The UK's Immigration Minister Mark Harper on The Daily Mail defends a government campaign of mobile billboards aimed at illegal immigrants telling them to go home or be prepared to be arrested.
But the reaction they have generated from the Left and the pro-immigration industry has been astonishing. They have denounced that simple message as ‘racist’.And that's the problem. This campaign does nothing about the too many immigrants who are or, like the Romanians and Bulgarians, are shortly going to come here legally.
Let me clear this up once and for all – it is not racist to ask people who are here illegally to leave Britain. It is merely telling them to comply with the law.
Our campaign targets illegal immigrants without any discrimination at all between them. By no stretch of the rational imagination can it be described as ‘racist’.
Furthermore, the campaign is not meant to, and does not, discourage legal immigrants who have earned the right to live or settle in Britain. To claim that the poster campaign is unfair to legal migrants is silly.
Nor, for that matter, can do much about illegal immigrants. They know they are illegal: if they wanted to obey the law of the country they wouldn't have entered Britain. A billboard will not make law-abiding people of them.
But what the Conservatives want is just to appear to do something. The UK Independence Party, although opinion polls show that its support is fast declining, has already made its impact felt through the fear it has instilled in the pseudo-conservatives.