24 March 2021 The Home Office MP Account Management Team: “We are fixing a broken asylum system and creating a new one which will be fairer and firmer and compassionate towards those who need our help.“
Government Consultation process announced – responses to be filed by 6 May 2021 11.45pm: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-plan-for-immigration
Priti Patel’s statement today: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretarys-statement-on-the-new-plan-for-immigration
This post will be updated with reports from some organisations considering the plan
1 April 2021: The Tablet: Jesuit Refugee Service: Why the new immigration plan is cruel and inhumane by Sarah Teather
The new, envisaged asylum system would be no good for anyone. It would not prevent desperate people from making dangerous journeys, but only deny them a better, more dignified future. It would not prevent trafficking, but only make it harder still for survivors of trafficking to approach the authorities. It would actively militate against integration, preventing refugees from participating in our communities, or putting down roots. It would be likely to create further delays in asylum and immigration processes, requiring civil servants to expend time and energy continually seeking opportunities to tear refugees from British communities. All it would achieve is the creation of more human suffering.
Fratelli Tutti provides us with an alternative vision, in which all of those seeking sanctuary might be allowed to flourish. We must make the choice that enables us all to grow and thrive, as valued human beings. We need to urgently pull ourselves back from self-destruction.
26 March 2021: Church Times: Charities condemn UK asylum proposals as inhumane and deceitful
CHARITIES have expressed dismay at the Government’s “deeply cruel, dishonest, and inhumane” proposals to refuse anyone who has entered the UK illegally the automatic right to settle.
Under a New Immigration Plan announced on Wednesday, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said that, for the first time, asylum-seekers who entered the UK via illegal routes, such as Channel crossings organised by human traffickers, would be regularly reassessed for removal from the UK, would have limited family-reunion rights, and would have no recourse to public funds, except in cases of destitution.
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants: Explained: Priti Patel’s plans for the immigration system
Priti Patel is drawing up new plans for the immigration system which turn back the clock, tearing up refugee law that has been in place since the UK signed up to the Refugee Convention in 1951. Join us to campaign against these plans
What are Priti Patel’s plans for the immigration system?
Inventing a distinction of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ asylum seekers
Priti Patel is proposing a new resettlement scheme for refugees, which would be a welcome improvement, if it was not so incredibly narrow, and packaged alongside attempts to discredit and delegitimise all other asylum seekers.
Under the proposals, LGBTQ+ people and those fleeing political or religious persecution will be left with no options to travel to the UK. Those at our borders trying to reach family and friends in the UK will be pushed into the hands of people smugglers.
More chaos and misery into an already-broken asylum system
Priti Patel plans to send asylum seekers to third countries, even if they have no connections there. And she’s finding new ways to cut people off from legal advice. The system will grind to a halt, with people waiting desperately in limbo for months or years, prevented from rebuilding their lives and becoming part of our communities.
Priti Patel’s asylum plans are a gift to traffickers
If Priti Patel was serious about protecting vulnerable people from dangerous journeys and exploitative traffickers, she would create a wide range of safe, legal routes for people to travel to the UK.
But Patel is simply not capable of designing a system that protects vulnerable people. These proposals are an attack on the principles enshrined in the Refugee Convention. We are going to have a huge fight on our hands to change these plans – are you with us?
The document commits to exploring ways in which the UK can assist people to reach safety from dangerous situations in their home countries, but offers no details on this. There are also general commitments to assist refugees into employment.
Responding to the new proposals, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:
“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the UN Convention on refugees, a proud milestone that we should be celebrating by welcoming refugees who need our protection. Instead the government is seeking to unjustly differentiate between the deserving and undeserving refugee by choosing to provide protection for those fleeing war and terror based on how they travel to the UK. The reality is that, when faced with upheaval, ordinary people are forced to take extraordinary measures and do not have a choice about how they seek safety.
The government is effectively creating a two tier system where some refugees are unfairly punished for the way they are able to get to the UK. This is wholly unjust and undermines the UK’s long tradition of providing protection for people, regardless of how they have managed to find their way to our shores, who have gone on to become proud British citizens contributing as doctors, nurses and entrepreneurs to our communities. All refugees deserve to be treated with compassion and dignity, and it’s a stain on ‘Global Britain’ to subject some refugees to differential treatment.”
23 March 2021: Freemovement: Ahead of immigration bill reading
Australia’s asylum processing centres on the islands of Manus and Nauru have been widely condemned for systemic abuses, and human rights violations
Eight years and the equivalent of £5bn. Twelve deaths and thousands of lives damaged, disrupted, and left in limbo. Australia’s “offshore processing” regime for asylum seekers achieved little and resolved less, a refugee held at the heart of the system for seven years has said.
“Australia has created a tragedy,” journalist and author Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian Kurdish refugee detained on Manus Island, told the Guardian. “I don’t think the people of the UK want their government to create the same tragedy in their name.”
The UK home secretary, Priti Patel, is expected to publish plans this week to overhaul Britain’s asylum system, including legislative changes that would allow the UK to send migrants who have claimed asylum to be sent to processing centres in third countries.
No Deportations: Home Office Spends £13,354 per Person on Deportation Flights
The cost of removing people from the UK by charter flight during the last three months of 2020 was £13,354 per person – more than 100 times than the average cost of a ticket on a scheduled flight, and a 11.5% increase on the same period in the previous year. A freedom of information response obtained by the organisation No-Deportations stated that between October and December 2020 the Home Office spent £4.3m deporting 322 people on 23 charter flights – which amounts to £13,354 per deportee.
Many of the 23 charter flights the Home Office used in that period had fewer than 10 passengers onboard, and some as few as five. The Home Office said the small numbers flying were due to last-minute legal challenges by deportees. In the last three months of 2019 the cost of removal on a charter flight was equivalent to £11,975 per person.
The figures showed a tenfold increase in the number of people removed on charter flights, from 37 people in 2019 to 322 people in 2020, and a sixfold increase in the number of charter flights used, from four to 23. There was also an increased use of charter flights to EU countries at the end of 2020 before the Brexit deadline. Under EU membership there was a mechanism to return asylum seekers to the first safe European country they passed through, but this returns scheme is no longer available to the government.
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://is.gd/pFJvtq
Update 21 March 2021: From a StatusNow4AllNetwork member regarding the Government press release of today, below: “Thousands of people trafficked and abused do not go to the NRM process because they fear this kind of treatment. Unbelievable!!!”
We abhor the divisive, emotive and noxious wording used by the Government in this press release.
Please also see our page: https://statusnow4all.org/modern-slavery/ for reports about how the system does … or does not work to protect victims of slavery/trafficking.
Government press release: Alarming rise of abuse within modern slavery system
Major increases in child rapists, people who threaten national security and failed asylum seekers clogging up modern slavery system.
19 March 2021 Guardian: Asylum seekers ‘could be sent abroad by UK to be processed’
Reports suggest using Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or paying third countries in an Australian-style system
Asylum seekers could be sent to processing centres abroad under the home secretary’s plans to overhaul the immigration system, according to reports.