Over the last few years, bombs and planes have provoked a movement to try to formalise what it is to be British. It’s hardly a new phenomenon but it has gathered steam as of late. However, it has now been revealed that a guide to citizenship that was intended to sit alongside the test is peppered with errors. On closer inspection the errors are not necessarily howlers, but have been excused by the authors as “it was done fairly quickly because we didn’t want to keep immigrants waiting for their citizenship.”
On the subject of immigration, and I ask this question as I don’t know the answer, will the Charles Clarke debacle have any effect on immigration? Without revisiting all the details as I’m sure you’re sick of hearing how many were lost, how many were murderers and so forth, something struck me. The 1000-odd people who were released without consideration for deportation had all served their sentence. Yet the media seems to be portraying the error as the Home Office deliberately and knowingly let criminals out to re-offend.
Of course, what has happened is inexcusable. Some of these re-offenders may have been deported and the crimes could have been prevented. But essentially what has happened is these immigrants have been treated as British citizens. A British prisoner leaves prison after his sentence and frequently re-offends. So I can’t help but feel that the fact these people were foreigners has been over-emphasised. Am I wrong?
In light of the revelation that one of the young men responsible for the horrific rape and murder of Mary-Ann Leneghan was an illegal immigrant from Kosovo, will immigration procedures come under scrutiny? It is clear that much needs to change despite last month’s immigration overhaul.
The government is now looking at ways to fast-track criminals out of the country in response to the Home Office palava. It is seeking to further relations with Jamaica and Nigeria – two countries which make up a significant proportion of the overseas prison population in the UK. We have already mentioned the controversial recent changes to immigration policy impacting on foreign (non-EU) doctors, despite the points-based system having been designed to favour skilled migrants, and The Home Office’s failed attempt to pass an anti-sham marriage law.
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