David Cameron urges people to report illegal immigrants


David Cameron: "I want everyone in the country to help with this"

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UK Prime Minister David Cameron says he "wants everyone in the country" to help "reclaim our borders" by reporting suspected illegal immigrants.

In a speech setting out measures to tighten immigration rules, Mr Cameron said people should report suspicions to Crimestoppers and the UK Border Agency.

He also outlined plans to tackle forced and bogus marriages and for new rules for those wanting to settle in the UK.

"Together we will reclaim our borders and send illegal immigrants home."

Mr Cameron said: "If we take the steps set out today and deal with all the different avenues of migration, legal and illegal, then levels of immigration can return to where they were in the 1980s and 90s... a time when immigration was not a front rank political issue."

In his speech, the PM also said the government was to consult on making it a criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to force a person to marry against their will.

'Little more than slavery'

Earlier this year the Home Office rejected the idea amid fears victims might be put off coming forward.

Mr Cameron announced plans to make it a criminal offence to breach orders imposed by the courts to prevent forced marriages taking place.

This already happens in Scotland.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders were introduced in 2008 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.

A potential victim, friend or police can apply for an order aimed at protecting an individual through the courts and anyone found to have breached one can be jailed for up to two years for contempt of court, although this is classed as a civil offence.

The prime minister wants that changed, as well as a re-examination of proposals to create a specific criminal offence covering the act of trying to force someone into marriage.

In his speech, Mr Cameron said: "Forced marriage is little more than slavery.

"To force someone into marriage is completely wrong and I strongly believe this is a problem we should not shy away from addressing because of some cultural concerns."

Last year, a unit set up to tackle the problem dealt with 1,700 cases, but many more are thought to have gone unreported.

Minimum income

The government says it is a breach of human rights to force someone to marry against their will for family advantage or to protect the perceived notion of a family's honour.

However, in July the Home Office dismissed calls by the home affairs committee to make it an offence as ministers said it would be hard to prove and could have a negative effect on victims.

Mr Cameron will now ask Home Secretary Theresa May to consult on criminalising forced marriage by working with support groups to ensure that such a move does not deter victims from coming forward.

David Cameron: "Forced marriage is little more than slavery"

Mr Cameron announced tougher visa rules to weed out "bogus" marriages and other immigration abuses.

He also called for relatives joining their families in the UK to speak English and have enough cash to live on - by setting a minimum income level the person bringing relatives in must earn.

He added that changes to the UK citizenship test were being planned to include questions about British history and culture.

Mr Cameron said the government wanted to prevent immigrants becoming a burden on the taxpayer and dependant on welfare, and is considering forcing some applicants to pay financial bonds.

He highlighted the changes already made to the points based system introduced by the previous Labour government, and promised further changes to ensure a "hard-headed selection of genuinely talented individuals based on our national interest".

The old system was "a system which was totally unfair... where migrants got the choice to come, rather than us having the choice of migrants".

'Who are they going to tell?'

The prime minister added: "Of course, in the modern world, where people travel and communicate more easily than ever before and where families have connections all across the globe, people do want to move to different countries to be with loved ones.

"We all understand this human instinct. But we need to make sure - for their sake as well as ours - that those who come through this route are genuinely coming for family reasons, that they can speak English, and that they have the resources they need to live here and make a contribution here - not just to scrape by, or worse, to subsist on benefit."

For Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "While David Cameron talks about getting tough on illegal immigration, he is undermining our border enforcement by cutting 5,000 staff from the UK Borders Agency. And where he talks about limiting work visas, these actually went up under the Government's immigration cap."

UK Independence Party home affairs spokesman Gerard Batten said: "It is all well and good asking the public to 'shop' illegal immigrants but who are they going tell? Police numbers are being significantly cut so I doubt they will have the resources to tackle it.

"Plus, over the next four years the UK Border Agency will see a reduction of just over a fifth of its personnel following a lack of funding."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 546.

    Let us not forget Cameron is the leader of a Coalition government. His Deputy Prime Minister and 1/3 of his Cabinet belive in giving illegal immigrants an amnesty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 545.

    If we sent back all who were not eligible to be here and tightened our border controls there would be little need for this request,once again Cameron is pushing government responsibility on to the general public.

  • rate this

    Comment number 544.

    The UK needs to do MORE to compete for the best migrants (high skills, resource & investment) instead of shutting them out or making it such a difficulty they go elsewhere, MORE to stop immigrants with nothing to offer (few skills, few resources, likely future welfare burdens) being allowed in via dubious channels, & MORE to repatriate those already found here illegally that have no right to be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 543.

    @530 Ronald my life is not over far from it. And yes i have a lawyer. The UKBA will pay every penny i lost back, that i am sure of. How long it will take i dont know. And yes my friend came here in 1993 and as we speak, he is yet to gain permanent resident status. http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/migration-pulse/2011/www.govanhilllc.com?page=7, u might see where i am coming from when you read this

  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    Oh My God. This is terrible. Does no-one else read between the lines and see how paranoid, judgmental and scared the Government would like us to become?
    Snitching on our neighbours, worried who's working as our nurses, cleaners, cooks, deserving and undeserving poor.
    Wow, it's incredible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    Oh marvellous, it's all those candlelit dinners with Rebecca Wade.
    Her "shop a Paedophile" campaign caused a Paediatrician's home to be attacked because some of the supporters of this sort of direct justice are illiterate as well as stupid.
    The next "Dangerous Dogs" moral panic in progress.
    Grow up everybody.

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    Stop the 'foreign job stealing' Mr Cameron & we'll let you stay in No 10
    Perhaps Mr Cameron is thinking about the next general election - because he's almost onto a vote winner?

    I like foreigners coming to Britain - like many/most in Britain - I just expect them to pay for themselves, respect our religion culture & values & armed services, not to steal our jobs or expect UK nationality

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.

    kenromford (244) - what British migrants to Spain and other countries are or aren't required to do is a matter for those countries, not us. Similarly, we have a right to determine who comes here, why, and what is expected of them. Once people leave our borders we cease to have any influence over them. As for the proposals - fair enough, but it is only tinkering at the edges of the problem really.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    I worked with an elderly Jamaican gentleman, who was here illegally. Did it cross my mind to report him? No. Would I have done if it had? Not a chance. The only way you will know if someone is here illegally is if you know them well, and if that's the case, I doubt very much that you would report them. There will be too many cases of people reporting others just because they are racist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 537.

    @503 Teapot

    Sorry to hear your story. Really though, I have no idea how it related to my post you referenced.

    As for the whole 'of course they are criminal, we are talking about ILLEGAL immigrants' posters. Get a grip. Do you not see how circular that argument is when we are talking about illegal immigration? How you could possibly argue that someone could be 'born a criminal'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    /// The majority of reports are likely to be unfounded, possibly racist//

    You people need to get past the notion that calling something or someone 'racist' doesn't work any more. If by 'racist' you mean 'strongly opposed to immigration', and 'doesn't think that foreigners are as British as British people' fine. By those criteria, most people are racist. And so what?

  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    440: "Many illegal immigrants lead law abiding lives: it should be the criminals who should be deported: forget Human Rights."
    Just wondered what planet you have strayed from

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    "There should be virtually no immigration allowed on the basis of marriage"

    And may I ask why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    4 Minutes ago
    'Illegal immigration has increased since 2010'

    That's why he is looking to introduce new policies to stop this, what is your point? Where you expecting him to fix 13 years of Labour neglect overnight?

  • Comment number 532.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    Financially, the minimum wage is the discriminating factor in encouraging illegal immigration. Culturally, it is the total failure of the politicians in charge to inspire any trust toward the state. Politicians with their actions are bringing the state in an increasing friction with the citizen. For David Cameron to obtain support must first plow in huge amount of integrity in public life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    @503. Jay Teapot. I commented to one of your earlier posts, I was amazed that someone (your friend) who lived in UK & working without a criminal record should have had no problem getting UK residency. You now say you were detained by UKBA for 7 months! They said "sorry". Have you got a lawyer & if it is true, then you can get your live back. Or is it? Now doub't story about your friend.

  • Comment number 529.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 528.

    498.Assynt. You sound like an immigration officer. Hope I am right. Help me with this. A severely disabled child, born by an illegal immigrant & UK medical experts advise you that if the child were to be flown out to the parent's country of origin, he/she will die after 3mins from the flight taking off. You insist that the child should go because you can't bend your rules. Are you human or not?

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    Not many people seem to understand that there is no automatic right to live in this country even when you marry a British person. You must pass the English test and pass the "life in the UK" before you can get a VISA. I know people who worked to support their 2 kids in the UK but were kicked out because they could not speak English. Discrace. Now the kids have no father and wife on welfare.


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