New UK Home Secretary Unveils New Border Security Command

| July 10, 2024
New UK Home Secretary Unveils New Border Security Command
Image courtesy of Richard Symonds via Wikimedia Commons

The newly appointed Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, has announced the launch of a new Border Security Command (BSC).

The BSC represents a significant overhaul in how the United Kingdom (UK) manages its borders and tackles illegal immigration.

Its goal is to enhance the country’s border security and tackle organized immigration crime.

“Criminal smuggling gangs are making millions out of small boat crossings, undermining our border security and putting lives at risk,” said Cooper in a news release.

She added, “We need to tackle the root of the problem, going after these dangerous criminals and bringing them to justice.”

This marks a significant change in the UK’s immigration policies following the Labour Party’s victory in the recent elections.

The BSC launch is expected as newly elected Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer confirmed that the controversial Rwanda deportation plan is “dead and buried.”

The new Border Security Command

The new Border Security Command will provide strategic direction and coordinate efforts across various agencies.

This includes the National Crime Agency (NCA), intelligence agencies, police, Immigration Enforcement, and Border Force.

It aims to disrupt the activities of criminal smuggling gangs and protect the UK’s borders more effectively.

The BSC will draw on substantial resources to ensure those profiting from smuggling people are brought to justice.

A significant aspect of the BSC’s strategy involves working closely with European partners.

Cooper plans to discuss with European interior ministers and the Director General of Europol to strengthen security cooperation.

The government is currently recruiting a leader experienced in complex environments, such as senior-level policing, intelligence, or the military.

The BSC leader will direct efforts to combat organized immigration crime and report directly to the Home Secretary.

Investigators, experts, and analysts will also be brought in as new policies are drafted to introduce more stringent counter-terror measures.

The Home Secretary has also commissioned an investigation into the latest tactics used by people-smuggling gangs.

Information gathered during the investigation will be beneficial for use by major law enforcement.

Rwanda plan ends as Labour takes office

The launch of the BSC coincides with the end of the controversial Rwanda asylum plan, scrapped by Prime Minister Starmer.

“The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started,” Starmer said during his first press conference as Prime Minister, as per the BBC.

Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made the Rwanda plan a key policy in his goal to prevent people from crossing the English Channel in small boats.

The plan, which aimed to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing, faced significant criticism and legal challenges.

Human rights organizations said the plan to send asylum seekers to a country they did not choose was inhumane and unsafe.

The UK High Court had ruled it unlawful, citing substantial risks to refugees being returned to their home countries from Rwanda.

Starmner has been a vocal critic of the Rwanda plan, labeling it a “gimmick” and arguing it has “never been a deterrent.”

He said it would only address less than one percent of small boat arrivals as it fails to address the root causes of illegal immigration.

According to The Standard, a spokesperson for Cooper said hundreds of people awaiting removal to Rwanda have since been bailed out.

New UK government’s approach to illegal migration

Starmer’s Labour government promises a different approach to handling immigration, focusing on practical solutions to address the real issue.

The new plan focuses on increasing law enforcement to tackle human trafficking gangs.

It will also aim to improve the efficiency of processing asylum claims.

During the election, Labour pledged to establish the Border Security Command to stop small boats from crossing the Channel.

Many human rights advocates and political figures have praised the new government’s decisions.

However, critics argue that Labour’s alternative lacks concrete solutions.

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly criticized it as an “amnesty for all illegal immigrants.” He argued it would not effectively control the borders.

Despite the introduction of the Rwanda plan, migrant crossings have continued to rise.

Thousands have made the dangerous journey across the Channel this year alone.

This ongoing challenge highlights the complexities of immigration control and the need for comprehensive solutions.

Such solutions should address the root causes of migration while ensuring the safety and security of borders.

The new Border Security Command will focus on implementing practical and humane solutions to the immigration crisis.

At the same time, the Labour government seeks to rebuild the UK’s image as a welcoming and fair country.

As the new policies unfold, their impact on the UK’s immigration system and international reputation will be closely watched.

The success or failure of this new approach could significantly impact the UK’s relationship with European partners in combating organized immigration crime.