Nonfiction 13

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By Shepard Masocha (auth.)

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This figure has not been increased since April 2011, which equates to a decrease in real terms. The inadequacy of section 4 support also needs to be understood within the context of the huge backlog the government has to contend with when it comes to deporting asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected. As a result what in principle is supposed to be short-term support in reality is long-term support. This effectively sentences asylum seekers on section 4 support to a life of abject poverty especially given that they are not entitled to other forms of state support that can ameliorate their conditions.

This was followed up by another article in The Daily Star on 21 August 2003 under the headlines, Asylum Seekers Eat Our Donkeys and Hands Off Our Asses accusing asylum seekers of stealing some of the donkeys used for rides at Greenwich Royal Park; and within the article it was claimed that ‘donkey meat is a speciality in some of the East African countries, including Somalia. And two areas near Greenwich – Woolwich and Thamesmead – have large numbers of Somalian (sic) asylum seekers’. The effect of constructing asylum seekers by referring to their food habits is that it depicts them as the Others who are not like us, and are a real threat to British ways of life.

The debates hardly centred on the need to safeguard and promote asylum seekers’ rights. There was no mention of a resettlement plan for refugees. Instead, the emphasis was on deterring people from seeking refuge in the United Kingdom and indeed subsequent pieces of legislation followed the same template. 0005 Historical Overview  Briskman, 2003, p. 165). Clearly, this process is firmly based on the longstanding historical relationship between immigration control and access to welfare provision.

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