The Home Office
calls again for data sharing to tackle illegal immigration. Or does it?
I fully support
the government in cracking down on Illegal Immigration, on People Trafficking
and people using our resources who should reasonably be paying for them, such
as the NHS. But Data Mining is not the way to do it.
through the immigration rules enforcement strategy document, and in particular the
foreword by Liam Burne, the minister in charge of Immigration, there are
several peculiar references.
reference that drew my attention was in his words the need for data sharing to
deal effectively with illegal migration.
Not immigration but illegal migration.
In my world, and
the school that I was taught in, it was always immigrants come in, migrants go
This could have
connotations as it did in the former East Germany of keeping people in, not keeping people
out, but using electronic methods rather than a Wall.
reference that pulled my attention was that he stated we have developed an ambitious programme of change:
New money and resources, to double enforcement and compliance by April
New powers in the UK Borders Bill.
New technology such as biometrics and systems to count people in and
out of the UK.
New ambitions for our global alliances, to tackle illegal migration.
It is the last
item that concerns me. New ambitions for
our global alliances to tackle illegal migration.
Just what are
these global alliances that require Liam Burne to share my details.
This has nothing
whatsoever to do with illegal immigrants coming into the UK, this is about global tracking of UK citizens.
Liam Burne needs
to explain this last item about Global alliances.
Going on, the
document states that the key sanctions for high-harm immigration
offenders are removal or deportation.
To increase the rate of removal we will: increase our detention
capacity. Expanding the detention estate: Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre
was opened in August 2004
A new 420-bed immigration centre at Gatwick is due to open in 2008 and
the Home Office has acquired the former RAF base at Coltishall to help expand
Wasn’t Coltishall aquired to help with Prison Places, not immigration.
increase our use of electronic monitoring in 2007/08 so that as many as
2,000 extra individuals can be subject to electronic tagging or voice
verification to ensure that they are subject to close contact and control prior
We and the Home Office know that this doesn’t work, recent written
replies by the Home Secretary in Parliament confirm this.
introduce an automatic presumption of deportation for those foreign
national prisoners sentenced by a court to 12 months or more (or for specific
offences) in the UK Borders Bill;
Automatic presumption is always dangerous.
reduce the scope for judicial review of decisions to remove in cases
where the request for a judicial review is clearly only to delay the decision
or prevent removal. We will implement a new policy on tackling abuse of process
in March 2007
Removing another right does not make it better, it still needs to be
increase the number of people returned to countries with whom we already
have established routes, and open up routes to countries where we do not have
well functioning arrangements. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Lord
Triesman, will give greater impetus to this crucial activity by establishing a new level of working with partner countries.
have a problem with this, providing that due process has been satisfied first.
every case, what the Home Office tell us they need rules for today, they can
and may be changed in the future, where we see the potential for abuse, because
always written into the Acts of Parliament in all of the Home Office
legislation are the outline of the Act as it will be enforced today, but it
carries the caviet ‘for related purposes’.
is therefore our duty to ensure that those ‘related purposes’ do not have the
ability to turn into anything more repressive, as in a related use for
constant calls for Data Sharing is really becoming wearisome now, the public is
saying NO, so government, start listening.