Go Home Van, Immigration Minister and the Illegal Immigrant

Mark Harper, a former Immigration Minister has been recently making it into the headlines. Sad to say, the reason why he is on the radar recently was because of the embarrassment he had to admit publicly.

It all began with his proposed bill wherein he requires landlords, GP’s and companies to check the immigration status of their tenants, patients and employees. He also imposed that fines for companies who hire immigrant workers should be increased to 20,000.00 British pounds. His proposed bill already received criticisms. Critics claim that this bill will turn citizens into border agents but they lack skills and the eye to check for counterfeit documents. This will then cause confusion among individuals. Mark Harper is also notoriously known for supporting the roving of the “Go Home Vans” through the London borough and the whole “Operation Vaken” in general. But after the initial run of the operation, it was immediately dropped by the Home Office because of the hoax text messages and calls that the staff has to sort out. Home Office Secretary Theresa May cancelled the operation claiming that approving it was an error in judgement. But the biggest blow on Harper’s career is when he found out that one of his cleaners presented him with fake papers so that she can work.

He hired the cleaner back in 2007 and asked for her papers. She was able to show documents confirming her indefinite leave to remain. In 2012, when Harper was appointed as Immigration Minister, he considered checking the papers of his cleaner but decided against it because during that time, he thinks it was unnecessary. Since he proposed that employers should check their immigrant employees’ papers, he decided to do the same in 2013 and that’s when he discovered that the papers shown to him by his cleaner were fakes.

Mark Harper immediately informed Home Secretary Theresa May of the incident. His resignation was applauded and even called “highly honorable”. Mark Harper believed that he should live the policies he drafted thus deciding to vacate his position. It is very rare for public officials to admit their mistakes to the population, hence resign their post. But Harper did this with dignity and humor. Although the whole situation is completely embarrassing, his saving grace was his integrity.