Suella Braverman ‘is right’ says former Home Office minister

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By Rachel Maclean MP.

Multiple “former home office ministers” anonymously briefing against the Home Secretary this morning.

I’m a former Home Office minister happy to go on the record to state that she is right to be honest with the British people that the asylum and immigration system is in crisis.

This is a global problem imported on to our shores.

Potentially millions of people would qualify as asylum seekers or victims of modern slavery and be eligible for resettlement in Britain if they arrive here.

As things stand, an Albanian arriving in a small boat committing drugs crimes is a “genuine victim” and entitled to the same rights as a 13 year old sold into sex slavery.

As a compassionate country we need to be frank about the scale of the challenge. No matter how deserving and tragic each individual family, child or case is, if we agree that everyone who qualifies can resettle here the demand is effectively infinite/unlimited, and pressure on public services, infrastructure and taxpayers is impossible.

This point is always glossed over by Labour and commentators.

A staggeringly difficult challenge that the Home Secretary is right to highlight is our system of modern slavery, a well intentioned framework to rescue women and girls trafficked to work in brothels, children kept in appalling conditions and vulnerable people who have endured unimaginable trauma and exploitation.

The criteria to qualify as a victim of trafficking/modern slavery is low and reliant on case by case judgement, it has to be this way because genuine victims don’t have papers or proof.

People traffickers know this and take them away. Its therefore simple for Albanian men (and others) in criminal gangs arriving on small boats to game the system, assisted by the immigration lawyers and tribunal merry-go-round. They can and do quality as modern slaves.

Because of our meticulous adherence to international treaties including ECAT/ECHR/Palermo protocol/Refugee convention we are obliged under the threat of legal appeal and JR to accept them for consideration and right to stay in the UK.

We cannot deport them even if they have been convicted of serious violent crimes because “forced criminality” must be and is part of the MS framework, because one of the patterns of human trafficking is forcing victims to commit crime.

While the Nationality and Borders Act has further tightened criteria we cannot go further under existing domestic and legal frameworks. The tragedy is that the system was set up to deal with a much smaller cohort of extremely vulnerable people. We cannot help them as quickly as we would like or want to or are obliged to because it is impossible to filter “genuine” and “non genuine” victims.

As things stand, an Albanian arriving in a small boat committing drugs crimes is a “genuine victim” and entitled to the same rights as a 13 year old sold into sex slavery.

I have heard these women and girls stories in a safe house and could not sleep for weeks.

We need the system to be reformed to rescue and protect them.

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