“The all-party public administration select committee says that estimates of immigration, emigration and net migration are primarily based on a sample of about 5,000 migrants per year identified through the International Passenger Survey, which looks at people travelling through UK air and sea ports.
It claims this method is "subject to a large margin of error" and does not provide sufficient detail about "people migrating to and from the UK to judge properly the social and economic consequences of migration and the effects of immigration policy". The committee chair, Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, said: "Most people would be utterly astonished to learn that there is no attempt to count people as they enter or leave the UK.” Guardian Online 28/7/13
Ignorance about the facts has never stopped politicians from backing policies playing to people’s fears. Immigration minister Mark Harper is responsible for a spectacularly stupid and insulting scheme which is currently being ‘piloted.’ The Home Office have obtained several large transit vans with placards on their sides carrying a message aimed at illegal immigrants. The vans are being driven through areas with a high immigrant population.
“The posters read: "In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. Text HOME to 78070 for free advice, and help with travel documents. We can help you to return home voluntarily without fear of arrest or detention."
The billboards also show residents how many illegal migrants have recently been arrested in their local area and carry a text number for overstayers to use to arrange their return home. If deemed successful, the vans could be rolled out across the country, the Home Office said." Guardian 27/7/13
Didn’t anybody in the Home Office have any second thoughts? Didn’t anyone with half a brain cell think there may be unwelcome consequences to doing this? For instance, the BNP, the English Defence League and similar racist thugs will be dancing in the streets. 'Legal' and 2nd and 3rd generation ‘immigrants’ born here and established members of our admirably diverse community will also feel threatened by these vans. As will asylum seekers who have escaped from nasty parts of the world where this policy would be just a part of a whole suite of oppressive measures.
Are we going to go round handing out yellow stars to people we suspect of being ‘illegals’?
“Some Conservative MPs have joined in the criticism. Douglas Carswell said: "The breathtaking stupidity of the people in charge of our immigration system knows no bounds. If they still made Monty Python, then the minister for silly walks would be proposing this.’ (ibid)"
It would be funny if it were not so serious Mr Carswell. Since the Woolwich murder there have been attacks on 75% of the mosques in this country.
The public administration committee described the methods of counting immigration as ‘not fit for purpose’ – a comment which sits quite neatly on Mr Harper and his idiot department.
Even Nigel Farrage described the idea as nasty. Ben Fleming's Guardian cartoon adds another dimension.