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Says the home office as the Immigration Bill continues to make its passage through Parliament. 

This week saw a number of amendments we already expected to see get passed during the committee stage at the House of Lords. With two sittings, there were a number of changes tabled, as you can imagine. It is after all, a hugely significant piece of legislation with considerably wide-reaching implications for social services, many of which we consider in a four-page special feature within the latest edition of Sanctuary Social Work News

Hearing directly from those involved in debating the proposed legislative changes, the feature considers the impact of the Immigration Bill on existing local authority statutory obligations, funding implications, the risk of disengaging with failed asylum-seekers and the new focus of the Home Office Assisted Voluntary Returns (AVR) scheme. 

With the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) network of local authorities and partner organisations expressing its concerns about how the Bill could conflict with local authority obligations under Section 17 of the Children’s Act, we take a look at the government response to simplifying and strengthening provisions and assessments.

 Jonathan Price, a researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), also considers the implications of the establishment of a new duty under [Paragraph 10A] Schedule 3 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (NIAA) 2002, where support can be provided to safeguard and promote the welfare of a dependent child. However, there are considerable concerns over funding. 

With this in mind, we take a closer look at the Home Office’s assertion that “the proposals have been carefully framed to avoid” a funding crisis. We also examine the differences between a 2004-2005 pilot of a ‘similar’ scheme and the measures within the Immigration Bill.

To read the Immigration Bill feature in full, and other discursive articles on key pieces of legislation impacting on social services in the UK, you can view Sanctuary Social Work News magazine online.

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