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07 August 2010

This evil policy, these craven people...



I am so appalled at this latest turn in the saga of Great Britain's immigration policies that I can hardly find the words. You would think after the even worse incidents in France (picture above from a notorious video of French police beating women and children during a protest by immigrants there) that the UK would be keen to be seen as more humane in their treatment of "failed asylum seekers".
I have visions of the scene toward the end of my favourite movie, Lawrence of Arabia, where a British doctor comes upon a marketplace full of dead and dying Turkish soldiers and no one doing anything to help them, and he keeps shouting "Outrageous" in an impotent fury. That's how I feel about most immigration stories I read, but this one really is outrageous, not for naked aggression, as in France, but for an utter failure to do the right thing, for pandering to racist tabloid media, for treating and thinking of asylum seekers and economic migrants as less than human.
After campaigning on the "moral outrage" of children of asylum seekers being kept virtually imprisoned, the LDs as part of the coalition government have helped to hatch this cynical flash-deportation scheme, trying to circumvent both human rights rules and liberal public opinion.

The briefing paper also shows that the border agency is worried that ending the use of detention could give families facing deportation more chance to launch community protest campaigns backed by the media and MPs. It says more police may need to be involved in deportations because "significant public order problems" could follow removals. "The alternative is not to inform the family of the exact time and date of removal, so that they are not prepared. However, this has its own difficulties, which would need analysing and addressing." The document says it is undecided whether a specific time and date should be given, or a longer period of a couple of days.

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