What’s this all about?
The home secretary has revealed her ‘New Plan for Immigration‘ indicating what we can expect to see in the Sovereign Borders Bill. The government is selling the bill hard, claiming it’s ‘firm and fair’. But their claims can‘t be taken at face value: they need a broader understanding. Many lean on historical not current facts, or don’t tell the whole story, or use disingenuous language.
1 − The asylum proposals
Flip the cards below to see why the proposals are problematic:
2 − Government rhetoric that just doesn't make sense
“To properly control our borders we must address the challenge of illegal immigration too… through comprehensive reform of our asylum system.”
How can reforming our asylum system address illegal immigration? The right to claim asylum is enshrined in international law. Asylum-seeking is NEVER illegal immigration.
“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”
In law, you DON’T have to claim asylum in the first safe country. And if we only want to take those in immediate peril, why are we prioritising resettlement (which is only from safe countries)?
“[illegal routes are] deeply unfair as it advantages those with the means to pay traffickers over vulnerable people who cannot.”
In law, there ARE no illegal routes. And ALL refugees are vulnerable. And using a trafficker is hardly an advantage.
“We will take steps to discourage asylum claims via illegal routes, as other countries such as Denmark have recently succeeded in doing.”
Denmark has a stated intention to be a ‘zero-refugee state’ and is one of the most racist countries in Europe (YouGov). It has also started sending Syrians back to Syria. Is this our model? Also, the Home Office plans to deport ‘illegal asylum-seekers’ to Europe; needless to say, the EU is having none of it.
“Maintain our long-term commitment to resettle refugees”
[and essentially make resettlement the only “safe and legal” route to asylum in the UK]
No one can apply for resettlement; they can only be selected. VERY few people are selected. Only families tend to come, not single people or couples. Resettlement doesn’t bring people in immediate peril; it brings people who have already fled to safe countries.
3 − Government claims that just don't stack up
4 − What we still don't know
- Whether the prioritisation of resettlement means that no one will be able to come as an independent asylum-seeker
- To what extent the government includes asylum-seekers when they say: “Those who prevail with claims having entered illegally will… be regularly reassessed for removal from the UK…” . However, the strong indication is that they DO mean asylum-seekers. How can they be removed, and where to?
- If they do mean asylum-seekers, will they backdate it to anyone already here who didn’t come via a ‘legal route’ (even though there’s no such thing)?
- If they include asylum-seekers when they say: “…having entered illegally [they] will have no recourse to public funds except in cases of destitution”, are they ending the (paltry) payment of £39.63 to live on?