Illegal Migration Act

Thank you for contacting me about the Illegal Migration Act which has now received Royal Assent.

I can assure you that the UK has a proud history of supporting those in need of protection and since 2015 we have welcomed 480,000 people through safe and legal routes from all over the world, as well as via country-specific routes from Syria, Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Ukraine. But while our compassion may be infinite, our capacity to help is not. The numbers now crossing the English Channel illegally via small boats reached 45,000 last year and we are now spending over £7m a day on housing them in hotels because local authorities do not have the capacity to support them.

This is not sustainable, and it is impacting on our ability to help those genuinely in danger who might come via our safe and legal routes.

The High Court has ruled that Rwanda is a safe country. We are confident of securing a similar ruling in the Supreme Court, and we are making plans for flights to commence as soon as possible. The UNHCR already has its own partnership with Rwanda to voluntarily relocate vulnerable migrants from Libya temporarily in Rwanda.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.