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UK to e-tag illegal migrants, critics call plan ‘draconian’

LONDON: The UK government is to launch a 12-month pilot scheme that will involve some illegal migrants seeking asylum in the country being electronically tagged to keep track of their movements, it emerged on Saturday.
British PM Boris Johnson defended the plans as he said it was essential that people who arrived through dangerous routes on small boats and hidden in lorries could not simply “vanish”. Documents linked to the UK home office proposals suggest that the government wants to obtain data on how frequently asylum seekers abscond. “This is a very generous welcoming country. But when people come here illegally, when they break the law, it is important that we make that distinction,” he said. The home office electronic tagging trial began on Thursday to test whether it helps maintain regular contact with asylum claimants.
Whileopposition Labour leader Keir Starmer accused the government of “chasing headlines”, campaigners criticised the plans as draconian. “It’s appalling that this government is intent on treating men, women and children who have fled war, bloodshed and persecution as criminals,” said Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council. “This draconian approach shows no compassion for vulnerable people. ”

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