THE Scottish Government has been accused of dragging its feet over the release of a report into a failed million-pound project to persuade asylum seekers to return home.
The scheme, which had been designed to help convince families to leave “under their own steam,” failed to record a single success story after none of the almost 50 families involved agreed to leave voluntarily.
The Family Return Project was launched with great fanfare in June 2009 and was seen as a “humane alternative” to forced deportations.
It followed years of bad publicity over dawn raids and stories of children being held at the Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire.
Under the project, failed asylum seekers and their families were moved into specially designated flats in Glasgow. There social workers and other professionals offered them intensive support in an attempt to help them prepare to leave the country.
The Scottish Government sat on this before the election and now they have to come forward with its results
It was felt offering asylum seekers more control over the process could help them exit Scotland with more dignity than a forced deportation.
During the process the children of the family could remain in school, in an attempt to minimise disruption.
The pilot project, which is thought to have cost £1 million, was run by the Scottish Government and the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Together they have commissioned the report from an independent group, ODS Consulting.
It is understood a number of families referred to the project refused to take part. Although none of the families is believed to have volunteered to leave Scotland, it is thought some were deported under the old system by the UKBA.
Ian Davidson, Glasgow South West Labour MP and the chairman of the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, said the report must be released immediately.
He said: “The Scottish Government has sat on this for too long. They sat on it before the election and now they have to come forward with its results.
“How long do you need to tell that this has been a complete failure? The Scottish Government has also now got to tells us what their alternative is to this failed idea.”
An official UKBA publication on a similar project in the north of England recorded the results of the Family Return project.
It found that of the 48 cases referred none had voluntarily left Scotland.
A Government spokeswoman would only say that the report would be published “shortly”.
She added: “It was thought important to have this kind of report to learn lessons from the pilot project and assess how things can be improved in the future.”
The UKBA said that the Family Return Project did not cost any more than processing the failed asylum seekers through the normal channels.
Thursday, 2 June 2011
Government Wastes £1 Million Trying to Persuade Third-world Chancers to Go Home
The Herald today reports on the scandalous waste of £1 million on a daft scheme, called the Family Return Project, designed to persuade "failed asylum seekers" to go home voluntarily. A failed asylum seeker, of course, is a third-world con artist, someone whose claim for asylum has been carefully assessed and deemed to be fraudulent. Of the 50 con-artist families who participated in the project, not one of them left voluntarily. Some were deported forcibly; many are still in the country.