MPs and others reporting on immigrants to UK Visa Department

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Written by Sanwar Ali

There have been complaints that MPs have reported suspected illegal immigrants to the Home Office.  According to the Independent MPs have reported 723 suspected illegal immigrants to the Home Office.  Unfortunately, there is also the possibility that migrants such as Tier 2 visa migrants working for an employer with a Tier 2 Sponsor licence could be affected as well.  Mistakes can be made.

There is another serious problem as well.   An organisation sponsored by the Home Office that is supposed to be on the side of immigrants has also passed information to the Home Office that has resulted in people unjustly having to leave the UK.  We should demand an undertaking that this should not happen again.  This organisation is currently being sued for racial discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.

MPs should not report on immigrants to Home Office

Numerous pro-migrant groups including Liberty, Migrant Rights Network and Global Justice Now demanded that MPs should not inform on immigrants.  It seems that some MPs have reported immigrants who have asked for help to the Home Office.

Following the campaign many MPs have now pledged not to report constituents to UK Visas and Immigration.  Most of them are Labour MPs.

The "MPs Not Border Guards" Campaign wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow demanding that he intervene to stop the practice.

According to The Independent in MPs from 2012 to 2017 MPs had reported 723 suspected illegal immigrants to the Home Office.  More than 3,200 people had written to their MPs asking them to join the campaign.

The Charities had the following to say to John Bercow the Speaker of the House of Commons: 

"Many of those reported will have been vulnerable migrants, approaching their MP in the hope of getting support for their immigration cases. Instead of finding assistance, care and discretion, the conduct expected of an MP, these individuals are having their trust betrayed.

"We are calling on you as Speaker of the House of Commons to act to immediately remedy the situation and protect those thousands of individuals that find themselves with nowhere to turn. We ask that you raise this issue in the house at the earliest opportunity, and request that party whips instruct their MPs to immediately cease the practice."

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron had the following to say:

"Many of those immigrants who may be here illegally will be victims of administrative error, dodgy solicitors or even human trafficking," he told the BBC.

The chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Satbir Singh had the following to say:

 "MPs should not be taking it upon themselves to act as border guards, betraying the trust of their constituents and perpetuating a culture of hostility towards migrants. Have we not learnt anything from the scandal and tragedy of Windrush?"

Christopher Chope MP and Migration Watch unsympathetic to Campaign

However, right wing Tory MP Christopher Chope said that he had personally called the immigration hotline.

"I have reported cases of immigration crime on behalf of constituents who have felt their neighbours are engaged in illegal working when they shouldn’t have been in the country,” he told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. “Home Office policy is very much to ensure that, as far as possible, life is made uncomfortable for those one million illegals, so that they will be encouraged to go back to where they came from rather than be a burden on our public services here."

Lord Green, the chairman of the anti-immigration group Migration Watch UK which some people have suggested is an extremist organisation seems to largely agree with Christopher Chope on this issue.