The Lib Dems have tabled an objection to the latest Immigration Rules changes, covered earlier here on the blog. Under the ‘scrutiny-lite’ negative resolution procedure by which the rules become law there will therefore, unusually, be a debate in Parliament on the new rules. Although on past form probably not until after they have taken effect.
I can only assume that the educational lobby is behind this, rather than any point of principle the Lib Dems have suddenly fixed on. As discussed earlier, universities are being very hard hit on two fronts right now. Central government is slashing direct funding, while UKBA has also slaughtered the cash cow that were foreign students. Part of the cut-backs to the numbers of foreign students is no doubt deliberate, but a lot of it also seems to be through accident and incompetence. A lot of genuine and entirely bona fide students and highly skilled workers are being caught out by the silly bureaucratic requirements of the Points Based System. We immigration lawyers are simultaneously horrified at some of the ridiculous decisions and inflexibility of the Points Based System while also, it has to be said, experiencing an increase in demand for our services.
I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again: I think the Home Office secretly love immigration lawyers.