The Labour shadow Home Secretary said she would give ‘power of arrest’ to more Border Agency officials to prevent illegal immigrants absconding when they are discovered, the Telegraph reports this week.
Without any sense of irony, former Labour Minister Yvette Cooper said Labour wants to separate “immigration that works and immigration that doesn’t”, after a recent policy u-turn.
In an article for Politics Home, she said Britain wants to attract talented foreign students and remain a “safe haven for people genuinely escaping violence or tyranny”. But she said there must be “much stronger action against illegal immigration”.
At present, Border Agency compliance officers, who visit universities, colleges and other institutions, have no powers of arrest. This means they can take little or no action on bogus students even if they find people that have no right to be in the country.
Ms Cooper, who was part of the government which set up the UK Border Agency, said Labour would make sure compliance offers have new powers and create a taskforce on enforcement within UK Border Agency.
In the same breath she says she wants to “attract more foreign students”, while at the same time proposing to send Gestapo like officers into universities to arrest students they decide are bogus!
She conceded that “Labour was too slow on immigration” when it let in millions of foreigners under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair (but failed to add that she was part of the same government).
“An honest debate about immigration means looking not just at scale, pace and control, but also at the wider impact immigration has and crucially the different kinds of immigration too,” she said.
Her intervention came after Tony Blair defended his immigration policies at an event for journalists earlier this week.
He warned that people who come to Britain have played a positive role and they should not be made a “scapegoat for our problems”.
Blair delivered his speech days after Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, claimed that his party had previously done “too little” to address the impacts of mass immigration.
Labour is desperately trying to win back British votes after it was discovered that they had allowed immigration to expand in order to import future voters.
Whilst Miliband admitted Labour allowed communities to become segregated and argued that immigrants should learn to speak English, senior Conservatives point out that he failed to actually apologise for mistakes on immigration.
Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the Labour leader should explain how “a government of which he was a prominent member allowed a net migration per year of over 200,000 people to come to the UK.”
“What we inherited was a situation that was in a complete and utter meltdown and mess,” he said in Brussels.
Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson recently said that new rules tightening rules on visas for overseas non-EU students sends out the “wrong signal” and could damage the UK’s multi-billion pound higher education market.
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