Hundreds of thousands of migrants here for handouts, says senior judge
By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 12:43 AM on 29th July 2009
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants come to Britain just to get welfare benefits, a senior judge declared yesterday.
Judge Ian Trigger said the cost of the handouts has helped to double the national debt.
He spoke out as he gave a two-year jail sentence to a Jamaican drug minder who disappeared from the notice of immigration authorities after claiming asylum.
He told Lucien McClearley, 31, at Liverpool Crown Court: 'Your case illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy that exists and has existed over recent years.'
Sentencing McClearley, he added: 'People like you, and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people like you, come to these shores to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here.
'In the past ten years the national debt of this country has risen to extraordinary heights, largely because central Government has wasted billions of pounds. Much of that has been wasted on welfare payments.
'For every 1 that the decent citizen, who is hard-working, pays in taxes, nearly 10 per cent goes on servicing that national debt. That is twice the amount it was in 1997 when this Government came to power.'
McClearley arrived legally in Britain in November 2001 on a visitor's visa.
He was arrested in October 2002 after it ran out but claimed asylum and was released while this was being processed.
He then 'disappeared from the radar of the authorities', the court heard. His application was rejected in 2004 but he was only arrested this February after police stopped a car he was driving and noticed it smelled of cannabis.
A search of the house where McClearley was staying in Everton uncovered cannabis worth 7,200, a gram of cocaine and a fake passport.
Mr Trigger also said hundreds of thousands of immigrants came to this country to 'avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here'
He admitted taking a vehicle without consent, possessing cannabis and cocaine, possessing a class-B drug with intent and two counts of possessing false identity documents.
Judge Trigger, who is also a part-time immigration judge, told McClearley: 'The fact that it took nearly two years to process your claim shows how desperate the situation in this country has become.'
The 65-year-old judge said he 'hoped and trusted' McClearley would be deported immediately on release.
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