The Home Office is planning
a migrants database

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has revealed that the Home Office is building a centralised database that will hold information on the legal status of migrants.

In his report, David Bolt says that the Status Checking Project aims to ‘share an individual’s immigration status in real time with authorised users, providing proof of entitlement to a range of public and private services.’

This will include the digitisation of the Right to Work check, where employers, banks and potential landlords can see a migrant’s status online.

The NHS already reports to the Home Office on any migrants who run up a debt after accessing its services, although it is difficult for hospital administrators to pursue them for money because the immigration laws are so complicated.

Mr Bolt also warned that this information must be correct and kept up to date, and that precautions must be put in place so that it isn’t used wrongly.

‘Parliament and the public will no doubt want to be assured that any data sharing with or by the Home Office is not only legal, but also demonstrably proportionate and necessary, that the data is accurate and that there are safeguards against it being misapplied.’

The Home Office officially responded to the report, saying:

‘We are pleased the report notes and identifies a number of examples of good, productive partnership working between the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS) and other government departments and agencies.’

 

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