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ID Cards to be Scrapped but not for Non EU Immigrants

Are ID cards discrimantory?

Home secretary Theresa May has repealed plans for the ID card scheme for British nationals-but not for foreigners outside of the EU-mostly from black and south Asian countries The identity documents bill was announced last week by May.

The move will likely be implemented from the summer. However, while British nationals and EU residents will not need ID cards non-EU nationals will have to carry cards called Biometric Residence permits.

The cards will contain biographical and other data, and it will be compulsory for non EU nationals living in the U.K. to carry one.

Commenting in this week’s Eastern Eye Habib Rahman Chief Executive for the welfare of immigrants explained that the move could well cause a rift between “domestic and immigrant communities”

Enforcing the ID cards upon non EU immigrants and nationals will largely affect black communities. What will also be an unwanted by-product of the new system is that ethnic minorities who are British nationals could be stopped by officials asking for ID cards.

Rahman further added:

“It will have an impact on everyone-I’ve seen a lot of stopping and searching in ethnic minority areas which is unfair and discriminatory.”

One of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s campaign promises was that the scheme would be scrapped in its entirety. A separate scheme, singling out non-EU nationals for this treatment-when higher stop and search rates are evident in black communities anyway-will only cause tension.

This is a bitter pill to swallow for Britain’s immigrant and black communities-ID cards being demanded among immigrant communities is resonant of something else. Anyone remember South Africa pre 1994?

By Richard Sudan

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