Man taking a poll using a clipboard

In my blog of 6th March 2014, I forecast that the Immigration Act would make private landlords into unpaid and untrained Immigration Officers. The Immigration Act would become “in effect, a charter for racial and other forms of harassment and abuse where people encounter rogue decision-makers (e.g. rogue landlords)”.

We have just been proved right with the Government’s publication of the results of their own pilot, see Guardian 7/8/15 article which showed that the use of private landlords to crackdown on “illegal immigrants” has been a complete failure. Even more serious was the finding that the scheme seems to have encouraged discrimination against non-British prospective tenants as we had anticipated.

In spite of these worrying findings the Government has already gone ahead to roll out this dangerous and vindictive scheme on a country-wide basis. This is further evidence that when it comes to immigration, sensible policy making and  a measured political approach to a complex problem goes straight out of the window. The Government would far rather be seen to be unpleasant to newly arriving migrants then make sensible policy decisions that actually work.

The readership of the Sun and Daily Mail and those people inclined towards UKIP are the real drivers of Government policy. Considerations of a humane and sensible approach to migration – let alone fair and good government policy that actually works – come a long way behind.

Being nasty to migrants may get the Government some approval from the tabloids and the bigots but there is no evidence that it deters any desperate refugees from making their terrifying journeys across the Sahara desert and then the treacherous Mediterranean Sea.