House of Lords: Third Reading of UK Immigration Bill

On 6 May 2014, the third reading of the Immigration bill took place, MPs debated amendments made by the House of Lords. The reading of the Immigration bill was in relation to either limit or to make provision about access to services, facilities, and employment concerning an individuals immigration status.  As well as making provisions about marriage and civil partnership. The House of Commons disagreed with a number of the amendments made by the House of Lords. The commons disagreements will be considered by the the Lords on Monday 12 May 2014.

Home Secretary, Theresa May wins vote to make Migrants Stateless

During the reading at the House of Commons, MPs debated whether the Home Secretary should be able to remove people’s Citizenship even if that means making individuals stateless. This clause was suggested  the night before the last reading of the Immigration bill in the Commons. Both members from the Lords and parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights expressed that such a clause could breach international laws and risk harming international relations.

Although the Home Secretary won the vote by 305 to 239, she will not be allowed to make migrants stateless without “reasonable grounds” that they would be able to become a Citizen somewhere else.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty commented on Theresa May winning the vote: 

“Removing the right to have rights is a new low. Washing our hands of potential terrorists is dangerously short-sighted and statelessness is a tool of despots not democrats.”

UK Immigration Bill Amendment Agreed

One of the amendments put forward by the House of Lords which was agreed by the peers, is to allow a child that is born before 1 July 2006 to an immigrant mother who is not married to the British citizen father, will be entitled and automatically have the same rights of a child whose parents are married. Meaning that children that have been born out of wedlock to at least one British national will be able to register as a British citizen. A child that was born after 1 July 2006, are already given this right under the British Nationality Act 1981.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Avebury commented: 

“in the thicket and undergrowth of immigration law there are still plenty of wrongs waiting to be rectified. But at least if your Lordships agree to these amendment they will remove most of the discrimination against people whose parents were not married that has infected our immigration law in the past.”

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