Enforcement of the law was thwarted by a mob in Glasgow a week ago, encouraged by Nicola Sturgeon and her justice minister, Humza Yousaf, and other politicians, – like Labour MSP, Paul Sweeney, who issued a tweet that included a map of how to get to where the detained men and immigration enforcement officials were being confronted. You couldn’t make it up. While the capitulation of the police (“Police Scotland doesn’t assist in the removal of asylum seekers”) was difficult to fathom. Oh, and the two men in question were not Muslims who were being taken into custody during Eid, they were in fact both Sikhs from India who had overstayed their permitted stay for studies and then refused to leave when required to do so.
As Brian Monteith (editor of ‘ThinkScotland’ and former MSP and MEP) has said, it could prove to be a costly decision for Ms Sturgeon. By her, and her Minister’s, actions, she may well have weakened the rule of law. The Home Office must now stick to its professed determination to remove the two men concerned.
For the sake of the future safety and stability of our society, let us hope our political leaders will resist the temptation to take what they (wrongly in this case) believe to be a popular stance against law enforcement. There can never be any justification for caving in to the demands of a mob.
Blog of the week
The Prime Minister himself has declared his support for an amnesty for long-term illegal migrants in the UK. We have always felt such a move would be unwise, if not irresponsible. One reason we have, yet again, seen an increase in illegal crossings of the Channel over the past year is the incentive of knowing that once you get here, by whatever means, there is every likelihood that you are here to stay, even if it is by going to ground. Our asylum system is wide open to abuse and our enforcement of immigration law is crumbling away. For the same reasons, people-smugglers are incentivised to facilitate these crossings, which have led to the deaths of nearly 300 people and 36 children over the last twenty years. As a report commissioned by the Home Office has said: “[If recurrent amnesties are put in place] new illegal migrants may be encouraged to enter’. While amnesties in countries such as Spain, Italy and France – not to mention the United States, have almost invariably been followed up a few years later with amnesties for higher numbers. Click here to see our blog on this issue.
Migration Watch in the media
Our chairman Alp Mehmet has been in the media again this week. See below.
The Sun: Taxpayers fork out £100million a year locking up 2,000 foreign crooks who should be in jail in their own country
‘Despite agreements with six countries that allow for compulsory prisoner transfer of their nationals, it seems the one thing our government can’t engage in is compulsion.
‘How absurd. Such helplessness not only flies in the face of ministers’ tough rhetoric on prisoner removals but also costs the taxpayer close to £100million a year.’
(Alp will be discussing this issue with Kevin O’Sullivan on Saturday at 0805.)
And see below for some other reactions to the week’s news:
Mail Online: Priti Patel joins raids as police arrest people-smuggling suspects accused of using minicab and lorry drivers to move migrants between France and UK
‘Tough action on the smugglers is always welcome but it simply is not enough. Such action has to be more frequent, and more importantly, those brought in illegally must be quickly returned whence they came. It is the only way to stop the numbers rising, as continues to happen.’
Telegraph: Five million EU citizens apply to settle in UK
‘I echo the concerns of Sir John Hayes MP, who leads the Common Sense Group of MPs. A lack of certainty on the data puts controlling immigration into question. It is not enough to have border sovereignty; we must use the opportunity of leaving the EU and no longer being shackled by ‘free movement’ to reduce immigration – by a lot. The new numbers vastly exceed estimations in 2016.’
Make your voice heard
A reminder to write to your MP on the government’s new ‘points-based’ system. Voting to ‘take back control’ was just the beginning; actual reductions in immigration require enforcement, stricter rules and political backbone. As it is, key controls on work immigration have been removed, new non-EU avenues have been introduced, and this week we learned that EU nationals will be able to come to attend interviews for jobs and will not be detained pending removal should they not qualify for admission. So much for treating EU nationals like everyone else. The post-Brexit settlement weakens global visa rules for citizens in 80% of the world’s countries rather than strengthening it. This flies in the face of promises made to the British people. By letting your MP know your concerns, you can help us hold our leaders accountable and protect the country’s borders.