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United Kingdom: Home Ministry introduces bill to tighten asylum system in parliament

On Tuesday, July 6, the British Home Secretary introduced a bill to strengthen the country’s asylum system. Among the measures mentioned is the possibility of suspending the issuance of visas to citizens of countries that refuse to withdraw their citizens who have not obtained a residence permit in the Kingdom.

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s bill on asylum was tabled in the British Parliament on Tuesday, July 6. The draft specifically stipulates that the Ministry of the Interior may suspend or delay the issuance of visas to citizens of countries that refuse to withdraw illegal citizens in the Kingdom. The plan is expected to introduce “the biggest change in the UK asylum system in decades”.

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The text authorizes the Home Office to charge higher visa fees for countries that have not cooperated with the UK on immigration.

According toThe Guardian newspaper, The move is inspired by a similar U.S. law to end the issuance of visas to citizens of countries that refuse to repatriate people without a valid residence permit.

This is within the Schengen area. Since February 2020, citizens of countries that have not cooperated much in the process of repatriating illegal immigrants have faced greater difficulty in obtaining visas.

Sending asylum seekers to the island, abandoned boats and oil fields

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Among other measures, the British government’s plan to send asylum seekers to uninhabited areas outside British cities, while their asylum claims are being processed. “Ascension Island, abandoned boats and abandoned oil fields are all mentioned in the leaked reports as potential locations for asylum seekers in the UK,” The Guardian explains.

If passed, the UK may allow asylum seekers to be sent to a “safe third country”. So far, no country has accepted this role.

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The government also wants those who cross the border into France to be considered “ineligible” to seek asylum in the UK.

The Interior Ministry plans to tighten the conditions for the protection of minors, including “the use of new scientific methods to improve ability and accurately estimate age.” It also wants to expedite the appeal process if asylum is denied in order to expedite the dismissal of an asylum seeker.

There will also be a difference between individuals seeking international protection based on whether or not they have come through legal means. The text reads: “Anyone who enters the UK illegally will be deemed ineligible for the asylum system if they have applied for asylum in another safe country.”

Penalties for kidnappers and immigrants

On Monday, Priti Patel announced that she wanted to increase the prison sentence for immigrants seeking to enter Britain illegally from the current six months to four years. The kidnappers were sentenced to life imprisonment.

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The plan comes as the number of immigrants registered in the first six months of 2021 crossed the English Channel in small boats, reaching 6,000.

By 2020, more than 8,000 immigrants had arrived on British soil. The number is expected to rise in the next two months if traffic is not sluggish during the summer, the British News Agency reported.

Commenting on the plan, Amnesty International President Steve Waltz Symonds said: “Instead of deliberately spreading myths and lies about asylum and migration, it is better for the Home Office to create safe passages for some who want to escape persecution and seek refuge here.”