The UK’s Home Office has revealed that over seventeen thousand seekers of asylum who had their application terminated cannot be located. This was mentioned as MP’s debated on Rishi Sunak’s vision for ending backlog in the year.
Discontinued Asylum Claims:
Claimants did not reply following interview summons and questionnaires leading to withdrawal of asylum applications. This resulted in 17,316 applications getting canceled in 2022 alone. However, the number reduced for 2021 with reference to 2004 from 2,141 applications refused or withdrawn to 24,403.
Implications of Withdrawn Applications:
Once an asylum application is withdrawn, it ceases to be an active one. The claimant should not be unauthorized to stay in the United Kingdom after claiming.
Efforts to Address the Backlog:
Sir Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office, was optimistic that his team would achieve success in the asylum seekers issue and, as he reported, recruited additional case workers for processing claims. Nevertheless, Conservative MP Tim Loughton cast doubt on the sudden surge of withdrawn claims in the heat of meeting the targets.
Rwanda Deportation Plan:
It is equally important to mention that in parallel the government has been pursuing its contentious policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, despite the Supreme Court judgments. Officials of the government have nearly concluded the third country treaty that is aimed to allay fears of the court with regards to human rights provisions. So far, as of the end of late November 2023, more than 28,072 individuals have passed through the English Channel in small boats.
Financial Transparency Issues:
Yet the government leaves people in doubt over its financial obligations to Rwanda. It is expected that MPs will wait for a confirmation of any further money that they may have spent in this issue. Dame Diana Johnson, a labor MP, noted that it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the Home Office‘s flagship policy due to a lack of transparency.
There is an issue about the whereabouts of more than 17 thousand former asylum seekers whose claims had been discontinued while at the same time, the Home Office is working towards clearing the asylum backlog. Concurrently, the controversial Rwanda deportation scheme and financial transparency concerns make it harder to deal with asylum and migration issues.
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