BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Programmes: Panorama  
News Front Page
N Ireland
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Your comments
Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for purposes of clarity and length. The views expressed on these pages are not necessarily the views of the BBC.

The e-mails published will be reflective of the messages we have been sent.

I watched Panorama with disgust...not disgust for asylum seekers but to the contrary disgust at the clearly negative and inccaruate reporting. I work with families affected by seeking asylum and having scrolled through the comments here from Jo Public it is clear that your programme has furthered the prejudice and common perception that that all asylum seekers are criminal or having a laugh at our system. Just to clarify a point or two the majority of people that I have worked with are living well below the poverty line as they are excluded from mainstream benefits and prohibited from working, they are often in housing that is hard to let and it is common for people to have to wait for an average of two years for a final answer on their asylum claim. Add to this the effects upon self worth, living with increasing racism and global uncertainty and these people have a miserable existence. The effects of living in these situations is far reaching... and for all those people out there who are anti-asylum seeker....can you not show some compassion? We are talking about women, men and more importantly children. How fortunate you are that you dont have to even contemplate the horrors of persecution. The same old argument about asylum seekers taking our money, jobs, land me it sounds familiarly like something that Hitler used to scapegoat the Jewish people.
Tracey Hewett, United Kingdom

I work with refugee's on a daily basis, and i agree there are a lot of false asylum claims, but what astounds me is that the really most obviously genuine heart renching stories are refused while blatantly lame stories get leave to remain, and in my daily dealings with the Home Office and NASS they are both inconpetent, urealistic and unproffesional
Zahraa, UK

How many riots could be caused by a programme like this? I live in an area with a large percentage of the local community being made up of asylum seekers. Public opinion is already low enough throughout Britain with out your programme highlighting the obvious failures of the system. Local communities have enough problems educating residents about asylum seekers without your help to make the situation worse than it already is.
Kat Brown, UK

Following tonight's programme, will any action be taken against the individuals/employers who were seen breaking the law? If not, they must be laughing up their sleeves at us and no wonder we're called a 'soft touch'.
Ann Greenhorn, Scotland

Where has compassion gone. Are we unable to put our selves into the shoes of another human being. People from the UK are emigrating everyday to improve their life chances-they are not fleeing from persecution they want a betterlife for themselves and their children. If we can congradulate ourselves for taking such steps how can we condemn other nationalities for wanting a better life. Otherwise we are clearly saying people from democratic countries should have more rights than people who live under a regime.
Helen, UK

The programme was very informative. I urge the government to (instead of prosecuting its makers) take lessons from it. It highlighted a number of points, such as the guy renting his government house whilst receiving benefits. It's terrible to see the system being exploited this way, something has to change. I also felt that the programme would incite those who claim that all asylum seekers are economic migrants, not enough was spent on the real cases. But it infuriates me - how come Holland seems to get it all right? What do they do that we don't? Maybe a summing up programme is due here, to see if anything is changed/to put pressure for change, and also I would like to see what happened to all the criminals we met along the way.
Corinne Gurvitz, England

A truly excellent programme. At last Panorama seems to have found its investigative feet again. It has revealed "the truth that dare not speak its name" about the collapse of the asylum system - without being overly provocative. Everyone involved in the process knows it is a farce- and well done to Ms Murg for her courage in demonstrating this. It is time that we withdrew from the 1951 Convention and set up a fair system that keeps out the economic pimps and bums who congregate on our shores. At present the truly vulnerable are losing out.
John Mclaren, UK

Great programme- brave and painfully accurate.
Colin Nixon, UK

Panorama was a disgrace. Yes, there is abuse of our asylum laws. But the report was snide, sarcastic and factually innaccurate. It was packed with one-sided and ill-informed comment.
Charlie, UK

I was not surprised to see Blunkets attack on the BBC after last nights programme. I agree their are genuine asylum seekers out there who have lived in fear and persecution. The programme showed the total incompetence of the Immigration Service and the black market of 'pimps' work agencies, and fraudsters who abuse these people by getting them into poorly paid work. I would like to know what Claudia was arrested for and if the government, police or immigaration services have acted on the information shown within the programme? Fraud, handling stolen property, knowingly employing workers with no work visas, and 'economic' migrants defrauding the government. One last point, the Home Secretary stated that Claudia was identified by the Immigration Service, was this after she owned up?
Tony, Luxembourg

I watched the programmes put out last night, having had my doubts as to the efficiency of the way we process applications. I must say that what was revealled last night confirms the system is in a shambles and we are indeed a soft touch.
Jon, UK

I was absolutely appalled at the ease with which the system for processing asylem seekers was manipulated. Despite government claims to the contrary, the system is clearly in freefall and totally out of control. This was, for every hard working tax payer, one of the most depressing insights into the state of the country's immigration system. I do hope the information gained has been turned over to the police, in order that the appropriate action is taken against these individuals.
Peter Francis, UK

In your Programme you showed many 'illegals' driving cars. What action are the Police taking? The 'illegals' must be driving on false documents which makes then uninsured, no driving licences, false registration of ownership. The Police could stop and arrest these people which will bring to light the sources of this 'False Document' trade. Also you have not mentioned that 'illegals' can be documented in other E.U. countries and travel to Britain as is the right of E.U. residents.
George Partington, United Kingdom

I really don't think it's a big deal. This has been happening for years. Britain is not the only country having problems. Nothings been done as these Asylum Seekers actually help the economy. They are just doing the jobs that no one in this country wants to do. If it wasn't for these people coming in then we'd probably be living like a third world country. The fact is that the real problem is that asylum seekers are not white.
Anthony Shepherd, Netherlands

I stayed up especially to watch this programme and found it fair but not surprising. Although I believe we have a moral duty to receive people suffering persecution I do not believe we are in fact in a position to support economic migrant workers. Working in the Food Industry I can personally confirm that many factories in this area have more non-UK citizens working via gang-labour than there are British people. The reason being is that they are cheap to employ which drives wages down with the obvious consequences for the community. There is an argument that immigrants contribute to our taxes. They do not. Any money earned is returned to their homes or saved up to take home so on their return to the UK they can reapply for asylum. They admit this.

Finally, it needs to be made clear that not every asylum seeker is an educated and noble person. As we have criminals and dole cheats in the UK there are also these types coming in to the UK. From personal work experience I have seen migrant workers exploit the system not only to their financial advantage but also appealling to those in the civil liberties arena. It has now reached a point in the Food Industry where a migrant (gang) worker will receive biased employment treatment in their favour because employers are terrified of being labelled racists. These workers know this as they are exceptionally switched on regarding their rights and will demand them. It is easy to imagine the tension this is causing.

It is evident that significant changes in the 'system' and public attitudes towards this situation need to be fully addressed before we see a horrific backlash that will affect us all.
Katherine Butcher, UK

The UK and other first world countries should behave in a responsible way to 'Asylum' seekers in the way they went to colonise countries on other continents. They left children of mixed race descent on the continents they conquered and this is one issue they do not want to discuss.
Priscilla Lambert, UK/Zim

Your programme, with it's inaccurate and biased reporting, will have damaged the reputation of asylum seekers and refugees everywhere in the UK. Although it is possible to obtain illegal documentation and employment for a short period, if your reporter had been living as a real 'illegal' she would have either have working as a cleaner for 2.50 an hour or selling sex. Your reporter should have experienced living on the streets or in insecure, depladitated overcrowded housing, being unable to access services or medication and living in permanent terror if she wanted to portray the reality.
Francesca, UK

As an immigrant myself from Ireland the problem I see is that when my family migrated from Ireland we had no hand outs no Council Flats . We migrated because there was work here and we have worked since coming here, paying taxes and contributing to this society. Most of the eastern block migrants simply want to milk the system, which is not acceptable. These people need to be rounded up deported and never let back in again.
Edward O'Riordan, UK

Overall, a good Panorama program that asked a lot of questions. Funny that David Blunkett was not so happy about it. Even funnier that the ID card your journalist obtained was a French one. French ID cards were changed a while ago and the model she aquired was sold to the French people as unfalsifiable. Really?
Pascal Jacquemain, UK (French)

As a licence payer I was astounded that Panorama could transmit a programme that was so blatantly racist. Who looks in on the BBC? You are bound by the RRAA which requires you to promote good race relations. It is a sad day for public service broadcasting when it can provide a platform to overt racists and compromise race relations in the UK.
Ratna Lachman, UK

Your programme portrayed asylum seekers as as criminals, yet a report by the Association of Chief Police Officers said the rate of crime among this group was no higher than among the rest of the population. In fact asylum seekers are more likely to become victims of crime. There have been numerous attacks on asylum seekers in Britain, including murders. One in Glasgow prompted the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to condemn the British media for provoking racial hatred, which is exactly what this programme was doing.
Nick Bostock, England

I thought it an excellent piece of investigative journalism by Claudia Murg and team. Her conversation with the receptionist at one hotel hit a much overlooked point. Yes, immigrants do do the lower paid, less salubrious jobs in this country but, that is because too many of the natives prefer to sit on their backsides on benefits, rather than make the effort to improve their lot, when they are quite capable of doing so. I know, because I've worked in the benefits field.
Dave, England

A truly excellent programme- and the reaction of Blunkett to his failed asylum policies fully justifies the tone. Miss Murg is a very brave lady.
Carloine Bamforth, UK

The BBC has long been regarded as the bastion of honest, balanced and truthful jouralism, with panorama as its flagship current affairs programme. No more. The asylum night was tacky, provocative, ill researched tabloid pap. The right wing bigots, so vocal in the cause against refugees must feel marvellous knowing their pathetic views and arguments have now been given "official" sanction. The programmes lacked humanity and pandered to xenophobes and their pusuit of intolerance. The BBC should be ashamed. We know there are those who abuse the system. We also know abuse of refugees, many who have fled unbelievable horrors, is a fact of British life. I have had the good fortune of meeting many refugees, all of whom I found to be thoroughly decent and productive members of society. This was not reflected in the programmes which I found a poorly balanced disgrace.
Simon Bell, England

The asylum system in this country is a joke, our government is a laughing stock. They have not got a clue, I personally will never vote for Labour again.
Matthew Collings, Midlands, England

Tonight's Panorama programme clearly showed that Mr Blunkett's "Tough" policies on Asylum are a joke. The ease with which your reporter abused the system (if it justifies such a title) was a disgrace. Given that the idenitities of various fraudsters were openly revealed, can we at least hope the authorities will seek out these people and prosecute them?
Andrew Wilkins, UK

What has happened to all of those criminal immigrants depicted in tonights Panorama "The Asylum Game". Will the authorities take the trouble to arrest and charge these criminals?
John Williams, England

I watched the first part of the Asylum Game and at the end Claudia was arested, what ever happened to her after this? Also a brilliantly produced programme. I have now been forced to consider a subject I never really gave much thought to. It's a tricky one, and I would hate to have judge who gets asylum and who doesnt. I just see human dignity being tested and abused in a very sad and cynical way.
Tony, Netherlands

I congratulate you on your coverage of the asylum system tonight. I think that the people of this country may be more sympathetic to the plight of 'genuine' asylum seekers if more was done to rid economic migrants from this country. This country is suffering financial problems with its public services without the 'migrants' milking the system. Until the government gets it sorted, the problem will only get worse. The government should put the tax payer first and plough more money into caring for the elderly who have worked all their lives. The old are second class citizens to the asylum seeker.
A. Pywell, England

A great piece of programming. As a UK citizen I am ashamed to know that many desperate people who apply for asylum here are denied support and then prohibited from working legally. We should - at the very least - provide temporary work visas. Shame on Blunkett et al.
Dr Lawrence Moon, UK

Thank you for exposing the criminal corruption, profound inefficiency and bare-faced lies surrounding the immigration system vis asylum seekers. I would like to congratulate Claudia Murg for her bravery and her compassion in her six month report. I am not against asylum seekers but the current system is truly criminal, corrupt and unjust.
Chris Eley, United Kingdom

Well done Panorama for showing the public how bad the goverment are handling this asylum crisis. I get the impression that the goverment want asylum seekers here for the cheap labour.
Dave Lawton, England

I would be interested to know if you pass all the details of the illegal activities to the relevant authorities, particularly the man who has been given the flat but then rents it out
Ian Mills, UK

A refreshingly frank programme which is rare on this subject. Professionally produced - showing it the way it is - but what next? Will this be another expose filed away?
J Kane, UK

I am appalled by the biased, negative slant of tonight's programme, with the sarcastic commentary. What was depicted was criminal activities - also exercised by white Britons, here and in other countries. Foreign workers also contribute tremendously to Britain's economy, and a very small percentage actually claim benefits.

It's clear that there is a problem and that the government should rethink its policy: in terms of better administration; allowing asylum seekers to work while waiting for the outcome; putting more funds aside so that the already burdened charities can cope with helping people to eat and sleap safely; to help the NHS provide for Britons and asylum seekers alike, etc. This programme did nothing to help the situation.

God bless the hearts of a naive nation that has never fully experienced persecution and hardship, is so quick to judge the fate of others, and wants to keep all riches (however acquired) to itself.
Sophia, UK

I was astounded at the ease in which asylum seekers can gain entry into the country and find 'black market' work. There are, it seems, plenty of employers who will willingly employ asylum seekers even those who have been refused asylum. The programme revealed many of the abuses that are taking place within our asylum system. Many are coming to this country for a better standard of living and are not fleeing persecution from their countries of origin. We must, after watching the programme, close many loopholes in the asylum laws to prevent as much fraud as possible. The asylum seekers when refused, are getting lost in the country and this results in many staying here ilegally for in some cases many years. This clearly has to stop. The government has a lot to do before, I think, we will see any significant improvements being made concerning asylum seekers. If we are to continue accepting asylum seekers our laws must be respected and obeyed by all those entering the country. If! not drastic measures will have to be taken where asylum is concerned in future.
Steve Fuller, England

In Scotland we don't have as much of a problem with asylum seekers at the moment but the numbers are creeping up. I am appalled at what I have just seen in this programme and cannot believe that the Government will not be brought to task over this. I am disgusted at their so called checks and I believe that we must have a referendum of all legal citizens or the right wing will take over.
Ann Greenhorn, Scotland

Can anybody answer this. Where do these so called refugees get their money to pay people smugglers?
Elaine Smeaton, England

Congratulations to Panorama for once again setting the standard for investigative journalism. The programme did not discredit genuine asylum seekers, on the contrary it demonstrated what those people will resort to when the government deprives them of all legal options.
Gregory Roumeliotis, UK

Having watched both programmes this evening what seems clear to me is not that we have a responsibility to genuine asylum seekers but the sheer incompetence of the home office and the greed of the minority of lawyers and solicitors.Will they be able to chase up that man cheating the system of almost 500 per week? I cannot imagine the response of many UK citizens fighting for their legal benefit entitlements
Raymond Oates, UK

I am disgusted at the BBC coverage on this topic. How great is it for you to demonstrate your contempt for thse those who take advantage of the system - but what about desperate genuine people who have to because they have no option - you should have considered more carefully before putting out this progrmme as is gives justification to the racists of this country who will neglect to hear the issues that affect genuine asylum seekers. Hence I am desperately sad to discover that the BBC is so opposed to people seeking asylum - or is there another reason? Could it be that they are seeking the appproval of the Govt. I hope not!
Susan Orr, UK

I am suprised that through all this, no one has commented on the historical reasons behind some of these migrations. The British once "invaded" other peoples countries without even the decency of applying for permission. Which is what a lot of asylum seekers do. Even up till now things, artifacts, and human beings that were stolen are still in this country. All those British that are complaining are amusing. Foreigners like these built this country they are so proud to call their own, and if they are willing to take people in just because they will definitely be beneficial without being willing to take responsibility for some of the cases, that by their actions in the past have contributed in some way to, is just plain selfish.
Maame, UK

Why, may I ask, was the BBC wasting the immigration service's time and money (and hence tax payers') by putting another fake asylum seeker into the system? It's bad enough as it is.
Henry Williams, England

I will be unable to see your programme this evening. However, the one thing I cannot understand is why asylum seekers are not permitted to work while their status is being investigated. This would have many obvious benefits both to the asylum seekers themselves and the rest of the country.

To all those who voice their objections, I would ask them to imagine that they had to flee from the UK, take nothing with them except what they could carry and then find themselves in a country that may, or may not, treat them with grave suspicion about their motives in arriving there at all. I can think of few things more awful.

At least if people were allowed to work they would be on the way to taking some control over their lives and those of their families.
Shelagh Murphy, United Kingdom

I have just read the article on undercover Panorama investigator Claudia Murg as an asylum seeker. I find it outrageous. The depiction aims to make the asylum seekers, I am one of them, as cheaters and scams. I have been living here for a bit less than three years, but without a work permit though I asked for asylum two days after I came here, I didn't destroy my original IDs, including my passport and I am qualified as an English teacher. How can a man live in an expensive city like London if he is not allowed to work and doesn't get any benefits? Thanks to some friends I made here I have been able not to resort to forgeries and so on. But how many people can find support? I was persecuted and deprived of my human rights in 'my' country. I have been deprived of my human right here too. And then we just blame the asylum seekers or the 'system'
Nidhal Eddeym, Tunisian living in London

So we only take in 2% of the worlds asylum seekers...and yet we have only 1% of the worlds population living here...does this mean that we are taking in double the average amount on a world basis
Dave Wilkinson, England

I would like to see an end to all immigration into this country except where an individual (and their family), is needed for the benefit of the UK.To settle the issue,there should be a referendum of all legal citizens of the UK to decide what they want. This would also free any government from responsibility.
Norman Burton, England

Panorama: The asylum game


Related stories



Links to more Panorama stories are at the foot of the page.

 E-mail this story to a friend

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |