Tuesday, December 27, 2011

British taxpayer funding £100,000 a day for failed asylum seekers

The British taxpayer is spending more than £100,000 a day to house failed asylum seekers who have no right to be in the country

The Home Office spent almost £40 million last year supporting so-called “hard cases” – asylum seekers who have had their claims rejected but cannot leave for one reason or another. It is usually because of unsafe conditions in their home country, a medical condition or they have launched a judicial review on a legal point in their case.

But in the meantime the taxpayer must fund their accommodation and living allowances.

And the cost of the asylum system is growing after separate figures showed the number of asylum seekers who are still awaiting a decision and need accommodation increased in 2011.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This is a measure of the lengths to which people will go to stay in Britain. “But in the end, if their cases fail they must leave or the credibility of the whole system is completely undermined.”

Under what is known as Section 4 support, asylum seekers who have had their claim for shelter rejected but cannot currently return home are given accommodation and living support. In the 12 months up to September 2011, a total of 4,430 people were awarded such support – the equivalent of 12 a day. Some of those will have since left the country but others may be here indefinitely if their particular circumstances do not change.

Over the period, the Home Office spent £38.2 million on Section 4 support or £104,658 a day.

To be eligible for such support, a failed asylum seeker must be destitute and satisfy one of the following requirements.

They taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK, cannot leave because of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason, cannot leave the UK because, in the Secretary of State's opinion, no viable route of return is currently available or have applied for a judicial review of their asylum application and been given permission to proceed with it.

As well as accommodation, recipients are given a payment card, worth £35.39 per person a week, which is used to buy food and essential toiletries. However, they cannot use the payment card to obtain cash from a cash point or car fuel.

It emerged in May that the public are paying more than £1 million a month to "bribe" illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers to go home.

Up to £74 million has been spent in the past five years on a voluntary return scheme for those who have no right to remain in the UK. The programme offers packages worth up to £2,000 of "in kind" support, such as help setting up home or a business, in return for them not fighting removal.

Destitute asylum seekers whose cases are still being considered and who are not detained are also given support. Some 2,406 applicants were given such support in the first nine months of 2011 suggesting the annual total will be higher than the 2,551 awarded it throughout the whole of 2010.


California Restaurant Owner Fined $400,000 for Hiring Illegals

Why come down so heavily on this guy? Did he vote Republican or something? They could have done the same to almost any eatery in CA

In a rare case of prosecutors going after a business for employing undocumented immigrants, a judge slapped the owner of a popular San Diego restaurant with a $400,000 fine for illegal hiring.

Michel Malecot, 59, was spared prison time and his fines and penalties were below the $650,000 sought by federal prosecutors.

Malecot, a naturalized U.S. citizen from France and a major donor to local charities, appeared to hire undocumented immigrants at The French Gourmet out of compassion rather than to take advantage of them, said U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan, who also ordered five years of probation.

The case has drawn attention from restaurant owners because criminal prosecutions of employers are fairly rare. Federal prosecutors face high burdens of proof to show that employers knowingly hired undocumented immigrants.

Rebecca Kanter, an assistant U.S. attorney, urged a higher fine against Malecot to deter other employers from illegal hiring. The restaurant employed 91 undocumented immigrants over several years.

"This is the type of cost that can be absorbed," she said of the nearly $400,000 fine. [Easy for her to say}

The prosecutor challenged the judge's assertion that Malecot acted out of compassion, saying he had a financial motive. Kanter said it would have been illogical for him to hire undocumented immigrants at the same wages and conditions of those legally allowed to work.

Eugene Iredale, Malecot's attorney, said the restaurant owner learned his employees were working illegally after he hired them and "couldn't pull the trigger to fire someone." "His work has truly been dedicated to helping others," Iredale said.

Malecot, who pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor that carried a maximum penalty of six months in custody, apologized to the judge and said he took steps to avoid illegal hiring. The French Gourmet signed up for a program to verify the immigration status of new hires on a federal database.

Malecot's family, friends and employees packed the courtroom. A boyhood admirer of John Wayne, Malecot came to the United States as a young adult and found success in the restaurant business, opening his bistro in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood in 1979.


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