In 2014 we campaigned to amend the irresponsible and unworkable Immigration Act

Why is Immigration Act 2014 important?

The Immigration Act 2014 is an irresponsible and unworkable assortment of proposals that will create a bureaucratic nightmare of border control in the wider community and usher in ID cards through the back door. Why should the Home Office face up to its immigration failings when it can ask landlords, estate agents and bank managers to play border official instead?


In addition to these proposals, in a late amendment to the Immigration Act 2014, the Government pushed through a provision which sees British nationals deprived of citizenship by the Home Secretary, even if this makes them stateless. Find out more.

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Tell me more about Immigration Act 2014

For many years now successive administrations – in attempts to look “tough” on immigration – have resorted to countless pieces of new legislation, rather than tackling widely-acknowledged delays and incompetence within the system.

The Immigration Act continues that depressing trend, paving the way for even greater dysfunction and complexity – leaving us with convoluted immigration laws scarcely understandable by trained practitioners, let alone the rest of us.

  • Part 3 of the Act transforms the likes of private landlords, estate agents and bank workers into border officials – creating reams of extra red tape for small businesses. Shockingly, it appears a loophole would allow landlords to exempt themselves from the system by entering into sexual relationships with their tenants.
  • Members of the clergy aren’t exempt either, with marriage within the Anglican Church set to be brought within the realms of immigration control for the first time.
  • Part 6 of the Act seeks to dish out intrusive powers to check and examine those leaving the country to so-called “designated persons” – namely airline carrier employees, blurring the line between commercial air travel and immigration control.
  • New “healthcare charges” are to be applied to migrants, whether here lawfully or not and without reference to their vulnerability or the public health costs of denying people basic health services. This really represents a monumental shift for our country – one which has consistently resisted any attempt at in-country immigration policing. We roundly rejected ID cards but now the Government is trying to bring them in by the back door.
  • Despite figures exposing departmental decision-making in immigration cases as woefully poor, the Act undermines due process protection and tries to make such sub-standard decisions more difficult to challenge via proposals for scrapping appeal rights and curbing the discretion of judges set out in Parts 1 and 2 of the Act.

The Government’s offensive “Go Home” van may now be off the road but the nasty Immigration Act fell out the back. Where sensitive immigration checks are farmed out to private landlords and others with no training or experience, it’s obvious who’ll be singled out – making this Act a race relations nightmare waiting to happen.

Immigration at the Liberty Members' Conference 2014

Author and commentator Owen Jones exposes the current immigration debate in the UK during the Question Time-style panel at the Liberty Members' Conference 2014.