The government should step back from its current reliance on its error-hit “hostile environment” policy towards any UK immigrants entering the country illegally, according to MPs.
Commenting on the government’s approach to UK immigration, the Commons home affairs select committee stated that the current system is distressing to those involved and also undermines the reputation and credibility of the UK immigration enforcement network.
According to the committee’s report, the government’s reputation for creating a “hostile environment” is exacerbated by its tendency to deny those accused of entering the UK illegally access to rented accommodation, to revoke driving licences and to close bank accounts.
The report also reveals that there is a ten per cent error rate in the Home Office illegal immigration list, with some people having their freedoms revoked and ability to open bank accounts quashed after being wrongly accused of being an illegal immigrant.
Commenting on the report, Labour cabinet minister Yvette Cooper said: “Most people think immigration is important for Britain, but they want to know that the system is under control, that people are contributing to this country and that communities and public services are benefiting rather than facing pressures.”
She said: “We believe people should be working together to build consensus on the benefits and address concerns about problems on immigration.”