The Illegal Migration Bill has now passed Second Reading in the House of Lords. Committee Stage in the House of Lords – which will involve the whole house – is scheduled to take place on 24th May.
To recap, the Bill would ban most refugees from claiming asylum, hugely expand the use of detention, including reintroducing the routine and indefinite detention of children, and strip modern slavery survivors of protection. It places a duty on the Home Secretary to remove those deemed inadmissible to the asylum system – i.e., under the Bill, nearly everyone claiming asylum. However, in most cases, removal is likely to prove impossible. Therefore, the outcome will be hundreds of thousands of people living in limbo either detained, destitute, or in inhumane but costly asylum accommodation, indefinitely. This would be a humanitarian catastrophe.
At second reading in the House of Lords, the Bill in its current form faced huge opposition, including from the Archbishop of Canterbury who, in an unprecedented move, personally led critique of the Bill, calling it “morally unacceptable” and “impractical”. It is likely that the Lords will suggest significant changes to the Bill at Committee stage.
JRS UK continues to call for the Illegal Migration Bill to be scrapped.