Last week, it came to light that more than 600 asylum seekers were being cramped into the Queens Hotel in Crystal Palace, which is not designed to accommodate that many people. Once the media got ahold of this, the Home Office said that it would quickly move the asylum seekers to another hotel. Well, they have. Unfortunately, the hotel that they have chosen might be a little too nice.
According to reports, the Home Office recently transferred 130 asylum seekers to the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone, Kent. The asylum seekers have been given free passage to use all of the facilities that the hotel has to offer, including the swimming pool. This hotel, which is known for having great sea views, costs around £40. It is not the most expensive hotel, but considering that taxpayers are paying for 130 asylum seekers to stay there for up to two weeks, some people are not very happy.
The Home Office says that the asylum seekers are only staying in the hotel until they can process their asylum applications. This means that many of the people staying in this hotel have entered the country illegally. Residents in the area are worried that this might cause a huge influx in migrants. Not only that, residents are worried that asylum seekers could leave the hotel and travel around the UK undetected.
Ann Widdecombe, the former Home Office minister, said that this is very well and good to put the asylum seekers up in a hotel. That being said, a hotel is not a secure location. The Home Office will know where these asylum seekers are for about five minutes. After that, they could simply get up and walk out of the hotel. The way the system is supposed to work is that all new asylum seekers are detained. This is the only way that the Home Office can know where they are. Right now, there is nothing that is stopping them from taking the first train to London.
One resident of Folkestone, who wished not to be named, said that he thinks it’s a bit rich to put the asylum seekers up in this hotel with taxpayers’ money. Another resident added that she has been coming to the area for around 15 years. She has a lot of memories, but after seeing all of the asylum seekers, she decided to leave and return home. The whole thing just made her feel very uncomfortable. It’s not because they don’t like asylum seekers; they just have no idea if any of them have a criminal record.