Yesterday, David Cameron offered an ominous threat to people who are deemed to be ‘illegal immigrants’, when he said “we will find you and make sure you are sent back to the country you came from.” Who knew he meant this literally?
This announcement was worrying enough in itself – such a threat demonises immigrants and ignores the many reasons people might be in the UK illegally – but the PM decided to take his intimidating statement one step further. Cameron, accompanied by Home Secretary Theresa May, went along to the home of four alleged illegal immigrants after it had been raided by the police. And while he was there, what did he think it was the best time for? A photo-op, of course.
This has rightly been met with criticism from Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, who said it was “bad taste and constitutionally inappropriate for elected politicians to intervene in law enforcement”.
Chakrabarti’s sentiments have been echoed by Labour MP Tom Watson who has said that is seemed “improper for Cameron to be engaging in a PR stunt over alleged illegal immigration before people involved in the raid have been to trial or tribunal.” He went on to explain that the men in question “deserve due process” but that Cameron has, most likely, made that more difficult:
“it will be much harder for them to achieve that now that the prime minister has led a media circus to their home. He was happy to be photographed in the home of the alleged perpetrators. I would like to know whether all the legal requirements were adhered to, including whether his name appeared on the warrant for entry, as is expected in these kinds of raids.”
Migrants Right Network have in the past raised concerns over the media attending raids but Cameron and May have decided to pushed this controversial kind of ‘ride-along’ to the limits.
The ethics of this incident didn’t seem to bother Cameron. Alongside making sure he got some photos of his trip out, he took to Twitter to share them anyone and everyone, proudly adding the caption “Theresa May and I met immigration officers in Slough today after several suspected illegal migrants detained in raid.”
We shouldn’t be too surprised by this though – this comes from a Prime Minister and a Home Secretary who were happy to send vans around London that told illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest”.
As their track record on immigration proves, Cameron and May, constantly looking over their shoulders at the so-called ‘Ukip threat’, are more bothered about appearing tough on immigration, than they are concerned with what’s ethical and what’s not…