Speaking to Sky News ahead of the release of the new immigration plan on Wednesday, the official said the aim was to create “safe and legal ways” to prevent asylum seekers from being placed in the hands of people smugglers or risking their lives in fragile boats across the English Channel.
“We, as a government, have a duty and responsibility to consider all options, and this is what we intend in this proposal,” said Patil, who did not deny press reports that refugees could be sent to outside facilities while their requests are being processed.
After indicating that the current system is on the verge of collapse, the Minister of Interior added that the reform seeks to identify asylum seekers who really need it, discourage illegal immigration, and accelerate the deportation of those who are rejected.
However, human rights groups and the opposition argue that tougher immigration laws violate the UK’s international obligations in this area.
Attorney Sanjitha Ingar considered it a matter of concern that the government intends to assess asylum applications on the basis of the means of transport used to enter the country rather than the applicant’s actual protection needs.
According to the activist, all routes to enter the UK and seek asylum are legal and legitimate, so there is no reason to criminalize boat access and exclude applications on this basis.
He said that it is disturbing that the Ministry of Interior is misusing the term “illegal”, because it is a dangerous lie that should not be spread from the corridors of power.
The opposition Labor Party also considered the government’s proposal lacking in competence and compassion, and announced that it would study it in detail to advocate for a fair immigration system.
According to unofficial data, around 9,000 people came to the UK illegally last year via the English Channel, while hundreds of others were smuggled into the country in freight trucks, sometimes resulting in the deaths of many of them.
In this regard, the Minister of the Interior confirmed, on Wednesday, that 60 percent of people awaiting processing their asylum applications have entered the UK illegally.
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