World News

The lottery of the asylum process | World news

Our first email update for 2018 reveals some of the farcical situations asylum seekers face in Home Office interviews

Zabrain, a Pakistani man who sought asylum in the UK in 2016






Zabrain, a Pakistani man who sought asylum in the UK in 2016, said he thought the Home Office employee who interviewed him was an intern.
Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

Hello New Arrivals readers,

We’re back with our first New Arrivals email update for 2018. Much has been happening over the Christmas and new year period.

On Sunday we launched a major investigation into the asylum process. Kirstie Brewer and I spoke to three former asylum caseworkers employed by the Home Office to interview asylum seekers and decide asylum claims. They spoke of how some of their former colleagues took pride in rarely, if ever, granting asylum.

“It’s just a lottery,” said one whistleblower. “There was one particular guy who had a reputation for never granting anything. He kind of took pride in that as well. On the one occasion when he did grant someone, I think someone brought him in a cake.”

They also told us how time and staffing pressures meant they sometimes “copy and pasted” paragraphs from one refusal letter to the next and routinely walked into asylum interviews unprepared.

This was evident in some of the transcripts of Home Office interviews I read, including that of Zabrain, a Pakistani man who sought asylum in the UK in 2016. The Home Office employee who conducted his asylum interview had not heard of the ethnic minority group he belonged to, despite it being the basis of his asylum claim, and asked questions that indicated she did not even understand what an ethnic minority group was.

“I thought maybe she’s an intern or she’s a trainee,” Zabrain told me.

While on the subject of absurd Home Office refusal letters, check out this story about Mohammed Al-Mustafa, who left Palestine at the age of five and has no papers to return there, but who was refused protection in the UK after the Home Office refused to accept he is Palestinian, despite advising him to return there twice.

Finally, we are still following the story of Said Norzai and his son Wali Khan, whom we introduced at the start of the project. Their crucial appeal decision is due in April, and we will update you on their fate soon thereafter.

All the best

Kate Lyons


Source link

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker