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P.M.: Deny immigrants 'access to justice'

Feb. 14, 2013 at 1:37 AM

LONDON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Britain must deny immigrants "access to housing, access to the health service and access to justice," Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday.

During question time in Parliament, Cameron said the country should not be a "soft touch for those who want to come here."

"There are many parts of our current arrangements that simply don't pass a simple commonsense test in terms of access to housing, access to the health service, and access to justice and other things, which should be the right of all British citizens but they are not the right of anyone who just chooses to come here," he said.

Cameron's office later declined to expand on his parliamentary statements or to define what he meant by "access to justice." Although the government has recently moved to deny legal aid in immigration cases, immigrants and tourists are entitled to legal aid if they are charged with a crime in Britain and cannot afford an attorney.

Steve Hynes of Legal Action Group said he does not believe the government has the power to change that.

"It would be a minefield. It's an intrinsic part of our legal part of system that all those who face charges are entitled to a defense," he said. "If they haven't got the cash then there is state support for them."

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