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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:32 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary 2:32 pm, 13th October 2015

Justice does not accept the assurances that were given by the Home Secretary. I can therefore tell the hon. Lady that we will co-operate with her in Committee, if she takes part in it, to get those assurances into the Bill, because she is right to call for them.

Let me turn to human rights and civil liberties. The Bill extends the power of the Executive in a number of troubling ways. Part 4, as the Home Secretary said, proposes a major extension of the “deport first, appeal later” approach from foreign national offenders to all human rights claims. What case has the Home Office made to persuade Members that it can safely be given such sweeping powers? It has hardly covered itself in glory over the years with the speed or quality of its decision making. Let us remember that this is a Department that today has a backlog of over 300,000 immigration cases—a Department where up to 50% of the initial decisions that it makes are found to be wrong on appeal. With these figures in mind, are we really ready to give the Home Secretary much greater powers to remove migrants before their appeals have been determined? Again, the Government are asking us to legislate before the impact of the last extension has been fully evaluated. The Equality and Human Rights Commission says that, by denying people the ability to be present at their own appeal, the Bill is potentially in breach of articles 6, 8 and 13 of the European convention on human rights.

I ask all colleagues on both sides of the House to think, before they vote tonight, of the genuine cases they have dealt with and the people they have got to know at their surgeries whom they have rightly helped to stay here in challenging a Home Office decision. They should think of them before they legislate to allow people in a similar position to be removed without being able to attend their own appeal.