Fewer migrants returned to France

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Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Fewer than 50 asylum seekers a year are being returned from Britain to France, despite thousands making their way across the Channel from Calais, according to the latest official figures.

Home Office figures show that 49 asylum seekers were sent back to France in 2013, down from 57 in 2012 and 153 in 2011.

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson, who unearthed the details through Commons written questions, said the figures showed the Government was “incompetent” in its handling of the issue.

“Ministers aren’t taking the simple and accepted step of returning people to France when they’ve come through Calais to claim asylum here,” he told the Daily Mail.

“It also confirms that the French are not doing enough. The French authorities need to establish the status of those who are now at Calais urgently and take action accordingly.”

The disclosure comes as a new camp for migrants is being opened in Calais amid concerns from critics that it will simply encourage many more to attempt the journey to the UK.

In his response, immigration minister James Brokenshire said that there had been a sharp increase in the number of illegal migrants who were being turned back before they could cross the Channel, rising from 8,000 in 2011/2012 to more than 18,000 in 2013/2014.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We will not shoulder the burden of asylum claims which should rightly be considered by other countries. We are taking full advantage of the Dublin Regulation to return asylum seekers to other European countries.”

Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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