Britain will put electronic monitoring devices on some immigrants

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LONDON – Britain will begin placing electronic tagging devices on some asylum seekers after they arrive in small boats across the English Channel or via what the government calls “dangerous and unnecessary routes”.

The plan launched this week, which the Home Office described as a one-year pilot, could include adults facing deportation, imposing curfews on some or allowing detention and prosecution of those who do not adhere to the new rules.

Britain’s Home Office said the scheme would test whether monitoring migrants with GPS devices would help “maintain regular contact” and “make their claims more effectively”, as well as gather information on the number of escapees from custody. But refugee advocates denounced this Desperate treatment People who seek shelter as criminals.

The government indicated that among those who could be flagged were people who had challenged the decision to be sent to Rwanda, after a legal standoff ended this week with the British government canceling the inaugural flight proposed under the heavily criticized policy.

Britain cancels flight to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda after legal challenges

“The government will not be deterred as we are planning the next trip to Rwanda,” the Home Office said in an email.

“We will hold as many people as possible in custody as permitted by law, but when a court orders the release of someone scheduled to be on a Tuesday flight, we will flag them where appropriate.”

While the government said airlifting migrants to Rwanda would deter dangerous crossings of the canal and stop smugglers, the policy caused an uproar, including from human rights activists, the United Nations and the most senior bishop in the Church of England.

More than ten thousand people entered Britain this year via the English Channel. In one disaster in November, at least 27 migrants He died while trying to cross.

As part of the monitoring trial, people equipped with a location tracking device will be required to submit a report in person on a regular basis to immigration or police stations.

Britain will move asylum seekers to Rwanda to discourage illegal crossings at sea

It was not immediately clear how many people could be marked despite the presence of the Ministry of the Interior A report on the program was published on Wednesday Babies and those 18 weeks of age or older will be exempt, he said.

The instructions said that potential harm to a person’s mental or physical health would be taken into account, as well as whether they were a victim of torture or modern slavery, but this would not necessarily preclude the use of the mark. The program will target people who have been released on bail from detention centers after entering the country.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the plans on Saturday as necessary to ensure “asylum seekers do not disappear into the rest of the country”, according to British media, with critics highlighting their concerns about the impact on mental health and privacy rights.

Immigration lawyers and advocates have raised similar concerns about the use of electronic labeling devices on immigrants in the United States.

The head of the Britain-based Refugee Council charity described the labeling program as a “cruel and punitive approach” against vulnerable people. Enver Solomon also disputed assertions that it would discourage refugees from making the journey, calling instead for solutions that provide safe routes into the country.

“It is appalling that this government is so intent on treating men, women, and children who have fled war, bloodshed, and persecution as criminals,” he said in an email to The Washington Post.

Monish Bhatia, lecturer in criminology at Birkbeck, University of London, warned that monitoring migrants with devices could lead to “anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation”.

He noted that it is unclear how long people will have to wear this card and whether it has been in place Privacy guarantees for the data that the government can collect through the program. “Labeling is very intrusive and is tested as a punishment,” he said chirp.