Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Failed asylum seekers and the NHS

Here is an interview I gave this morning, with BBC Radio Wales, debating plans to offer NHS care to failed asylum seekers with the head of the Immigration Advisory Service.

This is one of those plans that, at first, sounds entirely humane but cannot be economically and politically sustained. It is far too vulnerable to be swamped by those who seek to abuse the system and make Britain cover their, often very expensive, treatment. That would either create huge problems for the NHS and British taxpayers or result in the asylum system itself being curbed, to the detriment of those fleeing real persecution. When the courts don't take proper account of these sorts of concerns we wind up in the kind of absurd situation we're in now with regard to Somalian pirates who the Royal Navy can't detain for fear they'll gain a legal right to live in the United Kingdom.

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