PEOPLE across the Leigh constituency often contact me to express their concerns about the immigration system, which is why I welcome the Government’s new immigration proposals, announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured below) last week.

We have already done much to reform immigration by implementing a new, fairer, Australian-style points based immigration system, which still allows highly skilled, high earning migrants such as doctors entry to the UK.

The new system also replaced the unpopular EU ‘free movement of people’ immigration policy, which allowed anyone from the EU entry to the UK, regardless of whether they had any qualifications, or were unable to speak English.

The social and economic turmoil caused by an uncontrolled and chaotic immigration system was one of the main drivers of the vote to leave the EU, and fixing this broken system was one of the key campaign pledges I was elected on in the 2019 election.

The next steps in reforming the system, which Priti Patel announced last week, are designed to deal with the other aspects of immigration, such as illegal immigration and the asylum system.

These new proposals will speed up the removal of failed asylum seekers and dangerous foreign criminals. Britain has always welcomed genuine claimants, but we cannot allow the system to be undermined by false claims, or those who would abuse our hospitality by engaging in criminal activity.

We will introduce new maximum life sentences for people smugglers.

These evil modern slavers must be driven out of business. For too long, a blind eye has been turned as criminal gangs traffic vulnerable women and children into prostitution and modern slavery, something truly appallingly in the 21st century.

We will also empower our Border Force to do more to stop and seize small boats and search containers for hidden migrants, and we will stop illegal arrivals gaining immediate entry into the asylum system if they have travelled through a safe country first, ending the incentive to gather in dangerous, lawless camps in northern France.

Leigh Journal:

Priti Patel

We will also increase the maximum sentence for entering the UK illegally.

We also need to do more to integrate those who are genuine cases into British society.

We will grant genuine resettled refugees indefinite leave to remain, and work to incorporate these new citizens into our culture, to prevent the problems associated with failed integration.

I welcome these new, additional measures to fix our immigration system.

When the system works properly, everyone benefits, whether they were originally born here or not.

We must and will restore public faith in our immigration system, and end the chaos that has caused so much turmoil in the past.