First published in November 2021.

I am not going to break down the full article by David Barrett, because sometimes there is just too much nonsense to even engage with.

Let’s look at the headline alone though.

Daily Mail

Asylum seekers receive approximately £36.93, with possible adjustments for certain circumstances.

Now, first off, I guarantee you no one is risking their life for that. It is also less than they would receive in France for example though.

It is also not “cash”. It is paid through what is known as an ASPEN card, which aside from being used to track asylum seekers also has caused significant issues with people attempting to buy such luxuries as food to survive on.

Thousands of asylum seekers go hungry after cash card problems
About a third have struggled with new cards issued by Home Office contractors, says charity

Some asylum seekers do receive mobile phones, for good reason. We all need to keep in contact. That is particularly important when you are having your asylum claim processed. We are not exactly talking about the latest iPhone here folks, but we are talking about a necessity.

Also, “four-star hotels”... yeah, just no.

When asylum seekers are placed in hotels, they are often the ones which cannot be used for any other purpose. We are not talking four-star here. We are talking about being crammed into unsuitable accommodation.

Nearly 500 asylum seekers trapped in hotel and living ‘three to a room’
NEARLY 500 asylum seekers - including dozens of children - are in the same “overcrowded” hotel and living “three to each room”.

Yes, in theory, someone can receive legal aid for their asylum claim.

The reality though has been that for years, due to legal aid cuts, many cannot access legal assistance, making a complex process even harder for those seeking safety.

Lack of legal aid puts asylum seekers’ lives at risk, charity warns
Refugee Action says cuts mean there are not enough free advisers to work on cases

I 100% guarantee you, David Barrett, that no one is risking their life crossing one of the busiest shipping routes in the world for a fiver a day, a cheap mobile phone and to be stuck three-to-a-room in a dilapidated hell hole while struggling to access the legal system.

So, why pay sometimes up to €5,000 for a seat on a death trap rubber boat to get from France to England?

Predominantly, family ties and language. Having fled, often leaving everything behind, asylum seekers – and it is only a relatively small number we are talking about – are looking for somewhere they feel safe.

So, knowing people and being able to speak the language are important.

PMP Magazine


Dan Sohege, Human rights advocate, international refugee law specialist, immigration economist, charity fundraising professional and Director of Stand For All.


  • Text: This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 26 November 2021 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.
  • Cover: Dreamstime/Antonio Guillem.

Written by:

[Read our Comments Guidelines]