Illegal immigrants that arrive on on beaches in the UK could be faced with deportation in as little as 24 hours it has been revealed.
Today, Priti Patel said for the first time, people seeking protection as refugees would have their claim assessed based on how they arrive in the UK. She added that “enough is enough”.
Tomorrow we launch our 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗶𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
We are taking action to deter dangerous and illegal migration to the UK and create a new asylum system that’s fair for those in genuine need. pic.twitter.com/9d0wjSDReN
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) March 23, 2021
There were 35,099 asylum claims made in the UK during the year ending March 2020.
Almost 30,000 people sought asylum in the UK last year and more than 8,000 of them crossed the English Channel in small boats.
Most of the people that make up the 35,099 number are from with Iran, Albania and Iraq.
However now, people that do arrive in the UK by what the government call ‘illegal means to claim asylum’ will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive through proper channels it has been reported.
Our New Plan for Immigration is based on 3 key aims:
🇬🇧 To support those in genuine need via safe & legal routes.
❌ To break the life-threatening business of criminal people smugglers.
🛂 To make it easier to remove illegal arrivals with no right to be here.
Firm but fair. pic.twitter.com/t5Re0EfIoB
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) March 24, 2021
Priti Patel said the government had promised to “take back control” of asylum and immigration and would introduce a “faster and fairer” system that would “better support the most vulnerable”.
She added: “Families and young children have lost their lives at sea, in lorries and in shipping containers having put their trust in the hands of criminals,”
“The way to stop these deaths is to stop the trade in people that causes them.”
She said the new measures will create “safe and legal routes”
“If you illegally enter the UK via a safe country in which you could have claimed asylum, you are not seeking refuge from imminent peril, as is the intended purpose of the asylum system, but are picking the UK as a preferred destination over others,” she said today.
She added: “We have a generous asylum system that offers protection to the most vulnerable via defined legal routes. But this system is collapsing under the pressures of what are in effect parallel illegal routes to asylum, facilitated by criminals smuggling people into the UK.”
Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “risk making the situation even worse for victims of human trafficking as it would make seeking help in the UK even harder”.
“The government policy is defined by a lack of compassion and a lack of competence, the plans risk baking in to the UK system the callousness of this government’s approach,” he said.
Responding to Ms Patel, Refugee Council chief executive Enver Solomon accused the government of “seeking to unjustly differentiate between the deserving and undeserving refugee” by giving protection “based on how they travel to the UK”.
Another proposal includes bringing in age checks to stop adults entering the country by ‘pretending to be children’.
In response to Priti Patel, feminist Natasha Walter tweeted: “I am personally chilled by Home Office proposals being set out this morning. My grandfather arrived in this country in 1939 having fled across Europe hidden in a coal train. Under Priti Patel’s new law, he would never have been given safety, never been able to rebuild his life.”
Labour MP Richard Burgon tweeted: “Priti Patel’s statement on refugees was one of the vilest statements I’ve heard in Parliament.
“People seeking asylum have fled war, torture and rape.
“Let’s be clear – in a deep economic crisis, this aims to blame refugees rather than a rotten economic system for society’s ills.”
Nigel Farage tweeted: “Yet more tough talk from @PritiPatel in her immigration statement. Where will she deport illegal migrants to?
“Why did she not mention we are still in the ECHR? Nothing is going to change.”
The Mail on Sunday’s Dan Hodges tweeted: “Priti Patel’s policy of attempting to incentivise use of global refugee resettlement routes is the correct policy. It will be subject to the inevitable attacks. But she’s right.”
In an interview with BBC, Patel responded to the British Red Cross that her new system was “inhumane”. She said: “What is inhumane is allowing people to be smuggled through illegal migration, and that is what we want to stop.
“The Red Cross, the UNHCR and other agencies, they are partner organisations, we will work with them to create safe and legal routes so we can stop this terrible, terrible trade in people being smuggled.”