Please, don’t less this be the future for a Britain now signed up to less liberal immigration policies. From a story about how an anti-immigration backlash plays out in Japan:
Families have been broken apart as parents of children born in Japan have been detained and deported. People who seemed to qualify for a special residency permit (SRP), designed for those who overstay their visa but wish to remain, have been denied. Forced deportations have become more frequent and rougher … This year alone, two detainees have committed suicide, one has publicly complained of abuse, and 70 inmates staged a hunger strike demanding better treatment.
people cannot apply directly for an SRP: illegal residents can only request it once in detention, or turn themselves in and try their luck while deportation proceedings are under way. So most illegal residents just stay mum. Mr Suraj fell into the SRP abyss after he was arrested for overstaying his visa. Although he had lived in Japan for 22 years, was fluent in the language and married to a Japanese citizen, his SRP request was denied.
ABUBAKAR AWUDU SURAJ was already unconscious when the cabin crew of EgyptAir MS965 saw him on board, before the Tokyo-to-Cairo flight. Shortly later he was dead.
As for Mr Suraj’s widow, she has yet to receive details about her husband’s death or an official apology. The topic is one Japanese society would rather avoid. The press barely reported it. Still, when her name appeared online, she was fired from her job lest the incident sully her firm’s name.
I was immensely proud of the Liberal Democrats’ policy (developed when Nick Clegg was Home affairs spokesman): of giving earned amnesty to people who had stayed illegally in Britain for 10 years, had a spotless criminal record, and wanted to come out of the shadows and start paying us tax. Against our illiberal press, I thought the policy needed a human face to make it work – a picture of the sort of people and the sort of treatment they might get if an alternative policy of forced deportation no matter what was applied.
Mr Suraj is a chilling example of what the Lib Dems were trying to avoid.