Sunday, July 15, 2007

Can we have an amnesty for illegal immigrants without first introducing ID cards?

IPPR is arguing that an amnesty for illegal immigrants would bring in £1bn in extra taxes, and save the Treasury up to £4.7bn.

There is no official estimate of illegal immigrant numbers. Unofficial estimates vary from 310,000 to 870,000. Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, has argued in the past that it would be "impractical and immoral" to deport the thousands of illegal migrants, stating "The time has come for the government to be brave, distinguishing between deporting the few who commit serious crimes and allowing the many undocumented migrant workers to remain. They are good men and women, essential to our economy and pillars of their local churches and communities."

But can you even contemplate an amnesty without first having an ID card system? Surely the UK would become a magnet for illegal migrants if the government were to announce an amnesty before ID cards are in place?

What do you think?


donpaskini said...

There was an amnesty, albeit more limited in scope, a few years ago (under Blunkett, if memory serves) and there isn't any evidence that I've seen that suggests that was a magnet for migrants.

Where ID cards might have an effect is to make it easier to take tougher enforcement action against employers who hire undocumented migrant workers.

el Tom said...

Why would an ID cards scheme de-magnetise us (supposing that your 'magnet' argument is taken to be a winner)?

I very much doubt that any legal mechanism we enact, save making the justice system intolerable for asylum claimants, could change the flow. The key is in stopping people, in a logistical sense, from getting smuggled in.

Winghunter said...

Take a good long look at history...Stop the draw of the illegal, the bottom line to the unscrupulous employer, enforce the border and personally ID immigrants and visitors entirely.

This is the only way to stop illegal immigration as well as assist revealing terrorism.