Readers with long memories might recall Nick Clegg’s part in the 2010 General Election debate when he raised the possibility of an amnesty for people in the UK without immigration permission.
On Tuesday the Liberal Democrats’ leader made a new speech on immigration, but this time he stuck to what has become the mainstream: immigration must be properly managed, and any problems with the system are still down to mismanagement by previous (Labour) Governments.
A couple of points of interest:
- He mentioned that the Conservatives are stepping back from their ‘net migration’ obsession. This might ultimately be of interest to family members with an eye on the MM case: if the net migration target is no longer considered appropriate then this could contribute to a lack of proportionality in a family migration policy that is apparently directed so strongly at reducing the number of successful applications.
- He spoke approvingly of the removal of immigration appeal rights, which have been drastically cut under the Immigration Act 2014, leaving many applicants with Judicial Review as their only means of redress. He repeated the Government line that the old system provides for ‘17 different grounds’ of appeal, and added that appellants could move ‘from one to the next each time you were refused’. This is a complete misrepresentation of the appeal system: in the vast majority of cases, appellants are required to state all of their grounds of appeal in their appeal form, and have them dealt with simultaneously. Rumour has it that the Upper Tribunal is recruiting for judges: as Judicial Review cases in immigration matters are dealt with by the Upper Tribunal this could suggest that the changes are on their way this autumn.
Those wishing to mark their bingo cards with buzz-words from current immigration policy will have spotted the following: ‘brightest and best’; ‘open for business’; ‘bogus colleges’, and ‘rogue employers’.
Updates for landlords… or perhaps not
On Thursday the Home Office released a ‘Factsheet’ for private landlords, with some pronouncements about the forthcoming restrictions on renting to people without leave to remain in the UK.
There was also an online form where interested parties could request updates on the progress of the new system, which is due to be trialled in one area before being applied to the whole country.
Mysteriously, the factsheet and update service were then withdrawn, to be replaced by a message that they had been released ‘in error’.