Petition Close the borders! Suspend ALL immigration for 5 years.

We believe our country is facing serious challenges both from legal and illegal migration, and think the only way to deal with this is to suspend all immigration temporarily for 5 years.

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We believe the Government has failed on immigration, that it is time for a tougher approach, and that this is the only way to stop the boats.

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 February 2024

The Government has implemented the most significant measures in a generation to reduce legal migration and end illegal migration; however, suspending immigration entirely would harm the UK’s economy.

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Suspending immigration to the UK is impractical and would be harmful to our economy. Migrant workers are important for filling skills gaps in our workforce, sustaining our vital public services, including in the NHS and social care, while overseas students are valuable in maintaining our world-class reputation for education.

Whilst we do not support a suspension on all immigration, the Home Secretary has made clear that migration to this country is too high and needs to come down.

On 4 December 2023, a package of key measures was announced to curb immigration abuse and further reduce net migration, including:

1. Stopping overseas care workers from bringing family dependants and requiring social care firms in England to be undertaking Care Quality Commission registered activities to sponsor visas, effective from 11 March. Last year, 120,000 dependants came via this route.

2. Increasing the earnings threshold for those arriving on the Skilled Worker route, with the minimum threshold rising by nearly 50% from £26,200 to £38,700. Commencing on 4 April 2024, these changes will ensure our immigration system is focused on attracting skilled, highly paid talent from around the world.

3. Reforming the Shortage Occupation List into an Immigration Salary List. The Government will end the 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations and has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the composition of the list in line with the increased salary thresholds.

4. Raising the minimum income for Family visas to £38,700 in line with the minimum salary threshold for the Skilled Worker route, to ensure people only bring dependants to the UK they can support financially and will apply to all British and settled sponsors under the five-year partner route. We will raise the minimum income for Family visas incrementally in stages, to give predictability to families, starting at £29,000 from 11 April and rising to £38,700 by early 2025.

5. Asking the MAC to review the Graduate route to prevent abuse, protect the integrity and quality of UK higher education and ensure it works in the best interests of the UK.

In arriving at this package, we have been mindful of the need to balance the impacts on economic growth and the needs of the labour market.

This new package, together with previous measures announced in May 2023 to tackle the substantial rise in the number of overseas students bringing dependants to the UK, means around 300,000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year would not be able to do so in future.

Immigration policy must be fair, consistent, legal, and sustainable. That is why we are also taking the fight to illegal migration. Our plan to stop the boats is working. Small boat arrivals are down by a third, despite illegal migration across the rest of Europe being on the rise. Challenges remain, but 2023 was the first year since the Channel crossings phenomenon began that numbers of people crossing did not rise dramatically compared to the previous year.

Critical to our response to these challenges is the Illegal Migration Act which achieved Royal Assent on 20 July 2023 and the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill currently in Parliament. The Home Secretary, on behalf of the Government, signed a new internationally binding treaty between the UK and Rwanda on 5 December 2023. This treaty, alongside the evidence of changes in Rwanda since summer 2022, will enable Parliament to conclude that the Republic of Rwanda is safe, and the Bill provides Parliament with the opportunity to do so. This will enable the removal of individuals who arrive in the UK under the Immigration Acts to Rwanda.

The Bill makes clear the exceptionally narrow grounds through which people can challenge their removal to Rwanda. Under our legislation, an individual will no longer be able to frustrate their removal. The Bill will prevent domestic courts and tribunals from granting interim remedies on matters relating to the general safety of Rwanda. Interim relief can only be granted where the court or tribunal is satisfied that the person would face a real, imminent, and foreseeable risk of serious and irreversible harm if removed. This is a long-term policy which we have committed to fund. Both the UK and Rwandan governments are committed to operationalising this partnership.

A fact sheet is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-safety-of-rwanda-asylum-and-immigration-bill-factsheets/safety-of-rwanda-asylum-and-immigration-bill-factsheet-accessible

We continue to work hard with our European partners to tackle the challenges of irregular migration, including seeking to negotiate returns agreements bilaterally and at the EU-level, having already secured returns agreements with countries including Albania, Georgia, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, and Serbia.

We keep all our immigration policies under constant review to ensure they best serve the UK and reflect the public’s priorities.

Home Office

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