UK Unveils Plan to Crack Down on Illegal Migration

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On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister announced a controversial new plan to stop the surge of illegal migrants coming into the country.

The plan, called the ‘illegal migration bill’, will crack down on those crossing the English Channel in small boats. In this article, we will look closer at Sunak’s plan and the reactions it has elicited.

The New Plan: No Asylum for Illegal Migrants

Interior Minister Suella Braverman will be given a new legal duty to deport all migrants entering illegally, such as across the Channel, under the draught law, superseding their other rights under UK and European human rights law.

Sunak has warned that those who enter the UK illegally will be denied asylum.

“If you come to the UK illegally you will be stopped from making late claims and attempts to frustrate your removal. You will be removed in weeks, either to your own country if it is safe to do so, or to a safe third country like Rwanda,” said Rishi Sunak in a Tweet.

The Consequences: Detention and Ban from Re-Entry

Sunak also added that those who enter the country illegally would be detained and deported within weeks, either to their home country if it is safe to do so or to a Safe Third Country like Rwanda.

They will be barred from ever reentering the country once removed, similar to policies in the United States and Australia.

The Reasons: Unsustainable and Unfair

Sunak emphasised that the current situation is neither moral nor sustainable, adding that “it’s devastatingly unfair on those who need our help the most but can’t get it because our asylum system is being overwhelmed by those travelling illegally across the channel.”

Last year, over 45,000 migrants arrived on the shores of southeast England on small boats, a 60 per cent increase on a perilous route that has grown in popularity every year since 2018.

Reactions: Criticisms and Support

The new law has been criticised by rights groups and opposition parties as unworkable and unfairly scapegoating vulnerable refugees. Some supporters of the plan, however, argue that it is necessary to prevent illegal migration and protect the country’s borders.

The United Kingdom has already attempted to implement deportations, launching a programme last year to relocate some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

However, no flights have left the UK since the plan was halted in June last year by an injunction issued by the European Court of Human Rights.

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