Are refugees illegal immigrants?

Absolutely not. As soon as they arrive in the UK, refugees declare themselves to the authorities so they can submit asylum claims. This makes them ‘asylum seekers’.  They don’t want to ‘sneak’ into our country – all they want is a fair hearing for their claims.

They also don’t want to enter the country illegally – the problem is that they have no choice. If you come from a country that is at war or under oppression, it’s likely that country won’t issue you with a passport or visa; so you have no legal way to travel.

In addition, safe and legal routes don’t exist for most refugees. That’s why we have to campaign for them. It’s a legal anomaly. Asylum is a legal right; but to claim it you have to be physically present in the country and there is no legal way to get there. The campaign for safe passage has been ongoing for some time. There are some exceptions, but they apply to such a tiny percentage of refugees they make little difference.

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