Posts Tagged 'Immigration'

Lib Dems misrepresent the immigration 14 year rule

On The Politics Show moments ago Liberal Democrat, Ed Davey, defended that party’s proposed amnesty for people who have broken the law by entering Britain illegally or staying beyond the length of their visa conditions. He then went on to claim that both Labour and the Conservatives also support an amnesty for illegal immigrants, but just won’t talk about it.

Liberal Democrats stand out even from other politicians for their sheer disssembling deviousness, so it seems only proper to check their claim about other parties’ support for this so called 14 year rule.  The most up to date details of the 14 year rule can be found on the Migration Expert website, but what is clear is the rule is not inspired by party politics.  The site explains on Friday, 24 April 2009 that:

A person’s application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) on the basis of 14 years residence cannot be refused because he/she has lived in the UK ‘unlawfully’ or ‘worked unlawfully’, according to a recent decision by the Court of Appeal.

Moreover, even if someone has obtained false identity documents in order to obtain work where the person has no right to work, it should not be held against him/her.

The Home Office recognized that applicants under the rule, if they were to be successful, must be expected to have worked unlawfully for the majority of their time here. The Court said that the reasons for obtaining false identity documents should be carefully considered, i.e., if it is intended to commit financial fraud (which is serious) or merely to obtain work (which is less serious).

In this case, the applicant was a 50-year-old Bangladeshi national who arrived in the UK in 1991 on a visitor’s visa. In 2006, he applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK on the ground of 14-year long residence, relying on the Immigration Rules.

The rule in question provides that the requirements for ILR on the ground of long residence includes two main factors: the applicant must have lived in the UK for a continuous 14 year period, and, having regard to the public interest, there are no reasons why it would be undesirable for the applicant to be given ILR on the ground of long residence, taking into account his age, strength of connections in the UK and his personal history, amongst others.

The Court of Appeal interpreted the rule as specifically directed to people who had managed to stay in the UK for 14 years or more without lawful authority, and was, therefore, in effect an amnesty clause. This is because, in every such case, the nature of the applicant’s stay was unlawful and its extent was 14 years or more.

The Court of Appeal found that the whole purpose of the 14 year rule (by which illegal immigrants can eventually seek to legalise their status after 14 continuous years residence in the UK) would be undermined if too strict an approach was followed in relation to the public policy exemptions.

Clearly the issue is not as cut and dried as Ed Davey tries to make out.  It also explains why Davey said that until recently William Hague was apparently unaware of the rule.  In all honesty it is hard for somone to support something they are unaware of.  If the Liberal Democrats were honest they would not present this 14 year rule as if it was something debated in Parliament, voted upon and enshrined in legislation.  It wasn’t.  Instead, as you can see above, it is another example of judicial activism that, incredibly, sets aside the illegality of someone’s behaviour and seeks to reward them for having got away with a criminal act.  This is another example of judges writing the law rather than simply enforcing it and it underlines the emasculation of Parliament.

The Lib Dems have blatantly misrepresented the situation.  They claim that under the Conservatives while Michael Howard was Home Secretary, thousands of people were given official status, and describe that as effectively an amnesty.  Same also for Jack Straw under the Labour government.  But there is a big difference between those actions and what Nick Clegg is proposing.  Those people granted leave to remain had applied for asylum, failed, but were allowed to stay.  That is very different to people arriving here, staying off the immigration radar, entering the black economy and attempting to remain having made no attempt to regularise their status.  People applying for asylum are not the same as illegal immigrants.  They are not breaking the law if they arrive and follow due process, unless of course their claim is bogus and fallacious.

Granting failed asylum seekers leave to remain is, in my opinion, the wrong thing to do and should never have happened. But it is in no way an amnesty.  An amnesty is the forgiving of an illegal act and applying for asylum is not an illegal act.  What the Lib Dems are proposing is an amnesty in the true meaning of the word.  It is not about failed asylum seekers; it is targeted at illegal immigrants, people who made a conscious decision to stay here beyond their visa permission, or who came here for economic reasons and hope to benefit from their law breaking.  Yet again we see deliberate distortion and misrepresentation from the Liberal Democrats.

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The Nick Clegg / Lib Dem approach to immigration

With The Times reporting that Nick Clegg is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill – no, really – perhaps it’s a good time to focus on some of Clegg’s Liberal Democrat thinking, on issues that voters say is of importance to them.

MigrationWatchUK is generally accepted as the most authoratative and independent organisation focusing on matters of immigration as it impacts the UK. Here is the MigrationWatchUK assessment of the Liberal Democract manifesto commitments regarding immigration:

‘This is immigration with no limits whatsoever but spiced up with two unworkable proposals – a regional immigration policy that would be impossible to enforce and an amnesty that is certain to encourage still further illegal immigration. The LibDems are treating the public as if they were fools.’

Given the opinion poll results since the Leaders’ Debate, perhaps it would be fair to argue a lot of the public are indeed fools to fall for media hype and that the Lib Dems are justified in treating them as such with completely idiotic policy proposals.

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Phil Woolas skewered over immigration statistic denial

Labour Borders and Immigration Minister, Phil Woolas, claimed on yesterday’s Daily Politics show that immigration statistics, showing the increase of foreign born workers was only slightly smaller than the increase in the number of jobs that have been created while Labour has been in office, was an example of double counting and a statistical trick.  He gave an analogy that if 50,000 fans attend an Arsenal match in each of ten games, the number of people watching Arsenal would not be 500,000 because most of those going would have attended each game.

However on the programme today, Stephen Timms – Labour’s Financial Secretary to the Treasury – was forced into accepting that a labour force snapshot of working age individuals as issued by the Office for National Statistics in respose to a request from The Spectator magazine, could not have been double counting at all because it was the equivalent of a snapshot of the attendance at just one game.  Therefore by definition it shows that of 1.7 million jobs created, 1.67 million have indeed been filled by migrant workers.

Labour’s mendacious dishonesty and fraudulent abuse of statistics is finally starting to be recognised for what it is, a concerted attempt to deceive the electorate, hide incompetence and cover up Labour’s deliberate effort to transform the social fabric of this country for political reasons.  One day, two Labour flip flops.  Lord Mandelson will be so pleased…

Immigration is a topic of major importance to voters.  This is the kind of topic the main parties should be forced to talk about, but have tried desperately to avoid referring to in any detail regarding their approach to migration and what they will do to address the wishes of voters to significantly reduce the net influx of migrants.  But despite this story the main parties are only fighting over the numbers.  There is nothing about restoring the UK’s control over its own borders, sacrified as part of the price of being members of the EU.  Thus are we so ill served by the whole political class.  Despite this, they still come begging for our votes.  That takes a special kind of arrogance.

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