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Home Office responds to committee report, 15 months later


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The government has responded to a report by MPs on the work of the Immigration Directorates – a mere 456 days after the report came out.

When Home Affairs Select Committee began its enquiry, Brexit had not yet happened. It published its report on 27 July 2016, a matter of days after Theresa May replaced David Cameron in 10 Downing Street. The response came back on 26 October, and is published today.

The Home Secretary apologised for the “unacceptable” delay, which she put down to

a number of internal and external factors, including the need to amend the Government’s response in light of a legal determination on Home Office country guidance.

Many of her department’s replies to the committee’s substantive recommendations are conciliatory. But it takes a firm line on the issue of child refugees. The committee has recommended allowing lone refugee children to act as sponsors for their families. The reply is unequivocal:

We do not accept this recommendation. Our current family reunion policy meets our international obligations and we do not believe that widening the criteria is necessary. We must not create perverse incentives for children to be encouraged, or even forced to leave their families and risk dangerous journeys hoping relatives can join them later.

The response is worth a read, as it contains much else that will be of interest to practitioners – or at least, that would have been at interest a year ago.

Source: Home Affairs Committee, The work of the Immigration Directorates (Q1 2016): Government Response to the Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2016–17, 3 November 2017

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.