Suella Braverman, Home Secretary in the United Kingdom, reported that she will speak with the United States about the “unsustainable” migration crisis that exists globally and the importance of establishing a plan to combat it.
This Monday, before Braverman traveled to North America, she announced that one of her objectives for her visit to Washington is to discuss illegal immigration.
“If we fail to meet these challenges, then our political institutions risk losing their democratic legitimacy,” she said, highlighting that “Illegal migration and the unprecedented mass movement of people across the globe is placing unsustainable pressures on America, the UK and Europe,” according to reports in the New York Post.
Braverman, daughter of Indian immigrants in the United Kingdom, mentioned the importance of recognizing the differences between a person seeking asylum and another who migrates to seek better living conditions.
“Seeking refuge in the first safe country you reach or shopping around for your preferred destination are not the same thing. Being trafficked … and being smuggled – i.e. asking someone to sneak you into a country – are not the same thing,” she stressed.
The British Home Secretary questions whether international conventions and legal frameworks created more than five decades ago are still adequate today.
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“We now live in a completely different time. It is therefore incumbent upon politicians and thought leaders to ask whether the refugee convention, and the way it has come to be interpreted through our courts, is fit for our modern age, or whether it is in need of reform?” she said.
“The refugee convention makes clear that [refugee status] it is intended to apply to individuals ‘coming directly from a territory where their life was threatened,'” Braverman plans to say. “The UK along with many others, including America, interpret this to mean that people should seek refuge and claim asylum in the first safe country that they reach … but NGOs and others, including the UN Refugee Agency, contest this,” she added.