The Ground-breaking Illegal Migration Bill will aim to prevent those arriving illegally in small boats from claiming asylum and will block them from returning or seeking citizenship.
It costs Taxpayers £7million a day to house migrants and is a worry for many brits, up from £4.7 last year. In 2022 the asylum system cost the taxpayer £1.5 billion a year. (from Home office Facsheet – 14 April 2022)
Last year more than 45,000 people entered the UK via Channel crossings, up from around 299 in 2018. This includes criminals endangering citizens entering the UK and pulling the rug from under the criminal gangs profiting from this misery once and for all.
Refugees who come to the UK in small boats will instead be detained and swiftly removed to their home country if safe, or another safe third country, such as Rwanda.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was “fair for those at home and those who have a legitimate claim to asylum”.
The controversial issue has received mixed feedback. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has described the plans as “unworkable”.
Home Secretary, Suella Braverman “Stopping the boats is my top priority and is one of the five promises Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made to the British people. That is why today I am announcing a new Illegal Migration Bill.”
Ms Braverman accused Labour of “betraying hard working Brits” by not backing the plans.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:
The British people rightly expect us to solve this crisis and that’s what myself and the Prime Minister fully intend to do. We must stop the boats.
It is completely unfair that people who travel through a string of safe countries then come to the UK illegally and abuse our asylum laws to avoid removal.
It has to stop. By bringing in new laws, I am making it absolutely clear that the only route to the UK is a safe and legal route. If you come here illegally, you won’t be able to claim asylum or build a life here.
You will not be allowed to stay. You will be returned home if safe, or to a safe third country like Rwanda. It’s the only way to prevent people risking their lives and paying criminals thousands of pounds to get here.
A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster, whereas a migrant refers more broadly to anyone who moves from one place to another.
Migrants may now be detained for 28 days with no recourse for bail or judicial review, and then for as long as there is a reasonable prospect of removal or up to 45 days to remain in the UK before your appeal is exhausted.
The Times reports two former RAF bases in Lincolnshire and Essex would be used to house those detained before their removal.
The annual number settled via safe and legal routes will be kept under review, if a humanitarian crisis within the world requires a response, then the UK will step up and offer sanctuary to those in need, as we have done for tens of thousands of Ukrainians and Afghans.
The Bill forms part of the action the government is taking to stop small boat crossings and illegal migration as a whole.
- an agreement with Albania that recognises their status as a safe country
- a new dedicated unit to speed up the processing of Albanian cases – since the announcement in December we have returned over 3000 illegal migrants, including over 500 Albanians
- ending the legacy backlog of asylum claims by the end of 2023 – we have already doubled decision makers and we will double the number again and we are changing the system to make it more productive
- reducing the use of hotels, with the government currently spending £6.2 million a day, by moving asylum seekers to cheaper alternative accommodation
- established the Small Boats Operational Command in December, enabling us from January to protect the resources of our Immigration Enforcement teams – as a direct result of this change, we have been able to significantly increase the numbers of immigration enforcement visits undertaken, deliver a 50% uplift in enforcement visits per month and have seen a corresponding increase in arrests
- doubling the funding for Operation Invigor, which brings together the NCA, Home Office Intelligence and UK policing to disrupt organised crime groups who are smuggling people from source countries to the beaches of northern France
- our joint work with France saw nearly 33,000 Channel crossings prevented in 2022, compared to just over 23,000 in 2021 – since the UK-France Joint Intelligence Cell (JIC) was established in July 2020, 59 organised criminal groups involved in small boats crossings
- clamping down on people smugglers, with over 350 arrests made since the Nationality and Borders Act became law
- welcoming current collaboration with the French to tackle illegal migration, which includes agreeing further action at the UK/FR Leaders’ Summit
Summary of Bill measures:
- Duty to make arrangements for removal – the Home Secretary will have a legal duty to remove people who have entered the UK illegally.
- Detention and bail – strengthening detention powers so people can only apply for bail from the Courts (First-tier Tribunal) after 28 days (although habeus corpus will remain).
- Unaccompanied children – minors who come to the UK illegally will not be removed to a safe third country until they turn 18.
- Entry, citizenship and settlement – people who come to the UK illegally will be prevented from settling in the country and will face a permanent ban from returning.
- Asylum – people who come here illegally will have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible and considered in a safe third country.
- Modern slavery – modern slavery referrals for those who come to the UK illegally will be disqualified under public order grounds under the terms of the international anti-trafficking treaty, ECAT.
- Legal proceedings – limiting the circumstances in which legal challenges will prevent someone from being removed from the UK. Most legal challenges will be considered when someone has been successfully removed from the UK.
- Expanding the list of countries that are considered safe in law – this will make it unquestionably clear when someone doesn’t need our protection because they are obviously not at risk of persecution in their home country.
- Annual number of people using safe and legal routes – committing to resettling a specific number of refugees in the UK every year.