Via Mr Eugenides, who really is in top form at the moment, the strange news that John Reid has announced that
People visiting Britain on visas are to be sent text messages warning them that their “time is running out” as part of John Reid’s get-tough policy towards illegal immigrants.
Mr E spots a little flaw in this plan.
Dr Reid is clearly in a pugnacious sort of mood, apparently because he’s under impression an illegal immigrant has pinched his giro (don’t ask me… he reckons they ‘come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits,’ thus clearly differentiating himself from crude demagogues who say they come here to steal our jobs) also apparently proposes to review
how the driver licensing system can be used to identify and combat illegal immigration. This will include identifying those illegal immigrants applying for licences fraudulently, will be denied a licence and targeted for enforcement action
This puzzles me. It’s already illegal, of course, to use a fake passport to apply for a driving licence, and I can’t see how, other than by seconding pretty specialised immigration department staff to the DVLA, you’re going to spot more fake passports (or ones that have been tampered with) than you do at the moment; unless it’s a very crude forgery, even the Immigration Service staff have to submit documents to a special department who can recognise forged overseas passports or well-faked UK entry permission stamps. And, short of requiring everyone who applies for a driving licence to attend a face-to-face interview, I don’t quite see how you’ll catch people who just submits someone else’s documentation (in the event they can find someone who’s entitled to a licence but doesn’t want one and who’s prepared to go along with the fraud).
Furthermore, such measures will, I fear, do little to catch the chap who simply doesn’t bother with a driving licence in the first place. And, since he doesn’t mind staying here illegally (and stealing Dr Reid’s benefits) I wouldn’t put it past him.