Monday, 8 July 2019

Pointless bureaucracy

I got chatting to an immigration lawyer at the weekend (friend of a friend) who told me that the whole thing is a futile waste of time and money.

The Home Office identifies citizens of EU Member States (who are actually entitled to be here) who are 'homeless' (as defined) and serves them papers asking them to leave the country or else they'll be deported.

Half of them ignore it, homeless foreigners being notoriously difficult to track down, and half of them fill in a 137-page form (I think he was exaggerating a bit here, but who knows?) applying for leave to remain (or whatever the technical term is), some of them get some of the trick questions wrong and are earmarked for deportation. Most of these then go to an immigration lawyer who knows how to fill in the form correctly and do the appeal cover letter, and then most of these people can stay.

And so on and so forth. Of the handful who are actually deported, most of them are back in the UK within days or weeks.

So far so good.

He also said that the HO identified a lot of people by bullying homeless charities into handing over data, which is easy to appeal against. This sounded like a conspiracy theory to me, but lo and behold, this morning's Metro covered the story.


Rich Tee said...

We have a software developer who moved from India to work for this company. They are now making all of us redundant.

He says the terms of his visa do not allow him to get another job in the UK so he will have to leave. It seems crazy but apparently it's true. So of course everybody is advising him to disappear, although I have advised to him to make some woman pregnant, then when the HO arrives he can employ a human rights lawyer and argue that deporting him will split up his family (what the Americans call "anchor babies").

The Stigler said...

Immigration is just potemkin politics. Anyone who thinks the government is at all serious about crap immigrants is just a total rube. Its so obvious that things like driving vans around telling people to go home are just for the tabloids.

We've got between 320k and 570k illegal immigrants in the UK. We enforce the departure of 9k people per year. And Johnson wants a 12 year amnesty. Now, if the odd person slipped through the net, that might make sense, but clearly, the odds of getting caught mean you could stay here for 30-50 years. But after 12, you're legal.

The Stigler said...

Rich Tee,

Can you find him an agency in a foreign country to work through, and I'll hire that foreign agency, and we pretend he's working in Kerala or Bangalore?

Curtis said...

RT, the current immigration system is pretty easy to navigate if you are rich and understand bureaucratese. The goal of the current system is to make immigrants "go home" when their visa expires. It is not really that crazy - he is on a temporary visa tied to his job for which no suitable EU worker was found, thus when the job ends he goes home. General visas for talented people who can take up any job were mostly abolished in 2012.

If your friend can find another job in the UK, he should simply go back to India, apply for a visa again and then return, it will take 1-2 months and cost about £2000 (including flight). The main reason it takes so long is that it's illegal for him to seek work whilst in the UK, so they need to go through the motions of finding no suitable EU citizen then him pretending to apply and be selected whilst he is in India, even if he actually did it in the UK.

If he "disappears" he will have a difficult life for 10-20 years because the government has outsourced its checks to private citizens and companies such as banks and landlords. If he knocks someone up and gets a lawyer, it will cost far more than £2000 and take 2-3 years to resolve, with him getting a limbo status for 7-10 years.

Actually the easiest way out would be to find an Indian woman who either has a high-paying job in the UK, or who is an EEA citizen. He can be sponsored as their dependent and then is free to work in any job. (Or if he is gay, a man would do, but needs to be Indian because the racists at the HO don't believe Indians can fall in love with Hungarians or Bulgarians - but to be fair the majority of such marriages are probably fake at least in part.)

TS, there has been a 14-year amnesty ever since the UK started taking immigration control seriously, although T.May increased it to 20 years in 2012. If BJ reduces it to 12, big deal.

MW, EEA citizens are only entitled to be in the UK if they are working, seeking work (for 3 months at a time), studying or self-sufficient (which could include being supported by family members), but for the latter two they need comprehensive sickness insurance. There are a few other exceptions that make them EU qualified persons. Rough sleepers probably don't qualify, but your lawyer probably tried to bend the truth slightly, after all who is to say that they weren't seeking work?

Anyway they could always leave the UK and come back, because in practice, the right of EEA citizens to be in the UK is not checked upon entering the UK except those deported for serious criminal offences. It used to never be checked unless they applied for British citizenship or to sponsor a non-EEA family member (EEA treaty rights are automatic rather than needing to be applied for), although after the referendum they started to encourage EU citizens to apply for confirmation that they had actually automatically received status.

mombers said...

Visas tied to an employer are a disaster. Gives the employer a monopoly over the employee. The H1B visa system in the US (which I was in for 2.5 years) is a goldmine for the tech companies.

Lola said...

Every era has its battles. Ours is bureaucracy.

Lola said...

And, the whole purpose of bureaucracy is to employ bureaucrats; as many as possible. And the price of failure in bureaucracies never falls on the bureaucrat. They use that failure to justify expansion. Parkinson's Law etc.

mombers said...

CI would solve the immigration problem very easily. Only citizens and long term residents would receive it. Anyone wanting to hire an immigrant would have to pay them a lot more, pretty much making it only attractive to highly skilled immigrants to come here

L fairfax said...

@"We've got between 320k and 570k illegal immigrants in the UK. We enforce the departure of 9k people per year. And Johnson wants a 12 year amnesty. Now, if the odd person slipped through the net, that might make sense, but clearly, the odds of getting caught mean you could stay here for 30-50 years. But after 12, you're legal."
People can already get legal status after a few years. I know two people have done it (they both then got council housing).
The easiest way to stop illegal immigration would be to say - you will never ever get legal status - or a pension or council housing.
Illegal immigration is a route to legal immigration, if it weren't they would go to an easier country.

Lola said...

LF Or the other way about. The universal welfare state is incompatible with the free movement of people - aka immigration.