Asylum seekers who commit certain crimes while in the country will no longer be allowed to remain, under a new proposal to be made public on Thursday by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
The new act, which will be published by the Home Office, will instead allow the authorities to immediately deport asylum seekers with no court order if their crimes make them a “real and immediate threat to national security.”
The proposal, which has been put forward by Amber Rudd’s Conservative government, will bring in line Britain’s immigration system with other European Union countries, including Greece, which are often criticised for their handling of undocumented asylum seekers.
It follows a case of the Baha Mousa murder of a British Iraqi aid worker in 2003, which highlighted the fact that the British government was unable to deport three men who were suspected of being involved in the death, until they were sentenced to life in prison by a British military court at the end of 2005.
The three Iraqis were all arrested on suspicion of involvement in the death of the 30-year-old Baha Mousa and were jailed for seven, nine and 10 years respectively. However, none were ever deported because they were considered “credible threats to national security.”
Under the new proposals, these individuals could be immediately deported if they commit, within the preceding three months, sexual or violent crimes in the UK, and failing which they would be deported immediately. Their deportation would still have to be approved by a judge, and according to the proposal, asylum seekers found to have committed or were suspected of having committed serious crimes, will face “stringent” but secure checks prior to deportation to prevent them from being involved in an attack against Britain.
Although the government cannot legally cancel their asylum application, their deportation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are not involved in acts of terrorism.
The Home Office has been considering the proposed reform for some time, and the Justice Ministry said the move would not represent a lessening of the protection afforded to asylum seekers.
Ms Rudd, who was forced to apologise in 2013 after mistakenly raising the possibility of the ethnic cleansing of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s family, had resisted the idea, seeing it as an effort to deprive illegal immigrants of a safe haven.
The Home Office says the Government has been in discussions with Scotland’s two main political parties, who are strongly supportive of immigration control, for nearly two years.