David Blackburn

The Baroness Scotland’s housekeeper scandal exposes the mess our immigration system is in

The Baroness Scotland’s housekeeper scandal exposes the mess our immigration system is in
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The news that the UK Border agency will launch an investigation into allegations that the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, employed an illegal immigrant is, obviously, highly embarrassing for the government. With his customary lack of style, the Tories’ attack-dog Chris Grayling commented:

"This is a Government that says all small employers should be prosecuted if they don't know the immigration status of their employees and yet we have senior ministers who can't be bothered to make the checks themselves. There is a real 'one rule for them, one rule for us' attitude at the heart of this Government and it is a disgrace."

That overstates the case. I can’t imagine that Baroness Scotland would have knowingly employed Loloahi Tapui illegally in the first place - suggesting there’s something fishy about Tapui’s documentation, though, as ever in these cases, Tapui is evidently hard working and deserves (though that doesn't entitle her to) immigrant status. This affair exposes the baleful immigrant employment regulations, drawn up, ironically, by the Baroness. Grayling is correct to point out that this provides “a salutory lesson…that if you do make a situation so complicated, you're liable to caught out by it yourself." I’ve blogged before about the need for government to face up to immigration as an issue, perhaps this will be the catalyst.