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News » Immigration

'Crazy' as illegal immigrants arrested trying to leave UK

Contributed by editor on Mar 07, 2008 - 12:15 AM

Three illegal Afghan immigrants have been arrested in Dover after they were caught trying to leave Britain.

They had sneaked into the back of a Polish lorry leaving Dover for France but were discovered when it braked suddenly, causing its load of timber to fall and pin one of them down.

The driver went to investigate after hearing noises from the back of his truck.

The other two men, who were also injured, were seen trying to run away.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the pressure group MigrationWatch, said yesterday: "It seems crazy to stop illegal immigrants leaving the country of their own free will.

"We would like to see an amnesty of departure so any illegal immigrant could leave, providing they were not wanted by police, as soon as they wish."

Sir Andrew added: "We do not need them here and we certainly do not need to pay for their removal."

Charlie Elphicke, 36, the Tories' prospective parliamentary candidate for Dover, said: "The Home Office is a complete shambles. Why are we stopping them from leaving?

"If they want to go, let them go. Why are we spending valuable resources in this way?

"We should be making sure our borders are secure against people who are trying to enter our country illegally and helping those who are here illegally to leave.

"It is ludicrous to prevent those wanting to leave to do so. The immigration system in this country is truly mad.

"No other country would run its immigration system the way we are. It's just an insane practice and highlights what a terrible-sorry state the Home Office is in."

Gwyn Prosser, 64, Labour MP for Dover and Deal, said: "I have heard of at least one gang that escorts illegal immigrants across the Channel, for which they pay a premium price, then the traffickers have to get back to France without having any relevant paperwork.

A Home Office spokesman said: "If they are failed asylum seekers we will be able to find their immigration background and there is a possibility of removal from the country.

Father loses battle to stay in UK

Contributed by editor on Feb 10, 2008 - 12:15 AM

A local father-of-two has lost his battle to stay in Britain.

Joao Muambo Ambriz, 35, arrived in the UK in 2003, from Angola and now lives in Dover with his British-born wife.

He won a reprieve against deportation in December, but now the Home Office has told him me must leave though he fears he will be tortured in Angola.

Dover MP Gwyn Prosser is backing Mr Ambriz but said Immigration Minister Liam Byrne wrote to him saying the case was not a genuine claim for asylum.

Mr Prosser, Labour MP for Dover, said the latest development meant the order to detain and remove Mr Ambriz could be reinstated.

He added: "Whatever transpires I am committed to supporting the case and doing all I can to keep this loving couple together with their children in their Dover home."

Mr Ambriz's wife Hannah said: "This is not the end of the game, we will push it as far as a judicial review if we have to.

"We have got lots of avenues to explore and we will not give up until we get the right answer."

Mr Ambriz came to the UK after fleeing his home country as a political dissident, but all his asylum applications since then have been rejected.

In December he won a last-minute reprieve against deportation and spent Christmas at home with his family after being released from a detention centre.

In a statement, the Home Office said: ""We only return those who the asylum decision making and independent appeals processes have found do not need international protection and who can therefore return safely.

"We examine with great care each individual case before removal and we will not remove anyone who we believe is at risk on their return."

France bans Britain's cross channel migrant X-ray scanner

Contributed by editor on Jan 23, 2008 - 12:19 PM

Cross channel British border guards in Calais have been banned from using X-rays to search for illegal immigrants in lorries - unless they ask for the stowaways' written permission reports the Daily Mail.

French authorities have blocked the use of the scanners, claiming they could breach European health and safety laws.

They have told British immigration officials that if they want to use the machines they will first have to clear it with those they are looking for.

Given that the illegal immigrants do not want to be found, the chances of reaching such an agreement are zero, leaving the British no choice but to stop using the machines.

Immigration officials are said to be baffled by the decision.

The scanners - which have helped cut the number of illegal immigrants arriving in Dover by 88 per cent - emit less radiation than an ordinary hospital X-ray and are used elsewhere in Europe with great success.

The ban was also criticised by hauliers and politicians last night. Adam Holloway, Tory MP for Gravesham in Kent, said: "This appears extremely convenient for the French authorities who, once again, have come up with an excuse to move the problem of immigration control over to British soil.

"It is also yet another clear example of European Union overregulation."

Local immigration centre is one of the best says race relations report

Contributed by editor on Jan 05, 2008 - 09:43 PM
Dover Immigration Centre has been rated second in the UK in a report on race relations.

The Haslar Immigration Removal Centre in Gosport, came out top scoring 81 per cent in the official Borders and Immigration Agency report.

The Dover Immigration Centre with scored 77 per cent.

An assessment of the centres was carried out between January and February last year and involved interviewing detainees and staff.

It was launched after research found staff at a number of centres throughout the country were taunting detainees with racist behaviour.

Two near Heathrow Airport were singled out for criticism, accused of a 'catalogue' of racist behaviour.

BIA chief executive Lin Homer said: 'We are pleased the report recognises that race relations procedures are operating above average at nine out of 10 removal centres. Our aim, however, is further improvement and to that end we will consider the recommendations closely.'

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