According to research by the Institute of Race Relations’ European Race Audit the policy of dispersing asylum seekers, now being introduced into the UK and Ireland, but already practised in other European countries for some years, effectively means the dispersal of xenophobia.
The outcry by residents of Over Stowey, Somerset, against a proposed asylum hostel and the racist violence against asylum seekers in Hull are not isolated phenomena. IRR’s research shows that a deep-rooted xenophobia has risen to the surface in rural, coastal and port areas of Europe as governments and political parties use the asylum debate for electoral gain.
By utilising the language of deterrence, failing to consult locally and refusing to make adequate social provision, national governments are laying the ground for heightened prejudice. Focusing on case studies of the UK, the Netherlands and Ireland, the report shows how the new state-sponsored xenophobia overlaid on old forms of racism, creates an explosive combination.