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Asylum Seekers in Crawley

From time to time the Government or its agencies place asylum seekers in accommodation in Crawley.

Europa Hotel on the outskirts of Maidenbower has been used as a transit site for asylum seekers awaiting longer-term accommodation in other parts of the UK. Due to an increase of people fleeing war and persecution from various countries, those seeking refuge in the UK has also increased and so has the amount of people being accommodated at transit sites.

The people who have been staying in Crawley are asylum seekers who have made a claim to the UK government. They have all been through initial processing and security checks carried out by the Home Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an asylum seeker, a refugee and a migrant?

An asylum seeker is a person who has applied for asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees. A refugee is an asylum seeker who has had their application accepted. An economic migrant is a person who has left their own country and seeks, by lawful or unlawful means, to find employment in another country.

How many people are staying at the Europa Hotel?

Up to 150 asylum seekers stay at the hotel at any one time, although there are often far fewer than this.

How long do they stay?

Currently, asylum seekers stay for a maximum of five days before being transferred to longer-term accommodation in other parts of the UK.

Why are they in Crawley?

Between 30 and 200 asylum seekers arrive in the South East every day. Transit sites allow time to arrange a more sustainable housing solution and also breaks up potentially very long journeys to other parts of the UK. Transit sites are found in various towns in the South East due to their proximity to Dover.

How do we really know who these people are?

The asylum seekers staying at transit sites have already gone through the first stage of checks. This includes matching fingerprints on an international database and thorough health screening.

Where are the asylum seekers from?

Most people being accommodated at the hotel are from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and African countries - mostly Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia.

What happens when asylum seekers arrive at the hotel?

They are provided with a room, food and a support contact. Although they are legal in the UK and are able to move around freely, they are advised not to leave the hotel during their stay. Most are unable/unwilling to leave due to a lack of money.

Do they get money?

Every asylum seeker, regardless of age, is given £36.95 per week to cover all costs including food, personal hygiene, travel etc. This payment would not be made during stays at transit sites as they are provided with full board.

How many asylum seekers stay in Crawley permanently?

The Home Office does not provide dispersal accommodation in Crawley, therefore asylum seekers will only stay in the town if they are housed by family or friends.

Has there been any crime related to asylum seekers since the Europa Hotel has been used as a transit site?

There have been no reported crimes committed by asylum seekers. Unfortunately, threats on social media relating to the hotel has caused concern to police. This was handled appropriately but police and Crawley Borough Council would like to remind residents to consider their conduct and keep in mind the atrocities and danger many of these people are fleeing from.

What responsibility does the UK have to take asylum seekers?

If a person enters the UK because they are escaping persecution, the UK government is obliged to provide refuge under the 1951 Refugee Convention. Asylum seekers need to fulfil a number of criteria to be granted refugee approval: they are outside their own country; they have a well-founded fear of persecution; persecution is due to race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; they are unable to rely on their own government to keep them safe. The UK is committed to the United Nations Responsibility to Protect Framework which lays down a responsibility to protect populations from the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.

How many applications for asylum did the UK receive in 2014?

There were 31,400, of which 41 per cent were allowed to stay.

01293 438000 click to email us
Town Hall
The Boulevard
West Sussex
RH10 1UZ
Open Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5pm

Contact Us

01293 438000

email: click to email us

Town Hall
The Boulevard
West Sussex
RH10 1UZ
Open Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5pm

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