A Crown Court Judge condemned the Government’s immigration policy and lack of border controls whilst passing sentence on an illegal immigrant this week.
In highly critical remarks made during the sentencing an illegal immigrant for drugs offences, Judge Trigger told Liverpool Crown Court that “hundreds and hundreds of thousands” of illegal immigrants were abusing Britain’s border controls.
He said this was “creating an enormous strain on resources” as they exploited Britain’s generous welfare system. The result, he said, was a growing hole in the public finances.
Judge Trigger made the scathing comments as he jailed Lucien McClearley, 31, from Jamaica, for two years.
McClearley had been arrested after police discovered bags of cannabis in his car in Liverpool on Feb 15. A search of the house where McClearley was living revealed more than £7,200 worth of cannabis.
Judge Trigger told him:
“Your case illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy that exists … in this country.
“People like you, and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people like you, come to these shores from foreign countries to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here.
“In the past 10 years the national debt of this country has risen to extraordinary heights, largely because central government has wasted billions and billions of pounds. Much of that has been wasted on welfare payments.
“For every £1 that the decent citizen, who is hard-working, pays in taxes in this country, nearly 10 per cent goes on servicing that national debt. That is twice the amount it was in 1997 when this government came to power.”
McClearley, of Edge Hill, Liverpool, arrived in Britain in 2001 on a six month visitor’s visa, but had overstayed.
He was later arrested the following October for breaking the terms of his visa but claimed asylum and was released while this was pending.
The asylum application was rejected three years later in 2004, but he did not go home and was only arrested by chance in February.
A spokesman for the UK Borders Agency said:
“We will not tolerate anyone who comes here to play the system, which is why we are rolling out identity cards for all foreign nationals. These cards will help us stop people illegally accessing benefits and make it easier to crack down on illegal working.
“Last year we carried out thousands of raids on companies hiring people with no right to work, and issued fines worth millions of pounds.”
Immigration Matters Comment
Whilst Judge Trigger has a point, one could argue that it is often his fellow Judges who release illegal immigrants back into the community against the wishes of the Home Office and UK Border Agency.
The Home Office do not have sufficient resources to remove hundreds of thousands of overstaying immigrants.
Leading think tank, ippr, said it would it would take at least 20 years to find and remove half a million illegal immigrants at a cost of over £5 billion.
It is estimated that the cost of deporting a person is around £10,000, but this could be much higher if the case goes to a legal aid funded appeal, with the migrant being held in a detention centre for months on end.
This month the Government was criticised for wasting millions of pounds flying illegal immigrants back to their country in private jets during efforts to speed up deportations.
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