People granted asylum in the UK are routinely driven immediately into homelessness and destitution because of Kafkaesque quirks in the system to deal with refugees, according to research conducted for the Guardian.
A survey of people granted asylum in 2016 and 2017 has revealed the devastating impact of homelessness among those who often believe gaining refugee status will be the end of their troubles. Instead, they often say the period after being granted protection produced even worse difficulties.
“The way the system works at the moment, homelessness and destitution are an inevitable consequence for many newly recognised refugees – and it’s completely avoidable,” said Lisa Doyle, director of advocacy at the Refugee Council.
The research, conducted by the Refugee Council for the Guardian, involved in-depth interviews with 54 people who had been granted asylum in 2016 or 2017 and had later sought help from the Refugee Council.
The interviews showed that sleeping rough and sofa-surfing were common experiences. Many people encountered such significant delays in opening bank accounts or obtaining the documents they needed to apply for work, housing or benefits that they were forced to sleep rough and plead for support from friends and charities.
Of the respondents to the survey, more than half (31) slept rough or in a hostel or night shelter in the period after gaining refugee status. Interviewees said housing insecurity was a cause of great anxiety, with one person saying he attempted suicide multiple times.
So, more than half slept rough. Quite terrible, of course.
Now think through how this survey has been done.
They started only with the people who had had a bad enough experience that they sought help from this one particular organisation.
What we actually want to know is what is the prevalence of these sorts of problems across all of those granted refugee status:
This is roughly two-thirds of the 13,468 people who were granted asylum or other protection visas in 2016.
It’s actually 31 of 13,468, or 0.2%.
No, of course, that’s not the real number either but that’s the number that we can prove. And those of us rich in maturity do tend to think that a 0.2% government fuck up rate is pretty low for the British State.