Asylum applications to the UK have increased by 15 percent in the last two years, and now run at nearly 30,000 a year, the Express has reported. Last year 29,875 people applied for asylum, the equivalent of one every three hours.
The increase has been blamed on “soft touch” Britain, as migrants are willing to risk their lives for the hand-outs on offer. Married couples are entitled to £72,52 a week, but even those whose applications are refused can still claim £35.39 a week to live on, and women who have babies due within the next eight weeks, or those with babies less than six weeks old are entitled to an automatic £300 pay out. New mothers whose asylum claim has been refused can still claim a £250 lump sum.
Former Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe said: “If we automatically detained all asylum seekers we would know where they are. It’s that straightforward, and if I were Home Secretary it’s what I would do.
“People who have come into the country unlawfully claim asylum and disappear. At the same time, goodness knows how many people are coming here on the backs of lorries.
“People don’t think we are a soft touch – we are a soft touch.”
Experts have estimated that as many as 1.1million illegal immigrants may be living in the UK. Earlier this month the Home Office admitted to losing track of 175,000 immigrants after letting them go.
Some have risked their lives stowing away aboard lorries and boats crossing the channel from the European continent into England: last month a group of 35 people, including 15 children, were found in a shipping container at the Tilbury Docks in Essex. In their case they had travelled from Zeebrugge, Belgium. One of the group, a 40 year old man, was found dead.
Another of the group, a man travelling with his son, told reporters that they had expected to be in the container for eight hours at most, but in the end spent 18 hours trapped inside the metal container with very little air. “I had no food, no water to give to [my son]. I cradled him in my arms and he said to me ‘Daddy, I’m dying’. He was in such a bad state,” the man said.
Despite the risks nearly 2,000 immigrants, most from Eritrea and Syria, are currently camped in and around Calais, France as they wait for an opportunity to make the journey to England. Last month 150 men tried to storm a ferry but were held off by ferry staff. The Mayor of Calais called for the UK to donate more resources to the city to deal with the migrants, and blamed Britain for being an “Eldorado” for migrants.
Under EU rules migrants claiming asylum must register in the first EU member state they arrive in, which for many from Africa and the Middle East is Italy. But most travel through that country and France, rejecting the opportunity to register there, as they would rather come to the UK.
A Home Office spokesman told Breitbart London: “The UK has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those who need it. Asylum seekers should claim asylum in the first safe country they come to. Each claim for asylum is carefully considered and where we find individuals are in need of our protection, asylum is given.
“Applications for asylum have increased slightly given world events, but the number of claims remains at historically low levels. We continue to see far fewer applicants than many other EU countries, such as France, Germany and Sweden.”