Chinese head the list of asylum seekers

29 Jun 00
After 58 illegal Chinese immigrants were found dead in a lorry at Dover, the Home Office revealed that Chinese people top the list of asylum seekers trying to enter Britain.

30 June 2000

Figures released this week show that 575 people from China sought asylum in May, the first month in which they have topped the list, up from 455 in April.

Some are thought to have been brought in illegally by 'Snakehead' organisations, whose involvement proved deadly for the Dover 58. Others enter as students or visitors before applying for residence.

Overall, the number applying for asylum in May rose by 295 to 6,186.

British immigration officers are to visit Beijing to discuss the return of those refused asylum. Home Secretary Jack Straw said 99% of Chinese people who came to Britain were 'economic migrants'.


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