The Immigration Bill received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014, making way for a series of reforms which (in the view of the Secretary of State) will ensure our immigration system is fairer to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tougher on those with no right to be here.
I have already spoken in detail at various events of the problems I believe will occur as a result of the drastic changes brought about by the Immigration Act. My real concern is that thousands of migrants with genuine reasons to be here or stay here will suffer and be denied the right to remain in this country as a result of these changes brought about by the Immigration Act.
The Immigration Act 2014 contains 77 clauses and makes fundamental changes to how our immigration system functions.
It will make it easier to remove those that the Secretary of State deems have no right to be here and ensure the Courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in immigration cases.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
“The Immigration Act is a landmark piece of legislation which will build on our existing reforms to ensure that our immigration system works in the national interest.
We are already planning its implementation and will ensure these measures are introduced quickly and effectively.
The Immigration Act will significantly enhance the way Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and UK Visas & Immigration undertake their work to secure the border, enforce the immigration rules and continue to attract the brightest and the best”.
Some of the changes brought about by the Immigration Act as viewed by the Home Office
- Cutting the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4, while allowing the Home Office to return certain harmful individuals before their appeals are heard if there is no risk of serious irreversible harm
- Ensuring that the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) Article 8 claims in immigration cases – making clear the right to a family life is not to be regarded as absolute and unqualified
- Clamping down on people who try to gain an immigration advantage by entering into a sham marriage or civil partnership
- Requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, preventing those with no right to live in the UK from accessing private rented housing
- Requiring temporary migrants with time-limited immigration status to make a financial contribution to the National Health Service
We find these changes to be wholly discriminatory, and despite the changes we will continue to evaluate our clients cases on a case by case basis in order to challenge decision we deem to be unlawful.