In a Radio 4 interview on Friday, the Immigration Minister, Mark Harper was at pains to place a user-friendly face on the spot-checks that have been taking place at London railway stations. The checks are carried out by immigration officers accompanied by police officers wearing ant-stab vests. The minister defended the checks by stating that it was proving to be highly successful in finding illegal residents but was unable to quote any hard data stating that this may be available “in due course”. Immigration officers do not have the right to stop anyone unless they have plausible grounds for so doing. Mr. Harper went on to say that anyone approached by officers who did not wish to be interviewed would not be obliged to answer any questions and would be allowed to go about their business, unimpeded.
Citizenship Limited, owners of the only online video course for those taking the Life in the UK Test , has learned that this latest Home Office move appears to be widening the rift between the coalition parties.
Last week the Business Secretary, Vince Cable went on record stating that the Conservatives were preoccupied with net immigration figures which, he stated, is not a government objective.
Now, one of the Government’s own migration advisers has warned that the Home Office should not adopt “draconian” tactics to deal with the immigration issue. Dr. Martin Ruhs. He is concerned about the UK policy being similar to those in Singapore or certain Middle Eastern countries.
A Liberal Democrat source stated that the party has strong concerns about any suggestion of blanket racial profiling in high ethnic-minority areas. We have not agreed to any such policy as it would be a disproportionate, distasteful and ineffective way to tackle illegal immigration.
But the government appear unperturbed as the Home Secretary, Theresa May launched a strongly worded attack against Mr.Justice Blake, a High Court Judge. Justice Blake claimed the government policy of setting earning thresholds for sponsors of migrant spousal visas was a disproportionate interference in people’s lives. The judge suggested that the income should be lowered to £13,000 from the current £18,000. May replied in no uncertain terms telling the judge “the error of usurping the role of the democratically accountable decision maker in the formulation of policy” This immediately brought a strong response from the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper claiming that the government’s policy on illegal immigration appears to be based on headline-grabbing, deliberate controversy and causing offence.
So the squabbling continues as the government claims great success in its local advertising campaigns and stop and search policies.
www.lifeinukthetest.co.uk is the only online video course specifically designed for those taking the tricky Life in the UK Test that has to be passed before applying for either permanent right to remain in Britain or citizenship.