UK to Release 50 Asylum Hotels Due to Decreased Boat Crossings

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UK to Release 50 Asylum Hotels Due to Decreased Boat Crossings

The UK will close its first 50 Asylum Hotels or asylum seeker accommodations (hotels) by January end, thanks to a 20% decline in small boat arrivals. Asylum seekers will be relocated to other facilities, and the Immigration Minister emphasizes the need to halt these dangerous crossings (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

1. Exiting Asylum Hotels

With a significant drop of more than 20% in small boat arrivals this year, the UK Home Office announced plans to stop using 50 hotels for asylum accommodations. The first few hotels are expected to transition back to their regular operations in the coming days, and all will be handed back by January 2024 (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

2. Relocation Plans

Asylum seekers currently housed in these hotels will be shifted to other parts of the UK’s asylum accommodations, including sites like the Bibby Stockholm barge (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

3. Minister’s Statement

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick remarked on the strain these accommodations place on taxpayers and emphasized the progress in curbing boat arrivals. He stressed the government’s resolve to end the illegal crossings entirely (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

4. Wider Efforts on Illegal Migration

The decrease in boat arrivals aligns with the government’s broader strategies against illegal migration. This includes collaborations with international partners like France, Turkey, and Italy. The newly introduced Illegal Migration Act ensures the prompt return of illegal entrants (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

5. Optimizing Current Facilities

To make the most of the existing asylum accommodations, the government is considering alternatives like the Bibby Stockholm barge and the former military base at Wethersfield. These sites are deemed more economical and community-friendly (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

6. Collaboration for Smooth Transition

The Home Office assures a seamless transition by working closely with hotel owners and local authorities. This strategy ensures minimal impact on the related service providers and users (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

7. Broader Initiatives

The government’s ongoing efforts have seen over 4,100 Albanian nationals without legal UK status sent back since December 2022. Additionally, the government has cracked down on illegal employment, imposing hefty fines on errant employers (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

The reduction in illegal boat crossings and the subsequent release of these hotels reflect the government’s dedication to managing migration and protecting both the local communities and the taxpayers (Home Office & Jenrick, 2023).

References

Home Office & Jenrick, R. (2023). “Home Office to exit first 50 asylum hotels by the end of January”. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-to-exit-first-50-asylum-hotels-by-the-end-of-january/ (Accessed Date: 25 October, 2023).

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