Immigration and related issues, mainly in the United Kingdom.

Details of other pages are at the end of this page


Extracts in date order, except latest additions first. Updated 20 April 2019

Border controls – illegal immigration
It's a dangerous myth we will have more control over borders post Brexit [part 1]
Chris Hobbs
The London Economic, 20 April 2019.

If control of our borders and a curb on immigration into the UK was the tipping point in deciding the result of referendum, those who cast their vote on that basis may well be surprised at the likely post-Brexit reality whether there is a deal or not. – This, in spite of government statements supposedly ending freedom of movement.

On the front line, facing this reality, are a UK Border Force created by Theresa May in the aftermath of the pre-London Olympics chaos at airport passport controls.

It's a border force that currently is in crisis as is so clearly illustrated in successive Home Office staff surveys which many officers refuse to complete as they believe it is a waste of time as no remedial action is taken.

Morale or lack of it, is clearly a huge issue while the survey shows there is little trust in Home Office senior managers and ministers by rank and file officers on the front line.

Chickens, in respect of cuts to the border force, are now coming home to roost as the Home Office is now frantically attempting to recruit additional permanent officers to cope with the aftermath of Brexit. ...

It is also worth noting that it takes two years for a comprehensively trained UKBF officer to become fully competent. ...

The unpalatable fact is that the UK's borders, even before Brexit, are in a shambolic state. Reports by John Vine and David Bolt, the past and present Chief Inspectors of borders and Immigration, are frequently damning and both have complained that these critical reports are often withheld by the Home Secretary until they can be effectively 'buried' amidst other bad news. ...

UKBF officers at Heathrow and other airports complain that the Home Office priority is queues, with officers frequently being taken away from customs controls as soon as passenger queues build up. Queues and a lack of experienced full-time officers can mean that those on duty feel compelled to 'land' (admit) passengers even though they may be less than satisfied with their reasons for requiring entry.

Little wonder then, that despite the occasional 'big seizure,' such is the shambles at our borders that the UK is awash with drugs as is illustrated by eels in the Thames becoming 'hyperactive' due to the quantity of cocaine in the water!!!

For many Brexiteers, the issue of 'freedom of movement' in respect of EU nationals was a major factor in voting 'leave.' Thus, those who voted for Brexit would have expected UKBF officers, after March 29th (or whenever it would happen now ) to treat EU nationals in the same way as non-EU nationals. In other words that they would be examined by UKBF officers at passport control in order to establish whether they had a legitimate reason to enter the UK.

That, however, is not going to happen and there can be no doubt that many leading Brexiteers, notably former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, would have been only too well aware during the referendum campaign, that the imposition of firmer controls was a non-starter.
[Site link]


Border controls – illegal immigration
It's a dangerous myth we will have more control over borders post Brexit [part 2]
Chris Hobbs
The London Economic, 20 April 2019.

Well before the referendum, seasoned border force officers calculated that to examine, even briefly, the passport of each arriving EU national, would cause a logjam of queueing passengers which would stretch all the way back to the airport gates. ...

EU nationals, it has therefore been decided, will be able to continue to pass through passport controls using the 'anonymous' eGates. There will be no check to see if each EU passenger is entitled to work or have residency here or whether they are coming to the UK as a genuine visitor. Thus, those who arrive intending to work illegally or engage in criminality will have 'freedom of movement' to do so without 'passing under the eyes' of UK law enforcement simply by using eGates. ...

A number of EU criminals deported from the UK, find it easy to return as they simply obtain 'genuine' passports in their own country using another's identity. Only by being directly examined by a UKBF officer is there any chance of these potentially dangerous individuals being detected. ...

Brexit, however will weaken our borders in other ways. According to UKBF officers, in order to reduce queues several nations will be given 'favoured' status. Hundreds of thousands of Americans travel to the UK each year and most receive perfunctory scrutiny by UKBF officers.

However, each year around 1,600 US nationals are refused entry at passport control and returned back across the Atlantic. These 1,600 include criminals amongst whom are potential child abusers, political extremists, those with mental health issues and those intending to overstay. In future all US nationals will be permitted to by-pass UKBF officers and use eGates thus the UK will almost certainly have 1,600 individuals entering the UK who will be detrimental to our national interest.

Australians are another favoured nation who will be able to use eGates and again, significant numbers are refused entry by UKBF officers each year. They too will be 'home and dry' by virtue of being able to able use eGates as will citizens from several other countries. ...

The issue of migrants/refugees crossing the channel is small rubber boats is regarded as somewhat of a distraction by border force officers. The will point out that the numbers are just several hundred strong, yet their real concern features non-EU nationals who enter the UK as visitors, either with a visa or not and who do not return within their allotted time. ...

The National Crime Agency have voiced their concern as to the damage caused to the UK by foreign criminal networks; Chilean gangs have been recently involved in violent home invasions, Columbian networks specialise in theft including 'dipping' (pickpocketing) while Albanian organised crime groups, in addition to human trafficking, are taking over cocaine distribution in many parts of the UK by forging partnerships with local gangs. All will have passed through UK border controls. ...

The simple fact is that our border controls have more holes than a Swiss cheese and that these holes are likely to increase in both number and size whenever Brexit becomes a reality (and if it becomes a reality) unless the issues referred to above are addressed.
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Illegal immigration – visas
The Real Illegal Immigration Crisis Isn't on the Southern Border
Krishnadev Calamur
The Atlantic, 19 April 2019.

If curbing illegal immigration is the goal, as politicians in the United States and Europe argue, then no wall or border fence will stop the West's largest source of such immigrants. They are not the subject of televised debates or of long stories highlighting their plight. Many are invisible, making them hard to count, and little attention is paid to them. ...

The group in question? Visa overstays.

These immigrants, who enter countries legally on student, tourist, or work visas and then stay past their visa's expiration date, are often overlooked in the discussion of illegal immigration. But in the past 10 years, visa overstays in the United States have outnumbered border crossings by a ratio of about 2 to 1, according to Robert Warren, who was for a decade the director of the statistics division at the agency that has since been renamed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and who is now a senior visiting fellow at the Center for Migration Studies, a New York-based organization. Elsewhere, the issue is even more pronounced – in Britain and Australia, the absence of a land border of the kind the United States has with Mexico and Canada means that nearly all illegal immigration comes in the form of visa overstays. Most people who are in Britain illegally, for example, entered legally and simply stayed on after their visa expired, research by Oxford University's Migration Observatory shows.

Still, none of this has translated into visa overstays becoming a source of anti-immigrant sentiment. ...

"It's right out there in the news, and you can see people" crossing borders, Warren told me. "With the overstayers, people will be tourists and they'll come here, and they'll either join relatives or they'll join people they know, and they'll get a job, and they're not visible." ...

That could be changing, however, at least in the U.S. ...

In the U.S., visa overstays have exceeded illegal border crossings in each of the past seven years. /.../ But tracking people who enter the U.S. legally until they leave is difficult. The Department of Homeland Security conducted its own analysis for fiscal year 2017, and its estimate was 702,000 overstayers. (To be clear, that number is a small fraction, 1.33 percent, of the more than 50 million people who arrive in the U.S. each year on valid visas.)

Part of the reason the numbers are hard to track is that visitors' visas are not checked as they exit some countries and, when they are, the system is either incomplete or problematic. ... in the U.K., which instituted exit checks in 2015, the process has been called "shambolic."
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Immigration abroad – Pakistanis, Vietnamese, Romania
Pakistan ready to export 500,000 workers to Romania by 2020
Sorin Melenciuc
Business Review, 17 April 2019.

Pakistan seems ready to export over 500,000 workers to Romania by 2020, according to the Pakistan's Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, cited by Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

The announcement came in response to an offer made by the Romanian ambassador to Pakistan, Niculaie Goia.

Goia discussed with Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, a special assistant to prime minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.

According to APP, The Romanian ambassador said that Romania would be seeking as many as one million foreign workers due to a severe workforce crisis. ...

The Romanian government is trying to reduce the workforce crisis in many areas of the economy by importing foreign workers, and has recently signed a memorandum with Vietnam in order to receive more Vietnamese workers.
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Population pressure – school class sizes
Super size classes in secondary schools at highest level in 35 years, DfE figures show
Camilla Turner
Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2019.

"Super-size" classes in secondary school are at their highest level in 35 years, official figures show.

In 2018, there was the largest proportion of children in classes of 31 or more pupils since 1983, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

Almost one in eight secondary school pupils (12.1 per cent) are now taught in classes of at least 31 pupils. Of these 11.5 per cent are in classes of 31-35 pupils, and 0.6 per cent are in classes of more than 36.

Secondary school class sizes have been rising in recent years, following a bulge in pupil numbers caused in part by a rise in the birth rate in the early 2000s which is now making its way through to secondary schools.

While direct immigration has little effect on pupil numbers, higher birth rates among immigrant communities has been a contributing factor, according to DfE. ...

A report published by the Public Accounts Committee last year warned that there is a "growing sense of crisis" in teacher recruitment against backdrop of soaring pupil numbers. ...

A DfE spokesperson said: "Since 2010 we have created 920,000 school places and secondary class sizes have remained low – around 21. ..."
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Crime – drugs, human trafficking
Three gang members convicted of human trafficking
Holly Pyne
talkRADIO, 18 April 2019.

Three gang members have been convicted of human trafficking offences after they used young children from London to transport and sell drugs in Hampshire as part of 'county lines' gangs.

Glodi Wabelua, 25, Dean Alford, 25, and Michael Karemera, 25, recruited, groomed, and trafficked six victims aged 14 to19.

The oldest victim, identified as a vulnerable adult, told the court that he was stripped naked by associates of Karemera, had a gun placed in his mouth, and threatened, when he tried to leave the gang. ...

The men were convicted of drug supply offences - of drugs including heroin and crack cocaine - in February 2016 at Woolwich Crown Court, before the trafficking offences were brought forward. ...

After selling the drugs, victims would deposit their earnings and could earn the gang up to £2,000 a day.
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Population pressure – public opinion, Government
Is keeping immigration promises too much to expect?
Alp Mehmet
Conservative Woman, 17 April 2019.

The impact on every citizen's quality of life of a burgeoning population is massive and I make no apology for revisiting the issue, for it concerns the great majority of people in this country. Indeed, 64 per cent of the public told YouGov last year that the official estimate of future population growth (a projected rise of nearly seven million people by 2041) was too high. Can anyone seriously claim that the public's worries are not justified?

Immigration levels (net UK inflows averaged approximately 250,000 over the past decade) are now the main reason for our rapid population growth. This means more congestion on our roads and added pressure on the transport network (research has shown the UK is already one of the ten worst countries on the planet for road congestion) and on our schools, our hospitals and GP surgeries. As for housing, population growth, driven largely by immigration, will continue to be the main force behind most new demand for housebuilding. If net migration to England continues at its present annual rate (it has averaged just under 215,000 over the past decade), one home will have to be built every six minutes just to cope with the added demand resulting from new arrivals. ...

More than 80 per cent of population growth between 2001 and 2016 was as a result of migration and the subsequent children of migrants. Such direct and indirect immigration added one million to the UK population every three years. In just 15 years that means a population increase of five million people – equivalent to five Birminghams or ten Liverpools. ...

Is this why the ONS has repeatedly underestimated projected population growth? A decade ago it estimated that the UK population would not reach 64 million by 2017. In fact, by mid-2017, the UK population exceeded 66 million.

Understating the reality of rapid population growth is baffling. The public realise that England is already one of the most crowded nations in the EU. Polling conducted in 2016 (when the population was more than a half a million lower) suggested that nearly three-quarters of the public thought the UK was already crowded; they experience the impact for themselves daily.

Persistent underestimation of trends by a respected body like the ONS can only further undermine public confidence in the ability and willingness of the Government to deal with the high levels of immigration. A poll published last year found that only 17 per cent of the public trust the government to tell the truth about immigration either all or most of the time; the figure was even lower for MPs at 13 per cent. ...

In their 2010 manifesto, the Conservatives committed to reducing net migration to the 'tens of thousands'. It was a promise they repeated in their 2015 and 2017 manifestos. Seventy-three per cent of UK adults (equivalent to 38 million people) support this happening, according to a poll conducted last summer. ...

The need to restore public confidence on immigration is clear. Obfuscating its true level and the population growth that results can only add to the public's distrust of the Government ...
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Extremism – Islam, Germany, UK
Germany confirms Islamic Relief ties to Muslim Brotherhood
The National [UAE], 17 April 2019.

German officials have accused Islamic Relief Worldwide of "significant" connections to the underground Muslim Brotherhood, triggering concerns among politicians over the diversion of official funds to Islamists.

A submission to the Bundesrat revealed that the powerful Federal Court of Audit was examining official grants to Islamic Relief, which was founded in Birmingham, UK, that totalled €6.1 million in the years to 2016. The response said Islamic Relief was connected to Muslim Brotherhood groups not only in Europe but around the world.

Liberal MP Oliver Luksic said the answer was deeply alarming. "It is a scandal that German taxpayers' money is going to go to Islamists," he said. ...

The United Arab Emirates designated Islamic Relief Worldwide as a terrorist organisation in 2014 over its global links to the Muslim Brotherhood. ...

The announcement of a German review into official funding of Brotherhood-related groups comes amid growing concern over the spreading influence of the group in the country. The most recent published intelligence assessment said that there were an estimated 1,040 Brotherhood activists active in the country. It further said the group exerted active control over 50 mosques or Islamic centres. ...

On its website, the group sets out its history of working with governments since it was founded in Britain by Egyptian Hany El Banna. It became the first specialist Muslim charity to gain British government funding for projects in Africa in 1994.

It signed a framework partnership with the EU in 2002 and became a member of the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) which distributes funds from nationwide appeals in 2005. In Britain alone its annual Ramadan campaign raises more than £10 million annually. ...

Volker Beck, a Green Party politician, said the Brotherhood had built up ties with the main Islamic body for German Turks, using a conference organised in Cologne late last year as a platform for pan-European ambitions. "At the conference at the Islamic centre in Cologne there was the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood," he said. "This event is quite interesting and a bit terrifying. They are not anymore trying to organise the Muslims in Germany but on a European level."
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Immigration abroad – criminals, cost, USA
New DOJ Report: 60,000 criminal illegal aliens are in federal custody at a staggering cost
Peter Barry Chowka
American Thinker, 17 April 2019.

In an exclusive report on the The Ingraham Angle last evening /.../ U.S. attorney Zachary Terwilliger broke major news about the DOJ's brand new report on the number and costs of the incarceration of illegal aliens in federal custody. The segment, and the comments by Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ingraham further expose the Left's persistent lie that illegals in the U.S. commit additional crimes at a lower rate than U.S.-born citizens.

A brief article posted at Fox News dot com, immediately following Ingraham's program Tuesday, summarized the segment:

Nearly 60,000 known or suspected illegal immigrants [sic] are being held in federal prisons, according to a report obtained by Fox News Tuesday from the Department of Justice.

Quoting the report, he said "criminal aliens" make up 21 percent of those in the Federal Bureau of Prisons custody and 38 percent of those in Marshals custody.

Terwilliger lamented that a "staggering" amount of resources are being diverted to fighting illegal immigration at the expense other problems like a rising opioid epidemic and rising crime rates in certain areas.
Adding context to this latest news is the fact that tens of thousands of illegals who have managed to make it across the border are being released into the country every month, and "hundreds of thousands" of illegal aliens who committed additional crimes remain free in the U.S.

... The report, it should be noted, does not include illegals who are in jails and prisons at the state and local levels – a number that is "significantly greater," according to Ingraham, than the number of criminal illegal aliens in federal custody.

Terwilliger said the next report from the DOJ on the problem should address the financial cost to the federal government of dealing with illegal alien criminals. He estimated, however, that the cost of the U.S. Marshals Service having to deal with illegals (who are in custody awaiting trial, for example) is $500 million a year, which does not include the costs due to illegal aliens incurred by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
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Immigrants were told to lie to the Home Office
Court News UK, 17 April 2019.

Law firm workers told clients to lie to the Home Office to secure their visa applications, a court heard. Burlow and Spencer Ltd claimed they provided unrivalled legal expertise in immigration cases. But the company did not comply with immigration guidelines and encouraged their customers to be dishonest, the Old Bailey heard. Alongside DDR Legal Service Ltd they are on trial for providing immigration advice and services when not qualified. Burlow and Spencer's director Zia Bi, 39, ...
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Immigration abroad – asylum, Canada
Trudeau takes 'sharp turn' away from 'refugees welcome'
BBC, 16 April 2019.

Canada has made a name for itself around the world as a safe haven for refugees. But recent changes to its laws may make the country seem far less friendly, refugee advocates and legal critics warn.

The Liberal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, says it intends to change the law to make it harder for refugees to go "asylum shopping".

But legal experts and refugee advocates warn these changes could flout domestic and international law, and ruin Canada's reputation as a defender of refugees.

"I think that the Liberal government has really taken a sharp turn," says law professor and refugee lawyer Warda Shazadi Meighen. ...

It would make ineligible those asylum seekers at the border who have already made a claim in another country that has an immigration information-sharing agreement with Canada.

These countries include the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. ...

More than 40,000 asylum seekers have crossed into Canada at the US border since Trump was elected.

Cities along the border have struggled with providing services to the thousands who are waiting for their claims to be heard - in Montreal, the Olympic stadium was converted into temporary housing.
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Immigration abroad – Libya, Europe
Libya: UN-backed PM says 800,000 migrants could reach Europe amid instability
Alex Crawford
Sky News, 16 April 2019.

Libya's United Nations-backed prime minister has told Sky News that there could be an influx of more than 800,000 migrants from his country into Europe if the instability in his country continues.

Fayez al Sarraj, a trained architect who entered politics in his 50s, is a man with a tough message and he's not mincing his words right now. ...

Putting more pressure on the international community, the leader warned about a European migrant crisis.

"What's going to happen with this security breakdown is that 800,000 illegal migrants on Libyan ground will have to leave Libya and will cross the sea towards Europe," he said.

"Amongst these 800,000 there are terrorists and criminals. This will be disastrous".
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Immigration abroad – public opinion, Canada
The number of non-white immigrants entering Canada is now a partisan issue: new poll
Melanie Green, 16 April 2019.

Canadians are becoming increasingly polarized over issues of race and immigration, according to a new survey that suggests the divide could be a major factor in the next federal election.

The new EKOS poll is based on a relatively small sample size, but offers a snapshot of a country that is split both socially and politically.

Roughly 40 per cent of Canadians think too many immigrants entering the country are not white – and that number skyrockets among Conservative Party of Canada supporters, according to the polling.

"The key forces shifting votes away from the Liberals to Conservatives have been the issue of immigration and too many non-white immigrants," Frank Graves told StarMetro Vancouver. ...

Sixty-nine per cent of poll respondents answered "too many" to the question of "Forgetting about the overall number of immigrants coming to Canada, of those who come, would you say there are too few, too many or the right amount who are members of visible minorities?"
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Crime – drugs
Jail for Bradford trio after drugs worth over £76k were found in shopping bag
Michael Black
Telegraph & Argus, 16 April 2019.

Three Bradford men have been jailed for a total of more than 18 years after 1.3kg of class A drugs worth over £76,000 were found in a shopping bag.

Yasar Fahad, Irfan Khan and Wasiq Khan appeared at Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced, all facing charges of possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine. Wasiq Khan was also charged with possession of criminal property.
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Immigration abroad – employment, labour shortage, USA
There Is No 'Labor Shortage'
Jason Richwine, PhD
Center for Immigration Studies, 16 April 2019.

One of the many trade-offs inherent to immigration policy is efficiency vs. distribution in the labor market. Importing more workers from abroad can lower the cost of production, but the savings come in large part from holding down wages. Anyone who claims that immigration offers only benefits or only costs to the labor market is not being honest about the issue. Unfortunately, immigration advocates have a habit of developing exactly those sorts of one-sided talking points. One of the most prominent right now is the idea of a "labor shortage". Forget all this talk about trade-offs, they say, employers simply cannot find any more workers without immigration.

That claim is false. Neither theory nor evidence backs the existence of a "labor shortage". As discussed below, when employers complain of a "shortage", they really mean a shortage of people willing to work for the (low) wage that employers would like to pay. The percentage of working-age Americans in the labor force remains significantly below the level from the year 2000, and employers should strive to bring those potential workers back.
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Crime – Islam
Leeds Muslim convert stabbed stranger in the neck six times 'to establish himself as a fighter'
Lucy Leeson
Yorkshire Evening Post, 16 April 2019.

A Muslim convert from Leeds was seen on private premises at a military air base just days before he repeatedly stabbed a stranger in the neck in the street.

Alex Davies, 26, stabbed Jaroslaw Poterucha six times from behind as he walked towards a bus stop in Manchester in August 2016.

One of Mr Poterucha's wounds was so deep, he was lucky to be alive, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Davies, also known as Ahmad Ibn Abdillah, fled the scene undetected and was later spotted at RAF Northolt in west London two weeks later. ...

The defendant was arrested and while on remand at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire in October 2016 he attacked prison officers in two separate incidents - one in which he brandished a wooden stake with three razor blades embedded on its side and said: "Allahu Akbar, God is great." ...

Davies accepted he stabbed Mr Poterucha but his lawyers argued he did not know what he was doing was wrong and that he believed he was stabbing an alien. ...

The court heard he is a devout Muslim who prays 15 times a day after he converted to Islam on his 20th birthday while in prison.
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Politics – Labour Party
The madness of David Lammy
Brendan O'Neill
Spiked, 15 April 2019.

Is there any politician more hateful than David Lammy right now? /.../ From his naked contempt for the millions who voted for Brexit, whose 'wisdom' he openly calls into question, to his casual, ahistorical and positively dangerous branding of politicians who are strongly committed to Brexit as Nazis, Mr Lammy has become the very thing he claims to oppose: a shrill, unreasoned, over-emotional propagator of loathing towards certain sections of the population.

Mr Lammy's latest meltdown – and that really isn't too strong a word for his obsessive hatred for Brexit – came on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One on Sunday. Marr asked Lammy if his previous comparison of the European Research Group (ERG) to the old racist rulers of South Africa and even to the Nazis had been a little over the top. The ERG is the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory Party. It has never enforced or supported apartheid of any kind, far less has it propagated Nazi ideas, so Marr's question was a good one. Mr Lammy's response was extraordinary. Not only did he double down on his foul Holocaust relativism by continuing to compare the present political situation with the most criminal political regime in human history – he pushed it even further by saying his comparison of the ERG to the Nazis was 'not strong enough'.

Not strong enough. Think about what is being said here. Mr Lammy is saying he was actually being too soft when he said Jacob Rees-Mogg and Co were like the Nazis. He is saying they are worse than the Nazis. ...

... To compare today's tense but peaceful disagreements over whether and how the UK should leave the EU to the period in which Jews were slaughtered in their millions is to relativise the past; to make the events of the 1930s and 1940s seem less bad, more normal, through comparing them with the political to and fro of 21st-century Britain. ...

... To compare Brexit with Nazism is an act of colossal historical idiocy and profound political spite. ...

If this was just a case of one politician losing it, it wouldn't be worth commenting on. But Mr Lammy's abandonment of political reason and historical rationalism speaks to a broader fraying of sense among the political establishment.
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National identity – public opinion, Australia
European and English-speaking migrants back immigration cuts and fear Australia is losing its identity
Mary Mrad
Daily Mail Australia, 14 April 2019.

European and English-speaking migrants are more likely to back immigration cuts as they fear Australia is losing its cultural identity.

Migrants from these nations are less likely to support those born in other countries, with 58 per cent agreeing immigration should be cut, a survey by the Australian Population Research Institute has found.

However, two-thirds of Asian migrants favour an increase in migrant numbers and disagree with the idea that Australia's identity is disappearing.

Report authors Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Katharine Betts also found non-graduates are more likely to support the cuts compared to university graduates.

There were 67 per cent of graduates who supported an increase in immigration.

Dr Birrell and Dr Betts told the Herald Sun that second-generation migrants are more skeptical about immigration.

'These migrants have become an important part of a voter base worried about immigration,' they said.

However the survey also found that 58 per cent of Australian-born individuals agreed Australia was in danger of losing its identity and 47 per cent of voters supported 'a partial ban' on Muslim immigration.
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Immigration abroad – points-based system, Australia
A points-based system doesn't end naked prejudice against migrants
Kenan Malik
The Observer, 14 April 2019.

The Australian immigration system, in which potential migrants receive points for wealth, education, good health and language skills, has been lauded by politicians across the world, from Donald Trump to Boris Johnson. Many policymakers are drawn to the idea of a system that admits only high-skilled workers, viewing it as the answer to the supposed problems of low-skilled immigrants lowering wages and failing to integrate.

The reality, however, is different. Many low-paid jobs in Australia, from cab-driving to cleaning, are disproportionately the domain of migrants. How is this possible in an immigration system that supposedly only recruits skilled labour?

Australia introduced its points-based immigration system in the 1970s. The idea was to create a kind of non-racist version of the "white Australia" policy that had held sway for almost a century. Middle-class professionalism now came to replace "whiteness" as the measure of a good migrant. The trouble is, being middle class and skilled guarantees neither a job nor social acceptance.

A study last year showed that of skilled migrants from non-English speaking countries who came to Australia between 2011 and 2016, fewer than a third had found a professional or managerial job. Another study revealed that such migrants were 25% more likely to be in the bottom income quintile than either migrants from English-speaking countries (primarily white migrants) or those born in Australia. The unemployment rate for recent migrants on a permanent visa is more than 50% higher than it is for Australians in general.

Partly this results from an immigration system demanding skills unrelated to those required by the economy. ...

There is also the question of racism. A study by the economist Andrew Leigh showed that an individual with an Anglo-Saxon name is far more likely to get a job interview than someone with the same qualifications and experience, but with a Chinese, Middle Eastern or Indigenous Australian name.

Recent governments have tried to shift immigration policy away from a predominantly points-based system to one in which migrants are required to have a job offer. They have also increasingly shifted from a policy of permanent residency to the granting of temporary work visas. Temporary workers now make up 11% of Australia's workforce. /.../ A study last year on Wage Theft in Silence found that a third of foreign temporary workers earned less than half the minimum wage. ...

Critics of liberal immigration policies often argue for the necessity of tighter controls that permit the entry only of the "right kind of migrant". What Australia exposes is that the obsession with having the "right kind of migrant" often blinds people to the fact that many of the problems are caused not by the "wrong kind of migrant" but by the attitudes, of governments, bosses and the public, to any kind of immigrant.
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Repatriation/deportation – threats to free speech
Conference cancelled amid speakers' fears over fallout with transgender lobby
Camilla Turner
Sunday Telegraph, 14 April 2019.

An immigration conference has been cancelled amid fears of a backlash from the transgender lobby, it has emerged.

The Centre for Crime and Social Justice (CCSJ) was planning to hold a summit in June for academics and lawyers to discuss a new Home Office initiative aimed at identifying and deporting foreign criminals.

But invitations to speakers were met with a tepid or negative response, not because of the event itself - which they were keen to take part in - but due to the centre's position on transgender prisoners.

Prospective speakers were concerned that they may be criticised for associating with such views if they appeared at the event. ...

The event's co-organisers then pulled out, saying they did not wish to go ahead given the responses. ...

Last month, the Open University cancelled a conference on prison reform, co-organised by the CCSJ, folloing a barrage of criticism as well as threats to disrupt the event from the transgender lobby.
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Diversity – theatre, racism, discrimination
The Hollow Crown of Reigning Sentiment
Anthony Daniels
Quadrant, 14 April 2019.

The precise date of the discovery by theatre directors that they are greater than Shakespeare cannot be specified: the discovery was more a process than an event. But by the time I saw a production of Richard II at the Almeida Theatre a few weeks ago, the superior genius of any director over that of Shakespeare was an established principle and indisputable fact. ...

But if I had an elevated conception of Shakespeare, how naive and mistaken I was! I knew nothing of Richard II – the play, that is, not the king – until I saw the production by Joe Hill-Gibbins. How narrow had been my previous conception of it! ...

We come now to the very delicate question of the over-representation of black actors in productions such as this (and many others). They are now included in casts out of all proportion to their number in the general population, and unlike such disproportion in professional football teams, this disproportion is not the consequence of superior talent or ability. It is quite obviously, but also unmentionably, the consequence of policy. ...

Moreover, it is agitprop of an obviously racist variety. The British stage is now riven with racism, if by racism we mean the tendency to believe that race is and ought to be an important determinant of policy, for example in the allocation of jobs. And it is obvious that, lying not very deeply under the positive discrimination exercised in the casting of plays in British productions, is an attitude of condescension at best and contempt at worst.

You would never guess from the British theatre that the largest ethnic minority by far in the country is of Indian subcontinental origin: it will be a very long time before you see a Bangladeshi Juliet or a Sikh Angelo. ...

It is here that we see the implicit condescension or contempt in the positive discrimination in favour of black actors (of course, there can be no positive discrimination without negative discrimination, but not all racial discrimination is equal). They are believed to be people who could not survive by their own unaided efforts – unaided, that is, by the intellectual keepers of our conscience. They are like household dogs that could not survive in the wild.

The mental contortions that are now required of us to be considered, and to consider ourselves, decent respectable citizens would be enough to baffle Houdini. Some demographic disproportions must never be alluded to or even noticed, others must be referred to ad nauseam, and the decent person must know by instinct, as it were, which is which. Some disparities must be constantly measured, others persistently ignored. And you must never let your guard down in discriminating which discriminations are discriminatory. After all, received wisdom can change as quickly as the enemy during the hate sessions in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – crime
Britain's deportation disgrace: One's a convicted paedophile, the other a gangster. Both should have left the UK years ago – but they still here laughing in the face of the law
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 13 April 2019.

This is 29-year-old Turkish-born Tolga Binbuga, ...

Binbuga, who came to Britain at the age of nine, but has never applied for British citizenship, has been convicted of robbery, burglary, assault, criminal damage and shoplifting. He has been fighting the Government against his deportation to Turkey for nearly five years – but thanks to a string of successful appeals to immigration tribunals, costing thousands of pounds apiece, he has succeeded in staying.

The Binbuga saga is scandalous enough. It is, however, only one in a shocking array of similar cases.

Day after day in our immigration courts, foreigners who have made their home in the UK, then abused our welcome by committing criminal acts, even serial rape and murder, game the overwhelmed system with the help of well-paid lawyers to wriggle out of being deported – sometimes for years, sometimes for ever because the system seems to forget them.

The problem is huge. In England and Wales, one prisoner in nine is now a foreign national. /.../ If these jailbirds, who like other prisoners cost £22,000 a year each to keep behind bars, are from outside the EU and serving a sentence of a year or more, they can be earmarked for deportation on release if the Home Secretary deems it conducive to the public good – as he invariably does.

According to the Government rulebook, they should go from their cell to a detention centre and be held there until they can be flown out of the UK. EU-born criminals who commit serious crimes or are a threat to public security are also put on deportation lists.

But as Binbuga's case shows, this is far from the reality. ...

Binbuga is one of thousands of foreign-born criminals convicted in this country whom the Government is struggling to deport. ...

The Home Office said this year that 45,800 foreigners have been removed from Britain after serving a prison sentence since 2010. But, in truth, wily immigration lawyers use every ruse to stop foreigners who've committed crimes here being sent packing.

Latest figures show that between 2014 and 2016 a total of 494 foreign national offenders 'absconded' while they were listed for deportation after serving sentences here. They included people with convictions for violence, rape and other sexual crimes, fraud, money laundering, possession of weapons, burglary, forgery and handling stolen goods.

The Mail has investigated the litany of appeals made by foreign criminals to independent immigration tribunals against deportation over the past six months. The offenders come from countries including Lithuania, China, Albania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, India, Vietnam and some Caribbean nations. ...

In few places is it more clear that the deportation system is broken than in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, one of the many northern towns to be rocked by sex-grooming scandals.

After the trial, three of the gang with dual British and Pakistani nationalities – Rauf, Khan and Aziz – were stripped of their British citizenship as a prelude to deportation to Pakistan. Yet the Mail can reveal that nearly six years after their imprisonment, these sexual predators are still living in the same region where they abused the girls.
[Site link]

Crime – drugs
Meet Birmingham gang who turned Stoke into 'Coke-on-Trent' with £150k of drugs in five weeks
James Rodger
Birmingham Mail, 12 April 2019.

Four men have been jailed for a total of 20 years for their part in a conspiracy to supply cocaine into Stoke-on-Trent from Birmingham.

Mohammed Khushal, Farooq Amed and Mahmood Hussain were jailed on Tuesday, April 9, at Birmingham Crown Court.

It came following a successful operation by Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU).

Mazafar Hussain was jailed at an earlier hearing in 2017. ...

Detective Inspector Pete Cooke, of Staffordshire Police, said: "Quantities of cocaine were found at a number of addresses and there is no doubt this was a significant supply line from Birmingham into north Staffordshire.

"It has taken several years of persistence and hard work to bring these men before the courts and we're glad they're now behind bars."
[Site link]

Crime – drugs
Albanian illegal immigrant caught with £100,000 of cocaine in Enfield will be deported
Richard Duggan
MyLondon, 12 April 2019.

An illegal immigrant found with 9.5 kilos of cocaine with a street value of nearly £1 million has been jailed for 12 years.

Suad Sufaj, 26, was stopped by police as he travelled in a car along Bowes Road, in Enfield, North London, on September 26 last year.

A joint investigation by the joint National Crime Agency (NCA) and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership saw Sufaj prosecuted. ...

"Working with our partners from the Met we have stopped nearly £1 million of cocaine from getting onto the streets on the UK."

Following his sentence Sufaj will be deported to Albania.
[Site link]

Politics – Government, Conservative Party
Think Tank: UK Govt Massively Undercounting Migration Impact on Future Population Growth
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 12 April 2019.

The British government is significantly underestimating the likely impact of mass immigration on future population growth, according to an expert think tank.

Lord Andrew Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, has questioned why the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is basing its new "principal population projection" on international net migration to England of 152,000 per year.

This would increase the population of England, the largest and most populous of Britain's Home Nations, to over 60 million by 2032, well up on the 2016 estimate of 55.3 million, ...

Staggering though these figures are, Lord Green believes they hugely underestimated the speed and scale of the changes England is undergoing, as average net immigration to the country is actually well in excess of 152,000 a year – "whether you take the average of the past five years (246,000 per year) or the average of the past ten years (213,000 per year)."

Writing in The Telegraph, the former diplomat and Royal Green Jackets officer said it would be "much more realistic to use what the ONS calls its 'high migration scenario' (based on net migration to England of 215,000 per year) which would see England's population rise not by 4.8 million between 2016 and 2032 (as in the principal projection) but by 5.9 million" – a difference, he points out, of "well over a million people."

"Time and again the government has underestimated projected population growth," the cross-bench peer reminded readers.

"A decade ago they estimated that the UK population would not reach 64 million by 2017. In fact, by mid-2017, the UK population exceeded a record 66 million."

Lord Green warned that any attempt to deliberately "downplay the reality of rapid population" could only "backfire", and that this latest ONS "discrepancy" would "further undermine public confidence in the authorities on immigration".

"A poll published last year found that only 17 per cent of the public trust the government to tell the truth about immigration either all or most of the time," he said. ...

Shortly after the Brexit vote ended his immediate political career, David Cameron's Chancellor of the Exchequer and chief lieutenant George Osborne revealed that persistent failure to fulfil immigration promises was a feature, rather than a bug, of Tory government.

"Over the past seven years, the Government has not been able to reduce significantly the numbers of non-Europeans coming here – though we could," he admitted openly in 2017.

"[N]one of [the Cabinet's] senior members supports the pledge [to reduce immigration] in private and all would be glad to see the back of something that has caused the Conservative Party such public grief," he revealed.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
Fired German Intelligence Boss Slams Merkel Migrant Policy on Hungarian Television
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 12 April 2019.

Former German intelligence chief Hans-George Maassen told Hungarian media this week that the door of immigration was "still open" and slammed the asylum policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Speaking to broadcaster M1, the former president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said that despite there being fewer asylum seekers than 2015," the lock is still open," Die Welt reports.

During the 25-minute interview, Mr Maassen also touched upon the problems with integrating a large number of asylum seekers saying, "Integration is possible if you create the legal framework and also get people to integrate or be integrated. Integration can not only be ordered, but integration must also be demanded."

"My concern is that there is integration, but not integration into German society, but into Arab society, the Salafist society or the Turkish society in Germany, so that we have parallel societies. And from my point of view, that has to be prevented with all our might," he added.

Germany has also had a poor track record with deporting failed asylum seekers since 2015, and Maassen explained the government's lack of success saying, "This has a number of reasons, starting with the fact that the countries of origin are often not yet ready to take these people back. (They) are not ready, partly for purely economic reasons."

He noted that many countries see their citizens sending back euros from the German welfare system and said countries are unlikely to want to take them back and be forced to pay them benefits.

"In addition, there are also so-called NGOs, which deliberately prevent deportation by supporting the deportees or hiding him and the like. All in all, one has to say that the deportation policy in Germany is, unfortunately, a disaster, but unfortunately not only in Germany but also in other Western European countries," he said.
[Site link]

Politics – illegal immigration, Labour Party
It's time to rethink our attitude to undocumented migrants
David Lammy
New Statesman, 12 April 2019.
[David Lammy is Labour MP for Tottenham]

If Windrush and subsequent scandals have taught us anything, it is that there is a deep-rooted and systemic problem with our immigration system. I proposed a set of reforms in Open and Ethical, a new Fabian Society report, which would transform our immigration system, making it fair, humane and respectful of human dignity.

Among the most dehumanised groups in Britain are undocumented migrants. They are considered "illegals" or "aliens" before they are human beings – a hidden population that we know very little about. In the national consciousness, we imagine undocumented people waiting in their thousands to steal British jobs, abuse our welfare state and overcrowd our hospitals. ...

The government has responded to this concern by introducing policies that exclude undocumented migrants from working, renting or accessing public services. The effect of these policies is to create a hostile environment that makes life so unlivable for those illegally resident in the UK that they are forced to leave.

The resulting legislation, carried out over two immigration acts, was responsible for a shocking disregard for the rights of migrants and ethnic minority British citizens, and ultimately proved ineffective at reducing illegal immigration.

It is time to rethink our attitudes to undocumented migrants in this country. No matter how punitive and aggressive its policies, the government will never be able to deport all undocumented migrants, or close our borders entirely.

The invisible nature of undocumented migrants makes it impossible to gauge how many live in Britain. ...

We are talking about single parent families, young children and adolescents old enough to go to university. We are talking about low earners, struggling to get by and pay their bills. They are carers, builders and domestic workers. Many have arrived in the UK from countries that have born the brunt of British colonial rule, with dreams that their children and grandchildren might be able to have better lives.

The Home Office's ineffective war against undocumented immigration has built a "shadow economy" where workplace exploitation, human trafficking and other criminal behavior is rife. The question hinges on whether the government should maintain the illegal status of these undocumented migrants, or regularise their status, enabling them to pay income tax and national insurance, and to live safely and integrate into society. I support the latter option.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – politics, India
Amit Shah vows to throw illegal immigrants into Bay of Bengal
Devjyot Ghoshal
Reuters, 12 April 2019.

The head of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist party took his invective against illegal Muslim immigrants to a new level this week as the general election kicked off, promising to throw them into the Bay of Bengal.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah referred to such illegal immigrants as "termites", a description he also used last September, when he drew condemnation from rights groups. The U.S. State Department also noted the remark in its annual human rights report.

"Infiltrators are like termites in the soil of Bengal," Shah said on Thursday at a rally in West Bengal, as voting in India's 39-day general election started.

"A Bharatiya Janata Party government will pick up infiltrators one by one and throw them into the Bay of Bengal," he said, referring to illegal immigrants from neighbouring Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

Shah nevertheless reiterated the BJP's stance on giving citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

India is already working on deporting an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims living in the country after fleeing Buddhist-majority Myanmar. New Delhi considers them a security threat.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – EU migrants
EU migrants in Britain claimed more than £4bn a year in benefits
David Wooding
The Sun, 11 April 2019.

EU migrants in Britain claimed more than £4 billion a year in benefits.

Those from Eastern Europe received more in welfare than the average UK citizen – and paid less income tax.

In the run-up to the Brexit referendum, ministers had insisted the figures were not available.

But the cost of open doors migration has now been revealed.

Data from the Department for Work and Pensions, taxman and Treasury shows EU workers received more than £2.2 billion in tax credits and housing benefits, £1.1 billion in out-of-work payments and £700 million in child benefit.

There is a stark contrast between Western and Eastern Europeans.

Nearly half the personal taxes paid by migrants from countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Poland went straight back in tax credits and child benefit.

DWP figures were not broken down by country.

But if they followed a similar distribution, then almost all of the taxes went back in working-age benefit.

Ex-Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith carried out the study with MigrationWatch UK.

He said: "It is no surprise they didn't want to release the figures."
[Site link]

Immigration – residence, EU migrants
More than 400,000 EU nationals apply to stay in UK after Brexit
The Guardian / Press Association, 11 April 2019.

More than 400,000 European nationals have applied to secure their stay in the UK after Brexit, the Home Office has disclosed.

The number of applications received by the EU settlement scheme has increased by about 200,000 since it went live at the end of last month.

More than 230,000 people applied during test phases before the full launch on 30 March.

The Home Office also announced that 57 organisations would receive funding to help vulnerable applicants.

Up to £9m has been set aside to ensure support is available to an estimated 200,000 individuals who may be marginalised or need extra help submitting their application. ...

The settlement scheme is open to citizens of EU member states plus those from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, as well as their family members.

Successful applicants are granted immigration status confirming their right to continue living and working in the UK indefinitely.

People who have lived continuously in the UK for five years or more can obtain settled status. Those who have lived in the UK for less than five years can acquire pre-settled status, which can later be converted into settled status. ...

Government estimates indicate that between 3.5 million and 4.1 million European Economic Area citizens and their family members could be eligible to apply to the scheme by the end of 2020.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Australia
Record number of immigrants arrive in Australia with 115,000 landing in just one MONTH - despite government promises to reduce the intake
Stephen Johnson
Daily Mail Australia, 11 April 2019.

Australia's immigration rate has surged to a new record high with more than 115,000 permanent arrivals in just one month. ...

The overseas arrivals data showed 115,100 new people declared Australia as their new home in February, as annual immigration soared by a record 844,800.

The number of new immigrants during the year was 11.4 per cent higher than the same period in 2018.

When the number of people leaving Australia for good was taken into account, the net annual immigration rate stood at a five-year high of 299,190, which includes international students. ...

Australia's 1.6 per cent annual population increase is more than double the average of rich nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
Illegal immigration to US at highest for 12 years despite Donald Trump's vow to crack down
Jacob Geanous
Metro, 11 April 2019.

A record number of migrants tried to illegally cross the United States' southern border last month, despite Donald Trump's promises of a crackdown.

The number of people who crossed the Mexican border illegally skyrocketed to 103,492 in March – hitting a 12-year-high.

Of those, 92,607 were apprehended by US Customs and Border Patrol, who have detained over 361,000 people at the southwest border this year, which is more than double the amount of migrants detained by April of last year – and all of 2017.

More than 53,000 families were among those apprehended along the US-Mexico border during March. That is the highest number for a single month since US Customs and Border Protection began keeping track of the figure in 2012. ...

A 2018 study funded by the US Department of Homeland Security found that 'wages for people migrating illegally to the United States tend to be about 13 to 14 times the wages available to them in their home countries.'

This opportunity has proved attractive enough to convince a record number of families to pack up and head for the US border. That has caused headaches for the Trump administration whose hands are tied by legal precedents.
[Site link]

Immigration – population growth, public opinion
Obfuscating the true level of migration only encourages public mistrust
Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph website, 11 April 2019.

Public concern about rapid population growth could not be clearer. Indeed, 64 per cent of the public told YouGov last year that estimated future population growth (a projected rise of nearly seven million people by 2041) is too high.

The public's worries are justified. Roads, tubes and trains are getting ever more crowded and research has shown the UK is already one of the ten most gridlocked countries on the planet.

Meanwhile, more than four-fifths of population growth between 2001 and 2016 was due to immigration. Indeed, immigration added one million to the UK population every three years – equivalent to the entire population of Birmingham or more than twice that of Liverpool.
[Site link]

Immigration – population growth
Uncontrolled immigration helped trigger Brexit - How ironic our self obsessed MPs have forgotten it
Stephen Glover
Daily Mail, 11 April 2019.

Almost three years after the EU referendum, it's odd how little talk there is about immigration. Yet before the vote many politicians and much of the media were obsessed with the subject.

Is it because, despite the Brexit process driving many of us bonkers, people assume immigration has been sorted out? After all, concern about its uncontrolled nature was a major factor – possibly the main one – behind the Leave vote.

I'm afraid any thought that our marvellous Government is quietly attending to the challenges of reducing immigration, while tussling so hopelessly with all other aspects of Brexit, is wide of the mark.

While it's true that immigration from inside the EU is sharply down, this has nothing to do with the Government. Meanwhile, non-EU immigration is running at a 15-year high. The upshot is that overall numbers coming here are not far off record levels.

In the year to September 2018, net immigration to the UK was 283,000 – which is nearly three times the Tories' much trumpeted target (which has not been dropped) of an annual maximum of 100,000. ...

On Tuesday an estimate crept out of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which suggests that this impartial organisation assumes immigration is likely to continue at a high rate for the foreseeable future. ...

Whichever prediction one prefers, the number of people living in England seems likely to rocket in a brief time, with much, if not most, of the increase concentrated in London and the South East, already one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

That means more demand on new housing, almost half of which may be attributable to immigration. It means more trains in which passengers are crammed together like sardines, and it means even more congested roads.

And, unless the Government miraculously gets its act together, a sudden population explosion of this magnitude will entail a growing shortage of school places, longer waits in hospitals and GP surgeries, and ever greater pressure on power and water supplies. ...

Yet at the same time non-EU immigration – which the authorities are in principle able to control – has been soaring. One reason is that more people are coming here from Asia for work-related reasons. ...

There's absolutely no evidence that this stricken Government is prepared to regulate the flow. On the contrary. If the recent White Paper on immigration after Brexit becomes the basis of future policy, it's likely that numbers coming to this country will increase still further. ...

And it seems to me extraordinary that, in the heated debate about the shortage of houses for young people, the role which unrestrained immigration has played in helping to create this unhappy state of affairs is almost never mentioned.
[Site link]

Population – forecasts
Net migration will see 'England's population hit 60 million by 2029 with the South East and London bearing the brunt of the growth'
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 10 April 2019.

The number of people living in England will top 60 million by 2029 unless immigration levels fall radically, an official assessment said yesterday.

The 60 million figure is an increase of more than four million over the most recent estimates and indicates that Brexit turmoil and questions over future migration rules have yet to curb the growth in population.

The estimate was published by the Office for National Statistics, which said that in 2029 numbers in England will reach 60,207,000 if high migration levels continue.

Its projection is based on the assumption that net migration – the number of people added to the population each year after both immigration and emigration have been counted – will continue at 215,000.

The most recent recorded figure for current net migration – for the 12 months to September 2018 – was nearly a third higher at 283,000. ...

The population projections also account for birth and death rates and life expectancy, as well as movement within the country.

They show that population pressure will continue to be at its greatest in London and southern England, where there is deepening concern over high housing prices and rents, poor transport and road congestion, a shortage of school places, and supplies of power and water. The growing numbers of people will add to pollution from traffic fumes and other sources, and increase demand for building on countryside. ...

It said that the population of England, put at 55,268,000 in 2016, would – under its 'principal' immigration projection – rise by 5.9 per cent to 58,506,000 by mid-2026. But the 'principal' figure used by the ONS is based on net migration of 152,000 a year, a level unknown since the 1990s.

Under the 'high' migration estimate, which uses the 215,000 a year figure, the 2026 England population would be 59,172,000, and by 2029 the figure would be 60,207,000. This would mean an increase of 8.9 per cent on 2016 levels.
[Site link]

Crime – illegal immigration
Crime boss Denaught Sharma who masterminded immigration scam to be monitored
Iwan Gabe Davies
South Wales Argus, 10 April 2019.

The ringleader of a "sophisticated" immigration scam gang which tried to trick the Home Office into allowing married partners to enter the United Kingdom illegally has been made the subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO).

Denaught Sharma, aged 57, of Ruskin Avenue, Rogerstone, Newport, ran a syndicate of 10 swindlers jailed for nearly 30 years at Cardiff Crown Court last summer.

Sharma ran an accountancy service "at the heart of the offending" and created false documentation, including wage slips and P60s, in support of immigration applications to enter or stay in the UK.

The owner of companies called ACS Limited and Storm 90 PWR Ltd, the defendant, who was not a qualified accountant, was jailed for seven years and seven months.

Sharma was back in Cardiff Crown Court this week where Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke imposed a five-year SCPO against him.

An SCPO is a civil court order used at preventing, restricting or disrupting a convicted criminal's involvement in further serious crime once they are released from prison. ...

The court heard how Sharma had five previous convictions for 16 offences including affray, possession of drug and a food hygiene offence.
[Site link]

Diversity – psychology
Finally Some Robust Research Into Whether "Diversity Training" Actually Works – Unfortunately It's Not Very Promising
Jesse Singal
British Psychological Society, 10 April 2019.

Diversity trainings are big business. In the United States, companies spend about £6.1 billion per year, by one estimate, on programmes geared at making companies more inclusive and welcoming to members of often-underrepresented groups (British numbers aren't easy to come by, but according to one recent survey, over a third of recruiters are planning to increase their investment in diversity initiatives).

Unfortunately, there's little evidence-backed consensus about which sorts of diversity programmes work, and why, and there have been long-standing concerns in some quarters that these programmes don't do much at all, or that they could actually be harmful. ...

For a new paper in PNAS, a prominent team of researchers, including Katherine Milkman, Angela Duckworth, and Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, partnered with a large global organisation to measure the real-world impact of the researchers' own anti-bias intervention, designed principally to "promote inclusive attitudes and behaviors toward women, whereas a secondary focus was to promote the inclusion of other underrepresented groups (e.g., racial minorities)." The results were mixed at best – and unfortunately there are good reasons to be sceptical that even the more positive results are as positive as they seem. ...

... Until there are more studies like this one, those who want to use diversity training to make companies and other institutions more welcoming have no option but to feel around in the dark for what works.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – begging
Europe's New Beggars
Johan Wennström
Quillette, 10 April 2019.

Indeed, as a result of the European Union's eastward expansion during the previous decade, and the principle of free movement of persons within the E.U., thousands of rough sleepers, mostly ethnic Roma from the ex-socialist countries Bulgaria and Romania, have arrived in the streets, parks, and playgrounds of the E.U.-15 countries.

Contrary to the purpose of free movement, most have not come to work or study, but to beg in the most abject manners. France is perhaps the most notorious country for child begging in Western Europe, but even in more child-friendly societies in Scandinavia, we see children of 13 and younger being used for begging by adult family members. Other beggars display, or, more often, simulate, physical disabilities to evoke compassion. ...

It is important to understand that this behavior is not mainly an outcome of labor market discrimination in Western Europe. For some, begging is instead the very point of migrating. As observed in a recent article in the journal Migration Studies: "In many rural Roma communities, transnational migration for begging and street work has now become an institutionalized practice, constituting the backbone of the local economy." ...

For others, often including the very young, the elderly, and persons with mental disabilities, begging is a consequence of coercion and deceit. ...

Similar examples of trafficking for the purposes of forced begging abound. In Norway, a state television investigation two years ago exposed a large Romanian trafficking ring of 140 individuals in the city of Bergen, whose leaders regularly posted pictures of the jewelry and luxury cars that their activities (extending to using begging as a front for prostitution) afforded them on social media. /.../ Nevertheless, it remains uncertain to what extent the begging phenomenon is due to coercion. According to a scholarly chapter on begging in the Routledge Handbook of Human Trafficking (2018), there is "no generalized analysis that applies to all begging situations" – and, ultimately, there are more critical aspects to be considered.

First, the social disintegration that the continued presence of beggars creates. /.../ Moreover, the constant exposure to the deception involved in begging, such as pretending disabilities or other personal difficulties, is detrimental to social trust and reciprocity.

Secondly, but not least important, there is the debasement to the beggars themselves and the risk that the daily sight of people kneeling and sleeping in the streets will cause a mental separation of certain populations from the rest of society in the minds of ordinary citizens and teach our children that the dignity of the poor simply matters less. ...

Yet despite the fact that begging is associated with these social hazards and degrading conditions, almost all Western European states, excluding, most prominently, Denmark, have hesitated to impose or strengthen the enforcement of national blanket bans on begging as a response to the influx of foreign vagrants.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – crime
Foreign criminal allowed to stay after judge rules membership of notorious London gang shows 'integration into society'
Nick Parker
The Sun, 9 April 2019.

A Turkish-born criminal was allowed to stay in Britain because a judge ruled his membership of a notorious gang showed he had integrated into UK society.

Tolga Binbuga, 29, has been convicted of robbery, burglary, assault, criminal damage and shoplifting and cautioned for drug possession.

Binbuga, who came to the UK aged nine but never applied for British citizenship, also joined North London's Get Money Gang.

Police say the GMG is No2 on their list of Britain's most dangerous gangs.

But when The Home Office tried to deport Binbuga his lawyers appealed saying he was a "home grown criminal" and English to the core.

Judge Evan Ruth agreed with claims Binbuga's gang membership prove he had "socially and culturally integrated." ...

The ruling allowing him to stay in the UK was made in 2016 but was never reported.

It was overturned by a Home Office appeal the following year in which judges said Judge Ruth had "erred in law" by claiming gang memberships showed he was socially integrated. ...

The judges said there were no "compelling circumstances" to stop the deportation of Binbuga.

But he appealed yet again and ran up a bill of at least £50,000 before the case was finally thrown out last week. It was unclear yesterday whether he has yet been deported.
[Site link]

Immigration – public opinion
Majorities from EVERY generation and ethnic group want to cut immigration, survey finds
Matt Dathan
The Sun, 8 April 2019.

A majority across every generation, ethnic group and even Remain supporters want to reduce immigration, a mass survey voters has found.

Findings by the new Tory think tank Onward revealed majority backing for controlling numbers even among 18-24 year-olds - who back it by 38 to 36 per cent.

An even higher proportion of Remainers back cutting immigration - with 40 per cent in support and 34 per cent against - the same numbers among Asian voters.

But in a finding that will deliver shock-waves through the Tory party, Labour currently enjoys an eight-point lead on immigration among all age-groups.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – politics, USA
Bernie Sanders: I don't support open borders
Caitlin Yilek
Washington Examiner, 8 April 2019.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Sunday he does not support open borders.

Sanders, independent senator from Vermont and a self-described democratic socialist, told an audience member at a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, that he was mistaken in suggesting Sanders supports open borders.

"I'm afraid you may be getting your information wrong. That's not my view," Sanders said after the attendee asked the candidate how he would fund a social safety net if the United States had an open-borders immigration policy.

"What we need is comprehensive immigration reform," Sanders said. "If you open the borders, my god, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it. So that is not my position."

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders said an open-border policy was "a Koch brothers proposal."

"That's a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States," he said. "It would make everybody in America poorer – you're doing away with the concept of a nation-state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation-state or in a country called the United States or U.K. or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – free speech, censorship, USA
Amazon Is on a Digital Book Burning Spree
Allum Bokhari
Breitbart, 8 April 2019.

Under pressure from left-wing journalists and activists, Amazon is purging right-wing authors from its store, including a book co-authored by English Islam critic and independent commentator Tommy Robinson.

The web retail giant has become the dominant market player in book sales, accounting for nearly 50 percent of physical and 83 percent of e-book sales in the U.S. As such, Amazon has the power to effectively cut an author off from the vast majority of the books market.

Amazon began its new round of purges by targeting the white nationalist fringe. In February, the tech giant banned a number of books from white identitarian Jared Taylor, and a book called The White Nationalist Manifesto by Greg Johnson. ...

In 2010, Amazon refused to take down a book defending pedophilia on first amendment grounds. "Amazon believes it is censorship not sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," an Amazon representative told CNBC at the time.

"Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

Public and media outcry was not enough to pressure Amazon into watering down its commitment to content-neutrality when it came to a pro-pedophile book. But it now takes only the slightest pressure for the tech giant to ban right-wing critiques of religion.

And even before that, Amazon had watered down it's commitment to "the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions." In 2015, the site banned the sale of all merchandise depicting the Confederate flag.

Amazon doesn't seem to have a problem with extremist of destructive books in general. Two of the most destructive books in history, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are available for purchase. So too are books by black nationalist Louis Farrakhan, notorious for his racist and anti-semitic comments – so it seems racial hatred isn't subject to a blanket ban on Amazon either.
[Site link]

Racism – moving house, white flight
White British homeowners more likely to move out if Pakistanis buy houses nearby
Gwilym Pryce
The Conversation, 8 April 2019.
[The author is a Professor of Urban Economics and Social Statistics]

In recent research that I published with my colleague Sue Easton, we wanted to take a closer look at what was happening when people with ethnic minority names moved next door or very close to homeowners with white British names. ...

In our study, we used property registration data for the 40% most deprived census areas of Glasgow in Scotland. ...

Crucially for our purposes, the property registration data we used recorded the names of both buyers and sellers in each house transaction. How people respond to particular sorts of names can reveal certain prejudices. ...

Analysis of particular name groups has become a lot more feasible as a result of the growing literature on combining forenames and surnames to impute ethnicity. And now sophisticated software is being designed to do this too, such as the Onomap software which can assign ethnicity to names in a large dataset based on linguistic and cultural analysis. ...

Our results suggest that, on average, the length of stay of homeowners with white British names is significantly reduced if house buyers with Pakistani or other Muslim names move within 50 metres. For example, for every household moving in with a "non-white other" name, primarily Muslim in origin, the average length of stay of existing homeowners with white British names halved. We also found evidence, however, that the effect diminished somewhat as the number of those moving in with Pakistani or Muslim names increased.

... Nevertheless, we can't say for sure that those homeowners with white British names who chose to move did so because of anti-Pakistani or anti-Muslim sentiment. Our study was observational, and we didn't interview people about the choices they'd made.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the effect is very likely to be partly driven by "neighbourhood churn". ...

In comparison to the white flight of 1950s America, the effect is probably pretty small and much more localised. But it nevertheless suggests house moves in Glasgow may be partly driven by latent aversion to having neighbours with Pakistani or Muslim names.
[Site link]

Terrorism – extremist violence
Who Commits Most of the World's Extremist Violence?
Seth Barron
City Journal, 8 April 2019.

The idea that white supremacist violence is a growing global threat has gained more currency recently, notably in the wake of the ghastly Christchurch mosque massacre, when an avowed white nationalist murdered 50 Muslims. New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for instance, asserted that "White supremacists committed the largest # of extremist killings in 2017." No one will deny that racial hatred is an evil ideology, and that people who kill in the name of white supremacy commit evil – but is it true that white extremists are sowing a growing amount of worldwide mayhem?

The evidence suggests otherwise. Even a superficial glance at the record indicates that of the nearly 20,000 people killed in thousands of extremist killings in 2017, white supremacists were responsible for very few. ...

White nationalists committed none of the above violent acts of extremist killing, and that's nothing remarkable: almost all the world's extremist violence is concentrated in a handful of regions, where very few white people live. In areas where whites do live (America, Canada, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand), white nationalists do indeed perpetrate a significant proportion of the relatively uncommon acts of extremist violence. Again, this is unsurprising, because whites make up the overwhelming majority of the population there. ...

When Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that white supremacists were responsible for the most extremist killings of 2017, she was obviously wrong, by at least two and maybe three orders of magnitude (if she meant worldwide, which is unclear from her tweet). There were at least 8,500 such incidents worldwide that year, and white supremacists accounted for perhaps 15 or 20 of them, depending how you count. ...

The Wall Street Journal, citing the U.S. Extremist Crime Database, reports that the frequency of violent hate crime in the United States has been about the same for 50 years. White supremacy is insane and immoral, and it may be a significant threat. But it doesn't account for anywhere near the preponderance of global extremist violence, though one might get a different impression from recent coverage.
[Site link]

Diversity – dancers
Furious dancers are kicked out of renowned troupe for the over-60s for being WHITE so bosses can hire more black and Asian athletes
Chris Hastings
Mail on Sunday, 7 April 2019.

As a renowned dance troupe made up entirely of over-60s performers, Company of Elders has won acclaim across the globe.

But now longstanding members of the troupe have been told they have to leave to make way for more black and Asian recruits.

The decision by the prestigious Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, which runs the contemporary dance company, has been attacked as sacrificing the wellbeing of current members – many in their 70s and 80s – on the 'altar of political correctness'.

Until now members have been able to stay with the company as long they can perform. ...

The news of the forced retirements is said to have come as a 'bombshell'. ...

Under the new rules, anyone who has been with the troupe for ten years or more has been told they can stay for only another three years. Those who have been there for less than ten years can stay for another five.

A spokesman for Sadler's Wells said the plan was to encourage 'people from BAME [black and minority ethnic] backgrounds... to join'. ...

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: 'If you are genuinely interested in diversity one of the things you will not do is reduce the range of ages you have in the company. It's a bit scandalous to play off one minority group – people of colour – against another minority group – older dancers.' ...

Sadler's Wells has been given £9.8 million of public funds from the Arts Council for the period 2018 to 2022.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islamophobia, Islam
Government adviser on Islamaphobia gave his backing to a Pakistani cleric who called for a Christian mother to be hanged for blasphemy
Glen Owen and Abul Taher
Mail on Sunday, 7 April 2019.

An imam recruited to advise the Government on 'tackling Islamophobia' has publicly supported a cleric in Pakistan who has campaigned for a Christian woman to be hanged for blasphemy.

Qari Asim, who is part of an 11-strong panel assembled by the Communities Department, supported preacher Khadim Rizvi, who demanded the death penalty for Asia Bibi, who was falsely accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

She spent nine years on death row until she was acquitted in October.

Mr Asim's past emerged as part of a Mail on Sunday investigation into the Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred, which advises Ministers and senior civil servants on measures to combat anti-Muslim bigotry and hate crimes.

When Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted Ms Bibi last year, Rizvi's group, Tehreek-e-Labbaik, caused nationwide riots, demanding that she be hanged.

Rizvi also endorsed the actions of Tanveer Ahmed, a British extremist who killed a shopkeeper in Glasgow, Asad Shah, because he belonged to a 'heretical' Muslim sect known as the Ahmadis. After the murder in 2016, Rizvi praised Ahmed in his preachings, hailing him as a 'ghazi', or 'warrior'.

Ahmed, 34, from Bradford, is now serving 27 years for murder. ...

The working group, which was established in 2012, has been controversial, with a number of moderate Muslim leaders saying that some of its members were religious hardliners with bigoted views. ...

A Communities Department spokesman said Mr Asim never intended to 'endorse' cleric Rizvi: 'Imam Qari Asim did not intend that publication to be an endorsement of Rizvi and so took the article down, which he replaced with one calling for tolerance for all.'
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – hate crime, USA
Finley: America's hate crime surge is a hoax
Nolan Finley
Detroit News, 7 April 2019.

It's been repeated so often it's taken as fact: Hate crimes have soared over the past two years, and the blame rests with President Donald Trump and supporters inspired by his hateful rhetoric.

It's a compelling story, supported by statistics that show an increase of 17% in the number of hate crimes reported to the FBI during the Trump presidency.

But it isn't true. The surge has little to do with Trump and his red hat brigade. This according to Will Reilly, a Kentucky State University associate professor, who extensively researched hate-fueled violence in America for his book Hate Crime Hoax.

"Almost all of that surge is due to the simple fact that in 2017 the number of police departments reporting hate crimes to the FBI increased by 1,000," says Reilly. "The surge narrative is pretty dishonest."

And destructive. The perception that hate-filled mobs are roaming the streets attacking minorities, gay and transgender people and other vulnerable citizens in the name of Donald Trump keeps us on edge and makes us distrustful of our neighbors.

It also creates a gullibility that that allows us to believe things we should know aren't true. Like Jussie Smollett's ridiculous tale of being attacked by two MAGA-hat-wearing thugs on a frigid Chicago street. ...

Smollett's fake hate crime is not a one-off. Reilly's research finds that most high-profile hate crimes over the past few years have turned out to be hoaxes.

Reilly studied 409 reported hate crimes over the past five years that received media attention. ...

"In major cases, almost all of them have been hoaxes," Reilly says. "The number of hate crime hoaxes actually exceeds the number of convictions. The majority of these high-profile incidents never happened."

It's also a false narrative that white cops are targeting African American men, Reilly says.

In 2015, he says, of the 1,200 Americans killed by police, just 258 were black, and only 17 of those were unarmed and shot by white officers. And yet, his research indicates just 10 percent of the media coverage of police violence focused on the non-black victims.

"White guys shot by police under identical circumstances never become national stories," Reilly say.

The distorted coverage has helped give rise to social movements such as Black Lives Matter that are based more on perception than reality.

"It's worth noting that interracial crime is not a huge threat in America," says Reilly, who is African American. "Eighty-five percent of whites are killed by other whites. Ninety-four percent of blacks are killed by other blacks."

Americans may be politically divided. But they aren't taking their disagreements to the streets. Nor have they created a dangerous environment for certain groups of their fellow citizens.

"Portraying America as a hate-filled country is wildly inaccurate," Reilly says.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – France, Mediterranean
The Latest: France says some aid groups help smugglers
Associated Press, 6 April 2019.

France's interior minister says some aid groups operating in the Mediterranean Sea sometimes act like accomplices to human traffickers.

Minister Christophe Castaner pointed at "a real collusion between smugglers and some NGOs," including through phone contacts to "facilitate the migrants' departure from Libyan coasts in appalling conditions."

The comments at a G-7 meeting in Paris are similar to those of his Italian counterpart, Matteo Salvini, who reaffirmed his hard-line stance on immigration.

Castaner, a member of French President Emmanuel Macron's pro-European government, said he has clear political differences with Salvini, the leader of Italy's anti-migrant League party, but stressed that both countries were now cooperating on migration issues.
[Site link]

Citizenship – franchise, right to vote
Let Us Vote: New campaign launched to give everyone living in UK the right to vote in elections
Benjamin Kentish
Independent, 6 April 2019.

A new campaign has been launched to give everyone living in the UK the right to vote in elections and referendums, with MPs saying current voting laws should "shame us as a society".

The major change would see all UK residents, plus British citizens living abroad, allowed to vote in general elections regardless of their citizenship.

Commonwealth and Irish nationals are currently the only non-Britons allowed to vote in general elections and referendums, while EU citizens can vote in local and European elections. UK citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are also not allowed to vote.

Campaigners said current laws mean 10 million UK residents and Britons overseas are disqualified from voting.

The "Let Us Vote" campaign, which has the backing of more than a dozen MPs and peers, is seeking new legislation to extend the voting franchise, which has not changed significantly since the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1969.

It has been launched by campaign groups the3million, representing EU nationals in the UK, British in Europe, which represents UK citizens in the EU, and anti-Brexit group Another Europe is Possible. The campaign says it is strictly neutral on Brexit and party politics. ...

Film director Mike Leigh, scientist Martin Rees and nine members of the House of Lords are also backing the campaign.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – terrorism, Islam, Germany
Islamic State children repatriated to Germany from Iraq
The Local [Germany], 5 April 2019.

Germany has repatriated from Iraq several children of jailed jihadists, the foreign ministry said Friday, as the war against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group draws to a close.

"The number of minors already brought back to Germany has reached a high single-digit figure," the Foreign Ministry source said, adding that the returns were carried out with the consent of the children's parents.

They are now in the custody of their relatives in Germany, the source added. Among the first young returnees to Germany were three children who arrived with their 31-year-old mother at Stuttgart airport on Thursday, their lawyer Mahmut Erdem said in a statement. ...

According to the Foreign Ministry, at least eight Germans were jailed in Iraq, after they were convicted over their membership of IS.

The Foreign Ministry said it was aware of cases of German nationals in custody in northern Syria, but added that it did not have direct consular access to them as the embassy in Damascus has been closed.

Nevertheless, the government is looking for ways to repatriate the German nationals, it added.

With the collapse of the last IS bastion in Syria last month, the fate of foreign fighters and their families has become a significant problem for governments as the conflict against IS draws to a close.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, public opinion, USA
Poll: 67% Of Likely Voters Say Illegal Immigration Is A Serious Problem, Most Believe Democrats Don't Want To Stop It
Timothy Meads
Townhall, 5 April 2019.

A new Rasmussen poll conducted this week indicates that 67% of likely United States voters believe that illegal immigration is a "serious problem" in the country today, but the plurality of those who took the survey do not believe that the Democratic Party in Congress "wants to slow or stop illegal immigration."

The percentage of likely voters who said illegal immigration is a "serious issue" has not changed since a similar poll conducted in January asked the same question. ...

But the poll of 1,000 likely voters, conducted April 2-3 via telephone and online surveys, also found that 47% "say [illegal immigration] a Very Serious one." On the opposite side, 32% say illegal immigration is not a serious problem.

If poll answers are broken down across political party lines, "72% of Republicans see illegal immigration as a Very Serious problem, while "only 28% of Democrats agree."

When asked "Do most Democrats in Congress want to slow or stop illegal immigration?" Just 31% of likely voters said that Democrats in Congress want to "slow or stop illegal immigration." Comparatively, 70% of those polled said they believe Republicans want to stop the flow of illegal aliens. 45% of those polled believe the Democratic party does not want to stop illegal immigration at all.

The poll also found that "48% favor halting U.S. foreign aid to Mexico and governments in Central America that refuse to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into this country."
[Site link]

Diversity – Republic of Ireland
Gardai will allow hijabs and turbans to be worn as part of their uniform in a bid to increase diversity
Gavin O'Callaghan
Irish Mirror, 5 April 2019.

Gardai will allow hijabs and turbans to be worn as part of their uniform, it has been announced.

Commissioner Drew Harris revealed the landmark uniform revamp in a bid to attract more people from minority backgrounds.

Turbans will be permitted for members of the Sikh community and the hijab for members of the Muslim community.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Scandinavia
Nordic nations have 'disturbingly high' levels of rape despite being gender equality trailblazers, says Amnesty
Maya Oppenheim
Independent, 4 April 2019.

Nordic nations have "disturbingly high" levels of rape despite being gender equality trailblazers, according to a new report which also suggested they were failing victims.

Flawed legislation, prevalent harmful myths and gender stereotypes have given rise to endemic impunity for rapists across the region, Amnesty International found.

Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – four countries which are among the top-ranking countries in the world for gender equality – were all found to have high levels of rape and survivors of sexual violence are being let down by their justice systems.

In Finland, around 50,000 women each year experience sexual violence but there were only 209 convictions for rape in 2017. In the same year, 24,000 women were victims of rape or attempted rape in Denmark, but only 94 people were convicted. ...

The report entitled Time for change: Justice for rape survivors in the Nordic countries, found gender stereotypes and rape myths underpin attitudes of many people in the justice system in Norway.
[Site link]

Racism – Islamophobia
The weaponisation of Christchurch
Rakib Ehsan
Spiked, 4 April 2019.
[Dr Rakib Ehsan is a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society]

Friday 15 March 2019 is a day I will never forget. Waking up to the news of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch hit many of us like a sledgehammer. Commuting into London for work with a fellow Muslim, we discussed the sheer tragedy of Muslims praying at their local mosque – their sanctuary, a place for solace, reflection and introspection – being gunned down by a white-supremacist terrorist in indiscriminate fashion. ...

While utterly appalling, these reactions – vile representations of anti-Muslim hatred – did not come as much of a shock to me.

What did surprise me was the swiftness with which the regressive left weaponised Christchurch. Exploiting the terrorist attack to call out 'Islamophobic' commentators who are supposedly responsible for mainstreaming anti-Muslim tropes and fuelling hostility towards Muslim immigrant groups.

In reality, this was a coordinated effort to silence perfectly legitimate concerns; an orchestrated clampdown on the airing of reasonable grievances about integration, cohesion and how extremists divide different communities.

One British example saw the University of Bristol close down an event in which my colleague Emma Fox was due to speak. It was laden with irony: Emma was scheduled to discuss the findings of her report on how British universities provide a platform for extremist speakers.

The No Platforming of her was engineered by student-led mobs who slated her for being an 'Islamophobic' pseudo-researcher, with some labelling her employer, the Henry Jackson Society, as a 'far-right organisation'.

These groups held nothing in reserve when it came to using Christchurch as a clampdown tactic. They advanced the view that holding a discussion on the scale to which Islamist speakers hold talks on university campuses was insensitive and inappropriate in light of events in New Zealand.

This debacle highlights a strengthening unholy alliance between the regressive left and Islamist extremists – an anti-free-speech coalition which uses 'Islamophobia' as a go-to term to suppress dissenting opinions. ...

This is all deeply wrong. It is vital that people have the freedom to express their legitimate concerns – over social integration, community cohesion, female empowerment and sectarian victimisation. ...

Is it suddenly 'Islamophobic' to discuss how ultra-conservative gender roles are implicated in the relatively high child poverty rates within Britain's Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim communities?

Are people 'Islamophobic' for highlighting survey data which shows that there are clear majorities within the UK's Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities that identify more strongly with their faith than their national identity, and speaking of the challenges this may pose for intergroup relations in our society?

Atrocities such as Christchurch offer no excuse to ignore problems among Britain's Muslims communities. ...

The hypocrisy lies in the fact that those who often cry 'Islamophobia' take little to no interest in challenging gender discrimination, sectarian victimisation and extremist practices within their own communities.
[Site link]

Immigration – dependants, visas
Visa grants to dependants of non-EU migrants
Migration Watch UK, 4 April 2019.

1. There were 152,000 family-related visa and permit grants to non-EEA nationals in 2018 - the highest since 2010. Such grants averaged 155,200 per year between 2005-18. They can be split into three sub-categories:

a. Visas for dependants of non-EEA migrants who are in the UK on other visas (averaging 82,600 per year - 53% of the total)

b. Spousal / partner / child / elderly dependant visas for the non-EEA relatives of UK citizens / settled migrants (averaging 47,800 per year - 31% of the total).

c. EEA family permits for the close and extended non-EEA family of EEA migrants in the UK (averaging 24,800 per year - 16% of the total). ...
3. As noted above, there were around 70,000 grants of leave to remain for dependants of non-EEA migrants in 2018. ... nearly half (47%) of dependants who arrived in the year to September 2018 (excluding asylum dependants / family members of refugees) were from South Asia. Another 10% were from East Asia and 10% were from the Middle East. 9% were from North America and 8% were from sub-Saharan Africa. ...

5. ... 61% of nearly 50,000 work dependants in the year to September 2018 originated from South Asian countries. The next largest categories of work dependants were from North America and East Asia, accounting for 10% and 9% of the total respectively. ...

19. ... in the year to September 2018, 40% of the family visas issued to children and elderly dependant relatives were granted those from Sub-Saharan Africa, while 17% each were issued to those from South Asia and the Middle East respectively.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – USA
As Trump rages over border, Kushner quietly plans legal immigration boost
Anita Kumar
Politico, 3 April 2019.

Even as President Donald Trump threatens to shut down the southern border, his administration is quietly working on a plan to expand some forms of legal immigration into the U.S.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, has been working for months on a proposal that could increase the number of low- and high-skilled workers admitted to the country annually, four people involved in the discussions told POLITICO.

The low-profile effort to allow more legal immigrants into the U.S. stands in stark contrast to Trump's increasingly dramatic efforts to curb illegal immigration, an issue he speaks about daily and describes as a national crisis. But Trump himself has publicly said he also supports higher levels of legal immigration, a priority generally backed by a business community short on skilled workers.

The effort began in January when Kushner started to convene a series of meetings with dozens of advocacy groups, including business and agriculture organizations. Some, though not all of them, openly support the expansion of legal immigration. ...

Trump personally tasked Kushner /.../ with the priority of legal immigration. But it is a daunting challenge, requiring legislation in an issue area that has confounded Congress in recent years. ...

More than 1 million immigrants are allowed into the United States each year on a permanent basis but only a fraction – 140,000 – come through employment categories. The rest are relatives, refugees or immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. These numbers don't include immigrants allowed entry for temporary or seasonal work.

By comparison, federal officials estimate they apprehended 100,000 immigrants crossing the border illegally in March. Many of them end up being released because of overwhelming numbers at processing and holding centers. About 12 million immigrants are estimated to be in the United States illegally now.

Kushner's plan might not lead to a net increase in legal immigration. He is being urged to offset his increases with reductions in other forms of legal immigration. An expansion in the number of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. for work could be tied to reductions in the number of immigrants sponsored by family members or immigrants who are awarded green cards through the diversity visa lottery program, according to the four people involved in the discussions.

In his February State of the Union address, Trump said he wanted "people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally." ...

Kushner is considering increases in the number of low- and high-skilled workers, as well as permanent and temporary workers, according to the four people familiar with the discussions. In public, Trump and his allies have spoken mostly about high-skilled workers.
[Site link]

Immigration – sub-Saharan Africans
At least a MILLION Sub-Saharan Africans have moved to Europe since 2010, figures reveal - and up to 75% of people in some African nations want to move to another country
George Martin
MailOnline, 2 April 2019.

At least a million migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have moved to Europe since 2010, new data has revealed.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from Statista, Europe's statistical agency, more and more migrants from Africa have sought entry to Europe over the past decade.

The Pew Research Centre noted around 970,000 sub-Saharan migrants legally moved to Europe between 2010 and 2017.

In fact, the number of migrants entering Europe has grown at such a rate that the figure is now estimated to be well in excess of one million arrivals since 2010.

The data shows that most years since 2010 have witnessed a rising inflow of sub-Saharan asylum applicants in Europe.

According to the Pew Research Centre, Sub-Saharan Africans also most commonly moved to Europe as international students and resettled refugees, through family reunification and by other means.

A poll carried out among several African nations showed that many more would move to another country if the means and opportunity arose.

And in Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria, more than a third say they actually plan to migrate in the next five years.

In terms of destinations, as of 2017, nearly three-quarters (72%) of Europe's sub-Saharan immigrant population was concentrated in just four countries: the UK (1.27 million), France (980,000), Italy (370,000) and Portugal (360,000).
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
EU Plots 'Proactive Approach' for Boosting Legal Migration to Europe
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 2 April 2019.

Europe must take a "proactive approach" to increasing the level of immigration to the bloc, according to a new European Commission report proclaiming migrants would become "increasingly important" in the EU strategy for economic growth.

According to a 'fitness check' of European laws on legal immigration, adopted on Friday as part of Brussels' Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) scheme, current EU rules were said to be "largely fit for purpose".

However a number of supposedly "critical issues" resulting in the rules having only a "limited impact vis-à-vis the overall migration challenges that Europe is facing" were identified by the Commission in its assessment.

Asserting that authorities in Brussels are working towards developing a "common legal migration policy" which would be forced on every country in the bloc, the report called for "a wide range of measures" in order to reach this goal.

Many of the issues identified focused on achieving greater "harmonisation" of rules across EU nations – or the removal of national sovereignty regarding immigration controls – with the goal of creating "a level playing field across member states" in areas such as admission conditions and so-called human rights including "the level of rights granted to third-country nationals and on the protection of family life".

In addition to demanding "stronger enforcement" of minimum 'requirements dictated by Brussels, the assessment also argued that more efforts were needed to "raise awareness" of EU rules granting 'rights' to non-European nationals.

Alleging that migration was "likely to play an increasingly important role in addressing labour and skills shortages in an ageing European society", one major conclusion of the 'fitness check' was that Europe requires a "more effective approach to attract highly skilled workers from third countries, as the Commission had proposed in the Blue Card reform".

While Brussels insists the Blue Card programme is designed to enable only highly-skilled migration to Europe, Breitbart London has previously reported how EU documents acknowledged that the proposed changes – aimed at making the prospect of life in Europe "more attractive" to people in the third world – clearly contradict this, admitting it would be necessary to provide newcomers with education, employment, and vocational training.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Yakutia, Russian Federation
What's behind anti-migrant feeling in Russia's arctic republic of Yakutia?
Vyacheslav Shushurikhin
openDemocracy, 2 April 2019.

The situation has now calmed down, but the head of Yakutia Aisen Nikolayev has now signed an order banning employers in 33 professions from employing migrant workers. ...

Meanwhile, Yakutia has no shortage of official organisations working to "preserve interethnic harmony". Over the past few years, the republic's pro-government media has built up a healthy archive of articles declaring the absence of any kind of interethnic tension: "More than 120 ethnicities live in Yakutia in peace and harmony, and this is possible only thanks to the selfless work of numerous state agencies."

... In a recent interview, mayor Avksentyeva stated that there are too many migrant workers in the city and that they often cause problems. ...

Daniyar Baituguyev, chairman of the Kyrgyz Community of Yakutia, largely agrees with Avksentyeva's position. "Public concerns about migrants have been building up for years, and this incident set them off, triggered them. The reason is that we have too different a culture from that of the local population." ...

According to Baituguyev, the breaking point in attitudes to migrants in Yakutia came in the mid-2000s. "For a city with 300,000 people, there are too many people coming in [according to official statistics, 73,000 people were registered by the Yakutsk migration services, and 42,000 of them live in Yakutsk]. You could even say that we are, in one sense, pushing people out in terms of work. ..."

For Baituguyev, the reasons for coming to Yakutia for work are predictable: good wages and higher living standards. But each year local residents express their dissatisfaction more openly, he says: ...

Valerya Vasilyeva, a researcher at the European University at St Petersburg's Center for Arctic Social Studies, highlights the position of the authorities in this incident. ...

Vasilyeva calls what happened in Yakutsk one incident in a pattern of national anti-migrant feeling in Russia, but one that has its own dynamics. "Several large migration flows converge in Yakutia: here you have migrants both from Central Asia and China. And then you have local ethnic minorities who live in the republic (Evens, Evenks, Dolgany, Yukagirs, Chukchi, sometimes also the Russian Starozhily), a strong Yakut national consciousness, Soviet-era 'newcomers" from across the Soviet Union, seasonal workers, let alone the Sakhalyary - descendents of mixed marriages, who often have a complex ethnic self-identification. It's hard to imagine ethnic tensions not arising with this heterogenous population, and the Republic's focus on raising national consciousness."
[Site link]

Crime – tax and benefit fraud, terrorism
£80m of British taxpayers' money 'funnelled to al-Qaeda' in decades-long scam
Sara Elizabeth Williams
Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2019.

Tens of millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money was used to fund terrorists including the 7/7 London bombing network and Osama bin Laden through a UK-based scam that spanned two decades.

A two-year investigation by The Sunday Times revealed that a network of British Asians stole billions of pounds of public money through VAT and benefit fraud, topping up their gains with mortgage and credit card fraud.

One per cent on the group's gains, a full £80m, was allegedly funnelled into al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with funds reaching the Pakistani compound stormed by US special forces in the 2011 operation to kill Bin Laden.

The scale of the scam is breathtaking: the group netted around £8bn in public funds alone – almost triple the annual government expenditure on MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

A web of secrecy still binds this investigation, which was led by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Special Branch, and prevents the story from being told in full.

At least two years before the 7/7 attacks, HMRC identified ties between the gang defrauding the British public and Shehzad Tanweer, one of the terrorists involved. At the time, senior HMRC officials declined to use their intelligence to mount prosecutions and neutralise the gang.

Court orders barring the identification of gang members convicted of fraud date back at least 10 years, and one customs official has claimed they were prevented from sharing intelligence with MI5 due to HMRC's desire to keep tax records confidential.

Following the money led investigators to successfully charge mid-ranking gang members with fraud and money laundering, leading to jail terms of more than 100 years for crimes that cost the taxpayer £100m.

So far, no gang member has faced any terror charges. ...

The paucity of reporting on the case is understood to be a result of officials' intentions to ensnare gang leaders in their investigation. Various kingpins have fled the UK since the first trial, before they could be arrested.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), nothing can be reported until they return to the UK to face trial – a condition that has some members of the legal community are crying foul.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, children, USA
Unaccompanied Alien Children and the Crisis at the Border
Andrew R. Arthur
Center for Immigration Studies, 1 April 2019.

The number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) apprehended entering illegally along the Southwest border, which had bottomed out in April 2017 following the inauguration of Donald Trump, surged almost 685 percent by February 2019. Similarly, the number of UACs deemed inadmissible at the ports of entry along that border surged 385 percent between March 2017 and February 2019.

... The United Nations has also reported that the smuggling of aliens is big business for criminal organizations, valued at $3.7 to $4.2 billion a year. The processing of those migrants has in addition placed a huge burden on the Border Patrol, both in terms of manpower and in financial costs for humanitarian aid.

Flawed U.S. laws and policies encourage UACs to make that trip to the United States, and encourage the parents and other relatives of those UACs to pay criminal organizations to bring them to this country. ...

Generally, most are released to a parent or other family member in this country, the majority of whom do not have lawful status in the United States. This legal requirement makes the U.S. government a de facto co-conspirator with the smuggling organizations. Not surprisingly, the number of UACs from those non-contiguous countries (especially the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA) countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) has surged in recent years as family members in the United States and UACs have exploited this loophole.

Those UACs are supposed to subsequently appear for removal proceedings in immigration court after release, but often failed to do so. In fact, in half of all case completions involving UACs, the alien failed to appear for court, compared to an already high average of 25 percent for aliens generally. ...

According to ORR, in FY 2018, 54 percent of all UACs were from Guatemala, 26 percent were from Honduras, and 12 percent were from El Salvador. Of those UACs, 72 percent were ages 15 and older, with 35 percent being age 17, the cut-off age under the UAC definition.
[Site link]

Immigration – religion, Europe
Sarah says defending migrants is a 'false exegesis' of the Gospels
Tom Heneghan
The Tablet, 1 April 2019.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has said that defending migration was a misinterpretation of Gospels by priests and bishops "bewitched" by political and social issues.

His interview with the French magazine 'Valeurs Actuelles' appeared last weekend, around the same time as Pope Francis spoke up for migrants during his visit to Morocco and said politicians who build walls to keep them out would become prisoners of those barriers.

"It is better to help people flourish in their culture than to encourage them to come to a Europe in full decadence," he said. "It is a false exegesis to use the word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these heartbreaks." ...

Migrants arriving in Europe were parked somewhere without work or dignity, he added. "Is that what the Church wants?" he asked.

The Church should not support "this new form of slavery" because the West, with its low birth rate, risked disappearing, he argued. "If Europe disappears, and with it the priceless values of the Old Continent, Islam will invade the world and we will completely change culture, anthropology and moral vision."
[Site link]

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