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Resettlement of Syrian refugees: UK bottom of league table

The House of Commons Library has issued an interesting briefing on the UK approach to Syrian refugees. Hat tip to ILPA for spotting it. The UK has taken in 4,000 Syrian refugees who managed to reach our shores to make a personal direct claim for asylum despite our best efforts to keep them out and our description of this as an “abuse”. The UK has also taken in a grant total of 187 Syrian refugees through our miserly resettlement programme. In contrast the UK has been very generous in providing “aid” to try and keep refugees in the region.

The comparison with other rich counties is instructive (none of these numbers include direct personal claims for asylum remember):

Australia 5,600 resettlement and a Special Humanitarian Programme
Brazil open-ended humanitarian visa programme (over 7,000 humanitarian visas issued so far)
Canada 200 resettlement1,100 private sponsorship

10,000 resettlement/private sponsorship

France 1,000 humanitarian admission/resettlementalmost 1,400 asylum visas granted to Syrians to enable them to travel to claim asylum in France
Germany 20,000 humanitarian admission10,000 individual sponsorship
Ireland 610 resettlement111 refugees accepted under the temporary Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme
Sweden 2,700 resettlementnearly 4,700 visas issued under a temporary extended family reunion programme for Syrian refugees
Switzerland    3,500 resettlement and human
United States open-ended resettlement (13,586 cases referred for consideration thus far).

If we merge those numbers for each country and put it into a chart it looks like this:

Resettlement of Syrian refugees league table

In related news, read about the wall proposed in Hungary and the reaction of the refugees it is intended to deter (Migrants on Hungary’s border fence: ‘This wall, we will not accept it’), the death of a man willing to cling to the underside of an aeroplane to reach the UK (If clinging to an aeroplane is someone’s best hope of reaching safety, they’ll take it), this astonishing piece on the fence at the Syrian/Turkish border (Fleeing through the eye of a needle), reflect on the rising death toll in the Mediterranean Sea and consider that we are in the middle of the worst refugee criss the world has ever seen (A Record Year in Misery: the World Has Never Seen a Refugee Crisis This Bad).

We kill thousands with our borders and our indifference but we will not kill the hope that drives them.

Colin Yeo
Colin Yeo A barrister specialising in UK immigration law at Garden Court Chambers in London, I have been practising in immigration law for 15 years. I am passionate about immigration law and founded and edit the Free Movement immigration law blog.

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