May announces limit to deportation appeals for immigrants
Home secretary Theresa May has announced new curbs on the appeal rights of all those people facing deportation, including illegal immigrants and foreign prisoners.
During the Tory conference held in Manchester, the home secretary told the Conservative party that the appeals of those people facing deportation can only be heard “after they have been put on a plane home”.
The only exception would be in case where there is a risk of serious harm like torture and execution. The decision comes with a new immigration bill which will be published late next week.
Mrs May said: “We’re going to cut the number of appeal rights, extend cases where we deport first and hear the appeal later, and use primary legislation to make sure judges interpret the ‘right to a family life’ properly.”
The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) has been invoked by thousands of people fighting deportation from Britain. They argue that its provisions give them various rights, including that to a family life.
According to Mrs May, the number of grounds on which migrants can lodge an appeal against deportation will be cut from 17 to four, following the 12-year legal battle to send the radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada back to Jordan. The Tories say it will reduce the number of appeals by nearly 60 percent, leading to an estimated net saving of £219 million over ten years.
Mrs May commented: “The Abu Qatada case proved that we need a dramatic change in our human rights law.” The new bill will also make sure that private landlords check on the immigration status of tenants and it will introduce new curbs on healthcare access for illegal immigrants.
The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, confirmed that replacing the Human Rights Act with the British Bill of Rights will be in the party’s electoral manifesto for the next elections. According to Mr Grayling, the European Court of Human Rights has been a “big international frustration”.