UN Raises Concerns Over UK’s New Immigration Legislation

The final barrier has been cleared by the House of Lords, paving the path for the enforcement of a new immigration law aimed at curbing migration via the English Channel. Endorsed by the government, this legislation seeks to halt immigrant movement through this route. This article delves into several inquiries regarding the United Kingdom government’s immigration strategy: What are its included clauses? What criticisms have been directed towards it? And how does it intersect with concerns surrounding equality and diversity in relation to fresh migration laws?

Approval of the new immigration law in the UK Parliament

Observation of equality and diversity concerns linked with the UK’s recent migration laws has yet to occur. Thus, the endorsement of the new immigration legislation by the British House of Lords took place on Tuesday evening. Following extensive deliberation, the Lords set aside their reservations and sanctioned the proposal put forth by the government of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Before this legislation can take effect, it must receive the signature of King Charles III. This law is essential in the British Conservative government’s endeavours to address unauthorized immigration.


Deportation of illegal immigrants by the UK government

The Home Secretary is responsible for expelling any immigrant who has unlawfully entered the nation. The deportation process is to take place in either the individual’s home country or a secure third country, like Rwanda, under an arrangement to accept these migrants. Nonetheless, due to the ongoing negotiations regarding the agreement in the UK’s highest court, the fate of migrants following the law’s enactment remains uncertain. Consequently, considerations about equality and diversity concerns about the UK’s recent migration legislation are yet to be addressed.


The association of the British House of Lords with the House of Commons

The journey to secure the approval of this bill in the UK Parliament has been marked by numerous fluctuations. The House of Lords introduced several amendments to the proposal in the past few weeks. Subsequently, the House of Commons reviewed these changes, rejecting the majority and returning the bill to the British House of Lords. Ultimately, a substantial number of opponents to this legislation retracted their objections. Among their reasons, they highlighted that, as unelected parliamentarians, it might only sometimes be appropriate to consistently oppose the decisions of the public’s elected representatives.


Detention of illegal immigrants under the new immigration law

Since equality and diversity issues related to UK’s new migration legislation have not been considered, the criticism is increasing daily. On the other hand, the conservative government had mobilized its supporters to achieve success. One of the Lords’ criticisms was that the bill would apply to victims of slavery and human trafficking, as well as unaccompanied minors, for deportation once they reach the age of 18. The law also removes limits on how long illegal immigrants can be detained before deportation.


The UK government’s obstruction of the English Channel immigrants

Through this legislation, the British Conservative government aims to decrease the influx of immigrants who traverse the English Channel using small boats. These individuals constitute approximately 45% of the total asylum seekers. In the peak year of 2022, the count of migrants arriving through this route surpassed 45,000. In the current year, up until now, this figure has exceeded 12,000. Notably, there were nearly 8,000 immigrants in June, reaching the number from the previous June.


The adoption of the new immigration law is a significant victory for Rishi Sunak

Media accounts indicate that the government hailed the vote as a notable triumph, although opposition parties voiced criticisms. With this accomplishment, Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, can now fulfil one of his pivotal campaign pledges. Following the endorsement of this legislation in the British House of Lords, substantial amendments are set to be introduced to the asylum law, leading to its notable tightening.


For example, the new law allows the immediate detention of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats to the British Isles. In the future, they should be deported to their home country or a third country without the opportunity to apply for asylum. Critics of this plan talk about cancelling the right to asylum.


Deporting immigrants and sending them to a third country

In line with the government’s position, the intention is to transfer migrants to different locations, including Rwanda, among other destinations, irrespective of their country of origin. Nevertheless, a previous accord reached with the East African nation has been halted. In this arrangement, the UK had delegated the task of safeguarding refugees to Rwanda in exchange for financial considerations. Judges from the Court of Appeal have deemed this arrangement to violate the law.



Criticism of the UN Human Rights Commissioner on the new immigration law

UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk and UN Human Rights Commissioner Filippo Grandi described the law as contrary to international law. Under the new asylum law, migrants who arrive by boat will be denied the right to apply for asylum in the UK in future. In addition, people who entered the country illegally should be deported to so-called safe third countries such as Rwanda in East Africa.


The Court of Appeals disagreed with the deportation of immigrants to Rwanda

Nevertheless, the initiative is presently impeded by the British judiciary. By the close of June, the London Court of Appeal ruled the proposed legislation unlawful. The judges clarified, among other factors, that Rwanda does not qualify as a secure third country. The government registered its protest against this ruling. A few hours after the Supreme Assembly vote, Türk and Grandi strongly condemned this matter. The pair of UN envoys asserted that the legislation contradicts the UK’s commitments under international law. They argued that this would significantly impact individuals in need of international protection. Additionally, they noted that the law grants extensive authority for detaining individuals.


The United Nations opposes the approval of the controversial bill

The United Nations has opposed the UK government’s controversial immigration bill. The United Nations announced in a statement that the legislation passed by the UK to prevent the entry of immigrants and asylum seekers conflicts with international laws in this regard. In this regard, the United Nations emphasized that this bill of the UK government against asylum seekers has many consequences for asylum seekers who need international assistance.


Implementation of the new immigration law before the summer holidays

Despite strong criticism, the UK Parliament has passed a law that will remove the right to asylum for people who have entered the country irregularly. Therefore, the anti-illegal immigration law could be implemented before the parliament’s summer recess. The upper house, which had initially demanded changes to the plan in exchange for minor concessions, bowed to pressure from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s conservative government. The representatives of the UK Parliament have recently approved the so-called illegal immigration bill, and it became official with the approval of the king of this country.

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