The bill's proposed treatment of refugees has been criticized by Freedom from Torture: 'The most dangerous part of the proposals are that someone’s means of arrival will determine how worthy they are of protection in the UK'. Refugees are also faced with uncertain status in the UK and exportation to offshore facilities during asylum claim processing.
According to the Guardian, leading immigration lawyers have found the bill to breach multiple existing UK and international regulations regarding the treatment of refugees. The regulations challenged range from court decisions in the House of Lords to the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Patel claimed the bill would prevent crime and aid genuine refugees in her opening speech to introduce the bill: 'Enough of people trying to gain entry illegally, ahead of those who play by the rules.[...]Our plan will increase the fairness of our system so that we can better protect and support those in genuine need of asylum'.
In response to criticism, Patel claims 'This country is not mean-spirited nor ungenerous towards asylum seekers, as some may claim, otherwise they would not be drawn to come the UK'. She further cites the UK's 'safe resettlement schemes,' through which she claims refugees 'gain the essential skills to build a new life in the UK'.
Patel's speech implies that refugees should be expected to pass through established channels when seeking asylum, although critics believe that's not always possible. Alasdair MacKenzie of Free Movement claims 'Priti Patel’s Borders Bill caters for fantasy refugees, not real ones'.
The Nationality and Borders Bill is currently in the Committee Stage in the House of Commons and its progress can be tracked on bills.parliament.uk.