UPDATED. Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 1116 restricts Syrians with transit visas travelling to the UK from travelling through the UK and forces them to apply for a UK visa. The refusal rates for such visas have steadily increased during the conflict and now stand at 60%. This is done to prevent “abuse” by Syrians who claim asylum and to protect the UK against “the associated heavy burden on public resources which might ensue as a result”.
It gets worse with this written answer in Parliament. Syrians claiming asylum in the UK is an “abuse” that must be stopped according to the UK Government.
It has been pointed out that there is some sad irony here: the UK Home Office routinely judges asylum seekers not to be credible or genuine because they failed to claim asylum in the first safe journey they passed through on their way to the UK. Here, the first safe country is the UK en route to the United States, but the UK still considers that an abuse.