I understand there are very strong views on this subject, which has been indicated to me by the large number of constituents who have been in touch to raise their concerns.
I am aware it was recently featured in the press that Members of Parliament have reported 723 cases of suspected immigration abuse to authorities since 2012. I appreciate that some organisations such as Migrants Organise and Global Justice Now are worried that this may deter constituents from contacting their MPs about immigration issues.
I believe the hostile environment policy should be ended. I support the repeal of all those parts of immigration legislation that were introduced to support the hostile environment policy, as well as the rescinding of Home Office instructions to carry it out and the removal of all obligations on landlords, employers and others to enact the policy.
The Government has stated that it will review aspects of the hostile environment policy and the current Home Secretary has indicated that he prefers to use the term ‘compliant environment’. However, I am clear that we need action rather than the change of a few words. We need a complete change of policy and approach at the Home Office.
More widely on immigration, I oppose indefinite detention and instead support a 28-day limit on immigration detention. I also believe that Yarl’s Wood and Brook House immigration detention centres should be closed, with the £20 million a year in savings from these closures instead directed to support services for survivors of modern slavery, trafficking and domestic violence.
I can assure you I will continue to follow this issue closely and press for a fairer and more humane immigration system.