The Queen has given a speech at the state opening of Parliament confirming that the government will attempt to legislate further on immigration. Our politics reporter James Waterson:
A new bill will be unveiled that promises to make it harder to settle in the UK, restrict welfare benefits to new arrivals, and place a duty on landlords to ensure they are not renting homes to illegal immigrants.
The coalition is also promising “more substantial fines” for businesses that use illegal labour.
There will be new provisions to try to stop immigrants who commit crime exercising their right to a family life in order to stay in the country. Temporary migrants will be required to make a contribution if they want to use the NHS and locals will receive priority for social housing.
Adam Smith Institute senior fellow Tim Worstall believes that such a move will create a black market in renting:
There are several million private landlords. All now have to act as narks for the Border Police. And that’s only part of it.
What will be the cost of checking on the immigration status of someone? Is there a simple government database that can be accessed for, say, a fiver, to check whether documents and or visas are real and legal? No? So every private landlord now needs to become an expert in immigration law?
What will actually happen is this. People will be asked for a passport. If they’ve got an EU one then they’ll be allowed to rent. If they haven’t, they won’t.