The Home Secretary has outlined plans this week for the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades.
The New Plan for Immigration sets out how the Conservative Government will seek to control illegal immigration now the UK has taken back control of legal immigration by ending free movement and introducing a new points-based immigration system.
The current system is collapsing under the pressures of illegal routes to asylum, facilitated by criminals smuggling people into the UK and too often resulting in the loss of life. At the heart of the New Plan for Immigration is a simple principle: fairness. Access to the UK’s asylum system should be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.
The New Immigration Plan has three main objectives:
1. Firstly, to increase the fairness and efficacy of our system so that we can better protect and support those in genuine need of refuge.
2. Secondly, to deter illegal entry into the UK, thereby breaking the business model of people smuggling networks and protecting the lives of those they endanger.
3. Thirdly, to remove more easily from the UK those with no right to be here.
For the first time, whether people enter the UK legally or illegally will have an impact on how their asylum claim progresses, and on their status in the UK if that claim is successful. Those who prevail with claims having entered illegally will receive a new temporary protection status rather than an automatic right to settle and will be regularly reassessed for removal from the UK. People entering illegally will have limited family reunion rights and limited access to benefits.
For people who have their cases considered, but refused, the Conservative Government will seek rapid removal to their country of origin, and will also reform the appeals and judicial process to speed up removals.
Refugees in need of protection will continue to be resettled through work with international organisations that provide a safe and legal route to the UK for people fleeing persecution in their home countries. This refined approach will be more responsive to persecuted minorities and emerging international crises: resettling refugees who are at urgent risk more quickly.
The Home Secretary will also have the ability to grant humanitarian protection to vulnerable individuals in immediate danger and at risk in their home country.
The government are consulting on the plans, and you can contribute your views here: Immigration Plans