The Windrush Scandal

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Allan
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The Windrush Scandal

Post by Allan » Tue 01 May 2018 11:54

As I understand it, the 'scandal' revolves around the fact that the home office had targets for the removal of illegal immigrants and unfortunately some people who had a perfect right to be in Britain were inadvertently caught up in it.

Obviously it is quite wrong that bona-fide immigrants should be treated in that way, but what is wrong with having a target for the removal of illegals?

Surely the objective for any country should be to remove people who have no right to be there.

The current fuss seems more about the target than the unfortunate people caught up in it.

Am I missing something?

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Post by Owens88 » Tue 01 May 2018 12:34

Rudd resigned because she lied/was mistaken about the targets and misled the House. The underlying scandal is that the culture had been dialled up to 'Hostile' and the civil servants stopped using their heads about their role and responded to the targets not the actual law.
John
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Allan
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Post by Allan » Tue 01 May 2018 12:38

Owens88 wrote:Rudd resigned because she lied/was mistaken about the targets and misled the House. The underlying scandal is that the culture had been dialled up to 'Hostile' and the civil servants stopped using their heads about their role and responded to the targets not the actual law.
Surely 'Hostile' to anything illegal is good and with a 'Hostile' environment perhaps there would be fewer attempts at illegal immigration.

Clearly the way the policy was applied was just plain daft.

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Post by neil mitchell » Tue 01 May 2018 14:43

This is a huge cock up by the UK government, I'm only really surprised that we are surprised. I have always thought that the cock up is less important than what they do about it. Usually the government spend decades denying everything in the hope that all those affected will die but in this case, to be fair, they have "fessed up" and seem to be willing to put it right. People have suffered (as most people have at some stage at the hands of the UK government) but I expect that they will somehow be compensated. As government cock ups go it is pretty normal. The hostile thing (and I agree, what's the problem) is a different matter, that has been spun up to cover something else which they don't want us to know about.

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Re: The Windrush Scandal

Post by martyn94 » Tue 01 May 2018 22:27

Allan wrote:As I understand it, the 'scandal' revolves around the fact that the home office had targets for the removal of illegal immigrants and unfortunately some people who had a perfect right to be in Britain were inadvertently caught up in it.

Obviously it is quite wrong that bona-fide immigrants should be treated in that way, but what is wrong with having a target for the removal of illegals?

Surely the objective for any country should be to remove people who have no right to be there.

The current fuss seems more about the target than the unfortunate people caught up in it.

Am I missing something?
Yes, very much so. I have a birth certificate saying that I was born in Liverpool in 1951. If I didn’t have that, I would be hard pressed to show that I was qualified for “leave to remainâ€￾ in the UK by virtue of evidence of continued residence for 40-odd years. I certainly had pay slips in 1969, but I sure as hell didn’t keep them. Even, or especially, if the Home Office had not recently thrown their own vital papers away.

You talk blithely of “illegalsâ€￾. But the whole system of entry/exit controls seems to be a total shambles. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have arrived but not left, which is not surprising. But there also
seems to be an awful lot of people who have left without ever arriving, which ought to be difficult. That’s the price that the UK pays for not being a police state: Mesdames May and Rudd seem to have wanted the SS in terms of a “hostile environmentâ€￾ for dodgy black people, but ended up with Capt Mainwaring: incompetent, but still cruel in a random way.

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Post by Owens88 » Wed 02 May 2018 00:51

Allan, if we had a 'Hostile' environment towards large scale tax underpayers then perhaps we wouldn't need to be so austere and have to create a 'challenging;' environment for NHS workers and customers, DWP clients....

The truth is that the Home Office civil servants responded to the tenor of the politician not the law passed by parliament. That is a scandal.
John
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Post by Santiago » Wed 02 May 2018 05:56

The two things you are missing are the nature of the targets and the concept of immigrants being illegal.

Targets to follow up on deporting identified “illegalâ€￾ immigrants is justified, but what this government were doing was setting targets for deportations. Those deportations included anyone who could not prove legal residency or who could be persuaded to leave.

My wife has a UK permanent right to enter visa. However, in the past few years immigration officers have questioned her at the border, tried to get her to swap the visa for a temporary one or even tell her she didn’t need it anymore as she only goes to the UK for periods less than 90 days.

These are all examples of trying to meet a target by removing “low hanging fruitâ€￾.

Secondly, calling people illegal immigrants suggests they are criminals. While some are and some fit the stereotype of a swarthy young man who snuck in on a lorry, most are overstayers, those who changed job, British people’s wives and children and parents, and anyone else who can’t easily prove their right to residency.

I would have thought we, as immigrants to France with Brexit looming, would at least empathize if not totally understand the way a hostile environment towards illegal immigrants can affect legal ones too.
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Post by Santiago » Thu 03 May 2018 08:09

Here is another example of chasing targets. This time including students in immigration figures and then deporting them. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/p ... 31906.html
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Post by martyn94 » Thu 03 May 2018 17:43

Santiago wrote:The two things you are missing are the nature of the targets and the concept of immigrants being illegal.

Targets to follow up on deporting identified “illegalâ€￾ immigrants is justified, but what this government were doing was setting targets for deportations. Those deportations included anyone who could not prove legal residency or who could be persuaded to leave.

My wife has a UK permanent right to enter visa. However, in the past few years immigration officers have questioned her at the border, tried to get her to swap the visa for a temporary one or even tell her she didn’t need it anymore as she only goes to the UK for periods less than 90 days.

These are all examples of trying to meet a target by removing “low hanging fruitâ€￾.

Secondly, calling people illegal immigrants suggests they are criminals. While some are and some fit the stereotype of a swarthy young man who snuck in on a lorry, most are overstayers, those who changed job, British people’s wives and children and parents, and anyone else who can’t easily prove their right to residency.

I would have thought we, as immigrants to France with Brexit looming, would at least empathize if not totally understand the way a hostile environment towards illegal immigrants can affect legal ones too.
Agreed.

One of the few decisions I have never regretted was when I joined the Civil Service. I was asked to name Departments I particularly would or wouldn’t want to work for. I generally believe in “Never volunteer, but never refuseâ€￾, but I did downvote the MoD and the Home Office: not because I thought their work was unimportant, but because I thought I wouldn’t find it sympathetic. Subsequent experience only confirmed that.

The Home Office, in particular, are on a hiding to nothing. In between trying to implement immigration policies which are patently impossible (“down to tens of thousandsâ€￾, anyone?), trying to negotiate with the Prison Officers Association, and taking the flak for knife assaults, no wonder the iron enters their souls.

Two other abiding problems. Civil servants tend to live conventional middle-class lives, and to do things by the book, and assume that other people do so too (never a vice of mine). Senior people must have persuaded themselves that it would be straightforward enough to ask people to produce evidence about where they were and what they were doing year by year over decades: if you’ve spent all that time working in the same bureaucracy it would be easy. Second, Ministers, with very rare exceptions, never think, or want to hear about, the practicalities of what they want done. Or hear that they are not working when they don’t, until it’s in the papers.

When I did join the service, they sent me to the Inland Revenue instead: somebody’s idea of a joke, I suppose. I haven’t regretted it, but we certainly had our own occupational deformities.

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Post by martyn94 » Thu 03 May 2018 18:01

Allan wrote:
Owens88 wrote:Rudd resigned because she lied/was mistaken about the targets and misled the House. The underlying scandal is that the culture had been dialled up to 'Hostile' and the civil servants stopped using their heads about their role and responded to the targets not the actual law.
Surely 'Hostile' to anything illegal is good and with a 'Hostile' environment perhaps there would be fewer attempts at illegal immigration.

Clearly the way the policy was applied was just plain daft.
In a country which purports to have the rule of law, being avowedly hostile to any broad, and unidentified, group of people seems pretty despicable to me. All you need is to have good workable laws and to apply them dispassionately. I used the NHS for sixty years and was never once asked to demonstrate my right to do so: I am a white, “well-spokenâ€￾, Brit (to all appearances), and can put on a decent show of entitlement when I want to. I gather that even I might face more vigilance now: I guess I certainly would if I were a black guy speaking patois. We have all been annoyed by having to jump through bureaucratic hoops in France (piece d’identité, proof of address, carte vitale...), but equal-opportunity bloody-mindedness has its plus points.

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