Sunday, April 8, 2012

British Judges ordered to end 'right to family life' farce

Judges are to be ordered by ministers to end the “abuse” of human rights laws which allows foreign criminals to claim the right to a “family life” to avoid being deported.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has declared that new immigration rules will be in place by the summer to make it “absolutely clear” that those who have committed a crime, broken immigration rules or cannot support themselves must not be allowed to stay.

The move, which follows a Home Office consultation into Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), represents a victory for The Sunday Telegraph which launched a campaign on the issue last year under the slogan: “End the Human Rights Farce.”

Mrs May said in an interview with this newspaper: “By the summer, I will have changed the immigration rules so that we can end the abuse of the right to a family life.”

She added that she believes the measures will be “widely supported” both by politicians from all sides and the public and adds: “Believe you me, I get as frustrated as anybody when I see somebody who should not be in this country remaining in this country.”

In a wide-ranging interview at the end of a bruising political week for the Home Secretary, she also served notice she would not back down in the row with the Liberal Democrats over plans to give law enforcement agencies new powers to investigate on-line communications including visits to Facebook, eBay and Skype which have been dubbed a “snooper’s charter.”

Despite Lib Dem vows to block the move from appearing in next month’s Queen’s Speech and signs that the planned Bill would only be published in draft, Mrs May vowed swift action.

“Obviously the longer you leave it, the quicker technology can move on,” she says “I would expect us to be able to do this in a Bill in the next session [of parliament].”

Mrs May also signals movement in the case of Abu Qatada, the radical cleric whose deportation to Jordan was blocked by the European Court of Human Rights earlier this year. She discloses a group of British officials went to the country last week, in the wake of her own visit last month, and that the “momentum” is being kept up.

“The public want him to be deported, I want him to be deported,” Mrs May says.

It is the government’s proposed action on the right to a family life, though, that is likely most to please Conservative MPs and supporters looking for some positive policy moves following weeks which have seen the party take a series of political hits over tax changes in the Budget and claims ministers fuelled panic over planned strike by tanker drivers.

By the end of July, ministers will change immigration rules so that Article 8 of the ECHR can only be used as a barrier to deportation in “rare and exceptional cases.” The new rules will come into force within a month of being published.

Judges will be specifically told that the “family life” right will not prevent the removal of a foreign national when they have been convicted of a criminal offence, have breached immigration rules or are unable to maintain themselves and their families without being a drain on the state.

Home Office sources said legislation passed under Labour, the 2007 UK Borders Act, muddied the waters on deportation by creating an exemption if human rights were breached - and that until now judges had “no clear steer on how that exemption should be interpreted.”

Ministers are well aware that their new rules will be immediately challenged in court and are prepared to consider further changes if they are not sufficient. Rewriting UK law - the ultimate step - would have major international consequences and would be unlikely to be done without a government having a specific mandate to do so after a general election.

Mrs May, who last year declared her personal preference was to scrap the Human Rights Act altogether, saaid: “I have every confidence it [her rule changes] will work. If it doesn’t, if it is tested in the courts and we find there’s a problem, we’ll obviously look at other measures, but I’m confident in what we’re proposing to do.”

The Sunday Telegraph’s campaign for change has been supported by leading politicians, including one of Mrs May’s Labour predecessors at the Home Office, Jacqui Smith, and the former Tory shadow home secretary, David Davis.

The newspaper called for action after complaints that a number of British judges were ignoring key provisions built into Article 8 which allow deportations - including “the prevention of disorder or crime.” Criminals who lose their cases in Britain are able to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Cases highlighted in the last few months include:

* Joseph Lissa, who was branded a war criminal by a judge after admitting commanding fighters in a civil war in his homeland of Sierra Leone. The Home Office refused him permission to remain but Lissa, a driving instructor in Huddersfield, won an appeal on the grounds he had married a British woman and fathered a child here.

* Taoufik Didi, a Moroccan bigamist sentenced to three years in jail for selling cocaine to undercover police officers. He was given a deportation order but told immigration judges he had been in a relationship with a British woman for 10 years and that the couple intended to start a family. Didi, based in London, won his appeal.

* Gary Ellis, a violent drug dealer living in North London, who twice avoided being sent home to Jamaica after citing Article 8 in the wake of two separate convictions. On both occasions, he told judges he was entitled to a family life with his girlfriend and young daughter.


Don’t expect immigration enforcement from Republicans

On Tuesday, Florida Republican Senator and much-hyped vice-presidential hopeful Marco Rubio announced that he is crafting his own version of the DREAM Act which would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

While the announcement has disheartened much of the Republican faithful, it really should come as a surprise to no one…

Over the past several months, the Obama administration through executive order, has been implementing one disastrous move after the next which when completed, will add up to a blanket amnesty for all of those currently inside this country illegally.

While the anger among conservative activists and law abiding Americans has been palpable, the silence coming from the national Republican Party on these lawless policies has been deafening.

-On June 17, 2011, the Obama administration issued a memo announcing immigration officials no longer have to deport illegal aliens if they are enrolled in any type of education program, if their family members have volunteered for U.S. military service, if they have filed a civil rights lawsuit or even if they are pregnant or nursing.

The policy known as 'prosecutorial discretion' was also quietly announced on a Friday afternoon, and completely ignored by the mainstream press.

-In August 2011, the Obama administration announced that they would now only deport illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes in this country, more than likely, that means only those convicted of felonies. Perhaps, even more devastating, the administration will also reportedly distribute work permits to those illegal aliens allowed to stay even as U.S. unemployment remains very high.

-On January 6, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the agency’s proposed rule change which will allow illegal alien spouses and children to stay in this country while seeking legal residency status, rather than waiting for a green card back home.

Under the new rule, they will supposedly have to return home to visit a U.S. consulate for an interview. However, this will be but a formality.

The federal government would issue hardship waivers to the illegal aliens so that they can easily re-enter the country.

While Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has never failed to issue a statement condemning each one of Obama’s aforementioned actions, rhetoric is where the GOP leadership begins and ends on the subject of illegal immigration and what to do about the millions of illegal aliens already here (and still coming).

In January 2011, it was announced that Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) would head the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. The California Congressman was chosen for the top job, even though Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was the ranking member of the subcommittee when Democrats controlled the House.

Rep. King has consistently been the loudest voice in the U.S. Congress, calling for strict border enforcement and at times, seemingly the only one on Capitol Hill who is concerned about the public safety crisis caused by illegal immigration.

In 2006, King released the results of a study which found that 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, and 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers every day.

That same study also determined that eight American children become victims of sexual abuse by illegal aliens every day, translating into 2,920 child victims annually.

King once said: “Members of Congress that vote for a guest-worker plan ... will be supporting an amnesty plan and they should be branded with the scarlet letter 'A' and pay for that amnesty in the ballot box in November [elections].”

In the past, King has introduced legislation which would deny birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

It seems that it is that same, out-spoken nature, and no-nonsense attitude that sunk him with the Republican elitists, anxious to please their Chamber of Commerce benefactors.

We must not forget that only a few years ago, it was the Republicans who were championing amnesty for illegal aliens. President Bush wanted it, and Sen. John McCain wrote the bill…Of course, Republicans were in control of both houses of Congress at that time.

In the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections, we heard tough talk on immigration from the Republicans, but that was when they were farther out-of-power than that party had been in nearly a generation.

The chairmanship rightfully belonged to King, but just as in the past, the GOP has placed more importance on pandering to Hispanic voters than on the rule of law—it would appear they may be going down that same destructive path again.

During a recent conversation with my good friend and fellow Examiner, Rick Oltman, we both concluded that Congressional Republicans are more than likely, very relieved by Obama’s actions because now the issue is effectively over and they do not have to risk alienating Hispanic voters by calling for strict enforcement.

If the Republican Party returns to the ways of Bush and McCain and goes back on their word to Americans eager to see our immigration laws enforced, those same Americans will find what they are looking for in a third party and leave the GOP behind forever.


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