Priti Patel unveils new laws on asylum seekers

Migrants who board boats to cross the Channel or come to Britain via other illegal routes will be routinely denied asylum under new laws to be unveiled today, during the Conservative Party conference, by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary.

In a major shake-up of asylum rules, the government plans a two-tier system where migrants are treated differently if they pay criminal gangs to help them come to Britain. Patel says it is “morally indefensible” that people paying traffickers “elbow” aside genuine asylum seekers. The so-called “fair borders bill" will be published next year.

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Public confidence in the Home Secretary has been hit by her government's failure to deliver on a number of initiatives which appear to have gone little farther than a newspaper headline. Her pledge to deport 1,000 Channel crossing asylum-seekers by the end of the year was undermined on Thursday after a judge halted a charter flight to Spain over concerns the deportees were at risk of destitution.

So far this year the number of migrants crossing the English Channel continues to grow. Many have no paperwork, and their stories are often dubious, creating the perception amongst the British public that they are not refugees, but economic migrants seeking to access generous UK social benefits, or to integrate themselves into Britain's booming black economy.

The total number of migrants to arrive and be detained by Border Force officials so far this year stands at a little under 7,000 according to official Home Office figures.

Image: Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea

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