Dangerous Foreigners Act 2006

Please tell me that the following are not controversial:

  • courts, not civil servants or politicians, should determine what punishment a criminal deserves, based on the individual circumstances of the crime;
  • foreigners should be punished no more harshly, and no less, than a UK citizen. 

I think it is downright racist to have a policy of imposing a punishment on foreigners that is harsher than you would impose on UK citizens in the same circumstances.

It is worrying that the Home Office was unable to carry out its policy of deporting foreigners after their release.   But moving to a policy of deporting all foreigners, irrespective of whether that was the punishment imposed by the sentencing judge, would be the biggest over-reaction since the Dangerous Dogs Act

Update: Bondwoman at The Sharpener is spot on about this.

12 thoughts on “Dangerous Foreigners Act 2006”

  1. "foreigners should be punished no more harshly, and no less, than a UK citizen."
    A) Why not?
    B) Is deportation so bad? In most cases they would be free men/women back home.

  2. A.  Why not?  Because justice should treat everyone the same.  That’s, you know, one of the principles of a fair legal system. 

    B. Is it so bad?  In some cases, it is. They may have homes, families, jobs, children here, and they may have opportunities here for the future.  You don’t know – and nor do I – whether they deserve to have all this taken away from them.  That is a matter for the judge.

  3. Pingback: Blog: The (e)State of Tim

  4. Owen,
    You’re obviously entitled to your opinion – even when it’s incorrect.
    I am slightly puzzled by your invocation of racism. One’s eligibility for deportation is predicated by a simple and rather obvious fact – one is either a national of a country or not. It has absolutely sod all to do with skin tone.
    If you’re concerned that the scandalsof the last fortnight might result in an increase in the number of black Africans being deported, then believe me I could point you in the direction of Poles, Latvians, Czechs, Albanians, Romanians, Americans, Canadians and even a Chechen who’ve committed crimes in the UK, all of them whiter than snow and all of them as guilty as sin.
    The use of the word ‘racism’ (what does it mean? Racial bigotry?) as a fireblanket to quash an argument or policy one might not like is childish. It is absolutely correct to impose a harsher penalty on those who offend who a) have no right to be here; or, b)have received the permission of the people to live here and then abused it.
    As Dame Edna Everage might put it, call me old-fashioned but some of us still have some regard for the rule of law.

  5. Martin

    "As Dame Edna Everage might put it, call me old-fashioned but some of us still have some regard for the rule of law."

     Doesn’t the "rule of law" imply that all must be treated without discrimination and in a proportionate manner.Imagine A and B both have lived in the UK for 15 years. A has
    applied and been granted citizenship. B has not.  They both have
    families, kids at the same school. Both have similar ties in the community.They are both charged with an
    identical offence. Say conspiracy. A has a string of previous
    convictions and is incarcerated. B is given a non custodial sentence.
    Is it fair that B should be deported to a state where he  no longer has links? 

  6. Tony,
    Angels and pins, I’m afraid, because the answer to your question is in my post. A’s status is not in doubt. A stays. A may be a criminal, but he’s been sufficiently interested in our society to make a personal commitment to it, for whatever reason. B, on the other hand, as well as having ‘kids at the same school’ and ‘similar ties in the community’ has not availed himself of the same opportunity to apply for citizenship as was available to A. B’s deportation is therefore a consequence of his own failure, which is just his tough luck. By the way, on October 19 2005 a naturalised British citizen named Kanagaratnam Ganan, a native of Sri Lanka, was jailed for 65 months at Croydon Crown Court for a bank fraud estimated to have netted him and his gang at least £1.1 million. Bear that in mind, please, when your bank charges go up.

  7. Martin,As this comment 

     Doesn’t the "rule of law" imply that all must be treated without discrimination and in a proportionate manner

    remained unchallenged in  your response to the A&B problem. I assume you believe discrimination is a bit outside "the rule of law"?

  8. Tony,
    Of course discrimination is outside the rule of law. However, the problem you posted does not involve discrimination – it involves the application of law. Deporting A and allowing B to remain if their crimes and personal circumstances were identical would be discrimination.

  9. AJE has partly persuaded me that ‘xenophobia’ would be a better word than ‘racist’.  Though I am not clear that it makes much difference, as I hold them in equal contempt.

  10. I’m not a fan of being born into citezenship,going back to the A&B example,how about C the child abuser with no love of state born into the system.

    Why not make the decision as to wether imprisonment is for punishment or reform? rather than some halfway house towards the next crime spree.

    not that i have any ideas about how to make a reform system actualy work but im not suggesting we throw away the key,or maybe we should

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