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Charities Tell Parliamentarians to Stop Reporting Immigration Crime to Home Office

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21: Immigration enforcement officers listen to a brief on the occupants of the houses they are about to raid for illegal immigrants, on May 21, 2015 in London, England. Despite pledging in 2010 to reduce migration numbers to less than 100,000, new immigration figures reveal …
Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty

Pro-open borders charities have demanded that all MPs be forced to cease reporting suspected illegal immigrants and immigration crime in their constituencies after it was revealed lawmakers had made 68 calls to the Home Office last year.

The Home Office disclosed the figures in response to a written question from far-left Labour MP David Lammy, according to the BBC.

Between September 2012 and May 2018, MPs or their staff made 723 calls to the Home Office to report concerns of illegal immigration in their constituencies.

Of the 68 calls made last year, nearly half — 32 — were made by Labour MPs, Conservative offices made 34 calls, and the Democratic Unionist Party and Liberal Democrats each made one call.

Fifteen charities, in a coordinated campaign orchestrated by civil society groups Migrants Organise and Global Justice Now, are pressuring lawmakers to sign a petition — entitled “MPs not border guards” — to pledge to not report illegal immigrant “constituents” to the Home Office.

The NGOs come from a position that people illegally in the country — and consequently without the right to vote as non-citizens — should still be protected and receive support from MPs.

The pledge, signed by 113 MPs so far — the vast majority Labour and Liberal Democrat — urges lawmakers to “advocate for all people” living in their constituency “regardless of their immigration status”.

“My constituency and surgery are safe places and I welcome all my constituents to seek representation free from fear of immigration enforcement.

“I will not report on anyone who seeks my advice to the Home Office for immigration enforcement and will ensure my office correctly handles sensitive personal information to prevent this from happening,” the pledge states.

In addition, the charities have contacted Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow demanding he raise the issue in the Commons “at the earliest opportunity and request that party whips instruct their MPs to immediately cease the practice”.

A number of Conservative MPs have refused to sign the pledge to safeguard what the left-wing Guardian labels “vulnerable constituents”, with Sir Christopher Chope saying that MPs have the same responsibility as the public to report immigration crime.

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show Friday morning, Sir Christopher said: “I have reported cases of immigration crime on behalf of constituents who have felt that their neighbours were engaged in illegal working when they shouldn’t be in the country.”

“Why wouldn’t we want Members of Parliament have the same responsibilities to report immigration crime as we expect other members of the public to do?” the MP said.

Adding that it was also important to make sure employers and landlords hiring and renting to illegal immigrants are punished, he highlighted that “we’ve got about one million illegals in this country and the Home Office policy is to very much ensure that as far as possible life is made uncomfortable so they will be encouraged to go back to where they came from rather than be a burden on our public services here”.

The letter is supported by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Doctors of the World, and Bail for Immigration Detainees and has been signed by prominent open-borders supporting MP Diane Abbott from the Labour Party, pro-EU former Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

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