Immigration reforms: What changes have been made?
The home office has been trailing a set of new reforms regarding Immigration and asylum in the UK. Priti Patel has put these reforms in place in an attempt to crackdown on the number of refuge cases in the UK. Ms Patel is set to assess immigration and asylum status based on how the individual in question entered the country. This means that people who illegally enter the UK, claims for asylum will not hold as much weight as it once did.
Here are the main reforms that Priti Patel Plans to put in place:
Temporary status for people who enter the UK with the assistance of paid gangs and their temporary status will be regularly reviewed for removal.
Immediate permission to stay in the UK permanently for people who enter the UK via the legal settlement route from countries like Syria and Iran.
Urgency placed on the removal of people who seek refuge in the UK by reducing the number of last-minute appeals.
It has been argued that these new rules and regulations will minimise time spent on immigration cases as a whole. Ms Patel made comments on the amount of time the home office has spent investigating immigration cases that are “meritless” stating “For too long the asylum system has been blighted by repeated and meritless claims. Claims that are often raised at the very last minute, delaying the removal of those with no right to remain in the UK. And, as research shows, 80% of last-minute claims submitted by people we are seeking to remove are eventually denied. This is simply not right”.
Ms Patel has spoken on this issue many times before and believes last-minute appeals clog the system with appeals that almost always gets denied while prolonging the time illegal immigrants can seek refuge in the UK.
This argument is based on the theory that if a refugee makes a stop in a country where they can claim asylum before they enter the UK, it will be seen as a choice rather than an immediate and urgent need for asylum as they have left a location where they could have claimed asylum safely. By not coming directly from their country of origin, asylum seekers will have less power when trying to claim refugee status in the UK.
These reforms have not been well received by the law community with the Law Practitioners association making a statement on this asserting that “The home secretary has said that the principle of fairness is at the heart of this plan, however that is plainly not the case. Sometimes you do not have a choice when you are fleeing for your life, and a person is no less of a refugee depending on how they made their journey to safety.”
They go as far as calling these reforms “cruel” and question the fairness and motivation behind these reforms. Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds as expressed his concerns about these reforms and fear that there will be harsher consequences for refugees who are already in grave danger.
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