Asylum myth blown apart by official statistics

number of people applying for asylum in the UK has fallen dramatically in the
past 12 months.

a result, the Government met its 2003 commitment to halve the number of asylum
applications each month.

Home Office claims this is due to its tough stance on asylum applications,
including legislation and improved security at border controls in France.

an upsurge in applications before more stringent benefits rules came into
force, applications fell by 41 per cent as a whole in 2003.

for state benefit fell by 60 per cent the last three months of 2003, compared
to the same period in 2002.

secretary David Blunkett also announced a record 23 per cent increase in the
number of asylum seekers repatriated in 2003.

Roisin Woolnough

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