What is an “illegal immigrant”?

There is a great deal of confusion about what is and is not an “illegal immigrant”, in the current context of those crossing the Channel by boat, and recent statements by Johnson et al.

It is not “illegal” to try and enter the UK in a boat if, on arrival, they then immediately seek to claim asylum. That makes it a legal entry in terms of international law. Those making such applications are then entitled to remain in the uk until their case is determined. They must not be “returned” anywhere. If they are “returned” it is the UK government that is acting illegally not those arriving.

An “illegal entrant” is someone who deliberately evades immigration authorities by not applying for asylum or to regularise their position, or is trafficked into the UK to work, or someone who deliberately overstays their period of leave to remain, having orginally entered the country legitimately (eg as a student). Such illegal entrants are, however, also subject to judicial due process. They cannot be just “removed” in an arbitrary fashion. If they are, this is also illegal.

You’d have thought our Prime Minister and Home Secretary would know about these things! They do. 🤔 Are they deliberately misleading people for populist, political, reasons… ? Are they actuly prepared to break the law by removing people arbitrarily? 😱😡 Your call.

This article is also worth reading:

Are refugees obliged to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach?

Paul Crofts

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