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Obscure new immigration powers commenced – but why now?

Obscure new immigration powers commenced – but why now?

So, with the Scottish referendum result out of the way the UK Government has taken the opportunity to extend UK immigration law enforcement powers in Scotland with the commencement of a long dormant power of detention and accompanying criminal offence. The disgraceful timing cannot possibly be accidental; this law was passed five years ago.

Also in the same commencement order is the bringing into effect of an apparently abandoned citizenship provision from Labour’s awful planned nationality reforms from 2009. You may remember the concept of “earned citizenship” and those who undertook voluntary work being rewarded with British citizenship sooner than those who declined. Well, the power to make implementing regulations comes into effect on 27 October 2014. There were no announcement at the Conservative Party conference, but might this mean that new ministers are re-visiting the proposals now or are planning something for the election campaign?

Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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