Home secretary Priti Patel has told those seeking to frustrate the deportation process that ‘enough is enough’ in her latest speech on the government’s controversial immigration reforms. The Home Office denied that her comments were targeted at lawyers.
Patel detailed her vision for a ‘world-class immigration system’ as part of the government’s New Plan for Immigration at an event hosted by thinktanks Bright Blue and British Future.
The home secretary said the next strand of the Home Office’s plan will be about speeding up removal of those with no legal right to be in the UK.
‘For too long, we have been frustrated by those who know how to play the system,’ Patel said. ‘More than 10,000 foreign national offenders remain in the UK. Among that number are individuals who have committed serious crimes, including murder and rape. Since the start of the year, we have removed more than 800 foreign national offenders. But there is much more to do. And we are taking further action.
‘I have a message to those who seek to disrupt the efforts of our enforcement officers. They should think about whether their actions may be preventing murderers, rapists and high harm offenders from being removed from our communities - and they should think long and hard about the victims of these crimes.’
The Gazette asked the Home Office if Patel was referring to lawyers and was told that she was talking in broad terms about a range of groups that seek to disrupt the legal duty of immigration enforcement officers who are removing those with no legal right to be in the UK.
The Home Office recently consulted on proposals to streamline the asylum claims and appeals system, saying it was ‘seeing repeated unmeritorious claims, sometimes made at the very last minute, which frequently frustrate the removal of people with no right to be in the UK – including the removal of Foreign National Offenders’.
Proposals include a ‘good faith’ requirement, which would mean ‘bringing any claims as soon as possible, telling the truth and leaving the UK when they have no right to remain’. The Home Office says if someone has not acted in good faith, this should affect the credibility of their claim and testimony in the Home Office’s decision-making and by the courts in any subsequent appeals.
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