News Story

NEWS STORY : Illegal Migration Bill Returned to House of Commons


The Illegal Migration Bill has returned to the House of Commons after undergoing scrutiny in the House of Lords where there was much opposition to the Government’s plans. The bill aims to prevent and deter unlawful migration, particularly through unsafe routes, by requiring the removal of individuals who arrive to what the Government refer to as illegally in the UK to their home country or a safe third country for processing their asylum claim. During the report stage in the House of Lords, several amendments were proposed and voted upon and the Bill returns to the Commons today. One of these amendments reinstated judicial reviews to challenge potentially incorrect age assessments of migrant children, and another clarified the grounds for blocking a child’s removal based on age assessment.

The House of Lords also voted in favour of inserting a new clause into the bill, requiring the Government to outline its plans for safe and lawful entry into the UK. The Government has made a number of concessions to the Migration Bill, limiting the length of detention for unaccompanied children and preventing retrospective removal of individuals who have already entered the UK. These changes were made by the Government to speed up the Bill’s progress through Parliament and the Home Office said that it would address concerns about the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.