James Sweeney discusses immigration on BBC Radio Tees
(21 April 2010)
Dr James Sweeney appeared on the BBC Radio Tees breakfast show on the 21st April in conversation with presenter Katherine Hannah, to discuss immigration in the context of the general election. Dr Sweeney, who is a convenor of the 'Law and Conflict at Durham' research cluster at Durham Law School, is an expert on human rights and refugee law. Dr Sweeney explained how factors in the home state are more influential on the number of people seeking asylum than policies in the UK: 'The reason there are fewer applying, right now, is due to the global situation: there's not a great deal that our government, of whatever colour, can do about who does or doesn't apply for asylum. The reason being that, if you look at who is applying, it tends to be people from Iraq and Afghanistan, and there are obvious reasons why that is. We get a large number from Zimbabwe as well. These are real flashpoints across the world, and it is those that give rise to the increase, or the decrease, in whether people want to come to the UK, rather than us tinkering at the edges with our welfare system.'
In relation to the general election Dr Sweeney singled out Conservative proposals for an annual cap on immigration as 'deeply problematic'.