This chapter explores the official rationale, structure, and implementation of compulsory dispersal. It observes that separating asylum seekers from the mainstream system of welfare provision has created a more visible group and entrenched the perception of asylum seekers as being somehow ‘outside’ society. It argues that this institutionalised departure from equal access to state provision, separation, and the provision of parallel services specifically for asylum seekers results in social exclusion. It examines the history of dispersing refugees across the UK and it suggests that the contemporary dispersal of asylum seekers is taking place within a qualitatively new environment that has emerged since the mid-1990s and been manifest through several Acts of Parliament.
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