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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 6:18 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 6:18 pm, 13th October 2015

My hon. Friend’s intervention describes the national problem. I was talking about a localised problem in one London borough alone.

We know that some illegal immigrants drive vehicles and work for cash in an uncontrolled way, and every day people approach my office asking me to speed up their claim for asylum or the right to remain. Those individuals have been waiting far too long. A compassionate society does not allow people to wait and wait for a decision. I say, let us make a decision and ensure that someone either has the right to remain or is asked to leave, rather than being left in limbo in an artificial state. It is unfair and unjust, and is no good for our society and country.

We need proper rules and regulations on who will be admitted, who will be allowed to work and who will be allowed to stay. I ask the Minister to make it clear that working legal immigrants are welcome. Equally, can we show compassion for certain parts of our industries? For example, we should allow restaurateurs who need to attract chefs with the right qualifications to bring them in, rather than excluding them, leaving those restaurants to depend on illegal workers. Care homes, too, require highly skilled individuals. We need those people to come here, work in our society and contribute to it.

We then must crack down on those who come here and work illegally. The Bill, which contains measures to make that happen, is a work in progress, rather than an end in itself. We want to welcome people who, be they studying or working, wish to make this country their home, but we must make sure they go through the proper procedures and get proper approval before they arrive, rather than entering illegally and being trafficked or exploited by unscrupulous individuals. I look forward to the Bill progressing into law, and if I can help to improve it, my services will be at hand for the Bill Committee.

Several hon. Members rose