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Letter: Viewpoints - Little choice when seeking asylum.

Byline: Robert Collins

IN response to Gwyn Parry (Viewpoints, August 29), I would address three issues that the letter raises.

First, asylum-seekers are found in Cardiff having been moved there by the National Asylum Seekers Support (NASS). NASS provides support to asylum-seekers who have an asylum application pending, for asylum-seekers who are destitute or the UK is unable to remove them to their country of origin because of circumstances in that country.

NASS has accommodation all over the country, and when granted NASS support, asylum-seekers will be dispersed to available accommodation wherever it is. This includes Cardiff.

Secondly, I think that you have assumed all asylum-seekers have left their countries with only Great Britain in mind. Not only is this a sweeping generalisation with scant regard for the complexities of their stories, but the majority of asylum-seekers do not have the chance to claim asylum in a safe country, never mind the means they arrived in the UK in and at the mercy of their carrier.

Many come to the UK believing that the UK is a world figurehead of human rights and human decency, only to be treated with contempt by the general population.

Thirdly, contrary to popular belief, asylum-seekers are unable to claim benefits such as working tax credit or child benefit, and receive only NASS allowance equivalent to around pounds 35 a week. Their lives are a struggle every day.

A brief flirtation with the facts would give your letter more weight.

Then again, you can prove anything with facts can't you?

Robert Collins Heath, Cardiff
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 4, 2008
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