Cameron attacks 'rattled' PM on immigration

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Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"


The Conservative leader, David Cameron, today accused Tony Blair of being "rattled" over immigration after the prime minister conceded there were no accurate figures on the number of illegal immigrants in the UK.
Mr Blair tried to play down the latest furore over illegal immigrants sparked by one of the government's chief immigration official declaring yesterday that he did not have "the faintest idea" how many were living in Britain.
In a spat with the Tory leader at prime minister's question time, Mr Blair said 1,000 failed asylum seekers were being deported each month, and he claimed identity cards and electronic border checks were the way to combat illegal immigration.
He said: "There are two things we need to do. First of all, we need to introduce electronic borders. And secondly, we need identity cards both for foreign nationals and for British nationals if we want to track people coming in and out of our country and know the identity of people here. That is what we need to do."
Mr Cameron retorted: "You can sum up the prime minister's performance in one word: rattled. This is a government in paralysis."
The row was provoked by Dave Roberts, director of enforcement and removals at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, who told a committee of MPs yesterday that he did not have "the faintest idea" how many illegal immigrants were in Britain. He also told the Commons home affairs committee, which is looking into immigration control, that those who overstayed illegally were not pursued as "individuals".
Earlier today the home secretary, John Reid, admitted it was "disturbing" the figures on illegal immigration were not available, but added they had not collected for at least 15 years. He said: "That is a disturbing fact but it is not a new fact by any means."
Mr Blair's official spokesman added that 22% more failed asylum seekers were removed per month in the past year compared to the previous year.
He said: "That gives you an idea of the increasing effectiveness. Of course, this is an area where we are constantly seeking improvements. If people are illegals, they are not going to stand up and be counted. That has been the case under all governments. Nobody is claiming this is a situation that has been completely turned around. What we can say is it is much better than it was."
But the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Nick Clegg, said the government's management of the immigration system was "completely incompetent".
The anti-immigration pressure group Migration Watch estimates that there are at least 250,000 failed asylum seekers in the UK, basing its calculations on Home Office figures.
The shadow home secretary, David Davis, said that every failed asylum seeker should be tracked until they leave the country.
"It is hard to believe that the Home Office is in a position to assess the threat to the public safety of every single one of 250,000 failed asylum seekers currently still at large in this country," he told the Daily Mail.

accurate- dokładny
available- dostępny
concede- przyznawać
enforcement- egzekwowanie, wprowadzanie w życie
estimate- szacować
furore- wrzawa, poruszenie
(to) have not the faintest idea- nie mieć zielonego pojęcia
identity card- dowód tożsamości
identity- tożsamość
overstay- przedłużać swój pobyt
performance- wyniki, wydajność
pursue- ścigać
rattled- poirytowany; zagubiony, zdezorientowany
retort- odparować, ripostować
sparked- inicjować, wszczynać
spat- sprzeczka
track- śledzić, tropić


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