10 October 2013
The Immigration Bill published today contains measures that would have very serious implications for the rights of children in the UK.
The Bill would restrict the appeal rights of those who might be removed or deported from the UK, including children and families. This will reduce the independent scrutiny of Home Office decision-making, which has been widely criticised for the frequency of mistakes made and for not adequately addressing the welfare of children.
Children’s welfare must be at the heart of all decision-making about their lives. CCLC is concerned that the Bill attempts to narrow the approach to children and families’ private and family life rights and children’s best interests.
Good, effective decision-making is in everyone’s interests. CCLC worries that any new system of internal administrative review is likely to be an inadequate safeguard, ineffective in remedying errors, adding more bureaucracy and increasing the potential for further Home Office backlogs.
CCLC believes that the proposals for landlords and others to check immigration status risk pushing vulnerable children and their families into homelessness and even more precarious situations, increasing the pressures and financial burdens on local authorities. The proposals will mean identity checks for all.
Kamena Dorling, manager of the Migrant Children’s Project at CCLC, said:
'Immigration enforcement must not come at the expense of damaging children's welfare or limiting access to the courts. Every child is a child first and foremost. We fear that thousands of the most vulnerable children will be hit by these measures. It is vital that the government considers the potential impact of the Bill on children and that it conducts a child impact assessment.'
Read CCLC's response to the government's consultation on landlords conducting immigration checks here.
Read CCLC's response to the government consultation on migrants' access to the NHS here.