Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced last week that he was abandoning the “earned citizenship” or “amnesty” proposal.
Nick Clegg’s 2010 general election manifesto stated that those who had been in the country for a decade or more, speak English and have a clean criminal record would be allowed to stay in the UK.
But harsh criticism has since made Mr Clegg realise that the move would “risk undermining public confidence”. He said last week that at the time the Liberal Democrats were championing the idea, it seemed to make sense to allow overstayers to pay tax and contribute to society, rather than “living in the shadows”.
“Despite the policy’s aims, it was seen by many people as a reward for those who have broken the law,” he said. “That is why I am no longer convinced this specific policy should be retained in our manifesto for the next general election.”
Security bonds to prevent overstaying
In the same speech, he announced plans to run a pilot programme before the end of the year, which would see those from “high risk countries” coming into the UK paying a lump sum deposit, which would be held by the government and repaid when they leave, as long as they leave when they say they will. This would be in addition to fulfilling the normal criteria.
Crackdown on employers
Clegg said that the government was going to come down harder on unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants because they are cheaper. He said he would personally like to see the cash penalty of £ 10 000 doubled.
Still many legal routes into the UK
If you would like to study or work in the UK, or suspect you might be eligible to apply for a British Passport, visit www.1stcontactvisas.com to find out more about the many legal routes into the UK.