Home Secretary Theresa May has sharpened her blade ahead of the General Election by announcing a new policy on illegal immigration should the Tories win office.
Mrs May says her party would implement a ‘deport now, appeal later’ policy for illegal immigrants in a belated bid to halt the rackets of those with no right to be here abusing the legal system to stay for prolonged periods, the Daily Mail reports.
The rules would apply to anyone with an expired visa or living in Britain without permission.
At the last election, the Tories pledged to reduce net migration down to ‘tens of thousands’, something Mr Cameron admitted his government was not going to achieve. The current figure stands at 298,000.
If it is to keep hold of core supporters and win over voters from UKIP or Old Labour who are angry at what they perceive is a weak immigration policy, they will need to sound tough – and like they mean it.
Exceptions would be made for asylum seekers or migrants who could suffer ‘irreversible harm’ if they are sent back to a dangerous country.
Conservative Central Office hopes the proposals, which will form a key part of the manifesto, will save tax payers money by deterring illegal migration and slashing the bill for housing and legal costs for those bidding to stay.
Although the party’s manifesto is yet to be completed, Mrs May is pushing for a firm commitment to reducing net migration, this time focusing on deporting people from the country as a way of achieving it since with open borders, it is virtually impossible to control numbers coming in.
Speaking earlier this month, the Home Secretary said, “‘I think we will keep the target. It is important because it is about not just dealing with those coming into the system, but also about making sure that those people who shouldn’t live here actually leave.”
As the target will be a net figure, increasing the numbers of those who leave will make it easier to hit, even with large numbers continuing to come into the country.
But a University of Oxford study released in early March found that around two thirds of the 565,000 migrants thought to have come to the UK between 2011 and 2014 were born in other EU countries, meaning they cannot be included in Mrs May’s deportation target .
Advisers to the Home Secretary are said to be satisfied the ‘non-suspensive appeals’ policy would be legally permitted and not fall foul of the Human Rights Act: Migrants will still be able to appeal – but must do so from their country of origin.
The policy has been tested on a small scale for the past year, with the country deporting foreign criminals under a ‘deport first, appeal later’ regime which has seen 600 offenders sent home before their appeals were exhausted.
The government and the EU came under significant pressure after the murderer of Alice Gross was found to have been let into the UK despite having a criminal record for murdering his wife – something his home interior ministry did not share with the British border police.
In a string of test cases, judges have found there was no barrier to making foreign offenders lodge their claims in their home country, although human rights lawyers who have made considerable amounts of money on the back of legal aid for cases including alleged human rights abuses in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay will find their income stream may be dammed.
However campaigning groups have said that if these targets are to be reached then there needs to be a readjustment in how resources are spent.
Migration Watch has estimated that despite Britain spending £1.8 billion on securing borders and removing illegal immigrants and foreign criminals it was “clearly inadequate” and six times less than the Foreign Aid budget.
Those who have been kicked out the country so far include a Nigerian woman who claimed a right to a family life in the UK despite being convicted of beating her own child.