UK Bans Foreign Criminals from Country, Convicts to Be Deported
Home secretary's new immigration rules drop the hammer on criminal migrants
The UK Government is introducing tough new immigration rules that will ban foreign criminals from entering the country and deport migrants who have served jail time, according to reports.
Home Secretary Priti Patel's new immigration system will stop foreign criminals sentenced to more than a year in prison from entering Britain.
Migrants already in the country, who have jailed for a year or more, either in the UK or abroad, will be deported.
The home secretary's new points-based immigration system will come into effect on January 1 after the post-Brexit freedom of movement ends.
The new system gives officials increased powers to exclude or deport convicted foreign criminals, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Officials will also be able to ban and deport persistent offenders such as pickpockets and burglars, even if they have been sentenced to less than a year, the newspaper revealed.
The change means criminals from the European Union will get the same treatment that those from non-EU countries currently receive, according to The Daily Mail.
Under the present rules, convicted criminals from the bloc can only be excluded on a case-by-case basis.
The new immigration system is designed to cut the number of low-skilled migrants entering Britain from the beginning of next year but aims to make it easier for higher-skilled workers to get UK visas.
People who want to live and work in the UK will need to gain 70 points to be eligible to apply for a visa.
Points will be awarded for key requirements like being able to speak English to a certain level, having a job offer from an approved employer, and meeting a minimum salary threshold.
A health and care visa will provide a route for key health professionals to work in the UK, while a graduate route will allow international students to stay in the UK for at least two years after completing their studies.
Ms. Patel said on Sunday: "The British people voted to take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system.
"Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country's full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system from 1 January 2021.
"Britain is open for business and ready to welcome the best and brightest global talent."
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Labour would "scrutinize the proposals on visas very carefully."
On Sunday, Priti Patel told France to start towing boatloads of illegal migrants back to its shores – as numbers crossing the Channel to England surged to near-record levels.
Up to 200 migrants were intercepted by Border Force patrols off the British coast yesterday in what is feared to be a new daily record.
The crossings came as the Home Secretary met her new French counterpart Gerald Darmanin in Calais to push for fresh action to curb the "unacceptable" daily crossings and tackle the ruthless people-smuggling gangs behind them.
The two ministers agreed to establish a small joint intelligence unit based in Coquelles, near Calais, where UK Border Force and National Crime Agency officers will work alongside their French counterparts.
Mr. Darmanin said the new unit will consist of six British and six French police officers.
But Patel also demanded fresh action from France to halt the crossings and take back those who make it to the UK illegally.
Patel is said to have demanded that the French Navy intercepts migrants and tows their boats back to shore.
She also requested permission for Border Force cutters to return illegal migrants picked up in the Channel directly to France rather than having to take them to the UK.
The Home Secretary acknowledged that France was conducting "significant" work to tackle the problem, but said numbers remained "unacceptably high."
"This simply cannot be allowed to go on," she said.
"I have signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence cell which will crackdown on the gangs behind this vile people-smuggling operation and impressed on my French counterpart the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both our countries."
While she was in Calais for talks Sunday, a dozen small boats were detected in the Channel carrying scores of migrants in the opposite direction.
The final tally was unconfirmed last night, but sources said it was likely to exceed the previous single-day record of 166, set on June 3.
So far this year a total of at least 2,438 people have made the illegal Channel crossing, compared with 1,850 during the whole of 2019.
Sources said many had claimed asylum on arrival, complicating the process of removing them.
Twenty-seven people attempted the crossing in four boats on Saturday.
When Sunday's number is confirmed it is likely to take the total above 2,600.