In a radical move, the British home ministry headed by motormouth Suella Braverman, has decided to include India and Georgia to a list of ‘safe states’ where people who arrive in the UK through illegal route will be sent back.
The draft legislation was laid on Wednesday for the approval from the parliament. Once approved, this will effectively mean that Indians fleeing persecution seeking refuge in the UK without permission will not be able to claim asylum.
The new policy appears to be an extension of another controversial law, The Illegal Migration Act, which allows the Rishi Sunak government to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. The move has evoked strong reactions from human rights campaigners, who have questioned the legality of this law.
The government is awaiting a judgment from the country’s Supreme Court judgment, which will decide whether the plan to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda is lawful.
Braverman, who herself is a daughter of an Indian immigrant, has defended her government’s plan. “We remain committed to delivering the measures in our Illegal Migration Act, which will play a part in the fight against illegal migration,” she was quoted as saying.
According to the UK government, a country can only be added to the safe states list (known legislatively as Section 80AA), if the Home Secretary (Braverman in this case) is satisfied that there is, in general, no serious risk of persecution of its nationals, and; removal of nationals to that country cannot go against the UK’s obligations under the Human Rights Convention. The Home Office has rigorously assessed India and Georgia and determined that both meet these criteria.
For this draft legislation to become a law, a scrutiny will take place in the usual way via debates in both Houses of Parliament.