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The UK's Cruel Immigration Bill: Explained

The  Immigration Bill Explained - asylum, families and human rights at risk. Read on to find out why and how you can help

The UK Government's latest immigration bill not only threatens to dismantle our asylum system, but also carries alarming implications for families, children, citizenship and human rights. With far-reaching consequences, this bill requires our urgent attention and action. 

We’ve broken the bill down into five key areas of concern:

Families and children could be robbed of their British Citizenship

The bill will apply to people arriving in the UK on or after 7 March 2023 (the day the bill was published), and anyone caught by it would be permanently barred from the UK. Their partners and children will face the same fate, regardless of whether they arrived without permission - even if they were born here. 

This would mean that many British children would be robbed of their rights to British citizenship. 

Human rights apply to everyone. If the government picks and chooses who can access rights, they undermine the foundations that our rights are built on.  

Stripping protections from people who need it

The bill means that neither asylum nor human rights claims will be considered by the Home Office, and victims of human trafficking or modern slavery will not receive protection.

The only general exception is to allow human rights claims to be made after someone has been expelled by the Home Office - a process designed to make it nearly impossible for affected individuals to establish their right to remain in the UK.

This will leave many vulnerable people unprotected. By turning their back on people in need, the UK government is sending a clear message: we don’t see you as human. 


At the core of the bill is a legal requirement for the Home Office to deport anyone arriving in the UK without the Home Secretary’s permission (unless the person is free to arrive without prior permission).

Creating this legal requirement is intended to remove any possibility for the Home Office to consider the person’s individual circumstances. That is achieved because the person’s expulsion is required by an Act of Parliament – and Parliament is the supreme lawmaker in the UK.

It's clear that those in power are ready to gamble with the lives and wellbeing of others.

Legal protections removed

To enable the mass expulsion of people under this bill, several legal protections against misuse of Home Office powers will be removed. People would be detained for up to 28 days with no possibility of bail and no oversight of a judge. Courts are generally to be excluded from considering the exercise of powers this Bill gives to the Home Office.

With limited options for courts or tribunals to review the Home Office's actions, the bill also grants the Home Secretary additional authority to control and limit judicial involvement.

Safeguards concerning the detention of children have also been removed.

Human Rights at risk

The Home Secretary has conceded that she cannot say that the bill complies with human rights laws. In fact, much of the legislation aims to circumvent these protections. If implemented, the bill could rapidly ignite a conflict with the European Court of Human Rights, which is obligated to enforce these laws if the UK courts cannot.

Your Voice Matters: Take Action Now

Join us in speaking out against this cruel new immigration bill here.

Take action now to email your MP and join us in speaking out against this cruel bill. Spread the word, and join us in defending human rights for all.


About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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