October 12, 2018
Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:
The task of MPs is to represent the electorate, not those who have no right to be in the country at all. Illegal immigrants are not constituents and over three-quarters of the electorate consider illegal immigration to be a serious problem. MPs are not immigration officers, but to make public pledges that have the effect of encouraging illegal immigrants to stay in the UK is irresponsible and further erodes public trust in our political system.
107 MPs have signed an 'MPs not border guards' pledge vowing not to report illegal immigrants who they know of in their constituency on the basis that it would be a breach of trust - as reported by the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45825724).
This flies in the face of public concern about illegal immigration. 77% of the public think that illegal immigration is a serious problem facing the country (Project28 poll, March 2018). It is also worth noting that being in the UK illegally is a criminal offence punishable by a fine and imprisonment (1971 Immigration Act).
The pledge reads:
"As a member of parliament, I pledge to represent and advocate for all people living in my constituency as equal members of the local community, regardless of their immigration status. My constituency and surgery are safe places and I welcome all my constituents to seek representation free from fear of immigration enforcement. I will not report on anyone who seeks my advice to the Home Office for immigration enforcement and will ensure my office correctly handles sensitive personal information to prevent this from happening."
The link below is for the webpage listing the pledge and its 107 signatories: https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/mps-not-border-guards-pledge-signatories