UK Officially Passes Anti-Illegal Immigration Bill to Deport Illegal Immigrants

UK Officially Passes Anti-Illegal Immigration Bill to Deport Illegal Immigrants


After months of debate and controversy, the UK’s Illegal Migration bill has passed through the UK’s parliament and has received royal assent from King Charles. The bill seeks to detain and then deport those who enter the UK illegally. Those deported will either be sent back to their home countries, or a “safe third country”. While technically speaking the UK is seeking partnerships with multiple nations to become “safe third country” destinations, such a partnership has only been established with Rwanda. The bill bars people from claiming asylum if they do not enter the UK legally, which obliges the home secretary to deport them. Asylum seekers to the UK must now go through legal channels only.

The bill brings significant British financial support for partner countries in order to develop their asylum systems, and assist in accommodating those deported.

The bill removes the cap of time for which most illegal immigrants can be held prior to deportation, however it carries with it an 8-day cap for unaccompanied children, and maintains the 72-hour cap put in place for pregnant women before both are granted immigration bail.

For months the bill has been fought by human rights groups and many opposition MP’s, with some claiming that Rwanda’s ability to accommodate the immigrants is not sufficient enough, and with others claiming that the plan to deport asylum seekers and illegal immigrants in the first place is immoral, and ignores the UK’s legal responsibilities.

One additional critic is the UN. Volker Turk, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that the UK has a legal obligation to help those seeking refuge in the UK, and that it “sets a worrying precedent for dismantling asylum-related obligations that other countries, including in Europe, may be tempted to follow”.

The UN a number of hours ago on July 20th released a larger press release, condemning the UK law. The full release may be read below:

The bill is one of the biggest parts of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s “Stop the Boats” plan, in reference to the distinctly unsafe boat trip across the English channel that asylum seekers must make in order to reach the UK, primarily done on small boats. The bill is meant to dissuade people from coming to the UK in the first place in order for them to avoid being deported upon arrival.

UK Lord Murray of Blidworth has stated that “with over 45,000 people making dangerous Channel crossings last year this is simply no longer sustainable”, claiming that the accommodation for all of the arrivals was costing 6 Million British pounds, daily.

The bills biggest challenge ahead is that the deal with Rwanda, the only present Partner-State for the bill, had been determined unlawful by a court of appeal last month, determining it cannot count as a “safe third country”. PM Sunak, as well as a number of other British and Rwandan politicians, have insisted that Rwanda is safe. PM Sunak will be taking a legal case to the UK’s supreme court in order to fight last month’s decree.

According to the British government, sending people to Rwanda will cost around 170k pounds per person.

So far in 2023, approximately 13,200 people have crossed the English Channel to the UK in small boats.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.
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