Immigration officers should wear pastel-coloured clothing when attempting to deport families, so that they are less intimidating to children, Home Office officials have recommended.
The proposal to dress officers in clothing that is less like a uniform came in a government review of attempts to remove families from Britain. It urged a change of clothing for those involved in trying to deport families, to make the process less frightening.
The review by the Border and Immigration Agency said: “Consideration should be given to providing standard-issued clothing in softer colours (currently issued in navy) for enforcement officers involved in family work to reduce the appearance of a ‘uniform’ and be less intimidating to children.”
Obviously it's not the fault of the children if their parents choose to enter the UK illegally, and they should suffer as little as possible for their parents' crime. But how on Earth is dressing immigration officers up like participants in a gay pride parade going to help anything? I would imagine that most of the fear and intimidation comes from the fact that they are being forcibly removed from the country. This won't change just because the people doing it are dressed in a very tasteful shade of mauve, rather than in navy blue.
Also, it has to be pointed out, that the process would probably be a lot less stressful for all concerned if the parents complied with the immigration officials at all stages. After all, the immigration officials only need to start using strong-arm tactics if the immigrants aren't prepared to go peacefully.
It also suggested that if a child was close to school examinations it would be a factor in determining whether a family was removed.
I would have thought that being deported would be bad enough without having to sit a bloody exam immediately beforehand! Particularly when the result of that exam is likely to be completely irrelevant to them in their home countries.
The proposal to clothe immigration officers in pastel colours came as ministers abandoned a controversial policy of removing welfare benefits from failed asylum-seeker families in the hope that it would encourage them to leave. The Government dropped the blanket operation of the policy after a pilot project found that it led to no significant increase in voluntary returns or removals from Britain.
Of course, the thought that the British taxpayer shouldn't have to give his money to criminals who entered this country illegally and have absolutely no right to be here doesn't seem to have crossed the government's collective mind.
Anyway, having seen this proposal, I've come up with my own idea for a uniform which could be worn by the Home Office officials who had the "pastel colours" idea. It consists of a piece of headgear to be worn by them at all times, and it looks like this: