Socialist Worker

Busting racist myths about asylum seekers

Issue No. 2465

1: They come over to steal our jobs

Asylum seekers in Britain are not allowed to work. They are housed, usually in hard to let properties, and receive just £36.95 a week to live on. People who whine that this is generous have never tried to live on it.

2. They are not real asylum seekers

Why should we keep paying to support the families of “failed asylum seekers” while they appeal? A third of “failed” cases turn out to be “genuine” on appeal, despite the fact that the system is biased against them.

3. They are not real refugees

The Tories are contemptuous of people they call economic migrants who are not fleeing a current war but want a better life.

This can mean not wanting your family to live under a brutal dictatorship or risk starvation.

4. They all come straight to Britain

Refugees don’t all come to Britain. Most don’t come to Europe. But even those who do tend not to come here.

Germany had 173,000 asylum claims in 2014 and France 63,000 compared to 25,000 in Britain. We could take in many more.

5. They want our share of the cake

People worry that migrants use up “our share” of the national cake.

But the wealth in Britain is created by all the people who come and work here.

More workers means more to go round. It is the rich who take more than their share of money and space and keep us out.

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