Mark Harper’s statement on the Immigration Bill

Yesterday I  received the letter below from the Immigration Minister summarising the new Bill before Parliament to help control immigration. In view of the large number of comments on this site on this topic I thought I would share it with you:

“Today the Immigration Bill had its second reading in the Commons. This marks another important step in our work to clear up the mess we inherited from Labour, by building an immigration system which is fair to hard-working people and legal immigrants, while cracking down on those who are here illegally.

As things stand, it is too easy for people to live and work in the UK illegally and take advantage of our public services. The appeals system is like a never-ending game of snakes and ladders, with almost 70,000 appeals heard every year. The winners are foreign criminals and immigration lawyers – while the losers are the victims of these crimes and the public. It is too difficult to get rid of people with no right to be here.

This is not fair to the British public and it is not fair to legitimate immigrants who want to come and contribute to our society and economy. The Immigration Bill will stop immigrants using public services where they are not entitled to do so, reduce the pull factors which encourage people to come to the UK, and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.

Specifically, the Immigration Bill will make it:

i.          easier to identify illegal immigrants by extending powers:

  • to collect and check fingerprints;
  • to search for passports;
  • to implement embarkation controls; and
  • to examine the status and credibility of migrants seeking to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

 

ii.          easier to remove and deport illegal immigrants by:

  • cutting the number of decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4 – preserving appeals for those asserting fundamental rights;
  • extending 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;
  • ensuring the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights in immigration cases; and
  • restricting the ability of immigration detainees to apply repeatedly for bail if they have previously been refused it.

 

iii.          more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the UK by:

  • requiring 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;
  • making it easier for the Home Office to recover unpaid civil penalties;
  • introducing a new requirement for temporary migrants who have only a time-limited immigration status to make a contribution to the National Health Service;
  • prohibiting banks from opening current accounts for migrants identified as being in the UK unlawfully, by requiring banks to check against a database of known immigration offenders before opening accounts; and
  • introducing 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.

The Home Office has produced a series of factsheets that cover the detail of each of the measures in the Immigration Bill. These can be accessed online at https://www.gov.uk/government/ collections/immigration-bill, along with other important information about the Bill.

The Immigration Bill builds on the immigration reforms we have implemented since 2010. These reforms are working: immigration is down by almost a fifth since its peak in 2010 and net migration is down by a third. We have reformed the Immigration Rules to cut out abuse where it was rife, while at the same time maintaining the UK’s position as an attractive place to live and work for the brightest and best migrants.

We will continue to welcome the brightest and best immigrants 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.”

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67 Comments

  1. Bert Young
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Any effort , any Bill likely to lead to our ability to control our own borders and for us to decide who can and who can not enter and remain in this country , will have my support . We have to make a start in making our position on immigration loud and clear to the EU ; we are on the brink of a (further inflow ed) of immigrants from Eastern Europe and we must have in place – before January ’14 , an effective mechanism to stop this happening .

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      His reply when questioned on QT about the lack of any estimates about how many Bulgarians/Romanians would come in 2014 (bearing in mind what is happening in European countries at the moment in France and Germany – on a recent trip to Paris I saw lots of rough sleepers and several attempts to steal goods from Chinese tourists at the Arc de Triomphe)…….His reply was and I quote….’Let’s see what happens’….Is that good enough?

      zorro

      Reply How can you forecast accurately what might happen. Juts look at how wrong Labour were with their forecasts. You did not know of course the origins of the rough sleepers.

      • zorro
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Well John, I did of course know the origins of the rough sleepers because I asked them what they were doing on the streets. There was a large number near Bastille including a man, woman and child. They stated that they were (Romanians) who had been in France since April 2013.

        etc ed
        zorro

      • zorro
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        On the forecasting comment, of course, you can make a sensible estimate by analysing what has happened in other European countries, and compare it with what is happening in the UK at the moment. You then loomk at the private sector and see how many more coach services and airline flights will be starting up in early 2014! Suffice it to say that the estimates do exist….

        zorro

      • Bob
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        “You did not know of course the origins of the rough sleepers.”

        A disingenuous denial of reality, a “smarty pants” reply, the kind we normally hear from Labour, the Lib Dems, and uanime5. But real people in the real world can make an educated guess, and be correct in sufficient cases that you would not be prepared to put money on it (at least not your own money!).

        • zorro
          Posted October 24, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          I have actually told John why I know the origin, but he hasn’t printed my reply yet…..

          zorro

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:
        So you walk straight into the road, because you can’t forecast exactly how large a juggernaut is coming down the road, or exactly when?
        Crazy.

      • David Price
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        @Reply
        But you can prevent a class of activity happening in the first place regardless. This is why there are speed laws in place, not because speeding is the undesired result but because it can be the cause of an undesired result.

        Surely there should be clear principles being followed such as the benefit of UK citizens should be the first priority of their government. I suggest what UK citizens want to hear is that HMG ministers and civil servants will do their utmost to protect our interests and be seen to be doing it.

        Wishy washy words in parliament give me no confidence whatsoever that there will be any concerted action. Your last paragraph puts some aspects of the issue succintly, why couldn’t the minister had said something like that?

    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Non contributory benefits will always be a draw to people from around the world. The Home Secretary does not need to to commission a report, the fact is clear to every taxpayer in this country but blind to the Euro federalists. The poor people who are destitute in other countries cannot be blamed for stupidity in government and Whitehall. Most of us are charitable, but we also realise we cannot provide a home and free living to the world as well as give £14 billion in overseas aid while our elderly folk freeze to death this winter or waiting for treatment in a NHS hospital, deaths this winter will not be from heat exhaustion but hypothermia. DECC might want to take note.

    • sjb
      Posted October 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      “The vast majority of illegal immigrants arrived in Britain legally and then lost their right to stay. These divide roughly into two camps: people who overstay their visas and failed asylum seekers […]”[1]

      Well worth reading the article.

      [1] http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21588362-perhaps-half-million-people-live-illegally-britain-governments-draconian-new

  2. alan jutson
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The most simple method would be to refuse entry to anyone with incorrect or no paperwork in the first place.
    Return them from where they have come, on the same day and do not allow entry subject to appeal, let them appeal if that is what they want to do, after they have been returned to their country of origin.

    Whilst I am pleased we are at last making an attempt to resolve this problem.
    Why is it we always want to complicate matters, which are really so simple in action to resolve.

    Reply Because this country has to operate under ECHR and ECJ justice, which controls our immigration policy in several important respects.

    • Hope
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      How about starting with an accurate system of counting people in and out of the country. If this is not in place everything else is bound to fail. The last time I read the papers it was reported the method used was questioning people entering the country!

    • forthurst
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      “Reply Because this country has to operate under ECHR and ECJ justice, which controls our immigration policy in several important respects.”

      In other words, purely administrative changes which will not deal with the asylum racket either. A real country can control its borders by simply refusing entry to anyone without a visa or deport anyone whose presence transpires to be uncongenial without any legal recourse or other means of enriching lawyers. Frankly we are bored with the pretence of government ministers getting to grips with removing the dangerous and undesirable; how much time has the Home Secretary wasted in meetings discussing individual cases of people whose feet should never even touch the ground. Meanwhile we have ‘conservative’ politicans extolling amnesties, large influxes from certain third world countries, and trying to represent influxes from the EU as beneficial when its only those from the poorest countries which wish to come here rather than those whose presence might indeed be beneficial.

      Reply Ministers have come up with measures which will reduce inward migration, whilst not being against ECHR/ECJ rules. Conservatives then wish to alter our relationship so we can make our own decisions, something Labour and Lib dems do not support, so not something we can do now.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        pointless blaming Labour and the Lib Dems when Cameron has been out in India promising work visas to anyone that wants one… do you think we are too stupid to google exactly what he said in India?

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Yes John, once undocumented travellers arrive on these shores, the game is lost. That is why this country must invest in assessment of nationals before they travel. This went into reverse years ago. There are officers abroad who can advise airlines on who should travel, but there are a large number of visa nationals who overstay. We have to get the decision right first time. Once someone is here, it just costs too much on all levels to deal with them.

      zorro

      Reply That’s what we have at Calais thanks to this government.

      • zorro
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        John, the juxtaposed controls were introduced under Labour….

        zorro

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        reply-reply

        Indeed, thank heavens for Calaise, it is a start.

        But this constant EU interference once again restricts what OUR Government can do about so many things.

        With so many Ministers not being able to do what this Country needs and wants. you would think the penny would have dropped by now.

        What a bloody shambles Cameron is in charge of.
        Has he made his list yet of things he wants returned to our control.

        Can I suggest the much shorter list are the things we would agree to, and start from that position.

        Trade,
        Co-operation
        ?
        ?
        ?
        ?
        ?
        ?
        OR OUT.

        Aware you are trying your best John, but this constant frustration with all things EU must surely end soon, before we sink.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        I have an excellent idea. Let’s send vans round the seedier parts of London telling illegals to go home. Will that work?

    • Bob
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Reply Because this country has to operate under ECHR and ECJ justice, which controls our immigration policy in several important respects.

      Which political party signed us up to the ECJ?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Which Prime Minister took us into the EU in the first place? It was clear right from the beginning in the 1950s, plain as the nose on your face, in black and white, that the aim of the EU was a federal Europe.

  3. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    We need stronger actions to stop immigrants dusappearing while they are being reviewed for expulsion. There seems to be a strong case for many more of them to be taggedfor example.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    One problem is that, in a political attempt to reduce net migration and be seen to be tough (yet being unable to do anything about EU immigration) the government is attacking the easy targets of students and some other needed workers from outside the EU. This is not sensible for the economy short terms or long term.

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      It depends what you mean by ‘needed workers’ lifelogic? The allocations under the PBS tiers are not taken up and there are plenty of companies taking advantage of the generous intra company transfer provisions. Britain does not need an influx of low paid workers, it needs its indigenous people to get back to work at livable wages and no topped up ny ‘tax credit’ nonsense….

      zorro

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Zorro

        Exactly

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.
        But now we have landlords and doctors doing unpaid work as informants on immigration, while Tesco’s et al, get government hand-outs to prop up low wages paid to immigrants and their home-grown competition.
        Why don’t we square the circle and get Tesco’s et al instead to do the informant work before food is sold to possible illegal immigrants in return for their state handouts to prop up wages?

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        I agree fully but we should not restrict people who are coming here who will be earning circa £70K+ or are likely to be earning that quite soon. Certainly we do not need people on low wages undercutting pay rates.

  5. uanime5
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    ensuring the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights in immigration cases

    It doesn’t matter how Parliament considers article 8 should be interpreted as this is for the ECtHR to decide.

    It would also be easier determine is some was an illegal immigrant or not by introducing ID cards; as the current system of requiring people to identify themselves using a utility bill, rather than photographic ID, is less effective. Though Labour was planning to introduce ID Cards the Coalition scrapped this as soon as they came to power.

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Foreign nationals are required to have a biometric ID residence card if staying over 6 months so if they haven’t got one, that should set alarm bells ringing….

      zorro

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        An easy addition to the Asda, Tesco etc till before food is sold to them.

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      The biometric ID card could have been useful but should have been introduced on a voluntary basis as a means to facilitate transactions….

      zorro

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for publishing this letter, JR, but isn’t it a bit late as the Bill has already had its Second Reading and it may speed through Parliament before any valid criticisms can be effectively voiced and taken into account through amendments?

    Reply I have published a contribution from mr Harper prior to the Bill which many of you commented on, and I referred Mr Harper to your responses on my website. I have now published his latest Statement, in good time for amendments to the Bill in Committee if necessary.
    Sometimes contributors could appreciate I am trying to give them a voice and see how their concerns are taken up by government- rather than always finding fault with everything.

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, I hope that you appreciate our interest in border security and wish that the UK can effectively control immigration whilst facilitating legitimate travel.

      zorro

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      We admire your efforts to put a brave and positive face on the government’s efforts. Many times these efforts start to pick away at a problem, but more often than not only on the surface and in a very “namby-pamby” way. That is almost more frustrating than trying to argue with somebody who completely denies that there is a problem at all. This is the case in economic matters, immigration, the EU… you name it. In our small company, as a business, we either tackle matters head-on, immediately, or suffer financially. This tinkering at the edges by the government ON EVERYTHING is driving many of us into premature aging….!!!
      That is why the criticism just keeps on coming!

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Secondly:

    “… the Immigration Bill will make it … easier to identify illegal immigrants by extending powers … to collect and check fingerprints … ”

    Obviously illegal immigrants are not going to volunteer be finger printed, so how many other people will be finger printed to establish whether or not they are illegal immigrants, and would their finger prints be retained on a database even though it had somehow been established that they were not illegal immigrants?

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Denis,
      Since 2007 all nationals requiring a visa have been fingerprinted prior to obtaining a visa. All foreign nationals wishing to extend their stay are required to submit their fingerprints to obtain a residence card. All asylum seekers should have been fingerprinted since 1993. All these records are searchable in that if someone is checked when applying for a visa or if arrested by the police then their dabs will searched against these records…..So, people will be searched against known offenders, but their details will only be retained if they are offenders.

      zorro

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        But of course there will be illegal immigrants who never had a visa.

        • zorro
          Posted October 24, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Indeed, clandestines and illegal entrants will probably have had no identity documents, but once encountered, they will be registered. There is not such a huge problem with identifying a probable nationality and the UK is able to exchange data with other countries to establish the identity of criminals (illegal entry being a criminal offence)…

          zorro

  8. David
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Thanks for that. I know people who managed to change their status from illegal to legal after living here a few years.
    Don’t you think if breaking the law is rewarded then people will break the law?
    All these things are a good idea but shouldn’t the main change be?
    “If you are illegally living here you will never be legal in this country. You will never be able to go home to see family and return to the UK”

    David

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Most of these people, if not asylum seekers, will have gained residence under human rights (family life) grounds or marriage, or long term residence concession.

      zorro

      • Bob
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        @zorro

        “…these people, if not asylum seekers, will have gained residence under human rights (family life) grounds or marriage, or long term residence concession.”

        Or because they have a pet cat in the UK!

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Thirdly:

    “We will continue to welcome the brightest and best immigrants”

    Exactly what criteria will be used to identify the “brightest and best”?

    If the answer was:

    “people comparable to the brightest and best 10% of the established population”,

    then potentially that would mean many tens of millions of people from around the world being allowed, indeed invited, to come and share our country.

    You can work that out from the world population now being over 7 billion:

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

    and assuming very conservatively that only 1% of them would qualify because of the backward state of many of the most populous countries; it would still be the case that 1% of 7 billion would = 70 million potential “brightest and best” immigrants.

    On the other hand if the answer was,

    “people comparable to the brightest and best 0.o1% of the established population”,

    then that would mean only 70,000 potential “brightest and best” immigrants.

    So which would it be?

    Or is it the reality that the government has no idea what it means by “the brightest and best immigrants”, it just wants loads of immigrants and will wait and see who turns up and then find one pretext or another for letting them in?

    And does it even matter to this government that in the median view of the established population annual immigration into their country, gross immigration that is, should be limited to some tens of thousands a year?

    Reply Why do you assume all the brightest and best in the world want to settle in the UK?

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      It used to be the case that foreign university students could stay on even if they just passed the course (3rd class) which was hardly choosing the’brightest and best’….

      zorro

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      I don’t assume that; I just point out that “brightest and best” is so elastic that at one end of the scale it could easily include an enormous number of people, many tens of millions, while at the other end of the scale it could be a very small number, maybe hundreds or only dozens; but as far the British people are concerned their median view as revealed in the opinion poll mentioned here:

      http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2013/03/there-is-no-left-and-right-expect-in-political-imagination.html

      is that gross annual immigration should not exceed about 70,000 a year; and surely the government should pay attention to the wishes of the British people and set an annual maximum for gross immigration in that kind of ballpark rather than saying that it will welcome whoever it chooses to categorise as “brightest and best” with no limit on the numbers.

      etc ed

  10. Timaction
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    What are the Government doing to renegotiate the free movement of people in the EU? It’s only a matter of weeks before we get the next wave of(word left out) migration from Romania and Bulgaria to add to the (substantial number ed) Eastern Europeans already here. Our over crowded island and overwhelmed public services are about to take another double whammy all at British taxpayers expense. With over 2.5 million people on out of work benefits, almost a million young people the EU strategy is simply NOT working for us. It’s total madness!

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Tim – You’re banging your head against a brick wall.

      THEY already know this.

      It’s what THEY want.

  11. JoeSoap
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Parson’s egg time, some good bits, something to work on.

    I don’t think it should be down to GPs, landlords, and other citizens who aren’t paid by the government to turn people in and disallow them use of their services. Why do we have paid civil servants or an immigration service if we need unpaid volunteers to do their work?

    On the other hand the sentiments here are basically good, albeit they only ever came about because UKIP started to shine in the opinion polls. I can’t see Ken Clarke or many others following the script here.

    Reply This policy was set out before the last election to cut net migration and has nothing to do with UKIP

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:
      So why has it taken more than 3 years to come about?

    • mike
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      Pull the other one John…

      I smell a rat in all of this…

      Wittering on about illegal immigration if one thing but it deliberately ignores the fact the then entire population of the EU has a legal right to become immigrants here.

      As the governments figures from the ONS are derived from people with clipboards asking travellers to fill out questionnaires in a few Ports and airports it is pretty obvious that they dont have a clue how many immigrants, illegal or not, actually come here. They may cling to these figures for dear life, heaven forbid they admit that membership of the EU comes at massive social cost, but they are clearly meaningless. If you were entering a country for free healthcare or so that you could claim child benefit back in Albania would you admit it to a (person ed) asking for five minutes of your time a soon a you stepped of the ferry? Do these questionnaires even include such obvious categories? I suspect not, more likely they are more interested in whether you are there on holiday and whether you intend to visit Buckingham palace. Indeed apparently the travel industry is the primary customer, not the immigration minister.

      I suspect illegal immigration probably makes up about 5% of the total.

      So the tories witter about being tough on immigration when in actuality they have deliberately misrepresented the problem. I’m sure the million unemployed kids will be delighted.

  12. ian wragg
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    You can publish as many bills as possible when it will have no influence on EU immigration. Cameroon has told the Indians there will be no cap on ICT visas (etc ed).
    We probably have over a million illegals here but no effort is made to deport them and most claim their ” umanrites”.
    When we (see increases in ) with Romanians and Bulgarians in the next 12 months and nothing is done to stop them drawing benefits, prepare for a well earned stretch in opposition.

  13. mick
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon JW, The MP`s on the opposite benches will do to this Bill as they will do to the Referendum Bill and try to sabotage it and make it run out of parliament time so it carn`t be passed by law

    Reply This is a government Bill, so it will pass. The Referendum Bill is a backbench Bill which does not have Lib Dem support so it is much more difficult.

  14. Monty
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks John, for bringing our earlier comments to Mark Harper’s attention.

    I think his proposals are a good start.

  15. zorro
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    There have been many Immigration Acts 9many under Labour) to try and control appeal rights. Often the courts have thwarted their effectiveness. Some comments on the proposals:

    i. easier to identify illegal immigrants by extending powers:

    to collect and check fingerprints;
    to search for passports;
    to implement embarkation controls; and
    to examine the status and credibility of migrants seeking to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

    The powers already exist to take fingerprints from all visa applicants and people looking to extend their stay in the UK. The explicit power to search passports did not exist in enforcement cases but the power to search for relevant documents or evidence of an offence did. It will not have any major effect. The government does not need more powers to have an embarkation control!! The government has always had the power to examine foreign nationals with regards to their credibility in immigration status applications…..This is stuff and nonsense.

    ii. easier to remove and deport illegal immigrants by:

    cutting the number of decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4 – preserving appeals for those asserting fundamental rights;
    extending 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;
    ensuring the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights in immigration cases; and
    restricting the ability of immigration detainees to apply repeatedly for bail if they have previously been refused it.

    OK on some of these, but these will be subject to immediate legal challenge and they will lose on the Article 8 case.

    iii. more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the UK by:

    requiring 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;

    Who will undertake these checks? How many status checks will be required and with what regularity? How many tenants, and how many private landlords? What about social housing tenants? Do we have an estimate for this? The answer is no.

    making it easier for the Home Office to recover unpaid civil penalties;

    They should use more civil recovery and bailiffs where employers are exploting people.

    introducing a new requirement for temporary migrants who have only a time-limited immigration status to make a contribution to the National Health Service;

    Why not just insist on a valid private insurance policy with the visa and charge foreignnationals before treatment

    prohibiting banks from opening current accounts for migrants identified as being in the UK unlawfully, by requiring banks to check against a database of known immigration offenders before opening accounts; and

    Yes, they can do this through data sharing with CIFAS and other financial data firms

    introducing 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.

    New powers…new powers….they are admitting that they don’t already check someone’s immigration status before issuing a UK driving licence, or revoke them when they are illegally here? There is a word for that – incompetence

    zorro

  16. Bazman
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    The landlord check will be an interesting one. Are they going to ask proof from anyone they suspect of being ‘foreign’. Many illegal immigrants are working illegally and living in substandard and often illegal conditions anyway and we are yet to see a crackdown on the reasons they come here which is illegal employment or exploitation as forced workers, often in the sex trade. Legal tenants will just face increased costs on their already sky high rent. 9.2% of average annual rent – £9,084 – is a damn sight more than 9.2 per cent of average energy bills. British Gas customers – that is eight million households – face an average increase of £123 a year. Bad, but nothing compared with the £835 increase a year for the 8.3 million households in rented accommodation – £835! And that applies across the country, though if you live in London or the south-east, it could be more like double that. That average rent increase? It needs to be found out of an average household income after tax of £16,034.

  17. They Work For Us
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Immigration could be controlled by applying an American style visa system. Their assumption is that NO ONE has a right to enter the USA or to become a citizen. Many are turned back at US airports and are not allowed to land.
    People should be allowed to work with a work permit and told that it is most unlikely they will be allowed to gain citizenship and that there will be no right to remain. The nationality of any children born to them in this country will be their nationality not British. Marriage and children will not be accepted as a way to automatically gain citizenship.
    Gross immigration figures matter because they reflect the likely change that is likely to be inflicted on our indigenous population, culture and systems. We are full up and fed up.
    Minorities should be treated as such when asking us to change our ways. Just say “sorry but we don’t do that here, you must change to meet the majority”.

  18. Gina Dean
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    How will all this effect those non EU illegals who get rid of their passports or other means of identity for country of origin. Trying to find a country to take them after this is next to nia impossible, as then we cannot get them out of this country.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The focus is on illegal immigration in this statement.

    It is not just the illegal immigrants that people are worried about. It is immigration in its entirety – legal immigration included. The people are at odds with their own Government and its failure to bring down LEGAL immigration. Why would poor working people want more poor working people brought into their towns and cities ?

    It’s far too easy to gain citizenship here, there is far too much unskilled and immigration and it is far too fast. It is also far too easy to access hard earned services and resources for free and this is causing a big draw to Britain.

    The use of ‘net’ immigration is a swizz. We are not replacing people like-with-like and we are losing a lot of skills and wealth.

    Of course you already know all of this. I mention it merely to let you all know that we’re not fooled and that we know you think we’re stupid.

    It’s legal immigration that has got people fuming – because it’s what YOU want, not us.

  20. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    This article provides a useful forum for the discussion of the immigration disaster amongst your followers, but I doubt that many of us are under any illusions about the chances of any real measures being taken to prevent further large influxes of unwanted people or that robust action will be taken to deal with those already here illegally.
    Whenever this subject is aired on this site the frequency of censored replies increases markedly. I’m sure that most of us understand why you do it and that we can fill in the blanks for ourselves anyway, but it does show how emotionally charged the whole issue is and how it divides opinion so clearly. One cannot really look at the whole charade without a degree of wry cynicism. What can we do? Wait for some kind of miracle to happen?

  21. Stephen O
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Regarding the obligation on private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. Where will the responsibility lie where the landlord, who may be overseas, relies on a professional agent to manage the property?

    The landlord is not able to physically meet the tenant or verify information provided and relies on the agent for this. If there oversight or failure in checking the tenants immigration status it will be will, in practical terms, be the responsibility of the agent.

    Will legal responsibility be with the agent in this case? Or will the landlord be held responsible regardless?

    • zorro
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Indeed, how many officers will be needed to fully undertake status checks on foreign national? How many checks? How often? How many private landlords? How many private tenants? Why not social landlords and tenants? Will this be a charged service (extra tax)?…….Are there any estimates?…..I know, “let’s wait and see”……

      zorro

  22. David Price
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    This is a good start in the right direction, an enormous improvement over the policies of the Blair and Brown governments.

    I’d just like to see some implacable resolve and concerted action actually demonstrated against illegal and undesirable immigration and their helpers. Government has no problem demonstrating such resolve against taxpayers for minor infractions or those who complain when matters benefiting favoured minorities are treated with much higher priority than those affecting the majority.

  23. peter davies
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Any move in this area is positive of course as long as it does not deter the people you want from coming here – but the govt is tinkering at the edges of what is left to control and will soon more than likely become a much bigger problem thanks again to the EU.

    None of these clampdowns can apply to EU migrants so in essence these laws are likely to pick on easier targets whilst you in London get swamped with people from the 2 new EU succesion countries.

    All in all its another example of a govt trying to do things with one arm tied behind its back thanks to decisions signed by previous govts. Whatever happened to the principle that a “govt can never bind its successor”? <Smallprint inserted: "unless it is to do with precious EU supranational laws which cannot be tinkered with"

    • peter davies
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Any Twitter users should look at Van Rompoy’s PR Q&A session on Twitter a couple of days ago which was supposed to be on tech innovation. He was flooded with some very amusing questions and the whole thing turned out to be a disaster.

      Check out #askthepresident

      I loved the question asking how Spain and Greece have benefited from the EURO.

      What a cesspit the whole EU thing is – the sooner our politicians wake up, smell the coffee and stop acting like sheep and put their country first and get us out of there the better.

  24. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    We will continue to welcome the brightest and best immigrants who want to contribute to our economy and society and play by the rules.

    (worsds left out ed)

    Isn’t our country full? I left my home this morning in Wokingham at 9.20 to go to Frimley Hospital. I gave up at Sandhurst. The traffic was virtually stationary. No apparent reason. Just too many people in too many cars.

    And yet … ‘We will continue to welcome the brightest and best immigrants …’ WHY? For pity’s sake – WHY?

    And, of course, we have open borders within the EU. So it is all academic. Let’s face it – everyone in the EU could move here if they wanted to and we couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

  25. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    For some reason politicians have lied to us about the EU for over 50 years.

    I guess they know better than we plebs.

  26. zorro
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    John,
    I’ve just tried to access the link in your post and it has come back ‘Page not found – 404 – GOV.UK’…I don’t know if others have had that problem.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-bill

    The link above should work.

    zorro

  27. zorro
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Just looking at the Impact Assessment on these measures…..see the link below and pages 9 – 11… https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/250069/Overarching_Impact_Assessment_final.PDF

    I can see the cost/benefit rationale for health and marriage proposals, but take a look at the landlord proposal…… And notice the exemptions on the housing proposal and to who and why they apply ….. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/249312/Delegated_Powers_Memo.pdf

    See page 5/6….. ‘The Schedule sets out the areas where as a matter of principle, arrangements made should not be subject to the restriction; for instance situations where the landlord is already required to consider the immigration status of an occupant before allowing them to
    take up residence, or where to impose a restriction would frustrate the ability of a public authority to fulfil its statutory obligations and exercise the powers which have been conferred on it.’……So it appears that social landlords will not have to undertake these checks if it affects their ability to house people, or private landlords if they are directed to take people by an official body….hmmm….

    zorro

  28. sm
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a clause should have been inserted somewhere.. to make it illegal for the BBC to provide broadcasting services to undocumented workers.

    This of course they could do by encrypting the service’s and by validating legal users.

    Or would that be too inconvenient for the public sector?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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