The UK will block visas for foreign visitors if the Home Secretary believes they refuse to cooperate to win back rejected asylum seekers or criminals.
In proposed legislation published Tuesday, Priti Patel and future home secretaries would have the power to suspend or delay the processing of applications from countries that do not “cooperate with the UK government in relation to the expulsion from the UK of citizens of the United Kingdom. That country”. who need permission to enter or stay in the UK but do not have it ”.
The clause of the draft nationality and borders law also allows the secretary of the interior to impose additional financial requirements for visa applications, that is, an increase in fees, if countries do not cooperate.
The proposals reflect US legislation that allows officials to withdraw visa routes from countries that refuse to accept undocumented immigrants; Countries like Iraq, Iran, Eritrea and Sudan are understood to be reluctant to cooperate with the UK on such matters.
The reform is one of many in the bill, dubbed “the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades” by Patel, which includes measures such as:
Asylum seekers who are deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally will no longer have the same rights as those who arrive in the country via legal routes. Even if their application is successful, they will be granted temporary refugee status and face the prospect of being indefinitely liable for removal.
Asylum seekers may be removed from the UK while their asylum application or appeal is pending, opening the door to asylum processing abroad.
For those deemed to have arrived illegally, access to benefits and family reunion rights may be limited.
Appeals and the judicial process will be reformed to expedite the deportations of those whose claims are denied.
The Minister of the Interior may offer protection to vulnerable people in “immediate danger and at risk in their country of origin” in exceptional circumstances. It is believed that it will be used to help a small number of people.
The system will be “much more difficult for people to be granted refugee status based on unsubstantiated claims” and will include “rigorous age assessments” to prevent adult migrants from pretending to be children. The government is considering the use of bone scans to determine age.
Life sentences will be imposed as the maximum penalty for human traffickers.
Foreign criminals who violate deportation orders and return to the UK could face imprisonment for up to five years instead of the current six months.
A new comprehensive legal process is proposed for asylum, human rights applications, and any other protection issues to be made and considered together prior to appeal hearings.
Activists have dubbed the proposed legislation the “anti-refugee bill,” claiming it will penalize those who need help most.
Analysis of Interior Ministry data by the Refugee Council suggests that 9,000 people who would be accepted as refugees under current rules (those who are confirmed to have fled war or persecution after official controls) may not receive security in the UK due to your method of arrival under the reforms.
Charity executive Enver Solomon said that for decades people had taken “extraordinary steps to flee oppression” but had become “law-abiding citizens who play by the rules and pay their taxes proudly. British”.
Steve Valdez-Symonds, director of Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights program, called the bill “legislative vandalism”, claimed it could “fatally undermine the right to asylum” and accused Patel of “shameful negligence. of duty, “adding:” This reckless and deeply unfair bill is bound to put Britain’s international reputation to shame. “
While Sonya Sceats, executive director of Freedom from Torture, described the plans as “full of cruelty” and an “affront to the caring people of this country who want a kinder and fairer approach to refugees.”
More than 250 organizations, including the Refugee Council, the British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture, Refugee Action and Asylum Matters, have come together to form the Together with Refugees coalition to call for a more effective, just and humane approach to the asylum system. from United Kingdom. .