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Last Updated: Friday, 18 July, 2003, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Face The Nation
Beverley Hughes MP
Beverley Hughes: minister for asylum and immigration since 2002
Beverley Hughes, Home Office minister for asylum and immigration, faced the nation in the culmination of special programmes for BBC One's Asylum Day.

In a live studio discussion, together with a panel of other key players involved in the asylum system, she debated some of the issues raised throughout the day.

The panel also responded to some of the many questions and comments we received by e-mail over the last few days and on the night.


I am now ashamed to live in this country and to be male. I personally would swap some of the people who voted tonight for any of the asylum seekers featured.
Jason Evans, Stourbridge

Our culture has been enriched for centuries by other traditions and cultures
Chris Rigby

Why did you not featuring asylum seekers who are in the country illegally under false identities having been refused asylum?
Bob Knightley, Romford

The programmes today have been an interesting insight into the mess consecutive governments have made of the immigration system.
Edward Sheldon, Gloucester

Our culture has been enriched for centuries by other traditions and cultures. The most urgent need in the 21st Century is education to banish public fear and ignorance.
Chris Rigby, Devon

How dare you allow these people in to our country? How dare you let them exploit our failing NHS? How dare you allow them to exploit our benefits system?
Ms Coleman Yorkshire

Many of my Gambian countrymen come here because they feel England owes it to them
Ndey Sosseh

It cannot be acceptable to accept migrants who have travelled through safe democratic countries in order to reach a country of their choice.
Vince Mahoney, London

As a Gambian living in the UK, I know that many of my countrymen come here because they feel England owes it to them after decades of profits made during the slave trade.
Ndey Sosseh, UK

The benefit system is not an end, it is simply a stop gap measure as people chase their dreams.
James, south London

We should distinguish between those who are genuine refugees and those who should be termed economic migrants.
Ros Harrison Cheshire

It is clear that we have no chance to deal with the immigrant problem
William S Broome

I agree we need to show compassion, but we need to show it to our own elderly, sick and children too.
Dawn, Derbyshire

It is clear that we have no chance to deal with the immigrant problem and stay within international law since it is abused to such an extent that it is no longer viable.
William S Broome Inkberrow, Worcs

I am appalled by the way that some sections of our press demonise asylum seekers when they themselves have not suffered the terrible hardships that these people have gone through.
Ian Haworth,UK


Asylum: Face The Nation was broadcast on Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, at 21:00 BST on BBC One. It can be viewed on demand from this website.



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