Theresa May has been criticised quite a bit over the past couple of weeks and she's been taking it in the neck from the Guardian and many lawyers over her suggestion that the right to a family life is a qualified right that can be overridden in some situations. More importantly, she's upset lawyers by suggesting judges use their power under the Immigration Act 1971 to recommend deportation from the UK of foreign criminals.
Now, I may upset some of my learned friends, but I actually agree with Theresa on this one. As Lawson LJ said in Nizari, "This country has no use for criminals of other nationalities, particularly if they have committed serious crimes or have long criminal records."
I have dealt with a number of defendants who have committed very serious offences but who have escaped deportation for reasons I've never fathomed. In one case, drunken failed asylum seeker disagreed with a doorman's decision to remove him from a night club as a) he was exceptionally drunk; and b) he was bothering some women. In response the chap returned to the club with an imitation firearm and began threatening to kill the doorman and his colleagues. The fake gun was taken from him by a brave bouncer but the drunk chap then pulled a knife and continued to threaten the doormen until the police arrived. Last I heard he had been released from prison and remains in the UK. In another case, a defendant committed a huge fraud against the UK government that allowed thousands of people to enter or remain in the UK illegally. She has yet to pay any of her confiscation order despite having the funds available in her bank account in her home country. Again, she remains in the UK with her children who are being educated at British tax payers expense. This is not somebody from a dangerous country who cannot return for fear of what might happen to her... her family are lawyers and are rather well off.
Now, I don't want anybody to think I've flipped and have joined the BNP, I haven't. Nor have I suddenly decided to develop a racist bent. I love immigrants, there's always something great that they bring to the UK whether its a cultural thing, food, beer, a joyful love of life or something else.
What I do object to is people who view the UK as a soft touch that they can abuse safe in the knowledge that they'll not be sent home no matter what they do.
I have to say that if you arrive in the UK and set up a family then deliberately set out on a life of crime then it is you who must consider your family's welfare and everybody else should not have to put up with you. If your family cannot or will not live with you in your home nation then it is you who have broken up the family, not the state or the judge who recommends deportation.
I know you wouldn't want me to end without having a dig at the politicians, so I'll just mention that judges recommend deportation, the person they recommend deportation to is... er Theresa May!