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Borders Immigration and Citizenship Bill announced in Queens Speech | Immigration Matters

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The Home Office has published details of its Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill, announced in the Queens speech.

The bill is proposing to give the UK Border Agency wider powers to control immigration, strengthen Britain’s borders and combine the forces of HM Customs and Revenue and other agencies to create an “integrated approach”.

“A bill will be brought forward to strengthen border controls, by bringing together customs and immigration powers, and to ensure that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay” the announcement states.

Measures include:

  • giving the UK Border Agency the powers it needs at the frontier bringing together customs and immigration functions to enable a fully integrated approach to border control
  • increasing operational effectiveness and border security;
  • and ensure that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay here
  • with changes to nationality law to implement the new path to citizenship within a firm but fair immigration system
  • introducing a duty on UKBA to safeguard the welfare of children in its work

The UKBA say that the benefits of the bill include:

“Strengthening the border by bringing revenue and customs functions into the UK Border Agency which will enable its officers to use them alongside immigration powers, enabling a fully integrated approach to border control functions, increasing operational effectiveness and border security.

“Ensure migrants earn the right to stay by implementing the new path to citizenship, with progress slowed down if migrants don’t make an effort to integrate, or commit even minor crimes. There will be a number of changes to Nationality law, allowing us to shorten or lengthen the qualifying period for naturalisation according to behaviour.

“Implement a firm but fair system – with measures including a new duty for the UKBA to safeguard the welfare of children; and to ensure fairness in nationality cases by removing the historical cut-off point for enabling children of British mothers born before 1961 to become British themselves, and enabling those serving overseas in the armed forces to register their children as British.”

The measures will make it more difficult for migrants to settle in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and obtain British Citizenship.

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