Wednesday, 9 April 2008
End of Days?
Not too long ago, I received a flyer from the Border and Immigration Agency of the Home Office, to the effect that from February 29, companies that employ illegal immigrants would be committing a big offence which carries a hefty fine. Companies are expected to confirm immigration status before employing, a practice that unfortunately gives too much power to the occasional bigot in human resources.
I have also recently come across TV and newspaper adverts proclaiming the vileness and criminality of illegal immigration. On January 28 Channel 4 News reported “a huge increase in foreign arrestees throughout the UK. Police forces throughout Britain are at ‘bursting point’ as they struggle to cope with an influx of migrants…”
Between 2003 and 2006, the Metropolitan Police (covering the London area) reported a 49% increase in arrests of illegal immigrants; Hertfordshire 61%; South Yorkshire 65%; Gwent (Gwent? Where the heck is Gwent, for crying out loud?) 673% (no, it's not a typo - 673%). It appears that illegal immigrants that moved to rural areas because the authorities there seemed more ‘gentle’ are now flocking back to seek the anonymity of the metropolis.
I discussed this trend with some friends, the general consensus being that since Britain opened up to Eastern Europe and Polish, Slovak, Bulgarian, Romanian, etc. migrants came in offering cheaper labour, illegal immigrants are no longer tolerated. One dissenting voice said even the Polish are returning home as the golden fleece now seems well and truly jaded.
The above argument does not work for me though. How about across the pond in the US? Most of their police forces are now undertaking ICE (Immigration Control and Enforcement) courses, which they would not have touched with a barge pole a couple of years ago, even those that resisted it before have signed up with a resultant backlog of 92 forces awaiting their turn. The new policy seems to target their Latino population across huges swathes of Texas, LA, Arizona and Florida. Some forces such as those in Houston now verify the immigration status of anyone they stop, even a traffic stop for a broken tail light.
What is going on?