Unless you’re following some specific news circles, most people haven’t heard about this. So what’s going on?
Well it all started with UKBA Spot-checks. What are they? Well it’s where people are “randomly” questioned on their immigration status (http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/news/2013/home-office-spot-checks-we-want-to-hear-from-you.php), usually when people are using the transit system and generally just minding their own business out-and-about.
Read that again: Without any reason, people are being pulled aside and questioned about their immigration status in the UK.
Isn’t that just the cutest thing? The little darlings are racially profiling people out on the open street. Because for what other reason would they pull someone aside and question their rights on living here if they didn’t look different?
Why does this remind me of Arizona’s SB 1070 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_SB_1070)? Oh, I know: because it is AZ SB 1070.
I’m here legally; why should this bother me? If I was a self-centred, egoistical, bag-of-duche… yeah, you’re right, I probably wouldn’t care that much. But here I am, so I might as well explain my logic (warped as it is at times, but I swear I’m still right on this one): People have been immigrating and emigrating ever since the first tribes left Africa – as far as we can tell, based on DNA, since we are lacking in historical records.
Let’s stop and consider that there really isn’t such a thing as a “pure-blooded” anyone anymore. Even among the English – how many have ancestry that puts them from Rome, Germany, Normandy… (come on you guys, REALLY?) etc. al.? – so to say that only those who have been-here-for-generations -British have any right to remain here is unjust, in my not-so-humble opinion.
Anyway, it annoys me because they’re basically saying that, like their counterparts in the United States (see: Arazonian bigots that birthed SB 1070 to name a few), they have been against immigration since they got here.
Plus there is that self-centred part of me that wants to point out, if I was pulled aside for one of these spot-checks, they would demand to see my passport – which I don’t have with me right now (because, guess what, UKBA still has it) and I have nothing to show that I have an appeal pending. So it’s basically on my word that I’m where I’m supposed to be.
Yeah, they’d arrest my pointy rear-end in a heartbeat. Not because I am illegal, but because they suspect that I MIGHT be illegal. They could take be somewhere and lock me up and hold me for however long it took (because, yes, they are arresting people when they fail the spot-check) for them to find out that, actually, I’m on the up-and-up. Much anxiety, tears, heartbreak and frustration all around for no gain.
Except it they are not, again I say: ARE NOT, allowed to do it like this. So, here’s what you do if they DO try to pull this horse-hocky with you: http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/08/02/comment-ukba-spot-checks-are-an-abuse-of-power-but-you-can-s
This is a shady business and an abuse of power, and Immigrants have rights. Use them. Bystanders, support your fellow human beings – if you aren’t being questioned put those phones and mobile devices to good use and record the whole exchange.
And everyone: report and share any and all altercations with groups like Liberty Human Rights who are working to build a case against this affront to human decency.