Author: THOMAS MACKIE
SAJID JAVID is set to tighten rules on migrants who continue to “asylum shop” and exploit Britain’s generous immigration system by travelling through other safe countries in Europe to the UK.
The Home Secretary has instructed officials to look at ways of tightened existing rules and turn away migrants who failed to claim asylum in the first safe country they entered after leaving their homeland. Under the current rules, which Mr Javid wants to make sure are working, an asylum seekers application can be denied if it is shown the individuals have travelled through another safe country and failed to claim asylum. The rules are intended to stop “asylum shopping”, where migrants travel through other countries to the UK in order to get the most attractive option.
A Home Office document published in October states: “Those who fear persecution should claim asylum and stay in the first safe country they reach and not put their lives at risk by making unnecessary and dangerous journeys to the UK.
“Illegal migration from safe countries undermines our efforts to help those most in need.”
The move is expected to be announced this week.
But it is likely to further anger his critics, including the Labour front bench, who claimed his comments suggested he wanted to send away genuine refugees.
The MP for Bromsgrove in Worcestershire said migrants crossing the channel should have claimed asylum in France instead of risking their lives by attempting the journey to Britain.
He said: “A question has to be asked: if you are a genuine asylum seeker why have you not sought asylum in the first safe country that you arrived in?
“Because France is not a country where anyone would argue it is not safe in any way whatsoever, and if you are genuine then why not seek asylum in your first safe country?”
The former managing director at Deutsche Bank said migrants who are caught crossing the world’s busiest shipping lane will face having their asylum denied as a deterrent to prevent others undertaking the same journey.
In a plea to stop migrants crossing the channel he said: “It’s incredibly dangerous.
“Please do not do that, you are taking your life into your own hands.
“Also if you do somehow make it to the UK, we will do everything we can to make sure that you are often not successful because we need to break that link, and to break that link means we can save more lives.”
Mr Javid was forced to cancel his holiday to South Africa last weekend and take control of the brewing migrant crisis amid criticism of his handling of the issue from some Tory MPs.