After the government rejected attempts by the upper house of parliament to amend the new illegal Migration bill, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s new law to make it easier to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
The House of Lords, Britain’s unelected upper chamber, had been trying to weaken the Illegal Migration Bill through numerous amendments. As a result, the legislation had become mired in a conflict between the elected House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Tuesday morning saw a vote against the final of those suggested adjustments. It is now ready for Royal Assent, where the King formally approves it and it becomes law.
Some opposition politicians, attorneys, and civil rights organisations have attacked the proposal to deport asylum seekers as being brutal, cruel, and ineffective.
The passing of the measure, according to Volker Turk, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, poses “very serious legal concerns” and creates “a worrying precedent for dismantling asylum-related obligations” that other nations may follow.
Deportation flights to Rwanda won’t likely begin until the beginning of the following year at the earliest, and their legality will still depend on the Supreme Court’s decision later this year.
The new laws are the cornerstone of the government’s promise to prevent asylum seekers from making the perilous journey from France to England’s southern coast on small, frequently unreliable boats.
It will stop the majority of people from requesting refuge in Britain without authorization and deport them either to their place of origin or a supposedly safe nation like Rwanda.
The bill’s passing was welcomed by the prime minister, according to a representative for Sunak, but the additional powers cannot be fully utilised until the legal issues in the courts are resolved.
“We continue to believe we will prevail in the Supreme Court challenge,” he said.
A call for less time restrictions on the detention of unaccompanied minors, improved rights for victims of modern slavery, and six-month delays in migrant deportation were among the amendments put forth and ultimately rejected in the Lords.
With the East African nation, Britain first agreed to an agreement worth 180 million pounds ($140 million), but the legal process has stalled the policy. One year ago, the European Court of Human Rights issued a last-minute decision that prevented the first scheduled flight for the deportation of Rwanda.
The bill’s approval came at the same time as a barge for asylum seekers off the southern coast of England arrived; the first group will move on board next week. As a less expensive option than hotels, the government has justified the usage of barges.
According to official statistics revealed on Sunday, more than 45,000 illegal migrants from continental Europe crossed the English Channel to enter the UK in 2022, breaking the previous year’s record by more than 17,000 people.
The Conservative administration, which has pledged to reduce illegal immigration and dismantle the smuggling organisations that conduct the crossings, now faces a significant electoral challenge.
Last year, 45,756 individuals, as opposed to 28,526 in 2021, braved the perilous small-boat crossing of one of the busiest maritime lanes in the world.
The Channel was frigid when a small boat carrying migrants sank last month, killing four people. Forty three people were saved by a nearby fishing boat from the chilly seas.
Just over a year before to the occurrence, at least 27 people drowned when their dinghy capsized, a tragedy that caused reflection on both sides of the English Channel.
1,295 migrants crossed in a single day in 2022, which was a record high. This occurred on August 22, which was also a record day for migration.