I am not condemning asylum seekers

MARTIN Wright, (Messenger, January 9) wrongly leaps to the conclusion that I am condemning asylum seekers, without knowing the reasons, and saying that they are just here for what they can get.

Not so.

This country has benefited over the years from asylum seekers, particularly from the influx of refugees from persecution in Russia during the progoms, and from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Spain in the 1930s.

I might add that asylum seeking goes way back beyond these times. It is possible that my own ancestors came from France in the 16th century to escape religious persecution.

I think the genuine concern is that of overloading the existing fragile social service system, and the health and education services.

Most asylum seekers will tend to go to places where they have friends or relatives and this will naturally be in the larger cities in this country.

They do not distribute themselves evenly around the country with the result that there tends to be isolated ghettos formed within the cities, which lessens the chances of the seekers integrating into the community.

This has happened in the past and will no doubt carry on happening.

It would be better if the asylum seekers could be distributed, for want of a better word, around the country, so that they might be better able to integrate into their local community.

With regard to Germany, France and Sweden taking more than the UK, I suggest that Mr Wright takes out a map and looks at the relative sizes of these countries, and looks at their population densities, then compares them to the size of Great Britain, and its population density.

He would then see that this is, as they say, a ‘no brainer’.

I would be interested in finding out where the benefits system is more generous to such arrivals, not the system as applied to residents.

David Olliver, address supplied

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