Illegal Migration Bill returns to House of Lords

12 July 2023

The Illegal Migration Bill has returned to the House of Lords after amendments have been overturned in the House of Commons.

Last week, the Illegal Migration Bill was in the House of Lords, where it met widespread resistance from peers who made a series of amendments to mitigate the harms of the hostile legislation. Whilst a motion to reject the Bill in its entirety was voted against, the Lords proposed a range of amendments concerning the rights of mothers, LGBTQIA+ people, and children. 

One amendment stated that no actions should take place that conflict with the UK’s international obligations towards refugees. Another makes the requirement that anyone considered inadmissible but remain in the UK for 6 months must have their human rights or protection claims heard. Further amendments target detention and accommodation conditions; supported by evidence of extreme risks to health and wellbeing, peers approved amendments which would retain detention limits for pregnant women, children and unaccompanied children. Furthermore, taking issue with many of the countries listed as “safe” by the Bill, peers have highlighted the risks to LGBTQIA+ people and created an amendment that would prevent LBGTQIA+ people from being removed to any country where they would have a well-founded fear of persecution. 

Many of these amendments were voted down in the House of Commons, as the Bill enters the ‘ping-pong’ stage of the parliamentary process. Some in the House of Commons spoke of the impact of overturning these amendments on the rights of people who have been trafficked. Whilst these amendments and comments are well-founded, reflecting a growing concern that the Illegal Migration Bill undermines international principles of refugee protection, we need more than just a moderation of the harms of the Bill. We need this Bill to be blocked before we see the devastating consequences that the unworkable and immoral legislation will have for those in need of protection and security. 

It is more important than ever to contact your MP to voice your concerns about the impact of this legislation. You can use our template letter here


Sarah (Volunteer), and Iona Taylor (Advocacy and Campaigns Lead) 

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