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 28 February 2017

Repatriation/deportation – asylum
Asylum seekers stay in UK at £600k cost to taxpayers despite reaching Italy FIRST
Michael Knowles
Daily Express, 28 February 2017.

Taxpayers were handed a £600,000 legal bill after the Home Office lost a court case against four asylum seekers who refused to leave the country.

Official figures revealed their lawyers earned £330 an hour fighting to keep them in the UK even though they claimed asylum in Italy before arriving in Britain.

Government documents showed the Home Office paid out £15.8 million in 2015-2016 after losing 1,652 court cases - up from £1.6m in 2013/14.

The biggest bill last year was for a case against an Iranian man and three Eritreans who flouted immigration rules after claiming refugee status in Italy and then again in the UK.

But the claimants argued sending them back would expose them to "inhuman and degrading treatment". ...

And the lawyers who fought the case billed the Government for £602,806.

Officials settled it for £395,500, paying the barristers £330 per hour.

The Home Office faced additional costs of £215,223, taking the total bill to £610,723. ...

The department has also paid out £7,344,968 building cases which it went on to lose.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Europe
Child refugees face death and sexual violence in Libyan jails as number trying to reach Europe doubles in a year
Tom Batchelor
Independent, 28 February 2017.

The number of refugee children trying to reach Europe by boat has doubled in the last year, with thousands now attempting the deadly Mediterranean crossing every month, Unicef has warned.

More than 25,000 youngsters - nine out ten of whom were unaccompanied - made the perilous journey in 2016.

On the deadliest sea route, between Libya and Italy, an estimated 4,579 people died, including more than 700 children.
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Diversity – businesses
Firms urged to publish ethnic breakdown
John Moylan
BBC, 28 February 2017.

A government-backed review has called for many firms to publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay.

The report by Baroness McGregor-Smith said the economy could receive a £24bn annual boost if businesses stamped out ethnic inequality.

It found that people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds were still often disadvantaged at work.

But the government has ruled out legislation on such a breakdown, opting for a voluntary approach instead.

"The time for talk on race in the workplace is over, it's time to act", said Baroness McGregor-Smith, whose report was commissioned by the former business secretary Sajid Javid. ...

One of her main recommendations was legislation to make firms with more than 50 workers publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and by how much they are paid.

"If we don't see a surge of people taking that up because they have too many other priorities well then fine, we'll legislate," she said. "That's my recommendation".

Firms should draw up five-year diversity targets and nominate a board member to deliver them, she said.

She also wants to see diversity as part of public procurement guidelines.

And her report claims that tackling barriers to progression could boost GDP by 1.3%. ...

Baroness McGregor-Smith was one of the first Asian women to lead a FTSE 250 company. ...

Business minister Margot James said: "Outdated attitudes or lack of awareness about ethnicity in the workplace must be challenged."
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Extremism – Islam
The myth of the militant Muslim minority is a placebo
Rev Jules Gomes
Conservative Woman, 27 February 2017.

The most common argument used to support immigration from Muslim-majority countries is that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving and those who support violence in the name of Islam are only a tiny minority. That's what we are told.

But how small is that minority? That's what no one is telling us. Finally, after years of fudging, a migration expert has the courage to trash this claim because it lacks a sound empirical basis. Professor Ruud Koopmans debunks the myth of the militant Muslim minority by supplying the numbers. Koopmans is Professor of Sociology and Migration Research at the Humboldt University of Berlin and Director of the Research Unit at the Berlin Social Science Centre.

The results of his research are startling. Of the 1.5 billion adult Muslims in the world, more than 50 million Muslims are willing to sanction violence. /.../ His estimate concurs with the Pew Report of 2013, which found that in a majority of Muslim countries, only half of Muslims said they were concerned about religious extremism. A 100 million Muslims believe the 9/11 massacres of Americans were completely justified. ...

Koopmans team undertook extensive research on 9,000 immigrant Muslims in Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and Sweden coming from Turkey and Morocco. He also cites the Muslims in Germany study commissioned by Germany's Ministry of the Interior in 2007, which revealed that eight per cent of German Muslims agreed with using violence against unbelievers.

In the Netherlands, the 2010 study Salafisme in Nederland, found that 11 per cent of Dutch Muslims agreed with the statement, "There are situations where it is acceptable for me, from the point of view of my religion, that I use violence." A Pew Report from 2013 exposed 14 per cent of Muslims saying that suicide attacks against civilians are justified to defend Islam.

Putting together vast amounts of data, Prof Koopmans concludes: 'I am very conservative with my estimate of 50 million violent Muslims.' He insists that there is nothing Islamophobic or ideological about making factual claims. Rather, denying the results of empirical research is ideological.
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Politics – dishonesty
Politicians haven't been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren't
Tim Bale
Democratic Audit UK, 27 February 2017.
[Tim Bale is Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London]

Migration, and the multiculturalism that inevitably comes with it, is not the only contentious issue in all this. But it is, as opinion polls and media coverage attest, by far the biggest.

The UK has experienced waves of immigration before, most notably in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when Afro-Caribbean and South Asian citizens of its former colonies journeyed to the mother country to fill labour shortages created by the post-war boom. But it had never previously experienced the sheer volume and intensity of the wave of migrants that arrived after Tony Blair's Labour government decided not to restrict the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK.

The arrival of millions of foreigners from Central and Eastern Europe was bound to spell trouble. ...

On the centre-left, Labour politicians failed to fess up to massively underestimating the number of Eastern Europeans who would flock to take up job opportunities provided by a booming economy. And given that migrants benefited that economy, they decided not to do anything practical to address it. This inaction was clearly at odds with the government's rhetorical response, which culminated in then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown promising 'British jobs for British workers', either revealing himself to be a hypocrite, or creating expectations he couldn't possibly fulfil.

The centre-right, however, proved just as unable of treating the public like grown-ups. ...

The irony – as bitter as it is delicious – is that Brexit, however hard, will not see the UK 'take back control' of its borders, let alone fulfil May's aspiration to reduce annual net migration to the tens of thousands. Unless, that is, the government is prepared to crash the economy as well as crash out of the EU. Without the counterbalance of immigrants, the UK's ageing population will lead to an unsustainable dependency ratio. More pressingly, the country's health, construction, and social care systems will begin visibly to collapse without continuing inward migration. ...

The contradictions of this are as obvious as they are ridiculous. If the referendum was won in part because of the lie that tens of millions of Turks were about to descend on Britain unless it left the EU, then it is hard to see how Brits are going to welcome a deal with Ankara that will mean exactly that. Similarly, while they might cope with a few thousand New Zealanders making their way to London, they are bound to baulk at vast numbers of Indians and Chinese.

Quite how those contradictions can possibly be resolved is difficult to see. Indeed, there is no sign whatsoever that Conservative politicians will eventually level with the public on the immigration issue. And if they don't, their Labour counterparts won't dare to either.
[Site link]

Extremism – USA
Leader of anti-Trump women's march is Palestinian TERRORIST who BOMBED British consulate
Vickiie Oliphant
Daily Express, 27 February 2017.

One of the organisers behind the next women's march against President Donald Trump has been revealed as a Palestinian terrorist who took part in two deadly bombings in Israel.

Rasmea Yousef Odeh was convicted in 1970 for her role in the two terror attacks, one of which killed two students while they were out doing their food shopping.

After spending ten years behind bars, she then became a US citizen and even took up a job working as a navigator for Obamacare.

But in 2014, the activist was convicted for immigration fraud after it was revealed she failed to declare her role in the 1969 attacks on citizenship papers.

Now Odeh has been discovered to be the brains behind the Day Without A Woman protest due to go ahead on March 8.

Earlier this month eight women - including Odeh - penned a feminist manifesto, published in the Guardian, which called for a "new wave of militant feminist struggle." ...

Others behind the lengthy piece include Angela Davis, a university professor who is also known as being a long-time supporter of the Black Panthers. ...

While a third author Tithi Bhattacharya previously praised Maoism in an essay, in which she noted supporters are "on the terrorist list of the US State Department, Canada, and the European Union," which she called an indication that "Maoists are back in the news and by all accounts they are fighting against all the right people."
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Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country's rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of 'turning a blind eye'
MailOnline, 27 February 2017.

A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye to the problem because of 'political correctness'.

Earlier this month Peter Springare, who has spent more than 40 years in the police, aired his anger on social media when he was told not to record the ethnicity of violent crime suspects.

Springare, 61, who is based in the central city of Orebro, wrote: 'Countries representing the weekly crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden.

'Half of the suspects, we can't be sure because they don't have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they're lying about your nationality and identity.'

Prosecutors launched an inquiry, suggesting he had incited racial hatred, but later dropped the charges.

Now Springare has told The Sunday Times: 'The highest and most extreme violence - rapes and shooting - is dominated by criminal immigrants.

'This is a different criminality that is tougher and rawer. It is not what we would call ordinary Swedish crime. This is a different animal.'
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Terror chief Max Hill warns risk of attacks in Britain is highest since dark days of IRA
Ben Riley-Smith
Sunday Telegraph, 26 February 2017.

British citizens are facing a level of threat from terrorists not seen since the IRA bombings of the Seventies, the country's new terrorism watchdog has warned.

In his first major interview since taking the role, Max Hill said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was planning "indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians" on a scale similar to those perpetrated by the IRA 40 years ago.

He told The Sunday Telegraph that Islamists were targeting UK cities and said there was an "enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore". ...

In the role, Mr Hill will report annually to Parliament on the state of British terror legislation as well as undertaking his own reviews. ...

He also raised concern about the hundreds of British extremists who fled to fight in Syria and Iraq with Isil but are set to return after a string of military defeats.

"It's an enormous concern that large numbers – we know this means at least hundreds of British citizens who have left this country in order to fight – are now returning or may be about to return," Mr Hill said.
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Terrorism – passport, citizenship
Fury as terrorist given British passport and granted UK citizenship
Michael Knowles and Thea de Gallier
Sunday Express, 26 February 2017.

A judge expressed her surprise at the Home Office giving a terrorist a UK passport just days before he tried to travel to the Middle East, it has emerged.

Mohanned Jasim, 22, told officials he wanted a one-way travel document to go to war-torn Iraq.

Instead, he was granted UK citizenship and given a passport.

Just one week later he was stopped by police at Dover with fellow Jihadist Mohammed Mayow.

The Home Office decision brought criticism from the astonished judge during a bail hearing last year and was condemned by Tory MPs.

Conservative Philip Davies said: "It's extraordinary that anybody like that could be given British citizenship."

Fellow Tory David Davies said: "Too many British passports are being given out to too many people who frankly shouldn't be anywhere near one."
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Diversity – apprenticeships
Ethnic minority target for apprenticeship diversity group
Alix Robertson
FE Week, 26 February 2017.

A new employers' network designed to promote diversity in apprenticeships was launched this week, and it's put good practice and dispelling myths at the top of its list of priorities.

The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network is chaired by Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, and is made up of 23 employers, including Rolls Royce, the BBC and BAE Systems, alongside other small- and medium-sized employers.

One major focus for the new group will be to help the government achieve its commitment to "increase the proportion of apprenticeship starts by people from BAME backgrounds by 20 per cent by 2020", which was first spelled out in a document called 'English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision', published last December.
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Diversity – actors
'It's racist in reverse': Actor Brian Cox calls for white actors to be cast in black roles as he insists diversity cannot be 'one way'
John Dingwall
Mail on Sunday, 26 February 2017.

He is now one of our most respected actors. In his latest movie, Churchill, due for release in June, he plays the wartime Prime Minister.

Now, on the eve of the 89th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Brian Cox has entered the ongoing Oscars 'diversity' debate by calling for white, not just black and Hispanic, actors to be given more varied roles in Hollywood. ...

He added: 'It's kind of racist in reverse to say if you are a white man, you can't possibly play a black man. ...

But Cox insisted diversity cannot be 'one way', adding: 'It has to go across the board.' ...

Hollywood moguls, Cox said, should now take matters further and give white actors the chance to depict non-white characters.
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Immigration – cost
EU THREAT TO PENSIONS: Mass migration blamed for £30 billion a YEAR 'economic catastrophe'
David Maddox
Daily Express, 25 February 2017.

Mass EU migration is a £30 billion a year threat to Britain's state pension, a new report has warned.

The comprehensive paper - How the £30 billion cost of EU migration Imperils Pensions & Benefits - by the thinktank Global Britain has blown apart claims that the UK needs EU migration to support its pension system.

Instead it reveals that cheap labour flooding in from the continent is causing "an economic catastrophe" for the UK which threatens the pension system.

And the report suggests that leaving the EU and taking back control of British borders will provide the UK with "a £250 billion opportunity" in the next five years. ...

The Global Britain report's author Bob Lyddon, a leading City analyst, points out that the annual net cost of Britain's 3 million EU migrants is £31.5 billion based on official figures which show that the Government spends £10,500 per head.

However, he shows that only 2 million of them work contributing a mere £500 each in tax in average, a total of just £1 billion a year.

This includes negligible levels of National Insurance contributions which underpin the state pension.

He argues that the EU freedom of establishment rule combined with freedom of movement means "tax efficient" multinationals can flood the UK with cheap foreign labour but avoid paying money to the Treasury such as corporation tax.

In a damning indictment he says that the UK taxpayer is subsidising low paid jobs for foreign workers.
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Illegal immigration – European Union
NEW SMUGGLER CRISIS: 17,000 Traffickers 'using Facebook to smuggle 90% of migrants to EU'
Fraser Moore
Daily Express, 25 February 2017.

Thousands of social media accounts are being used to offer "package deals" to desperate migrants looking to enter the EU, a top migration watchdog has revealed.

Europol revealed up to 17,400 new migrant smugglers use Facebook to advertise "attractive and unrealistic offers" including fake passports, work permits, sham marriages and sea crossings.

A report from the crime-fighting agency's European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) also uncovered that a shocking nine out of ten migrants reaching Europe have used paid gangs.

While just 148 Facebook accounts attempting to recruit migrants were detected in 2015, this year's investigation has uncovered a jaw-dropping 1,150 users in 2016.

The startling paper also repeated warnings that gangs of ISIS jihadis could be lurking in the EU's borderless Schengen zone undetected. ...

The agency's British boss, Rob Wainwright, said: "Over 90 per cent of all migrants that reach the EU have used the facilitation services of a migrant smuggling network.

"These crime networks are taking mass profits from mass migration."

The industry is worth an eye-watering £3 billion, according to Mr Wainwright.
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Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Was Trump right about Sweden?
Andrew Malone
Daily Mail, 25 February 2017.

The riots on Monday night in Rinkeby, a migrant ghetto known locally as 'Little Mogadishu', are a major embarrassment for the Swedish government. ...

The fact that Sweden, the most liberal of European countries, openly welcomed asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants over 20 years is not in doubt.

Some 1.7 million have arrived since the Nineties, transforming a country with a population of just ten million. ...

Once home to working-class Swedes, Rinkeby's population is now 90 per cent foreign incomers.

The few Swedes who remain called the place Little Mogadishu not just because of the large population of Somalis, but because – as in the Somali capital – violence and fear are endemic. ...

And Rinkeby is not an isolated example. Immigrant gangs are said to control several other areas of Stockholm. In a recent report, police admitted there are a staggering 53 'no-go zones' in the capital where it is unsafe to patrol.

Similar demographic changes due to migration have occurred in the suburbs of other Swedish cities, too, where tension is always simmering.

In Gothenburg, on the west coast, gangs of youngsters, mainly from Morocco, live on the streets having rejected life in care homes to survive on their wits.

One of the city's biggest shopping malls, Nordstan, has been so plagued by gangs of young thieves it was declared another a 'no-go' zone. ...

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention statistics for 2016 show the number of reported rapes increased by 13 per cent year on year, to 6,560, while the number of reported sexual assaults increased by 20 per cent.

While it is not clear who is to blame for this increase, the National Council's annual security survey found that immigrants were 2.5 times more likely to commit crimes than Swedish citizens.
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Immigration – inevitability, politics, France, Europe
Le Pen Rival: Whole World Moving to Europe in Coming Decades, Deal With It
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 25 February 2017.

"We have entered a world of great migrations and we will have more and more of it [migration]", former investment banker Emmanuel Macron declared during a debate on climate change.

Speaking at a discussion staged for Science and Future magazine, the independent candidate announced that the world has entered an age of mass migration which will be inescapable for Europe.

"In the coming decades we will have migrations from geopolitical conflicts that will continue to play, and we will have climate migrations because the planet is in a state of deep imbalance," he said. ...

Voicing a stance diametrically opposite to that of his rival Marine Le Pen, who wants to close France's borders, Macron said the country's geographical location makes resisting the migrant tide impossible.

"France will not be able to stem it, and Europe will be affected immediately. We will see a migratory phenomenon far greater than what we have seen [with migrants from] Syria."

On Wednesday the sociologist and writer Mathieu Bock-Côté warned that Macron, who stands a good chance of winning the presidential election later this year, embodies "all that France wants to extricate itself from".
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Employment – importing labour
Why does the UK Import Labour?
Neil Wilson
Modern Money Matters, 25 February 2017.

Why is the UK having to import labour? It's relatively straightforward. The British Labour market suffers from the 'British disease' – a vestige of Imperialism. We find it easier to steal resources from other countries than to create our own.

In the last quarter of 2016 there were 1,597,000 people officially unemployed, 2,191,000 people inactive but wanting a job and 1,118,000 people who had part time jobs but wanted full time jobs.

This is about 10% of the working population unutilised in the workforce one way or another. ...

None of these match the 751,000 vacancies on offer.

They don't match for several reasons:

• The job role demands a skill set that is not available at the price offered.

• The job is in the wrong geographical location from the people who could do it

• The job has physical requirements that are not available at the price offered
So the process of filling a job goes something like this:
• business advertises for a person to work very long hours for a pittance, often somewhere ridiculous like London

• nobody appropriate applies for it

• business goes running to nanny shouting 'skill shortage' and demands visas

• government gives in to business because businesses are treated like pets, not cattle

• the job is advertised abroad

• foreign nations, exporting their people like cargo, welcome the visas and encourage people to leave rather than sort the social problems out at home
So the elite class in both countries get what they want.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Immigration minister admits tens of thousands target can ONLY be hit 'once we leave' EU
Darren Hunt
Daily Express, 24 February 2017.

Immigration minister Robert Goodwill has admitted that we can only reduce net migration figures to the 'tens of thousands' once the UK has left the European Union. ...

Sky News host Adam Boulton quizzed the Tory MP asking when will the government get them down to the figures they first promised.

Mr Goodwill replied: "Well it's going to be the long-haul not least because many of the policies that we will need to do that will only be possible once we have left the European Union and able to control numbers of people coming in from outside the UK."

The presenter snapped back questioning whether they pledge would be fulfilled by 2020.

The Conservative MP added: "Well it would be a long haul and we are certainly making progress.

"Today's the figures are very encouraging indeed, nearly a 50,000 fall and I hope we can make further progress as we move forward."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – sex crime, Malmo, Sweden
Reality Check: Is Malmo the rape capital of Europe?
BBC, 24 February 2017.

Reality Check verdict: Malmo, along with other urban centres in Sweden, has one of the highest levels of reported rapes in proportion to population in the EU, mainly due to the strictness of Swedish laws and how rape is recorded in the country.

The rate of reported rapes in Malmo has not dramatically risen in recent years and has in fact declined from its peak in 2010, before the recent large increases in refugees.

It is not possible to connect crimes to the ethnicity of the perpetrators as such data is not published. ...

During 2015, the year in which Sweden took the largest number of asylum seekers, the number of reported sex crimes and rapes actually decreased by 11% and 12% respectively compared with 2014 - 18,100 sex offences were reported to the police, of which 5,920 were classified as rape.

This was preceded by a rise of both sex offences and rapes reported to the police in 2014.

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Bra) says this rise is due to the changes to the legislation in 2013, which made it tougher. ...

Reported rapes per 100,000 inhabitants peaked in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and the figures were higher for those pre-refugee influx years than in 2015 and 2016.

In addition, the reported rape figures were not higher in the Malmo municipality, compared with two other major urban municipalities in Sweden: the capital Stockholm and Gothenburg in the west.

What about an international comparison?

It is very hard to compare sex-related offences and rape across the world.

Police procedures and legal definitions vary widely around the world, making an international comparison meaningless.

The 2012 UN international rape rate comparison showed Sweden to have the highest rate of rape in Europe and the second highest in the world, but the report did not contain data for a total of 63 countries that did not submit any statistics, including, for example, South Africa, where other earlier surveys indicated a very high rape rate.

The most recent Eurostat data for the 28 EU countries also puts Sweden in the top spot.

But the agency warns that comparisons between different countries should be avoided because of differences between their legal and criminal justice systems, recording practices, reporting rates, efficiencies of criminal justice organisations and types of offences included in the categories.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
'Trump was RIGHT!' Inside the Stockholm suburbs where cars are torched, drugs sold openly and fire engines must be bulletproof
Nick Fagge
MailOnline, 24 February 2017.

The Stockholm suburb that was hit by violent riots on Monday is a police no-go zone where cars are torched almost every day, gangs rule the streets and fire engines have to be fitted with bulletproof glass.

Residents of rundown Rinkeby, where nine out of ten residents are immigrants, have spoken out about how they live in fear, as Swedish politicians and police officers admitted that 'Trump was right'. ...

... But on Monday night, police were forced to fire warning shots after rioters torched cars, hurled stones at police and looted shops in the Rinkeby district of the capital, injuring a policeman.

Beat officer Hanif Azizi, who was scrambled to the scene, told MailOnline: 'When we sat in the car and saw the riots I tapped my colleague on the shoulder and said, "perhaps Trump was right after all".'

Politician Mattias Karlsson from the populist Swedish Democrats, Sweden's second most popular party, said that the chaos was the result of mass immigration, adding: 'I am very grateful to President Trump for focusing attention on this issue.'

A forgotten suburb of Stockholm, Rinkeby is where brazen youths openly deal heroin and other drugs inside the entrance to the only train station. ...

The recent rioting in Rinkeby has been blamed on a hardcore group of criminals from immigrant backgrounds. These gangs have no links to radical Islam or any other religious groups, police sources have confirmed. ...

The area is so dangerous that emergency calls for ambulances and fire engines go unanswered until police can provide an escort, officials have confirmed.

Victims of crime fail to report crime or volunteer themselves as witnesses due to fear of reprisals.
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Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
They won't admit it in Stockholm, but Donald Trump is right about immigration in Sweden
Fraser Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 24 February 2017.

It's easier to ignore this in Stockholm than it is in Malmö, a smaller city which has long been the first port of call for immigrants who arrive over the bridge from Denmark. On the day I arrived in Sweden, a 23-year-old was murdered in the city square there, shot in the head in front of several witnesses. It was the third such murder in six weeks. The local press tends not to report the ethnicity of the victim or suspects in such attacks, but Swedes have learnt to recognise immigrant-related gang crime when the see it. Foreigners who visit the wrong part of Sweden can pay a heavy price: last summer a British boy was killed in a grenade attack in Gothenburg as he slept with his family.

If grenades were being thrown into children's bedrooms in Birmingham or asylum centres were being torched in Surrey, the immigration debate in Britain might be a little different. The word "crisis" might be used. But what's striking about Sweden is how defensive policymakers are when confronted about all this; how insistent they are that things are under control. As the violence affects just a sliver of society, the overall Swedish crime figures are quite small. Trouble can be buried in the data. Wider discussion about all of this is also discouraged by what's known as Sweden's "opinion corridor", the narrow parameters into which public debate is confined. ...

The resulting shadow society is now quite advanced, with its own moral codes and even its own legal system. Tribal courts are now in operation, dealing with crimes – or, at least, what count as crimes in the underworld. The fine for a failed attempted murder is about £50,000, according to Malmö's chief prosecutor. Of the 37 murders and attempted murders in the first half of last year, just seven have been solved. ...

... But the problems it now faces are hideous: shadow societies, mafia courts, gangland killings and conundrums like how to handle adult refugees who turn up with a child bride in tow. And how to pacify suburbs that are slipping out of police control.
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Diversity – multiculturalism
At last the Jo Cox Great Get Together gives us a street party worth having
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
The Guardian, 24 February 2017.

On Wednesday Jamie Oliver and the Duchess of Cornwall launched the Great Get Together, a series of street parties, bake-offs and picnics. ...

... Which is why the Great Get Together provides the perfect opportunity to attend my first street party. Its message of cohesion and inclusivity is just the kind I can get on board with.

It feels somehow taboo to say you like multicultural Britain right now. Say you embrace immigration and diversity, or that the notion there are streets in Britain you can walk down and not see a single white face is not something that keeps you up at night, and you'll be told you're ignoring the "left behind", that you live in a bubble. ...

It's a fitting tribute to a woman who understood that the diversity of this nation is something to be celebrated.
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Immigration abroad – jihadists, terrorism, France
French attempts to 'de-radicalise' homegrown jihadists pronounced a 'total fiasco'
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 24 February 2017.

France's attempts to de-radicalise homegrown Islamist extremists in the wake of terror attacks has been pronounced a "total fiasco" in need of a complete overhaul in a damning parliamentary report.

President François Hollande launched the drive to reverse radicalisation among thousands of French Muslims in the wake of terror attacks that have killed 238 people since January 2015.

However, the report, by a cross-party senate committee, was denounced as an amateurish flop this week, accusing the government of funding "pseudo-experts" who pocketed millions of euros with few tangible results.

Among the damning revelations in the report were the fact that the only de-radicalisation centre currently up and running, and fully staffed at an annual cost of €2.5 million, is in fact empty.

Twelve other centres slated to be set up have not been opened.

The report also found that many local associations supposed to help families deal with radicalised members are incompetent at best and many signed up simply to obtain public funding. ...

Some 15,000 people in France are followers of radical Islam, with a further 680, including about 275 women, thought to have joined jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria, the Socialist government has estimated. There are deep concerns in the intelligence community that many French who fought in Islamist ranks abroad will now return and try to wreak violence back home. ...

But the senators who wrote the report, Esther Benbassa, of the left-wing Ecology party, and Catherine Troendlé, from the centre-right Republicans, concluded that de-radicalisation is in fact impossible.

"We just have to admit that the most violent and dangerous people will not be [deradicalised]," Ms Troendlé said. ...

Ms Troendié said the efforts were more about "reassuring the population" than anything else.
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Immigration abroad – employment, politics, Sweden
Swedish PM seeks to cut inflow of foreign workers
Yahoo / AFP, 24 February 2017.

Sweden's prime minister said Friday he wants to curb labour migration to the Scandinavian country to provide more jobs for its own unemployed, including refugees accepted in recent years.

"Jobs that require little or no education will first be filled by the unemployed who are already in our country," Social Democratic leader Stefan Lofven told reporters in Stockholm. ...

The Social Democrats run a minority government with the Greens Party, which opposes the plan, making it unlikely for Sweden to restrict labour migration before the September 2018 election.
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Immigration – numbers
Immigration from Bulgaria and Romania rises to highest level on record following Brexit referendum
Jon Stone
Independent, 23 February 2017.

The level of immigration from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK has risen to the highest level on record in the months following the Brexit referendum result, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Inward migration from the the so-called "EU2" countries was up 19,000 to 74,000, which the ONS described as the "highest estimate recorded".

The period measured by the statistics includes three months of data following the European Union referendum, though the ONS warned it was "too early to say" what the effect of the EU referendum would be on immigration.

Net migration overall was slightly down but broadly flat in the figures at 273,000 a year, down 49,000. The ONS said this change was "not statistically significant". ...

As a net figure, 65,000 EU citizens came to the UK, 164,000 non-EU citizens came to the UK, and 56,000 British citizens left.
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Racism – multiculturalism, political correctness
The day I was accused of being racist, I knew political correctness had gone mad
Trevor Phillips
Daily Mail, 23 February 2017.
[Has Political Correctness Gone Mad? Channel 4, tonight, 9pm]

As a black man and former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, you might think I would be surprised to face a charge of racism – but I was not.

For at a time when this country is crying out for frank discussion on issues such as race and sexuality, debate is being closed down because those who find offence in every-thing cry 'racist' or 'sexist'.

The result – as I argue tonight in a TV programme – is that our political and cultural elite seem unable to speak plainly about things that concern many citizens.

While our rulers seem to have all the time in the world to debate who should use which lavatory (in deference to the transgender lobby), they dismiss anxieties about overcrowded schools or doctors' surgeries as merely a bigoted dislike of migrants.

Forty years ago, 'identity' politics was about trying to end discrimination. It led to revolutionary legislation on gender, disability and race.

But recently the recognition of diversity has grown into a cancerous cultural tyranny that blocks open debate.

In higher education, it has spread like wildfire.

Efforts to keep real racists off university platforms have been perverted so bans are imposed on, for example, speakers with unfashionable views on transsexuals. ...

Hardly a day goes by on campuses without a demand for a statue to be removed or for 'safe spaces' where sensitive students can be sheltered from robust views in a cultural debate or sexual violence in a classic literary text.

But how is a young person to understand how precious are the freedoms we enjoy today without learning what the world was like before them?

Should I not tell my children about the agony and struggle for liberation of their own ancestors, who were once slaves on sugar plantations?

Unfortunately, this thin-skinned refusal to engage with the challenging realities of life is not restricted to academia.

There is no hiding place from the language police, even if you belong to a 'vulnerable' group. ...

Yet by striving to appease special interests, even well-intentioned 'equality warriors' lay themselves open to the charge that they value diversity only as long as it serves their political purpose. ...

The new tyranny is also threatening the study of what really makes the world tick, even if that research might help to reduce inequality.

For example, we still have no proper explanation for the stunning academic success of pupils of Chinese heritage across the Western world.

My attempts to promote such research were resisted by academics, who claimed it would belittle other ethnic groups. ...

Hypersensitivity about offending minorities has also stopped us having a grown-up debate about migration. ...

The Right fear sounding like racists; the Left won't discuss it because their celebration of multiculturalism as a blessing makes them seem metropolitan elitists.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, USA
Four out of five Americans oppose sanctuary cities that shield illegal immigrants - just like Donald Trump
Francesca Chambers
MailOnline, 23 February 2017.

A poll conducted by Harvard-Harris and provided to The Hill found that 80 percent of Americans believe that local law enforcement should be required to turn over illegal immigrants they arrest to the federal government so they can be deported.

The survey indicates widespread support for President Donald Trump's directive to federal agencies to cut off funding for sanctuary cities across America, except when the money is for crime fighting. ...

A Jan. 25 executive order says that moving forward, '(sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.'

'Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,' the Trump order states. 'These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.' ...

A Reuters analysis found that Trump's order could cut an estimated $2.27 billion in funding for the 10 largest sanctuary cities, including $460 million for pre-K education.

Some large cities shield illegal immigrants but do not call themselves sanctuary cities such as Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – Conservative Party
Immigration cheat who owed £30,000 to Home Office poses with Theresa May and Richard Harrington
Watford Observer, 23 February 2017.

Theresa May neglected to collect £30,000 owed to the Home Office immigration department when she met the debtor face-to-face on a visit Watford on the 2015 General Election campaign trail.

Saiful Alam, who owns the Prince of Bengal restaurant in Langley Way, was recently disqualified from being a company director for six years for employing two illegal workers.

On inspecting the premises of Nuha Limited in December 2014, Home Office Immigration Enforcement officials found two illegal workers, slapping Alam with a penalty of £30,000.

Embarrassingly for the then Home Secretary, she was photographed alongside Alam and Conservative election candidate Richard Harrington just a month after the restaurant went into liquidation and with the owner still owing the full amount to Mrs May's Home Office.

Payment of the penalty was due by 21 April 2015 but Mr Alam, 46, decided to place the company into liquidation before this and so the penalty remained unpaid.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Swedish Professor: 'Anyone With Eyes' Can See Migrants 'Fiercely Overrepresented' in Criminal Cases
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 23 February 2017.

Criminology Professor Leif GW Persson appeared on a Swedish television programme and backed up claims by under-investigation police officer Peter Springare that migrants are vastly overrepresented in criminal cases.

Professor Persson appeared alongside the policeman on an episode of "Weekly Crime" for the Swedish broadcaster SVT and they discussed the recent comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump about the high rate of crime among migrants in Sweden. Persson totally agreed with Springare who was recently slammed for expressing the fact that most of the criminal suspects he sees in his work are from other countries.

"There is a strong prevalence of criminal immigrants. It is so obvious when it comes to crimes of this nature. Very serious violent crimes," Springare said. Persson agreed with him saying, "Yes, I have made the same observation," and adding "anyone with eyes to see can know who is doing these kinds of actions."
[Site link]

Employment – low-skilled EU migrants
UK not about to 'shut the door' on low-skilled EU migrants, says David Davis
The Guardian, 22 February 2017.

The UK is not about to "suddenly shut the door" on low-skilled EU migrants, Brexit secretary David Davis has reiterated.

Davis said in a press conference in Riga, Latvia, that Britain wanted control over immigration but that it would only restrict free movement of people when it was in the "national interest".

He said that it was not plausible that British citizens would immediately take jobs in the agriculture, social care and hospitality industry once the UK had left the EU and repeated comments made in Estonia on Monday that immigration restrictions would be phased in.

He said: "It will be a gradual process. That will take some time; yesterday I said it will take years.

"Don't expect just because we're changing who makes the decision on the policy, the door will suddenly shut: it won't," Bloomberg quoted Mr Davis as saying in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on Monday.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – health tourism
Pregnant Eastern Europeans dash to Britain to give birth & claim benefits, top doc warns
Aletha Adu
Daily Express, 22 February 2017.

Eastern European pregnant migrants flock to Britain before their due date so they can give birth on the NHS and claim benefits before heading back home, a top doctor has warned.

Joseph Meirion Thomas, a former cancer surgeon, reportedly told the Commons Health Committee that women would register for child benefits after they gave birth so they could go back to Eastern Europe and receive the payments electronically.

Speaking to the MPs, Mr Thomas said: "What I'm told is people fill out the child benefit form, they get the child benefit, and then they go back to Eastern Europe where that child benefit will be paid for a long time."

Hospitals in East Anglia were described as a hotspot, as Mr Thomas claimed migrants headed there to obtain a National Insurance number, before giving birth in local hospitals. ...

Using the European Health Insurance Card scheme, EU travellers receive the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
[Site link]

Jo Cox always loved a good party. Let's honour her with a massive celebration of Britain's diversity and unity
Brendan Cox
Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2017.

Put simply, we are asking communities to come together to celebrate all that we have in common. How they chose to do this will be entirely up to them. It might be a street party, a shared barbecue, a bake-off competition or a simple picnic in the park.

We're calling it The Great Get Together and the hope is that millions of people will take part in some way over the weekend.

Already the number and variety of organisations backing the idea reflects all that is best in our great, diverse and exhilarating country.

Those who have already pledged their support range from the Women's Institute to the RNLI, with the Scouts and Guides movement, the Royal British Legion, Glastonbury Festival, the Countryside Alliance, the TUC, football's Premier League, Amnesty International and the RSPB.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has also given the project his blessing. The Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, will be attending our launch today at Clarence House (the London residence of the Prince of Wales).
[Site link]

Immigration – Europe
Leaked Report: Six Million Migrants Want To Enter Europe
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 22 February 2017.

A leaked secret report from the German security authorities has revealed that almost six million migrants from countries around the Mediterranean want to enter Europe.

The report, which was obtained by German tabloid Bild, claims that there are at least 5.95 million migrants in countries around the Mediterranean who are seeking to enter Europe. In Turkey alone, the report estimates there to be 2.93 million migrants who have set their sights on the benefits of being an asylum seeker in a western European country like Germany OE24 reports.

Libya, according to the report, is presently home to 1.2 million migrants who want to get to Europe. ...

The German report matches a similar migration report by the European border agency Frontex which was released last year. Frontex said that the level of African migration would rise in the coming years and much of it would be sparked by the economic situation in highly populous west-African countries.

On Tuesday President of the European Parliament (EP) Antonio Tajani backed up the report when he told Italian media, "if the problem of Africa is not tackled – drought, malnutrition – we will have millions and millions and Africans pushing [to enter Europe] and dams and walls will not be sufficient [to hold them back]." ...

The Austrian military intelligence service released a forecast last month with a striking prediction, claiming by 2020 Europe could see an influx of up to 15 million migrants. The Austrians also cited the increase of West-African migrants as a driving force for the increase in numbers.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Ceuta, Spain
Migrant CRISIS: Hundreds of migrants storm Spanish border fence to reach enclave of Ceuta
Rebecca Flood
Daily Express, 21 February 2017.

Hundreds of migrants have stormed a border fence forcing their way into a Spanish enclave just days after another mass break in.

Some 350 migrants managed to clamber over a barricade separating Morocco and Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish city on the northern coast of Africa.

In the early hours of Monday morning, around 4am, the marauding pack made a break for the fence. ...

The breach comes just days after nearly 500 migrants stormed the fence on Friday, with figures claiming 498 made it over the fence.

Ceuta and another Spanish enclave on the African coast, Melilla, are the EU's only land border with Africa.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
Germany, France want looser human rights rules to keep asylum seekers away
Tom Körkemeier and Gabriela Baczynska
Reuters, 21 February 2017.

Germany and France want the European Union to weaken its human rights safeguards to allow for deportation of asylum seekers before their case is considered, according to their joint proposal on curbing immigration, seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

This option would only kick in at times of a "mass influx" of people to the bloc and comes as the EU is persistently making it harder for migrants and refugees alike to get in and be allowed to stay.

While the EU says it has the right to send away all economic migrants if it chooses so, its existing laws on human rights and asylum say a third country must meet certain conditions if the bloc were to send there someone who claims asylum in Europe, and have the person wait for a decision there.

Returning asylum seekers was a key element of a year-old EU-Turkey agreement, which Paris and Berlin hailed in their joint document as a "game changer" as it cut drastically the number of people - mostly Syrian refugees - making it to Europe.

But few other EU neighbours could be seen as meeting the criteria, which include safety from persecution, humane reception conditions, and at least partial access to medical care, education and labour market.

So Germany and France have proposed to dilute them, saying in the paper that the EU's asylum system for "must be designed in a flexible way, and it must be capable of coping with any eventuality."

"This is not about building a 'fortress Europe'. It is about combating illegal immigration, which has already cost the lives of thousands, and about replacing it by a regulated system of legal admissions, combined with humane living conditions, assured by the EU in third countries." ...

They said extending the options for deportation - including of asylum seekers - would discourage people smuggling to Europe, while the bloc offer legal ways for confirmed refugees and pay to improve conditions for refugees and migrants in those third countries that receive such people.

Specifically, the proposal also includes an option to recognise certain regions - rather than whole states as is the case now - as fit for such returns, even of asylum seekers. ...

Mass expulsions would still be prohibited and receiving third countries would still have to guarantee decent living conditions for deported asylum seekers, as well as ensure that the people the EU sends there are not pushed further towards places where their lives could be at risk.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, deportation, USA
Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation
BBC, 21 February 2017.

The Trump administration has issued tough guidelines to widen the net for deporting illegal immigrants from the US, and speed up their removal.

Undocumented immigrants arrested for traffic violations or shop-lifting will be targeted along with those convicted of more serious crimes.

The memos do not alter US immigration laws, but take a much tougher approach towards enforcing existing measures.

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US. ...

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) new blueprint leaves in place Obama-era protections for immigrants who entered the US illegally as children, affecting about 750,000 young people known as Dreamers.

But it expands the more restricted guidance issued under the previous administration, which focused its policy on immigrants convicted of serious crimes, threats to national security or those who had recently crossed the border. ...

... Local and state law-enforcement officials will also be allowed to arrest unauthorised immigrants.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, deportation, USA
ICE: 950,000 illegals with 'removal orders' free, raids get just a sliver
Paul Bedard
Washington Examiner, 21 February 2017.

Despite media reports of a massive crackdown by President Trump on illegal immigrants, just a tiny percentage of the nearly 1 million on the government's deportation list have been arrested, according to statistics provided to Congress.

The 680 seized in recent sweeps by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents represent just .07 percent of the 950,062 with deportation orders as of May 21, 2016.

Responses to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, provided by Thomas D. Homan, currently the acting ICE director, revealed the struggle the agency faces as it moves to deport illegals, many with criminal records and slapped with "final orders of removal" after exhausting their court appeals.

He said that ICE has custody of just 11,006, or 1 percent, of the 950,062 ordered deported. ...

There are an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants with criminal records in addition to their illegal status and the administration has said it will make them a priority for removal. ...

Immigration experts said that sanctuary cities are mostly to blame for the huge number of illegal immigrants with deportation orders who are not in custody.
[Site link]

Immigration – government failures
A one-time expat's tale: how to control free movement
Stewart Fleming
InFacts, 21 February 2017.

One of the mysteries of the Brexit debate ahead of the referendum was why David Cameron and the then home secretary Theresa May failed to point out that the British government has, under EU law, been in a position to "take control" of EU immigration in the same way as other member states have done.

A recent analysis by the Centre for European Reform points out: "No EU citizen has a fundamental, unlimited right to move freely across the EU. To be lawfully resident in another (EU) member state, EU citizens need to be working, studying or able to prove they are self-sufficient. Otherwise they can be kicked out."

The CER also points out that "the European Court of Justice has confirmed the right of member-states to refuse supplementary pensions, unemployment benefits and child credits to non-working EU migrants." As a result "the EU is moving towards less, not more, access to benefits for EU migrants, precisely at the time Britain is leaving."

As an EU citizen who has, without a specific job to go to, crossed the borders of a member state in order to work, I can vouch for the accuracy of this assessment. Moving to Belgium in 2003 without employment, my wife and I were asked by officials whether we already had work in Belgium and, if not, how were we proposing to finance our stay.

We had to show documentation to prove we had an adequate income and so to demonstrate that we would not start trying to claim on the Belgian social security system. We had to get Belgian identity cards. We also had to register with the local commune. A week after renting an apartment we had a visit from the local police who were checking that we were actually living there.

Before being allowed to make use of the (excellent) Belgian health service, we also had to register with the state-sponsored health insurance scheme. When we used it we were required to pay, up front, a significant, income-based fee which was refunded in full only to those deemed too poor to pay. In order to get treatment we had to carry and present at the doctor's, or at a hospital, a social security card, not just a national identity card. The card had a computer chip which showed what contributions we had made and therefore what payments we had to make.

Quite why the British government did not enforce some of these requirements, as other EU countries have, is puzzling. ...

As a result the UK leaves itself open to unmonitored immigration, legal and illegal, from all over the world, not just the EU. ...

The British themselves, governments of both parties, long ago decided not to "take control" of UK borders as EU law allowed them to. They did so in part because they did not want to face up to the political challenge of securing support for the introduction of a national identity card system or to spend the money setting up monitoring systems.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Sweden
Sweden on the Brink? – An Interview with Dr. Tino Sanandaji [part 1]
Erico Matias Tavares
Linkedin, 21 February 2017.

Dr. Tino Sanandaji is an economics researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. /.../ A Kurd from Iran who moved to Sweden at the age of 9, he has written extensively about immigration policy ...

E. Tavares: ... a very sensitive topic at the moment – mass immigration in Sweden, ...

T. Sanandaji: ... However, in 1990 non-European immigrants accounted for only 3% of the population and any problems could be isolated and managed within the bigger framework of society. That figure has increased to some 13-14% now, and is growing at perhaps 1-2 percentage points from last year, ... ...

ET: What you are saying is that any integration issues are not so much due to a lack of effort by the Swedish authorities, but rather driven by the sheer scale and size increase of the immigration population in recent decades.

TS: That's exactly right. Any society is going to have an absorption capacity given the size of the labor market, schools, economic prospects, housing and so on. With a smaller number this is quite doable, but with many more immigrants it becomes much more difficult. And this is a cumulative process. It has been going on for three decades now. ...

ET: Do you have a projection for the immigrant population as a percentage of total in a generation, say by 2050?

TS: That's a very good question. It strongly depends on immigration policy. ...

... The non-ethnic Swedish group is about 22% of the population right now, including second generation, and it might perhaps reach 35-40% within 30 years.

ET: But in major cities they will become the majority right?

TS: In Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, it's already almost 50% of the total. ...

... you could see a very strong "white flight" from towns that are becoming dominated by immigrants.

Research shows that the tipping point for that flight to occur is very low: after 4% of non-European immigrants the native Swedes start to move out. This is arguably an even worse segregation problem than in the US. ...

There have been studies done for Denmark and Norway and if you for the sake of the argument take the average of these two countries as the right number for Sweden: US$300,000 discounted net lifetime cost per migrant (although this is an inexact guess since we lack Swedish estimates). That comes out at US$30 billion, which is not an insignificant number for a country with 10 million people.

Let me give you a different number which is easier to compare. Just the initial cost for those asylum seekers is 1.5% of our GDP, significantly higher than our defense budget at around 1%. And that does not count the net costs associated with housing, health, welfare spending and so forth that arise later. ...

I wrote about this recently, and the 3,000 people housed in these tents are going to cost more than the biggest refugee camp they built in Jordan, for perhaps 100,000 Syrian refugees. It's a surreal figure!

ET: Apparently the latest strategy is to house thousands of migrants in a docked luxury cruise ships.

TS: They are doing that, and you couldn't make this stuff up. The waste of resources compared to dealing with the problem at the source is staggering.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Sweden
Sweden on the Brink? – An Interview with Dr. Tino Sanandaji [part 2]
Erico Matias Tavares
Linkedin, 21 February 2017.

Another mind blowing number – and you might think it is impossible but I have all the official figures to back this up – is the cost to house all these unaccompanied minors we have coming in, mostly from Afghanistan. By any indication most are not even minors, but in Sweden you get special treatment if you qualify as such. And their age claim is seldom challenged by the authorities so they usually get asylum even if they are much older than a minor.

Now, this is very expensive because they are treated like children and get a lot of resources. We are approaching the point where the 20-30,000 or so minors under this category are going to get more money than the entire budget of Afghanistan including foreign aid - a country with 30 million people! It's almost impossible to deny this because it's simple budget calculations.

At the same time, we are cutting our foreign aid budget to meet all these expenses, by something like 30%. I personally think that catastrophe aid, refugee aid, food aid works... ...

ET: There is a huge number of male migrants that went to Sweden last year, vastly more than women. ...

TS: ... Some 92% of those unaccompanied migrants were male last year...

ET: ... Wait a minute, 92% of them are male?

TS: Yes, there is definitely something strange going on. ...

You know, it's really funny that the tale about the emperor having no clothes is a Scandinavian tale. Everybody can see many are not children, but then the political and media consensus will fire or at the very least censor the people who point out this plainly obvious fact. ...

ET: On a related point to children, Sweden has always been recognized as a country with very high education standards. ...

TS: ... So we had a crash in Swedish education standards. One reason it hasn't crashed even more is because immigrants are still a minority of the population. ...

The top technical universities in Sweden, like Chalmers and KTH, have done an interesting test. They have looked at the diagnostic results in math for new engineering students over the last twenty years and these have plunged by more than half! Professors who are aware of this are alarmed. The government and the population in general really don't know how to deal with it. ...

ET: So why is all this happening? We have seen this dire situation unfold over many years, and yet the government seems intent in doubling down, bringing in even more immigration in recent years. The majority of the Swedish population even seems to be supportive of this policy.

TS: That's actually not true. ...

One recent poll I have seen, and it excludes the past months, shows very high opposition: only 8% said we are not taking enough immigrants, where 58% said we are taking too many. It's the elite opinion that forms the consensus that Sweden should take many more immigrants – it's almost like a religion, but it is not the popular view. ...

So the elite consensus was in favor of migration to the point of the media severely censoring critics, which created a lot of tension. However, people could see what was going on and the elite just couldn't lie about it anymore. And now the mood has changed completely.

This is because this issue is tearing the country apart.
[Site link]

Immigration – tribunals
Shortage of judges hits immigration tribunals
Monidipa Fouzder
Law Gazette, 20 February 2017.

A rapid decline in the number of immigration tribunal judges could herald a crisis, despite the government's insistence that there is sufficient capacity to deal with a growing backlog of work.

Government figures show that in 2012 there were 347 fee-paid and 132 salaried judges in the first-tier tribunal. In 2016 there were only 242 fee-paid and 77 salaried. In the upper tribunal, a headcount of 40 fee-paid and 42 salaried judges in 2012 declined to 35 fee-paid and 42 salaried last year.

Official figures show there were 62,903 outstanding cases in the first-tier tribunal at the end of the third quarter last year, up 20% on the same period in 2015. The age of a case at disposal was 48 weeks between July and September 2016, 15 weeks longer than the same period in 2015.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – schools, Islam
Second Islamist 'Trojan Horse' scandal feared after Oldham headteacher reports death threats
Henry Bodkin
Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2017.

Fears of a second wave of Islamist plots to take over schools have been raised after a teachers' union revealed it was dealing with a "variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues".

A head teacher in Oldham has reportedly said she has started working at home having been subjected to a campaign of "death threats" and verbal abuse by people determined to introduce an Islamic agenda.

In an email to Oldham council, seen by the Sunday Times, Trish O'Donnell said she had "very strong reasons to believe...a "Trojan Horse" agenda is being played out" at Clarksfield Primary School.

A confidential report prepared by the local authority said she had complained of threats to "blow up her car" and said she had been attacked by a parent part of a four-year campaign of abuse.

The head teachers' union, the NAHT, said it was "supporting a number of members in the Oldham area with a variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Dunkirk, Calais, France
HUNDREDS of migrants catch buses to Dunkirk in latest bid to reach Britain
Daily Express, 20 February 2017.

Hundreds of migrants are catching the bus to the French coast in the latest bid to reach Britain.

They travel by public transport through inland France to the sea and tunnel crossings near Calais.

The gangs then gather at unguarded lorry parks, trying to sneak aboard UK-bound trucks.

They prefer buses to trains because they can disembark before the terminus, where police would wait to arrest them.

BBC Inside Out South East found many following the new route were among the 10,000 dispersed when police broke up the Jungle camp. ...

Many of the migrants are staying at the 1,500-resident Grande Synthe camp in Dunkirk, 20 miles from Calais.

Although it is patrolled by police the residents can catch a bus to Calais for just one euro.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – border security
Britain's Border Chaos: Illegal Migrants Not Escorted, Asked to Make Own Way to Processing Centre
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 20 February 2017.

Illegal migrants found stowed away in lorries are frequently told to make their own way to a processing centre more than 50 miles away, the general secretary of the Immigration Services Union has revealed.

Lucy Moreton also admitted authorities "have no way of knowing" the identities of individuals entering the UK in an interview that laid bare the laxity of Britain's border controls – which have produced a system in which would-be migrants know that if they get in, they'll be allowed to stay.

Ms Moreton told BBC Essex: "The sad fact is there simply aren't enough staff to attend every single lorry drop because there really are quite a number of them.

"Sometimes it's simply isn't possible to reach them, if it's thought to be low risk, if there are no obvious needs, if there's nobody injured or there's no children involved.

"Then unfortunately there can be times when the police are asked just to signpost them to Croydon and ask them to go there to obtain the documents they need to access benefits and the like in the UK."

Noting that the journey from Essex to Croydon is far from straightforward, presenter Sadie Nine said that even many people who are local to the area "would find it difficult to get to Croydon".

"It's not always possible for individuals to get to Croydon", Ms Moreton conceded, and admitted that no statistics are kept on the percentage of stowaways who actually make it to the processing centre in south London.

The union boss also revealed that it's "really rare" for stowaways to have any identification documents, telling BBC Essex that authorities have no way of knowing who migrants entering the country illegally are.

"It's very common for people to say that they are from a country which it's known you are likely to get asylum, particularly if you come from a country where you're not"

"We just have to take it on trust that they are who they say they are," she added.

Shocked by the effective lack of any real checks of migrants entering Britain illegally, Ms Nine said it's "no wonder" so many migrants crowded into Calais, wanting to take their chances on breaking into the UK.

"We're saying to human traffickers if you get them over here, we will keep them," she added.

Agreeing with the BBC presenter that the shortcomings in the system make Britain a gift to criminal traffickers, Ms Moreton said: "If they can get on the back of a lorry and get to the UK then they are likely to be able to stay, at least for a short period of time." ...

A report last year by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration said authorities were being overwhelmed by the problem of stowaway migrants.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Trump may have been unclear, but Sweden experiencing a migrant crime wave
Cody Derespina
Fox News, 20 February 2017.

Police investigator Peter Springare isn't likely to be among those mocking President Trump for his remarks about refugees in Sweden.

Trump's comments during a Florida campaign rally on Saturday – which some took as a misstatement about a supposed terror attack – dovetail with what Springare has been seeing during a typical week in Orebro, Sweden. Five rapes, three assaults, a pair of extortions, blackmail, an attempted murder, violence against police and a robbery made up Springare's caseload for a five-day period earlier this month, according to a Feb. 3 Facebook post he wrote. The suspects were all from Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Turkey – save for one Swedish man nabbed in a drug-related case. ...

Last month, the police chief for the southern Swedish city of Malmo issued a desperate plea for help curtailing a plague of attempted murders, beatings and rapes. About 32 percent of Malmo's occupants are migrants, although it is not clear what role migrants play in the crime wave.

"We cannot do it on our own," Chief Stefan Sinteus wrote in an open letter about the "upward spiral of violence."

And Sinteus is not merely dealing with typical crimes that any modern city would witness.

Malmo had 52 hand grenade attacks in 2016 alone, a jump from 48 attacks in 2015, according to figures provided by the Swedish Police Authority.

Nationwide, the terror threat level is at "elevated" and police believe at least 300 Swedish nationals have travelled to Syria and Iraq for jihadi training.
[Site link]

Immigration – residence, EU citizens
EU citizens living in the UK could face legal limbo after Brexit
Daniel Boffey
The Observer, 19 February 2017.

The EU fears millions of its nationals living in the UK will be left stranded in a legal no man's land after the country leaves the EU because of the weaknesses of the British immigration system, a document obtained by the Observer reveals.

MEPs and senior European diplomats fear that chaos will ensue as the Home Office does not have the information or systems in place to select who can stay, once the UK restricts access to nationals from the other 27 EU member states. It is widely assumed that, at an early stage of the article 50 negotiations, Britain and the EU will agree a cut-off date after which foreigners who have settled in the country will not have an automatic right to remain.

But a leaked document, drawn up by MEPs on the European parliament's employment committee to aid the EU's Brexit negotiations, warns: "The UK has no population register. In practice it would be difficult to determine which EU27 citizens were residing legally in the UK before the Brexit would have taken effect.

"If all 3.3 million EU citizens were to initiate procedures aimed at proving the 'exercise of treaty rights' the administrative system would be overburdened."

An Opinium poll for the Observer published today finds that a large majority of Britons believe EU nationals living in the UK should be given the automatic right to stay. Just 5% said they should be asked to leave, ...

Responding to the Brussels report, one senior diplomat from an eastern European state, said: "It came as a surprise to me that the UK was unable to monitor comings and goings – they will have to find a workable solution quickly."

Tony Blair's government was forced to drop plans for a national ID card and population register in 2007 because of concerns over the security of citizens' data, not least from David Davis, now secretary of state for exiting the EU.

The Cabinet Office advises that EU nationals do not need to register for any documentation in order to enjoy free movement rights and responsibilities in the UK. The government does not track EU nationals as they enter and leave the country. The databases of the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Home Office do not share information.

The government could use the national insurance number system to help distinguish between those who were in the country before and after Brexit, but it would not cover those who neither work nor claim benefits. Allowing the right of residence to anyone who has registered for a national insurance number before a particular date would also give a right to stay to potentially millions of people who are no longer in the country, including those who were in the UK only briefly and have little or no connection to the UK. It would also not deal with the question of the rights of family members of those with national insurance numbers to join their relatives in the country.
[Site link]

Terrorism – Islam
Britain braces for a Jihadi bride invasion as scores of women and children return home from Syria and Iraq
Omar Wahid
Mail on Sunday, 19 February 2017.

Scores of British jihadi women and children returning home from Syria and Iraq as the Islamic State crumbles pose an unprecedented threat to the UK, secret intelligence analysis warns.

According to a chilling classified report prepared for the Prime Minister by intelligence officers – and seen by The Mail on Sunday – lone-wolf terror attacks by returnees are all but inevitable.

While the threat by battle-hardened adult male jihadis is well-known, this is the first time the danger of women and children returning from Syria and Iraq has been documented. ...

The document warns that as IS faces imminent military defeat, it is more and more likely to use women and children to carry out attacks in Britain.

Intelligence services fear that as IS's final defeat looms, the increasing number of female jihadis who try to re-enter will reach the point where it will not be possible to adequately monitor them. ...

Some will try to come back with their children using false identities and forged documents, the report says. ...

IS expert Nikita Malik of think-tank the Quilliam Foundation said: 'We have seen child soldiers in other theatres of war, but nothing like under IS, who brainwash children through their schools.'
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
Angela Merkel says EU must accept MORE refugees as Islam is NOT a source of terror
Alix Culbertson
Sunday Express, 19 February 2017.

Angela Merkel has said the European Union (EU) has an obligation to accept refugees as she insisted Islam is not a source of terrorism.

The German Chancellor launched a staunch defence of her controversial refugee policy which allowed more than 1.1 million migrants into the country in 2015, prompting protests and social upheaval.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference yesterday, she said the bloc as a whole has a duty to accept even more refugees.

During the wide-ranging speech, she also said Islam is not a source of terrorism and told the audience, which included US Vice President Mike Pence, Muslim states need to be involved in the fight against terrorism, as does Russia.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Sweden 'covering up' migrant rape and violent crime for the sake of 'humanitarianism'
Oli Smith
Sunday Express, 19 February 2017.

Officials in the Swedish government have been accused of "covering up" migrant rape and refugee violence for the sake of appearing politically correct.

Journalist Ami Horowitz has told Fox News people high up in the Swedish government are purposely covering up the perpetrators of rape crimes to protect "vulnerable" migrants.

During an explosive interview, Mr Horowitz claimed the refugee violence crisis was out-of-control but that "European virtues" had put a stop to any discussion on the statistics. ...

The filmmaker told Fox News' Tucker Carlson: "Sweden consider themselves a humanitarian superpower, perhaps the only superpower they could possibly qualify for.

"So they want to open up their borders up to everyone and anyone.

"From the onset of the refugee crisis, there was a surge in gun violence and rape - the statistics were clear. ..."
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – unskilled immigrants
Why Brexit MUST bring new visa rules: Unskilled migrants 'cost UK taxpayers £3,500 EACH'
Lana Clements
Daily Express, 18 February 2017.

Unskilled migrants to Britain drain thousands of pounds more from the country than they contribute, according to a group of economists backing the end of uncontrolled immigration after Brexit.

Each person coming to the UK without any skills costs taxpayers an average £3,500 each year in welfare and support, research by Economists for Free Trade (EFT) has said.

On the other hand, skilled migration helps boost the economy.

The lobby group is arguing for a post-Brexit visa system, which promotes the immigration of skilled workers.
[Site link]

Racism – free speech
Stoke byelection candidate arrested over anti-immigrant comments
Nazia Parveen
The Guardian, 18 February 2017.

A candidate in the Stoke byelection has been arrested on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred. ...

Barbara Fielding, 78, who is standing as an independent, was arrested after a complaint about her website, which calls for all immigrants to be repatriated and warns of a "seeping tide of Islamic warriors". Police seized her mobile phone and computer and later released her on bail until next month.

Fielding said: "I was arrested on suspicion of publishing racial hatred material on my website. Someone must have made a complaint to the police. They took me away and took my files, my paperwork, my mobile phone and my computer. I don't think I've done anything wrong. ..."

Staffordshire police confirmed that a 78-year-old woman had been arrested under section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, which makes it an offence to publish or distribute written material which may stir up racial hatred.
[Site link]

Crime – police
Black and mixed race people in London more likely to be Tasered
Liam O'Hare and Damien Gayle
The Guardian, 18 February 2017.

Black and mixed-race people in London have been on the receiving end of more than 40% of police Taser use since 2014, despite accounting for less than one in six of the capital's residents, the Guardian can reveal.

Figures obtained by a freedom of information (FoI) request show police are disproportionately targeting people of black or mixed white and black ethnicity with the electric stun guns, raising fresh concerns of racism in the force.

... According to the 2011 census, people from those groups comprise 15.6% of London's population. ...

The Met's figures include all the times that officers drew, aimed or fired Tasers while on duty, although the weapons were only discharged in 13% of cases. They correspond with a FoI request by the BBC from 2015, showing that across England black people were three times more likely to be Tasered than white people. ...

The Met defended its policies for Taser use, insisting that "the ethnicity of the person is completely irrelevant" when officers consider whether to use force.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – public opinion, Sweden
Sweden's two year U-Turn: Liberals' failed refugee policy turns public AGAINST migrants
Alix Culbertson
Daily Express, 18 February 2017.

Sweden's politicians' open-door refugee policies have turned the Swedish public from migrant lovers to haters in just two years, a study has found.

Fears of Swedes losing their culture and identity has fuelled a rise in anti-migrant sentiment, after 50,000 people arrived in the country in one year. ...

In September 2015, thousands of people took to the streets with banners saying "Refugees Welcome" while Prime Minister Stefan Löfven spoke about not building walls and offering help "when need is great".

A year later, in October 2016, his government decided to implement border controls, which had always been available but not used, to stem the rapid flow of asylum seekers.

And a surge in nationalistic language has shown Swedes now consider migrants a threat to the nation, a report by independent British think-tank Demos found.

The 458-page study into populism in Europe found an increasing use of "exclusionary nationalist rhetoric" in 2015 and 2016 by Swedish politicians across the spectrum.

Since the beginning of 2015, the study found an increasing use of the term "Swedish values" by not just the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats which have gained popularity since then, but by all main parties.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Ceuta, Spain
Hundreds of migrants storm fence to reach Spanish enclave of Ceuta
BBC, 17 February 2017.

Several hundred migrants have stormed a six-metre (20 ft) security fence that separates Morocco from Ceuta, a Spanish territory in North Africa.

Police said security cameras showed around 600 migrants, some with shears and clubs, breaking through one of the gates.

More than 300 reportedly made it across the razor wire barrier.

Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the EU's only land borders with Africa.

As a result, they are popular crossing points for migrants hoping to reach a new life in Europe. ...

"The Civil Guard at Ceuta estimates that 500 people could have succeeded in entering the town," the emergency services tweeted.
[Site link]

Extremism – far right, fascism, jihadism
The far-right panic: a distraction from jihadism
Neil Davenport
Spiked, 17 February 2017.

'Growing threat of far-right extremism in Britain', warned a London Evening Standard's front page this week. Normally, statistics related to the government's Prevent Strategy, under which people are reported to the police for expressing extreme views, are met with suspicion and criticism. Not this time. Apparently, 25 per cent of Prevent cases now deal with people expressing far-right views, an increase from last year's 15 per cent of cases. David Anderson QC said the large numbers being identified as far-right sympathisers, among adults and children, illustrated the growing danger posed to Britain by the far-right.

But is this really the case? Youths have always aired obnoxious views to wind up adults, and this could well account for part of these figures. In any case, mouthing off is still a world away from actively organising and campaigning on far-right issues. That kind of mobilisation is completely absent today. The British National Party has disintegrated, its local council presence all but wiped out. Street-based protest groups such as the English Defense League and Britain First can barely mobilise a few hundred people for their rallies in car parks. We're not witnessing a return to 1970s levels of far-right activity, let alone the 1930s, as one commentator recently claimed. ...

Even before Brexit, warnings of a far-right resurgence have routinely appeared in the press in recent years. Whenever there has been a terrorist atrocity carried out by jihadists, the elite response has been to raise concerns about a 'far-right backlash', even though none has emerged. In this way, obsessing about the far-right has become a displacement activity, a refusal to recognise that a significant minority of young Muslims are estranged from British society.

... Chasing phantom fascists may help score a few points against ordinary Brexit voters, but it's not going to confront the crisis of values and cohesion in British society.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – driving licences
Driving licences of thousands of 'illegal immigrants' revoked
BBC, 16 February 2017.

A crackdown on illegal immigrants in the UK has seen almost 27,000 drivers have their licences revoked since 2014.

The figures also found a 22% rise in voided licences in 2016, compared to the year before.

Some people caught had entered the UK illegally, but most obtained a licence while on a legitimate visa and had then illegally overstayed. ...

The Home Office gave the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) the powers to revoke licences in July 2014.

That month more than 3,500 licences were revoked. In 2015 it was 9,700 and in 2016 that number rose to 11,900, the figures released under the Freedom of Information Act to BBC South East show.

The driving licence is the second most recognised form of ID after the passport, so can be used by illegal immigrants to secure work, open bank accounts or sign tenancy agreements.

To make it harder for them to do any of these things, the UK Immigration Act 2014 created "hostile environment" measures for migrants in the UK. ...

In 2015, five times more people had their licences revoked in the UK on medical grounds than those suspected of being illegal immigrants. ...

Chris Hobbs, a former special branch officer in border controls, said: "How likely is it for that driver to be stopped bearing in mind the number of traffic police has been hugely reduced? There are all sorts of issues around stopping vehicles and asking for details, you have to have a valid reason to do that."

Asked why, on having the person's address, immigration enforcement officers did not doorstep them instead of waiting for police to pick them up during routine checks, the Home Office has yet to respond.

In the most recent report from David Bolt, the chief inspector of borders, he raised concerns over the measures.

He criticised the small number of deportations as a result of the crackdown - of the thousands who had their licences revoked, 583 people left the UK in the 2015-16 tax year.

Mr Bolt also said the small number of people physically surrendering their licences "undermines" the new system.

Since then, the Home Office has announced plans to allow police and immigration officers to search for and seize these documents.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, false documents, Europe
At least 11,000 migrants are found in the EU with forged documents: Border agency warns it is struggling to deal with vast network of people traffickers
Mario Ledwith
Daily Mail, 16 February 2017.

Armies of criminal gangs are helping thousands of migrants make their way through Europe under the radar by supplying fake documents, a damning report has revealed.

In a brutal assessment, the EU's border agency warned that officials are struggling to control vast networks of people traffickers who are fuelling the migration crisis.

Despite the arrest of more than 1,200 smugglers in the last year, officials said the underground industry is booming.

Concerns about the passport-free Schengen area were laid bare as figures revealed 11,000 migrants were found with forged documents last year having already gained access to Europe.

As well as helping migrants to reach the EU, the report said that a burgeoning black market had developed to help illegal immigrants achieve citizenship once they had gained entry.

Tactics used by so-called 'facilitators' in countries such as Spain, France and Italy include the supply of forged papers, arranging fake marriages and coaching migrants on how to 'abuse' asylum measures.

Officials warned the prevalence of fake documents posed a 'serious threat to the security of the EU' and highlighted the continued risk posed by IS fighters returning to Europe.

The report also drew attention to the Berlin Christmas market terror attack last year which was carried out by a failed asylum seeker found in possession of several fake documents.

The scale of the problem was further shown by the detection of 7,000 migrants carrying fake documents, predominantly at airports, before reaching the EU.

The report, carried out by the EU's Frontex agency, warned that criminals are increasingly transporting vulnerable migrants to Europe as sex workers and as slave labour.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – border checks, European Union
'What took so long?' Europe to FINALLY get tough on migration with major border crackdown
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 16 February 2017.

Europe is finally set take tough action to shore up its disastrously weak borders after MEPs said they had learned the "tough lessons" of Angela Merkel's migrant madness.

Eurosceptics said they were vindicated following years of being called xenophobes and racists as euro politicians were poised to approve a major security crackdown.

Tomorrow MEPs will vote on a package of no-nonsense proposals which will bring in automatic checks on all people travelling in and out of the bloc by land, sea and air.

The measure will target both EU and non-EU citizens and is designed to help the bloc combat the twin threats of Islamist terror and uncontrolled immigration.

During a debate on the proposals at the EU parliament in Strasbourg today eurosceptics said it was madness that European authorities do not already know who is coming in and out of the continent. ...

Under the proposals EU member states will be required to carry out systematic checks on all travels entering and exiting the bloc's external borders and to share information on potential terrorists via security databases.

They are expected to come into force in mid April if ratified by all the major EU institutions and will mark the biggest step Brussels has taken to tackle the threat of terror attacks.
[Site link]

Politics – Islam
Stoke Central's Muslim voters warned they will go to hell if they do not vote Labour in anti-Ukip text
Harry Cole
The Sun, 16 February 2017.

Texts have warned Muslim voters they will be condemned to hell if they do not vote Labour in the Stoke Central by-election.

One message said failure to back Labour's Gareth Snell would see "anti-Islam" Ukip win. It ranted: "Will you be able to answer for this in the Grave and on the Final Day??? 'I helped the Enemies of Islam because...'"

Ahead of next week's crunch by-election, the anonymous messages were sent around the seat that has a seven percent Muslim population. ...

The controversial message claims that voting for any other party – despite the Lib Dems have a Muslim candidate standing – would serve "to Elect an Anti Muslim and Anti Islam MP."
[Site link]

Immigration – birth rates, Europe
Mass immigration is a cure worse than our demographic time bomb
Rob Slane
Conservative Woman, 16 February 2017.

Once in a while politicians say something interesting. ...

... It occurred at a conference in Malta, and the one making the comment was the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. ...

"I believe Europeans should understand that we need migration for our economies and for our welfare systems, with the current demographic trend we have to be sustainable."
... But Mrs Mogherini's comment shows that far from EU officials struggling to cope with the destabilising effect of "migrant weaponisation", they actually welcome it as a necessity.

But what is even more fascinating about the statement is what it doesn't say. It mentions the "demographic trend", but says nothing about why this demographic trend exists. So let's help Mrs Mogherini out. She could have gone on to say:
"The reason for this demographic trend is two-fold: firstly, tens of millions of citizens in EU countries have been killed in the process known as abortion over the last few decades, and secondly, Europeans in general have decided that having children is a really bad idea and so have a fertility rate of 1.58 live births per woman, which is well below the generally accepted replacement level of 2.1."
Of course had she decided to say that, she would not now be the EUHRFASP, and that's because you cannot tell such truths in such jobs and remain in such jobs. ...

What is the solution? Mrs Mogherini and her comrades can only possibly contemplate one route: mass immigration. This is not because mass immigration is a sensible solution, but it is purely because she cannot go down the other route. /.../ It would mean having to admit that killing all those babies was not only morally wrong, but is now coming back to bite us. It would mean having to admit that the obsession with getting women to place a higher value on an office desk than raising children is now having enormous civilisational consequences. To say so would involve committing the unpardonable sin of actually telling the truth about how our materialistic, individualistic choices are now coming back to haunt us.


The solution proposed by Comrade Mogherini will lead to the Islamisation of Europe within a few decades. Just do the maths. Muslims are having children while Westerners aren't.
[Site link]

Employment – numbers
Reports on employment figures are accurate, but not the whole picture
Full Fact, 16 February 2017.

Several media outlets reported the most recent set of employment figures this morning, and the Daily Express featured the story on its front page. The figures reported are correct, but there's a lot of uncertainty around some of the latest changes.

The good news is we haven't seen anyone make the kind of mistakes we've seen in the past when it comes to reporting employment figures.

As the Office for National Statistics says prominently, these statistics don't tell us how many people have lost jobs or how many people have got a new one, they just tell us the final change in the headcount of people who have jobs.

The UK had 431,000 more foreign-born workers at the end of 2016 than it had a year beforehand, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Meanwhile, its estimate for the number of workers born inside the UK dropped by 120,000.

So foreign-born workers rose in number while British born workers fell? Not quite.

The difference between these two changes is that the first is big enough for us to be confident it's genuine, the second isn't.

The estimates are based on a survey, so there's a grey area around the ONS' best estimate for the numbers of different groups of workers.

The estimate for UK-born workers and UK nationals in work would have to change by more than 200,000 for us to be reasonably confident that we were seeing a genuine change in the real world.

That may sound like a surprisingly big margin. But remember: there are an estimated 26 million UK-born workers or 28 million UK citizens in work. A change of less than 200,000 is difficult to detect with a lot of confidence, based on these figures.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islamophobia, Islam
A Justified Intolerance of Islam
Paul Pauker
American Thinker, 16 February 2017.

Progressives and liberals do not tolerate beliefs or actions they consider unjust, yet they demand conservatives do so. Nearly every criticism of Islam is met with a chorus of condemnation from Democrats (and distress from some Republican "moderates"). This is not only wrong, but highly irresponsible.

Opposition to Islam is no different than opposition to communism, or fascism, or any other belief system that seeks to control human conduct. Every American (indeed, every human being on Earth) has basic human rights – the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property – and every belief system with principles that violate these rights is unjust. ...

Nevertheless, Progressives and liberals personally attack the critics of Islam, vilify them, and falsely accuse them of "Islamophobia." Clearly, this accusation is nonsense. Opposition to the beliefs held by an individual or group is not a phobia, nor is opposition to the actions of an individual or group, including the customs followed by people.

Progressives and liberals, though, insist that opposition to Islam is based on fear, or hate, or both. Again, this is nonsense. Opposition to Islam is based on knowledge, not fear or hate. ...

As for Islam, the Koran instructs Muslims to violate the most basic of human rights. ...

With regard to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, the Koran instructs Muslims to engage in jihad, which imposes a duty to fight nonbelievers (see Koran 2:216; 4:76; 9:5), and to continue fighting until Islam is supreme (see Koran 8:39; 9:29; 61:9). Consequently, after the Koran was revealed in the 7th century, Muslims spread Islam with violence – by waging "holy war" against nonbelievers – throughout the Middle East, northern Africa, and southern Europe. (For holy war, see Sahih Muslim 19:4294 and Sahih al-Bukhari 53:392.)

Furthermore, the Koran promises Muslims eternal paradise for killing, and being killed, in the fight against nonbelievers for Islamic supremacy. (See Koran 9:111.) This promise is a key source of the Islamic terrorism plaguing the world today. ...

There was a time when some on the political left understood the dangers of Islam. For example, Samuel P. Huntington, a highly-respected political scientist and lifelong Democrat, served in the administration of President Jimmy Carter. In his 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Huntington wrote, "Some Westerners, including President Bill Clinton, have argued that the West does not have problems with Islam but only with violent Islamic extremists. Fourteen hundred years of history demonstrate otherwise." He added, "The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam."
[Site link]

Employment – non-UK employees
Number of British-born workers falls as non-UK employees increase by almost 450,000 in a year
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 15 February 2017.

Nearly 450,000 more migrants are working in the UK while the number of British-born people in work has fallen by 120,000, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics disclosed that the number of migrants working in Britain has increased by 431,000 to 5.4 million over the past year.

Over the same period the number of British people in work has fallen to 26.37 million.

The report said: "For October to December 2016, there were 5.54 million people born abroad working in the UK, but the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK was much lower at 3.48 million."

The number of EU-born citizens working in the UK rose by 190,000 to 2.24 million, the Office for National Statistics found.

It also found that the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK increased from just over 1 million to 3.48 million and that the proportion of non-UK nationals working in the UK increased from 3.8% to 10.9%.

The ONS concluded: "This increase in non-UK nationals working in the UK reflects the admission of several new member states to the European Union."

The figures are also thought to reflect the retirement of older UK-born citizens. ...

More than 31.8 million adults have a job - 300,000 more than a year ago - after a quarterly rise of 37,000, while unemployment fell by 7,000 to just under 1.6 million. ...

The proportion of people working in the UK accounted for by non-UK nationals has increased from 3.8% to 10.9% since 1997.
[Site link]

Employment – Brexit
BREXIT BOOST: Bosses optimistic about hiring UK staff after Britain leaves European Union
Simon Osborne
Daily Express, 15 February 2017.

British bosses are confident about recruiting qualified staff after Brexit despite currently relying on foreign workers to fill around 30 per cent of available jobs, according to a new poll.

The City and Guilds poll asked 500 large-scale employers across a range of sectors including construction, education and the financial industry about the issue.

It found 26 per cent felt Brexit would not have any impact on their ability to find and hire competent employees while 42 per cent said they expected it to have a positive effect on recruitment.

This is despite 18 per cent of respondents admitting relying on EU staff for more than half of their present workforce and almost nine out of 10 (87 per cent) agreeing they have trouble finding the right staff to fill vacant positions.
[Site link]

Racism – hate crime
The truth behind the Brexit hate crime 'spike'
Brendan O'Neill
Spectator blog, 15 February 2017.

Britain is in the grip of an epidemic, apparently. An epidemic of hate. ...

This is being held up as evidence that prejudices and madness were unleashed by Brexit. ...

It's not vainglorious to say that Britain is the most tolerant country in Europe, perhaps the world. ...

Yes, the statistics are scary, and nobody should downplay the hurt caused to those who are attacked and abused. The number of hate crimes recorded by the cops has grown year by year. ...

But these figures need to be taken with a fistful of salt. There is something wrong with the way we report and measure hate crimes in this country. The numbers do not necessarily speak to any objective spread of hate in modern Britain. On the contrary, what the BBC calls an 'epidemic' is a product of the authorities redefining racism and prejudice to such an extent that almost any unpleasant encounter between people of different backgrounds can now be recorded as 'hatred'.

Consider the Brexit aftermath. The police say that 14,000 hate crimes were recorded between July and September. But can we engage in some scepticism here? Many of these incidents are likely to have been reported through True Vision, a police-funded website that allows anyone anywhere to report something they either experienced or witnessed, anonymously if they like. No evidence is needed. Everything is instantly logged as a hate incident. This inevitably presents a warped view of reality. ...

Beyond the post-Brexit hysteria, it's incredible how subjective the idea of 'hate crime' has become. The police and the Crown Prosecution Service first agreed a common definition of hate crime ten years ago and started measuring national hate-crime levels in 2008. A hate crime, the police say, is 'any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic'. They monitored 'five strands': crimes driven by prejudice based on race, religion/faith, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity.

The police's 'Hate Crime Operational Guidance' now stresses that the victim's perception is the deciding factor in whether something is measured as a hate crime. No evidence is required. 'Evidence of... hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident,' the guidance says. '[The] perception of the victim, or any other person, is the defining factor... the victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception.' So you don't need actual evidence to prove hate crime, just a feeling. ...

In a world obsessed with evidence-based public policy, it is odd that a new crime category which explicitly eschews evidence in favour of emotion is subjected to such little scrutiny. And it gets worse: the prosecution of a hate crime doesn't actually have to prove that hatred was the motivation.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Denmark
Parliament: Danes Should Not Become the Minority in Denmark
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 15 February 2017.

The Folketing, Denmark's unicameral parliament, has passed a resolution stating that Danes should not become minorities in Danish communities, as figures show the migrant and migrant-descended population are now a majority in Brøndby Strand and Odense.

"Parliament notes with concern that today there are areas in Denmark where the number of immigrants from non-Western countries and their descendants is over 50 percent," the resolution states.

"It is parliament's opinion that Danes should not be a minority in residential areas in Denmark."

Denmark, like many other European countries, saw a surge in sexual assaults and harassment by migrants after they began to arrive in large numbers.

Rafi Ibrahim, a Syrian who has been settled in Denmark for many years, told reporters that the new arrivals find it difficult to control themselves around Western women. ...

Danish immigration minister Inger Støjberg confessed in late 2016 that "integration in Denmark has failed", following a damning report on criminality and unemployment in thirty-one increasingly migrant-dominated ghettoes.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – electoral fraud, USA
Nearly 2 million non-citizen Hispanics illegally registered to vote
Rowan Scarborough
Washington Times, 15 February 2017.

A large number of non-citizen Hispanics, as many as 2 million, were illegally registered to vote in the U.S., according to a nationwide poll. ...

The little-noticed Hispanic survey was conducted in June 2013 by McLaughlin and Associates to gauge the opinions of U.S. resident Latinos on a wide range of issues.

Inside the poll is a page devoted to voter profiles. Of the randomly selected sample of 800 Hispanics, 56 percent, or 448, said they were non-citizens, and of those, 13 percent said they were registered to vote. The 448 would presumedly be a mix of illegal immigrants and noncitizens who are in the U.S. legally, such as visa holders or permanent residents. ...

But James Agresti, who directs the research nonprofit "Just Facts," applied the 13 percent figure to 2013 U.S. Census numbers for non-citizen Hispanic adults. In 2013, the Census reported that 11.8 million non-citizen Hispanic adults lived here, which would amount to 1.5 million illegally registered Latinos.

Accounting for the margin of error based on the sample size of non-citizens, Mr. Agresti calculated that the number of illegally registered Hispanics could range from 1.0 million to 2.1 million. ,,,

Another 8.3 million non-Hispanic non-citizen adults were living in the U.S. in 2013, according to the Census. ...

The focus intensified in 2014 when two professors at Old Dominion University and one at George Mason University collaborated to produce perhaps the first data-driven analysis of non-citizen voting, relying on the biennial Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), headquartered at Harvard University, with polling by YouGov.

Relying on the CCES responses to citizenship questions, ODU team estimated that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in the 2008 election. They presented a range as low as 38,000 and as high at 2.8 million.
[Site link]

Terrorism – Islam
More than 50 million Muslims are willing to support those who carry out terror attacks to defend their religion, migration expert warns the EU
Allan Hall
MailOnline, 14 February 2017.

A migration expert warns that there are more than 50 million Muslims willing to accept violence and support those who carry out terror attacks to defend their religion.

Professor Ruud Koopmans of the Netherlands warned the EU on Monday to block the entry of any refugees whose identity cannot be categorically confirmed.

Koopmans said that of the 1 billion adult Muslims in the world, 'half of them are attached to an arch-conservative Islam which places little worth on the rights of women, homosexuals, and people of other faiths'.

In an interview with a German news website he claimed that of these 500 million conservative Muslims, at least – and probably more – than 50 million are willing to sanction violence.

Koopmans, who is a professor of sociology and migration research at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the director of integration research at the WZB Berlin Social Science Centre, stressed that not every one of them was ready to exert violence directly.

But he added: 'They support the radicals, they encourage them and provide them shelter or simply keep their mouths shut when they observe radicalization.'

He says he considers his own estimate of 50 million 'an understatement', citing studies that show eight per cent of German Muslims agreed to the use of violence against 'Infidels,' while in his own country 11 per cent of Muslims agreed with the statement: 'There are situations in which it is acceptable for me from the perspective of my religion, that I use violence'.

In several Islamic countries, 14 per cent of local Muslims think suicide attacks against innocents are 'sometimes' or 'often' justified to defend Islam, said Koopmans, citing a study by the US-based Pew Research Center.

'I'm very conservative with my estimate of 50 million violent Muslims,' added Professor Koopmans. ...

He went on: 'There is nothing wrong with foreign cultures, as long as they are looking for the connection to the majority in society and actually enrich our countries.

'But those who are here to spread their medieval beliefs, which are unfortunately widespread in Islamic countries, must be met with zero tolerance'.
[Site link]

Employment – Brexit, EU citizens
Why there will be no Brexit cliff edge for EU employees in Britain
Lord Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK
ConservativeHome, 14 February 2017.

The pace is quickening as the Brexit negotiations approach. Employers who rely on East European workers are voicing concern that they face a "cliff edge" for their workforce when the UK leaves the EU. Research published today by Migration Watch UK suggests that such an outcome is very unlikely.

For a start, EU workers already here will almost certainly be allowed to stay. /.../ In any case, as Paul Goodman has pointed out here, nearly 85 per cent will be entitled to Indefinite Leave to Remain by the time Brexit occurs.

Despite this, there is concern that some EU nationals already in the UK will decide to go home and that future controls on EU migration would mean that the existing work force could not be maintained, leading to shortages of labour in a number of sectors.

If the past is any guide, there is no reason to think that this will happen. ...

In any case, do we seriously imagine that large numbers will up sticks and go home the day that Brexit is declared? Most of them have been here for years, some will have settled with their families, they will have learnt English and will be earning three or four times what they might earn in their home countries. They are surely far more likely to stay on.

That said, there is a very important distinction between East European members of the EU and the original fourteen member states. Seventy per cent of the former are in low skilled and low paid work, while 70 per cent of those from the EU14 are in highly skilled roles. This means that expanding the current work permit system to EU workers (as we recommend) would bear much more heavily on East European migrants. Overall, we estimate that it would reduce net migration from the EU as a whole by about 100,000 a year.

Looking ahead, Brexit provides us with an opportunity to make the most of the human capital and talent that we already have in this country. For too long employers have relied on a ready supply of workers from abroad rather than training existing workers. A major study by Baroness Wolf found that the number of employees attending training sessions away from the work place declined from 180,000 in 1998 to just 20,000 in 2014. She concluded that the availability of labour from the EU had contributed to this decline.

Brexit is an opportunity to correct this trend. And let us not forget the 1.6 million unemployed people (including 450,000 aged 18 to 24) who could be helped into work and the 1.1 million people who are in part-time work but are looking for more hours. The Government must not be rushed into making exceptions. Employers will have time to adjust their pay and conditions, their working methods and so on, and they should be encouraged to do so.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, politics, Germany
Integration commissioner plans a multicultural Germany
Jefferson Chase
Deutsche Welle, 14 February 2017.

In a new study, a panel of experts led by the government's point woman on migration has called for increased rights and better prospects for immigrants to Germany. ...

If the government's commissioner on migration, refugees and integration gets her way, immigrants to Germany will be able to vote in local elections, enjoy better protection against discrimination and maybe even benefit from affirmative action measures.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Aydun Özoguz presented "Together in Diversity: A Guiding Concept and Agenda for a Society of Immigration," a study written by 38 experts on the topic. Calling the country a "society of immigration" is a deliberate provocation as the right wing has long argued that, unlike the United States, Germany has not sought to integrate large numbers of foreigners. ...

Co-author Farhad Dilmaghani, of the advocacy group DeutschPlus, said the report was the first of its kind to include input from people with immigrant backgrounds. Perhaps for that reason, the document is an uncompromising rejection of the AfD. ...

The report calls for a series of reforms to make it easier for people to settle in Germany, and to facilitate their participation in the labor market and the political culture once they do.

The authors support reducing the length of prior residency required for citizenship, lowering the prospective income levels needed for foreigners to obtain work permits and exercising greater flexibility in granting people permission to come to Germany.

The report comes out in favor of dual citizenship and allowing permanent residents to vote in local elections. ...

Perhaps more controversially, the authors suggest that laws should be passed to support "positive discrimination" to raise the low proportion of people with immigrant backgrounds in government positions. ...

The report, drawn up under the aegis of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is closely affiliated with the SPD, is an indication of the strategy that the party is planning to take this fall to meet the nationalist challenge.

Whereas Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats have been content to defend the chancellor's decision to grant entry to refugees while promising that the high rate of arrivals will diminish, the SPD is actively embracing immigration and internationalism. ...

The "guiding concept" that Özugun and her co-authors have put forward for an aggressively multicultural Germany is part of that campaign.
[Site link]

Border controls – criminal
UK Border Force officials let 'Most Wanted' Albanian killer BACK into the UK and banned crook runs a car wash and lives nearby
Nick Pisa and Tom Wells
The Sun, 13 February 2017.

An Albanian murderer kicked out of Britain sneaked back in under the noses of the bungling Border Force to run a car wash firm.

Selami Cokaj, 43, once on Interpol's Most Wanted list, was deported in 2009 and banned from returning. ...

Officials kicked Cokaj out of the UK in 2009 after discovering he was a fugitive from a 20-year jail term in Albania.

But he somehow slipped past bungling Border Force officials and is now openly living here with his family under his real name – and runs two car valeting firms that are raking in £40,000 a year. ...

It is unclear when or how Cokaj arrived but he is doing nothing to hide his identity. ...

Cokaj, once on Interpol's Most Wanted list, first arrived here in 1999 using the alias Valton Gashi and posing as a refugee from the Kosovan conflict.

In fact he was a violent Albanian criminal who had been jailed in 1994 for a knife murder.

He was sentenced to 15 years, later increased to 20 for a further armed robbery conviction.

But after three years he escaped.

Within months of coming to the UK he was living in Mansfield, Notts, had set up a car wash firm and met his future wife.

His past caught up with him in 2006 and after a three-year extradition process he was deported.

But under Albanian law too much time had elapsed since his original sentence and he was freed in 2012.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
MERKEL'S GERMANY: Majority now SUPPORT deporting failed asylum seekers, says poll
Ross Logan
Daily Express, 13 February 2017.

Attitudes towards failed Afghan asylum seekers in Germany appear to be changing, after a new poll showed a massive 74 per cent of people now supported deportation.

A survey conducted by research institute Emnid on behalf of Focus magazine found the majority of Germans now agreed that Afghans who had failed in their application to stay in the country sould be removed.

The same amount also agreed with the view that migrants with criminal records should be deported. ...

The survey results heap more pressure on embattled German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who just last week placed a ban on the families of as many as three million people who arrived in Germany during the migrant crisis joining their relatives.

The ban, which also applies to women and children and elderly relatives from war torn countries, has been put in place for two years after the country revealed the crisis will cost £37bn this year.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Europe
Orban: Globalists Will Use Mass Migration To Replace Europeans and 'Crush The Will Of The People'
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 13 February 2017.

Hungary's Viktor Orbán believes the globalist establishment will not respond to their defeats in 2016 by reexamining their policies, but by encouraging a wave of mass migration which will "crush the will of the people" and replace Europe's existing populations.

"[T]he lords of globalist politics are not searching for the fault within themselves" after their defeats in the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election, he claims, "but are instead blaming the people and nations". ...

Orbán believes that politicians wedded to the no borders, multicultural "open society" – a reference to the Open Society Foundations funded by George Soros, the billionaire financier whom the Hungarian authorities regard as a malign influence – will respond to reverses at the ballot box by attempting to undermine Europe's electorates through mass migration. ...

"This is how the world's most bizarre coalition of people smugglers, human rights activists and leading European politicians was created, with the aim of systematically bringing millions of migrants into Europe. Where will all this lead?" ...

The Fidesz leader's overall message with respect to the globalist worldview seemed to recall Bertolt Brecht's sardonic comments after the 1953 uprising in East Germany: "Would it not be easier for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?"
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – criminals, USA
Right-wing think tank declares 72 terrorists from Trump's banned countries have been convicted in the United States since 9/11
MailOnline, 12 February 2017.

A report released by the US Senate provided information on the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism in America since the 9/11 attacks.

The conservative non-profit Center for Immigration Studies claim they obtained a copy of the information, which was originally released in 2016 by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The CIS asserts that 72 of those convicted of terrorism hail from the seven countries addressed by President Trump's controversial immigration ban.

Their analysis maintains that of the 580 convicted terrorists, 20 came from Somalia, 19 from Yemen, 19 from Iraq, seven from Syria, four from Iran and two from Libya.

The right-wing think tank, whose motto is 'pro-immigrant, low immigration,' also claims that 17 of those 72 entered the country as refugees.

Twenty-five of the 72 eventually became US citizens and spread about 16 states, their report says. ...

The CIS claims that 33 of the 72 terrorists from Trump's banned countries were convicted of severe crimes, such as 'use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.'
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – asylum
Migrant dad gets to Britain after 13 attempts and paying £18,000 to people traffickers
Giles Sheldrick
Sunday Express, 12 February 2017.

A migrant family told last night of the desperate journey they made to reach Britain illegally after 13 attempts.

The Iraqi Kurds paid a total of £18,000 to people traffickers before succeeding in crossing the Channel. ...

The family immediately claimed asylum and are now being housed and fed in refugee accommodation in Cardiff. Jubilant father Hawkar Salah declared: "We made it. This is my dream, of course. We want to build a new life here and we want to stay forever." ...

Their youngest child was not even born when Hawkar, a Sunni Muslim, and his wife Hozan, now 26, made their way from Iraq into Europe. They were intent on coming to the UK but people smugglers they had paid £5,000 took them to Norway instead.

They claimed asylum in Scandinavia but were rejected and after 11 months headed to northern France, arriving in September of last year. But Hawkar refused to claim asylum in France, saying he would rather risk the lives of his family trying to reach Britain. ...

Sources say it is extremely unlikely the family will be removed as they have two young children. Even if they are refused asylum, they can appeal, a process that could keep them here for years. The family has been given Home Office identification cards indicating they are one of 77,440 active asylum cases. ...

They have no idea where they will be rehoused but want to live in Bradford to join lawyer Hozan's sister and cousin who live there after they also made it into the UK illegally and claimed asylum.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – health tourism
Why this feeble cure for health tourism won't work
Max Pemberton
Daily Mail, 11 February 2017.

Legislation would be put in place, we were told, to stop our wonderful, free-at-the-point-of-delivery health service being taken advantage of. ...

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said this week the law will change in April to ensure that overseas patients made a 'fair contribution'. Great, about time.

But all the new legislation says is that NHS trusts will have to charge patients who are not UK residents upfront for non-urgent treatment such as knee replacement surgery, or a cataract op. ...

But the obvious problem is what happens if someone simply can't pay for their treatment then and there? So the new plan is that hospital staff can decide whether to take payment from an overseas patient on the spot, or ask them to sign a form to agree to longer-term payment.

A form? Really? Is that the best they could come up with?

Maybe I'm being cynical, but aren't most people – when confronted with a bill for thousands of pounds for a treatment they desperately want, but may not be able to afford – going to sign the form and worry about payment later? Leaving us with the same old problems of having to track them down and make them pay. ...

Under the new plans, GPs are also going to be given extra cash to identify patients who turn up at their surgeries and are not eligible for NHS treatment – and to pass this information on to hospitals. They will be given £5 million to help with the administrative cost.

On the face of it, using GP surgeries as gatekeepers looks fairly sensible. However, the reality will be rather different.

The British Medical Association – the doctor's union – has long complained that doctors shouldn't act as 'border guards'. So the deal they have agreed with the government will see patients 'self declare' their residency.

And so actually, all that is going to happen is a GP (or more likely the receptionist) is going to hand anyone who crosses the surgery threshold a form and ask them to tick whether they are eligible for NHS treatment or not.

I can't believe I'm the only one who can see the flaw here. There's almost a wilful naivety in the plans. When it comes to healthcare, people are desperate and will lie.

Why on earth would anyone who has come here to get free healthcare tick 'no', knowing that it will land them with a massive bill?

So what should the Government do instead? I touched on this in my column last week. My ideas are simple: everyone coming into the country would have to demonstrate they had medical insurance to cover the cost if they fell unwell. This would be part of immigration checks at border control, and those who failed to do this would be sent back.

Second, those who leave the country without paying an NHS bill are banned for life from returning unless they settle their debt. ...

The government has utterly failed to protect the NHS with this flimsy, ineffectual legislation. This was an open goal and yet our politicians have managed to miss it entirely.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
Haven't they learnt a thing? Merkel's government 'hoping to bring in 12 MILLION migrants'
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 11 February 2017.

Angela Merkel may just have pushed through rapid deportation rules as well as a ban on refugees but she is not planning on closing Germany's doors to migrants forever.

Just last week the under-fire German Chancellor placed a ban on the families of as many as three million people who arrived in Germany during the migrant crisis joining their relatives.

The ban, which also applies to women and children and elderly relatives from war torn countries, has been put in place for two years after the country revealed the crisis will cost £37bn this year.

Now just days after the Bundestag voted to speed up deportation and mandatory finger printing, it's emerged they have outlined the country needs 300,000 people a YEAR for the next 40 years to stop population decline.

A leaked report from Mrs Merkel's government said Germany would need to take in 12m migrants over the next four decades to keep Germany's population size stable. ...

According to local reports a new report drafted by the Government has admitted the issue of migrant integration is a thorny subject.

The report on refugee integration states: "According to the experiences this will not be easy and will last longer than initially often hoped.

"Successes will only be visible in the medium to long term."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants arrested in US enforcement sweep
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2017.

U.S. federal immigration agents arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least four states this week in what officials on Friday called routine enforcement actions. ...

The enforcement actions took place in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and surrounding areas, said David Marin, director of enforcement and removal for the Los Angeles field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Only five of 161 people arrested in Southern California would not have been enforcement priorities under the Obama administration, he said. ...

"The rash of these recent reports about ICE checkpoints and random sweeps, that's all false and that's dangerous and irresponsible," Mr Marin said. "Reports like that create a panic."

He said that of the people arrested in Southern California, only 10 did not have criminal records. Of those, five had prior deportation orders.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Italy, Mediterranean
NGOs May Be Endangering The Very Migrants They Seek To Rescue
Isabelle Ory
Worldcrunch / Le Figaro, 11 February 2017.

More than 4,500 people lost their lives off the Libyan coast last year. And yet, there have never been so many vessels carrying out rescue missions in the area – from Italian coast guard ships and European operation Eunavfor vessels to those from the border control agency Frontex and others chartered by NGOs.

This paradox is a source of concern for European authorities, so much so that some people are pointing fingers at certain NGOs for jeopardizing the rescue of migrants.

The humanitarian response coincided with a geographic relocation of rescue operations, which now take place far from the Italian coast, often fewer than 20 nautical miles off Libya. "One direct consequence of this has been a change in the business model of smugglers," the European Commission wrote in a recent report.

There is evidence that smugglers increasingly use completely unseaworthy inflatable dinghies that have no prospect of ever reaching the Italian shores, assuming they will be picked up near or within Libyan territorial waters, the Commission found. ...

There's another assessment of what's taking place. Earlier, a call to the Rome Maritime Rescue Coordination Center would trigger an operation coordinated by the Italian coast guard. Ships that were deployed would be called upon to act. But Frontex, in a confidential note, observes that these calls now only lead to 10% of all rescue operations. Meanwhile, the number of rescue operations carried out directly by humanitarian organizations has skyrocketed, accounting for one-third of such missions.

Frontex has different theories about why this happens: Either the NGOs use radars or smugglers inform migrants where NGOs are waiting, the agency suggests. Libyan coast guards note that some boats don't hesitate to aim powerful searchlights at the coast so they can easily be seen at night.

No officials agreed to talk about these issues on the record. ...

What can authorities do when faced with this situation? Apparently, not much. "We're not going to start chasing NGOs," a senior source says.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – refugees, Hungary
Orban: Hungary Will Welcome 'European Refugees' Fleeing Multicultural West
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 11 February 2017.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban says his country will open its arms to west Europeans fleeing mass immigration and "the lords of globalist politics".

"We shall let in true refugees", Mr Orban told a cheering audience: "Germans, Dutch, French and Italians, terrified politicians and journalists who here in Hungary want to find the Europe they have lost in their homelands." ...

Globalist politicians, Mr Orban contended, are seeking to "sweep away a democracy of debate and replace it with a democracy of [political] correctness", where "true power, decisions and influence [are] not held by elected governments, but [by] unelected global networks, media gurus and international organisations." ...

"This is how the world's most bizarre coalition of people smugglers, human rights activists and elite European politicians came into existence, specifically to deliberately bring millions of migrants into Europe," he said. ...

He also warned against the activities of non-governmental organisations funded from abroad and seeking to exert influence on local politics: "Here there are large predators swimming in the water, and this is the transnational empire of George Soros."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – deportation, Pakistanis, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia deports almost 40,000 Pakistanis in just 4 months
Middle East Monitor, 11 February 2017.

Over 39,000 Pakistanis have been deported from Saudi Arabia in the last four months, the Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday.

The deportations were attributed to visa violations, crime and security concerns linking the deportees to terrorist organisations, but come amid a background of migrant worker unrest that has plagued the kingdom over the past year. ...

Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chairman of the security committee in the Saudi Arabian Shura Council, urged for tougher screening process of Pakistani nationals before they are allowed entry into the country.

"Pakistan itself is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan. The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan," he warned.
[Site link]

Immigration – numbers, EU referendum, Brexit
Brexit will cause 'vanishingly small' fall in net migration – report
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 10 February 2017.

Theresa May's attempt to reclaim control of UK borders after Brexit could reduce annual migration from the EU by just 50,000 – one-sixth of the current overall annual figure, according to new research.

The projection of a "vanishingly small reduction" is one of the first attempts to estimate how likely labour market demand, and the government's planned new controls, could reduce the number of migrants coming to the UK. Reduction in immigrant numbers has been repeatedly cited in polls as the chief reason voters backed leaving the European Union.

The report by a new thinktank, Global Future, shows total net immigration, which at the latest official estimate was 335,000 in the year to June 2016, could be expected to fall by no more than 15%, to 285,000 a year. Future free trade deals with non-EU countries suggests even this reduction could be wiped out.

Liam Fox, the international trade minister, accepted last week he did not know of any new free trade deal that did not also include liberalisation of migration rules between the two countries signing such agreements. Australia and India have already indicated they will seek preferential access for their workers as part of a free trade deal.

The government has so far refused to produce its own estimate of the cut in migration from Brexit, or precisely how new controls will operate. But the report's estimates, which were formulated by breaking down the different elements of net migration from the EU and examining government commitments to retain skilled labour, students and some seasonal work, represents one of most thorough projections to date. ...

The report starts with the premise that the current true net immigration figure from Europe is 182,700 annually, representing the maximum amount of reduction possible from leaving the EU out of a total immigration figure of 335,000. ...

The report points out 22% of EU migrants are in professional jobs, 22% in skilled occupations and 56% doing unskilled jobs. The UK has already said it will need to keep the professional route open, so the report assumes 50% of existing flow professional workers will still be required.

Ministers have also said they will respond to employer pressure to meet their demand for 80,000 seasonal workers, 90% of whom come from the EU. ...

The report also looks at the number of the EU citizens in the UK returning to the EU, saying the number will fall from 95,000 to 58,000, partly due to fears they will be unable to return to the UK.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration
Weak approach to illegal migration has to change
Daily Express, 10 February 2017.
[Leading article]

At the height of the Calais crisis last year 200 migrants a day were caught trying to smuggle themselves into Britain.

This shocking figure highlights the severity of the illegal migration problem facing this country and the desperate need to give the Border Force the funding and resources it needs.

Given the cutbacks they have suffered, border security agents deserve credit for the number of migrants they managed to catch.

However, nobody will believe that they are stopping any more than a fraction of the total number who are trying to come here.

The official statistics represent only the tip of the iceberg and the systematic grinding down of the Border Force must be addressed.

But preventing people from crossing our border undetected is only half the battle.

The Government must also make more effort to ensure that people who are living in this country illegally are deported. People arrested for entering the country illegally are routinely allowed to go free.

Instead of being put in custody, they are just asked to check in with officials every now and again.

How many of the 200 migrants caught every day last summer will have taken advantage of this foolhardy system and simply absconded?

After all, there is next to no chance of the authorities going to the effort of finding them.

Even those who do go through the system have a good chance of eventually being told they can stay.

Should their asylum claim be rejected they can still exploit absurd human rights laws to stave off deportation.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – public opinion, USA
Americans still support Donald Trump's immigration ban, poll shows
Ashley Kirk and Patrick Scott
Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2017.

Despite breaking records for the lowest approval ratings for a new President, Donald Trump's immigration ban is still backed by a majority of Americans, according to recent polling.

The Republican president suffered the biggest defeat of his presidency yesterday as a court refused to reinstate his executive order banning refugees and restricting travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.

His decision to halt immigration has been widely criticised with protests across the world, legal challenges and condemnation from Barack Obama. ...

But the most recent polling done on the policy shows that most Americans still back the policy. ...

A majority of people (55 per cent) approve of the controversial immigration ban, while just 38 per cent disapprove.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
One in five illegal immigrants live in New York or LA - and more than 60% of are concentrated in 20 cities
Associated Press and Abigail Miller
Daily Mail, 10 February 2017.

A report released Thursday estimates that more than 2.5 million immigrants in the country illegally live in the metropolitan areas cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

All three of these cities have pledged to fight President Trump's plans to expand deportation, and all three are in top 20 metropolitan areas with the most undocumented immigrants in the United States.

The Pew report estimates there are 11.1 million immigrants in the country illegally – or 3.5 per cent of the overall US population. ...

About 61 percent of immigrants in the country illegally live in 20 metropolitan areas, the report said.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland banned 226 people from predominantly Muslim countries subject to Donald Trump's travel ban
Gordon Deegan and AP
Belfast Telegraph, 10 February 2017.

The Republic of Ireland last year refused entry to 226 individuals from the predominantly Muslim countries that are the subject of President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry to the US to individuals from those countries.

That is according to figures provided by Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald that confirm the largest cohort refused 'leave to land' at the country's ports of entry were from Somalia, currently battling an Islamic militant insurgency and a looming famine.

The figures show that last year, 53 Somalians were refused leave to land, while 37 from war-torn Syria were also refused leave to land.

An additional 46 Iranians were refused entry by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, while 26 Iraqis and 47 Sudanese were also refused entry.

The figures provided by the Tánaiste in a written Dáil response to deputies Thomas Pringle and Richard Boyd Barrett show that 10 Libyans were refused 'leave to land' along with seven Yemenis in 2016.

The Tánaiste said that in respect of those seven nationalities refused leave to land, "a total of 53 sought asylum and were admitted to the State to make a protection application".

"Information on numbers refused permission to enter the State may be subject to revision over time where individual cases are examined further and the status of some cases may change," she said.
[Site link]

Asylum – children
Home Secretary Amber Rudd: Dubs amendment 'encourages people traffickers'
John Ashmore
PoliticsHome, 9 February 2017.

A scheme designed to bring unaccompanied child refugees to the UK is being scrapped partly because it 'encourages people traffickers', the Home Secretary said this morning.

The Government announced yesterday that only 350 children would be coming to the UK under the scheme put forward by Labour peer Lord Dubs, far fewer than the 3,000 he had asked for.

Ministers accepted an amendment to the Immigration Bill last year, although then Prime Minister David Cameron never made a firm commitment on numbers.

Yesterday's statement from Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said the reason the scheme was being stopped was that councils had told him they only had space for 400 children, of whom 200 have already arrived in the UK.

But this morning Amber Rudd suggested another reason was that the French authorities had urged her not to make the Dubs scheme open-ended as it encourages people to make the dangerous journey to Europe.

Answering an Urgent Question from Labour MP Yvette Cooper, she said: "I am clear that when working with my French counterparts, they do not want us to indefinitely continue to accept children under the Dubs amendment because they specify and I agree with them that it acts as a draw, it acts as a pull, it encourages the people traffickers." ...

But a Downing St spokesman rejected the idea the Government was only taking in 350 children, arguing that the Dubs scheme was "just one element" or seven or eight different mechanisms for resettling refugees.

"It isn't 350. In the past year alone we've brought in 8,000 vulnerable children," he said.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – asylum, Japan
Japan took in just 28 refugees in 2016, despite record applications
Ami Miyazaki and Minami Funakoshi
Reuters, 9 February 2017.

Japan accepted just 28 refugees last year when a record number applied for asylum, a government document dated for release on Friday showed, throwing a spotlight on the nation's reluctance to accept foreigners.

In 2016, 10,901 people sought asylum in Japan, up 44 percent from a year earlier, when the country accepted 27. ...

Immigration is a controversial subject in Japan, where many pride themselves on cultural and ethnic homogeneity, even as the population ages and its workforce shrinks. Although a major donor to international aid organisations, Japan has been reluctant to relax asylum policies or allow in migrant blue-collar workers. ...

Between January and September last year, Japan was the fourth largest donor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, contributing $165 billion.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in September also pledged $2.8 billion to help tackle the global refugee crisis over three years from 2016.
[Site link]

Immigration – politics, conversation
Time for a national conversation on immigration
Steve Ballinger
Yorkshire Post, 9 February 2017.
[Steve Ballinger is director of communications for British Future]

Do we need to talk more about immigration? Some people think we talk about little else; others feel they're still not allowed to discuss it without being called racist.

Most people are somewhere in between – keen to keep racism and prejudice out of the debate, while still feeling that decision-makers could do more to listen to what they think about an issue that consistently ranks alongside the economy and the NHS as one that people most care about.

In response, the MPs of the House of Commons' Home Affairs Committee, including Bradford MP Naz Shah, have launched a different kind of inquiry into immigration, one that will travel around the country, hearing what people have to say. A 'National Conversation', co-ordinated by independent think-tank British Future and anti-prejudice campaigners Hope Not Hate, will feed into the inquiry.

This project will hold 120 meetings over the course of this year in 60 towns and cities. The first of those conversations takes place in Bradford today, with events in Hull, Sheffield, Barnsley and Harrogate to follow. ...

The National Conversation has been made possible by funds raised by the public in memory of Jo Cox MP after her tragic murder last year. ...

... The findings of the National Conversation will be published as part of the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into immigration, in a report that the Government has to then respond to.

We'll be regularly updating and sharing the conversations as we travel around the country, including our report from Bradford, at Here you'll also find an online survey so you can make your voice heard too.
[Site link]

Crime – statistics
The police forces who ignore thousands of serious crime victims: 60,000 calls were not dealt with because of staff blunders or lack of training
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 9 February 2017.

Police are failing to record tens of thousands of crimes, including victims' reports of rape and serious violence.

Almost 60,000 calls are being ignored every year by four forces, through either blunders or a lack of training for officers.

Shockingly, some police and staff dismiss reports of crime received from victims who they believe are suffering from mental health issues.

The scale of the problem is revealed today by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). The police watchdog said forces were routinely under-recording rape, sexual offences, attacks and modern slavery.

Inspectors raised concerns after scrutinising four forces previously rated 'inadequate' for accuracy of crime recording – Merseyside, Northumbria, Devon and Cornwall, and Avon and Somerset. In total, they found a total of 57,600 offences were ignored by the constabularies or recorded as 'no crimes' – meaning victims were being denied justice.

The true figure will be much higher because there are 39 other forces in England and Wales. The watchdog carried out new inspections after discovering three years ago that 19 per cent of reported crimes were dismissed by constabularies across the country. ...

The four forces are the latest to come under scrutiny as part of rolling inspections looking at forces' crime data 'integrity'.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – health tourism
'Migrants are pushing NHS to breaking point': Top cancer doctor warns health tourists are bleeding hospitals dry with demand for treatment
James Slack
Daily Mail, 9 February 2017.

The NHS has been left 'on its knees' by uncontrolled migration from the EU, a leading cancer expert will warn tomorrow.

Professor Angus Dalgleish, the principal of the Cancer Vaccine Institute, says the NHS is being bled dry of resources by health tourists denied care at home.

Cancer treatment can cost £200,000 and, under Brussels rules, Britain has to offer it to all EU nationals.

Professor Dalgleish says this partly explains the NHS's £3 billion deficit. He will also claim the Government has hindered progress into key disease areas 'by blindly adhering to EU directives'.

'Our membership of the EU is putting an intolerable strain on our NHS,' Professor Dalgleish, a melanoma expert of global renown, will tell a conference. ...

'Britain is attracting thousands of health tourists from across the EU who cannot get certain drugs or treatments in their home country so come to Britain and demand them as EU citizens.

'Cancer treatment can cost £200,000 a year per patient and while we remain in the EU, Britain has to offer treatment for any EU citizen who comes here so as to not discriminate.

'The Health Service is being bled dry – this is why our NHS faces a £3 billion deficit.'
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – cost, public assistance, USA
Harvard Economist: 42 Percent of Immigrant Households on Public Assistance
Jack Phillips
Epoch Times, 9 February 2017.

A Harvard economist has found that nearly 42 percent of immigrant households in the United States are on public assistance of some kind.

"In 2016, there were 8.9 million households headed by a non-citizen ... almost 42 percent of those households received some type of assistance," George Borjas, Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, wrote on his website on Feb. 1.

To come to his conclusions Borjas used census data from 1994 to 2016 to calculate how many of the migrant-headed households receive either money, food stamps, or Medicaid.

According to Borjas, millions of households could be impacted if existing immigration laws are adhered to.

Borjas noted that since 1882, the United States has banned the entry of immigrants who could potentially become a "public charge," meaning they will likely need government-funded assistance.

The law states the following:

Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.
The law was later modified to make it possible to deport immigrants who had become a public charge after entering the country:
Any alien who, within five years after the date of entry, has become a public charge from causes not affirmatively shown to have arisen since entry is deportable.
However, according the definition used by the Department of Homeland Security, "public charge" only refers to receivers of cash benefits, and not to those who receive other benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, housing benefits, etc.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – numbers
Albanians caught entering UK illegally more than any other nationality
Helen Pidd
The Guardian, 8 February 2017.

Twice as many Albanians have been caught as stowaways at UK ports than any other nationality, new government figures reveal.

Some 981 Albanian "clandestine migrants" were discovered at UK entry ports from 2008 until spring 2016, according to Home Office statistics released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

These included a group of more than 50, including a pregnant woman, discovered in a lorry at the Humber sea terminal at Killingholme near Grimsby in June 2015. Albania is not part of the European Union, but borders Greece, an EU country, and its mafia are known to UK police as ruthless people traffickers and drug smugglers.

Afghans formed the second biggest cohort, with 425 port detections during the same period, followed by Algerians (424), Iranians (348), Indians (322), Palestinians (129) and Vietnamese (124). These include clandestine migrants found at UK Eurostar terminals and airports as well as ports and harbours. ...

As the refugee crisis took hold in 2015, there was a big rise in Iranians, Syrians and Iraqis caught entering the UK illegally. ...

Most illegal immigrants are caught before they arrive in the UK, with lorries at Calais and other continental European ports x-rayed for stowaways. Yet the new figures show that hundreds each year still make it onto UK soil before they are detected. ...

The Home Office appeared reluctant to release the information, only partially submitting to the Guardian's request after they were ordered to comply with the FoI act by the information commissioner. ...

Information about clandestine migrants can fall into one of three categories: (a) those stopped at the juxtaposed controls (where checks take place on certain cross-channel routes before boarding, rather than disembarkation), (b) those stopped at UK ports and (c) those picked up in-country.

The latest figures released to the Guardian only cover monthly port detections of clandestine migrants in the UK.

Most clandestine migrants are discovered trying to board boats and trains bound for the UK, rather than on UK soil.
[Site link]

Immigration – Muslims, public opinion, Europe
Most Europeans want immigration ban from Muslim-majority countries, poll reveals
Samuel Osborne
Independent, 8 February 2017.

A majority of Europeans want a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries, a poll has revealed.

An average of 55 per cent of people across the 10 European countries surveyed wanted to stop all future immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

The Chatham House study, conducted before US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries, found majorities in all but two of the ten states opposed immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

Only 20 per cent disagreed, while 25 per cent said they did not know.

A ban was supported by 71 per cent of people in Poland, 65 per cent in Austria, 53 per cent in Germany and 51 per cent in Italy.

In the UK, 47 per cent supported a ban.

In no country did more than 32 per cent disagree with a ban.

Of those surveyed, opposition to Muslim immigration was especially intense among older people, while those under 30 were less opposed. ...

The poll backs up other research about attitudes towards Muslims in Europe.

A Pew survey of 10 European countries in 2016 found majorities in five countries had an unfavourable view of Muslims living in their country.

Of those, 72 per cent of Hungarians had a negative view of Muslims, followed by 69 per cent of Italians, 66 per cent of Poles, 65 per cent of Greeks and 50 per cent of Spaniards.

In the UK, only 28 per cent said they had an unfavourable view of Muslims, while in Germany and France 29 per cent said the same.
[Site link]

Racism – free speech
Brief Encounter clock stilled by row over 'racist' comments about child migrants
Patrick Sawer
Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2017.

But the clock which played such a symbolic role in the 1945 British cinema classic Brief Encounter has been stilled - the victim of a very modern row over allegedly racist comments made by the man who until now kept it working.

Jim Walker has been banned from key parts of the station at Carnforth, in Lancashire, after he was overheard by a member of the public talking about comments about child migrants and refugees. ...

The row exploded after a family visiting the station last October overheard Mr Walker making what they said were racist comments about child refugees, in response to a column he was reading in a national newspaper.

The article questioned whether the migrants and refugees arriving from Calais were children and whether they were in any real danger.

Peter Crowther, chairman of the Carnforth Station Trust, which runs the heritage centre at the station, told The Telegraph: "A visitor to the station who was with his family complained about insulting and racist comments made by Mr Walker.

"He said that if action wasn't taken he would report the matter as a hate crime to the police."

Members of the trust interviewed a number of witnesses about the incident and decided to ban Mr Walker from those parts of the station it operates and rents from Network Rail. ...

But Mr Walker, 71, hit back at the ban, saying: "It's a matter of free speech. I was talking to a friend, discussing a newspaper article which questioned the comparison being made between the Calais migrants and the Jewish kindertransport children who fled to Britain in 1939.

"I said it was a ridiculous comparison because the kindertransport children were being rescued from the jaws of death. I didn't say anything I'd consider offensive or deserving of what's happened to me.

"No wonder people nowadays are scared to say what they think. They are scared of being labelled racist. Where has the right to free speech gone?"
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
German police spark outrage for telling authorities to keep refugees away from carnival celebrations
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 8 February 2017.

German police have provoked outrage by advising local authorities not to organise refugee trips to carnival celebrations because of the risk of "undesirable interactions" with locals.

Officers from the headquarters of North Rheine-Westphalia state police (LZPD) said that officers took a "critical view" of the prospect of "mass appearances of refugees and asylum seekers" at the traditional festival.

"We are aware that last year, carers of refugees and asylum seekers organised visits to carnival events," said the memo, which was obtained by the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

"In light of the ongoing security situation in Germany, due to the events of the past couple of years, it could lead to undesirable interactions with the population and we advise against it." ...

The North Rheine-Westphalia interior ministry and LZPD disassociated themselves from the letter, saying it was "unauthorised", but did not respond to The Independent's request for comment.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Police Officer Who Spoke out on Migrant Crime Now Under Investigation for Racial Hatred
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 8 February 2017.

A police officer who broke ranks to reveal that migrants are to blame for the vast majority of serious crime in Sweden is now under investigation for incitement to racial hatred.

Peter Springare's exasperated rant describing the face of crime in Sweden received a huge amount of attention since it was posted to Facebook on Friday 3rd.

In the post, the officer concedes that while it's not politically correct to say so, almost all the serious crime cases he had dealt with over the past week involved migrants. He also states that this situation has been ongoing for the last decade or more.

But now the department of internal investigations is probing Mr. Springare for incitement to racial hatred as a result of the post, police have confirmed. ...

Mr. Springare has received massive support for the controversial post, with a Facebook group called 'Stand Up for Peter Springare' netting more than 100,000 members in less than a week. In it, people have written to express their support for the police officer and to thank him for his honesty. ...

Appearing on SVT Tuesday night renowned criminologist Leif GW Persson also came to Mr. Springare's defence. He described the Facebook post as "refreshing", and said he believes that most police officers are voting for the anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats (SD) party.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – population replacement, France
Le Grand Remplacement
Steve Sailer
Taki's Magazine, 8 February 2017.

Nobody seems to know exactly how fast France, the cultural heartland of the West over the past millennium, is being demographically transformed. But I have found a way to estimate the percentage of babies being born in France who are of non-European ancestry.

And the results are astonishing.

Some young Americans who went to Paris last year told me they were stunned by how non-European the famous city has become. ...

But recent eyewitness reports suggest that Paris, and much of France overall, is becoming more Third World. ...

A rare 2016 survey of French teens found 25.5 percent identifying as Muslim. And there are also non-Muslims from sub-Saharan Africa, as well as better-behaved nonwhite groups like the Vietnamese.

... the French government believes it would be a violation of Republican principles to categorize citizens by ancestry, so it bans official data collection by race. ...

On the other hand, the French national health authority is rightfully worried about sickle-cell anemia, a genetic disease that can afflict people whose ancestry on both sides traces from warm parts of the world. And this obscure data provides us with a rare entrée into quantifying the rapidly changing demographics of France. ...

Sickle-cell disease has been increasing rapidly in France due to immigration. It's now the most common genetic disease in France.

The French government has started a neonatal screening process for babies at risk of inheriting the disease. The percentage of newborns screened due to their ancestry tells us much about the onrushing demographics of France. ...

The French government says, "This disease mainly affects children from the Caribbean, Black Africa and North Africa." ...

After all those preliminaries, here are the unadjusted percentages of newborns targeted for testing in France because both parents come from the Global South:

2005: 25.6 percent

2010: 31.5 percent

2015: 38.9 percent

And Paris in 2015 was 73.4 percent, up from 54.2 percent just a decade earlier.
[Site link]

Diversity – firefighters
Minister Attacks Fire Brigade for Being Too Male and Too White
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 8 February 2017.

Citing figures that show firefighters in England are 96 per cent white and 95 per cent male, a Home Office minister slammed fire services over a "woeful" lack of 'diversity'.

Speaking in London on Tuesday, minister for policing and the fire service Brandon Lewis said workplace demographics should resemble the surrounding community, and demanded the fire and rescue services "spring into action" to increase 'diversity'. ...

The Home Office minister said that any attempt to blame the lack of diversity on a reduction in recruitment "isn't good enough", and demanded a "culture shift". ...

Praising police forces in Britain for hiring lower proportions of white men than ever before, but warning that it "still has a way to go" on this front, Lewis called for the fire service to follow their example.
[Site link]

Crime – multiculturalism
Timidity as girls still suffer barbaric FGM
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2017.

A case of FGM is treated every hour in England, and a new instance is recorded every hour and a half, according to the charity Plan International UK.

Between April 2015 and March 2016, doctors assessed 8,656 existing cases of FGM and recorded thousands of new ones. This utterly barbaric mutilation of terrified girls – children, really – has been illegal in the UK since 1985. And, so far, there has not been a single successful prosecution.

That's going well, isn't it? Good to see the law of the land acting as a deterrent and teaching immigrants to adopt the ways of this country, or else.

I know I'm not alone in thinking that institutional cowardice, and fear of causing offence, lies behind this abject failure to protect innocent youngsters. We have already seen the harm that mindset caused in Rotherham and other towns where gangs of Pakistani origin were allowed to treat young girls as easy meat.

Have the authorities learnt their lesson? Until prosecutions for FGM are brought, it's possible to end up in jail for smacking a child, but get away with cutting and maiming her. Enough.
[Newspaper link]

Immigration abroad – Calais, France
'YOU'RE IN DENIAL!' Fury as France says there are NO MIGRANTS left in Calais
Romina McGuinness
Daily Express, 7 February 2017.

France is "in denial" the Calais crisis is over after authorities claimed there were no migrants left in the port town. ...

A spokesperson for the Calais prefecture said: "The Jungle's former reception centre is being dismantled because it is no longer needed; there are no more migrants in Calais."

But the decision to tear down the port town's last remaining shelter has sparked outrage among local charity officials, who claim more than 400 immigrants have returned to Calais to pursue their British dream.

Despite the government's efforts to solve the refugee crisis, Calais is and always will be a "migrant magnet", say local charities.

François Guennoc from the charity Auberge des Migrants, said: "Police are doing everything in their power to keep migrants out of Calais and to stop secret camps from popping up. But the bid to rid Calais of UK-bound migrants has failed.

"Officials are in denial and refuse to admit that migrants are returning to Calais en masse and remain determined to seek asylum in Britain. But officials need to prove that the operation to clear the 'Jungle' was a success, and so they have chosen to turn a blind eye to the facts. Migrants have been abandoned by the government and have been left to go hungry and homeless."
[Site link]

Politics – foreign aid
British taxpayers' money to be spent improving social care for the elderly in China
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 7 February 2017.

The UK is planning to spend taxpayers' money on improving social care for China's elderly population and boosting its fashion industry.

The Government has announced plans to spend £1.3 billion on improving economic growth in "middle-income" countries such as China, India and Mexico.

The Foreign Office has outlined a series of "policy objectives" for the funding in China with "suggested projects" including improving "care in the community for elderly people in China" and the "sustainability of the health system".

It comes at a time when care for the elderly under the NHS is in crisis. Other projects targeted for aid spending include supporting China's fashion and film industries and providing "policy and regulations for football".

The news came as a report warned that the money risks being wasted because the foreign aid fund is being spent at an "unprecedented" rate.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact found the Government is planning to push through approvals for projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds with "unprecedented" speed.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – numbers
How many illegal immigrants are in the UK?
Ruby Lott-Lavigna
New Statesman, 7 February 2017.

There's a difficulty in working out the number of illegal immigrants in the UK for obvious reasons. They exist largely as an unregistered collective, and if there was some way to universally register them, well, they'd all get deported. The Office for National Statistics does not collect estimates on the number of illegal immigrants, stating in response to a FOI request last year that "[b]y its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately the number of people who are in the country illegally." ...

The most recent number comes from 2005. That year, the Government assessed methods other countries used to estimate their level of illegal immigration, and applied those techniques to the UK. Creating an estimate for 2001, they predicted the number at 430,000. In 2007, the London School of Economics produced a report estimating the number of 'irregular' migrants at 533,000.

The government does, however, collect "Immigration Enforcement Data" including information such as number of visits based on tip-offs, number of people refused entry and number of offenders deported. For example, the number of enforcement visit arrests from information in Q2 of 2016 was 941. The The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford put the number of deported immigrants at 40,896 in 2015, but it also does not make an estimation of number of 'irregular' immigrants.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Norway
Migrants to Put Norwegian Welfare Under Stress, Outnumber Norwegians Soon
Sputnik, 7 February 2017.

Norway is among those European countries that have taken steps to curtail immigration, and with good reason. Last week, a government report predicted that migration could shatter Norway's generous welfare state. As if that was not enough, a renowned researcher suggested ethnic Norwegians were about to become a minority in their own country.

Last week, the Brochmann Committee, established by the Norwegian government to gauge the long-term effects of immigration, found that the kingdom's botched integration policy and mass immigration are threatening the very essence of the Norwegian welfare state, the Norwegian daily Aftenposten reported. ...

In the report, 28 percent of immigrants and their descendants were found to have persistently low income, compared with 10 percent of the total population, thus putting Norway's welfare system under extra strain.

An average Norwegian's annual contribution to the state's coffers was estimated at roughly 60,000 NOK ($8,300). The corresponding figure for an immigrant from Africa or Asia was estimated at minus 94,000 NOK (-$11,500). Additionally, it was found that every non-integrated and unemployed migrant cost the country a whopping 258,000 NOK a year ($32,000). ...

Research Director at the Norwegian Nobel Institute Asle Toje suggested that the Brochmann report missed the point; he predicts that ethnic Norwegians will become a minority in their own country if alarming demographic trends continue, the Norwegian daily Aftenposten reported. ...

At the beginning of the 1990s, immigrants totaled only 4.3 percent of the Norwegian population. Roughly a quarter of a century later, their percentage has risen to 16.3 percent in a nation of 5.2 million. Today, Poles, Somalians, Iraqis and Pakistanis are the most numerous immigrant communities in Norway.

... Today, migrants account for 90 percent of the Nordic country's population growth.
[Site link]

Crime – brothels
Over 30 'pop up' brothels open each week in Swindon as police warn foreign prostitutes are being trafficked by eastern European gangs
Camilla Turner
Daily Telegraph, 6 February 2017.

More than 30 "pop up" brothels each week are being opened in Swindon, with foreign prostitutes renting properties for a few days before moving on.

Wiltshire Police said that every week, as many as 40 sex-workers, most of whom are eastern European, were advertising their services in the town. It is the latest in a spate of reports across the country of temporary brothels, where rooms are rented for just a few days before women are swiftly moved on to evade detection.

The majority of the prostitutes are "transient", with many of the brothels thought to be linked to organised crime gangs which traffic women from Poland and Romania.

Earlier this month Devon and Cornwall police said they had discovered at least 14 "pop-up" brothels in the past six months in the seaside resort of Newquay, a popular destination for surgers as well as stag and hen parties.

Inspector Dave Meredith, Newquay's most senior police officer, said that his force expected to discover more pop-up brothels in the town this summer. ...

"The evidence that we have indicates that the majority in Newquay are coming from eastern Europe. We've got a victim-centred approach although it is an offence to operate a brothel. A lot of the women are vulnerable."

Last year police said hotels and guest houses in the Lake District were also being used as brothels, offering prostitutes during weekend stays. Crime gangs trafficked refugees to use as illegal sex workers and block-booked hotel rooms in Barrow and across the south lakes, Cumbria police said at the time.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has said that the issue of short-term brothels at properties rented online was widespread.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – health tourism
Upfront charges for NHS foreign patients in England
BBC, 6 February 2017.

NHS hospitals in England will have a legal duty to charge overseas patients upfront for non-urgent care if they are not eligible for free treatment.

From April this year, foreign patients could be refused operations unless they cover their costs in advance.

NHS Improvement, which oversees the trusts, said hospitals would no longer have to chase money they are owed.

Emergency treatment will continue to be provided and invoiced later. ...

Hospitals are already supposed to charge patients living outside the European Economic Area for care such as hip operations or cataract removal, but this can be done by invoice, rather than upfront.

Details of treatment given to visitors from EEA countries should be forwarded to the Department of Health so the costs can be recouped from their governments.

But earlier last week, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said the system for recovering costs from foreign visitors was "chaotic".

Mr Hunt said: "We have no problem with overseas visitors using our NHS - as long as they make a fair contribution, just as the British taxpayer does."

The health secretary said the aim was to recover up to £500m a year by the middle of this Parliament to reinvest in the NHS. ...

Dr Meirion Thomas, a former cancer surgeon at the Royal Marsden Hospital, told Radio 4's Today programme that the plan was a "smokescreen".

"It is not going to work because there are not trained people to identify and charge overseas visitors upfront," he said, highlighting an example where there was one overseas visitor manager - who identifies those who do not qualify for free NHS healthcare - for three hospitals in London.

"Anyone going into any of the Schengen countries, when they apply for a visitor's visa, they have to prove that they have 30,000 euros worth of health and travel insurance and that is the cure for this problem in this country."
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – religion, schools
'It's confusing' Muslim pupils outnumber Christians in dozens of Britain's church schools
Ross Logan
Daily Express, 6 February 2017.

Education experts have called for some church schools to become secular institutions after figures revealed Islamic pupils outnumber Christian students in dozens of the institutions, including one with a "100 per cent" Muslim attendance.

About 20 Church of England (CoE) schools are estimated to have a majority Muslim population, as do 15 Roman Catholic schools, latest available figures reveal.

One school, St Thomas in Werneth, Oldham, is reported to have no Christian pupils at all, according to the local diocese.
[Site link]

Border controls – Calais, France
UK-bound Dunkirk migrants 'taking buses to Calais port'
BBC, 6 February 2017.

Hundreds of migrants are trying to reach the UK from Calais three months after the camp known as the Jungle closed, the BBC has learned.

Migrants are taking buses to Calais from Dunkirk. Kent MP Charlie Elphicke has called for the buses to be stopped.

The boss of the Port of Calais also said about 200 people were still being found each week in lorries.

Jean-Marc Puissesseau said more than 2,000 a week used to be detected, so the figure was down by more than 90%.
[Site link]

Diversity – politics
MA publishes Manifesto for Tolerance and Inclusion
Geraldine Kendall Adams
Museums Association, 6 February 2017.

The manifesto reiterates the ethical values that museums should seek to uphold regarding inclusion, equality, diversity and tolerance. ...

"The MA has recently discussed the additional values that it will use to guide its work as a campaigning membership body and these include: being passionate about diversity and equality; having the courage to say what we believe and working collaboratively, inclusively and ethically.

"We believe strongly that our ethics and values can help guide our work as individuals and institutions in the challenging times in which we live."

The manifesto also outlines some of the practical actions museums can take in the course of their work to support and promote these values.

The manifesto urges museums to ensure they are welcoming to all, and says the sector should use its "diverse collections to tell the rich stories of immigration from and to the UK, and the role it has played in shaping place, community and culture".

It calls on museums to "use our trusted spaces for debate and discussion and to challenge ignorance, intolerance, prejudice and bigotry; engage proactively with refugee and immigrant communities and the groups and organisations that represent them; [and] engage in contemporary collecting with our diverse communities to ensure that we tell the widest range of stories". ...

Finally, the manifesto calls on museum professionals to demonstrate "support and solidarity for colleagues who are living and working in the United States or those who want to travel there, who might be subject to discrimination", as well as demonstrating "support for staff and colleagues in the UK who might be affected by the travel ban, either professionally or personally".
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam, public opinion, USA
CBS Poll: Most Democrats Think Christianity Is as Violent as Islam
Justin Holcomb
Townhall, 6 February 2017.

Only one-in-seven registered Democrats in America believe that Islam is more violent as a whole than Christianity, according to a new CBS poll.

Catastrophes such as September 11th, the War on Terror, and recent attacks throughout the world were not enough to make a difference between Christianity and Islam for some. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban were also overwritten.

Republicans had a much different perspective on the matter however. Over six-in-ten believe that Islam is more violent in nature than other religions.
[Site link]

Diversity – children's books
Why children's books that teach diversity are more important than ever
BJ Epstein
The Conversation, 6 February 2017.
[The author is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Public Engagement, University of East Anglia]

Despite knowing how important it is for diversity to be represented in our day-to-day lives, many children's books are still littered with white, male, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender, nominally Christian characters. And research suggests that over 80% of characters in children's books are white – which clearly doesn't reflect the reality of our world.

All of these reasons are why the We Need Diverse Books movement was set in motion in 2014, stemming from a discussion between children's books authors Ellen Oh and Malinda Lo. The movement aims for more diverse children's books to actually be created and for these works to be available to young people. And while we need people to actually write them, we also need publishers to produce them, and bookstores, libraries, and schools to stock them.

As someone who researches children's literature, I think we'd have fewer conflicts in the world if we all read more diverse literature and lived more diverse lives.

I like to think that if we had more diverse children's books, featuring a broad range of characters in many different jobs and situations, as well as more diverse role models in the media, young people would feel empowered, and they'd believe that when they grow up, they could be anyone and do anything they wanted. ...

With this mindset present, issues such as race or religion wouldn't even play a subconscious role. And it would mean that within a generation or two, we wouldn't read articles about appalling and depressing statistics, and we wouldn't need campaigns to increase diversity in literature, academia, or anywhere else. ...

Along with the increased worries today about immigrants, refugees, and general "otherness", some societies seem to be headed towards a sense of false nostalgia about a time when the world was controlled by whites.

Given this is not how the world is or should be, we owe it to young readers to show them reality in the books they're reading.
[Site link]

Population pressure – housing
Half of Britain's new homes will be for migrants
Caroline Wheeler
Sunday Express, 5 February 2017.

One home every five minutes needs to be built to accommodate Britain's booming migrant population, the House of Lords has been told.

Government figures reveal that almost half of all new households will accommodate immigrants between now and 2039.

The Department for Communities and Local Government's household projections show there will be an average of 243,000 new households forming each year for the next 22 years – meaning an extra 5.3 million new homes could be needed to meet the needs of the growing population.

Net migration accounts for an estimated 45 per cent of this growth, meaning an extra 2.4 million new homes will be needed to house the UK's booming migrant population over the next 22 years. ...

The statistics were released in response to a question by Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch, who claims that even based on a conservative estimate 300 homes a day would need to be built to accommodate new arrivals.
[Site link]

Terrorism – child refugees
Isis paying smugglers' fees in recruitment drive among child refugees
Mark Townsend
The Observer, 5 February 2017.

Islamic State is paying the smugglers' fees of child refugees in a desperate attempt to attract new recruits, according to a report highlighting the potential vulnerability of unaccompanied minors to radicalisation.

The report, from counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam, also says that an estimated 88,300 unaccompanied children – identified by the European Union's police agency Europol as having gone missing – were at risk of being radicalised.

Citing failures in the approach of Europe, particularly the UK, towards protecting child refugees travelling alone, the report, published on Monday, warns that jihadi groups, including Isis and Boko Haram, have attempted to recruit within refugee camps using financial incentives, as well as working with the people smugglers. ...

Examining the online material from Isis, the Taliban, al-Qaida, al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria, researchers found the four Islamist groups mentioned refugees every day between 13 June 2016 and 8 January 2017, with the most dominant theme – 53% of all references – relating to calls from fighters and believers urging refugees to wage jihad.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – criminals, legal delays
Senior judge slams lawyers for obstructing Rochdale child sex grooming gang deportation case
Patrick Sawer and Sarah Limbrick
Sunday Telegraph, 5 February 2017.

Lawyers are helping a child sex grooming gang avoid attempts to deport them by obstructing the courts and "weakening the rule of law", Britain's most senior immigration judge has warned.

Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey accused taxpayer funded lawyers representing the gang of treating the immigration tribunal, which will decide whether they should be allowed to remain in Britain, with "sustained and marked disrespect".

The case has raised fears that convicted criminals are adopting a strategy of timewasting and obstructing the courts in an attempt to put off any possible deportation from the UK as long as possible.

The judge said there had been "multiple recent examples of similar conduct and misconduct" and has urged Government legal officials to mount an investigation into such cases.

MPs have accused lawyers of making money by "gaming the system" and using delaying tactics to spin out cases.

The gang from Rochdale are appealing against a decision by then then Home Secretary, Theresa May, to strip them of British citizenship as the first step to deporting them.

The four men, led by ringleader Shabir Ahmed, 63, were convicted in 2012 of preying on girls as young as 13 in Rochdale, plying them with drink and drugs before they were "passed around" for sex. ...

Three other men convicted of child sex offences in the same case, Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf, are also appealing against being stripped of citizenship by the Home Secretary. ...

In some of the strongest criticism delivered by a judge, Justice McCloskey, President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, said: "The conduct of these appeals has been cavalier and unprofessional. The rule of law has been weakened in consequence."

In a damning ruling Justice McCloskey said the men's barristers and solicitors had failed to submit the necessary papers to the court and had repeatedly asked for adjournments.

Rajiv Sharma, the barrister who represented Ahmed, is a protege of one of Britain's most famous campaigning lawyers, Michael Mansfield QC, and operates from chambers at the heart of Britain's legal establishment in central London.

Barrister for the other three men was Zainul Jafferji, who specialises in human rights, personal immigration, commercial immigration and asylum law.
[Site link]

Crime – cost
Foreign criminals and illegal immigrants are handed £4 million of YOUR money after complaining they were locked up for too long
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 5 February 2017.

Foreign criminals were handed a staggering £2 million in compensation last year after complaining they were locked up for too long.

Official figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the Home Office made payouts to hundreds of crooks who should have been deported or released sooner.

Another £2 million was given to illegal immigrants who claimed they were unlawfully detained. ...

Last night, Conservative MP Philip Hollobone, who has tabled bills that would see more offenders deported, said: 'It shows under our crazy rules that crime does pay for foreign criminals.

'It's yet another reason why we need to reform human rights legislation in this country. And we need to have protocols in place so countries take back foreign criminals when they offend in this country.'

Details of the payouts were obtained by this newspaper after an eight-month battle with the Home Office.

Officials repeatedly delayed sending the information, originally requested on June 10 last year, until the Information Commissioner watchdog warned them they were breaking the Freedom of Information Act.

The figures showed that the Home Office made compensation payments totalling £2.1 million to Foreign National Offenders for unlawful detention in 2015-16, up from £1.5 million the previous financial year.

Total compensation including payments made to illegal immigrants as well as criminals came to £4.1 million, up from £4 million the previous year, but down from £5 million in 2012-13.

The Home Office said it was unable to say how many cases had been settled nor what the highest individual payment was.

A report by MPs in 2015 suggested the average award was £27,000.
[Site link]

Racism – anti-racism
I chose not to join the march against Donald Trump at the US Embassy in London today – here's why
Wail Qasim
Independent, 5 February 2017.

Across Britain people have been galvanised to take action over Trump, with protests taking place ever since his "Muslim ban" came into effect. ...

Today in Grosvenor Square at the US embassy more folks have come out to continue the movement opposing Trump. It's important the pressure hasn't let up, but if I could attend I wouldn't have because Stand Up To Racism – a group heavily organised by the Socialist Workers' Party (SWP) – have taken a leading role in calling for this protest. ...

Stand Up To Racism is just one of the organisations the SWP holds huge power in and is using to rehabilitate its reputation. Having surrounded themselves with a broad group of allies under the umbrella of an anti-racist front they once again get to call large demonstrations and attempt to control burgeoning social movements. Their papers, placards, leaflets and remaining members will be all over today's protest. But I'm afraid many attending will not see or hear their history.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
German Social Democrats leader wants to send refugees back to North Africa
Deutsche Welle, 5 February 2017.

The chairman of the Social Democrats (SPD) has said a comprehensive approach to the migrant crisis had to involve the return of refugees to North Africa. His words echoed sentiments made by Germany's interior minister.

Marking a shift in his party's rhetoric, the chairman of the SPD-Parliamentary Group, Thomas Oppermann, spoke out in favor of sending refugees arriving on boats back to North Africa. In an editorial he penned in the Sunday edition of the German daily newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", Oppermann justified his view arguing that this would be an important step to curb human trafficking.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – Islam
Christian shepherds side with the Islamist wolf
Rev Jules Gomes
Conservative Woman, 5 February 2017.

The civil war among 21st century Christian leaders is over the immigration of Muslims to the post-Christian West. ...

In Britain, leaders of seven Anglican mission societies have signed a statement expressing their 'profound concern' over Trump's recent executive orders on immigration. ...

These leaders are speaking out with the complete support of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the bishops of the Episcopal Church in the US who favour Muslim immigration.

In the US, leaders of eight evangelical mission agencies have written a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence expressing similar concerns. ...

In the rival camp, Christian leaders are telling political leaders to do exactly the opposite. 'Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will soon be Muslim because of our stupidity,' warns Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei in a recent interview. Cardinal Raymond Burke echoes this concern. 'It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world.'

The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Miloslav Vlk, puts his finger on the demographic threat. 'Muslims in Europe have many more children than Christian families; that is why demographers have been trying to come up with a time when Europe will become Muslim.'

The leader of Catholics in Lebanon, who brings the costly lessons of the Islamisation of Lebanon, supports his concern. 'I have heard many times from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: faith and the birth rate,' Cardinal Bechara Rai says.

These Catholic leaders are speaking in complete defiance of Pope Francis, who is one of the big guns in the pro-Muslim side of the civil war. ...

Christianity is rooted in history. When I taught a course in Islam at Liverpool Hope University, I placed two sets of maps in front of every student. They were shocked to discover that much of the Middle East and North Africa – Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Iraq, Armenia, Tunisia, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, Ethiopia, Yemen as well as parts of Iran, Jordan and Arabia were pre-dominantly Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian before Islam nearly wiped them out.

Efrem Karsh, Director and Emeritus Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, London, documents the relentless march of Islam in his book Islamic Imperialism: A History. Many Westerners assume that "imperialism" is European or American and that Muslims are its victims. 'Contrary to the conventional wisdom, it is the Middle East where the institution of empire not only originated... but where its spirit has also outlived its European counterpart,' he argues.

Within a decade of Muhammad's death a vast Islamic empire, stretching from Iran to Egypt and from Yemen to northern Syria, came into being in one of the most remarkable examples of empire building in history. Here endeth the history lesson.

... What do the signs of the times tell us? Every single European country – be it Sweden, Germany, France or Belgium – that has welcomed large number of Muslim migrants is facing a crisis it cannot handle. Here endeth the existential lesson.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – repatriation, Germany
Germany offers asylum seekers up to €1,200 each to voluntarily return to their home countries
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 4 February 2017.

The German government has budgeted more than €40 million (£35 million) to pay asylum seekers to voluntarily return to their home countries.

Migrants will be offered financial incentives of up to €1,200 (£1,000) each to leave Germany and withdraw their application for protection, with a lower amount of €800 (£700) if they choose to depart after being refused asylum.

The German interior ministry is running the "StarthilfePlus" programme with the UN's International Organisation of Migration (IOM), mirroring similar initiatives run in other European countries since the start of the refugee crisis.

It is open to "destitute" citizens of some of the world's top refugee producing countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Nigeria, while Russians, Turks, Ukrainians and other nationalities will be excluded from support after the programme's "transitional stage". ...

Thomas de Maizière, the German interior minister, said StarthilfePlus was intended for those with "very poor chances of success" under the country's asylum laws. ...

The IOM said the funding, including extra "family assistance" grants, is paid out in two stages – one half in Germany before departure and the remainder within eight months of their proven arrival in the country of origin. Children under 12 receive half the adult amount.

The programme was launched as civil servants continue to battle a backlog of around 400,000 asylum claims created by the unprecedented number of refugees who arrived in Germany in 2015.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Brexiters face rude awakening on immigration, says ex-minister
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 4 February 2017.

People who backed Brexit in the belief it would lead to a cut in immigration into the UK were voting for something that is in effect impossible, a former member of David Cameron's cabinet has said.

Stephen Crabb, a former work and pension secretary, said that Theresa May urgently needed to outline a new set of values for a post-Brexit immigration system, or the public may face a rude awakening.

"For many, a vote for Brexit was indeed a vote to take back control and return to Westminster the full tools to cut immigration," Crabb said in a article for the Guardian.

"The problem is that, set against the popular expectation that Brexit means cutting immigration, there is nothing on the horizon to suggest that achieving any significant reduction is achievable or even desirable." ...

He said the economy is continuing to absorb new labour arriving in the UK and no minister has been able to point to any group of foreign workers who should or would not be in the country after Brexit.

On top of that, the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India have already indicated that they will be looking for easier access for their workers to come to the UK as part of any deal, Crabb added.

"There could be another rude awakening for the public when they realise that Brexit will not mean a cut in immigration after all," he said.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Dunkirk, France
French camp where migrants wait to get into UK 'run by Mafia' claims 'left-wing softie'
Jon Austin
Daily Express, 4 February 2017.

A self-confessed "left wing softie" who went to northern France on a mercy mission to help female refugees and their children has told of how migrant camps there are being run by criminal gangs of men and the visit made her question her liberal views.

Di Hammill and Lee Wood travelled to the Dunkirk Refugee camp in Grande-Synthe to supply it with donations from their customers, after failing to find people in need in Calais after the notorious jungle was cleared last year. ...

She wrote: "We were warned about the dangers of theft, the builders hung onto their tools and locked their cars up against anticipated theft of possessions, and of sexual violence - I was told not to go anywhere on the camp alone.

"Everything it seems is a commodity to be taken and used.

"The camp had institutionalised desperate and passive refugees, or had they brought it here as a negative cultural phenomenon - I can say this as I'm a left wing softie full of compassion for displaced people but what I saw here made me wonder.

"We were told that the camps had a mafia who organised the acquisition and distribution of black market commodity items."

Di said after arriving at the camp it was "like walking into Beirut". ...

She also said that other volunteers were allowing migrants to take no responsibility for the camp themselves.

She wrote: "Community organisation and self-responsibility could be fostered more than it is at the moment.

"I personally don't think there is anything wrong with expectations of self responsibility and couldn't understand why volunteers had flown from the US to pick up the litter that was filling the ditches. ..."
[Site link]

Politics – anti-fascism
Some 'anti-fascists' need to look in the mirror
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 4 February 2017.

I have noted before in this place that the people who seem most fascist these days are self-described 'anti-fascists'. The inaugural weeks of Donald Trump's Presidency are – whatever else you think of them – doing a fine job in smoking these people out.

The principal cause of 'anti-fascist' ire today would appear to come from the collective decision that anybody whose opinions do not wholly concur with a narrow set of agreed upon 'liberal' views is a 'fascist'. This is not a wholly new development – Allan Bloom noticed this more than thirty years ago. But it seems that the people then who described everyone who disagreed with them as 'Nazis' did not grow up as had been hoped but just moved into positions in the media, politics and academia where they deepened and extended the reach of their worldview. ...

Until now I have tended to assume that people who call all their opponents 'fascists' were doing so purely for short-term political gain. But I am starting to wonder whether some people seriously believe themselves. Is it possible these people actually do think that America is about to start herding people into gas chambers, or is doing so already? ...

On Thursday the conservative commentator Gavin McInnes was due to speak at New York University. Some 'anti-fascists' decided to storm the event and pepper-spray the speaker while chants in the hall included 'Nazi scum, your time has come'. Eleven people were arrested. But behaviour outside the event was even more telling.

A video shows a woman who claims to be a professor screaming at the police outside the event. It is her contention – screamed over and over again at the police protecting the event – that the police are 'f–ing assholes'. The 'professor' seemed to dislike the fact that the police were in her words 'protecting the Nazis'. ...

I wonder whether any self-described 'liberals' will mull on this and whether they didn't contribute to bringing things to this pitch? Here is a woman who presumably believes herself to be an anti-fascist berating the American police for not acting as the storm-troopers of the 'liberal' worldview. ...

All of which leads me to wonder once again whether anything will ever make these 'anti-fascists' look in the mirror and recognise what they have become.
[Site link]

Politics – Government, EU citizens
EU free movement could last 'years' after Brexit as Government suggests 'phased' immigration controls
Jon Stone and Tom Peck
Independent, 3 February 2017.

A row over immigration erupted tonight as it emerged that free movement of people from the European Union to the UK could last for "many years" after Brexit.

In a White Paper spelling out more details of its plan for a post-EU Britain, ministers said immigration controls would be phased in, raising the prospect of Theresa May going into the next election with still open borders.

Pro-EU campaigners said the announcement appeared to show free movement would last for "many years", even though the Government was willing to sacrifice the UK's membership of the single market in the meantime. Ukip said it showed the public would conclude the Tories were not "serious about taking back control" of Britain's borders.

The White Paper, which set out the Government's 12 key goals for Brexit, says Britain will regain control of its borders by leaving the freedom of movement directive, but does not mention reducing the number of people coming to the UK.

It says that "openness to international talent will remain one of our most distinctive assets" and that the UK "will always want immigration".

The Government says that MPs will get a say in drawing up the plans for future control of numbers, promising Parliament an "important role".
[Site link]

Border controls – slavery victims
UK Border Force 'failing to identify thousands of modern slavery victims'
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 3 February 2017.

The UK Border Force is "missing thousands of victims of modern slavery at our borders" and identified and convicted only one trafficker last year, according to a damning inquiry report by two official watchdogs.

The "significant failings" by Border Force uncovered by the investigation was published just a day after the prime minister, Theresa May, told MPs the introduction of the first law to tackle modern slavery was one of her proudest achievements in government.

The joint report by David Bolt, the chief inspector of borders, and Kevin Hyland, the anti-slavery commissioner, says there were 3,266 potential victims in 2015, 94% of whom came from outside Britain. Yet Border Force identified just 265 potential victims at the border during six months last year and only 57 of them were given official help.

"There is a strong chance we are missing thousands of victims of modern slavery at our borders," said the anti-slavery commissioner.

"We must urgently improve our response, regardless of how challenging it is. If Border Force identified 265 potential victims at the border between April and November last year, as outlined in the report, and yet only 57 entered government funded support, what happened to the remaining 208?" ...

With an estimated 13,000 victims in the UK, the inspectors say Border Force's annual targets to identify victims at the border have been modest "while the number of suspected traffickers identified and referred for investigation have been low by any standards".

The report says that Border Force had identified and convicted just one suspected trafficker in 2014 and one in 2015/16.
[Site link]

Immigration – national identity
What defines a nation's identity
The Economist, 3 February 2017.

But pinning down what exactly makes someone truly a national or a stranger is tricky. This is partly because identity is based on a nebulous mix of values, language, history, culture and citizenship.

A new poll by the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, attempts to unravel the idea of how someone can be judged to be genuinely American, British or German. It asked respondents various characteristics – language spoken, customs observed, religion and country of birth – and how important they were to being a national of their country.

Where you live makes a big difference. On average over the 15 countries surveyed, speaking a state's national tongue is seen as the most important trait. The Dutch rate this higher than anyone, whereas Canadians are the least concerned about linguistic ability, with only half saying that being able to converse in English or French (one of the two national languages) is very important. One reason may be that Canada is divided by language; another is that, along with Australia, it has the largest share of people born abroad among the countries polled, at over 20% of the population.

Recent experiences with immigration appear to affect different countries in different ways. People in Greece and Hungary, which have been transit countries for a large flux of migrants from the Middle East, place strikingly high importance on sharing customs and traditions, and being born in the country (Greeks also care strongly about being Christian). Yet in Germany, the ultimate destination for many of the refugees and migrants, respondents give comparatively little weight to such factors.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – civil war, Europe
Historian: European Civil War Within 30 Years
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 3 February 2017.

Belgian historian David Engels claims a civil war will erupt in the next 30 years as he draws parallels between Europe and the fall of the Roman Republic.

"In 20 to 30 years Europe will have become an authoritarian or imperial state, after a phase resembling civil war and decay," said Mr. Engels who is a historian at the Free University of Brussels. Engels has been predicting Europe would go down the path of authoritarianism since 2011, but the ongoing migrant crisis has added weight to his prior warnings, Kronen Zeitung reports.

"I expect a civil war, which will force a fundamental social and political reformation in Europe, whether we like it or not, following the example of the decaying Roman Republic in the first century BC," he said. ...

According to Engels, the factors that brought down the Roman Republic are present in Europe today. He listed many factors like family decay, individualism, the decline of traditional culture, globalisation, fundamentalism, and rampant crime.

Significantly, he noted the split between an oligarch class, the Roman Senators or the current financial and political elite, and the rise of a populist movement that demanded to give the people a voice.

In Europe, those populist voices take the shape of politicians like Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Marine Le Pen in France, and others who the academic compared to populist Roman Senator Publius Clodius Pulcher.

While the migrant crisis plays a part in his vision, Engels said it is not the only factor. "The present population movements are only one of the many symptoms of our present spirit, characterised by a strange mixture of cosmopolitanism, self-doubt, calculus, materialism, and bad conscience," he said. ...

The civil war, which he says cannot be avoided, will likely not look like a traditional military conflict, he said, because European societies are not militarised. Rather, he said the civil war will look like the situation in Sweden where over 50 no-go areas have formed or Brussels where suburbs like Molenbeek were able to hide Paris terrorist Salah Abdeslam from police for months.

French academic and Islamic expert Gilles Kepel made a similar prediction last year saying that the rise of radical Islam among young Muslims in Europe could take the continent into a large-scale civil conflict.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – promoting diversity, USA
College pledges to hire professors based on skin color, mandates social-justice workshops
Toni Airaksinen
The College Fix, 3 February 2017.

A women's college is planning to hire new professors based on the color of their skin because of the "demonstrated benefits" of nonwhite faculty. ...

After a year of deliberation, the Barnard College Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion released a set of draft recommendations last week with the aim of improving "representation, inclusion, and social justice" in the classroom and on campus. ...

Barnard will not "be a truly excellent and leading liberal arts college" until it develops programs to promote "diversity, inclusion and equity," the draft recommendations state. ...

Another personnel recommendation is creating and hiring for the new position of chief diversity officer, which is described more as a coordinator of existing diversity resources. A new Diversity Council will advise the chief, who will "re-conceptualize diversity and inclusion as a strength/priority," it says. ...

According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, the capital campaign has raised 70 percent of its $400 million goal so far.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – border controls, USA
Six of the seven countries on Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban' list also bar visitors based on nationality
Gavin Haines
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2017.

Six nations listed on Trump's controversial executive order, which prohibits citizens of seven countries from visiting the US, also impose travel bans of their own.

According to information supplied by IATA, the International Air Transport Association, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Libya all forbid Israeli passport holders from entering their countries, along with 10 other nations: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Furthermore, eight of those countries – Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Libya – do not accept passports that contain Israeli visas.

Libya also enforces a separate ban on Iranian, Syrian and Palestinian visitors.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – border controls, USA
Trump's visa ban isn't as new as you think
Peter Van Buren
Reuters, 2 February 2017.

President Donald Trump's executive order banning travelers and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries is only the latest twist of dark threads that have long been present in America. The executive order is not unprecedented. It is evolutionary.

The countries affected by Trump's executive order - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - have been singled out under American immigration law since the days following 9/11.

But let's be more specific. Trump's executive order only lists Syria by name. It refers to the other countries in reference to a 2015 Obama-era law, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12). (And the list thus has nothing to do with any of Trump's business interests. He did not create it, nor is he the first American president to omit Saudi Arabia from post-9/11 scrutiny.) That list, part of the Orwellian-named Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, disallows use of America's visa-free travel program to persons who even once visited the targeted nations. So, for example, British citizens otherwise eligible to enter the United States without a visa must instead appear for questioning and be individually approved for an actual printed visa in their passport at an American embassy or consulate abroad. The rule applies even if their travel was as a journalist or member of a volunteer health team.

Though Trump in his crude style proposes "extreme vetting," such a process has been in place since the George W. Bush administration, continued under Barack Obama, and is operating today. It too has an Orwellian name, "administrative processing." Among the nations affected: those same seven countries. People from these nations go through an alternate visa procedure that delays their travel as they wait to be vetted by various intelligence agencies. Some applications are left to pend indefinitely.

There were no mass dissent memos filed by State Department employees over any of those steps. ...

A total of 30 American governors said they'd refuse to accept Syrian refugees into their states if they could. Some 60 percent of all Americans oppose accepting any Syrian refugees. A little less than half of Americans polled support suspending immigration from "terror prone regions." ...

8 U.S.C. 1152 Sec. 202(a)(1)(A) makes it unlawful to ban immigrants (Legal Permanent Residents, green card holders) because of "nationality, place of birth, or place of residence." The law however is silent on banning non-immigrants such as tourists or students, as well as refugees, for those same reasons.

And even though legal immigrants are not banned by nationality or place of birth per se, yearly limits on the number of immigrants from certain nations are near-virtual bans. ...

The ugly truth is despite the protests, a number of Americans remain afraid of foreigners and want what Trump is giving them. They always have. There is unfortunately little here unique at its core to the Trump era.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – border controls, USA
UAE say Donald Trump's migration ban is NOT anti-Islamic and point out that the majority of Muslims are still free to travel to the US
Afp and Julian Robinson
MailOnline, 2 February 2017.

The United Arab Emirates claims Donald Trump's migration ban is not anti-Islamic after pointing out that the majority of Muslims are still free to travel to the US.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the controversial measure, affecting seven mainly Muslim countries, is not directed at any religion.

Trump's executive order on Friday singled out citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to prevent 'radical Islamic terrorists' from entering the United States.
[Site link]

Emigration – Europe
The European countries where up to 40 per cent of the population have moved abroad (and yes, they're almost all in the East)
Abe Hawken
MailOnline, 2 February 2017.

A new map of Europe has revealed where huge swathes of a country's population have decided to move and live abroad.

European countries including Portugal, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Moldova have seen more than a fifth of their population emigrate.

Meanwhile, the detailed map shows how almost five million people who were born in the United Kingdom had left to move to other countries by the end of 2015.

Figures from the population division of the UN show the percentage of people who have left the country they were born in.

In Ireland, 18.8 per cent of those born in the country have left to move to another.

The highest number of people to leave was in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Around 1.6 million people born in the country were living overseas by 2015.

This was the equivalent of 43.3 per cent - five per cent more than the next country, Albania. ...

The United Kingdom was the most popular destination for those who were born in Lithuania, Ireland and Cyprus.

And the figures of 4.97 million Brits living overseas is the highest in the European Union, followed by Poland with 4.4 million people.

The number of Poles living in other countries was 11.5 per cent of its population in 2015 - a higher percentage than the UK.

Germany had 4 million people leave the country by the end of 2015 - or 5 per cent - while Italy had 2.9 million - equating to 4.9 per cent.
[Site link]

Politics – public opinion
Yvette Cooper calls for national debate on immigration as she launches inquiry
Heather Stewart and Anushka Asthana
The Guardian, 2 February 2017.

Governments have failed for decades to build a national consensus about immigration because it was, "too difficult to talk about", according to Yvette Cooper – who is launching a parliamentary inquiry into the issue.

The home affairs select committee chair said Labour and Conservative governments had missed the opportunity to build public support for immigration, and she now hopes her committee will "have a debate about immigration around the country, which in truth we have never properly had".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – deportation, USA
Bill Targets Countries Refusing to Take Back Criminals
Brendan Kirby
LifeZette, 2 February 2017.

In an executive order signed last month, Trump directed the State and Homeland Security departments to "ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition ... the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States."

Legislation by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) includes a provision available but rarely used under existing law – suspension of visas for countries that are deemed non-cooperative in accepting their citizens who have been convicted of crimes and ordered deported. ...

"There is absolutely no reason that criminal aliens should be released back onto America's streets, yet that is exactly what is happening by the thousands each and every year because their countries of origin refuse to take them back," Babin said in a prepared statement.

Government data suggests it is more than a trivial problem. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials list 23 countries as "recalcitrant" when it comes to deportations. A report released in October by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) indicates that 242,772 people have final deportation orders but cannot be returned home because they come from one of those 23 countries or 62 others deemed "non-cooperative." That is a quarter of the 953,806 illegal immigrants who had been ordered deported but remain in America. ...

The prospects for Babin's bill are unclear. He introduced it last year, but it did not get a vote in the House of Representatives. This year, 29 representatives – including Democrat Henry Cuellar of Texas – have signed on as co-sponsors.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – USA
Nearly 900 refugees will be allowed to enter the US despite Donald Trump's executive order
Samuel Osborne
Independent, 1 February 2017.

Nearly 900 refugees will be allowed into the United States this week despite Donald Trump's executive order suspending the nation's refugees program.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection agency, said 872 refugees would be granted waivers.

Mr McAleenan told a news conference the move was allowed under the order in instances where refugees were ready for travel and stopping them would cause "undue hardship". ...

Since the order, 721 travellers trying to enter from the seven countries were denied entry, Mr McAleenan said.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – public opinion, USA
More Americans support Donald Trump's travel ban than oppose it, poll shows
Chris Kahn
Independent, 1 February 2017.

Americans are sharply divided over President Donald Trump's order to temporarily block US entry for all refugees and citizens of seven Muslim countries, with more approving the measure than disapproving, according new opinion poll.

The 30 to 31 January poll found that 49 per cent of American adults said they either "strongly" or "somewhat" agreed with Mr Trump's order, while 41 per cent "strongly" or "somewhat" disagreed and another 10 per cent said they don't know. ...

The president, who campaigned on a promise to bring what he called "extreme vetting" to the nation's immigration system, said the order he signed on Friday was meant to protect the country and its borders. "This is not a Muslim ban," he said.

But confusion over who was covered by Mr Trump's order left travellers, airlines and foreign governments scrambling to get clarity from US officials, many of whom were also bewildered.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – health tourism
Nigerian woman, 43, racks up £500,000 NHS bill after giving birth to IVF quadruplets in London hospital after going into labour on flight to Heathrow - hours after she was turned away from the US
Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 1 February 2017.

One of the largest hospitals in the country is chasing a bill of more than £500,000 from a Nigerian woman who gave birth to quadruplets.

The 43-year-old, named only as Priscilla, went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November. ...

Staff estimate that the total bill for the highly complex birth and the care of the babies is already more than £500,000. ...

Her case is revealed tonight in the BBC 2 documentary Hospital, which exposes the pressures of health tourism on the trust. ...

Mr Facey is also chasing a bill of £59,000 from a 56-year-old woman from the Philippines who underwent heart surgery. ...

Mr Facey says other patients frequently 'disappear into the community' before he has the chance to hand them an invoice. ...

The responses from 90 hospitals revealed that 13,077 overseas patients were treated in the UK in 2015/16, including 3,066 pregnant women who flew in and had babies.

These women were responsible for some of the highest debts, the figures showed, and a significant number are understood to have come from Nigeria.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – asylum, deportation, Finland
Finland Amazed at How Many 'Refugee Children' Are in Fact Adults
Sputnik, 1 February 2017.

Finland, which in recent years received a fair share of asylum seekers, is increasingly questioning the applicants' age. According to preliminary estimates, two thirds of asylum seekers posing as children are in fact adults.

When Finnish migration authorities are unsure about the applicant's age, specific tests are carried out. ...

A total of 630 such tests were conducted in 2016, of which in two thirds of the cases conclusive evidence was found that applicant was in fact an adult. According to preliminary data from the Finnish Migration Board (Migri) more than 400 of last year's applicants posing as teenagers were fact adults. ...

Over the past two years, the Finnish Migration Board addressed about 3,500 applications from juvenile applicants, who arrived in Finland without their parents. ...

The majority of adolescent asylum seekers who were granted asylum in Finland in 2016 were from Afghanistan (74 percent), Iraq (11 percent) and Somalia (6 percent).

Incidentally, last year also saw the number of forcible returns from Finland double in comparison with the year before. In 2016, 6,657 people were returned from Finland, of which 1,671 people received an assisted return, meaning an escorted flight to their home country. ...

... In 2016, 32,376 people moved to Finland from abroad.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – border controls, politics, USA, Bangladesh
My pick for the pious political hypocrite of the week award
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 1 February 2017.

I would like to propose Labour MP Tulip Siddiq as the winner of the pious political hypocrite of the week badge for her response to President Trump's temporary immigration halt. From today's Guardian we learn that Ms Siddiq is one of a number of Labour MPs who have warned that the UK Prime Minister's allegedly 'feeble' response to President Trump's recent immigration order risks making UK Muslim communities feel 'disenfranchised and disillusioned.' ...

... The reason why Tulip Siddiq's comments stand out are because of something rather closer to home than US border politics. For as well as being MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Ms Siddiq is also the niece of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina – a woman to whom I understand she is very close. Such are the happy connections of an inter-connected world.

So were I Ms Siddiq, and genuinely concerned about global injustice, I would not spend much time condemning the UK PM for not sufficiently condemning the US President: this is a long and convoluted process, unlikely to yield results. Instead I would pick up the phone and call my aunt. For of course Bangladesh has for many decades run a genuinely bigoted and borderline racist border-control of its own which, among other things, refuses entry to Israeli passport holders.
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Immigration abroad – electoral fraud, USA
Experts: California voter registration system 'highly susceptible' to fraud
Malia Zimmerman
Fox News, 1 February 2017.

California's voter registration system is "highly susceptible to being compromised," because of immigration policies protecting the Golden State's 2.4 million illegal immigrants, authorities have told Fox News.

The integrity of elections may be compromised by a lack of oversight of non-citizens registering and voting, said Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow for the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation. ...

The problem with California is there is no separate verification of citizenship on voter registration, said Charles Bell, Jr., a partner with California-based Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP, a law firm that specializes in election law. Applicants can check a box affirming they are citizens, and this is not checked against any other government database such as federal immigration records. ...

One concern, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Washington D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies, is that California issues driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, allowing them to automatically be registered to vote under the federal "motor-voter" laws. Since the AB60 law went into effect in 2015, 806,000 illegal immigrants have received a license. ...

Even John Podesta, former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, acknowledged in a leaked email that driver's licenses do provide a loophole. ...

President Donald Trump set off a firestorm when he wrote in a November 27 tweet that he would have won the country's popular vote if the "millions of people who voted illegally" hadn't voted. He alleged voter fraud in California, among other states. Trump won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, largely because of California voters. ...

Claude Arnold, who served as the former Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in Southern California, Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, said he has witnessed voter fraud firsthand.

"Throughout my 27-year career with [Immigration and Naturalization Service] and ICE, I arrested hundreds of illegal criminal aliens who had voter registration cards," Arnold said. "They would often admit they voted, but they were rarely prosecuted for illegally voting."

He said most of the time, the alleged criminals were registered Democrats.

"Just one time," he said, "the person was a registered Republican."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – borders, Spain
'Conservative' Spanish Prime Minister Attacks Trump: 'I Don't Believe in Borders'
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 1 February 2017.

Spain's Prime Minister has attracted criticism for declaring he is opposed to national borders, in an attack on U.S. President Donald Trump.

Responding to a question about Trump's decision to suspend asylum seeker arrivals and visas for citizens of seven countries at a media appearance on Tuesday, Mariano Rajoy also insisted that the trend of countries taking control of their borders will go away.

"Well, I am not in favour of vetoes or borders nor do I believe the world will walk in that direction," he said, stating: "So I hope that in the future that this will be fixed and we will all be in a situation of normality.

"I don't believe in walls", the People's Party (PP) leader added, referring to the U.S. president's plans for a physical border with Mexico.

Questioned on fences at Ceuta and Melilla, which protect Spain's border with Morocco from millions of would-be migrants, Rajoy said: "Well, you see, those security measures have been installed for a long time."
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