The UN has demanded the next UK government commit to taking at least 10,000 refugees a year directly from camps on top of the thousands of illegal migrants granted asylum in Britain each year.
Complaining that refugees who are “longing” to see elderly relatives are made to “suffer unnecessarily” by the UK’s family reunification laws, the UN also insisted the country must become “more generous” in this regard.
The intergovernmental body’s refugee agency (UNHCR) urged political party leaders to promise Britain will resettle 10,000 people a year from camps in conflict-affected areas, a demand the organisation claimed is “relatively modest”.
“This would be a meaningful but realistic increase over the existing commitment, made in 2015, to receive 20,000 Syrians and 3,000 children at risk by 2020, welcome though that is,” stated the body’s representative to the UK, Gonzalo Vargas Llosa.
Pointing to Britain’s alleged “rich history of welcoming those forced to flee” and calling for “the next government to do the right thing”, the Peruvian also demanded the UK loosen restrictions on family reunification, claiming that those granted refugee status suffer and are prevented from integrating without the presence of their extended families in Britain.
“I have met countless refugees who suffer unnecessarily as a result of being separated from close family members. For many refugees, the pain of separation remains the biggest obstacle to their successful integration in a new country,” Vargas Llosa said, writing for The Times on behalf of the UNHCR on Monday.
“’I wake up and then go to bed every day longing for my mother,” he quoted one Syrian refugee, who claims to be unable to “live in peace” as a result of the absence of certain family members.
Britain’s reluctance to fly in countless family members per migrant is not the only issue causing refugees emotional damage, according to the UN representative. Mr. Vargas Llosa said the practice of detaining asylum seekers for various reasons — one of which is when individuals are deemed a danger to the public or themselves — “can leave psychological scars that endure years after release”.
“The cost of maintaining such a sizeable detention system is also extremely high,” Vargas Llosa added.
According to the CEO of charity War Child UK, Rob Williams, refugees cost “ten times more to care for in Europe” than in neighbouring countries in affected regions.
Conservative immigration minister Robert Goodwill told The Times: “Britain has a proud tradition of helping genuine refugees fleeing persecution, and we will always continue to do so under a Conservative government. We’ve already committed to taking 23,000 of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria, the Middle East and North Africa — one of the biggest resettlement programmes in Europe. And we are providing our largest humanitarian response ever in Syria with over £2.3 billion in aid.”
Earlier this year, dismissing claims by open borders activists that the UK has taken very few ‘child refugees’, Home Secretary Amber Rudd revealed the country took in 8,000 unaccompanied minors last year — 3,000 of whom broke into Britain illegally.
In 2015, the UK granted asylum to 18,000 migrants, an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year. This worked out at approximately 50 people per day having been given leave to remain.