The Minister of the Interior herself said it best. Britain has been “taken over” by illegal immigration. For too long, our sorry asylum system has been cynically exploited, and the public has had enough.
When Suella Braverman presented the Government’s new illegal immigration bill to the House of Commons yesterday, and when Rishi Sunak reported its details to the press last night, I finally felt a turning point.
Braverman rightly told MPs that our asylum system is not “fit for purpose”. Thousands of immigrants are committing “flagrant” violations of the law by landing on our coasts in small boats.
For years, politicians have promised to fix this problem, but the problem has only gotten worse.
The new bill, however, contains many of the ingredients that, as director of the Migration Watch UK think tank, I believe are essential to resolving the Channel crisis.
The Home Secretary (pictured) put it best. Britain has been “taken over” by illegal immigration
When Suella Braverman presented the Government’s new illegal immigration bill to the House of Commons yesterday, and when Rishi Sunak (pictured) reported its details to the press last night, I finally felt a turning point.
I have long argued that it is vital to enshrine in law the Home Secretary’s duty to detain those who arrive illegally until they can be removed to their country of origin, or to another country from which they can claim asylum.
Because? Because it places a legal requirement on the minister to deal with the problem, rather than relying on migrants not breaking the rules.
New longer terms for detention are also vital, with cases expedited so that illegal immigrants can be processed for removal while in detention. Many illegal immigrants simply disappear into the underground economy and are rarely heard from again.
And since about 98 percent of those who arrive by boat do not have passports, authorities often have no way of knowing who they are.
British families and children must be protected from potential criminals arriving on our shores who cannot be vetted.
I also applaud the proposal to prohibit those who arrive in small boats or by any other illegal means from requesting asylum, with the intention of cutting off the business model of boat traffickers. And the Government’s aim to restrict the use of appeals and judicial review by those seeking to avoid removal is also entirely sensible.
Incredibly, those who are refused asylum have at least five different avenues to challenge the result and, if that fails, they can simply make a new application. The reality is that the system is overly complex and people often file multiple claims and subsequent appeals or review decisions judicially at the last minute. It is a paradise for lawyers and an insult to the taxpayer.
Alp Mehmet is the president of Migration Watch UK
This bill, then, is a real opportunity for the Government to finally begin to end the illegal immigration crisis, an issue that has been fanned for so long by the left, the luvvies, the liberals and the partisans of “open borders”. ‘ fans.
The number of people boarding illegal boats has skyrocketed from fewer than 300 in 2018 to nearly 50,000 last year and the boats have become an armada. In 2018 the average number of occupants per boat was seven; has multiplied by six, up to 41 people per boat.
Asylum claims for top applicants and their dependents reached 90,000 last year, more than at any time in the past two decades.
This appalling disaster is costing taxpayers £3 billion a year. And the demographics of mostly young men (70 percent of those crossing the Channel illegally are between 18 and 39 years old) are stoking resentment and tensions in the cities where they are located.
And remember: many of those who enter the UK by boat do not come from a place of persecution but from safe countries such as Belgium or Albania via France. When they arrive on the shingle shores of Calais, they are not refugees fleeing persecution: they are economic migrants who see the UK as their Eldorado. We are considered ripe for exploitation because our asylum system and law enforcement regime have been appallingly lax.
That is why I welcome the new bill, but only as a starting point. There are several additional measures that must be enacted to ensure it works to its full potential.
Firstly, ministers must ensure that the new Bill closes loopholes in the Human Rights Act and the Modern Slavery Act that traffickers and activist lawyers have long exploited.
I have especially doubts about the intention to accept people under 18, even if they are going to be eliminated when they reach the age of majority. Asylum age fraud is already widespread: almost half of resolved age disputes reveal that those who claim to be children are actually adults, including several people who were in their thirties.
Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai murdered Tom Roberts in Bournemouth last year. He told the Home Office that he was 14 years old, but it was later discovered that he was at least 19 years old when he arrived in 2019.
Second, the practicalities of mass detention of illegal immigrants remain unclear. How can we commit to this new policy when we don’t have the capacity yet?
There are only 2,500 beds in Britain’s immigration detention centres, but tens of thousands of people arrive on the south coast each year. Prisons cannot be used.
The Government has already announced plans to create an additional 1,000 places by reopening the disused centers at Campsfield House, near Oxford, and Haslar, in Gosport, Hampshire, but the contracts cost the taxpayer £450m each.
That is why a comprehensive return agreement with France and other countries is essential.
I have long argued that it is vital to enshrine in law the Home Secretary’s duty to detain those who arrive illegally until they can be removed to their country of origin, or to another country from which they can claim asylum. Pictured: A group of migrants are brought ashore at Dungeness last year.
And these measures must be backed up by strict policing within the UK, especially in the case of drug gangs. Of the more than 45,000 migrants who crossed the English Channel in 2022, 27 per cent came from Albania, while the National Crime Agency warned that the country’s organized crime groups are smuggling workers to Britain to work in drug trafficking, such as cannabis. farms. If we can crack down on these industries, these criminals might be less willing to use Britain as a base.
So yes, the new bill has shortcomings. But for the most part, this is a tough, unequivocal proposal that, for the first time, will have the chance of dissuading people from risking their lives by jumping into flimsy boats and heading to Britain in the joyful expectation that once Here you can stay and enjoy all the benefits of life on these islands.
Of course, the danger now is that as this bill moves through Parliament, it will be watered down (especially by the House of Lords) so that what eventually reaches the statute book will bear almost no resemblance to what Sunak and Braverman presented yesterday.
The shackles of the European Court of Human Rights also loom large, which could prove fatal. If Strasbourg intervenes, the Prime Minister may feel that he has to make concessions to appease the euro judges.
But in that case, I predict a public outcry. The ECtHR cannot continue to be an obstacle to our post-Brexit government enforcing our laws and what is in our best interests.
If the Government once again fails to deliver on its promise to resolve this crisis, more immigrants will arrive on our shores, more lives will be lost, the cost to the taxpayer will only increase… and the country will make its opinions known at the ballot box. . .
Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman must keep their nerve. Based on the evidence I saw yesterday, I think they will.
- Alp Mehmet is President of Migration Watch UK.