Tell your MP to vote against giving the Home Office – architects of the hostile environment and the Windrush scandal – blank cheque powers under the new immigration Bill
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Rushed onto the statute book in a race against Brexit, the new Immigration Bill will give the Home Office the power to bring three million EU citizens within the Government’s ‘hostile environment’ – and then grant the department further arcane powers to implement the post-Brexit immigration system without proper democratic oversight by Parliament.

The immigration system in the UK is complex, cruel and in urgent need of reform. Yet far from ending the ‘hostile environment’ and the devastation of indefinite immigration detention, this Bill will bring three million people within an already failing system. The impact on them, and the many non-EU citizens already stuck in our brutally convoluted system, could be catastrophic.

Shockingly, the Bill lacks any meaningful detail on what a new immigration system will look like, preferring instead to grant Home Office ministers wide-ranging ‘Henry VIII powers’ to  amend the law after it has been passed, with minimal scrutiny by MPs. In combination with existing sweeping powers, the Home Office will have a blank cheque to create almost any immigration regulations it sees fit.

Under successive Home Secretaries, the Home Office has become the department of the ‘hostile environment’. Its xenophobic policies have turned trusted public servants such as doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers into border guards, forcing them to contribute to immigration enforcement and pushing the people for whom  access to core public services is often most urgent,  to avoid the very hospitals, schools and police support they need.

The Government should have seized this opportunity to remedy the deficiencies in the immigration system and end the ‘hostile environment’, but instead its new post-Brexit immigration Bill hands the Government’s most opaque and shambolic department the power to do as it pleases with millions of people’s lives.

This cannot be allowed to happen. Principled MPs must stand up for democracy and the rights of freedoms of everyone in the UK – not cede control to the Home Secretary.

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Tell your MP to vote against giving the Home Office outdated blank cheque powers.