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Britain to enforce a four-year prison sentence for illegal immigration into the country

DUBLIN: The United Kingdom is set to pass legislation that would impose up to four years in prison for EU migrants entering the country illegally. The UK Home Office’s law is so strict that it applies even if you travel from Dublin to Holyhead and enter the UK without legal travel documents.

It is also understood that Britain’s decision to withdraw from Brexit was made in order to avoid such illegal immigrants from entering the nation as refugees.

To prevent illegal immigration, Home Secretary Priti Patel and her team are adopting stricter enforcement measures in the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The first reading of the bill, which seeks to fix the UK’s “broken asylum system”, will take place in the House of Commons on Tuesday. This is expected to become legislation in the coming days.

The proposed legislation aims to increase the maximum sentence from six months to four years, making illegally crossing the sea and entering the UK a criminal offense. The UK also has plans to increase the current 14-year sentence for people smuggling. Some see the bill as a measure to curb criminal gangs smuggling people into the UK.

The Home Office said that stiffer punishments are intended to deter migrants from entering the country without permission. It is also said that some migrants prefer to settle in the UK over other countries when asylum could have been sought earlier in their route through Europe.

According to reports, about 6,000 migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats and others into the UK in the first six months of this year. In 2020, 8047 people arrived in the UK as refugees.

The European Union generally takes a humanitarian approach to refugees, however this is not the case in the UK.

Cabinet minister Patel said: “Our new plan for immigration is fair but firm. We will welcome people through safe and legal routes whilst preventing abuse of the system, cracking down on illegal entry and the criminality associated with it.”

The Conservative election manifesto promised a radical change in the immigration system. According to the UK Government, people who have entered the country illegally make up 62% of all claims, and 42,000 failed asylum seekers remain in the country.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director, Steve Valdez-Symonds, pointed out that the Home Office does not provide safe and legal ways for asylum seekers to enter the UK.

“While the Home Office continues to make no safe and legal routes to the UK available for those claiming asylum, some people will continue to be forced to risk their lives to do so – including in small boats across the Channel,” he said. He also demanded that safe routes be made for people seeking asylum here.

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