Rishi Sunak says people coming to UK illegally will be deported ‘within days’

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Rishi Sunak has said new laws will mean people arriving in the UK without valid documents will be deported “within days”, with asylum claims rejected and migrants returned.

The prime minister also said he was committed to Rwanda’s deportation policy, despite legal challenges, answering “yes” when asked if it would ever go ahead.

In an interview to mark 100 days as prime minister, he said asylum claims would be heard in “days or weeks, not months or years”. The UK has a significant asylum backlog, with more than 140,000 people awaiting an initial decision.

The Home Office wants to double the number of asylum caseworkers and triple the rate at which they complete cases. Suella Braverman, the home secretary, revealed in November that each caseworker was completing a case per week on average.

The government aims to have 2,500 caseworkers in place by August, compared to just under 600 in 2020.

Sunak said he planned to speed up the process of assessing people along with introducing a law saying that people who come to the UK “illegally” – without valid documents – will not be able to claim asylum.

“The system that we need, the system that I want to introduce, is a system where, if you come here illegally, you should be detained quickly and then in a few days or weeks we will hear your claim, not months and years, and then we’ll get you somewhere else safely,” he told TalkTV. “And if we do that, that’s how we break the cycle.”

Sunak said people should judge him on his record on asylum, which includes a new deal with the French government for extra patrols to spot boats crossing the English Channel, as well as negotiating a deal with Albania. He said Albanians made up “30% of all illegal migrants” and said this was “ridiculous”.

He said: “I will work with the Albanians to implement a new arrangement which means that for people who come from Albania illegally, we will be able to remove them safely back to Albania, and that is already happening own.

“But the most important thing we have to do is introduce new laws, and very soon we will be introducing new laws in parliament that deliver the system that I have explained, the system that says if you come here to illegal, you’re not really going. to be able to stay here.”

Sunak said he was committed to reducing the time it took to get people out of the country. “We will hear your claim in days or weeks, not months or years, and in the vast majority of cases we will have the ability to send you to another safe country, wherever you come from, if it is safe. , like Albania, or, indeed, Rwanda. That’s the system.”

When asked “Will it ever happen in Rwanda?”, the prime minister replied: “Yes.”

This is not the first time Sunak has given the Home Office an ambitious immigration target. In December he said he would clear the asylum backlog by the end of 2023. Downing Street later said the pledge applied to 92,601 claims made before the Nationality and Borders Act came into effect in June.

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