Destitution, Detention and Forced Return
Asylum-seekers face the constant threat of having their claims for asylum refused, in which case they may have their support ended and become destitute, or may be detained or forced to return to their country of origin. These issues are closely related; for instance, people whose asylum claims have been refused and have been become destitute must agree to ‘voluntary return’ in order to access a form of ‘cashless’ support known as Section Four (Green, 2006; Reynolds, 2010). Obviously the notion that this is ‘voluntary’ is undermined by the lack of choices that people in this situation must face. However, the former Minister of State for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas, stated: ‘I reject any proposition which says that the Government uses destitution as an instrument of policy’ (Refugee Council, 2009, p. 8). Despite this statement, the policy seems designed to function in such a way to encourage people who have had their asylum claims refused to agree to return to their countries of origin in order to address the issues associated with destitution. Therefore, the way in which such policies are justified will have discursive effects in terms of positioning asylum-seekers as well as material effects in terms of their access to support.
KeywordsSubject Position Host Society Previous Extract Discursive Strategy Detention Centre
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- Bates, D. & Kirkwood, S. (2013). ‘We didnae do anything great…’ Discursive strategies for resisting detention and deportation in Scotland and the North East of England. Refugee Review: Social Movement, 1, 21–31.Google Scholar