16 May 2014 #Immigration
The Immigration Bill received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014.
The passage of the Bill has been controversial making way as it does for a number of reforms viewed to further target immigrants generally rather than to build on ”existing reforms to ensure that our immigration system works in the national interest” as Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire commented in the Home Office’s press release.
In its press release the Home Office lists the “highlights of the Immigration Act” which include cutting the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4; private landlords being required to check the immigration status of tenants and requiring migrants with temporary permission to make a contribution to the NHS.
The targeting of migrant access to services generated much discussion and media coverage as the Immigration Bill progressed through Parliament. In particular the proposals for landlords to carry out immigration checks have been heavily criticised as many thought this was an onerous burden to place on individuals which could also be open to abuse or serve as a deterrent for landlords on who they rent to. As such there will be a pilot to check whether such checks would be workable nationally.
The impact of the new measures under the Act remains to be seen.