Rishi Sunak has said that people arriving in the UK without documents will have their asylum claims rejected, and will be deported ‘within days or weeks’. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/feb/02/rishi-sunak-says-people-arriving-in-uk-illegally-will-be-deported-within-days
In an interview with TalkTV, Sunak added that ‘illegal’ migrants would be deported to ‘an alternative safe country’ like Rwanda. Home office advisers have apparently already warned Suella Braverman, the home secretary, that Rwanda cannot be considered a safe country. Under international law, refugees are allowed to apply for asylum wherever they wish.
Sunak also pledged to speed up asylum decisions by recruiting more Home Office staff. Currently, there is a backlog of more than 140,000 people waiting for an initial decision.
Meanwhile, Lord Alf Dubs, who came to the UK as part of the Kindertransport, has criticised Suella Braverman’s comparison of refugees to ‘invaders’ as ‘deeply and personally upsetting’, and a low point of his fifty years in politics. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/feb/03/alf-dubs-decries-suella-bravermans-likening-of-refugees-to-invaders
‘Invaders are hostile people, whereas what we’re talking about are people who are fleeing from war, persecution, threats to their safety and so on. And I think we owe them a bit of compassion,’ he said.
Last month, Joan Salter, another Jewish refugee from Nazi occupation, challenged Suella Braverman on her use of language.
“When I hear you using words against refugees like ‘swarms’ and an‘invasion’, I am reminded of the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others,” she said. “Why do you find the need to use that kind of language?”
Ms Braverman refused to apologise, citing ‘the crisis on the south coast’ and ‘a duty to be honest with the British people’.
In other developments, Afghan refugees who worked closely with British forces in Afghanistan have been told to leave Kensington and move 200 miles to a cheaper hotel in Wetherby, 13 miles from Leeds, uprooting around 150 children from their schools.