Words Alone Won't Deter Illegal Migrants

Daily Mail (London), January 8, 2008 | Go to article overview

Words Alone Won't Deter Illegal Migrants


LAST month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith promised a 'robust' approach toimmigration, in which all new arrivals would be forced to 'play by the rules'.

A memo from the enforcement director at the Border and Immigration Agency,leaked to this paper, tells a different story.

In it, Jonathan Lindley gives secret instructions to the agency's six regionaldirectors to halt deportation proceedings against foreign students who overstaytheir visas and to concentrate instead on 'high priority' cases.

So much for playing by the rules.

The order means the authorities are turning a blind eye to tens of thousands of'students' - many of whom never had any intention of studying - who remain inBritain illegally after their visas expire.

But it gets worse. Today, it emerges that evidence against more than 25,000'low priority' illegal immigrants a year is being systematically ignoredbecause the authorities lack the resources to act.

Scandalously, these cases include thousands of foreign criminals who areallowed to stay in Britain.

Haven't we been repeatedly assured by this Government that every possible stepwould be taken to track down and deport criminals who have no right to be here?Miss Smith can talk until she's blue in the face about her 'robust' newapproach.

When will the talking stop - and the action begin?

Tough-Love Tories ONCE more, David Cameron is showing that there's more to hisnew-look Toryism than hugging hoodies.

In a ground-breaking speech today, he will outline plans to force tens ofthousands of workshy benefits claimants to do full-time community service - orlose all their state handouts.

To some, his proposals may sound brutally severe.

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