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UK to add India to safe states list; no asylum rights for Indian illegal migrants


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London, Nov 9:  In a key step in delivery of the Illegal Migration Act, the UK government plans to add India and Georgia to a list of safe states to speed up the process of returning people who have travelled from either country illegally.

Deeming India safe means that if an individual arrives illegally, Britain will not admit their claim to the country’s asylum system, the Home Office said in a statement. According to the draft legislation laid in Parliament on Wednesday, the move will strengthen the immigration system and help prevent abuse, including by people making unfounded protection claims.

The Home Office said that Indian and Georgian small boat arrivals have increased over the last year despite individuals not being at obvious risk of persecution.

“We must stop people making dangerous and illegal journeys to the UK from fundamentally safe countries,” British Home Secretary Suella Braverman said.

“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,” the minister added.

Other countries deemed safe by the UK include Albania and Switzerland, plus the EU and EEA states.

A country can only be added to the safe states list — known legislatively as Section 80AA — if the Home Secretary is satisfied that there is 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 recent measures sit within the Illegal Migration Act 2023, which aims to stop the boats by changing the law so that people who come to the UK illegally can be detained and then swiftly returned to a safe third country or their home country.

Further measures, including the duty to remove, will be rolled out in the coming months. Following Parliamentary scrutiny and approval, the Illegal Migration Act received Royal Assent on July 20, 2023, and ensures people do not risk their lives by making lethal and unnecessary journeys across the Channel.

The Conservative government has made stopping small boats of asylum seekers from crossing the Channel one of the five key priorities of his leadership, but since the year began, more than 26,000 migrants have arrived via perilous routes, according to the latest government figures.  IANS


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