Thank you for contacting me about the Illegal Migration Act 2023.
The volume of illegal small boat arrivals has overwhelmed our asylum system. The asylum system currently costs the British taxpayer £3 billion a year, and since 2018, over 114,000 people have illegally entered the UK by small boat. This is why stopping the boats was one of the five promises the Prime Minister made to the public earlier this year. The new Illegal Immigration Act will fulfil this promise and means that someone who enters this country illegally will be swiftly detained and removed back to their home country if it is safe. This will help the break the business model of people-smuggling networks, and ultimately save lives.
I can assure you that as we reduce illegal migration, the Government will do more to help the most vulnerable through safe and legal routes as it has done for Syria, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Ukraine. Since 2015, the UK has offered safety to nearly 480,000 people from all over the world. While supporting the most vulnerable, the Act introduces an annual cap, to be determined by Parliament, on the number of refugees the UK will accept, once illegal migration is under control. In conjunction with local authorities, this will allow the Government to take into consideration local capacity for accommodation, public services and support.
This legislation ensures that we have a safe and fair immigration system, which will continue to help the most vulnerable.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP."