The passage of the illegal immigration bill in the United Kingdom after the government defeated the challenges of the House of Lords

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The UK’s controversial illegal immigration bill is set to become law after the government halted a series of proposed amendments in the House of Lords on Monday night.

The bill, which is a linchpin of one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s five stated priorities – “stopping the boats” containing asylum seekers crossing the Channel to England – was the final night of a game of legislative ping-pong between the House of Commons and the House of Lords on Monday.

The end to the long-running row between the House of Commons and Lords is a step forward for a piece of legislation that has faced heavy criticism from immigration lawyers and civil rights groups, but is popular among the right wing of the Conservative Party.

The bill – which would give the government powers to send asylum seekers who arrive in the UK on small boats to Rwanda – will now need royal assent from King Charles to become law.

A recent attempt by the House of Lords to introduce nine amendments to the bill – including moves to protect against deportation of LGBT people to unsafe countries and to force ministers to create safe and legal routes for potential asylum seekers within nine months – was voted down.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May was among several MPs who fought to retain some of the changes proposed by the Lords, including an attempt to ensure immigrants have some protection under modern slavery laws, which was voted against by 205 votes to 193.

The bill was returned to the House of Lords late on Monday evening after MPs in the House of Commons rejected all amendments, and the legislation passed.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempt to propose an amendment to the bill calling on the government to develop a long-term strategy to tackle the refugee crisis and human trafficking.

This month the House of Lords succeeded in winning some concessions from the government, including limiting the length of detention for children and pregnant women and preventing the legislation from being applied retroactively.

An appeals court last month deemed Rwanda’s policy illegal. She said the East African country was not a “safe third country” in which asylum applications could be processed.

Sunak has insisted that Rwanda is safe and will take his case to the UK Supreme Court.

This year, 13,200 displaced people have crossed the canal in small boats, according to data provided by the Ministry of the Interior.

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