Clause 16

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:45 pm, 13th March 2007

It is a pleasure to speak in this Committee under your Chairmanship, Mr. Illsley, and that of your co-Chairman.

The clause is very important and we hope thatthe measures in it will help to improve contact management and enforce compliance with our immigration laws. The measures are, therefore, important. However, I am pleased to discuss the amendments because scrutiny of those measures is very important. They place conditions and, to some extent, restrictions on individuals and it is right that they should undergo close scrutiny.

I hope that I can reassure Opposition Members about the use of those powers. Clause 16 amendsan existing statutory provision—section 3 of the Immigration Act 1971—by adding two new conditions regarding reporting and residency. There is, therefore, no inconsistency in our approach towards reporting and residency conditions and the other conditions set out in section 3—police registration, employment, maintenance and accommodation—all of which are very important.

We are very clear that the clause will be used to improve contact management with particular categories of people and have indicated the two categories with which we will seek to use these conditions first. However, we consider that there are advantages to a light-touch approach in the legislation, which will allow us to apply the new powers to other categories, should a need for more effective contact management become manifest.