MPs Not Border Guards Campaign

Thank you for contacting me about MPs and the Home Office. 

Let me start by highlighting the fact that the Home Office works tirelessly to protect the nation and makes millions of decisions each year that profoundly affect people's lives, and for the most part it gets these right. Similarly, the public expects the immigration rules approved by Parliament to be enforced as a matter of fairness to those who abide by the rules.

But you are right that recent events have shown that the Home Office needs to give a human face to how it works as well as exercising greater discretion, where and when it is justified. Steps intended to combat illegal migration have had an unintended, and sometimes devastating, impact on people including the Windrush generation, who are here legally, but who have struggled to get the documentation to prove their status.

To ensure that events of this nature do not happen again, the Home Office is conducting a Lessons Learned review, with independent oversight and challenge. The review will seek to draw out how members of the Windrush generation came to be entangled in measures designed for illegal immigrants. The review will consider the experiences of those involved as well as wider issues to do with how the Home Office operates as a whole.

MPs commonly report concerns raised by their constituents with their consent and at their request. All information passed on to the Home Office is considered on a case-by-case basis. MPs themselves will often not be in a position to form a firm legal view on an individual immigration case which they have passed on to the Home Office at the request of a constituent.

However, equally, constituents-at-large would expect MPs to report what appeared to them to be criminality - including activity linked to organised crime. Like any member of the public, an MP may decide to contact the Home Office to report suspected immigration offences just as he or she would be expected by most constituents to report any suspected illegal activity not least because that is an obligation we all have.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Craig Whittaker MP

August 2018