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Hirit Belai

Hirit Belai is an independent researcher into the status of young refugees and unaccopmanied minors.

Last year, as the Government prepared to introduce new regulations that would have the effect of cutting social security benefits to asylum-seekers, the Daily Mail announced that the world’s refugees saw Britain ‘as a soft touch with freely available welfare payments and a laborious appeals procedure’. It was a nonsensical assertion. Over the last ten years, Britain has recognised 9000 refugees and allowed another 45,000 to remain ‘exceptionally’ – an average intake of roughly 5000 refugees and would-be refugees a year. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are now some 20,000 recognised refugees in Britain, 30,000 in Holland, five times that number in France and over a million in Germany.’

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