Theresa May Pledges Deportation Crackdown
Immigration laws will be toughened up to prevent foreign criminals using human rights arguments to escape deportation from the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May will promise.
In a crowd-pleasing party conference announcement, the Tory cabinet minister will blame lax laws for a number of controversial cases in which courts have ruled that killers and rapists could remain in this country.
Their right to a family life - enshrined in the Human Rights Act was too often being put before the need to control immigration and protect the public, she will complain in her speech to activists in Manchester.
Mrs May will risk further inflaming tensions with Liberal Democrat colleagues by declaring once again her desire to see the Human Rights Act scrapped.
While the future of the legislation remained under review, she said, actions such as hardening the immigration rules would help end what David Cameron this week called the "chilling culture" the Act fosters.
Under the crackdown, the rules will make clear that people convicted of crimes or who started a family life while here illegally or who rely on benefits can be deported.
Mrs May announced a review of the system in July after figures showed the right to a family life - Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights - was the number one reason foreign criminals or illegal immigrants managed to defeat deportation in the courts last year.
More than 100 foreign criminals and illegal immigrants, including a number of violent offenders, used the controversial right to avoid being deported last year.
In 2010, 233 appeals against deportation were made. Of these, 149 were successful on human rights grounds - 102 of them citing Article Eight alone.
By invoking the right, a Sri Lankan robber was allowed to remain in the UK because he had a girlfriend in Britain and judges ruled an Iraqi killer should not be sent back because he would have posed a risk to people in his home country.