Tory MPs call for crime rates to be published for migrant nationalities

A group of Tory MPs are pressing the Government to publish the crime rates for migrant nationalities, in a bid to strengthen visa and deportation policies for certain countries.

The plan, first reported by the Telegraph, is set out in an amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill put forward by former immigration minister Robert Jenrick.

A Government source said ministers “will certainly look properly at this amendment and engage with colleagues in the usual way”, although the newspaper reported there are concerns over the practicality of implementing the proposal.

The plan, reportedly supported by more than a dozen Conservative MPs, would require the annual publication of the nationality, visa and asylum status of every offender convicted in English and Welsh courts in the previous year.

“There are people coming to this country who do us harm. There are people coming from countries who don’t share our western liberal values and attitudes towards women and minorities, and we need to be open and honest about that.”

He also claimed that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “didn’t want to talk about” curbing legal migration when he and former home secretary Suella Braverman repeatedly tried to raise the issue – a claim contested by Downing Street sources.

Mr Sunak has been under pressure from MPs on the right of his party to take action since revised official estimates published in November indicated the net migration figure – the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving Britain – reached a record 745,000 in 2022.

Mr Jenrick, who resigned as immigration minister in December in protest at Mr Sunak’s Rwanda deportation plan, said: “I didn’t feel that the Prime Minister understood the importance of legal migration to the British public.”

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak’s critics on the Conservative right have urged him to bring down net migration (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Sunak has previously vowed to “do what is necessary” to bring net migration down.

The Government is introducing a raft of restrictions in a bid to cut the number of people legally arriving in Britain, including a ban on overseas care workers bringing family dependants to the UK and a hiked salary threshold for skilled workers to £38,700.

The Home Secretary has asked the Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route for international students, while the minimum income requirement for family visas is being raised to £29,000 from April 11, and to £38,700 by early 2025.

Mr Jenrick called for a “fundamentally different approach” to immigration, telling the broadcaster: “We’re clearly going down the wrong path. We’re living in a country with net migration of 600,000 or 700,000, and we’re not stopping the boats.”

According to the figures, 338 people arrived in seven boats on Tuesday, taking the total for the year to date to 4,644.

Mr Jenrick quit his Government role over Mr Sunak’s Rwanda Bill, saying it would not act as a strong enough deterrent to stop asylum seekers arriving via small boats.

The stalled plan would see people who arrive via irregular means sent to the African nation to claim asylum there, with no right to come back to the UK.

A Government spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has been unambiguously clear that the current levels of migration to the UK are far too high.

“That’s why last year we announced the biggest ever package any Prime Minister has delivered to reduce net migration, meaning that 300,000 people who came to the UK legally last year will no longer be able to come.

“The Government is committed to transparency and already publishes huge amounts of immigration data.

“Caseworkers can make decisions on criminality when considering immigration applications. We will remove foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes.”

Mr Sunak is understood to have held bilateral meetings with Home Office ministers throughout last year, at which they were able raise any subject including legal migration, although plans to tackle illegal migration took more time to discuss because of their more complex nature.

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