home.

Senior Home Office official Scott Ridley simply replied: ‘I don’t know.’

It seems the grimmest of warnings that experts made to the Government about its ‘deterrence’ approach to refugees are coming true: if the system offers no hope, refugees will not be deterred from the safety of the UK, they’ll simply be deterred from remaining in the system.



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