Today we received confirmation from the Home Office that the Secretary of State proposes the introduction of a new immigration Bill into Parliament which will further erode the rights of applicants and immigrants. The new Bill arrives on the day that a recent YouGov survey reports that the public do not actually want tougher immigration rules introduced. People in the UK simply want the Rules that we already have enforced properly! The new YouGov poll found that 60% of people were not convinced that immigration rules are being applied properly and consider this to be a more important factor than bringing in new Rules.
A summary of the proposed bill is set out in the email we received, a copy of which is produced below:
Today the Home Office published a Bill that will continue our reforms to the immigration system. The Immigration Bill may contain measures that are of interest to you, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to make sure that you were aware of it and set out what it is trying to achieve. Whether you are interested in all or just some elements of the Bill, I urge you to read the factsheets that cover the detail, and other important information online atwww.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/immigration-bill.
The Immigration Bill will stop migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the pull factors which encourage people to come to the UK and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.We will continue to welcome the brightest and best migrants who want to contribute to our economy and society and play by the rules. But the law must be on the side of people who respect it, not those who break it.The Bill will:
- cut the number of decisions that can be appealed from 17 to four – preserving appeals for those asserting fundamental rights;
- extend the number of non-suspensive appeals. Where there is no risk of serious irreversible harm, we should deport foreign criminals first and hear their appeal later;
- ensure the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in immigration cases;
- restrict the ability of immigration detainees to apply repeatedly for bail if they have previously been refused it.
- require private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants, to prevent those with no right to live in the UK from accessing private rented housing;
- make it easier for the Home Office to recover unpaid civil penalties;
- introduce a new requirement for temporary migrants for example overseas students, who have only a time-limited immigration status to make a contribution to the National Health Service;
- require banks to check against a database of known immigration offenders before opening bank accounts;
- introduce new powers to check driving licence applicants’ immigration status before issuing a licence and revoking licences where immigrants are found to have overstayed in the UK;
- clamp down on people who try to gain an immigration advantage by entering into a sham marriage or civil partnership
In recent months we have consulted the public on migrants’ access to health care, private rented housing and illegal working. The comments have been important when considering our policy proposals for the Bill. Our responses will be published on the Bill’s web pages.
As the Bill progresses through Parliament, we will continue to reform the immigration system – establishing excellent customer service for our visa system and ensuring that we are attracting the best and brightest to the UK, securing the border and enforcing the immigration rules when they are broken.
We will also ensure we work with those affected by the proposals in the Bill during the passage of legislation and beyond.
Mark Harper MP
As the Bill starts to make it’s way through Parliament the Parliamentary Committee today (18.10.2013) crticises the Government’s immigration policy of ‘hostility’ towards migrants: