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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Scrap ‘disgraceful’ bill urges Green MEP after shock resignation of immigration minister

10/02/2014 LONDONS Green MEP Jean Lambert has called on the Government to abandon its latest legal crackdown on immigrants after the unexpected resignation of Immigration Minister Mark Harper.

Mr Harper resigned after it emerged that he had been employing an undocumented migrant as a cleaner for the last six years.

Yet the Immigration Bill due to receive its second reading in the House of Lords today would require all landlords, bank clerks – and even GPs – to check the immigration credentials of everyone they engage professionally with.

Ms Lambert, speaking at an event organised by Walthamstow Migrants’ Action Group this weekend, said:

“The Government’s proposed Immigration Bill is a disgrace: it will require all of us to be unpaid immigration officers.

“Mr Harper himself has learnt the hard way how impossible this task can be, and it should be scrapped.

“It’s a horrible bill which runs the risk of creating ‘stateless’ persons, and could see some migrants automatically deported for committing fairly trivial criminal offences.

“It isn’t in the best interests of the settled UK community, migrants – or the concept of international human rights. Indeed I would question whether it’s in anyone’s interests, except perhaps the Tories in their bid to appear even tougher on immigration than other parties.

“The best thing the House of Lords could do today is to ‘kill the bill’, and I hope it does exactly that.”

Ms Lambert, who is also the Green Party’s spokesperson on immigration, added: “I can appreciate that in the face of this Government’s austerity measures many people are feeling the pinch – especially when it comes to accessing health and housing services.

“But the answer isn’t to introduce draconian new measures to scapegoat migrants but to invest in our NHS and housebuilding.”