Communities throughout the country have felt the impacts of mass migration. Perhaps this is why hard-working people are growing more cynical towards those seeking asylum here.
That doesn’t mean to say that we have grown indifferent to the plight of genuine refugees, but there is a perception that not all of those claiming asylum and obtaining a right to stay here are genuine.
This cynicism is often dismissed as racism or a view held only by swivel-headed loons.
To express the view is to face shame and ridicule in ‘polite society’. However, in my opinion, this view is often justified. The large percentage of asylum seekers who have recently converted to Christianity brings into question why they have had this sudden damascene conversion.
Abdul Ezedi is suspected of attacking a mother and her two children in January with an alkaline substance in Clapham, LondonMetropolitan Police
Being a Christian can guarantee a reason to obtain asylum if they would face persecution as one in their homeland.
It also raises the question of why, if finding Jesus has become their sole reason preventing their return, and only happened after they arrived here, they felt the need to leave in the first place.
As I shared in the Commons, last October our community in Hartlepool witnessed the horrific stabbing of a 70-year-old resident allegedly at the hands of an asylum seeker. I could feel the mood of my entire constituency shift. The attack left our welcoming community in anger and fear, demanding action.
The recent horrific incident in Clapham brought that feeling back. It was one of those times when the whole country felt that shudder of fear, that moment of anger, and the call for action.
My thoughts remain with the victims of this heinous crime, including those first on the scene faced with this horror, as we are all left wondering how many times our communities must learn the same lesson.
Shockingly, it has since been revealed that suspect Abdul Ezedi had been convicted of sexual assault previous to his asylum status claims, but due to converting to Christianity on his third attempt, it was granted. I wonder how this enlightenment occurred, did Jesus reach out to him and show him his true faith or did some associate who had found this a clever solution pass on the know-how? I am fairly sure that there is the advice of some lawyer from the great asylum swindle involved somewhere assisted by a well-meaning vicar or two.
Like myself, I am sure there are many others who find this news incredible, and worse are left sick in the knowledge that there are more convicted criminals who have been given asylum status, and whilst they waited on these claims, we paid for them, out of our own pockets. £6million a day on accommodation alone.
The statistics show that those who enter the UK illegally are most likely to be young men. When we look at people who applied for asylum in the year ending September 2023, almost three quarters were male at 74 per cent, and around half, 46 per cent, were under the age of 30.
These are young men who are deserting their homelands, and we should question why. These individuals are vital to the safety and economies of their home states. When the most economically active leave, the recovery becomes slower. The vacuum left behind is a target for extremist groups, and I dread to think what would have happened if, at the dawning of the First World War, all our young had fled.
Sadly, stories like Ezedi’s make the UK attractive to young asylum seekers. This is not the story of a functioning asylum system. People will hear of convicted sex offenders being granted asylum and question, if they can, why can’t I? And honestly, I can’t blame them. It’s a risk worth taking when even if your claim is rejected the state still lacks the power to remove you.
It is vital and urgent that a deterrent of removal is put into place. Asylum seekers should not see our system as an endless game of trial and error, abusing loopholes until one of them sticks.
Removal following a failed asylum claim would be a powerful tool to put an end to the stigma that gaining UK asylum is easy, in turn breaking the business model of the illegal people smuggling gangs and deterring people from making the dangerous journey. I will continue to fight for flights to take off and reform of the laws and international treaties that have created an asylum industry not just here but throughout Europe. Enough is enough - criminals should never be welcome even if converted.