Boris Johnson has sparked anger after he claimed that all migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) were in the UK unlawfully.
During an evidence session with the Liason Committee Labour MP Stephen Timms asked the prime minister to consider suspending NRPF conditions during the pandemic. In response, Johnson said:
“I totally understand the logic of your argument, but the problem is it’s a very longstanding provision in this country that NRPF conditions should apply to those for instance who are here illegally or unlawfully.”
This isn’t the first time the Prime Minister has not understood the NRPF policy, when Stephen Timms told Johnson of the policies impact on families in May, the Prime Minister seemed to appear completely unaware of what the NRPF policy was.
What is NRPF?
Contrary to the Prime Minister’s statement, NRPF is not a condition only applied to illegal immigrants. The NRPF condition is applied to people both live and work legally in the UK under temporary immigration status’s.
The policy was first introduced by Theresa May’s government in 2012, during the introduction of the “Hostile Environment” policy. It is meant to “protect public funds” by not allowing those under the condition to access any type of UK benefits. Whilst being applied to those with temporary status’s it is also automatically applied to residents in the UK unlawfully.
Around 1.4 million foreign nationals are unable to access public funds in the UK, most of which are people from black, Asian or other minority ethnic (Bame) backgrounds.
Criticism of NRPF
Local councils, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have heavily criticized the NRPF policy, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst campaigning for it’s suspension they’ve claimed that it has prevented them from getting rough sleepers of the streets during the pandemic.
A report from the Work and Pensions Committee last June also criticized the NRPF policy, it said:
“During a pandemic it cannot be in the public interest to expect people, some of whom are key workers and frontline medical staff, to comply fully with restrictive public health guidance while simultaneously denying them full access to the welfare safety net,”
Public affairs and campaigns manager at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Minnie Rahman, suggested that there was no excuse for Johnson not to be aware of the NRPF policy or the impact it has had, she said:
“He has had these issues raised directly with him by parliamentarians and civil society countless times in the last year. As the PM should know, these rules apply to 1.4 million people – both those with visas and those without.
“They exclude thousands of families from our social safety net and have pushed people into destitution, homelessness and dangerous working conditions. The Prime Minister’s inaction on this issue is putting migrants lives at risk and jeopardising public health too. He needs to end his political game-playing, and ensure everyone has the safety net they need right now.”
Do you Need Immigration Advice?
Here at the Immigration Advice Service, our lawyers are passionate about providing reliable support to those facing immigration issues, no matter what they may be.
They offer urgent advice sessions, application assistance and much more. You can get in touch with our London, Manchester, or Birmingham immigration lawyers, or use the office finder to find the closest branch to you.
To find out more about all the services we offer, please do not hesitate to get in touch now on 0333 305 9375.
It’s the second time that Johnson has failed to understand the government’s NRPF policy
Minnie Rahman, Public affairs and campaigns manager at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, suggested there was no excuse for Johnson to not be aware of the policy (Image credit: Metro)
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.