ID cards and a “tougher new strategy on immigration”

Patrick Wintour writes in The Guardian about:

… a tough new government strategy that will … see new attempts to block illegal immigrants from having access to public services such as housing, benefits, and medical help, as well as to private services, such as banking.

Apparently ID cards are at the centre of this plan:

The home secretary, John Reid, admitted yesterday to “an underlying reality that we have not been tough enough in policing access to such services as council housing, legal aid or NHS care”.

He promised “a package of measures that will shut down access to benefits and services for those that should not be here. Living here illegally should become ever more uncomfortable and ever more constrained”.

The heart of the effort will be “a one stop shop” to which both private sector and public services officials can go to check if someone is a legal migrant.

The introduction of biometric ID cards, starting with newly arrived foreign nationals, will be central to the effectiveness of the one stop shop. At present there are more than 60 different forms of paper, or identity that can give someone an entitlement to public services.

It is said that this initiative will be unveiled on Tuesday.