The UK government has put forth a draft legislation in the House of Commons to strengthen the immigration system. As a measure to discourage illegal immigration and unsubstantiated asylum claims, the proposal includes the addition of India and Georgia to an expanded list of ‘safe states’.
What does it signify?
The proposal to add India to the safe states list by the UK government signifies the country’s perceived overall safety and stability, eliminating the possibility of seeking asylum in Britain for those entering illegally. Consequently, Indians engaging in unauthorized travel from their home country will find their asylum prospects in the UK significantly reduced.
The UK Home Office’s statement explained, “Legislation presented in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday, 8 November) aims to fortify the immigration system, curbing potential abuse, including unfounded protection claims.”
The statement further noted an increase in the number of small boat arrivals from India and Georgia over the past year, despite individuals not being evidently at risk of persecution. Designating these countries as safe implies that asylum claims from individuals arriving illegally from these nations will not be accepted in the UK.
The UK Home Office emphasized that other nations recognized as safe by the UK include Albania and Switzerland, along with the states in the European Union and European Economic Area. UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman stressed the need to deter people from undertaking “dangerous and illegal journeys” to the UK from countries deemed fundamentally safe.
Braverman stated, “Expanding this list will enable us to swiftly repatriate individuals with no legitimate claim to stay here, sending a clear message that illegal entry will not lead to residency.”
The UK Home Office clarified that a country can only be designated as a safe state under Section 80AA if the Home Secretary is convinced that there is generally no serious risk of persecution for its nationals, and deportation to that country aligns with the UK’s obligations under the Human Rights Convention.
The UK Home Office underscored that the classification of nations under Section 80AA follows the draft affirmative procedure. This entails the standard parliamentary scrutiny through debates in both Houses before the measure becomes enforceable.
Countries in UK’s ‘safe states’ list
In addition to India, Georgia is also set to be included in the UK’s list of safe states. Other nations recognized as safe by the UK Home Office encompass Albania and Switzerland, along with the member states of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).
(Inputs from ANI)