LONDON: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is aiming to draft new laws to reject the asylum claims of Channel migrants within two weeks of their arrival in Britain.
The plan aims to deal with government concerns that asylum seekers have become immune to detainment and deportation policies due to international laws, The Times reported on Saturday.
Patel has ordered Home Office officials to develop powers to expedite asylum claims, with a new goal of two weeks per application.
The UK is facing its biggest backlog of asylum claims for almost two decades, with more than 90,000 people now waiting to hear the results of their asylum applications. Each asylum claim takes an average 12 months to process.
One strategy the Home Office is considering implementing is a rejection protocol if asylum seekers are found to have reached Britain through “safe countries.”
But Patel has been warned that the two-week asylum claim strategy will prove difficult as a result of some migrants fleeing conflict or persecution in their home countries.
However, she said a fortnight is a “reasonable” window for immigration officials, according to Home Office sources.
The new strategy is part of a wider government target to slow Channel crossings, which reached a record 28,381 last year. That number is set to double this year, according to government statistics.