Amber Rudd has been repeatedly questioned in Parliament about policy, and denied that the Home Office had set illegal immigrant deportation target figures.

 

The situation for the deportation of immigrant British citizens has boomeranged to hit Prime Minister Theresa May, previously Home Secretary, and Amber Rudd, present Home Secretary, where it hurts. Before CHOGM, the Conservative government declined to meet representatives from Caribbean countries, whose British citizens had been deported or were threatened with deportation, during the crisis known as the “Windrush Generation”. Unfortunately for the government, the sentiment in favour of the Windrush Generation has called the Home Secretary to account for her and her predecessor’s so-called hostile immigration policies. These Windrush citizens were under the impression they had the right to legitimately live, work and retire as British citizens, but their records-cum-evidence were destroyed in a data disposal exercise at the Home Office and now many are classed as illegal immigrants.

Amber Rudd has been repeatedly questioned in Parliament about policy, and at first denied that the Home Office had set illegal immigrant deportation target figures; until Lucy Moreton, General Secretary for the Union for Borders Immigration and Customs (ISU), disclosed that the target set for 2017-2917 was 8,337 people. Rudd was reluctantly forced to admit that she had avoided the truth. It turns out that immigration officers are so under pressure to meet targets for numbers to be removed from UK, that legal citizens without the wherewithal to prove their status are being caught in the net. This unfairness may be about to spread as fear that people from Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya and other African countries may be dragged into the illegal immigrant net.

Robert McNeil, the Deputy Director of Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, told this reporter, “Ugandan or Kenyan Asians may well have arrived in the UK with similar immigration statuses to those who arrived from Jamaica before 1973, but this does not mean they will have had problems with their residence rights—though it is possible some may have done. Our analysis of Labour Force Survey data showed that about 57,000 Commonwealth migrants who arrived before 1971 were still in the UK in the year ending June 2017, but hadn’t acquired UK citizenship. Around 15,000 were Jamaican and Indians were the second largest nationality with 13,000 non-UK nationals—however these numbers are subject to quite large margins of error. The remaining 29,000 are from assorted Commonwealth countries. The key issue for any migrants is whether they have documentation that demonstrates their legal status, e.g. an Indefinite Leave to Remain document. People who do have such documentation should not face any problems related to immigration enforcement.”

The question remains whose onus it is to keep the documentation and for how long.

While the Labour Party is calling for Rudd’s resignation, the Sun newspaper reports that Amber Rudd, Michael Gove, Gavin Williamson and Tom Tugendhat have amassed significant war chests of donations, ostensibly to defend their constituencies. Sceptics believe as they have not donated these monies to the central party fund, they might be holding them in reserve for a future leadership bid.

Just as the Conservatives fear losing nine seats in the upcoming local elections on 3 May, another manoeuvre is taking place. A few London Tories thought to be led by Paul Skully, Stephen Hammond and Justine Greening, are suggesting an independent new branding for London Tories, along the lines of the devolved Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments. Logically, this would be led by the Conservative mayoral candidate, who does not exist at this time. However, Ruth Davidson, leader of Scottish Conservatives, who mooted this idea of differentiation and a separate manifesto for London in September 2017, has recently been in London. But London is not a nation, it is a city full of a variety of ethnicities in a hotchpotch of boroughs, whose many residents do not always see themselves as integrated within London, preferring to identify with their geographical counties such as Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire and Kent. If the Conservatives fail as reportedly Tory local campaigning has been lacklustre, but Labour activists have been out in droves, including encouraging an increase in postal votes, these local election results will have dramatic repercussions for the Conservative Party and government.

 

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