UK to add India to Safe States list to tackle illegal migrants
The UK government has announced that it will add India to a list of "safe states", which would speed up the process of returning people who have travelled from India illegally.
With this addition, all asylum claims from Indian nationals who arrive on small boats or illegally on other routes will be deemed inadmissible. There will be no appeals and they will be sent back.
In a statement, the UK Home Office said that the government will add India and Georgia to the list of 'safe states.' It noted that the decision will mark another step in the delivery of the "Illegal Migration Act 2023" and its plans to stop the boats.
The UK Home Office in the statement said, "Draft legislation laid in Parliament today (Wednesday 8 November) will strengthen the immigration system and help prevent abuse, including by people making unfounded protection claims."
According to the UK Home Office statement, Indian and Georgian small boat arrivals have witnessed a rise over the last year despite people not being at obvious risk of persecution. It further said, "Deeming these countries safe will mean that if an individual arrives illegally from either one, we will not admit their claim to the UK asylum system."
The UK Home Office stated that the other nations deemed safe by the UK include Albania and Switzerland, the European Union and European Economic Area states. UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that they must stop people from making "dangerous and illegal journeys" to the UK from "fundamentally safe nations."
In the statement, Braverman said, "We must stop people making dangerous and illegal journeys to the UK from fundamentally safe countries. Expanding this list will allow us to more swiftly remove people with no right to be here and sends a clear message that if you come here illegally, you cannot stay."
"We remain committed to delivering the measures in our Illegal Migration Act, which will play a part in the fight against illegal migration," she added.
According to the UK Home Office, a country can only be included in the list of safe states (known legislatively as Section 80AA), if the UK Home Secretary 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 UK Home Office has said that the designation of nations under Section 80AA is subject to the draft affirmative procedure. This means scrutiny will take place in the usual way via debates in both Houses of Parliament before the measure comes into force.