By Georgina Tubb, @GTubbMedia
Statistics released this week showed that the Government has made no
progress towards its target of cutting net immigration down to the tens
of thousands. 250,000 more people have entered the UK than have left it,
which means net immigration has remained at a record high despite the
Government’s pledges. As a result of both the target set by ministers,
and their failing to meet this so far, pressure has been put on
immigration authorities to reduce the number of immigrants entering the
However, it would appear that deciding who is allowed to live in the
UK isn’t as straightforward as it may seem, and some evidence would
suggest that the sort of people who may be beneficial and welcome in our
country are not being granted permission to stay.
I saw and heard an example of such evidence with my own eyes and ears
this week when sitting in the public gallery of a Crown Court (a very
interesting way to spend the day if you’re a Criminology student!).
case was of a Zimbawean man who had entered the UK as an asylum seeker,
along with his wife and two young children. The man and his family were
refused asylum and were therefore not legally supposed to stay in the
country. However, immigration authorities refused to deport the family
to their home country because of the political situation there. This
therefore left the man with a dilemma. Because, by law, he wasn’t
supposed to be here then he wasn’t allowed to work, but he wasn’t going
to be sent back either. He had a problem.
I can only imagine how frustrating this situation must have been.
This man had a family to support and needed to earn money and so did
exactly that, by paying for a fake passport in order to gain employment.
So, while the man was using his wages entirely legally and reasonably,
he had obtained it (and the passport) illegally and so he was hauled
before a judge at Crown Court.
His defence stated that both he and his wife had been law-abiding
citizens while in Zimbabwe and they had both had well-respected jobs. It
was also made clear to the court that, apart from paying for the fake
passport & then using it to gain work, the man had not committed any
crimes whilst in the UK.
While the man did not receive a custodial sentence, he was
punished by our criminal justice system. I would even go so far as to
say he was let down by both immigration authorities and the justice
system. Surely this is the sort of person we want to be encouraging to
live in our country, someone who, by looking at their previous history,
isn’t going to cause any trouble and will be a good, honest worker and
therefore contribute to our economy?
The judge seemed to be of the same mind as me, and did express some
sympathy towards the situation and acknowledged that the man was in a
very difficult situation due to the ruling immigration authorities had
I would argue that there are other immigrants (and British citizens!)
who are much less worthy and yet are granted permission to stay. I am
saddened, angered & disappointed that this man and his family were
treated, in my opinion, so unfairly by our country. In my eyes, this man
had done nothing wrong and, while I watched him stood in court, I did
not feel at all proud to be from a country who is seemingly too obsessed
with meeting targets to take a step back and consider the situation
with a little understanding & empathy.
Georgina Tubb's blog can be found here: [Wordpress]
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