No escape from red tape

Overseas Property | 14 May 2021

Britain is said to be planning an overhaul of the asylum seeker system with an immigration rule that is set to resume soon after being put on hold for almost a year amid the pandemic.

An internal document seen by The Guardian says the Home Office will target for eviction from their accommodation and removal from Britain thousands of asylum seekers whose applications were turned down.

And in March Home Secretary Priti Patel announced plans to give asylum seekers who enter Britain through unofficial means - such as crossing the Channel by boat - fewer rights than those entering legally.

However, the UN has warned that such plans are cracking down on the rights of refugees, and human rights groups have blasted the decision.

The UN Refugee Agency said such a move to create a discriminatory two-tier asylum system risked breaching international legal commitments.

The interim chief executive of Refugee Action, Tim Noar Hilton, said: "Kicking people out on the streets at any time is appalling, but in a pandemic it's reckless and inhumane."

But a British government official explained: "We are reforming the asylum system so it is fair but firm, welcoming those who come to the UK through safe and legal routes while cracking down on criminal gangs that facilitate these dangerous and illegal journeys."


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