The British parliament has passed a controversial immigration bill that would prevent migrants who have arrived in the UK illegally from seeking asylum in the country.
The bill is the cornerstone of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to combat illegal immigration.
The prime minister has promised to “stop” the arrival of irregular migrants in the English Channel on small boats, often from the nearby French coast.
In 2022, more than 45,000 migrants arrived on these boats in England, a record number that since the beginning of the year has exceeded 13,000.
The law, which has been widely criticized in the UK by international rights groups, notably bans migrants who have arrived illegally in the UK from seeking asylum in the country.
After detaining irregular migrants, the Government wanted to deport them as soon as possible, either to their countries of origin or to a third country such as Rwanda, whichever country they came from.
Britain last year struck a deal with Rwanda to send illegal migrants to the African country, but no deportations have yet been carried out under the controversial deal.
The first deportation was scheduled for June 2022 but the flight was canceled following a decision by the European Court of Human Rights.
At the end of June, the judiciary declared the agreement illegal, but the British government immediately announced its intention to appeal the ruling.
In Parliament, the immigration bill was blocked for weeks after the House of Lords pressed for several amendments.
Among the most prominent amendments to the draft law are restrictions on the detention of children and the protection of victims of modern slavery.
King Charles III has yet to ratify the text to become law.
The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday condemned the immigration bill passed by the British parliament, arguing that a provision to bar undocumented migrants entering the UK from seeking asylum in the country contravenes international law.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a joint statement that the bill “runs counter to the country’s obligations under international human rights and refugee law.
The two top UN officials warned in a statement that the law “would have serious consequences for people in need of international protection.