Fran Cetti

Refugees: Criminalising the Persecuted

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Although Britain hosts just 2 percent of the world's refugees - 0.3 percent of its population - the asylum debate is imbued with a dangerous hysteria.

The 'Sun' describes asylum seekers as 'a sea of humanity polluted with disease' and the 'Mail' writes that Britain is 'a haven for Albanian gangsters, Kosovan people smugglers and Algerian terrorists'. The tabloid articles, however, represent the poison stirred up by the deeper currents of government policy. In a recent interview cabinet minister Peter Hain wove terrorism, drugs smuggling and asylum into a single soundbite, paving the way for remarks by one of Britain's most senior police officers.

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