Does Britain Have the Right Policies Towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees?

Topics: United Kingdom, England, Conservative Party Pages: 6 (2046 words) Published: August 18, 2008
Does Britain have the right policies towards asylum seekers and refugees?

After Second World War, Europe had become a centre of refugee campaigns which associate as well as support the refugees or asylum seekers who were no longer able to live in their origin countries because of political reasons or the fear of persecution. Germany, Switzerland and Britain were the three countries which accepted most of the asylum seekers or refugees from Russia, Poland or from Asia as Iran, and Africa as Somalia. However, the number of asylum seekers or refugees were allowed to immigrate in Britain was far fewer than Germany and Switzerland. This was due to the strict policy of Britain towards asylum seeker’s issue. To clarify whether Britain has the right policies towards asylum seekers and refugees or not, this essay will firstly concern about the historical background and context. Secondly, the 1986 debate and 1993 debate will be analysed to identify the orientation of Britain into the asylum seekers and refugee’s issue. Finally, the conclusion will summarize the whole idea of the essay as well as giving the own analysing towards the current policies of Britain.

Historical background and Context

In the last decades of the 19th Century, a huge number of Britons left England to explore the new colonies and looked for the opportunities. This leaded to a shortage of employment in England while the need of labour, industrialization and economic booms happening simultaneously. In that situation, replenish was essential to occur which distributed to the approval of granting the asylum seekers which “fitted the dominant ideology of political and economic liberalism in Victorian Britain and fulfilled practical needs” (Schuster & Solomos, 1999).Besides, Britain maintained an open policy towards the asylum seekers for the sake of Liberalism because Liberal British assumed that by standing next to the asylum seekers meanwhile against tyranny. The Times wrote in 1853: “Every civilised people on the face of the earth must be fully aware that this country is the asylum of nations, and that it will defend the asylum to the last ounce of its treasure, and the last drop of its blood. There is no point whatever on which we are prouder and more resolute”. However, there were significant changes from 1880 onwards. Firstly, the combination of domestic and foreign developments had altered in laisse-fair. Secondly, the attempts of bombing and assassination by anarchists and nihilists from Poland and Russia had devastated the liberal attitudes towards political banish from Eastern Europe (Marrus, 1985). This directed to the negative view towards the aliens which had expressed in the slogan “England for English”(Dummett &Nicole, 1990;Brown,1995;Solomos,1993). Finally this period had to face with the decline of British Capitalism through the economic crisis and the high unemployment which of course had diminished the demand of the labour. Britain now had to change the view towards asylum seekers more seriously by establishing the legalised Asylum seekers Act in order to control the flow of asylum seekers. Despite the attempt of establishing various Acts from the government in order to maintain good race relations, the number was still growing up: 1971 had 300.00 immigrants from the Caribbean; 275.000 from India and 132.000 from Pakistan. However, noteworthy that the number of emigration was outnumbered British immigration which was not discussed in the debates taken for the following years. In all of the Acts had been established, there were two of them gained the most attention because of its controversial nature: The 1987 Act and 1993 Act.

The 1987 debate

This Act was introduced in the House of Common on March 4, 1987 and won the approval in the third reading on March 26, 1987 by a vote of 147-57. The conception of this Act was about to give the government the right to fine passenger carriers £1000/person they brought to Britain without proper...
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