UK asylum applicants fell by 41% last year, which would seem like good news for the Home Secretary. And an increase of 23% in the numbers of failed asylum seekers being removed shouldn't be ignored. Not to mention the fact that the asylum and immigration budget is up to £2 billion.
But when viewed from the pespective of the failings of previous years and policies, I would reserve judgement on the overall success until we have at least 2 or 3 years of figures on which to get a truer picture. And at the same time, the UK will be the first country to begin enforced repatriation of failed Iraqi asylum seekers. Which, given the current state of Iraq, strikes me as an exceedingly bad idea, and the UNHCR isn't too happy about it either.