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UK Policies on Illegal Immigrants

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
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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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[Add a Comment]
Dee - Your Question:
My boyfriend has been in this country illegally for 13 years and I would like to know what he should do. He cannot go home and he has no longer a connection there there is no family he has been ostracised. I am british and we would like to be together. I have a son who is british and therefore cannot leave this country. Where can we go for help please? Thank you.

Our Response:
The Home Office won't see this and will just see that he has been in the country illegally and therefore would be subject to automatic deportation if discovered. His only recourse is to leave the country and apply for a visa to return. If your boyfriend needs further advice, then he should consult a professional immigration adviser, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 19-Apr-18 @ 10:32 AM
My boyfriend has been in this country illegally for 13 years and I would like to know what he should do.He cannot go home and he has no longer a connection there there is no family he has been ostracised.I am british and we would like to be together.I have a son who is british and therefore cannot leave this country.Where can we go for help please?Thank you.
Dee - 18-Apr-18 @ 11:33 AM
Hi ima single mother and i been granted leave to remain. Can i apply for british passport for my 1 year son? I ve been advised by two solicitors that my child has right to have british passport as i got settlement visa. Please your advice means lot to me. I wish you all the success for helping people online free of cost.
Anushaa - 12-Apr-18 @ 8:37 PM
I have a question ... I am a rapist in the war and came for a visit here in UK, as I was in my decision every day of trauma pain that the place where I lived reminded me of every moment and when I came here for a month I felt that the rebirth of I forgot the rape and I decided to get rid of illegal anybody has a response to me please if I have any chance to live freely in that place?
MuM - 12-Apr-18 @ 12:31 AM
I think there in no worth in the system of uk that if a person os true and geniune they are treating him like a nuts but those people who are claming benefits and got ilr after lying , they are their heors . I m living in this country since 15 years without any criminal record and still i m fighting my case of ilr . What a crap system !
Rahat - 9-Apr-18 @ 7:29 AM
I am last 14 years live in the UK last 5 years i am legal eea resident card now I am illegally how can halp me
Hazi abdul ahad - 9-Apr-18 @ 6:41 AM
Hi , I am a british national , got an enquiry about my aunty and his son who is are in uk . The son has been in uk for 9 years on a work permit and will be getting his ILR next year and my aunty has been in uk with no right to stay for 8 n half years now , she has been here as she was didnot have a good relationship with her partner back home . so my query is that is there any she can legalise her stay in uk ?
sam - 3-Apr-18 @ 2:37 PM
@Kaisey - Has your father tried to apply for asylum? If he has and his applications have been refused, he should leave the country as soon as possible.
TJ. - 1-Apr-18 @ 5:06 PM
My father left his country in 2005 because his life was in danger, and fled to U.K. Some private company took him there, but left him with no passport. He's been living there for 12 years now. He was detained several times, but nothing was done. Last week he's been detained again and as of now, he's in custody. If he comes back to his country, his life will be in danger again. What are his options? Can he apply for citizenship? If so, then how?
Kaisey - 1-Apr-18 @ 3:30 PM
@Hussain - Your best optionn is to leave the country as soon as possible at your own expense, wait for two years and then reapply to join your family legally. If you are detained and deported you will face an automatic 10 year ban from returning to the UK.
TJ. - 29-Mar-18 @ 12:33 PM
I came in the uk with 4years student visa in 2010 but since my visa expired i am living in the uk ilegally for over 3 years now and currently in a living relation with my partner from last four years, she was granted LTR last year and we have 11 months old girl. As she is ethnically indian sunni muslim and im pakistani shia muslim and non of us can settle together in their respective national countries. Further more shes 26 years old and living in the Uk since she was 10 and i am 33 years old got no legal status here. I need legal advice before going to professional solicitors, any of your advics will be appreciated.
Hussain - 28-Mar-18 @ 4:29 PM
@Louis - If they have a child older than 7 years born in the UK they can apply for a family visa based in private life
TJ. - 27-Mar-18 @ 7:35 PM
hi,my friend came with her husband to uk in 2009 with working visa,their ILR was refused due to £40 shortage in work income in 2015 since then they overstay with 7 year old child born in uk ,what can they do
louis - 27-Mar-18 @ 2:32 PM
@Shiraz - Once you have lived in the UK for 20 years talk to an immigration solicitor on how to get you ILR. If you know someone who has lied on their applications and you have evidence, you can report them to the Home Office and their British citizenship will be withdrawn.
TJ. - 25-Mar-18 @ 7:32 AM
I’m in uk since July 2001 and claimed asylum, refused and since then I have been detained three times. Reporting since 2010 without any criminal record. People who came after me has been granted ILR and now they are British citizen and most of them lied about their identity. I’m being punished and still in that process coz I didn’t hide my age and told them truth about my identity. After all these year and misery what I realised that UK citizenship is like a lottery and people who lies are settled and successful in their life’s but I’m still going through misery and depression. The reason they couldn’t deprt me coz high commission refused to accept me their citizen and now I’m stateless but home office is still not ready to accept that. Moral, After 17 years living heremy life is in LIMBO in the country called GREAT BRITAIN ????????????????
Shiraz - 24-Mar-18 @ 5:31 PM
Reza - Your Question:
Hi I come to uk 2011/06/30 after 3 months All my cuse done after that refused me after that take everything from me and I become homeless still now 2018/03/18 Just I don’t now what I do please I need help because I don’t have anything no ID no house no job I’m very bad position I have please I need help

Our Response:
In addition to TJ's response, you can see more via the gov.uk link here , which should help you further.
AboutImmigration - 19-Mar-18 @ 10:00 AM
@Reza - You should hand yourself in to the authorities and ask for assistance to leave the UK to your country.
TJ. - 18-Mar-18 @ 10:30 AM
Hi i come to uk 2011/06/30after 3 months All my cuse done after that refused me after that take everything from me and I become homeless still now 2018/03/18 Just I don’t now what I do please I need help because I don’t have anything no ID no house no job I’m very bad position I have please I need help
Reza - 18-Mar-18 @ 8:12 AM
hi i com to uk the age of 13 yearsin I make asylum 2008I been toschool in college now I am 23 years what shallI doI am in uk over10 years nowsomeone please tell me?
khan - 17-Mar-18 @ 7:56 PM
hi i com to uk the age of 13 yearsin I make asylum 2008I been in uk school in college now I am 23 years what shallI doI am in uk 10 years nowsomeone please tell me
Sheraz - 17-Mar-18 @ 7:38 PM
@jeega - If you are in the UK illegally and your application for asylum has been refused you need to leave the country as soon as possible because there is no chance of legalizing your status.
Tefiro - 11-Mar-18 @ 6:22 AM
since i came in dec 2005, once i visted my country, 2008, after i am in uk, unfortunatley my college is uspended, then i decided to put my appilcation sylum, i went to solocitirs firm inlondon reputed firm, but then didnt put it my application, they ,mentioned to fax to ukba? immgtration officer came in my home in2015, i put my application in asylum, they reufsed me, but i still in uk what should i do some body help i got all documents? thanks
jeega - 10-Mar-18 @ 11:16 AM
I,m asylum seekers from DR congo I,claim May 2006 now I,m here about nearly 12years I,m single,37 years can I,apply for discretionary leave for long time here in uk don't need any benefits I,can work and pay tax and pay rent please I,need your advice if is possible.
Pitshien - 9-Mar-18 @ 8:20 PM
Hello my name is Ryan, I'm 17 years old and visiting from a Commonwealth country. My brother who's in the army for 6 years lives here with his wife (British citizen). I have been seeing the UK for 3 months now and really like it here, as I'm a dependant and don't see a future in my country. I also rely on my brother for financial support, how can I stay in the UK? and how much will it cost me?.
Khroose - 5-Mar-18 @ 10:28 AM
Hi I’m coming this country 2004.Last year detain 3 month. Start sining. Any new rules. Ple.
Singh - 25-Feb-18 @ 5:12 PM
@Fadi - If he has been living in the UK illegally his best option is to leave the UK as there is no option to change his status while he is there.
TJ. - 10-Feb-18 @ 9:26 AM
Hi,my brother is living in UK since may 2006,he came on a tourist visa and never came back..is there any chance of him getting right to remain in UK legally?
Fadi - 10-Feb-18 @ 5:54 AM
Hi i wanted to know that is it true that ukba or uk government thinking of giving right to remain in uk to the people who are living illegally in the uk from last 10 years ?or is it just humour? Thanks
Saffu - 27-Jan-18 @ 4:48 PM
Anrol - Your Question:
I have a friend who has been in the UK since 1968, aged 10. She came here from the Caribbean and has never been back. She has lived here for over 50 years, worked and paid her taxes and is a good citizen. She has a daughter and grandchild and is being threatened with deportation to a country she doesn't have any real ties to. She has lost her home because all benefits was withdrawn as a result of this miscarriage of justice. If the law states that anyone who arrived in the UK before 1971 can remain, why is she being subjected to such mistreatment? What can she do?

Our Response:
Her only recourse would be to seek advice from an independent immigration adviser, please see link here , who would look at her case in depth.
AboutImmigration - 5-Dec-17 @ 11:27 AM
@Anrol if your friend was resident in the UK on 1st January, 1973 and has never left the UK since then she probably has settled status. The tricky part for most people in this category is proof of their status as many have lost their records. She should gather whatever documentation she has that proves she was in the UK on that date and that she has never left including, school records, bank statements, tenancy agreements. She should then make a No Time Limit (NTL) application to the Home Office that will formalize her status.
TJ. - 4-Dec-17 @ 2:10 PM
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