UK enacts bill to return illegal migrants to third country, home

On 19 July 2023 at 06:51

The United Kingdom (UK) has passed the Illegal Migration Bill, aiming to address the issue of illegal migrants entering the country. The bill ensures that those entering the UK illegally will not have the right to stay and will be returned to their home country or a designated safe third country.

The bill specifically targets the misuse of modern slavery protections and legal loopholes by illegal migrants to delay their removal. It is a crucial step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s commitment to reducing the number of small boats crossing the English Channel.

Under the new legislation, the Home Secretary is legally obligated to detain and remove individuals who enter the UK unlawfully. Once the bill receives royal assent, it will become law.

The government will be bound by law to detain and remove illegal arrivals, either returning them to their home country or a designated safe third country. However, it should be noted that no similar return agreements have been established with countries other than Rwanda, despite a recent Court of Appeal ruling deeming the Rwanda plan unlawful. The government is currently challenging this decision.

After extensive debate and amendment in the House of Lords, the bill has resolved the stand-off between the two chambers. It covers individuals identified as potential victims of trafficking and slavery, as well as accompanied and unaccompanied children who enter the UK illegally. The duty to remove them extends once they reach the age of 18.

The government argues that potential victims of modern slavery will be returned to their home country or a safe country, ensuring their separation from those who have exploited them.

The bill’s successful resolution in Parliament paves the way for it to receive royal assent, signaling formal agreement from the King to enact it into law.

During the Lords debate, Home Office Minister Lord Murray of Blidworth highlighted the strain placed on the UK’s asylum system due to the high number of small boat arrivals, costing taxpayers £6 million per day. He emphasized the need to break the "business model" of human traffickers by taking action.

UK has enacted a bill to return illegal migrants to third country and home.