The UK's suicidal immigration judiciary

Melanie Phillips:


"As this paper reports elsewhere, secret tapes reveal that the extremist Abu Hamza is regularly urging British Muslims to commit atrocities in Britain and rise up to dominate the world. Yet he is still at liberty. And elsewhere, some in the senior judiciary appear to be going out of their way to send a signal that Britain is just not serious about stopping terror in its tracks.

"Last week, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) released on bail an Algerian known as ‘G’. He had been locked up in indefinite detention because he was said to support members of Al Qaeda and to have helped young British Muslims train for jihad against the west.

"SIAC said it had no doubt that ‘G’ had ‘actively assisted terrorists’. Nevertheless, it accepted the claim that his unlimited incarceration was making him psychotic and potentially suicidal. Accordingly, it released him under house arrest.

"Mr Blunkett described this decision as ‘extraordinary’ and added that others would consider it ‘bonkers’. And indeed, it is hard to understand what on earth SIAC thought it was doing. For it actually agreed that ‘G’ was a serious danger to this country — and yet released him on the grounds that he was ill.


"Rights campaigners at Liberty say ‘G’ was literally driven mad by the prospect of indefinite detention. But this melodramatic claim misses the point. All these prisoners are actually free to leave prison at any time — provided they either return to the country they came from, or find another country that is prepared to take them.

"They refuse to go home because they claim they will be ill-treated or killed there; and not surprisingly, no other country will take them because they don’t want to be lumbered with someone accused of being a dangerous terrorist.

"And here’s the nub of this issue. In any sane universe, Britain would simply deport such people as undesirables. Indeed, we used to do precisely that. But now we can’t deport them — because the judges say so."

The UK immigration enforcement policy is like Mississippi's schools, at least everyone else can say, "see, we are not the worst."


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