UK Government’s Illegal Migration Bill Prompts Legal Pushback
The government's plan to stop the "waves of illegal migrants breaching our borders" through a legislaative crackdown on new arrivals has led to widespread concerns about the legality of the solutions proposed.
The Illegal Migration Bill introduced to the House of Commons on 7 March proposes an annual cap on migrants entering the UK through safe routes (to be set by parliament), as well as accelerating the removal of illegal immigrants already present in the country. At present, the Home Office faces a backlog of more than 160,000 immigration cases.
In unveiling the bill, home secretary Suella Braverman told MPS “that there is a more than 50% chance” that provisions in the new law “may not be compatible” with the rights guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights, sparking concerns among the legal community.
Lubna Shuja, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, stated that the Law Society would take time to assess the bill’s legality. “However, we are concerned that there has been no public consultation, including with lawyers, to ensure the bill is workable, provides due process for those claiming asylum or is compliant with international law,” she added.
More than 45,000 people attempted to cross the English Channel in 2022 at significant risk to their safety, prompting now prime minister Rishi Sunak to adopt the “stop the boats” slogan.