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Study Notes

The Illegal Migration Bill: The Most Controversial & Illegal Law Ever?

Level:
A-Level
Board:
AQA, OCR, WJEC

Last updated 5 May 2023

The highly controversial Illegal Migration Bill is currently making its way through the House of Commons and everyone, including Gary Linekar, seems to have an opinion. Even the Bill’s supporter Home Secretary Suella Braverman has admitted it may not be lawful and parts of it may be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), causing further concern that Britain may join Russia and Greece in exiting this important safeguard for all.

This new migration legislation aims to remove asylum seekers and ban them from re-entry if they arrive through unauthorised routes, such as those seen in the media to be arriving on small boats across the Channel. This legislation would also allow for illegal immigrants to be detained without bail for 28 days until they can be removed either to their home country or to a safe destination such as Rwanda, where under former Home Secretary Priti Patel England has previously tried to send migrants who were denied entry.

The proposed new law is also controversial as it may not be legal. Suella Braverman has made a statement under s19(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 stating that there is more than a 50% chance this new proposed law may not be compatible with the ECHR. This has of course brought much criticism, as it denies anyone arriving through an unauthorised route their right to asylum, no matter how strong their case and prevents them from returning in the future. Being seen as a regression in human rights protection, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, has asked MPs to vote against the proposed bill in an effort to safeguard international law. Campaign group Liberty has gone further, stating that if the Illegal Migration Bill is passed it will allow the government to commit human rights abuses and removing a right to appeal they state is an attack on the rule of law.

With a current backlog of 150,000 applications from asylum seekers in the system, this is almost at breaking point, but is this the answer? This has also caused questions to be asked over legal routes for migrants to take to seek asylum.

DISCUSSION TIME

  • Look at how the Illegal Migration Bill is progressing through the legislative process.
  • What are your thoughts on the new Illegal Migration Bill? Do you believe it is necessary, or is it an unlawful regression of human rights protection?

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