European criminals who commit even minor offences will be deported and banned from the UK for up to 10 years, the Home Secretary has announced.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Amber Rudd said the Government does not need to wait until Brexit to introduce the measures.
She said that it would be made clear to courts what to take into account when considering deporting EU criminals and put them on a similar footing to other foreign offenders.
She added that EU nationals who repeatedly committed minor crimes would be kicked out of the country and face a lengthy ban.
And she promised to drive down net migration figures by delivering an "immigration system that protects our citizens and puts British citizens first".
In a speech that echoed Theresa May's commitment to tackling immigration, Ms Rudd said: "While we are still members of the EU, there are things we can get on with immediately.
"We are going to overhaul our legislation to toughen our approach to deporting EU criminals and those who abuse our laws.
"We will make clear what our courts must take into account when considering the deportation of EU criminals, aligning their fortunes more closely with those from outside the EU.
"And going one step further, for the first time, we will deport EU 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. Now those criminals will face being banned from coming back to the country from between five and 10 years."
She also announced the Government would tackle the number of foreign students coming to the UK to study.
She said: "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."
Ms Rudd also announced:
:: Immigrants will not be able to take jobs British people could do
:: Landlords who rent homes to illegal immigrants will face jail from December
:: The Government will set up a £140m Controlling Migration Fund to help ease the pressure on public services in areas of high migration
:: Banks will be forced to check they are not giving essential services to illegal immigrants
:: The introduction of tougher tests for firms recruiting from abroad because the current system has become too "tick box"
:: The Government will consult on the next steps to reducing net migration.
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: "It sounded like the Prime Minister had a heavy hand in drafting the
Home Secretary's speech.
"We've heard these conference promises on net migration and child migrants before and they haven't come to anything - people will take them with a pinch of salt.
"On Theresa May's watch, net migration reached record levels.
"Amber Rudd is right to introduce a scheme to help communities address the pressures of migration, as Jeremy Corbyn called for last week.
"But she had depressingly little to say about the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War and failed to repeat the commitment to taking a share of adult refugees."
Have your say
More World Headlines
- Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving confidence vote
- Tanzania to build dam at heritage site
- Theresa May to face leadership challenge
- Senior citizens arrested after 'large amount of cocaine' found stashed on cruise ship
- Mozambique busts '30,000 ghost workers'
- Two nuns admit embezzling cash for Vegas gambling trips
- Thousands walk on Ethiopia Car Free Day
- Macron to hold protest crisis meeting
- Gabon's Bongo suffered a stroke - Vice President
- Kenya's president hires 91-year-old to secure youth sports fund
- Sudan helicopter crash kills officials
- Togo: child shot, killed during clashes between protesters, security forces
- William Barr nominated by Donald Trump to be US attorney general
- South Africa mob kills suspected arsonist
- If US builds missiles, so will we – Putin