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I beg to move,
That this House, whilst affirming its belief that there should be firm and fair controls on illegal immigration including new immigration enforcement powers and immigration status checks on current account holders, and particularly welcoming proposals for a Director of Labour Market Enforcement and to strengthen sanctions to be applied to employers of illegal workers, declines to give a Second Reading to the Immigration Bill because the measures overall in the Bill will not decrease illegal immigration, will reduce social cohesion and will punish the children of illegal immigrants for their parents’
illegal immigration, because the Government has failed to publish the report on the pilot Right to Rent scheme in the West Midlands which could cause widespread indirect discrimination and because the Bill enables the Home Secretary to remove from the UK migrants who are appealing against a refused asylum claim before the appeal has been determined, notwithstanding the slow appeal process and the high error rate in Home Office decisions.
Let me start by setting this debate in an essential and important piece of context and with a point that the Home Secretary skated over at the start of her speech: the most recent evidence is clear—immigration provides a net benefit to our economy. It is not, as was claimed last week, “close to zero” but, according to authoritative and independent research, can be quantified at around £25 billion. That migrants contribute more to the public purse than they take out is a simple fact that cannot be repeated often enough in debates such as this. Similarly, in the NHS, we are far more likely to be treated by a migrant than to stand behind one in a queue. The culture and identity of our country—for centuries an open, outward-looking, seafaring nation—has itself been shaped by centuries of inward immigration, and it is all the richer for it.