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Immigration Written Answer, 06/05/14 [E/NI/S/W]

Written Answer given in the House of Lords on 6 May 2014 in response to Lord Watson of Invergowrie's question asking Her Majesty’s Government how many children they estimate will be affected by the provisions contained in Clause 18 of the Immigration Bill; whether they have carried out an assessment of the number of children likely to be separated from their parents as a result of the provisions of the Immigration Bill; and whether they have carried out an assessment of the impact of the Immigration Bill on children, as set out in the Cabinet Office guidelines.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, replied that Clause 18 (which is now Clause 19) of the Immigration Bill will be relevant to all immigration and deportation decisions engaging the right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, including where a child is the applicant or is a family member of the applicant or of the person facing deportation.

Careful regard has been had to the best interests of children in the UK in framing the Clause, in line with the children’s duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, but no broader assessment has been made of the number of children who will be affected.

It is generally in the best interests of the child to remain with their parents, including where the parents are removed from the UK. Therefore no assessment has been made of the number of children who might be separated from their parents as a result of the provisions of the Immigration Bill.

The Home Office is committed to considering the impact of all new policies and legislation, including where they might have an impact on children. Careful regard has been had to the best interests of children in the UK in framing the provisions of the Immigration Bill. It is satisfied that the Bill is compatible with the Government's obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and with the children’s duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. The Home Office has published an Impact Assessment of the Immigration Bill and a European Convention on Human Rights Memorandum, so has no plans to conduct any additional child impact assessment.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the House of Lords Hansard 6 May 2014 which is available from the UK Parliament website.

Further Information

House of Lords Hansard 6 May 2014