Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The latest immigration triumph

Nine illegal immigrants disappeared after they were given free train tickets by police and told to make their own way to a detention centre more than 60 miles away.

The move was described as "ludicrous", but police have defended their actions, saying they were acting on the advice of immigration authorities.

The men, who are from Afghanistan, were discovered by Cambridgeshire police under the back of a lorry in Fordham, near Newmarket.

They were apprehended by officers before being given train tickets and told by police to make their own way to an immigration facility in Croydon, Surrey.

But none of the men arrived at the centre and they have not been seen since.

Well, who would ever have thought that people who break the law in order to enter the country would be anything other than 100% keen to follow the rules once they got here? Not any of the bunglers in charge of managing (ha!) immigration, certainly.

Cambridgeshire police say they were acting under instruction from officials at the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), a Home Office department.

But officials at the BIA denied such guidance was issued and insisted they had asked for the nine men to be held in custody so that they could be interviewed.

Frankly, I couldn't care less who screwed up this time. The fact is, that for all the efforts to pass the buck that the petty jobsworths in the police and the BIA seem to be engaging in, they are both government agencies, and specifically Home Office agencies. And it doesn't really matter to me whether Home Office Agency A was at fault, or whether the blame instead lies with Home Office Agency B - the end result is the same either way.
The fact is, that there have been far, far, far too many Home Office cock-ups over immigration already (see
here, here, here, here, here, and here), with today's example just the latest in a very long line of blunders. The sheer incompetence that the government and its agencies have consistently demonstrated in their management of immigration is what really bothers me, not the question of which government agency was to blame for each specific cock-up. But, having said that, the lack of anyone willing, on this occasion or any other, to come out and admit that they got it wrong, rather than always pathetically trying to shift responsibility onto someone else, does serve to add insult to injury.


Umbongo said...


Forget about admitting (but not taking) responsibility, until somebody actually loses his job because of a cock-up, cock-ups will continue. If ALL the policemen and ALL the immigration officials from top to bottom involved in this one were fired without compensation, it wouldn't happen again. As it is, rest assured "lessons have been learned" and it will happen again.

Anonymous said...

I used to be in a police force in the South East of England. I can tell you that instances like this are everyday occurrences. Even though these people have entered the UK illegally (a criminal offence) custody sergeants were very reluctant to accept such prisoners. Police can only hold people in custody (including “illegals”) if the enquiry is being dealt with expeditiously. Immigration telling the police (at midday) that they won’t be able to send anyone out to interview the illegals until tomorrow and asking us to “just hold them overnight for us” is not expeditiously. In such cases (as I said they happen every bloody day) the standard instruction from immigration was to put them on a train for Croydon…
Even when immigration did turn up the illegals would only be interviewed (after a long and expensive wait for interpreters and solicitors any needed medical treatment etc) and bailed. Almost all would never bee seen again

I used to hate dealing with illegals (almost all men traveling together). Many had very poor personal hygiene (I doubt I would be too clean if I had just crawled halfway round the world and hidden under a lorry/train). I don’t blame these people…all they want is a better life for themselves and we all want that don’t we? I do blame our government for making us such a soft touch. These people have all traveled over numerous “safe” countries to get to the UK. They invariably carry lists of names and mobile phone numbers to get themselves sorted out once they get here. The only way we could deal with them would be to hold them in detention centers while their “claims” are processed otherwise they just vanish until they come to the attention of the authorities (police mostly) and get jobs/taken advantage of in the black economy (no pun intended). The flaw with this plan is that we would need loads of detention centers as there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of these people in the UK and thousands more arriving every day. Then what are we going to do with these people once their claims are rejected??? We are too soft to send them back to many countries...the Chinese don’t want their people back…we can’t even send Somali murderers and Sudanese rapist back for fear of infringing on their human rights. We can’t send Jamaican yardies back incase we breach their right to a family life with the umpteen kids they never see who they fathered to different women whilst hear (this is a common method of avoiding deportation).

We are an island for God’s sake!! How hard can it be?? Return them forcibly to the last safe country they passed through and be ROBUST about it. Use the army/navy/air force create border guards or we will sink.

Walk down the main street in any city….listen to the number of languages you hear…did all these people from all over the world really have a valid reason for coming to and settling in the UK?...Have they all been vetted and are who they say they are??? (impossible in half the third world crapholes they come from). What skills have they brought to the UK economy? It would take a massive govt dept to process all these claims…..

How soft are we? What would Churchill’s reaction have been? What would the Victorians have done? What would the Saudi’s do?