Channel migrants could be banned from returning to Britain under new laws

Channel migrants could be hit with a lifetime ban on entering Britain again under new proposed immigration laws.

The new measures will impose indefinite re-entry bans on migrants who arrive in the UK by ‘irregular routes’, such as by small boat.

It is hoped that the new laws will send a strong message and deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

Anyone caught coming to Britain would also face a lifetime ban on securing the right to settle permanently in the UK, or winning British citizenship.

Just last month thousands of asylum seekers were told they would have their claims fast-tracked under new plans from the Home Office that aim to tackle the staggering backlog of cases.

About 12,000 people from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Libya and Yemen, who have applied for asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision, are understood to be eligible under the policy.

The Illegal Migration Bill, to be unveiled tomorrow, is also expected to set out further measures restricting the right to claim asylum and making it easier for the Home Office to remove irregular migrants.

The Government has been warned the plans will leave thousands ‘permanently in limbo’.

Rishi Sunak, who made ‘stopping the boats’ one of his five key pledges to voters, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Illegal migration is not fair on British taxpayers, it is not fair on those who come here legally and it is not right that criminal gangs should be allowed to continue their immoral trade.

‘I am determined to deliver on my promise to stop the boats. So make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay.’

Current rules mean that illegal entrants can be handed a ‘re-entry ban’ of two or five years, depending on the circumstances – and foreign offenders can be barred for ten years and upwards.

But the measures being announced tomorrow will significantly extend the restriction, making it impossible to enter Britain again, even as a visitor.

The moves are expected to have a particular impact on Channel migrants from safe countries, who will think twice about making an illegal crossing if it means never being allowed back.

The Refugee Council said the proposed legislation, details of which are set to be announced this week, could effectively ‘shatter’ UK commitments under the UN refugee convention.

The charity said figures show that of all those who crossed the Channel last year, two-thirds would be granted asylum, as it warned the plans are ‘unworkable’ and ‘costly’.

The Prime Minister yesterday vowed to put an end to ‘immoral’ illegal migration, with the legislation set to place a duty on the Home Secretary to remove ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ anyone who arrives on a small boat, either to Rwanda or a ‘safe third country’.

It comes as trade unions joined forces to condemn the rise in far-right organised violence and intimation against refugees, claiming the Government is ‘complicit in these attacks’.

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said the plans ‘shatter the UK’s long-standing commitment under the UN Convention to give people a fair hearing regardless of the path they have taken to reach our shores’.

He added: ‘They will simply add more cost and chaos to the system.

‘The majority of the men, women and children who cross the Channel do so because they are desperate to escape war, conflict and persecution.

‘The Government’s flawed legislation will not stop the boats but result in tens of thousands locked up in detention at huge cost, permanently in limbo and being treated as criminals simply for seeking refuge.

‘It’s unworkable, costly and won’t stop the boats.

‘It is not a crime to seek safety. No parent sends a child on a desperately dangerous journey without good reason.

‘We need a sensible and humane plan that focuses on compassion and competence creating safe and orderly routes for refugees to reach the UK, such as refugee visas, a fair asylum system with timely decision making, and a workable agreement with our European partners to share responsibility for all those who want sanctuary in the region.’

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