The concept of crimmigration recognizes the growing convergence of criminal law and immigration law as states seek to police migration, punish immigration offenses, and defend the boundaries of the sovereign state. Nowhere have these aims been pursued more vigorously than with respect to counter-terrorism, as states avail themselves of all legal means to target international terrorist networks and the rise of “foreign terrorist fighters.” In the U.K., legislative hyper-activity has produced a succession of counter-terrorist statutes that mix criminal law and immigration law. Some of the most draconian of these laws target the border and those who cross it. Closer attention to the territorial border reveals a liminal zone in which police and immigration officials enjoy exceptional powers and adherence to due process is attenuated. Apparent public acceptance of the imperatives of security at the border provides some license for such intrusions but little reassurance as to their legitimacy. This article examines the security concerns that motivate the expansion of police power, and it considers the impact of recent U.K. legislation, not least the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, on core principles of legality and on rights.

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