Changes To The Illegal Migration Bill 2023

After obtaining royal assent on July 20th 2023, the Illegal Migration Act 2023 has since been published. However, it appears that during the Bill’s passage, significant revisions were made, impacting many of the legal policies involved with immigration.

The Illegal Migration Act requires the Home Secretary to prepare arrangements to facilitate a person’s removal from the United Kingdom if they entered the country illegally, crossed through a safe third country on the way there, or need permission to enter or remain but do not have it.

Since the Bill was issued, there has been substantial modification, and all of these conditions no longer extend to the affected individuals’ families. In fact, just three references to “family” are made in the Act, compared to thirty-nine in the Bill, as many of its terms cease to apply to the relatives of those who fulfil the main requirements.

The Bill, as amended during the report phase in the Commons, enables a person to contest their deportation by asserting that doing so would expose them to “a real, imminent and foreseeable risk of serious and irreversible harm.” Individuals will have a full week from the date that they are being held to file the claim. However, since there won’t be a Home Office asylum interview, there is no formal procedure established to do this.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said:

that the bill “would amount to an asylum ban” as it would extinguish “the right to seek refugee protection in the United Kingdom for those who arrive irregularly, no matter how compelling their claim may be.

“In abandoning the UK’s moral and legal obligations, the Act risks breaching multiple international human rights treaties including the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights while shielding the Government from accountability. The UK Government has admitted that it cannot confirm if the Act is compatible with the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights”, the statement reads.

If you wish to read further on the Illegal Migration Act 2023, click the link here.

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Written by:

Ghulam Mustafa

Director, Barrister

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