As we start the New Year, and we are keen to promote our vision of an immigration system without detention, we were keen to highlight the excellent report by the Refugee Council on the human impact of the Illegal Migration Act and the Rwanda Plan. As the government tries to forge ahead with its plans, we should not lose sight of the human impact of these plans.
The report finds that the Illegal Migration Act and the Rwanda Plan will have a negative impact on the lives of very vulnerable people:
· People will take more dangerous journeys to reach the UK, rather than being deterred from travelling.
· There will be a greater fear of, and less incentive to engage with, statutory services.
· People will be less likely to seek the support of charitable organisations.
· People will be driven “underground” placing them at risk of harm and exploitation.
· Children who come to the UK alone seeking asylum will be at risk of going missing in the months leading up to their eighteenth birthday, the point when the duty to remove will apply to them.
We will continue in 2024 to make the case for a supportive environment: a compassionate and practical alternative to immigration. There is a better, more effective, cheaper and most importantly humane alternative approach.