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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Points system plan for migrants
Illegal immigrants in Calais, France
Ministers want to restore confidence in immigration and asylum
New measures to tackle asylum and immigration - including a points system for would-be migrants to the UK - have been unveiled in the Queen's Speech.

The Immigration and Asylum Bill also includes fingerprinting of all visa applicants and new penalties for firms who employ illegal workers.

It also limits the right of appeal for students, workers and family visitors refused visas.

The Bill forms a key part of the new government's programme.

It allows the sharing of data between border authorities and allows the full use of biometrically-enabled travel documents, which are being brought in as part of a multi-national initiative.

According to the Home Office: "The bill would allow the use of 21st Century technology to facilitate legitimate travel and help deter and identify illegal immigrants."

Strong borders

The plans are part of government efforts to restore public confidence in the management of migration and cut down on abuses in the system.

Immigration and asylum were areas where Labour scored consistently lower than the Conservatives during the recent election campaign.

However, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the government had made "significant progress" in transforming the immigration system.

It now intended to ensure the country had strong borders, but allowed migrants to come here "when that benefits our economy", he said.

"Taken together, the package of Home Office proposals announced today underlines our commitment to the communities and individuals across the country - that we will do everything in our power to ensure they can live safe, secure and prosperous lives," he said.


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