Team Lopez - Today, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak updated the House of Commons on the steps being taken by government to tackle illegal immigration.
Julia Lopez MP is aware of residents’ concerns about illegal immigration, particularly in small boats crossing the Channel, which is adding to pressure on local public services.
Many originate from safe countries and travel through safe countries. The Prime Minister is clear that this is unfair on those who come to the UK legally, unfair on those who have a genuine asylum claim, and unfair on the British taxpayer.
The Prime Minister has prioritised this issue since taking office and has delivered the largest ever small boats deal with France which increases UK-funded patrols by 40%; re-established the Calais Group of Northern European nations to disrupt traffickers; and set a long-term ambition for a UK-EU wide agreement on migration.
Today, the Prime Minister and Home Secretary announced five new steps to tackle illegal immigration.
Firstly, a new agreement with Albania so that the vast majority of Albanian claimants can be removed – with weekly flights until all Albanians in the UK’s backlog are sent home.
Secondly, a new permanent, unified Small Boats Operational Command in the Channel with 700 new staff.
Thirdly, tougher immigration enforcement with 200 new staff and better data sharing with banks.
Fourthly, cheaper accommodation sites so the Home Office can move migrants out of expensive hotels.
Finally, clear the initial asylum backlog by 2023 by doubling the number of caseworkers and radically streamlining the process.
However, the government knows it still must go further. Early next year, the Prime Minister announced the government will introduce legislation to make it clear that if you enter the UK illegally you should not be able to remain – but should be swiftly detained and removed.
The government believes that by taking these steps, it will be tough but fair, tackle illegal migration, and stop small boats crossing the Channel. The Prime Minister’s full statement can be read here and the Home Secretary's letter can be viewed at the bottom of this webpage.