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UK Policies on Illegal Immigrants

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 10 Oct 2019 | 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 was here in UK 2010 and my wife came here first in 2009 as a student and I'm a dependant ,we been legally stays here till 2013 but unfortunately when we been tried to apply for renewal we been taken a fake solicitor and take our money roughly about 10k and we tried it again to apply for a second time but we been already refuse,,,we don't want to go back home and can't left my sister in law (my wife sister) a British citizen as she had already an illness can we ask for a help or idea how can we apply for another VISA,,many thanks(mjec)
Mjec - 10-Oct-19 @ 6:23 PM
Hi I'm in UK since 2006 I was came on visit visa I put the application in 2010 on human rights 2014 that's go refuse offer this going on appeal till Feb 2017 then put new application in 31st of March 2017 that's still pending what can I think about my this condition please can explain me please
Rizwan - 20-Sep-19 @ 9:11 PM
I’m here legally 12 years. My 10 year ILR application is refused because of my continuity ( ho mentioned that I’m legally living, but not low full). Kids 5yrs and 2 yrs. Wife. We are now applied for asylum. Any chance for our visa?
Jeev - 21-Aug-19 @ 12:30 AM
Hi just wanna make inquiry with regards to more than 9 years as an illegal immigrant in the UK but paying taxes... what is the chances of getting an ILR? Just worried.
Donny - 19-Aug-19 @ 12:21 AM
Hi sir,I’m in Uk last 17 year my all family in Uksatell what you think I have any chance to visa thanks
Minzhundal - 11-Aug-19 @ 3:59 PM
Hi, I am illegal from last , m 30 years old. Any chances to get visa?
Mimi - 4-Aug-19 @ 1:37 AM
Hi Guys/Girls just to give you update that current Boris johnson Gov is looking for immigration Amnestyfor anyone in uk for 15or more year without criminal record if that happen all of illegal immigrant how completed 15 year will getlegal status in uk . Great news enjoy .
raja - 26-Jul-19 @ 11:54 AM
I'm in the UK for 16 year what you think
kabiliy - 20-Jul-19 @ 4:54 PM
Sir i am illegal in UK since 7 years. I have came to Uk on student visa in 2012. I dont have any criminal record in Uk. Can i entitle to get a legal status in uk. If so on what ground? Please help me in this regard
Kuki - 7-Jul-19 @ 9:36 AM
Hi I have live in uk for almost 13 years I am overstayed on my student visa I just wanna know is there any new rules coming for 10 year illegal immigrants this year thanks Regards Zeeshan
Zeeshan - 19-Jun-19 @ 5:26 AM
Hi,I come to uk when I'm 20year old to study till 9year . Unfortunately home office refuse my last year visa mean 10 year,so I overstay in uk 17year from 2002 now.whst that mean (you're aged between 18 and 24 and have lived here for more than half of your life?) Can I apply to stay legally ? Thanks
Hope - 7-Jun-19 @ 1:30 AM
I overstayed for 9 yrs ,then I got married to a British citizen. We have been married for 5 yrs. we applied for spouse Visa. I was refused and my fresh claim was refused too. My judicial review was refused under unfounded grounds. We don’t have children for infertility issues. We don’t know what to do. Case is refused and asked to leave country or my my husband can live with me in my home country. Any suggestions,please let me know .thanks
Haifa - 24-May-19 @ 6:48 PM
Hi Please tell me if I'm going to London on tourist visa and i will not come in india and i am staying at London with illegal what is the further inquiries on me.
Vivek - 12-May-19 @ 8:41 AM
I was born in the UK to Jamaican parentsat the time of my birthmyparentswas illegalmy motherleft me with myfatherand social worker take me away and bring me backto my mother inJamaicaI was 2yr now am 17yrs and I come back to the UK and I understandam not a Britishand I cant getno help I want to become a architectand I cant go to collegemy motherdont want me backso she bring meandleft me here and now I dont no whatto doarewhere to turn pleasehelp me am contemplatingsuicide
Posh - 5-May-19 @ 9:56 PM
Hello Sir, i am living in this country since 2010. M got illegal. In 2014 i did marry with eu citizen, its finidhed in 2015. Before i was student. After all i put asylum, it rejected. Now tell me if in this april something better law coming for me. Wht application i put. Kindly help me
Zara - 1-Apr-19 @ 6:43 PM
@Mindu - You will have to live in the UK illegally for at least 20 years before you can apply for Right to remain visa
TJ. - 19-Mar-19 @ 9:08 AM
Hi I live in Uk last 16 year 4 month my all family in Uk satell Can have a chans to get visa if I apply thanks
Mindu - 17-Mar-19 @ 5:23 PM
@person - Illegal immigrants and over-stayers can only apply for ILR after living illegally in the UK continuously for at least 20 years.
TJ. - 4-Feb-19 @ 2:38 PM
hi if any person live in uk withou visa last 10 year then they can be able to apply ILR in uk. if you have any suggestion like you have any other condition to get the pr ro any other person then tell us thx thx
person - 1-Feb-19 @ 12:50 PM
Hi I have been in UK since 2002 17 years home office refuse my asylum I jus got married I got papers for 5 yreas a year ago But it looks like we are going to break up me and wife Can stay in UK or I will lose my visa even though I been here 17 years 16 illegal and 1 year legal Is there any chance I can apply to stay because I been here 17 years
Zee - 5-Jan-19 @ 8:55 PM
Hi!I'm albanian ,my husband is Bulgarian. We have 3 guys and we live in Albania. If we decide to live in UK which are the facilities or any assistance that can we get?Thank you!
Liza - 26-Oct-18 @ 9:30 PM
Please l have lived in uk for 15 years , l am 36years, l have payslips and p60 up to date l have a child who is 3years , l pay my council tax please is there any chance for to get leave to remain ? Thanks
Maafia - 27-Sep-18 @ 8:32 PM
@gracey - You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after being in the UK for 20 years
TJ. - 26-Sep-18 @ 1:20 AM
Hi I am in this country for 15 years. I apply for right of abroad and was refuse. Is there any other ground I can apply for.
gracey - 25-Sep-18 @ 6:29 PM
Hi my ex husband has been illegal in UK for 13 14 years i have 2 kids with him when I was with him suffered from domestic abuse really badly reported to police few times to i left him finally after he held knife to me i ket him see kids but stopped contact when he hit my son he is know trying to see kids through court but I don't think has anything to do with kids he's trying to get stay can he get stay like this or will get deported it isn't fair to use kids for he's own benefit when he doesn't care at all about them
Anni - 7-Sep-18 @ 5:03 PM
I get married to my wife outside of UK, and I have permanent resident card. But my wife after we get married entered to Republic of Irelandalone , and traveled to London by bus without UK visa . Now she is in London and we had applied to family visa here in Uk, but she get refused visa. We are married for 4 years , and living together in flat I am renting. I have income over 23k a year.Please advise us, because I don’t want send my wife back to her country, because we don’t believe that home Office will allowed her to come here again.
Robert - 2-Sep-18 @ 8:14 PM
Hi, i arrived in U.K in 1999 illegally, few years ago i got ran over by a taxi and this left me with bad head injury, due to this accident i am suffering from mental health, depression and memories lost and also constant migraine, now i am at detention camp facing depotation, i did not want to go back because i have no family or close ties back in Africa and also i can not remember a lot about my past due to the head injury, please i need advise as soon as possible, thank you
Tony - 22-Aug-18 @ 11:27 AM
@Mohamed - You will be able to apply for settlement once you have lived in the UK for at least 20 years
TJ. - 31-Jul-18 @ 12:52 PM
Hi I been here from 2001 is 17 years overstayed so there is any chance to get my paper I got Solicator but is lazy he took just the money made for me just apeal by apeal and they refused after fresh application I’m always paying and they sent me to signe in London Bridge for 2 years than I stop to go thereI prove to them all last 17 years paid tax home tax everything but always they refused me i had case with them from 2010 when I was 10 years in the uk now I don’t know what I do
Mohamed - 31-Jul-18 @ 12:12 AM
Hi can I know as I came in UK 2012 on student visa then over stay Is it any way to apply for any visa My record clear Plz response me Thanks
Kaur - 21-Jul-18 @ 6:14 PM
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