Priti Patel urged to stop 'cruel' plan to keep asylum seekers offshore
The legislation has been condemned as "burden shifting" by the UN
Priti Patel continues to show her lack of humanity and contempt for those in more precarious positions than her and her crones, as the Home Office is set to introduce legislation that will deport asylum seekers abroad while they wait for processing into the UK.
The proposal outlined in New Plan for Immigration will send migrants who have already fled countries and conditions that are unstable and insecure to holding zones, with reports suggesting that the Home Secretary is in discussion with Denmark over 'sharing immigration centres' in Africa - Rwanda being one of the main locations reported.
Many have called the move what it is: "burden shifting" and dodging "responsibility"; Enver Solomon, who works for the Refugee Council in the UK, tweeted this following initial reports:
In @thetimes I say for generations we have people given a hearing on UK soil… Offshore processing is an act of cruel and brutal hostility towards vulnerable people who through no fault of their own have had to flee war, oppression and terror.https://t.co/5Hf4eqSNOa
— Enver Solomon 🧡 (@EnverSol) June 28, 2021
Of course, the Home Office has denied this, with an insider telling The Guardian stating: "We’re not opening talks with Denmark over the sharing of a centre.” However, this isn't the first and only place touted, as locations 'Ascension Island' have previously been discussed as part of Patel's "wholesale" immigration reform.
Furthermore, failing to rule out reports entirely, a Home Office source did go on to say:
“We have been looking at what other countries do to deter illegal migration and this work continues. We will not rule out any option that could help reduce the illegal migration and relieve the pressure on the broken asylum system.”
Let's not forget, part of the reason it's broken is because of policies that continue to displace asylum seekers rather than help ensure their safety and wellbeing. We have never been a mono-culture and we have relied on the influx of nationalities to make modern Britain what it is for centuries.
Historically, the UK only seems happy to champion immigration when we have a war to fight and need extra bodies, or there is a labour shortage after the fact and we need someone to do the graft - i.e. the Windrush generation. Even then, former servants of the Commonwealth who have planted roots in Britain long ago aren't even guaranteed security.
Priti Patel isn't exactly known for her compassion - some of her latest tactless moments include defending those who boo the knee and accusing the left of trying to "own the monopoly" on race and immigration - but should this bill go ahead, this is just yet another extreme low.
So much so, in fact, that the United Nations (UN) has come out to condemn the legislation. Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, the UN refugee agency’s representative to the UK, said the agency had no reports on a collaboration between Denmark and the UK but added she was “extremely concerned”, urging the UK to “refrain from externalising its asylum obligations”.
She went on to say:
“These [immigration processes] cannot be outsourced or transferred without effective safeguards in place, both in law and practice. As we have seen in several contexts, externalisation often results in the forced transfers of people to other countries with inadequate protection safeguards and resources, and therefore risks a breach of international refugee and human rights obligations.”
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this, is the uncertainty around what conditions in these 'sharing centres' may be like.
It was only earlier this month when the Napier barracks housing immigrants were labelled "squalid" and "unlawful" in a high court ruling - who knows how low the standards are when they aren't on our doorstep and can't even keep an eye on them.
The plan itself is currently backed by 70 MPs, with just 24 voting against it, however, it continues to draw strong criticism from human rights groups, the UN and the European Commission.
Their position is clear: such a decision would undermine international cooperation and would fail to guarantee human rights protection for those most vulnerable and simply looking to live a safer, better life. Moving them to what are, essentially, holding cells fundamentally seeks to criminalise individuals from the off.