Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile – Surviving violence, creating hope, rebuilding lives


Baobab Briefings

Repeal the Illegal Migration Act

The Illegal Migration Act (2023) became law on 20 July 2023.

The act creates a duty to remove any asylum seeker arrived via an irregular route (any route not one of the few official schemes run by the UK), and will make any asylum claim from someone arrived like this inadmissible in the UK, therefore leading to people being detained while waiting for their removal.

New research from the Refugee Council on the likely impact of this act finds that:

  • “In the first three years of the legislation coming into effect, between 225,347 and 257,101 people will have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible. This includes between 39,500 and 45,066 children.”
  • By end of 2026 “between 161,147 and 192,670 people will have had their asylum claims deemed inadmissible but will not have been removed.” There are currently “up to 3,000 detention places available”.

These are incredible numbers.

If implemented, this act will lead to a social care disaster of massive proportions, with rapidly increasing numbers of people, including young people, with no path to integration in UK society.

Young people who arrive irregularly, even if unaccompanied, will be detained waiting for removal.

This includes children under 18 who will be detained pending removal once they turn 18 in the UK, regardless of how many years they may have lived here.

Along with all organisations in the sector, the Baobab Centre continues to be engaged for the immediate repeal of this cruel and unworkable policy and advocates for an alternative system based on fast-tracking integration of asylum seekers and providing certainty in legal status to all.