U.K. Unveils Hard-Line Migration Plan, Taking Aim at Small-Boat Crossings

The British government on Tuesday announced legislation that would give the Home Office the “duty” to deport nearly all asylum seekers arriving in small boats across the English Channel, part of a package of measures already abandoned. international rights organizations and advocates for refugees condemned. groups.

The Conservative government in the UK is increasingly targeting migrants arriving on its shores, the majority of whom are asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution. A recent plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has been challenge in court.

Suella Braverman, the interior secretary, whose government office is responsible for the planned policy changes and who announced the measures in Parliament, said the proposed legislation would do well. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s previous promise restrict the passage of ships.

“It will allow us to stop the boats that are bringing tens of thousands of people to our shores in flagrant violation of our laws and the will of the British people,” Ms. Braverman said. while emphasizing that the bill is in line with international law, despite Criticism.

“They won’t stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter the UK illegally, you will be detained and promptly deported, return to your home country if it is safe or to another country,” Ms. Braverman said. safe third, like Rwanda”.

The plans announced on Tuesday and provisionally called the Illegal Migration Bill have been heavily criticized by rights groups, charities and some British lawmakers. Opponents of the bill say the government’s policies are aimed at fostering political support rather than solving problems.

In Parliament, Yvette Cooper, a Labor lawmaker and shadow house secretary, called the current asylum system and the government’s proposal a “deeply damaging chaos.”

“It doesn’t help that ministers try to blame anyone else for that, they’ve been in power for 13 years, the asylum system is broken and they’ve broken it,” she said of the government. Conservative.

Refugee Council, a British charity, found in an analysis published at the end of last year that at least two-thirds of people who crossed the English Channel in small boats last year would eventually be granted asylum.

The charity added that, based on its analysis, the proposed law would prevent more than 45,000 people over the next year from having their claims processed.

Enver Solomon, director of the Refugee Council, said in a statement that the law would break Britain’s longstanding commitments under the UN Refugee Convention to give everyone a fair hearing. “It’s not feasible, it’s expensive and won’t stop the boats,” he said.

His charity and others are backing a plan to create safe routes for refugees to enter the UK, such as refugee visas, as well as timely asylum processes and agreements. agreements with European partners to share responsibility for refugees seeking safety in the region.

There is currently no legal avenue for asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution to seek asylum elsewhere in the world and obtain visas to enter the UK, so many people see the small boats crossing the sea and other anomalies — and often dangerous — trips are their only option to enter the country.

Using the Home Office’s own prediction that around 65,000 people will make such a border crossing by 2023, the Refugee Council says the government will have to spend the equivalent of about $1.4 billion to detain those asylum seekers arrive by irregular routes.

The new law is the latest in a series of tough, controversial policies introduced by the Conservative government under successive prime ministers, but the people continue to push forward. sometimes the journey is deadlyoften departed from the French coast in unseaworthy ships.

Last year, an agreement aimed at stopping small boats in the English Channel calling on Britain to pay France 72.2 million euros, about $74.5 million, between 2022 and 2023. In return, France agreed to increase patrols by 40%. security on its northern beaches.

Mr. Sunak announced the plan in December settlement of large UK backlog of claims and to speed up the repatriation of most asylum seekers from Albania after arrivals from that country increased last year.

The plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was also promoted by the Conservative government as a way to prevent migrants from trying to cross the English Channel in small boats. But the numbers continue to rise, and the proposal has been internationally condemned and legally challenged.

In December, the High Court in London ruled that the measure was legal but qualified the decision by saying that every case should be considered individually. To date, no asylum seekers have been sent to Rwanda.

of Rwanda Criticized human rights recordand human rights groups have warned that sending asylum seekers to the country could violate international law and won’t stop who ventured the perilous journey to England.


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