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UK Home Secretary Lays Out ‘Practical Argument Against Uncontrolled and Illegal Migration’

Published: September 27, 2023
Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives at 10 Downing Street in London to attend the weekly cabinet meeting on Sept. 12, 2023. (Image: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sept. 26, during a visit in Washington D.C., Suella Braverman, the British Home Secretary, spoke out to warn of how “uncontrolled and illegal” mass immigration to the UK and other European countries was both unsustainable and also endangering the local national heritage.

“There’s been more migration to the UK and Europe in the last 25 years than in all the time that went before,” she said. “It has been too much, too quick, with too little thought given to integration and the impact on social cohesion.”

Braverman, who is ethnically Indian, cited illegal immigration to the UK that saw upwards of 108,000 migrants cross the Channel as well as the migrant crisis in the U.S., saying 2.8 million migrants entered the United States this year alone.

“If cultural change is too rapid and too big, then what was already there is diluted; eventually it will disappear,” she said; comments that many interpreted as meaning British culture would be threatened if immigration were allowed to continue on the same trend.

Economically, “the unprecedented rise in illegal migration to the UK via small boat crossings from France has put unsustainable pressure on the UK’s asylum system and the British taxpayer,” she argued. “Approximately 109,000 people have illegally crossed the Channel via small boat since 2018, including 45,000 alone last year. Consequently, the cost of the UK’s asylum system has roughly doubled in the last year and now stands at nearly £4 billion,” she added.

She said that a decade ago the total cost for the asylum system for the UK taxpayer was only £500 million (about $600 million), and now the UK is spending around £8 million a day housing migrants in hotel rooms. 

“Unless countries can prevent or rapidly remove illegal migrants, pressures on the state will compound over time. Accommodation cannot be magicked out of thin air, nor can new schools, improved roads, extra police officers, additional healthcare, or any of the other public services upon which people rely,” she argued.

According to Braverman, 45 percent of demand for new housing in England is as a result of illegal migration and that more than one in five births are to foreign-born mothers. 

‘Absurd and unsustainable’

Braverman believes that the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 is “outdated” and has created an “absurd and unsustainable” system with “huge incentives for illegal migration.”

She recently urged the international community to refuse asylum to migrants unless they arrived in a country through a recognized safe and legal route.

She also argues for tightening the definition of “refugee” and to adopt schemes like the Government’s Rwanda deportation policy.

The “Rwanda deportation policy,” also known as the Rwanda Migration and Economic Partnership and the Rwanda asylum scheme, is an immigration policy first proposed by the British government.

People who identified as illegal immigrants or asylum seekers would be relocated to Rwanda for processing, asylum and resettlement. If a migrant is successful in claiming asylum they would remain in the country and would not be permitted to return to the UK. 

Braverman says that the fear of being branded a “racist or illiberal” has prevented the UN Refugee Convention from being reformed. 

“Any attempt to reform the Refugee Convention will see you smeared as anti-refugee,” she said, adding that “similar epithets are hurled at anyone who suggests reform of the European Convention on Human Rights or its court in Strasbourg.”