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The Somerset Guardian, 12th July 2023

Immigration is a highly emotive topic with many disagreeing on how respective governments should act.
For some time, we have witnessed thousands of boats arriving on our shores that are able to bypass European security forces, many containing people who are putting their lives in danger to seek a better life but who, legally, should not be here.

The new legislation put forward by the Home Secretary will succeed in stopping these boats if it is clear to migrants and people traffickers that if they travel illegally, they will not be able to remain in the United Kingdom. The new Bill states that illegal entry will lead to detention and a swift return to a home country or removal to a safe third country.

The Court of Appeal unanimously confirmed that removing asylum seekers to a safe country is entirely consistent with the Refugee Convention, including Article 31 and affirmed the Home Office’s processes for identifying cohorts for removal. The Court also made it clear that Rwanda is a safe destination.

In her response to the recent House of Lords amendments, the Home Secretary acknowledged the concerns raised regarding the detention of unaccompanied children and pregnant women and brought forward amendments in lieu, which will set a maximum seventy-two-hour limit on the detention of pregnant women and enable the First-tier Tribunal to grant immigration bail after eight days, instead of twenty-eight, for unaccompanied children. In the case of unaccompanied children, this change will apply where an unaccompanied child is detained for the purpose of removal.

There are other countries, such as Australia, that have adopted more stringent policies in the past and seldom seem to be lambasted in the way that the UK is. The UK has always maintained a fundamental sense of fairness in its approach to immigration and the system has always treated people generously. I applaud the Home Secretary, therefore, for taking this step to save lives and to protect the interests of UK citizens in a move that is more pragmatic than ruthlessly ideological.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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