The 2016 Immigration Act – Key Points
The Act seeks to:
1) Make it more difficult for migrants to get access to decent housing and employment by criminalising employers and landlords, who fail to carry out ‘immigration checks’ effectively on their employees and tenants. Punishable with up to 5 years’ imprisonment. Already landlords have reported that, because of this legislation, they are far less likely to rent a house to anyone with a ‘foreign’ sounding name or ‘foreign’ sounding accent.
2) Criminalise irregular migrants who are not legally allowed to work, essentially forcing many into destitution. Punishable by twelve months’ imprisonment.
3) Increase precarity and exploitation in the housing market for thousands of migrants, by giving landlords the ability to evict tenants without a court order.
4) ‘Deport first, appeal later’ will be extended by removing the right to appeal negative immigration decisions even in human rights’ cases, leading to deportations, which in effect violate human rights.
5) Place more businesses and employers under increasing pressure by giving Immigration and Compliance Enforcement (ICE) teams the ability to shut down businesses temporarily.
6) Introduce new criminal offence of driving whilst in the UK without status punishable with up to six months’ imprisonment, which will undoubtedly lead to racist profiling and further stop and search checks for ethnic minority drivers by the police.
7) Requiring banks and building societies to regularly check the immigration status of customers, forcing some into financial insecurity and making them vulnerable to further exploitation.