Last week, a second evaluation of the Immigration Bill took place in the House of Commons. As we previously reported the Immigration Bill 2015, published on 17th September 2015 is directly in line with the conservative plans to introduce the manifesto of ‘Deport first, Appeal later’. Things are getting tough as the UK Government published the latest Immigration Bill which has made further policies to crack down on illegal migration. This crackdown on migration can also be seen in the Immigration Act 2014 which not only created the power to allow those subject to deportation; ‘primarily foreign criminals, to be deported first and forced to appeal after their removal…from outside the UK’ but it also drastically ‘reduced the number of rights of appeal against immigration decisions from 17 to 4’.
Aims of UK Immigration Bill
The purpose of the changes by the new Immigration Bill were threefold:
- To crack down on the exploitation of low-skilled workers, by introducing a harsher penalties for employing illegal migrants, and toughening sanctions for working illegally. Employers can find themselves with a criminal sanction of 5 years this is an increase from the previous two year sanction imposed. Illegal migrants may find themselves sentenced to 51 weeks and/or a fine;
- To ensure that people who are living in the UK unlawfully cannot access UK bank accounts and rental accommodation and revoking driving licences where people are found to be in possession of a licence and without lawful leave; and
- To make removal of illegal migrants easier.
Proposals: Part 6 of UK Immigration Bill
Part 6 introduces very positive form of security where the UK lacked protection, under Part 6 and Schedules 7 and 8 there are a number of rules which prevent blacklisted persons from gaining entry into the UK. This prevents those with for example a criminal background also known as ‘blacklisted’ persons from gaining entry into the UK.
To help reinforce this there are now civil penalties for those in charge of aircraft or those working at the airport to ensure that migrants are travelling through certain control zones.
The only exception to denying entry to a blacklisted person is where there may be a breach of Human Rights. This allows UK Immigration Rules to continue to comply with European Rules and the Refugee Convention. However it still ensures that criminals in particular those who present a threat to security to be turned away at the borders or removed from the UK. Part 6 of the Immigration Bill Schedules 2 7 and 8 has created these new provisions under section 8B of the Immigration Act 1971. Section 37(8) of the Immigration Bill therefore amends Section 8B of 1A of the Immigration Act 1971. The exception in place under Section 8B of Immigration Act 1971 does mean that immigration Tribunals will first have to consider a black listed individual’s human rights against the public’s interest. The argument in such cases placed forth by such individual’s will be that Articles 3, 8 and asylum claims must first be considered in line with the serious irreversible harm exceptions.
The Civil Penalties under Part 6 of the Immigration Bill
Schedule 7 paragraph 28 of the Immigration Bill introduces a provision for the Home Office to issue a code of practice to be adhered to by the individuals whose offences fall under this category.If an individual is guilty of such offences the Home Office will serve a Section 28B notice and this is viewed the equivalent of a Court Order. A person given such a Court Order will be given the opportunity to respond and if they do respond in the appropriate form of a written response they will become entitled to a Right of Appeal against the Court Order. The introduction of these Civil penalties will be to help enforce the security measures being introduced.
Schedule 8 of the immigration Bill comes in two parts, the first part amends the offences in the Immigration Act 1971. The second part gives Immigration Officers powers granted only to the Navy.This includes diverting and detaining any ship if they have reasonable grounds to believe it is facilitating a breach of immigration law; searching a ship for evidence of immigration offences, weapons, and nationality documents. They will have the power to keep evidence; to arrest anyone on the ship without a warrant where immigration officer believes they are guilty of an immigration offence. An officer has the power to use force (within reason) to complete such investigations. This is part of the scheme to identify and arrest people smugglers facilitating illegal entry to migrants and risking their lives in the process.
This will be of crucial importance in plans to eliminate people trafficking businesses, of course for as long as there are migrants desperate to cross the border into the UK there will be smugglers turning this into a business opportunity. The European Court of Human Rights is to consider these new immigration provisions in respect of whether arrest and removal of migrants on ship could be said to result in a breach of Article 13 of the ECHR.
In conclusion the new provisions look to:
- prevent blacklisted individuals gaining entry into the UK;
- enforce this by imposing Civil Penalties;
- provide Immigration Officers with the power of boarding searching and detaining those on board boats without requisite immigration documents.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers
Our Solicitor; Talitha Toor explained recently in an interview with ITV News that ‘things are quite tough with immigration…it’s hard for certain applications to meet certain thresholds and criteria its something that is quite difficult at the moment’. A lack of knowledge demonstrated by some applicants and law firms means immigration applications are often made in an incorrect way or with incorrect documents at the initial stage. These may then be immediately rejected by the Home Office and (unlike a refused application which can carry a right of appeal) deemed invalid. This could leave an applicant in muddy waters as they may well find themselves in detention facing imminent removal and if not in detention they may be deemed an overstayer unless corrective action is taken.
Choosing the right law firm from the beginning will not only allow for an easy mind in preparing for an application, but will also mean that in the long run applicants will save time and money with a specialist law firm who follow the strict letter of the law and the Solicitors Regulations Guidelines.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office.
If you have instructed legal representatives and you are unhappy with their conduct you can contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 0845 8622 529 for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment.