To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the evidential basis is for her Department's statement in the Equality Impact Assessment for the Illegal Migration Bill, published on 26 April 2023, that the Bill should have a deterrent effect which can result in fewer unaccompanied children arriving in the UK by dangerous and unlawful means.
The purpose of the Illegal Migration Bill is to prevent and deter all unlawful migration, and in particular migration by unsafe and illegal routes. Those who arrive illegally will be liable to detention and will be swiftly removed to their home country or to a safe third country. The duty to make arrangements for removal will apply to unaccompanied children once they turn 18 and there is a power to remove them in limited circumstances prior to them reaching adulthood. The organised people smuggling criminal gangs can be expected to exploit any exceptions or loopholes in the scheme provided for in the Bill.