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Immigration Bill – the good, the bad, the ugly...

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23 October 2013
Immigration Bill Yesterday I spoke in the Second Reading debate of the Government’s Immigration Bill – a bill which is probably best characterised as a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly. The Bill rightly aims to tighten the law on sham marriages, crack down on unscrupulous immigration advisers and speed up the deportation of foreign criminals. However, I am concerned about the Government’s proposed new decision making and appeals processes as I am not convinced that the appropriate checks and balances will exist.

In my speech I focussed on the proposed duty on private sector landlords to check the immigration status of their prospective tenants. Whilst I understand why some people may think this is a good idea, I have grave reservations about how this would work in practice. Only last week a BBC investigation uncovered discrimination in the capital against would-be tenants on the grounds of their race. Those headlines made me feel ashamed to be a Londoner, and I do fear that the Government’s proposed measure would magnify problems which clearly already exist.

It is important that the UK has a firm but fair immigration system, which is enforced in a timely and professional way. You can read my speech in full here, and see any developments in the passage of the Immigration Bill on the Parliamentary website.

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