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UK Policies on Illegal Immigrants

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 12 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
Immigration Illegal Uk Border Police

Previously, the UK’s coalition government consists of politicians from two different parties who had some divergent policies on illegal immigration. During the campaigning period leading up to the May 2010 General Election, immigration remained a contentious topic. Each of the three main political parties were repeatedly forced to address this issue, at a time when the UK was facing serious challenges such as recovery from a global recession and the ongoing active participation of British troops in foreign disputes.

In part the subject of immigration was forced onto the front pages by the policies of some small, far-right political parties who appeared to be gaining support from “ordinary voters” because of their purportedly pro-British, and therefore anti-immigration, stance. Arguably, the main parties gave greater prominence to the immigration issue in their campaigns in an attempt to avoid losing votes. In a messy election, in which no one party emerged as the clear winner, one thing was clear – these divisive, minority parties got nowhere in the vote.

Critics of the UK’s previous government had repeatedly accused them of failings in the way they dealt with illegal immigrants. Not only was it deemed too easy for illegal immigrants to get into the UK but it seemed as if very little was done to get them out of the country once they were found to be here illegally.

Conservative Pre-Election Policies on Illegal Immigration

The campaign literature put out by the Conservative Party in the run-up to the election made clear that this was a party which would be tough on illegal immigration. The UK’s borders were said to be too easy to penetrate. The Conservatives promised to “crack down” on the problem and to set up a Border Police Force to target illegal immigration and trafficking offences. By also proposing tougher rules on legitimate immigration, the Conservatives were sending out a clear message. Voters who cared about violations of the UK’s borders and unchecked immigration did not have to vote for an extremist party to have their concerns addressed.

Liberal Democrat Pre-Election Policies on Illegal Immigration

The Liberal Democrat’s pre-election manifesto blamed previous Conservative and Labour governments for the immigration-related problems faced by the UK today. In particular, they identified the abolition of exit checks on people leaving the UK as contributing to the difficulty in monitoring the number of illegal immigrants in the country. Whilst emphasising the desire for a fair and liberal immigration system, the Liberal Democrats stated that immigration laws had to be properly enforced for this to be possible. They proposed the re-introduction of entry and exit checks on those moving across the UK’s borders and the introduction of a National Border Force to police immigration laws.

Uniquely amongst the main political parties, the Liberal Democrats had advocated a partial amnesty on illegal immigrants already in the UK. They wanted a system which allowed some illegal immigrants already in the country to become legal, to pay taxes and even to become British citizens.

UK Government’s Policies on Illegal Immigration

When the UK coalition government finally announced its immigration policies in May 2010 it appeared that the Liberal Democrat’s proposed amnesty on illegal immigrants had been completely dropped from the government’s programme. This is, perhaps, unsurprising since the policy was completely at odds with the Conservative Party’s manifesto. Although the Conservatives are now in government, policies for the moment will remain the same.

The introduction of a new Border Police Force to target illegal immigration - as well as the trafficking of people, drugs and weapons - has been confirmed as a policy of the government. The government also intends to enhance current systems for the collaboration between local police forces in relation to illegal immigration and border offences. The re-introduction of exit checks has also been confirmed. More generalised policies to make the immigration system less open to abuse and to make the asylum system more efficient can also be seen as being aimed at the problem of illegal immigration in the UK.

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Hi,I married from Pakistan my wife is on spouse visa ,after coming here we don't have good relationship I want to break up.if I leave her is she can stay here or get permanent here she is pregnant right now. Guide me please
Sak - 17-Feb-17 @ 5:39 PM
I have idefinite leave to remain in the UK ..Is there any chance for my hubby to be goven papers on family grounds because we have twins together who are 7months.He is a failed asylum seeker.Our boys are British as I gave birth to them after 6 years of having residency in this country
Khanyo - 10-Feb-17 @ 11:54 AM
I happen to be looking for a job in the UK. No one invited me but am sure I can find a job. Am planning on coming. Is there any way I can make my coming legal or if I come, how can I make my stay legal. Thx
Ssenta83 - 21-Nov-15 @ 9:53 PM
Can someone who has been deported from uk for not renewing the visa still be part of businessand run from the own country where he came from?
ali - 10-Nov-15 @ 10:11 AM
Mary- Your Question:
I'm an overstayer and since I've been in this country I paid every single thing, my rent my bills, my food my clothes, my tickets, no once I missed my rent so I can't understand when people say that I'm taking advantage of the system.

Our Response:
The fact you are an overstayer means, by law, your are staying in the country illegally and while you personally think you may not be taking advantage of the system, the Government are concerned over those that are (i.e by not paying tax etc). Thankfully, you are in good health. However, if for some reason your where taken ill, or became unemployed and therefore reliant upon public funds, or your employer was exposed as employing you, then there could be not only severe repercussions for you, but your employer also. Please see link: UK Immigration Rules: Visas and Overstayers, here. You don't say how long you have been in the UK. If you have been an overstayer for many years, then you may be able to apply to become a British citizen under the Long Residence Rule.
AboutImmigration - 21-Oct-15 @ 10:01 AM
I'm an overstayer and since I've been in this country I paid every single thing, my rent my bills, my food my clothes, my tickets,no once I missed my rent so I can't understand when people say that I'm taking advantage of the system.
Mary - 20-Oct-15 @ 3:47 AM
Hi my village 2 person .husband and wife both are big live there illegal. Overstay.tyey are big criminals. Please deport both of them
aman - 21-Aug-15 @ 12:52 PM
muffinx - Your Question:
Dear Red Crossmy wife she lied on her application to come the citizen uk she lived in Bringahm now she's from Ethiopia but she lied to get her Id she said from Eritrean but she's originally from Ethiopia her real name Eskedar Teshome now she changed to Edom Tesfaye here is government issued our marriage certificate I need to deport her imaddetly

Our Response:
You can report an immigration crime via the link here.
AboutImmigration - 10-Aug-15 @ 12:46 PM
Dear Red Cross my wife she lied on her application to come the citizen uk she lived in Bringahm now she's from Ethiopia but she lied to get her Id she said from Eritrean but she's originally from Ethiopia her real name Eskedar Teshome now she changed to Edom Tesfaye here is government issued our marriage certificate I need to deport her imaddetly
muffinx - 8-Aug-15 @ 6:24 AM
I am British, never been out of work since I started at 15 years old, paid all my stamps etc. I am 67 now. I am really very angry that immigrants come here and get free three meals a day , ,and can stay in hotels etc, also free, and also receive £35/36 a day. My state pension does not even amount to that much money , will the government pay me that much money and free board and free three meals a day. I DO NOT THINK SO. It is about time we took a stand and stood up for ourselves.MAN UP PARLIAMENT AND SORT THIS INJUSTICE OUT FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIVED AND WORKED IN BRITAIN ALL THERE LIVES AND WHO ARE NOT GETTING THE BENEFITS THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE.
spike - 5-Aug-15 @ 5:07 PM
Do you think they can stop him from going to Italy? as my friend is illegal here.
jb - 27-Jul-15 @ 2:44 PM
@Jb - passport exit checks were introduced back in April in order to further tighten the immigration routes and keep a check on criminals and terrorist suspects. So, yes, it is likely his passport will be checked.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jul-15 @ 2:19 PM
@Dee - the Home Office takes overstayers very seriously and are generally of the premise that they be deported and allowed to appeal from their own country. I can't say whether your friend would be granted LTR, she would have to speak to a professional immigration adviser via the link here. She can also find out more information on how the process is dealt with via the link here.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jul-15 @ 10:37 AM
hello, my friend has been in uk illegally for 10 months... He is descendant of italian... in september he goes to Italy get a italian passport... Do you think he will caught at airport leaving uk illegally? do they check passports when you leave uk?
Jb - 25-Jul-15 @ 5:47 AM
Hi, I have a friend who has been in the uk for almost 9 yrs now. The first 2 years she was legal and studying,but then she overstayed, currently illegally.She cannot come back to her country as she is a lesbian and her parents don't want her back. She went to the uk as a 16 yr old, she's since been there. And it's getting tougher by the day, her girlfriend was supporting her but they broke up recently.And she wants to see her siblings.Do you think it'll be possible for her to get her visa to stay in the UK as she has nothing back in her country.. being a lesbian, she's unwanted
Dee - 24-Jul-15 @ 12:07 PM
@shifi - I'm afraid there has been a big clampdown by the Home Office on overstayers, so there will be much less sympathy when assessing his case to stay. However, please find more information on how your friend might be able to apply via the link here.
AboutImmigration - 11-Jun-15 @ 2:15 PM
Hi My frnd is in Uk since last 6 years appx. He is overstaying his tourist visa & working there. If he comes back, it will be difficult for him to get work in his own country to take care of his family as he has not such qualification. Are there any chances that he can get legal status to live & work there? Any advice would be of great help. Thanks.
shifi - 10-Jun-15 @ 7:20 AM
@mariou - the fact that he is an illegal immigrant is going to make it very difficult for him, as he theoretically should not be in the country and will face deportation if he is caught. There are few people that would employ him knowingly, as any employer can be fined up to £20,000 per person for employing illegal workers.
AboutImmigration - 9-Jun-15 @ 12:00 PM
Hi all , my friend has been in uk illegally for 6 years , he's been studying esol,working and paying tax , as it's getting tougher for illegal immigrants he wants some help to be just as a normal human to be able to work and communicate comfortably in the society, any help please ?
mariou - 7-Jun-15 @ 12:32 PM
They set on my paper for many year they keep mevhair and nowtelling me to go back home I need helpe please
sim - 22-May-15 @ 1:14 AM
I have live in the uk for 14 year having my paper in the home office and they just get back to me to go bsck to my country and they have me signing on for 8 year what must I do
sim - 22-May-15 @ 1:11 AM
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