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Amendments made: No. 195, in page 62, line 35, leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert
'(a) does an act which facilitates the commission of a breach of immigration law by an individual who is not a citizen of the European Union,
(b) knows or has reasonable cause for believing that the act facilitates the commission of a breach of immigration law by the individual, and
(c) knows or has reasonable cause for believing that the individual is not a citizen of the European Union.'.
No. 196, in page 63, line 5, leave out "travel within" and insert "transit across".
No. 197, in page 64, line 2, after "which", insert
No. 198, in page 64, line 2, at end insert
(b) does not charge for its services'.
No. 199, in page 64, line 6, after "deportation", insert "or exclusion".
No. 200, in page 64, line 8, leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert
'(a) does an act which facilitates a breach of a deportation order in force against an individual who is a citizen of the European Union, and
(b) knows or has reasonable cause for believing that the act facilitates a breach of the deportation order.'.
No. 201, in page 64, line 12, at end insert
'(1A) Subsection (1B) applies where the Secretary of State personally directs that the exclusion from the United Kingdom of an individual who is a citizen of the European Union is conducive to the public good.
(1B) A person commits an offence if he
(a) does an act which assists the individual to arrive in, enter or remain in the United Kingdom,
(b) knows or has reasonable cause for believing that the act assists the individual to arrive in, enter or remain in the United Kingdom, and
(c) knows or has reasonable cause for believing that the Secretary of State has personally directed that the individual's exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good.'.
Amendment made: No. 206, in page 66, line 25, leave out subsection (3) and insert
'(3) Sections 25C and 25D of the Immigration Act 1971 (c. 77) (forfeiture or detention of vehicle, &c.) shall apply in relation to an offence under section 118 of this Act as they apply in relation to an offence under section 25 of that Act.'.[Ms Rosie Winterton.]
Mr. Allan: Amendment No. 73 deals with registration cards, which are to be issued to all asylum seekers. We understand that that work has already commenced. We expressed concerns about this in Committee; Liberal Democrat Members have concerns about registration cards in the wider sense, and we sought assurances that they would be restricted to specific purposes to do with asylum and immigration.
The amendment would prevent the Home Secretary from being able to extend the use of registration cards, even into areas of immigration, through secondary legislation. We remain concerned, as we were in Committee, about the possible extension of registration cards without proper parliamentary scrutiny.
We understood the reason for that and the logic behind itmoving from the voucher system towards a system under which benefits could be claimed. Our understanding is that the cards are really entitlement cards and will be of advantage to the individuals who hold them. That is our general approach to the use of registration or identity cardsthey are something that can benefit the individual, which justifies their introduction. On the face of it, however, the clause is saying, "Let us have registration cards for asylum seekers", but subsection (7) will leave the way open to the Secretary of State to
The Bill without the amendment, which would remove the order-making powers, leaves far too much discretion to the Secretary of State to extend the requirement for individuals to carry registration cards. We want further assurances from the Government. In particular, we seek an assurance that they intend further to define the registration card in a manner that will parallel the present definition, rather than leaving us with the definition in the Billthat the card is for purposes connected with asylum, but with a get-out clause that would allow the Secretary of State to rewrite the provision and say that it is for purposes x, y and z without further defining what those are, other than that they must be generally within the immigration field. We hope that the Government do not intend to leave the legislation like that and we seek further information from the Minister as to what their intentions are.
Clause 121 would insert new section 26A into the Immigration Act 1971. The section would introduce a number of offences to deal with the creation, possession and use of false or altered registration cards, which are also known as application registration cards, ARCs. Those cards are at present issued to asylum seekers and their dependants as an acknowledgement of their application for asylum. They contain information about the individual asylum seeker, including his or her name, address, nationality, date of birth, photograph and fingerprints, which are stored on a computer chip, as the hon. Gentleman said. They are issued to asylum seekers when they leave the induction process.
I emphasise that the card is not an identity card, but it will certainly speed up the process of establishing a holder's identity when reporting to the immigration service and when accessing any benefits that an asylum seeker may be entitled to at a post office. Holders of the card will not be required to carry it or to produce it to a police officer. That matter was raised in our earlier debates. Obviously, however, they may find it useful to carry the card to help to establish their identity.
Although the card has been designed to incorporate a number of security features, which will certainly make it difficult to forge or to alter, attempts may be made to do so. That is the reason why we have created the forgery offences in clause 121.
The amendment would not affect the immigration and nationality directorate's ability to issue cards to non-asylum seekers because, as I said, clause 121 is not concerned with conferring powers to issue cards, it merely creates offences in relation to cards that have already been issued.
If the amendment is intended, therefore, to restrict IND's ability to issue cards to non-asylum seekers, it would not achieve that purpose. Obviously, it would also create an anomalous and undesirable situation, as someone could commit a criminal offence if they altered a card issued to an asylum seeker, but would not commit any offence if they forged a card that was issued to, for example, an illegal entrant.
The order-making power in subsection (7) is subject to affirmative resolution, which offers a safeguard to ensure that Parliament has the opportunity to scrutinise any changes in the definition of the card.
The hon. Gentleman raises several issues about the way in which the card could be extended. Perhaps I can reassure him because, as he will know, the cards are currently issued to new asylum seekers, and we have a