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More political posturing

The Guardian reports:

All asylum seekers who fail to register with the government should be deprived of access to British schools and hospitals, the former cabinet minister Stephen Byers said yesterday in a controversial speech designed to reassure working class voters that Labour understood their concerns about immigration.

At his monthly press conference yesterday, Tony Blair promised that the government would go further on asylum, and said he thought identity cards were right in principle even if the logistical cost was daunting.

In principle there is a case, in my view, for Britain moving towards … ID cards. However, there are huge logistical and cost issues that need to be resolved. It’s worth looking – which is what we are doing – at how you can resolve them, but it’s not a quick-fix for the system because of the amount of time and the logistical process in introducing them.

Mr Byers, in his proposals on illegal entrants who fail to claim asylum, proposed that all employers should get automatic fines of £2,000 for each illegal immigrant found at work.

This would make the body creating the demand for labour – the farmer, hotel or restaurant owner, multinational company or government department – take responsibility for the people employed on their behalf. Special squads should target known areas of illegal working.

1 comment to More political posturing

  • Guy Herbert

    Last time I looked, employers were already able to be fined £5,000 a head for employing people not entitled to work in this country. What’s new? Are they to be fined for being fooled by forged documents? Or is the minister proposing to call the fine an administrative penalty and dispense with all that inconvenient legal process and requirement for proof?