Controversial asylum reform law set to be enacted

The reform specifically provides for stricter sanctions against smugglers and migrants entering the country illegally.

Boris Johnson’s government’s controversial asylum reform is set to become British law, after clearing one final hurdle in parliament on Wednesday. The text will soon enter law once it receives the assent of Queen Elizabeth II, following the rejection of an amendment in the House of Lords, the upper house of the British parliament, on Wednesday.

The reform specifically provides for stricter sanctions against smugglers and migrants entering the country illegally, as well as outsourcing the investigation of asylum applications to third countries.

The Conservative government announced a deal with Kigali two weeks ago to send asylum seekers who arrived in Rwanda illegally to the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised to control immigration, a key issue in the Brexit campaign, but the number of illegal Channel crossings tripled in 2021, a year after 27 migrants died in a shipwreck in late November. Marked as.

A text that “undermines international laws”

Faced with criticism, the government calls for the need to deter candidates for these dangerous crossings and to stop the lucrative traffic of smugglers.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees regretted the approval of the British text which “undermines established international laws and practices for the protection of refugees”.

In a statement, High Commissioner Filippo Grandi said he was “concerned by the UK’s intention to outsource its obligations to protect refugees and asylum seekers to other countries”, emphasizing that such a move would be “in the letter”. and sentiment and the Refugee Convention”. ,

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