Britain’s Indian-origin Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, on Tuesday announced a new Illegal Migration Bill that will mean migrants arriving in the UK illegally on small boats will be “removed swiftly”.
The minister, whose father is of Goan heritage and mother of Tamil heritage, referenced her own migrant roots during her statement in the House of Commons to lay out details of the new “robust approach” against illegal migration.
“They will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally you will be detained and swiftly removed back to your country, if it is safe, or a safe third country such as Rwanda,” Ms Braverman.
“And that is precisely what this bill will do. That is how we will stop the boats,” she said.
The Home Secretary said the new bill will mean last-minute judicial reviews “conducted late at night with no chance to make our case or even appeal decisions” are no longer allowed.
“Now, the United Kingdom must always support the world’s most vulnerable. Since 2015, we have given sanctuary to nearly half a million people. These include 150,000 people from Hong Kong, 160,000 people from Ukraine, 25,000 Afghans fleeing the Taliban.”
“Indeed, my own parents decades ago found security and opportunity in this country, something for which my family is eternally grateful,” said Ms Braverman.
“For a government not to respond to waves of illegal migrants breaching our borders would be to betray the will of the people we were elected to serve,” she said.
Under the new law, it will be her duty as Home Secretary “to remove” those entering the UK via illegal routes. This will take legal precedence over someone’s right to claim asylum – although there will be exemptions for under-18s, those with serious medical conditions, and some “at real risk of serious and irreversible harm”.
Any other asylum claims will be heard remotely after removal. The bill allows for the detention of illegal arrivals without bail or judicial review within the first 28 days of detention, until they can be removed.
Besides a crackdown on unsafe boats crossing over from the French sea border, Suella Braverman also revealed plans for an annual Parliament-set cap on migrants granted asylum in the UK through safe routes.
The bill, the full details of which are yet to be published in Parliament, comes after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak indicated plans for a tough new law over the weekend.
“Make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay,” Rishi Sunak told the ‘Sunday Express’ newspaper.
Refugee charities and human rights groups have warned of the legal implications for vulnerable asylum seekers.
“Of course, the UK will always seek to uphold international law and I am confident that this bill is compatible with international obligations,” Ms Braverman insisted in the Commons.
The Opposition Labour party has raised doubts about the legality and feasibility of the bill and the Liberal Democrats said ministers had drawn up “another half-baked plan”.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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