Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Tagging - The Answer To Ending Child Detention?

Yes, that right, tagging children of school age and below is one of the potential answers being considered by the Tory-Whig Alliance is the tagging of so-called 'failed' asylum seekers AND THEIR FAMILIES! According to immigration minister Damian 'The Omen' Green on a visit to Glasgow yesterday, it is one of the options for their supposedly new-look 'humane and efficient' asylum system.

And his new-look 'humane and efficient' asylum system would initially involve putting refugees through the Borders Agency mincing machine as quickly as possible: “What we need to do is decide as quickly as possible who is a genuine refugee (sic) and who isn’t, and once that decision has been made treat both groups as well as possible... Those who are genuine refugees we want to help stay here and integrate with the community, and those who aren’t we want to remove from this country as quickly as possible, but also with humanity and dignity.”*

Notice the use of the term 'genuine refugee'. Despite claiming to want to introduce a new 'humane and efficient' asylum system, he chooses to continue to repeat all the usual tired prejudicial clich├ęs and loaded terminology. For example, he also claimed: “I think the problem is trying to develop a system that can distinguish quickly, efficiently and fairly between genuine refugees and those who are just using the asylum system to come here as economic migrants... Regrettably a lot of people do abuse the system." This is a standard trope but what is the evidence? In fact, what do any of these terms actually mean?**

Some will gain refugee status and some will not and it is in nobody’s interests if the families go underground." Again, another myth. Where is the evidence Mr Green that asylum seeking families will 'go underground'? We all know there is none. You may have partially salved your conscience by ending child detention in Scotland (even though it merely pushes the problem south of the border) but just more anti-immigrant rhetoric from another tired political hack.

* Where is the humanity and dignity in retaining ID cards for foreign nationals only and forcing English language tests on non-EU spouses?
** See for example: The Myth Of The 'Failed' Asylum Seeker.

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