Clause 17

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Conservative, Peterborough 5:45 pm, 13th March 2007

The evidence given by the immigration lawyers a couple of weeks ago, during a robust exchange, was that the way to offset this problem was to deport people quickly. I am a fair person. The Government have gone in the right direction, after the calamitous situation in 2002 when we had hundreds of thousands of failed asylum seekers, and they have reduced that number. However, as a point of principle we cannot embed and entrench criminality.

I have no reason to dispute the views expressed by the hon. Member for Bristol, East, although generally the Australian example is a tough one and Australia probably has the toughest immigration laws in the world. I should be interested to see the information that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley mentioned. However, at the moment I support the Government’s resistance to the amendment. There has to be finality in the system and if we do not accept and respect that, we undermine the genuine people who are fleeing from persecution, terror and threats to their life and liberty. No Committee member would want to support that.