2 Removal and enforcement powers |
Power to remove family members
21. Part 1 of the Bill contains provisions designed
to "simplify the process of removal" of persons unlawfully
in the UK by providing for a single power of removal. The provision
provides that, where a person is liable to removal or has been
removed, "a member of the person's family" may also
be removed. The Bill itself does not define "family member",
leaving that to be defined by the Secretary of State in regulations.
22. The regulation-making power also appears
to suggest that a family member will not automatically be given
notice of removal: it says that the Secretary of State may by
regulations make provision about the removal of family members,
and in particular about "whether a family member to be removed
is to be given notice and, if so, the effect that being given
notice has on the person's leave, and how notice is to be served."
23. We asked whom the Secretary of State intends
to include in the definition of "family member" for
the purposes of the proposed new single power of removal, and
what the process for such removal of family members will be in
practice, including whether they will always be given notice.
24. The Government replied that the definition
of "family member" for the purposes of the single power
of removal will include the same categories of relationship that
allow people to enter or remain as a dependent under the Immigration
Rules: fianc (e)s, proposed civil partners, spouses, civil partners,
unmarried partners, same-sex partners, children and other dependent
relatives. It says that "if a person comes to the UK as
a family member of another migrant then it is only right that
such a person could also be removed along with that other migrant
where that migrant has no leave to be in the UK."
25. However, the Government's response also makes
clear that not everyone who falls within the definition of a "family
member" will be removed. For example, where a family member
is no longer in a family relationship or qualifies for, or has,
leave to remain in the UK in their own right they will not be
removed, nor would a family member who meets the criteria in the
Immigration Rules as a victim of domestic violence; and the Secretary
of State will have regard to the best interests of the child and
any other relevant international obligations in making any decision
26. The Government has also made clear that it
is not its intention that a family member may be removed without
being given notice: "family members will always be notified
if they are facing removal."
27. We welcome the Government's
clarification of the intended definition of "family member"
for the purpose of the single power of removal, and the express
acceptance that the exercise of the power of removal of such family
members remains subject both to existing immigration law and any
relevant international obligations. We also welcome the clarification
that family members will always be notified if they are facing
removal, but this raises a question as to why the Secretary of
State requires a power to make regulations about "whether"
a family member to be removed is given notice. In view of the
Government's welcome clarification that a family member who is
to be removed will always be given notice, we recommend that the
regulation-making power in clause 1(6)(c) be amended to reflect
this intention. The following amendments
would give effect to this recommendation:
Page 2, line 30, leave out "whether"
and insert "where"
Page 2, line 30, leave out "to be"
Page 2, line 31, leave out "and, if so"
18 Clause 1(6)(c). Back