The UK government introduced an illegal migration bill Tuesday that would allow for the detention and swift removal of anyone who enters the UK illegally.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman gave a statement to parliament regarding the controversial legislation regarding small boats crossing the English Channel and said deterrence is the key theme running through the new measures. Developed countries like the UK will face "unprecedented pressures" in upcoming periods from illegal immigration, she said.
"Let's be honest, there are 100 million people around the world who could qualify for protection under our current laws. Let's be clear. They are coming here. We've seen a 500% increase in small boats crossings in two years ... and this is the crucial point of this bill. They will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally you will be detained and swiftly removed," she said.
Annual cap on number of refugees to be set
Defending the bill as compassionate, she said the proposed illegal migration bill will include measures to introduce an annual cap on the number of refugees that the UK will settle through safe and legal routes. The cap will be determined by parliament. She acknowledged she cannot definitively say if the proposed legislation is compatible with the Human Rights Act. The bill would allow the detention of people for up to 28 days without bail or judicial review and it will be the duty of the Home Secretary to remove illegal entrants. "Unaccompanied children - minors who come to the UK illegally will not be removed to a safe third country until they turn 18," according to a government statement. Braverman also said people will be prevented from using modern slavery laws to oppose the government. "We want to send the message loudly and clearly to those people smugglers, to those people thinking about crossing the channel: Do not do it," she said. "Do not hand over your life savings, do not get into that flimsy dinghy, do not risk your life, because you will not be entitled to a life in the UK."