Immigration Bill and the ‘Hostile Environment’

The Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill which I believe you are referring to, is to provide the foundations for our new immigration system not the place for the new system itself. 

I welcome the fact that the Government remains committed to an immigration policy that welcomes and celebrates those who are here legally. The Government is to build a fairer single, global immigration system which considers people based on their skills, rather than nationality. Illegal immigration should be deterred and prevented, and I believe my constituents across our region would expect nothing less. 

You raise the issue of undocumented migrants. I understand that the Immigration Rules already provide a route for undocumented migrants to regularise their immigration status. I welcome the fact that these rules are kept under constant review and evolve in light of feedback and findings of the courts.

I understand you have concerns regarding immigration detention. Recent figures show that as of the week commencing 23 March, there were 736 people in detention, and I can confirm that the vast majority of those are foreign national offenders. The Government has a duty to keep the public safe and maintain the lawful detention of high-harm individuals. For this I will not apologise. Lawful immigration detention is necessary to keep the public safe and I will work to hold the Government to account on this issue and ensure the system remains fair and humane.

I’m afraid I do not understand the point regarding the three million people and Brexit you refer to. I welcome the news that there have been more than 3.5 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme. This milestone sends an important message to EU citizens: you are our friends and we want you to stay.