What lessons can our own UK Border Force learn from India?
Saturday 27 July - In Part 1 of this report, we looked at the enormous discrepancy in manpower and resources between the UK Border force and the India Border Security Force (BSF).
In Part 2, we started to look at the political will and determination required for effective border security.
The UK government under Theresa May has freely admitted that they have no idea how many people are in the country or who they are. This not only has profound implications for our national security, but without the available data it becomes very difficult to maintain an infrastructure (roads, transport, education, health service etc.) that suits the needs of the population.
India takes a different approach - again, something that requires ongoing political will and determination.
India’s National Register of Citizens is being used to clarify who belongs in the country and who doesn’t. Those who are unable to prove their citizenship potentially face the Foreigners’ Tribunals, courts that ask the accused to prove their citizenship. If the illegals fail to do so, they can be sent to prison and then deported. If they try to dodge the courts, the machinery of the system will move forward anyway.
Assam’s 1,000 Foreigners’ Tribunals have been busy, but every state in India has now been given the authority to create its own Tribunals. And detention camps are being built in Assam to hold illegals.
While much of the machinery is in place, the actual process of deporting millions of illegals may prove challenging. But India had previously been able to negotiate border agreements with Bangladesh by using economic and political leverage.
Convincing Bangladesh to accept millions of its own people, some who have been in India for a generation, may be harder, but India's leaders clearly believe that it can be done. And financial arrangements may be a small price to pay for securing India’s future and preventing the rise of Islamic violence in affected areas.
India is also moving against the 40,000 strong Rohingya illegal Muslim population which have been a problem in that country, as well as in Myanmar. But India is also making it clear that it will respect legitimate refugees by providing sanctuary to Hindu and Buddhist refugees fleeing Islamic violence.
There are important lessons from this effort for the UK in our immigration challenges.
But the real answer lies in not only using military force to secure the border, ending the processing of asylum requests, and distinguishing UK citizens from illegal aliens.
The illegal infiltrators have to be made to understand that there is no future for them even if they make it across the border.
India’s example shows that these things can be done. And if India can do them, the UK under Boris Johnson certainly can.