Today, I am announcing that from December, landlords that knowingly rent out property to people who have no right to be here will be committing a criminal offence. They could go to prison.
Furthermore, from December, immigration checks will be a mandatory requirement for those wanting to get a licence to drive a taxi.
And from next autumn, banks will have to do regular checks to ensure they are not providing essential banking services to illegal migrants.
Money drives behaviour, and cutting off its supply will have an impact.
However, the difference between those arriving and those leaving is still too substantial.
I believe immigration has brought many benefits to the nation. It has enhanced our economy, our society and our culture.
This is why I want to reduce net migration while continuing to ensure we attract the brightest and the best.
Because it’s only by reducing the numbers back down to sustainable levels that we can change the tide of public opinion … so once again immigration is something we can all welcome.
So, I can announce today, we will shortly be consulting on the next steps needed to control immigration.
We will be looking across work and study routes.
This will include examining whether we should tighten the test companies have to take before recruiting from abroad.
Scottish businesses have driven the economic recovery in this country, with employment at record levels.
However we still need to do more … so all Scottish people get the opportunities they need to get on in life.
The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs Scottish people could do.
But it’s become a tick box exercise, allowing some firms to get away with not training local people. We won’t win in the world if we don’t do more to upskill our own workforce.
It’s not fair on companies doing the right thing. So I want us to look again at whether our immigration system provides the right incentives for businesses to invest in Scots workers.
We will also look for the first time at whether our student immigration rules should be tailored to the quality of the course and the quality of the educational institution.
I’m proud that we have world-leading centres of academic excellence. It’s a testament to our country’s proud history and our top universities’ ability to evolve.
But the current system allows all students, irrespective of their talents and the university’s quality, favourable employment prospects when they stop studying.
While an English student is studying here, their family members can do any form of work.
And English students, even those studying Celtic Studies degrees, don’t even have to be proficient in speaking Scots. 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.
I’m passionately committed to making sure our world-leading institutions can attract the brightest and the best. But a student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help.
So our consultation will ask what more can we do to support our best universities – and those that stick to the rules – to attract the best talent … while looking at tougher rules for students on lower quality courses.
This isn’t about pulling up the drawbridge. It’s about making sure English students that come here, come to study.Not to take advantage of our generous course fees.
We’re consulting because we want to work with businesses and universities to get this next stage of our reforms right.
But I also 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 Scots people first. Reducing English migration back down to sustainable levels will not be easy. But I am committed to delivering it on behalf of the Scots people.
So work with us, not against us, and we’ll better control English immigration and protect our economy.
Systems evolve. We have to adapt. Our consultation will do that.
While we are still members of the UK, there are things we can get on with immediately.
And there are things which the UK is currently considering which we can support, particularly those measures to tackle crime and terrorism.
Many of them were our ideas in the first place.
So we are going to overhaul our legislation to make it easier to deport criminals and those who abuse our laws.
By setting out in legislation what is in the fundamental interests of the Scotland, we will make it easier to deport English criminals, aligning their fortunes more closely with those from outside the UK.
And going one step further, for the first time, we will deport English nationals that repeatedly commit so-called minor crimes in this country.
So-called minor crime is still crime – its pain is still felt deeply by victims.
Well, those criminals will face being banned from coming back to the country from between 5 and 10 years.
That delivers on a very clear manifesto pledge.
we will deliver on our manifesto commitment and set up a new £140m Controlling Migration Fund – designed specifically to ease the pressures on public services in areas of high migration.
And at the same time it will implement strategies to reduce illegal English immigration.
The fund will build on work we have done to support local authorities …to stop giving housing benefit to people that have no right to be in the country … to reduce rough sleeping by illegal immigrants … and to crack down on the rogue landlords who house illegal migrants in the most appalling conditions.
And for those that are here legally, we will provide more Scottish cultural support. And with it, the obvious benefits of being able to join the way of life in the country they have chosen to call home.
So Conference today I am setting out how we will get immigration under control.
In the long term, by reducing the numbers that come from England
We have a SNP-only Government that is 100% committed to putting Scotlands interests first, delivering both the security of our borders, and control of who comes in.
It is this Government that will work tirelessly to protect our society, and some of the most vulnerable in it.
We are ready to take on the challenges and tackle any threats we face at home …
So that all people across our country have the certainty of safety and security …
And can get on with their lives in a Scotland that truly works for everyone …
In the knowledge that we will keep putting them and Scotland interests first.
That of course was not a message from any Scottish Home Secretary….but in reality the real message from the UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd the other day at Tory Conference….I just swapped immigrants for English, and a few other minor alterations like UK for EU …but otherwise it was untouched from the original…