Inside Story

Will the UK’s new rules stop undocumented immigration?

The UK comes under fire as it announces a new plan for asylum seekers.

It has been described as the biggest overhaul in the United Kingdom’s asylum system in decades.

The government says it wants to stop people-smugglers from bringing thousands into the country irregularly every year.

But those who advocate for migrant and refugee rights say the changes are “unjust”. They insist refugees should not be punished for taking all available routes as they seek safety.

But the British government insists people should do all they can to enter the country through legal means, and it will make it harder to obtain residency for those who reach its shores regularly. That includes limiting their ability to sponsor family members and apply for benefits.

Asylum seekers who enter the UK with documents, however, will now be given an immediate right to stay.

So, how will this affect those who seek safety in the UK?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


John Campbell – Emeritus reader of anthropology and law, SOAS University of London

Catherine Woollard – Secretary-general at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles

Peter Walsh – Researcher on migration at Oxford University’s Migration Observatory