LONDON (AA) – A Human rights group has launched a scathing attack against the UK government’s proposed immigration bill.
London based, Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), called the bill, which is being debated in parliament on Tuesday, a “xenophobe’s charter”.
Among the measures proposed in the bill are for landlords to ensure that tenants are legally resident in the UK, for temporary migrants to pay a levy in order to access the National Health Service and a reduction in the number of grounds on which migrants can appeal deportation.
The commission said that they believed that the legislation would, “play into the hands of racists whose aim is to deny basic rights and services to immigrants”.
“Expecting NHS staff, landlords and bank workers to act as front-line immigration officers is likely to impact negatively on ethnic and religious minorities and will inevitably lead to profiling of those perceived to be immigrants,” the commission said.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said, “The Immigration Bill will stop migrants using public services to which they are not entitled,” and that it would make it easier for the government to “remove people who should not be here.”
Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh speaking to Anadolu Agency said that the bill was “feeding xenophobia” and that it was “immoral” adding, “We would urge the government to not waste money and to hold on to the British values of fairness and justice.”
Earlier this month the government was told to remove its controversial immigration van from the streets because it breached advertising standards. The van, which told illegal immigrants to “go home”, was deemed to have carried misleading information. Last week the government again came under fire for using text messages to tell suspected illegal immigrants to contact the Home Office. The messages, it seems, also went out to ethnic minority citizens who have long held British nationality.
This article first appeared here.