UK pays illegal immigrants to stay away
England has its share of illegal immigration problems. You would think that being an island and all would make it a simple matter but apparently that’s not the case. Once an illegal immigrant or ineligible asylum seeker has made it into the country, it can take years of court battles to remove them – and all the while they’re on the dole. According to this story (from the Daily Mail), a better solution is to pay them to stay away.
British taxpayers have paid out more than £1 million ($1.5M) to persuade hundreds of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants to return home – before they even enter the UK.
Foreigners attempting to cross the English Channel at the French port of Calais are offered free flights and awarded up to £3,500 ($5250) to help start businesses back home.
The Home Office-backed Global Calais Project has persuaded 468 ‘irregular migrants’ to return to their countries of origin at a cost of £1.2 million to the UK Exchequer.
Among those to take up the offer were 50 Afghans, 20 Sudanese, eight Libyans and five Indians – none of whom had a legal right to travel to or live in Britain.
Last year, 281 illegal immigrants took advantage of the generous offer, a rate of more than five a week. The bizarre incentive is equivalent to 14 years’ wages for a worker in Afghanistan.
The Home Office claims the payout scheme, which began in 2007, helps avoid long, costly legal battles once the migrants arrive in the UK.
Well, that’s one way to do it, I suppose. They have also applied this program to illegals already in the country.
The Home Office also admitted paying out almost £80 million ($120M) in resettlement grants to 21,506 people who had already reached the UK. The sum is equivalent to the annual salaries of 800 family doctors or 3,200 teachers.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘It may look unpalatable to pay money to people who have not even arrived in the country, but ultimately it makes our borders safer and saves the taxpayer money. It is the least-worst option.
‘I will continue with the programme but I am reviewing it as I am determined to drive down on any waste.’
Taxpayer-funded repatriation schemes began under Labour
in 1999 but were widened dramatically in 2005 when Ministers raised the maximum payout from £1,000 to £4,000 in an attempt to combat the soaring number of illegal immigrants.
Hmmm, what could possibly go wrong?
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, said: ‘There is a real risk that people will hear of this and it will create a bizarre incentive for people to try to smuggle themselves into Britain. The solution could be worse than the disease.
Jeez, ya think?