Tuesday, March 29, 2005

British border police

The British conservatives are really getting serious about dealing with illegal immigration:

A new police force charged only with securing Britain's borders would be created under Conservative plans.

The new force would bring together officers from customs, Special Branch and immigration currently working at ports and airports.

Tory leader Michael Howard said Labour had "totally failed" to enforce the controls needed to limit immigration, fight crime and prevent terrorism.

Labour says it is tightening controls. Lib Dems also want a new border force.

Internal surveys by the Tories and Labour have suggested that immigration and asylum are one of the electorate's key issues and have the potential to swing large numbers of votes.

Mr Howard publicised the new proposals as he tried to shift attention away from the continuing row over his decision to sack Tory MP Howard Flight.

"Our immigration system is being abused - and with it Britain's generosity," he said.

He pointed to reports that immigration officials allow people with fake or suspect identity papers to enter Britain for 48 hours - instructing them to return later for questioning or deportation.

Mr Howard said: "Does anyone seriously imagine that someone with the clear intent to inflict harm or terror in Britain would turn up? It's hard to imagine a laxer system.

"We face a real terrorist threat in Britain today - a threat to our safety, to our way of life, and to our liberties.

"But we have absolutely no idea who is coming into or leaving our country."

Now if only Howard could talk a little sense into President Bush.

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