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Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the genetic-papers-please dept.

Government 515

cremeglace writes "Scientists are dismayed and outraged at a new project by the UK border agency to test DNA, hair, and nails to determine the nationality of asylum seekers and help decide if they can enter the UK. 'Horrifying,' 'naive,' and 'flawed' are among the words geneticists and isotope specialists have used to describe the 'Human Provenance pilot project.' The methods being used to determine ancestry include fingerprinting of mitochondrial DNA and isotope analysis of hair and nails. ScienceInsider blog notes that it is 'not clear who is conducting the DNA and isotope analyses for the Border Agency,' and that the agency has not 'cited any scientific papers that validate its DNA and isotope methods.' There is also a followup post with more information on the tests that are being used, and some reactions from experts in genetic forensic analysis. This story was first reported in The Observer on Sunday."

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it's about terror (0, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590171)

as *they"'re afraid of their people, not that their people should fear some virtual towelhead.

1984 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590193)

This isn't even funny anymore.

Emigration is a Privilege, not a Right (2, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590753)

The truth is that illegal aliens lie to any extent in order to stay in a country. These lies then enable them to say in Great Britain (GB) because they create a fake story that meets the legal threshold for staying in GB.

Should the authorities simply look the other way and allow GB to be flooded with illegal aliens who refuse to assimilate into British society?

The answer is, of course, "no". The electorate in both France and Germany said, "no", when voters elected pro-Western politicians to run the government.

Let's be clear on this matter. Uncontrolled immigration wrecks a society. France now has large ghettos of Middle Easterners and Africans who refuse to assimilate into French society. They should be deported.

At this point, someone will cry, "racism". The correct rebuttal is to highlight the French of East-Asian ancestry. They readily assimilate and do not pose a problem for the French. In much the same way, Americans of East-Asian ancestry have assimilated and contributed significantly to American society. During World War II, Japanese-Americans volunteered to fight against both German and Japan -- yes, Japan. The 442 battalion of Nissei was the most decorated battalion in the U. S. Army. The Nissei showed their valor when they rescued a group of American soldiers who had been trapped in the Battle of the Bulge.

Every nation in Europe has the right (1) to determine who can enter a European country and (2) to favor some immigrants over others. I applaud the British government for its recent tough stance against uncontrolled immigration from Africa and the Middle East.

PR (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590215)

Aparently, simply discrimating by skin color is not cool anymore.

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590243)

Sure it is. They just want SCIENCE to take away all that awful guilt.

Re:PR (-1, Troll)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590303)

They just want SCIENCE to take away all that awful guilt.

The population of London is expected to drop below 50% English by 2012. Would you want to let that happen with your own capital?

Unheared of in history (5, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590329)

You mean like Franks, Saxons, Walloons/Welsh and Frisians all living in one country?

Re:Unheared of in history (1)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590425)

Dogs and cats, living together! OH NOES!

Re:Unheared of in history (0, Redundant)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590659)

I guess those newcomers you listed pushed the picts and the celts out long ago.

-jcr

Re:Unheared of in history (2, Interesting)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590723)

The big difference was that the indigenous population at the time of those invasions didn't have the politically correct brigade stopping them from resisting.

We ended up with *winners* immigrating. This is a good thing.

This is in marked contrast to today where we seem set to let all the *losers* into the country which is a bad thing.

So your point must be that we are allowed, indeed required, to take up arms and violently resist these invaders, and only if they win should they be able to stay?

I could live with that.

Re:Unheared of in history (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590729)

Not disagreeing with your point, but noting that Frisians live in the Netherlands and Germany, but not in GB that I know of, apart from the occasional ex-pat of course.

Yes, I am frisian, no I won't autograph your cow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holstein_(cattle) [wikipedia.org] , thank you very much.

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590353)

Given that it is my capital, and my home, yes.

Re:PR (4, Insightful)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590399)

[CITATION NEEDED]

Also, you may as well just said..

The population of London is expected to drop below 50% White by 2012. Would you want to let that happen with your own capital?

Do you vote BNP/UKIP by any chance?

You suck dick between posts? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590469)

Enjoy Sharia, ladyboy.

Re:PR (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590745)

Hell yes and its nothing to do with race - Its London Its a shit hole and it sucks more than its fair share of resources out of the regions than its worth simply because its the capital.

Blow the Thames flood gates and let the place rot.

Independence for the North!

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

DangerFace (1315417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590407)

The population of London is expected to drop below 50% English by 2012.

From what I can see from a quick wiki of the last census, more than two thirds of the population of London is British born, and quite a few of the foreigners are from British families that emigrated and then moved back.

Would you want to let that happen with your own capital?

Assuming your premise is right, yes, I would let that happen to both the city I live in and the capital of my country. But these tests have nothing to do with 'Britishness' - they are about genetics and poorly-formed pseudo-scientific analysis. If you want to define Britishness go ahead and give it a try, but we're less ethnically pure than pretty much anyone, so that's a no go.

For example, I'm British, and there is no one that would contest that (well, very few). However, my ethnic heritage back to my grandparents is one quarter white British, one quarter white German, and one half European Jew. Additionally, I can parle un petit peu Francais, sprechen Deutsch, and make stabs in the dark in Spanish and Italian. My area is fairly white, for London, but the main types of takeaway / restaurant nearby are focused on Chinese, Thai, Indian, and American cuisine. This is not a country where ideas of purity work well.

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590451)

What I would really like to do is to is to expel anyone who cares from the country.

Also, you do realise that that is precisely the reason that most people like London?

Re:PR (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590749)

If you don't care what England and London are like then you should leave.

Personally I value our culture and don't want it diluted with alien and often enemy cultures.

If you like Indian, or Muslim or Chinese or African (surely a contradiction in terms) culture you know that there are great examples outside of the UK: don't let the door hit you on your way out.

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590463)

Would you want to let that happen with your own capital?

54% of people in Washington DC are of African descent. 40% are of European descent. 9% Hispanic descent. 3% Asian descent.

We seem to be doing just fine.

Washington D.C. Topped the Statistics in Case of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590491)

City health officials carried a first report regarding the HIV/AIDS incidence in Washington D.C. Up to now, due to its special and unique status, Washington D.C. has been under congressional management and was kept apart from other U.S. cities. Although, the city has adopted routine HIV testing, Washington D.C. citizens have to ask to take this test.

The city health officials report shows numbers that are very high compared to other U.S. cities. More HIV infected babies are born in Washington D.C. The city rated almost 9 percent of pediatric AIDS cases in 2005. The number of heterosexual contact transmissions is higher than Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Detroit and Chicago. ...

Yep, doing fine. Gobama!

Re:Washington D.C. Topped the Statistics in Case o (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590679)

that's because new york should be the capital of the US.

Re:excuse me... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590499)

100% of the people in Washington DC are of African descent.

Heard of HIV, genius? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590537)

I suppose the high rate of poverty, AIDS, drug crimes and murder are in no way related to the mix either.

You are so enlightened!

Re:Heard of HIV, genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590589)

Don't forget corruption and prostitution. Although the stereotypical group for these crimes would be white conservatives :D

Ha, ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590669)

Too bad the AC cites public statistical measures, and you cite liberal stereotypes.

Typical emotional non-logic! Try harder lefty.

http://asianconservative.com/ [asianconservative.com]

Re:PR (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590521)

They just want SCIENCE to take away all that awful guilt.

The population of London is expected to drop below 50% English by 2012. Would you want to let that happen with your own capital?

Gosh, like just imagine if Washington DC had less than 50% Native Americans!

The population of London may or may not have more than 50% born abroad (though given the 2001 census figure of 24% that sounds unlikely), but that is not the same as them not being English, many are getting UK citizenship.

Re:PR (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590671)

The population of London is expected to drop below 50% English by 2012. Would you want to let that happen with your own capital?

Gosh, like just imagine if Washington DC had less than 50% Native Americans! The population of London may or may not have more than 50% born abroad (though given the 2001 census figure of 24% that sounds unlikely), but that is not the same as them not being English, many are getting UK citizenship.

Yup, but the grandparent was referring to ethnic self-identification rather than birth place. The Focus on London [statistics.gov.uk] report shows 58% "White British" and falling. And anything else - to many simple minds - is the equivalent of "dirty foreigner" even if they are 3rd generation Brits... And GP: Of course you would want that to happen to your capital. Or do you think London would be the financial and cultural capital of the world but for its ethnic/cultural diversity?

Re:PR (2, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590707)

to many simple minds - is the equivalent of "dirty foreigner" even if they are 3rd generation Brits...

True enough. My wife is American and to her surprise one of the neighbours tried to "recruit" her into the BNP complaining about some "foreigners" who had moved into the road.

She (bravely in my opinion) pointed out that she was the foreigner, having a US passport and not being a UK citizen, whereas the people who had moved into the road were born British. The racist neighbour litterally did not get it and said "yes but they are the foreign ones really", obviously equating nationality with skin colour even though it contradicted the facts.

Science is stubborn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590645)

The Bell Curve, published in 1994, was written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray as a work designed to explain, using empirical statistical analysis, the variations in intelligence in American Society, raise some warnings regarding the consequences of this intelligence gap, and propose national social policy with the goal of mitigating the worst of the consequences attributed to this intelligence gap. While the data sets presented remain unchallenged even today, many of the assertions put forth and conclusions reached by the authors are very controversial, ranging from the relationships between low measured intelligence and anti-social behavior, to the observed relationship between low African-American test scores (compared to whites and Asians) and genetic factors in intelligence abilities.

Re:PR (1, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590271)

Firstly, nationality is not the same as skin colour. Secondly, it's quite right to discriminate on any basis the country you are seeking to live in decides. Their country, they make the rules.

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

draco664 (960985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590333)

Firstly, nationality is not the same as skin colour.

Nationality is not the same as DNA either.

Re:PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590637)

Bamm! Godwin's law:
Oh, so the Nazis were right to discriminate against jews and non-Arians?

Re:PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590313)

Our ability to discriminate is key to our thinking process and an evolutionary breakthrough. It's rather inept to state that the ability to discriminate is bad. Skin color is a poor indicator of any really useful, but a genetic profile contains a lot of useful information.

You discriminate between beverages when you choose to drink Pepsi instead of Draino, right? To discriminate is to distinguish and draw conclusion. Period. It's critical to daily life.

Re:PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590453)

So all those people with direct genetic descendants from the British isles will be welcomed into their ancestral home with open arms?

Given that the UK is a multicultural place and has been spreading its reach around the globe for centurys what defines a genetic brit these days?

I would blame Labour for this and many other heinous acts such as the abolition of habeas corpus, but I expect the home office will continue to act like this when Labour are replaced next year...

Re:PR (5, Insightful)

kinnell (607819) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590525)

Aparently, simply discrimating by skin color is not cool anymore.

It's not about discrimination based on race, it's about verifying whether someone is from where they say they are from to prevent normal emmigrants passing themselves off as refugees to bypass the emmigration system. It's stupid of course because it's based on the assumption that there is a tie between nationality and genetic ancestry. A fairly large proportion of british citizens would test as Indian under this scheme.

Re:PR (2)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590701)

Aparently, simply discrimating by skin color is not cool anymore.

It's not about discrimination based on race, it's about verifying whether someone is from where they say they are from to prevent normal emmigrants passing themselves off as refugees to bypass the emmigration system. It's stupid of course because it's based on the assumption that there is a tie between nationality and genetic ancestry. A fairly large proportion of british citizens would test as Indian under this scheme.

This is going to come across a bit grammar-Nazi-ish, but I think you're getting confused between "emigrate" and "immigrate". They are different words with completely opposite meanings! The initial "e" in "emigrate" comes from the Latin "ex", meaning "out of", and "emigration" is when you move away from a country. The initial "im" in "immigrate" comes from the Latin "in" (meaning obvious), and "immigration" is when you move into a country.

Hopefully the distinction is clearer now.

Re:PR (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590579)

Color of your mitochondria is what counts.

What is this hoping to achieve (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590217)

They had a TV program last year when they did some genetic tests on people who considered themselves to be 100% English. I remember that out of 12 one had mitochondrial DNA that would have had his female line originating in Eastern Europe, one had Jewish ancestry and another Indian - and these were all people who did not know of any non-British relatives.

Add to that the millions of people who have known foreign ancestry but British citizenship and the whole idea becomes useless.

I've got something they should screen for... (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590307)

Apparently, the UK's royal traditions [wikipedia.org] have finally caught up with them and everybody in a position of power there is retarded.

Re:I've got something they should screen for... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590487)

Apparently, the UK's royal traditions have finally caught up with them and everybody in a position of power there is retarded.

That would be an improvement. Since then they'd be too stupid to come up with these kind of daft ideas or waste huge amounts of tax payers' money.

Ignorant twats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590365)

Well, your country is being overrun by Muslims.

At the rate the UK is imploding, you'll be lucky to find a 100% English person anywhere in 200 years.

I wonder if anyone will care?

Re:Ignorant twats (1)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590417)

You won't find a "100% English" person anywhere *now*. The idea is a myth.

Yes, I care - this is a *good thing*.

Re:Ignorant twats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590559)

You obviously have never been to a Muslim country...Enjoy the call to prayer...5 times per day. Don't worry, you'll eventually get used to the blaring loudspeakers featuring men who can't sing...at 3 in the morning...

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590367)

holy shit... being Jewish is genetic now?! AWESOME!

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590577)

holy shit... being Jewish is genetic now?! AWESOME!

You are quite correct, I should have said "of Semitic origins" or something like that

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590381)

You're right in that this analysis wouldn't work on most British people, since to be English is almost by definition to be a mongrel (in the nicest sense). But mtDNA by itself quite literally only tells half the story about one's ancestry. For the paternal side we would have to look at Y-chromosome DNA. And to have any sort of rigour, you would probably need a big cocktail of STRs and probably SNPs from the rest of the genome as well.

But as it's applied as TFA indicates, in an attempt to differentiate between African nationalities, the project is doomed to failure, since a lot of African cultures are nomadic or have bred from nomadic stock, and no-one knows anywhere near enough about their DNA to establish a real pattern.

It might be more honest if the British Government were to just admit that it is catering to a common and wide streak of racism that persists, and just cart anyone who doesn't speak with a BBC accent off to a concentration camp.

I know that sounds inflammatory, but when I was last living in Britain on a full-time basis, Thatcher was openly fostering the most openly fascist attitudes I imagined possible. The Labour party used to at least nominally stand for social justice, but I see none of that in their policies of the last decade, and it could be argued that in many ways the present Labour government is simply a more insidious version of its predecessor.

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590481)

It might be more honest if the British Government were to just admit that it is catering to a common and wide streak of racism that persists, and just cart anyone who doesn't speak with a BBC accent off to a concentration camp.

Well it might be worth it to get rid of those Estury English chavs, but the UK would be pretty sparsely populated afterwards, particularly outside the City and Home Counties.

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590519)

But as it's applied as TFA indicates, in an attempt to differentiate between African nationalities, the project is doomed to failure, since a lot of African cultures are nomadic or have bred from nomadic stock, and no-one knows anywhere near enough about their DNA to establish a real pattern.

Not just with Africans, given that you find nomadic people all over the world.

It might be more honest if the British Government were to just admit that it is catering to a common and wide streak of racism that persists, and just cart anyone who doesn't speak with a BBC accent off to a concentration camp.

Personally I'd settle for putting the British Government in a concentration camp.

know that sounds inflammatory, but when I was last living in Britain on a full-time basis, Thatcher was openly fostering the most openly fascist attitudes I imagined possible. The Labour party used to at least nominally stand for social justice, but I see none of that in their policies of the last decade, and it could be argued that in many ways the present Labour government is simply a more insidious version of its predecessor.

They are called "New Labour", which might better be described as "Alternative Tory". Unfortunatly politics in the UK is heading the same way as that in the US, two political partys which don't differ that much.

My DNA profile (3, Funny)

Digestromath (1190577) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590413)

Would they look at my half Scotish side? Or the German half? Or would they look at it and say I came straight out of a chimp via Africa and Mesopotamia?

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590475)

They had a TV program last year when they did some genetic tests on people who considered themselves to be 100% English. I remember that out of 12 one had mitochondrial DNA that would have had his female line originating in Eastern Europe, one had Jewish ancestry and another Indian - and these were all people who did not know of any non-British relatives.

These techniques are useful for genealogy and archaeology but at these examples indicate utterly useless for determining citizenship, even of the "native born".

Re:What is this hoping to achieve (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590569)

It wouldn't surprise me if that TV show was where they got the idea from.

It won't last long. The first person who disputes the findings will get free legal support and the methods will be rejected by the courts. Basically it looks like they have been duped by the companies providing these tests and are going to waste several millions on it just to see if it works.

The problem (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590219)

The problem isn't the scientific validity of the test; the problem is the idea that an emigrant's nationality should factor into whether they should be allowed residency.

The science is horrible, but the root of the problem is primarily political and perhaps moral.

Re:The problem (2, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590265)

Of course the resident's nationality is a factor in deciding whether residency is allowed: in fact it should be the major factor.

And the rule should be a simple one: if you are an EU national you are allowed residency in the UK, otherwise not.

We also need to cancel these stupid loopholes that allow nationals of ex-Imperial colonies any preferential right of abode. The British Empire ended over 50 years ago!

Re:The problem (4, Informative)

draco664 (960985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590305)

There are generational requirements for entry on long-term visas into the UK. As an Australian whose grandmother was born in the UK, I can get an ancestry visa, which would give me the right to live in the UK for 5 years. My mother could get permanent right-of-abode. My children will only be able to get holiday visas.

Re:The problem (2, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590361)

the rule should be a simple one: if you are an EU national you are allowed residency in the UK, otherwise not

Why?
OK, we've got a political treaty with the EU, but if you were starting from scratch, why pick on any one country and give its people more favourable status than any others?

Why? (0, Redundant)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590397)

"Of course the resident's nationality is a factor in deciding whether residency is allowed: in fact it should be the major factor."

Why?

"And the rule should be a simple one: if you are an EU national you are allowed residency in the UK, otherwise not."

Why?

"We also need to cancel these stupid loopholes that allow nationals of ex-Imperial colonies any preferential right of abode."

Why?

"The British Empire ended over 50 years ago!"

Yes and the children the empire left behind are now baby-boomers, eg: I am a British citizen with permenent residency in Oz, since I was 4yo at the time I had no say in my relocation from the UK to Oz in 1964. By your logic I and a few hundered thousand others in my situation should be moved back to the UK but our Aussie born children should not be allowed to go with us, why?

Re:The problem (2, Interesting)

worip (1463581) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590489)

Take away all the immigrants (especially the highly skilled ones) and the UK economy will collapse. The technological centers of innovation in UK, e.g. Cambridge, will shrink or simply disappear without an influx of foreign workers. London will grind to a halt if you remove the foreign workers (they keep the place together, clean and in functioning order). Note that ex-Imperial colony immigrants have to jump through exactly the same hoops as other people to obtain the right to stay in the UK.
Imperialism might have ended 50 years ago, but the effect of imperialism will be felt for a long time to come, especially in Africa. All the artificial borders that the imperialist rule imposed on regions (notice all the straight artificial borders on the map in Africa), have to be corrected. Usually this comes in the form of civil war, Sudan being an excellent example of this. I refer you to Parag Khanna's [ted.com] TED talk. I'm not saying the UK should throw open its borders for ex-imperialist colony immigrants, but do realize that the effect of imperialism is still felt in regions of the world today.

Re:The problem (5, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590601)

For what reasons do you think this should be so?

My next door neighbour is Albanian. She has a degree in electrical engineering, and speaks four languages fluently (her native Albanian, of course, as well as English, Italian and German). She is precisely the sort of person we should be biting our own arms off to get into the country.

But she describes the whole experience of the immigration process as "Kafkaesque". She would have gone to Canada where people with her qualifications are welcomed - except she was engaged to marry my neighbour. The UK Embassy treated her as sub-human, with little manners, and tried to make the entire process humiliating.

What I have to ask is this: what is fundamentally different between, say, someone from Yorkshire moving to Hampshire, and someone from Albania - who speaks English fluently - doing the same thing? Why don't we have immigration controls in every county to keep people in the same place and stop them from moving around? Also, why do so many UK citizens want to emigrate to sunny places without bothering to learn the local language, but get bent all out of shape when people from other countries arrive in the UK?

Re:The problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590285)

Correct. The Bell Curve was scientifically valid, but the root of the problem with political morals.

The emigrant's genetics should be factored into whether they are allowed residency.

Re:The problem (2, Insightful)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590371)

Unless I'm misreading this, the purpose of this test is to see whether someone's stated nationality matches what they say it is. When you're assessing an asylum claim, that does actually make sense - if they're lying about their nationality, they may well be lying about any of their reasons for claiming asylum.

Unfortunately, this test doesn't give you that. It's just not accurate enough.

Re:The problem (0, Troll)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590385)

The problem isn't the scientific validity of the test; the problem is the idea that an emigrant's nationality should factor into whether they should be allowed residency.

Why is that a problem, exactly?

Let me tell you a story about that: Hungary has had a lot of bloody wars and occupations in the past. By 1740, Transylvania had nowhere near the population it should have had. What's the solution to keep the economy going? Immigrants, of course! Just one problem: they brought their family, their language, and their priests. This is where it lead [wikipedia.org] . Yes, Romania got a bigger chunk of Hungary after WW1 than Hungary is today. They didn't even win the war: they surrendered in 1916 when we marched into Bucharest.

Re:The problem (4, Informative)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590497)

I think you are misunderstanding the problem. I live in Europe, and see the streams of "refugees" coming in. The problem is this: someone shows up on your border, with no papers or documentation of any kind, and says "Help me! I need refuge!". You ask them why. They say "I am from country XXX, it is terrible there". Did they truly flee from some horrible fate? Possible. It is also possible that they are from somewhere else entirely, and just looking for any way to get into the land of milk and honey. Where - having few useful skills and less education - they will probably spend the rest of their lives living on welfare. Right now, the main technique is a series of interviews. What language do they speak? This requires access to a huge supply of interpreters. Then you ask them general knowledge questions, like "what's the name of your capital ciety". All of this is time-consuming, expensive and extremely error-prone. If they speak some European language, they may be able to avoid using their native language. They may have been prepped with general information. Or they may be genuine refugees with no education and hence may really not know the name of the capital city. It is no wonder at all that governments are looking for additional ways to check identity. Such a test could never be definitive, but it would be one more piece of evidence. You can also see this in a positive light: assuming that the tests are halfway reliable, if they show the person really is from war-torn Elbonia, you can short-circuit the whole frustrating interview and testing process.

Elbonian Civil War (1)

daveewart (66895) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590757)

[...] if they show the person really is from war-torn Elbonia [...]

Everyone knows the Elbonian civil war ended years ago.

Re:The problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590515)

Hang on. RTFriendlyA. This is not about residency - it's to check asylum seekers' stories.

"One goal of the project is to determine whether asylum-seekers claiming to be from Somalia and fleeing persecution are actually from another African country such as Kenya."

Within that limit it's still scientifically flawed, and there has to be serious examination (with repercussions) of how such nonsense made it far enough to become policy. People need to be censured, and perhaps fired, for incompetence on this one. But this effort was not about racism.

Let's not have criticism of the project be as thoughtless as the project itself.

Re:The problem (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590535)

The problem isn't the scientific validity of the test; the problem is the idea that an emigrant's nationality should factor into whether they should be allowed residency.

Thing is that someone's nationality is indicated by human created documents. Their DNA simply isn't especially relevent.

Re:The problem (5, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590625)

The article says this is about asylum seekers, not regular immigrants. Ie, those from Somalia are allowed entry because they are fleeing a war zone, whereas there is concern (unfounded or not) that some Kenyans are claiming to be Somali. Currently some other techniques are used for helping figure this out, such as languages known.

The science is a problem because it's completely bogus. You can't tell what country a person is from this way; you can only tell generalities, such as what region they've been living in the last year, or what their ancestry is. It's pseudo-science.

My guess is that someone in the home office is an idiot (more so than usual), and has seen some abstract of some papers, decided that the techniques could be used for certain purposes, and then told someone about the plans without actually verifying the plausibility.

Cowards, and apologists... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590255)

Sounds like a good post to hash out why the data set in The Bell Curve was never refuted by "scientists".

The same "scientists" just decried the obvious conclusions, which were very Darwinian and sound.

Re:Cowards, and apologists... (1)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590403)

Really? The very same ones?

Surely you can't be implying that all scientists everywhere are responsible for the actions of all other scientists everywhere, all the time? 'Cos that'd be pretty absurd.

Oh wait, that's exactly what you're doing.

Funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590581)

But you skipped the tough point, you coward.

It has to go this way (1, Insightful)

Diabolus Advocatus (1067604) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590263)

It has to go this way for V to eventually be able to come and free us!

Re:It has to go this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590347)

It has to go this way for V to eventually be able to come and free us!

If you are referencing the movie V is for Vendetta "V" didn't free anyone he inspired people to free themselves. Waiting around for some one to save us is why we have the governments we have both in England and the US not to mention most of the rest of the world.

Re:It has to go this way (4, Insightful)

js_sebastian (946118) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590395)

It has to go this way for V to eventually be able to come and free us!

It shows how unfaithful the movie was to the spirit and political ideals of alan moore's comic, that the message you received is to wait for some superhero to come and free you.

KILL YOURSELF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590439)

God, shut up you fucking faggot.

DHS (2, Insightful)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590273)

Soon to be in an airport near you...mandatory DNS sample of all visitors to this, thank God, free country.

Re:DHS (2, Funny)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590287)

> mandatory DNS sample

DNA, of course. Your A-records are still safe :-)

Antithesis of an empire? (4, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590275)

It seems that Britain has finally become the true antithesis of an Empire: rather than trying to expand, it wants to shrink and implode upon itself....

MUSLIMS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590401)

Keep sticking your heads in the sand in the sand, until it's cut off!

Gits.

Re:Antithesis of an empire? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590533)

That's one way of putting it. An english friend of mine preferred suggesting that a black hole had been created by the past few prime ministers climbing too far up each other's collective asses.

Re:Antithesis of an empire? (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590665)

Immigrants are just the latest scapegoats. It's sad to say but we seem to have an unfortunate tendency to want to hate minorities and blame them for all our ills.

I think a lot of it is due not never having any kind of revolutionary moment where we realised the dangers of this kind of thinking and came to understand the value of things like freedom and equality.

Gattaca (4, Insightful)

exigentsky (771810) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590283)

It's not far.

Isn't the out of Africa theory based on ... (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590295)

Isn't the out of Africa theory based on the situation where there is as much genetic diversity in people within Africa as there is worldwide? There is no "Arab" gene, and even if there were consider that Saddam was born only about 300 miles due south of his very european hero Joseph Stalin.
Security theatre snake oil strikes again in a fairly nasty and devisive way. You might as well screen people by height or just admit the predjudice and screen for skin colour because many people from Pakistan and India look like exactly like many dark haired europeans with a deep tan.
Somebody is in it for the money and is playing off people's predjudices to get it.

YOU'RE ALMOST THERE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590327)

Hey, it's not about MAKING MONEY. It's about SAVING MONEY.

We can screen out expensive diseases and genetic problems to not overburden the health service.

This is a great idea.

Re:Isn't the out of Africa theory based on ... (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590483)

Right, firstly, Saddam Hussein is not Arab, he is indo-european, as are the majority of persians. There isn't so much an Arab gene as a selection of genes which constitute the features associated with Arab ethnicity. There is, however, pan-arabism, which is a political ideology based around the arab ethnic group, which saddam hussein is not part of. Oh wait, you meant to say "muslims"! No, there isn't a muslim gene (although there is a belief that anyone born to muslim parents is automatically a muslim, and any claim otherwise is apostacy, yadda yadda).

Anyway, as far as I'm aware, the issue revolves around that the moment an illegal immigrant enters the country, the first thing they do is intentionally lose their passport, so that even if it is determined that the migration was not either an asylum claim, or a legitimate requested migration with the paperwork to boot, the government doesn't know where to return them. The net result is ever-expanding asylum camps full of people stuck in limbo between two countries. If they are allowed in, people get upset, and it encourages more (and more organised crime surrounding it), and yet they can't be sent back.

DNA doesn't exactly give you an exact pinpoint location of country of origin, but it does give you a good guess, especially if it can be traced to a family tree.#

Re:Isn't the out of Africa theory based on ... (1)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590549)

Saddam was most assuredly an Arab. Persians are mostly Iranian, not Iraqi. He hated them and fought against them for most of the 1980s.

Doublethink. (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590541)

"his very european hero Joseph Stalin."

Yes, Hussein was a communist and the US was always Husseins enemy, and when he started an unprovoked war and used chemical weapons, the US condemned his actions.

Re:Doublethink. (3, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590677)

Hussein was a communist

No, he was a ba'athist, which differs from communism in a few ways. It's basically a home-grown version of despotism that co-opts local tribalism to build the apparatus of repression.

-jcr

Sounds like something from the movie (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590317)

Children Of Men.

A pile of eurotrash (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590373)

An awful film only celebrated by cunts.

Re:A pile of eurotrash (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590423)

Apparently I'm a cunt then.

Re:Sounds like something from the movie (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590393)

Alright, yer 'fugees now. Show Syd the 'fugee face. Sad face.

Re:Sounds like something from the movie (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590447)

Sorry, I'm a stickler for quotations, and you left the end off...

"Alright, yer 'fugees now. Show Syd the 'fugee face. Sad face. Sad 'fugee face....that's good."

Here's a movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590667)

The two of you should be beaten to death with a ball peen hammer.

How's that for a fine film?

homwo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590343)

with process and up today! If you first organ1zation Could save it

Clive to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29590561)

Does this mean mankind will soon lose its ability to reproduce?

Racism under cover of science (2, Insightful)

cyberfringe (641163) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590627)

The so-called tests will find exactly what they are designed to find, and that is a reason to exclude undesirables by broad category. The categories are all ready figured out (skin color, etc.). "Science" provides the rational cover for what would otherwise be overt racism. I say, call it like it is: bigotry.

What The FUCK (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590655)

You'd think the BNP winning the last election would have made some headlines.

At least then the NPD in Germany and the Aryan Nation/KKK folks in the US could have known to send them a bunch of congratulatory flowers, or something... :P

Imagine the outcry (5, Insightful)

Kleiba (929721) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590689)

...if the country announcing such plans wasn't the UK, but Germany.

How the times have changed (1, Redundant)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590717)

Just under 70 years ago the UK was fighting tooth and nail to defend their country from a fascist empire that had a fairly famous history with profiling and oppressing or promoting people depending on their genetic heritage...

I have a better idea (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29590735)

Any person who cannot complete basic maths, science, and an "English as a second language" qualification, more than likely GCSE, written in their own language, is denied entry.

A lack of these basic skills will guarantee a life at the expense of the UK tax payer, and that's the really big string in the far right-wing party's bow; Living off money earned by others. Kill that issue, and kill far-right party support. Two birds, one stone.
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