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British Government Embraces Hostility, Encourages ‘Self-Deportation’

British Government Embraces Hostility, Encourages ‘Self-Deportation’

Written by Annie-Rose Strasser, ThinkProgress

The British government has brought in two vans to circle around London, displaying billboards that warn undocumented immigrants to “Go Home Or Face Arrest.”

The effort, which is being piloted by the U.K’s Home Office — similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — is meant to encourage people to leave the country before they are deported. As part of the effort, the vans not only display a number that undocumented people can text for help, but also show the tally of people who have been arrested in the area where the vans are circling:

Credit: Gov.uk

The vans are driving through six London boroughs — Hounslow, Barking & Dagenham, Ealing, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge. Those neighborhoods have particularly high immigrant populations.

The billboard program evokes the idea of “self-deportation” that then-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney embraced; the concept that government can make an environment so hostile to undocumented people that they choose to leave voluntarily. In fact, the public comment from British Immigration Minister Mark Harpe says essentially that: “We are making it more difficult for people to live and work in the UK illegally,” Harpe said. “Every single day our enforcement officers are arresting, detaining and removing people with no right to be in the UK.”

It also embraces the British push for austerity; one of the main reasons Harpe cites for encouraging self-deportation is because it’s particularly cost-effective. But actually, immigrants have been a boon for the British economy. And they could be more so if more of them were legalized. In 2009, after London Mayor Boris Johnson called for amnesty for undocumented immigrants in the U.K., a study by the London School of Economics concluded that the British economy would reap £3 billion a year from legalization. Tax revenues, too, would grow by £842 million.

Just this month Johnson again called for amnesty for undocumented immigrants who’d been in the country for 10 to 12 years.

This post was originally published at ThinkProgress.

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188 comments

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8:08AM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

I don't fully understand why people are upset by the mobile adverts.
If the people are illegal then they have no right to be in the UK.
Boris Johnson says give them amnesty if they have been here for over 10 years.
But that means they have been earning money and not paying ANY taxes into the UK economy.
You can't be illegal AND have a national insurance number.
No NI number then no tax paid.
No tax paid, means no benefit gained by the economy.
I wish I could work for 10 years without paying any income tax!

5:24PM PDT on Sep 7, 2013

Honestly, I'm sick and tired of immigrants coming to Canada, fleeing their countries because of war, etc, then they come here to make a better life for themselves - but don't assimilate into our culture, don't learn how to speak English, and create their own little communities so they don't have to, communities in which our native Canadians are not welcome. We are now FORCED to assimilate to their culture, their ways, recognize their beliefs, giving up our own. We have immigrants committing murder here, and then saying, "Your laws don't apply to me, I don't recognize Canadian law". It's complete bullshit.
I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with refugees who come to Canada and contribute to society, assimilate into our culture and become CANADIAN.
One lady I used to work with moved to Canada from Iraq when she was 8, she's now 38 and has to accompany her parents to doctor's appointments because they don't speak a single word of English. And, if you ask her "what she is", she proudly says, "Christian Assyrian". HOWEVER...her husband, fled Iraq on foot when he was 19 years old, he's now 45. If you ask him, he doesn't even hesitate "I'm Canadian" he says, and he is damn proud of it too...THAT is how it should be.

6:31PM PDT on Aug 11, 2013

ty

4:53AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

TERRY R ........ " THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY WANT US TO QUIT THE EU & PRESUMABLY DEPORT PEOPLE FROM THE MEMBER STATES, HOPEFULLY THEY DO NOT WIN THE NEXT ELECTION."

100% with you in that hope, Terry !!! As a British ex-pat I'm worried about that eventuality too as it could also mean that I and many others like me, throughout Europe, will be faced with having to move back to the UK !!!

Allan Y ........."How about a door to door round up of illegals? This may be America's way, but it certainly is effective."

Simple answer to that one, Allan ...... not enough MANPOWER, and it's still being reduced even further !!


2:58PM PDT on Aug 4, 2013

Take it easy Terry R. you just obviously forgot your medication today. Just go take your pills and relax. You will feel much better in no time.

1:03PM PDT on Aug 4, 2013

MY OWN COUNTRY THE UK IS TRYING TO BLAME MANY PROBLEMS ON IMMIGRATION. THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY WANT US TO QUIT THE EU & PRESUMABLY DEPORT PEOPLE FROM THE MEMBER STATES, HOPEFULLY THEY DO NOT WIN THE NEXT ELECTION. IT SMACKS OF NARROWMINDED SNOBBERY & ANY MENTION OF 'JOBS FOR LOCALS FIRST' BACKS UP THIS ARROGANCE.
I HAVE WORKED IN A NUMBER OF COUNTRIES IN THE EU & FOR THE UK TO GO IT ALONE, WOULD BE MADNESS & WE WILL SUFFER BECAUSE OF IT. VANS GOING AROUND TELLING PEOPLE TO GO HOME IS A NASTY POLITICAL TRICK.

5:06AM PDT on Aug 4, 2013

noted

5:24PM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

absurd

1:49PM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

This is just tragically bizarre. What happened to a a democracy where you can prove you belong, or your gone? A truck to tell you to leave if you are not legal?
How about a door to door round up of illegals? This may be America's way, but it certainly is effective.

9:23AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Yo Fred; I trust you know what ear to stick your "WHITE FOLKS" qame.

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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