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UK plans to equip unauthorized asylum seekers with ‘electronic tags’

Migrants attempt to cross the English Channel. Archival photo

It has been reported that the UK Home Office is considering using electronic tags for asylum seekers who arrive in the country by unauthorized means. This proposal is being considered as a potential solution to prevent the escape of people who cannot be accommodated in limited detention facilities. The Home Office is legally bound under the Illegal Migration Act to detain and deport people who arrive in the UK illegally.

Due to the lack of space available in the Home Office premises, officials are considering various alternatives. Although the main preference is to increase the number of holding spaces, electronic tagging is being considered as an option. Another measure suggested is the suspension of financial allowances for people who do not report regularly to the Home Office, the Times said according to a source in the office.

“Tagging has always been something that the Home Office has always appreciated and is the preferred option to withdraw financial support, which would be legally difficult as migrants would risk ending up in destitution,” said the source.

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Asked about the tagging being considered, a source close to Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “We are already doing it. »

Home Office data revealed a significant number of asylum seekers crossing the Channel, exceeding 19,000 for the current year. Despite efforts to curb these unauthorized arrivals, the problem persists. The backlog of asylum applications has reached a record high, with more than 175,000 people awaiting an initial decision on their cases by the end of June.

The Home Office has been looking for ways to manage these challenges more effectively. A Home Office-funded program in Bedfordshire, praised by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), has demonstrated cost savings by housing individuals and providing them with legal and social support, rather than than placing them in detention.

Under Home Secretary Suella Braverman, there is an intention to significantly increase the UK’s detention capacity. This approach includes the use of disused RAF bases and barges. However, a barge intended to receive asylum seekers, the Bibby Stockholm, is currently empty due to the discovery of legionella on board.

It is important to note that this information is based on the reported details available so far. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is recommended that you refer to official statements from the UK Home Office or relevant government sources.


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