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The New NATIONALITY AND BORDERS Bill: harsh and unfair

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

The new NATIONALITY AND BORDERS Bill commenced its passage through parliament on 6.7.21 and the second reading is due on 19/20 July 2021:

Domestic legislation appears to undermine obligations in international conventions. Refugees will be criminalised for using the only way of seeking sanctuary as there is no "visa" for claiming asylum.

The three main stated objectives of the Bill, and the underlying policy statement, purport:

"To increase the fairness of the system to better protect and support those in need of asylum.

To deter illegal entry into the United Kingdom, thereby breaking the "business model" of people smuggling networks and protecting the lives of those they endanger.

To remove those with no right to be in the UK more easily"

However, the provisions may have the opposite consequence of introducing much unfairness, delay and harshness into a system that has been the responsibility of the government for many years and which the SSHD describes as "broken". Further as Colin Yeo writes: "A general-purpose charity like the RNLI and who helps an asylum seeker enter the UK may, on the face of it, be criminalised by this change".

A new incarnation of the Detained Fast Track appeal procedure appears to be resurrected to force asylum seekers into that dizzying process incapacitating them from adequately preparing and presenting their appeals. Housing of asylum seekers in appalling conditions could become the norm.Housing of asylum seekers in appalling conditions will become the norm.

Life imprisonment is introduced as a penalty for assisting unlawful immigration (and compares uncomfortably with 14 years for arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity where the child comes to harm OR for GBH where the assault is racially or religiously aggravated, the maximum sentence is 7 years’ custody).

Author: Nilmini Roelens


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