Patrick Christys: Our asylum system is broken

'There some loopholes here that clearly need closing. Our current asylum system is costing us money, and it’s costing us lives'

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Our asylum system is broken and, frankly, there for the taking in a way that endangers public safety.

Priti Patel, who, let’s be honest, will probably do precious little about it, has come out and said something we’ve all been thinking for a long time. She described the system as a "complete merry-go-round" with a "whole industry" devoted to defending the rights of individuals intent on causing harm.

She said: “The case in Liverpool was a complete reflection of how dysfunctional, how broken, the system has been in the past, and why I want to bring changes forward.”

"These people have come to our country and abused British values, abused the values of the fabric of our country and our society. "

And as a result of that, there's a whole industry that thinks it's right to defend these individuals that cause the most appalling crimes against British citizens, devastating their lives, blighting communities - and that is completely wrong."

She’s picked up on a couple of points there, firstly, the abuse of quote unquote British values. We are, on paper at least, a Christian country. And so by converting to Christianity some asylum seekers believe they’re more likely to be granted leave to remain. In fact, there’s somewhat of a cottage industry in fake Christian conversion.

Liverpool Cathedral clergyman Mohammad Eghtedarian raised the alarm in 2016 that "plenty of people" were pretending to convert. He said: "There are many people abusing the system – I’m not ashamed of saying that.” The man who actually took the Liverpool terrorist into his home came out and said: “I am aware that there are some asylum seekers who attend church with the sole purpose of advancing their asylum claims.”

So it’s happening. I worry that there could be something much more sinister happening as well though. ISIS published a 58-page manual entitled ‘Safety and Security Guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen’ Readers are urged to convert to Christianity, wear a Christian cross, splash on the aftershave, cut off beards and even shun prayer meetings and mosques to avoid detection.

So as long as converting to Christianity has a bearing on our asylum application process, we’re going to get people pretending to do it. Another issue Patel highlighted was the legal industry’s role in, ironically, harming our national security. There is a clear and present danger in allowing someone who has been refused asylum to continue to live in our country for years, presumably fostering hatred towards its people and their way of life. It makes no sense.

There is a whole industry of lawyers dedicated to stringing out the asylum appeal process. Why? Well, they’re either massively politically motivated, a bit thick or, as I suspect, trying to make an absolute killing by gaming a system that rewards them with huge amounts of taxpayers’ cash. If they really are lefties, then it’s a bit hypocritical to take millions, if not billions, out of the welfare state in order to line their own pockets with fruitless asylum appeals.

Even figures published by the Refugee Council which, I think it’s fair to say, is not exactly pro-deportation, show that roughly a third of those coming across the Channel would not be granted right to remain. Well, every single one of them is probably going to have a lawyer, which we’ll end up paying for.

As well as the ones who are granted asylum. Two cases highlight how lawyers gaming the system for financial gain puts lives at. Risk - Khairi Saadallah was born to a wealthy Libyan family and successfully claimed asylum here in 2012. In 2018, despite loads of criminal convictions, he was given a further five years’ leave to remain. He was eventually imprisoned for 15 offences including assault, possession of a knife and racially aggravated harassment.

When we tried to deport him, he claimed it was against his human rights, and a ready stream of lawyers were there to defend him. He then stabbed three gay men to death in a park in Reading. It’s a really tricky situation, because just because some people are abusing the system, that doesn’t mean that we should treat every asylum seeker with suspicion, negativity, etc.

But there some loopholes here that clearly need closing. Our current asylum system is costing us money, and it’s costing us lives.