The Immigration Bill contains the following measures to:
1. Make it easier to identify illegal immigrants by extending: (1) powers to collect and check fingerprints; (2) powers to search for passports; (3) powers to implement embarkation controls; and (4) powers to examine the status and credibility of migrants seeking to marry or enter into civil partnership.
2. Make it easier to remove and deport illegal immigrants by cutting the number of decisions that can be appealed from 17 to four whilst preserving appeals for those asserting fundamental rights.
3. Make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the UK by: (1) requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants; (2) making it easier for the Home Office to recover unpaid civil penalties; (3) prohibiting banks from opening current accounts for migrants identified as being in the UK unlawfully; and (4) introducing new powers to check driving licences applicants' immigration status before issuing a licence and revoking licences where immigrants are found to have overstayed in the UK.
4. Introduce new requirements for temporary migrants who have only a time limited immigration status to make a contribution to the National Health Service.
5. Give the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner new powers to better regulate the immigration advice sector.
6. Simplify the current fees legislation.
The Government claim these measures are all designed to make the UK the least attractive destination for illegal immigrants whilst it continues to promote the UK as a destination for the "brightest and best migrants". However, opponents of the Bill argue the measures to be disproportionate, unworkable and discriminatory.
For more information, please contact Lynn McCloghry.