Queen's Speech signals a new Immigration Bill is on its way

Today we learned that Government is preparing a new Immigration Bill - despite ministers' acknowledgement that much of the detail behind the headlines is still missing...

The Queen’s Speech

The opening of the 2013-14 session of Parliament today, with the Queen's annual speech in the House of Lords offering an overview of the Government's legislative programme for the year ahead, has turned out to be rather a muddle on the question of immigration. Immigration was trailed in the media, presumably following a Downing Street press release, as the big issue to watch out for in the Queen's speech. Yesterday's news reported that the Queen would announce details of a major crackdown on benefits and healthcare for foreign nationals, particularly EU nationals, in the UK, following David Cameron's immigration speech on these issues in Ipswich back in March. 

But by early afternoon, once again, it all appeared to have been somewhat overstated. The Queen's Speech itself was restricted to breaking the news that we can now expect a new Immigration Bill over the coming year (probably in the autumn) that will 'further reform Britain's immigration system' - with no specific reference to EU migration, welfare benefits or social housing. A Home Office briefing reports that the three main goals of the Bill will be: 'stopping immigrants accessing services they are not entitled to; making it easier to remove people from the UK and harder for people to prolong their stay with spurious appeals; and specifying that foreign nationals who commit serious crimes shall, except in extraordinary circumstances, be deported'.

Overall, the measures outlined for inclusion in the Immigration Bill seem primarily concerned with increasing immigration checking responsibilities among landlords, employers and health services. According to the briefing, the Bill will include:

  • A new requirement for private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. This would include the nearly 2 million buy-to-let property owners in the UK who would be required to check the papers of their tenants in order to ensure their right to be in the UK. This approach has already been criticised by housing charities and landlords associations, who have protested that landlords should not be given the responsibilities of immigration officers and questioned how this would work in practice. Interviewed this morning, health secretary Jeremy Hunt acknowledged that government does not yet have the answers to those questions. What seems clear is that the wider problems relating to exploitative landlords who pack legally and irregularly resident migrants into overpriced houses of multiple occupation or 'beds in sheds' would not be addressed by this new set of requirements.
  • Introduction of 'tough action' against employers of irregular migrants, including higher fines. Employers have had increased responsibility for the immigration status of their workers since the introduction of the new civil penalty system in 2008. This means that 'tough action' has already been in place, with up to £10,000 fines levied against employers of irregular migrants who haven't carried out the required document checks. MRN's view, based on accounts from trades unions and workers associations, is that giving employers immigration responsibilities has thus far often resulted in confusion among employers, discrimination against minority workers, and persecution of many small ethnic businesses by the immigration authorities. How Government would step up action against employers is as yet unknown.
  • Regulation of migrant access to the NHS, 'ensuring that temporary migrants make a contribution'. Interviewed today, business secretary Vince Cable reported that different policy options in this area are still on the table for consideration. A statement by Jeremy Hunt in Parliament on this matter back in March reported that Government plans to hold a consultation with medical professionals to consider the options, and mentioned that Government is considering introducing a prepayment or insurance requirement for temporary visitors to pay for NHS health care, as well as increasing screening for patient eligibility. We know that this has been met with real concern among health professionals who are concerned about the impacts of measures which increase immigration control responsibilities within the NHS for both migrants and on the health service.
  • In addition, we can expect efforts to prevent irregular migrants from obtaining UK driving licences; new measures on enforcement and appeals including restricting the right of appeal to 'the most important' immigration issues and new provisions to 'give the full force of legislation' to the changes to Article 8 consideration introduced by home secretary Theresa May last year.

All this should generate plenty more debate about the potential impacts of the measures outlined for inclusion in the Bill on migrants' rights in the UK, particularly in terms of the costs of giving large numbers of people with little expertise in immigration documentation new checking responsibilities. And it leaves question marks firmly in place over how Government now intends to introduce any new changes in relation to EU migrants' access to social welfare and housing in the UK ahead of January 2014. Expect more on all these issues in due course.

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Another case if the government not living in the real world you often fund that people with legal papers rent a house in there own name then sub let to illegal immigrants or multiple illegal immigrant making a profit and the original landlord has no idea s how does that solve a problem ?

The old story is:

- the reason why we/migrants are here is because countries like the UK occupies/invades our country causing landlessness, degradation, poverty and total havoc! As an example, my grand/parents were amongst the thousands of displaced peoples when there was a big UK/US mining project in the country of 7,107 islands. The Philippine government's main recourse to the adverse effect of these foreign invasion is through exporting the labour of the Filipino people to the country that invaded the Philippines. So, you can see loads of Filipinos here (and elsewhere) mainly employed in health & service sector and infrastructure - nurses, carers, domestic, nannies, hotel/hosptility workers, building and construction etc.

- the UK goes to the Philippines under the guise of development but actually building more profit and use of cheap labour. This is done through inculcating ideologies that Philippines should depend with foreign companies for development and competition with the world market.

- the UK companies work closely with the Philippine state in order to secure and sustain extractions of natural recources.

- communities that opposes these invasions or projects are subject to arrest, torture, imprisonment and death.

- Philippines ($24 billion) is among the tops 3 recipients of officially recorded remittances in 2012 next to China ($60 billion) and India ($69 billion)

- poor migrants were put to situations so they become powerless.

This is just a tiny segment of the whole story. The challenge is to expose the genuine role of the UK empire/state in terms of migration of peoples they want to devalue. Surely, the UK government have all the resources to propagate racism, demonisation of migrants. Migrants do not have those resources but they have one in common:

The HISTORY of what forces to come to the UK leaving behind their beautiful countries, love ones and their identity...

This stories must be re- told and asserted!

relevant links:,,contentMDK:20648762~pag...

Well said not only in your country same as west african with rich natural resources yet they do not want us anyway one day the poors we have nothing to eat except the rich.

This is not only in Phillipnes. Come to Nigeria and see what devastation the oil companies have done to the country in collaboration with the British government. The same British government turned its face the other way with its officials drinking chanpagne and wines at the Commonwealth summit the very day the Nigerian government murdered the internationally renowned enviromental issues activist - Ken Saro-Wiwa -simply for digging out the dirts on the devastation being caused by British companies around his homeland. The same year British Petroleum and Shell declared another stupendous profits of billions of pounds. Except for the lone of voice of the late Anita Roddicks of Bodyshop many people in the UK wouldn't have known what their government is up to in Nigeria.
A couple of years ago, a queue formed as a young man from Nigeria was arrested at the Heathrow Airport for having no genuine entry visa but he claimed asylum telling the immigration officers that he was fleeing 'official persecution' from Nigeria because the security forces were after his life for distrupting oil production by damaging BP and Shell installations. He said oil explorations in his homeland has destroyed his father's farms and source of income hence his farther is no longer able to finance his education and in annoyance caused the damages. (such actions by young men are common over there) The immigration officers asked him why UK? Why not claim asylum in any other country and to which the young man replied that the UK is part of the problem that led to his family's destitution and not 'other country' and funningly (to observers) warned the immigration officers that his brothers and sisters are soon on the way to UK and there is nothing the officers can do to stop them. Now to those who may not know, these companies have their own police force in Nigeria -employed and paid by them -to guard their facilities and also help to track and nail down people like this young man and Nigeria is a country in which when a police man failed to grab an offender they can lock up any of your closest relations till you produce the offender. Today there are many people like these young man all over the UK and other countries in the world trying to fend for themselves but in the UK, the British government, its right wing and racist politicians and racist think thanks and newspapers must demonize them in the eyes of its citizens by blaming and attacking them as 'illegal immigrants, 'benefit scorungers' even when these people are working and paying taxes.
Now the planned government action following the queen's speech apart from bringing up all kinds of legal questions will not only succeed in sending coded messages to racists by giving them the red flags but also worsen the plight of the homeless and the attendant problems facing the charity organisations tackling the issues, when thousands of so called 'illegal immigrants' are turned away by landlords unto our streets. As some has rightly said, only a heartless government will implement such regulations. Progressive groups in this country have come a long way in putting the Discrimination laws in place which the Tories have no respect for in the first instance. One can only pray we don't go back to their days of 'NO LETTINGS TO BLACK AND IRISH'!