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04th Jul 2021

Migrants could face up to four years in prison under new Home Office plans

The proposed legislation will punish undocumented immigrants with up to four years in jail, and the smugglers with life in prison

Kieran Galpin

Asylum seekers could face years behind bars

As someone who seems to view herself as the champion of immigration, Priti Patel has repeatedly made morally dubious decisions.

Her obsession with the English channel has resulted in new proposed legislation that will punish undocumented immigrants with up to four years in jail. This is a dramatic increase from the previous sentence of six months.

Ms Patel said the following:

“The Nationality and Borders Bill contains vital measures to fix the UK’s broken asylum system.

“Our new plan for immigration is fair but firm.

“We will welcome people through safe and legal routes whilst preventing abuse of the system, cracking down on illegal entry and the criminality associated with it.”

Patel has often faced criticism for her treatment of and apparent hostility to asylum seekers.

The majority of these people escape war-torn areas, horrendous living conditions, rape, torture, and gang violence. For many, moving to the UK is the last resort and one they will now be thrown in prison for.

But for all the people Patel locks behind bars, it creates a financial drain on the state’s funds and increases an already swelling prison population.

Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director, Steve Valdez-Symonds, said:

“While the Home Office continues to make no safe and legal routes to the UK available for those claiming asylum, some people will continue to be forced to risk their lives to do so – including in small boats across the Channel.

“Instead of peddling deliberately misleading myths and untruths about asylum and migration, the Home Office should be establishing safe routes for those few people escaping persecution who wish to seek asylum here.”

The immigration legislation, especially for asylum seekers, needs reworking for sure. But many believe the answer is not prison. Calls for an end to “unviable” migration routes need to be heard.

Priti Patel has also been reminded that the England team she congratulated on making it to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 are predominantly made up of immigrants.