back to article Johnson presses for haste on foreigner IDs

Home secretary Alan Johnson has asked the UK Border Agency to look at speeding up the issuing of identity cards to foreign nationals. As part of the change of plans for the National Identity Scheme, Johnson has asked the agency to review its implementation programme. It has already issued 50,000 cards to people legally working …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It won't stop illegal working

    If anything was supposed to stop illegal working, then the PAYE system and the requirement for an NI number would already be doing this. It isn't because companies are perfectly willing to hire illegal staff.

    Has our government once more completely missed the point? Surely not ... cough.

  2. Nomen Publicus
    Big Brother

    To what end?

    Curious about why this policy exists. If a legal alien enters the UK they will have passport, visa, work permit etc in which case why do they need an additional ID card? If an illegal alien enters the UK they have _exactly_ the same amount of official identification as a native, ie none.

    So what problem do these ID cards solve?

    It occurs to me that the real problem may lie within government where the current systems for managing immigration/emigration are so broken that only a new system and department can possibly solve the problem.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    How exactly...

    ... does this combat illegal immigrants?

    Most employers who are using illegal workers know perfectly well they're doing so. At best they're paying cash-in-hand to someone who is legal, and he's then 'subcontracting' the casual work to his 4th cousin 12 times removed. At worst employers are using no-names, no-packdrill workers on a daily basis.

    Even if you gave cards to every single legal non-EU worker, this would go on. The police have no resources to tag every odd-jobbing worker in the whole country.

  4. Professor Quatermass

    As an immigrant 8 months shy of citizenship I hope to vote these evil people out!

    I've worked for 6 years at a job I loathe in order to become a permanent resident (where the goalposts shifted from 4 to 5 years before qualifying) - and I'll be eligible to apply for citizenship in February.

    My one wish is that I will be able to vote this corrupt, illiberal, wicked Labour government from office and ensure they never come close to government again.

    Frankly, I have no idea how someone could really come here and work without getting picked up sooner or later. Oh, right - extreme governmental incompetence. The people at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted always make me feel extremely welcome, whilst also making sure I am who I claim to be. Surely, the government is making a mockery of the good work these people do?

  5. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    Get the train

    Just get the Eurostar, as they recently said they can't legally check Nu Labour's white elephant cards...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So ID card needed for work???

    So what's he saying there, that you'll need an ID card to be allowed to work now? And lack of an ID card stops you working?

    How else can it 'stop illegal working'???

    Oh good grief, tell me Johnson isn't another one of these NuLabour NuNanny idiots trying to micromanage the tiniest aspects of everyones lives.

  7. adam payne

    ID cards

    I don't think ID cards will do anything except waste our tax money.

    The companies/people employing illegal immigrants know they're doing something illegal but they know they can pay illegal immigrants a lot less and not have to pay NI.

    So what do these ID cards do?

  8. Daniel Free

    young people will love this as a proof of age

    especialy once its cracked wide open so they can edit it at will from a home PC.

    no more need for a fake ID, just alter a real one.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    This is good news!

    Speaking as a resident foreigner with only a Home Office visa which is examined on every ingress to the UK and a UK photo driving licence to my name, this country will *indeed* be *safer place to live* for all concerned. I'm so contrite, humbled and quite frankly, shit scared, that I have dismantled my bomb factory. A victory for commonsense!

    God bless you, Mr Johnson!

  10. Martin 6 Silver badge

    @To what end

    Simple, legal foreign workers will be able to produce a card to prove it.

    Anybody that can't produce the card on demand is an illegal foreign worker - or a tourist, or one of 60million British citizens.

    Obviously the plan needs a little work - but that can be solved by issuing everybody else with some sort of card saying that they don't need to carry a card.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ To what end

    I'm amazed you don't seem to realise that if New Labour doesn't get this somehow embedded to the point of removal being costly there won't be any cushy jobs to go to in industry.

    No partnerships at consulting firms further milking the Treasury after passing this idea as "feasible" (yeah, as if they would say no to getting more work), no non-executive directorships at the suppliers of the machinery and materials for this nonsense, no advisory positions at strategy shops and no opportunities at the public speaking circuit to try and flog it to other countries.

    All of that nose dives if New Labour doesn't raise this dead horse, so expect a lot more panic moves over the next few months as the UK moves slowly towards the oh-so-needed elections.

    Excuse my sarcasm, but I saw this one coming a mile off.

  12. JohnG

    Yeah - that'll work

    Policeman: Excuse me sir, can I see your Foreigner's ID card?

    Illegal immigrant and terrorist: I haven't got one

    Policeman: Why's that sir?

    Illegal immigrant and terrorist: I was born here

    Policeman: Can you prove that?

    Illegal immigrant and terrorist: No - I have no ID on me

    Policeman: Are you sure?

    Illegal immigrant and terrorist: Yes - I don't have to carry ID.

    Policeman: OK sir, have a nice day.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Show them what you think of them

    One of the few "perks" of being here as a Commonwealth immigrant rather than any other non-white, oops I mean "non-EU" immigrant is that you can vote in UK elections. (Let's see for how long!).

    I suggest all commonwealth immigrants vote against Labour and secondly make it clear to their local Labour candidate and anyone else willing to listen that the imposition of ID cards is the main/only reason (as applicable) they have lost a vote.

    This would also dispel the often touted myth that Labour supposedly has an open-door policy on immigration and that this is in order to create a client-voter base. Non-EU Immigrants and those from Commonwealth countries in particular, have nothing to thank Labour for.

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    "Oh good grief, tell me Johnson isn't another one of these NuLabour NuNanny idiots trying to micromanage the tiniest aspects of everyones lives."

    Haven' checked his voting record, have you?

  15. MeRp

    How does...

    the UK have a problem with illegal immigration. It's not as if any part of it shares a border with any poor country. The only borders are between Ireland and N. Ireland (which is isolated, itself, from the remainder of the UK), and the artificial border created by the Chunnel. Are these really that difficult to secure from illegal crossings? Are there lots of stowaways aboard the ships arriving in ports that cannot be detected as they make their way from ship to dock? Have lots of stowaway para jumpers dropping from the airplanes coming from foreign origins? Lots of people swimming ashore? I cannot imagine a scenario where an island nation could acquire a large influx of illegal immigration unless it had a tiny population (and therefore a small number managing to sneak in made a big difference), or it was within somewhat easy swimming distance of somewhere people were desperate enough to try to cross that way.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    ID scheme? pah!

    I'm one of those who'll have to get one of these cards, simply because i'm not a citizen. except, since I moved here (having paid the UK govt handsomely for the priviledge of procuring a visa in the first place!) I've done nothing except pay top rate tax and NI and council tax and VAT and... but now, I have another tax to pay - because that's what this is. it's no longer an ID card scheme, it's an easy opportunity to try and raise funds from a group who, let's face it, the daily mail and the murdoch press will *never* campagin on behalf of

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