Reid targets illegal immigrants

The BBC reports:

A clampdown has been launched targeting “foreigners [who] come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits”, home secretary John Reid has said.

The plan is to stop illegal immigrants getting housing, healthcare or work.

It seems that making people produce ID cards to obtain work, public services and housing is part of the plan. “In The News” quotes Mr Reid:

“Introducing biometric ID cards, starting with newly-arrived foreign nationals, will make it easier to ensure fair access to services and stamp out fraud and abuse.”

The BBC summarises the proposals:

‘Watch list’ of people not entitled to public services

Enforcement teams to track down bosses employing illegal workers

Compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals

Text alerts for people overstaying visas

Possible £20,000 fines for landlords housing illegal immigrants

Remove driving licences

Pilot schemes to use ID card data to ensure migrants pay for NHS care

6 thoughts on “Reid targets illegal immigrants

  1. andrew says:

    Apparently, one of the reasons for keeping the wartime ID card after 1945 was to try to “flush out” the 20,000 deserters thought to be at large in the UK. It sounds plausible, since in 1945 an ID card was still needed to get a ration book, so even getting something to eat without an ID card was problematic. However, very few deserters were caught this way.

    Similarly, under Mr Reid’s plans, it seems we can all look forward to a “papers please” society where an ID card is needed to get a job, rent a flat or get hospital care, on the pretext that this will flush out all those nasty illegal immigrants. History tells us it won’t catch any illegals, but will make life bloody inconvenient for law-abiding folk.

  2. Tom L says:

    Will Davies has an interesting take on it:

    “When John Reid says “it is unfair that foreigners come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits, steal our services like the NHS” what precise benefit is he hoping to extract, given that once these activities start to become represented as ‘theft’, it is him who will cop even more flack when they continue, as they inevitably will?”

  3. The BBC states that Reid’s list includes “‘Watch list’ of people not entitled to public services”.

    Now, in the world, there are approaching six billion people not entitled to free UK public services when they visit the UK.

    What’s Dr Reid planning to do: fingerprint them all for his watchlist?

    I think Dr Reid and/or the BBC need a quick lesson in the difference between access control and a watchlist.

    That is the difference between positive and negative checks. Also the difference between innocent until proven guilty and guilty until proven innocent.

    Best regards

  4. David Moss says:

    We have a tool for controlling access to benefits. It’s called the National Insurance no. The Department for Work and Pensions should concentrate on sorting that out. If they can’t do that, there is no reason to believe that ID cards/ePassports/biometric visas and resident permits will help.

    The Identity and Passport Service, in the meantime, may like to read this.

  5. Ian says:

    Countries that deprive illegal immigrants of healthcare are gambling with the lives of their own nationals. If some people are too afraid to see a doctor, the chances of an epidemic are increased. In any case, administrative measures will not stop illegal migration. Desperate people take desperate risks. The only way to get migration under control is to make sure that everybody can live decently in their own country.

  6. loser says:

    i think its a good idea

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