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More than 45,000 children could be locked up in Britain under Illegal Migration Bill

March 22, 2023 at 1:30 pm

British MP’s debating in the House of Commons [UK Parliament/Flickr]

More than 45,000 children could be locked up in Britain under the government’s Illegal Migration Bill, according to the Refugee Council.

The charity has today published a report on the expected impact of the government’s new legislation to detain and deport refugees.

The report has predicted that the cost of detaining and accommodating people under the new bill would amount to more than £9 billion ($10.6 billion) in the first three years.

The charity said that in total more than 190,000 people, mostly from the world’s most dangerous and repressive countries, could be locked up or forced into destitution: “They will be unable to have their asylum claims processed, unable to work and will be reliant on Home Office support and accommodation indefinitely.”

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The government’s Illegal Migration Bill would grant power to the government to deny asylum applications from people who have entered the country via irregular routes.

It will also stop asylum seekers from appealing their deportation until after they have been removed.

The House of Commons voted for the bill in its second reading earlier this month, with a majority of 62.

Most people who will be detained under the new legislation will be from Eritrea, Sudan, Syria, and Iran, where there are fewer and fewer safe routes available to apply for.

The charity also said that there are 75 per cent less refugee resettlements to the UK from UNHCR refugee camps than pre-2019, and 40 per cent less family reunion visas.

At the beginning of March, the UNHCR said it was “profoundly concerned” by the bill which “would amount to an asylum ban.”