New Clause 22 - Recourse to public funds for domestic abuse survivors

Domestic Abuse Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 6th July 2020.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 72
    A majority of MPs voted against enabling victims of domestic abuse to access benefits and rent and rent a home irrespective of their immigration status.

‘(1) The Immigration Acts are amended as follows.

(2) In section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 after subsection (10) insert—

“(11) This section does not apply to a person who is a victim of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom who provides evidence in one or more of the forms set out in section [Recourse to public funds for domestic abuse survivors] of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020.”

(3) In paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 3 to the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 after sub-paragraph (b) insert—

“(ba) to a person who is a victim of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom who provides evidence in one or more of the forms set out in section [Recourse to public funds for domestic abuse survivors] of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020, or”.

(4) In section 21 of the Immigration Act 2014 at the end of subsection (3) insert “or if P is a victim of domestic abuse”.

(5) In section 3 of the Immigration Act 1971 after subsection (1) insert—

“(1A) The Secretary of State may not make or maintain a condition under subsection (1)(c)(ii) on leave granted to a victim of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom who provides evidence in one or more of the forms set out in section [Recourse to public funds for domestic abuse survivors] of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020; and it is not a breach of the immigration laws or rules for such a victim to have recourse to public funds.”

(6) For the purposes of this section, evidence that a person is a victim of domestic abuse may consist of one or more of the following—

(a) a relevant conviction, police caution or protection notice;

(b) a relevant court order (including without notice, ex parte, interim or final orders), including a non-molestation undertaking or order, occupation order, domestic abuse protection order, forced marriage protection order or other protective injunction;

(c) evidence of relevant criminal proceedings for an offence concerning domestic violence or a police report confirming attendance at an incident resulting from domestic abuse;

(d) evidence that a victim has been referred to a multi-agency risk assessment conference;

(e) a finding of fact in the family courts of domestic abuse;

(f) a medical report from a doctor at a UK hospital confirming injuries or a condition consistent with being a victim of domestic abuse;

(g) a letter from a General Medical Council registered general practitioner confirming that he or she is satisfied on the basis of an examination that a person had injuries or a condition consistent with those of a victim of domestic abuse;

(h) an undertaking given to a court by the alleged perpetrator of domestic abuse that he or she will not approach the applicant who is the victim of the abuse;

(i) a letter from a social services department confirming its involvement in providing services to a person in respect of allegations of domestic abuse;

(j) a letter of support or a report from a domestic abuse support organisation; or

(k) other evidence of domestic abuse, including from a counsellor, midwife, school, witness or the victim.

(7) For the purposes of this section—

“domestic abuse” has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020;

“victim” includes the dependent child of a person who is a victim of domestic abuse.

(8) Within 12 months of this Act being passed, the Secretary of State must commission a review into the operation of the provisions in this section.

(9) The Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report setting out the findings of the review.”—(Jess Phillips.)

This new clause seeks to ensure that certain provisions under the Immigration Acts – including exclusion from public funds, certain types of support and assistance and the right to rent – do not apply to survivors of domestic abuse. There will be a review into the operation of this provision.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

Division number 72 Domestic Abuse Bill — New Clause 22 — Immigration — Victims of Domestic Abuse — Right to Rent — Access to Benefits

A majority of MPs voted against enabling victims of domestic abuse to access benefits and rent and rent a home irrespective of their immigration status.

Aye: 207 MPs

No: 331 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 108 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The House divided: Ayes 207, Noes 330.

Question accordingly negatived.

The list of Members currently certified as eligible for a proxy vote, and of the Members nominated as their proxy, is published at the end of today’s debates.