Priti hails new borders bill vowing to crack down on people-smugglers
28th April 2022

 

‘We can finally mend the broken asylum system’: Priti Patel hails new borders bill and vows to crack down on people-smugglers transporting desperate migrants across Channel

  • Priti Patel lauds passing of the Nationality and Borders Act through Parliament
  • Says it will crack down on ‘evil’ people-smugglers facilitating Channel crossings
  • The bill finally received royal assent yesterday, surviving attacks by peers 
  • Peers wanted to reject key measure of processing of refugee claims offshore 
  • No migrants have arrived by small boat for the past ten days after the military took charge of stopping crossings earlier this year 

Priti Patel has hailed the passing by Parliament of a landmark law that she vows will finally fix Britain’s ‘broken’ asylum system.

Writing in the Daily Mail, the Home Secretary says the Nationality and Borders Act will crack down on ‘evil’ people-smugglers facilitating dangerous Channel crossings.

And she adds that ‘for far too long, the public has been branded racist simply for wanting controlled borders’. 

Her comments come after the bill finally received royal assent yesterday, having survived attempts by peers to reject key measures including the processing of refugee claims offshore.

The latest data suggests no migrants have arrived by small boat for the past ten days, after the military took charge of stopping crossings earlier this year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel (above) says the Nationality and Borders Act will crack down on ‘evil’ people-smugglers facilitating dangerous Channel crossings

She hailed the passing by Parliament of a landmark law that she vows will finally fix Britain’s ‘broken’ asylum system

The last migrants to arrive at Dover were a total of 263 across seven small boats on April 19 (arrivals pictured on that day)

A record 28,395 migrants reached the UK illegally last year in small boats over the Channel, a 200 per cent increase on 2020

But the Government’s deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is facing court challenges, as is a plan to house 1,500 asylum seekers at an old RAF base in Yorkshire, despite Miss Patel insisting they will be helped to start a ‘prosperous’ new life in Africa.

The Home Secretary writes: ‘Daily Mail readers don’t need to be told that the asylum system is broken. 

‘They can see the evidence with their own eyes: evil people-smugglers bringing migrants here illegally in small boats and on lorries; dangerous foreign criminals doing all they can to avoid being deported by putting in last-minute, meritless claims hours before they are due on the plane.’

She says the plans will speed up the process for dealing with those who claim asylum in Britain.

Miss Patel insists a new law was required to increase the maximum sentence for entering the country illegally from six months to four years, as well as introduce a life sentence for people-smugglers.

And failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals will be removed more quickly rather than being allowed to make appeal claims up until their deportation flights.

Our plan is firm, fair, and delivers on YOUR priorities

By Home Secretary Priti Patel 

Daily Mail readers don’t need to be told the asylum system is broken. They can see the evidence with their own eyes: evil people-smugglers bringing migrants here illegally in small boats and on lorries; dangerous foreign criminals doing all they can to avoid being deported by putting in last-minute, meritless claims hours before they are due on the plane.

It’s been obvious for decades that things need to change. And the British people have made it clear that’s how they feel. That’s why I developed the New Plan for Immigration. A fair and firm system is one of the people’s priorities.

To put the whole plan into practice, we needed to change the law. This week, the Nationality and Borders Act completed its passage through Parliament.

The maximum sentence for entering the country illegally will rise from six months to four years. And the smugglers who bring them here can now be sentenced to life in prison. Instead of a maximum sentence of six months, foreign criminals who return to the UK in breach of a deportation order may face up to five years in prison.

Asylum reception centres – which are already in place in many European countries – will be used to process claims, rather than hotels. We will open one such centre in Yorkshire.

One of the things that most angers people is that claims take so long. We are taking steps to improve the process, but we also need to stop the number of repeat appeals and judicial reviews – all too often aimed at delaying the removals process and usually without merit.

We can now deliver proper scientific assessment processes to prevent adults from getting away with pretending to be children.

Those we are seeking to remove, including foreign national offenders, will be required to present all their claims upfront, rather than raising them at the last minute.

The UK keeps a list of safe countries that respect human rights, to stop people delaying removal by falsely claiming their human rights are at risk. Every EU country is on that list. We will have the power to remove as well as add countries – to ensure the list is reliable.

Countries must co-operate in taking back citizens with no right to be in the UK. Those that don’t will risk losing access to our visa system.

For the first time, how a person arrives in the UK will affect the outcome of their claim. Anyone who arrives illegally and has passed through a safe country may be deemed inadmissible.

A few weeks ago I signed a migration and economic development partnership with Rwanda, which will mean those who make dangerous journeys in small boats, or in the backs of lorries, could have their asylum claim processed in Rwanda. If their claims are accepted, they will be supported to build a new and prosperous life there.

By tackling illegal migration, we will be able to focus our resources on people who genuinely need our help, such as those from Ukraine. The British people have welcomed them warmly, as they have with refugees throughout our history.

For far too long, the public has been branded racist simply for wanting border controls. Yet only by controlling immigration can we do right by those who don’t have the money to pay people-smugglers. It also isn’t fair on British taxpayers that the broken asylum system costs £1.5billion a year – and nearly £5million a day in hotels.

We have not reached the end of the road to reform. There is no single solution to solve a long-standing problem. There will be opposition in the courts. But we have a New Plan for Immigration that is firm and fair. And the Nationality and Borders Act means we have the law on our side.

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