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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, Bedford 5:21 pm, 13th October 2015

That is very reassuring, particularly as it comes from such a capable Minister.

I am used to being a bit out of kilter with the norm of political views about immigration here—it used to be just me and perhaps Jeremy Corbyn. Of course, Sarah Teather has gone on to better things and the hon. Gentleman has gone on to be leader of the Labour party, so I am left here talking from a bit of a different angle from everyone else. The focus of much of this is illegal immigrants, and there is one word that nobody has used about illegal immigrants—compassion. I wish to discuss that.

Whether we like it or not, we are talking today about a lot of the toxic legacy of the Labour party’s lack of control of immigration. When I became a Member of Parliament in 2010, there were people who had been in this country for five, six or seven years when they had no right to be here, and there were children who had grown up in our schools when their parents had no right to be here. People should not blame the Conservative party for trying to clear up the mess that was left, but my party and this Government need to see not only effectiveness, but compassion. What is compassionate about sending a child who turns 18 back to a country that they have never really understood? Where is the compassion in taking money away from someone while they are waiting for their case to be resolved? Where is the compassion for someone who is holding on to stay in this country when they have no right to remain here? Where is the compassion in leaving them for years and just making their life harder and harder in the hope that somehow they just leave?

We can talk about effectiveness, but it is our values, too, as a country that we are talking about. I, for one, want to make sure that the Bills we pass in this country stand up for the best principles of our country as well.