What do you know about: Asylum Seekers in Long Eaton Hotels?
A few Long Eaton locals attempt to answer frequently asked questions about asylum seekers in the Novotel and Best Western.
Where are they from?
Countries where there is conflict or danger, including Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan.
Why are they all men?
In conflict zones, men are targeted and forced to join the army or militias. They are threatened with detention and torture. Women and children are at high risk of sexual abuse and exploitation on the route from a war zone.
Why don’t they stay in France?
Many asylum seekers who cross the French border have ties to the UK: maybe they served alongside our military, have friends or family here or speak the language because of our colonial history. People have a right to seek asylum here.
You have to actually be in the UK to apply for asylum here. There are no safe, “legal” routes for most. No asylum seeker is illegal.
Why don’t they just get on a flight?
Most passports aren’t as powerful as a British passport. In many countries you need a visa to travel and the UK is unlikely to offer one. Some asylum seekers were never given a passport and are fleeing remote areas where militia are destroying villages.
We take far more than our share!
4 out of 5 refugees globally stay in countries neighbouring their home country. There are 6 asylum applications for every 10,000 people in the UK. Out of 27 countries in Europe, we rank 14th for the number of asylum seeker applications per head.
Why are they getting a 4 star hotel experience?
The term ‘hotel’ is misleading. They are sharing rooms with complete strangers, living with curfews, eating pre-packaged food and not allowed visitors. No Home Office before this one housed asylum seekers in hotels. The men don’t want to live in hotels. They want to use their skills to earn money, pay taxes and integrate. And they want to go home as soon as it is safe to do so.
They’re all criminals!
Long Eaton crime figures are available at Derbyshire.police.uk – they show no rise since the government took over the hotels in October.
They’ve all got expensive phones!
For an asylum seeker, a phone is a life-saving tool: to communicate with family, for translation, maps and crucial information. Some have photos of their original IDs on their phone.
Albania isn’t even at war! Why are we letting them in?
Albania has some of the highest rates of exploitation, child trafficking, crime and blood feuds. Our government recognises the danger there – more than half of Albanian asylum claims are granted. We don’t know of any Albanians in Long Eaton hotels.
Is it true they get £50 a week?
Asylum seekers in hotels get £9.10 per week. The Home Office system to assess asylum claims is currently not working and people are being left in hotels for months, even years, at a total cost of around £5.6m per day.
They’re taking over our healthcare!
Everyone is struggling to access all the healthcare they need, even in places without asylum seekers.