The New Plan for Immigration: what it means and how to respond

On the 24th March, the UK Government published its New Plan For Immigration. The plan proposes significant and harmful changes to the way people seeking asylum are treated in the UK.

You can read more about the detail of the proposals here, but some of our main concerns are: 

  • The creation of a two-tier system where refugees are granted different rights and status based on how they arrived in the UK; 
  • The penalisation of people seeking asylum who have arrived by irregular means – by treating them as ‘inadmissible’ to the UK’s asylum system and attempting to return them to another ‘safe’ third country; 
  • The creation of a new form of ‘temporary protection status’ for those who arrive irregularly and are recognised as refugees, which will have No Recourse to Public Funds, only last for 30 months, and have limited family reunion rights; 
  • Plans to replace the current asylum accommodation model with reception centres, and allow for the use of offshore processing facilities in the future.  

We are appalled by these dangerous and inhumane proposals, which threaten to slam the door in the face of people in need of protection from persecution. 

Rather than creating a system that protects, these proposals punish people seeking asylum, and will create further homelessness, poverty and limit access to justice. These plans will do nothing to address the root causes of why people are forced to take dangerous journeys to safety, nor tackle the record backlog of people waiting in humane conditions for a decision on their asylum claim. 

What can you do about it?

The Government has now launched a six week consultation on the proposals which is being run by Britain Thinks. Organisations and individuals can submit their views on the proposals through an online platform until the closing date of Thursday 6 May. You can read Asylum Matters’ own response the consultation Asylum Matters New Plan for Immigration Consultation Response 06052021.

Asylum Matters has produced a new resource for refugee-led organisations, community groups and frontline organisations working with people seeking asylum and refugees, who are considering participating in the UK Government’s consultation on its New Plan For Immigration.

This resource is designed to help those who wish to respond to navigate the consultation and signpost to other helpful information and resources. It includes: 

  • Information on the UK Government’s consultation approach, timeline and questions; 
  • Practical advice on how to respond to the consultation; 
  • Our view on key consultation questions and resources from other partners; 
  • Other helpful resources, articles and guides. 

This is a live working document, which we will be updating with additional information over time.

If you have any queries, or suggestions for content, please contact us at [email protected].

What next? 

The Government’s plans to reform the UK’s asylum system should worry us all. 

If we’re serious about providing a safe haven for refugees, we should be investing in an asylum system that enables people to rebuild their lives here, rather than penalising people for the desperate routes to safety they are forced to take. 

Standing up for asylum, and alongside people seeking refugee protection, is more important than ever. 

If you want to stay in touch with us about how you can get involved, email us at [email protected].


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