Amber Rudd launches immigration crackdown targeting students, taxi drivers and EU criminals

The Home Secretary said the government would not 'waver' in its drive to push down the number of people arriving in the UK

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Amber Rudd has unveiled a wide-ranging clamp-down on migrants coming to the UK, with strict rules on foreign students as a key part.

Pledging to bring down the overall number of migrants, the Home Secretary said there had to be “tougher” regulation for students on lower quality courses and raised the prospect of English language tests for people coming to study here.

Under her plans, taxi drivers will have mandatory immigration checks, landlords could face jail if they let a flat to someone in the country illegally and more EU criminals would be deported.

She also announced £140m to help ease pressure on public services in areas experiencing high levels of immigration. 

Addressing Conservative conference she said: “I come here today with a warning to those that simply oppose any steps to reduce net migration.

“This government will not waver in its commitment to put the interests of the British people first.

“Reducing net migration back down to sustainable levels will not be easy. But I am committed to delivering it on behalf of the British people."

She added that ministers will consider new tests to "ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do"

Theresa May on immigration in conference speech

She assured universities she was committed to helping them attract the best students, but said the current system too often "treated every student and university as equal" and that the government would look at “tougher rules for students on low quality courses”.

Ms Rudd said: "Foreign students, even those studying English Language degrees, don't even have to be proficient in speaking English.

“We need to look at whether this one-size-fits-all approach really is right for the hundreds of different universities, providing thousands of different courses across the country.

"And we need to look at whether this generous offer for all universities is really adding value to our economy. This isn't about pulling up the drawbridge. It's about making sure students that come here, come to study."

Who is Amber Rudd

She said that from December landlords knowingly renting to illegal immigrants could go to prison, people wanting to get a licence to drive a taxi will have a mandatory immigration check and banks will have to make regular checks to ensure customers are here legally.

Addressing crime, she said: “We will make it easier to deport EU criminals, aligning their fortunes more closely with those from outside the EU.

“And going one step further, for the first time, we will deport EU nationals that repeatedly commit so called minor crimes in this country.

“So-called minor crime, is still crime, It’s pain is still felt deeply by victims.” 

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