Immigration is a gift to every jaded journalist in post-factual Brexit Britain.
Take some meaningless Home Office statistics from 2004 to 2015, season with quotes from xenophobic mouthpieces and sprinkle over cheap lines about bogus asylum seekers exploiting the UK’s soft-touch immigration system.
Hey-presto: that’s a front-page news story. In The Times.
— Ben Amunwa (@benamunwa) August 15, 2016
Buried in the mid-section of the article is what reads like a distinctly lawyered paragraph acknowledging that there are entirely legitimate reasons why persons (such as trafficking victims or torture survivors) don’t immediately seek assistance from the Home Office.
But the damage is already done. And articles like this do little more than stoke the bush-fire of anti-immigration zeal.
As Anna Musgrave from the Refugee Council explained to the Evening Standard:
It’s misguided to believe that asylum claims which aren’t made immediately are somehow invalid.
It’s not just that story is filled with flawed assumptions about asylum claims. It’s not just that the UK takes in under 1% of the world’s refugees, it’s not even that it contains not one word from a refugee or asylum seeker.
There’s something else the media isn’t telling you.
Since 2003 (ie. before the period of the recent statistics) the Home Office has had legal powers to significantly reduce false asylum claims.
If the Home Office conclude that a claim is false, they can certify the claim as “clearly unfounded”. The person making the claim can only appeal against the refusal of such a claim if they leave the UK. A similar power is available to deal with human rights claims by “foreign criminals”. 
Clearly false claims should be certified using this power and the claimants removed. They do not “clog” up the system, so long as the certification decision is fair and reasonable, and if the Home Office actually remove them.
The problem is that the Home Office does not use this power effectively or sensibly. I have seen strong claims get certified and terribly weak ones given appeal rights. None of this should come as a surprise if gap-year students are making decisions.
There are also appalling delays. For all Theresa May’s tough talk on “foreign criminals” exploiting human rights legislation to remain in the UK illegally, there are many cases where inexcusable Home Office delays have made it impossible to deport someone.
Only recently I wrote about the case of a Colombian woman convicted of a serious drug offence who was sentenced to 8 years in prison. After her release, the Home Office did nothing for 9 years. They ultimately failed in their bid to deport her. This represents an enormous waste of taxpayer’s money on incompetent, ineffective and unaccountable bureaucracy.
The Times gets there eventually, acknowledging, by the foot of the article:
Overall, the number of cases waiting for a decision of any kind has doubled between 2010 and 2015 from 11,000 to 26,000.
The. System. Has. Crashed.
That, more than anything, is what produces unfair and illogical outcomes.
 Sections 94 and 94B of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.