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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:06 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:06 pm, 13th October 2015

As I said earlier, we are not expecting landlords to be immigration experts. That is precisely why the Home Office has set up arrangements to provide the helpline and advice, so that it is simple for landlords to contact the Home Office and get the information that will help them make a judgment.

I mentioned the measures on driving licences earlier, and the Bill takes them a step further. We will create new powers to ensure that revoked licences are taken out of circulation and to strengthen the consequences for people using revoked licences. We will also make it a criminal offence to drive while unlawfully in the UK and we will provide a power to detain and forfeit vehicles used in the offence.

We will further restrict access to banking services. Under the 2014 Act, we took necessary steps to prevent people in the UK illegally from setting up current accounts with banks and building societies. The Bill will expand on these measures by creating an obligation for banks and building societies to carry out periodic checks on the immigration status of current account holders. When an account holder is identified as in the UK illegally, following a court order the account can be frozen or closed by the bank or building society.

Parts 3, 4 and 5 of the Bill are about removing from the UK people with no right to be here. Immigration officers already do an excellent job of enforcing our

laws and where appropriate removing people who are in the UK illegally, but we must do more. The 2014 Act shows that “deport first, appeal later” works when foreign criminals make human rights claims. Our manifesto committed us to extending that to all human rights claims. The Bill will now deliver on that commitment, allowing us to remove people with no right to be in the UK before they can appeal, provided that does not breach their human rights or cause serious irreversible harm. The Bill will also ensure that when foreign criminals are released on bail, we can satellite tag them so that we know their whereabouts, and thus better protect the law-abiding majority.

When people have no right to be in the UK, we expect them to leave, but some people are being sent the wrong message. The Bill reflects the Government’s commitment to providing support for destitute asylum seekers in line with our international obligations. However, those with no right to be here are expected to return home and the Bill will restrict the support we give to people who are here illegally.

Part 6 is about protecting our borders. It is imperative that we have control over our borders and know who is coming into the UK. Through the Bill, we will give our Border Force officers additional powers to intercept vessels at sea.