Harlow MP welcomes Government’s new plan to tackle illegal migration

News / Fri 16th Dec 2022 at 01:09pm

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement on the Government’s new plan to tackle illegal migration.

The Prime Minister confirmed that a change to the law will take effect in early 2023 that means anybody who enters the UK illegally will not be able to remain. Instead, those who come into the country without appropriate authorisation will be detained and removed quickly.

The Government’s new plan consists of 5 steps to take back control of our borders once and for all.

1️⃣ A new agreement with Albania will see weekly flights taking off until all Albanians in our immigration backlog are sent home.

2️⃣ Cheaper accommodation sites will mean migrants can be moved out of expensive hotels and processed more quickly elsewhere.

3️⃣ 200 new staff will join a task force to improve immigration enforcement.

4️⃣ 700 new staff will join a permanent small boat operation in the English Channel, preventing illegal and dangerous crossings.

5️⃣ More caseworkers and a streamlined system to clear the immigration backlog.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Halfon said, “Whilst we as a country must continue to be compassionate, taking back control of our borders is not the same as being uncompassionate.

“We must always be welcoming and kind, but we must have fair immigration that is fair to the UK taxpayer.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today that new legislation will soon come into effect, forcing those who arrive in the UK illegally from an already safe country to return to their home country or another safe location. I also welcome the Prime Minister’s 5-step plan that includes a groundbreaking deal with Albania, clearing our immigration backlogs and running weekly flights until every Albanian with no legal right to be here is sent home.

“Harlow is a welcoming and inclusive town and encourages people from all backgrounds to call the town home; however, I know that constituents are also concerned about the impact of illegal migration on our hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure. Today, the Government has taken action to tackle this problem.”

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18 Comments for Harlow MP welcomes Government’s new plan to tackle illegal migration:

Mr Grumpy
2022-12-16 13:58:32

How about making the UK less attractive by NOT housing illegal immigrants and NOT giving them free money etc. The UK is seen as a soft touch, hence why they come.

David Forman
2022-12-16 14:10:31

Tories like Halfon are keen to focus on Albanians, but not other nationalities with a high asylum acceptance rate. The Home Affairs Select Committee member Stuart C. McDonald MP, SNP for the Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency had the following to say at the hearing on 26 October 2022: "I am aware there are several thousand Afghans and several thousand Syrians still in the asylum system, so you are talking about a total of 15,000 or 16,000. I think the grant rate for these nationalities is in one case 98%, and in the case of Afghans 91%, although I presume that will rise when the new figures are published." See Question 65 on page 16 of https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/11390/pdf/

David Forman
2022-12-16 14:28:19

Of course Halfon and Braverman are not keen on people knowing the real figures. The above mentioned Home Affairs Select Committee hearing heard from Dan Hobbs, Director of Asylum, Protection and Enforcement in the migration and borders group at the Home Office. He stated that just 4% of the 2021 boat crossing people had been processed and added: "Of the 2021 arrivals, 85% were granted either refugee status or some other protection status." He also mentioned that 98% of the 2021 arrivals had claimed asylum. See Questions 4 to 9 on pages 3 & 4 of: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/11390/pdf/

2022-12-16 15:38:32

Our towns have become unrecognisable due to mass illegal migration. The public are feed up to the back teeth. Don't let them get here in the first place. We are very welcoming to refugees who genuinely need help but these are economic migrants.

2022-12-16 16:34:06

Oh goodie, yet another opportunity for the bigots to show their usual ill-informed knee-jerk reactions. "How about making the UK less attractive by NOT housing illegal immigrants and NOT giving them free money etc." Illegal immigrants are not housed and do not get "free money" - because they are illegal immigrants. If by "illegal immigrants" you actually mean asylum seekers, "refugees seeking asylum in the UK can’t be penalised for entering illegally if they are claiming asylum and coming from a place where their life or freedom are threatened. They may also stop over in other “safe” countries en route to the UK." (FullFact 2019). Asylum seekers are not able to work because that is the law, therefore they are wards of the state. The state MUST provide housing and asylum seekers are given an allowance. This is the law. "Our towns have become unrecognisable due to mass illegal migration." - if this is so, then why are you not reporting every singe one of these "illegal migrants" to the police? Or do you also mean asylum seekers? And how do you know if someone is an asylum seeker just by looking at them? Do you go up to them and ask them "where are you REALLY from?" to find out? Oh, and Robert, I thought your Conservative Brexit was supposed to "take back control of our borders once and for all.". If you need to "take back control of our borders" who currently controls our borders? Is it not this government? So you are saying that you, the government, need to take back control of the borders from this government?

2022-12-16 17:32:42

It is a relief to read you comment JD. If you are in danger in your country of origin or residence, and you want the UK to grant you international protection, it is your right to claim asylum when you are in the UK. However, catch 22 rules apply. It is impossible to claim asylum from outside the UK, and there is no visa which allows people to enter the UK in order to claim asylum. This means that most people have no choice but to enter the UK without permission risking their lives by crossing the Channel on flimsy rubber boats and enriching criminal gangs. France has proposed setting up joint processing centres on French soil, where applications for asylum in Britain could be examined by British immigration officers and approved or denied. This is the obvious solution and Robert Halfon knows it. Please note, around three quarters of asylum seekers are accepted as having genuine claims. Unfortunately, stirring up hatred by talking about ‘the invasion of illegal migrants’ etc suits the Tory government. Nationalist politics is an easy win. Hitler’s propagandist Goebbels would be proud of how Patel and Braveman have stirred up hatred by scapegoating people who have genuine claims for asylum.

Mr Grumpy
2022-12-16 17:53:55

JD. I am simply being practical here, no bigotry. We have enough issues here in the UK without having to spend money on immigrants. They travel through many countries to get here? Why not stop at one of them? Because they know the UK is compassionate and will house and feed them whereas other countries will not I believe. There are those like yourself that are sympathetic to their cause, me included, and I applaude you for that but we must get our own house in order before we spend money we do not have on hotels etc. There are many UK residents who are in great need but have to rely on charity due to lack of government funds.

2022-12-16 18:10:19

Perhaps RH can say if he is also happy and also supports his government ripping up protections for torture victims and asylum seekers in processing centres? Is RH happy that immigration minister Robert Jenrick has quietly rewritten the law governing short-term holding facilities to dramatically downgrade standards of healthcare, legal advice, communications and sleeping conditions? Is RH ecstatic that an asylum seeker died of diphtheria last month, and these changes will make it easier for the government to get away with this? Is RH jumping for joy that obligations to report concerns about torture, suicidal ideas, mental health or any person “injuriously affected by continued detention” are being removed? Is RH hosting a party (aka a "work event") because the changes have been lodged as a statutory instrument without debate in parliament, or a public announcement, on Thursday and will come into force on 5 January? How many party poppers will RH pop knowing that a new category of detention centre, which the government has labelled a “residential holding room”, where human beings can be detained for 96 hours, or longer without confidential meetings with lawyers, access to mobile phones, or internet access. Maybe RH can cold his celebratory party at the Chevening estate, where traces of a suspected class A drug were found at a government grace-and-favour home after parties attended by political allies of Liz Truss. Perhaps this government should stop blaming "illegal immigrants" and stop having parties during lockdowns when people were dying, and having parties with class A drugs.

2022-12-16 18:24:43

Sorry Mr Grumpy, but very small percentage – roughly 3% – of migrants who enter the EU with the UK as their preferred final destination. FACT. But telling untruths suits the government. As I have mentioned, scapegoating asylum seekers is cheap and nasty national politics to help take your eye off the truth. And the truth is that after 12 years of Tory mismanagement that has seen rising poverty, more food banks than McDonalds restaurants, heat banks as we experience the highest inflation seen in years (and far higher than other countries in the EU) and higher energy bills, the biggest drop in living standards since 1956, the biggest fall in wages seen since records began, collapsing exports and the NHS close to collapse because of chronic underfunding. Remember ambulances that turned up within 17 minutes? Doctor appointments guaranteed within 2 days? Hospital admissions within 3 months?

2022-12-16 18:52:16

"Because they know the UK is compassionate and will house and feed them whereas other countries will not I believe." Thank you for stating it is a belief and not an assumed fact. Your belief is wrong, The majority of asylum seekers choose the UK not because it is perceived as "easy", but because they already have some form of connection with the UK. The may already speak English, that may have family members here, they may have studied here as students. They claim asylum here because there is an existing connection. This is why the majority of asylum seekers are granted, not because we are an "easy touch" but there is a good reason to be here. If we assume "asylum seekers" are also classified as "refugees", which countries do you think accepted more refugees in 2021 than the UK? Where do you believe Uganda, Turkey, Sudan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Germany and Bangladesh are on the list? Do you believe any of these countries are a softer touch than the UK? Each one of these welcomed vastly more refugees than the UK in 2021. If the UK is such a soft touch, why did Uganda take in several times more refugees than the UK? Is Uganda even more a soft touch than the UK? Does Uganda offer every refugee a free Rolls-Royce? RH said above : 'I know that constituents are also concerned about the impact of illegal migration on our hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure.' The biggest drain on the NHS is not illegal immigrants or asylum seekers, and it is deplorable that our MP is promoting this right wing racist trope. Many asylum seekers have no resource to public funds and therefore have to pay to use the NHS. A greater drain on the NHS is more likely to be due to alcohol abuse or smoking (as promoted by Nigel Farage), or by obesity problems.

2022-12-16 19:10:17

So why do these people come here? Some, the Albanians apparently because they want to become criminals. Or do they mostly come here to achieve a better life because even being on minimum wage is better than living in fear of imprisonment, torture, execution or starvation. Perhaps we would be better addressing these issues as a way to stop the problem rather than behaving as an authoritarian state.

2022-12-16 19:12:05

When ever any other country has a migrant crisis, the simply put a load of tents in a field and let the NGO’s deal with it, and this seems to comply with all the international legal requirements. For reasons I cannot fathom, we are apparently not allowed to do this. As an aside it is cheaper for these people to apply legally to live here than it is to pay the people smugglers. !

2022-12-16 19:20:20

Thought I should add. I have a stateless friend who has entered the UK legally by applying to migrate here even though he would easily be accepted as a refugee. When I asked this person about their choice the replied that they wanted to work and as an asylum seeker they would not be allowed to work for approx 2 years. This person is now earning a six figure salary and only a couple of years from getting a uk passport.

2022-12-16 19:53:40

I just checked and our inflation rate of 9.3% is one of the lower inflation rates compared to our EU neighbours we easily sit in the top ten with the likes of France, Germany, Italy etc fairing much worse. There is also nothing wrong with people bemoaning a perceived loss of culture and or lifestyle due to the changing demographics of this country. In fact not taking on board such comments can ultimately lead to a bad outcome.

2022-12-17 02:55:31

Loosen the application criteria and allow safe routes. Or leave them to the sea

2022-12-17 03:02:52

I don’t get WHO said we humans have a law to migrate.!? The birds fly south and we accept that. No paper work needed. So why can we humans go to wherever in this world? It’s not your world or any government world. It’s OUR WORLD.

Mike Dempsey
2022-12-17 10:24:47

Labour councillor for the Bush Fair ward Jodie Dunn (JD) makes some good points. The boat crossing people are not "illegal immigrants" when 98% have claimed asylum and thus must go through a legal process to determine their status. Even the Home Office acknowledges that they cannot speed up the process by making each case worker do a lot more cases because it would make the process unsafe and open to successful appeal. Perhaps we and other western countries shouldn't have bombed certain countries back to the Stone age? Perhaps we shouldn't allow governments and multi-national corporations to finance and equip mercenaries to topple political leaders who want a decent return on their minerals, water, oil and gas?

Cllr Jodi Dunne
2022-12-17 19:44:19

Just like to point out that JD is not me.

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