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 21 January 2017

Racism – actors, casting, theatre
Yellowface protest over 'racist' casting at London theatre
Tristram Fane Saunders
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2017.

A London fringe theatre was surrounded by protestors last night, complaining about the the "racist" casting of its new play.

The play, Howard Barker's In The Depths of Dead Love, is a fable set in a fantastical version of medieval China, where an exiled poet guards a bottomless well. ...

But the new production has been attacked for "yellowface" due to its use of an all-white cast, with campaigners writing to the theatre's patron Princess Eugenie asking her to condemn the show by withdrawing her support.

A crowd of more than fifty gathered at Notting Hill's Print Room, one protester holding a sign that read "This production was made by racists", while others shouted "shame on you" at audience members leaving the theatre.

A post on the protest's Facebook group explained: "Historically, yellowface meant the practice of an actor of non-East-Asian heritage applying make-up to yellow their skin and tape their eyes so as to appear East Asian. Now yellowface is understood to mean any actor of non-East-Asian heritage playing an East Asian role."

The venue has released a statement apologising for "any offence caused," and asserting that "The Print Room has long been a champion of multiculturalism and diversity in the arts in London," but claiming the work is an "English" play.

Although the theatre's website describes the play as "set in ancient China", their statement said: "In the Depths of Dead Love is not a Chinese play and the characters are not Chinese. The production references a setting in Ancient China and the characters' names are Chinese. These are literary allusions in Howard Barker's fable and never intended to be taken literally.

"It is, in fact a very 'English' play and is derived from thoroughly English mores and simply references the mythic and the ancient," it continued. "It has therefore been cast accordingly.'"

But the theatre's excuse only made matters worse, according to Kumiko Mendl, artistic director of acclaimed British East-Asian theatre company Yellow Earth theatre. ...

"The statement said that this is an 'English' play – as if, by implication, we're not English," Mendl told The Telegraph. "There are a great many wonderful, talented British Asian actors, but we get few enough roles as it is, because we're not seen as English." ...

People at the protest were given copies of a statement, printed on yellow paper, by Dr Amanda Rogers and Dr Ashley Thorpe, two university academics who have published essays on race and casting. ...

Speaking to the Guardian in January, Barker compared the show to productions of his other plays, pointing out that there had been no complaints when non-Greek actors were cast in his play about the Trojan War. "We have to accept as a principle that anyone from any place or culture can play any role," he said.
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Politics – EU referendum
Tony Blair 'CAUSED BREXIT' as immigration FAILURE sparked CHAOS, Hammond blasts
Lana Clements
Daily Express, 21 January 2017.

Remainer Tony Blair has been blamed for the Brexit vote in a blasting by Chancellor Philip Hammond at Davos.

The Chancellor told the World Economic Forum that Mr Blair's failure to negotiate a deal to stop mass migration to Britain in 2004, when the Eastern bloc joined the EU sparked public unrest against Brussels. ...

Discussing the referendum debate, Mr Hammond said: "What there was, clearly, was a strong strand of feeling against uncontrolled migration.

"And I lay the responsibility for that squarely at the door of Prime Minister Blair who failed to impose transitional regime in the UK in 2004.

"So that while other countries in Europe smoothly transitioned the A8 members and the freedom of movement from A8 members, Britain took the full force of the tide in 2004 and that created a public perception, which we still haven't shaken off to this day."
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Border controls – cost
Eurotunnel migrant breaches 'stopped 20,000 times'
BBC, 20 January 2017.

More than 20,000 breaches of security by migrants at the Channel Tunnel terminal in France were thwarted in 2016, Eurotunnel has claimed.

Spokesman John Keefe said increased surveillance had reduced "what was a disruption every night, down to no disruption to services for 18 months".

Eurotunnel said it was now spending 20m euros (£17.2m) a year on security.

However, Border Force union officials said staff reported that attempts to breach security remained high.

That figure has doubled from previous years despite the dismantling of the Calais jungle. ...

Kevin Mills, from the PCS union which represents Border Force staff, said his staff were not reporting the number of attempts to get through controls had fallen.

He said: "Everything we are hearing is that the numbers of attempts are high, if not higher than before."
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Immigration – birth rates, population replacement
Let's talk about the link between immigration and low reproduction rates
William Reville
Irish Times, 20 January 2017.
[William Reville is an emeritus professor of biochemistry at UCC]

To paraphrase The Communist Manifesto, "A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of demographic extinction". Birth rates have dropped drastically across the developed world and population numbers are being topped up by immigration. If this continues, elementary demographic calculations show that indigenous populations and cultures will vanish. One would imagine this prospect would rival climate change as a topic for heated public debate but, amazingly, almost nobody is talking about it.

... Birth rates are voluntarily declining worldwide and are well below replacement level in economically developed countries. ...

... Longer-term UN projections predict that, if European fertility rates remain at current low levels, half the European countries would lose at least 95 per cent of their population by 2300. For example, Italy (current fertility rate of 1.4) would only have 1 per cent of its population left.


But what about migration and immigration? Well, cross-border immigration presently accounts for much of the population growth seen in developed countries with low fertility rates. Fertility rates among the immigrants are usually significantly greater than indigenous rates in the host states. ...

A certain level of migration is inevitable because of people fleeing wars and natural disasters, and such migration must be accommodated. But there are also powerful incentives motivating people to migrate from poor to developed countries in order to better their lives /.../ However, a continuing high-level of such immigration into developed countries has predictable negative consequences.

Although immigration buoys up population numbers, providing a convenient supply of workers to maintain the economies of developed countries, immigration cannot prop up the indigenous cultures in the host countries. Unless indigenous fertility rates increase sharply, immigration-induced restructuring of many European nation states can be expected to first dilute and eventually replace indigenous cultures and social structures and experience to date predicts troublesome upheaval to accompany this transition. Surely Europe needs to rethink its attitudes to indigenous fertility rates and immigration policies.

Immigration is now an election issue in many countries. The debate usually revolves around fears that immigrants drive down wages, dilute social welfare and take jobs that would otherwise be available to native nationals. But the deeper questions are: how did we lose the will to replace ourselves and, knowing the demographic consequences of losing that will, can we reclaim it? These vitally important questions call for vibrant public debate.
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Immigration – discrimination
Britons aren't actually opposed to free movement. They just don't want it with the EU
Andrew Lilico
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2017.

For decades, the UK has discriminated in its immigration policies, depending upon where the immigrant was from. It has been easier to get into the UK if you were from, say, France than if you were from, say, Somalia. We thus have no deep-seated objection to discriminating between countries.

We are now leaving the EU. There appear to be two broad schools of thought on how our post-Brexit immigration policies should work. According to one idea, we should take the opportunity of Brexit to be completely non-discriminating, treating immigrants from all countries in the same way. According to the other idea, we should continue to give favourable treatment to immigrants from the EU, just not as favourable, relative to other countries, as we have had up to now.

But why are these the only two options? Why couldn't we have more favourable treatment for immigrants from some other countries than the EU? Folk say: "Voters want immigration from everywhere curtailed." But that just isn't true. Specifically, last year the Royal Commonwealth Society conducted a survey of views on whether there should be completely movement between the Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK (the so-called "Canzuk" countries). That found three to one support in the UK, among those with an opinion (58 per cent including those "unsure") for free movement within Canzuk. (Support was, incidentally, even higher among those in the other Canzuk states: five to one in Canada, seven to one in Australia, and eight to one in New Zealand.)

We do not currently have free movement within Canzuk. So, far from UK voters wanting a crackdown on immigration from the Canzuk countries (which, for example, the British government is doing from this April within its £1,000 per worker, per year "immigration skills charge"), voters actually want the rules relaxed!

We seem queasy about saying it, but voters do not regard immigration from all countries as the same. Our policy has not regarded it as the same, either, for decades, if ever. So the question is not really "is it legitimate to discriminate?" The real question is: "which countries do we want to discriminate in favour of?"

Perhaps three easy examples of countries Britons are happy to discriminate in favour of are Man, Guernsey and Ireland. ...

It's clear from the opinion polls that Britons regard Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders qualitatively differently from folk of every other country. ...

Britons don't think of Canzuk countries in the same way they think of any other countries in the world, and they don't want to restrict immigration from these countries.
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Immigration – politics, public opinion
Cutting immigration will not placate British voters
The Economist, 21 January 2017.

Theresa May's speech on Brexit lasted almost an hour, but five seconds would have sufficed. She could just have said: "Immigration controls will be imposed at any cost." /.../ So expect drastic immigration cuts when, in 2019, free movement is replaced by a system of work permits.

The prime minister's thinking is not hard to fathom. Immigration was integral to the anti-EU campaign in the Brexit referendum. A poll of Leave voters' motivations commissioned by Lord Ashcroft, a Tory peer, after the vote found that regaining control of borders had been second only to casting off rules from Brussels. Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of the Brexit victory, says: "All focus groups now start with immigration and tend to revert to it within two minutes unless you stop them." One only has to join an MP on a canvassing round to see what he means: door after door, residents raise it when asked what bothers them.

Yet such sessions also make clear that immigration is no monolithic political issue. It contains multitudes. And picking these apart suggests Mrs May should think twice about slamming the door.

That starts with being frank about something politicians use patronisingly tortuous insincerities to describe: some voters just don't like immigrants. These voters are not bad people – they may be pillars of their communities, compassionate and generous to their fellow citizens – but they dislike hearing foreign languages, mistrust cultures other than the native one and assume foreigners are scoundrels and malingerers. This group is a small minority: in 2015 YouGov, a pollster, found that 10% of respondents would mind if someone of a different ethnicity moved next door; 16% if he or she married one of their children. ...

Which is not to say that culture is irrelevant. /.../ Reducing numbers is therefore unlikely to get to the heart of their complaints.

Most of all, however, objections to immigration are material. According to polls by Ipsos MORI, the five most-cited reasons people give when asked why they consider immigration too high are: job shortages, overcrowding, pressures on the state, welfare strains and housing shortages. ...

Even if all this were wrong, and Britons really disliked the people who moved to join them on their islands, would shutting the borders cheer them up? Views about immigration bear only an imprecise relationship to the number of immigrants. ...

To politicians struggling with the subject: there are alternatives. Ditch the constipated talk of "concerns about immigration" (which only looks evasive) and make the honest case for the current, controlled levels. /.../ Before reaching for reckless immigration cuts, pick the low-hanging fruit.
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Immigration abroad – European Union
New Euro President to force EU members to SHARE asylum seeker numbers
Laura Mowat
Daily Express, 19 January 2017.

Asylum seekers will be dished out among EU member states, under plans proposed by the new President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, despite quota systems already being widely rejected.

Mr Tajani, who was voted in as the new president to replace Martin Schulz, will put migration rules at the top of his to-do list, as well as Brexit negotiations and rescuing EU trade policy as deals are in a dire state.

The Italian politician, from the centre-right European People's Party group – headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, is an ex-European commissioner and has taken over from Germany's Martin Schulz.
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Immigration abroad – terrorism, Germany
German security forces to review hundreds of migrants deemed a security risk
Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Independent, 19 January 2017.

Hundreds of asylum seekers deemed a security risk will have their cases reviewed by German authorities in the wake of December's terror attack on a Berlin Christmas market which left 12 people dead.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the country's Joint Terrorism Task Force would examine the cases of 547 people to determine if they needed to be deported or taken into custody.

It came as Social Democrats politician Burkhard Lischka revealed authorities had lost track of three people identified as being high risk.

This prompted some to draw parallels with Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, the suspected Berlin attacker, who managed to evade authorities and flee to Italy where he was eventually gunned down in a shootout with police in Milan.
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Politics – Labour Party
Dan Jarvis: Labour must get tough on immigration or face election meltdown
Kevin Schofield
PoliticsHome, 19 January 2017.

Dan Jarvis has warned that Labour is heading for a general election disaster unless it makes clear it no longer backs freedom of movement.

The MP - tipped by many as a future Labour leader - said the party will definitely lose seats unless it makes the "progressive" case for restricting the number of immigrants coming to Britain. ...

The Labour leader was criticised last week after he watered down a speech in which he was expected to harden Labour's stance on free movement.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has also warned that Labour should not try to be "Ukip-lite" on immigration.

But Mr Jarvis said the party must address the concerns that many Labour voters have on the issue. ...

"There's nothing progressive about not listening to the concerns of the people we have come into politics to represent." ...

"Not for a moment am I trying to out-Ukip Ukip, but it's about a fair, reasonable system of immigration which makes it work more effectively for our country than it has done previously. That is a perfectly progressive way to proceed."
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Politics – Conservative Party
'An immigration system that serves the national interest': How Theresa May vows to regain control of Britain's borders and end free movement
Matt Dathan
MailOnline, 18 January 2017.

Theresa May vowed to deliver an immigration system that 'serves the national interest' today as she put regaining control of Britain's borders at the centre of her plan for Brexit.

Ending EU freedom of movement rules would be a top priority in the upcoming negotiations with Brussels, she said.

And although she insisted UK firms will continue to be able to fill skills shortages by recruiting foreigner workers, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the 'sheer volume' of migration over the last decade had put a huge strain on public services. ...

Mrs May insisted Britain will still attract the 'brightest and the best' to work and study in Britain and told Brexit hardliners that the UK's openness to international talent must remain 'one of this country's most distinctive assets'.

But she added: 'That process must be managed properly so that our immigration system serves the national interest.

'So we will get control of the number of people coming to Britain from the EU.

'Because while controlled immigration can bring great benefits – filling skills shortages, delivering public services, making British businesses the world-beaters they often are – when the numbers get too high, public support for the system falters.'

Explaining how she had seen first-hand the pressures open-door immigration had put on public services, Mrs May said: 'In the last decade or so, we have seen record levels of net migration in Britain, and that sheer volume has put pressure on public services, like schools, stretched our infrastructure, especially housing, and put a downward pressure on wages for working class people.

'As Home Secretary for six years, I know that you cannot control immigration overall when there is free movement to Britain from Europe.

She added: 'Britain is an open and tolerant country. We will always want immigration, especially high-skilled immigration, we will always want immigration from Europe, and we will always welcome individual migrants as friends.

'But the message from the public before and during the referendum campaign was clear: Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. And that is what we will deliver.'
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Multiculturalism – learning languages
Cambridge professor calls on Brits to learn Urdu and Polish to make migrants feel welcome
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 18 January 2017.

Britons should learn languages such as Polish, Punjabi and Urdu to make immigrant families feel more at home, according to a Cambridge University professor.

Many more English speakers should think of immigration as a 'two-way street' and be able to communicate in another language to aid integration and social cohesion, said academic Wendy Ayres-Bennett.

The call flies in the face of two major reports into integration in British society which called on immigrants to learn English if they want to live in the UK. ...

Prof Ayres-Bennett, head of French philology and linguistics at the University of Cambridge and leader of the MEITS project promoting multi-lingualism, said: "It is very important to think of integration as a two-way street.

"I would like to see more opportunities for British people to learn some of the community languages of the UK, such as Polish, Punjabi and Urdu, particularly in areas where there are high numbers of those speakers, so that there is some mutual effort in understanding the others' language and culture.

"Even a basic knowledge would be beneficial, which might be acquired formally or through engaging in joint community projects.

"Considering the issue from the point of view of language learning, we rightly expect immigrants to learn English but, as a nation, we often don't see the need ourselves to learn another language, and consider it to be something difficult and only for the intellectual elite."
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Council SAVAGED for allowing care home to be transformed into huge asylum seekers' hostel
Chris Riches
Daily Express, 18 January 2017.

Furious campaigners today blasted a council for allowing a greenbelt care home to be transformed into a huge asylum seekers' hostel.

In 2015, the Lilycross Care Centre in Widnes, Cheshire, was emptied after health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) branded it "inadequate".

But despite thousands petitioning against the plans, Halton Borough Council has now given the green light for it to become an hostel for 120 asylum seekers.

On Monday night 150 furious locals raged as a council planning meeting ignored a 4,000-strong petition, including a Labour MP as a signatory, and approved the hostel. ...

The petitions even include objections from local Labour Cllr Andrew McManus and even Labour's Halton MP Derek Twigg. ...

Only 11 people contacted the council to support the asylum hostel plan.

Yet instead building owner Abid Chudary successfully won approval to turn it into an asylum seekers' centre to be run by Serco, on behalf of the Home Office.
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Illegal immigration – fraud
Thousands use 'fake life' scam to get into the UK
Paul Grant
BBC, 17 January 2017.
[File on 4: Breaking into Britain is on BBC Radio 4, 17 January at 20:00 GMT]

Thousands of people are faking living in Ireland to get family members into the UK, a BBC investigation has revealed.

The scam involves UK nationals who want to bring in close relatives from outside the European Economic Area.

Police said immigration advisers, lawyers and accountants were behind the multi-million pound fraud.

The UK government is warning it is a growing industry that exploits European free-movement rules.

The scam uses the so-called Surinder Singh route, named after a historical immigration court case.

If a UK national lives and works in another European country for a period of time, they can be considered under EU rather than British law on their return.

That means that if they have been joined by a non-EEA spouse, they are allowed to bring them into the UK without having to meet certain immigration requirements that apply to Britons.

This route has grown in popularity since 2012, when the government introduced a minimum income a UK citizen had to earn before they could bring a spouse from outside the EU into the UK.

Each year, about 20,000 non-European family members come into the UK this way.

The fraudsters are charging thousands of pounds to create a fake life so it looks like someone has genuinely moved to a European country - in most cases Ireland - while in fact they have stayed in the UK. ...

Det Supt Courage said police were examining cases from the past three years and had already identified 600 where they believed someone had obtained EU treaty rights illegally.
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Immigration abroad – Europe
Europe braced for TENS OF THOUSANDS of migrants to arrive in 'record levels' this year
Belinda Robinson
Daily Express, 17 January 2017.

Europe is bracing itself for tens of thousands of migrants expected to travel to the continent this year as "record levels" of immigrants seek a better life.

Refugees from Libya are expected to trek across deserts and board unseaworthy vessels in a bid to reach Europe through Italy. ...

Some European leaders are warning of a fresh migration crisis when sea waters warm again and more people choose to put their lives in the hands of smugglers.

Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the European Union's presidency, predicted: "Come next spring, the number of people crossing over the Mediterranean will reach record levels."
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Racism – students
How the Stepford students rekindled racial thinking
Brendan O'Neill
Spectator blog, 17 January 2017.

Many mad things are happening on campuses. /.../ But perhaps the worst thing is the rekindling of the racial imagination, the return of judging people by race.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the US, a day when Americans, and many non-Americans too, celebrate the man who most famously said people should 'not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character'. Also yesterday, it was reported that the student union at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London thinks white professors aren't capable of teaching black students. A report produced by the SU said 'non-white students' find it hard to develop 'cultural familiarity' with white professors, because their 'experiences are so different'. Apparently it is 'unrealistic to expect white tutors to be able to empathise with [black students]'. Shorter version: whites can't understand blacks, and vice versa. Sorry, MLK – colour trumps character.

What's the solution to this apparently unbridgeable racial divide? SOAS needs to institute 'mandatory unconscious bias workshops' for all staff on recruitment panels, to wash out their unwittingly racist brains and make them hire more black staff to teach black students. So not satisfied with resuscitating the foul old idea that whites and blacks can't understand each other, the SU also wants to set up racial re-education camps, to make staff more racially aware. 'Racial awareness' – a fancy term for racial thinking. ...

The campus left's tragic turn from challenging racial thinking to embracing it speaks to the baleful influence of identity politics. Once the left spoke of solidarity, of rejecting the petty categories of biology and sex in favour of bringing people together around shared interests; now it obsesses over our cultural and inherited traits and boxes us off accordingly. ...

It's actually incredibly offensive to black students to say they relate better to black thinkers. It implies they're incapable of doing the thing education demands, of everyone: that we rise above ourselves, escape that which is 'culturally familiar', and grapple with new, strange ideas.
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Benefits and costs – cost, health tourism
Nigerian mother racks up £350,000 bill in NHS hospital after flying to Britain to give birth to twins
Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 16 January 2017.

A hospital is chasing a £350,000 bill racked up by a Nigerian mother who flew to Britain to give birth to twins. ...

The Government has been accused repeatedly of failing to clamp down on health tourism, which is thought to cost up to £280 million a year.

Patients face fewer checks on eligibility for free treatment than in other countries. ...

The case at Luton was uncovered through a series of freedom of information requests sent by the Mail to all hospitals in England.

A spokesman confirmed the hospital was owed £348,683 by the Nigerian mother who gave birth to twins in 2015. ...

The responses from 90 hospitals revealed that 13,077 overseas patients were treated in the UK in 2015-16, including 3,066 mothers who flew in to have their babies.

These women were responsible for some of the highest debts and a significant number are understood to have come from Nigeria. ...

Nigerian women and their husbands swap tips on how to give birth in NHS hospitals in an online discussion forum called Nairaland.
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Asylum – homosexuality
Migrants granted asylum in UK because they're gay rockets 450 PER CENT
Rebecca Perring
Daily Express, 16 January 2017.

The number of migrants claiming asylum in Britain because of their sexuality has rocketed 450 per cent in just five years, with MPs claiming it is difficult for the Home Office to prove they are genuinely gay.

Figures have risen by a staggering amounts as refugees claim they would be in danger if they were not given sanctuary.

In 2014, 1,115 people claimed refuge in Britain due to their sexuality.

However in 2009, it was as few as 200 claimants who claimed their sexuality could lead to death if they were sent back to their homeland.

Conservative MP David Burrowes linked the rise to a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 which stopped the Home Office rejecting claims over its view that sexuality could be kept hidden.

He told the newspaper: "The challenge for the Home Office and asylum seekers is having to prove your sexuality." ...

The shocking figures come after it emerged posters displayed in the sprawling Calais Jungle encouraged desperate migrants to lie about their sexuality in order to help their asylum claims. ...

The majority of claimants were from Pakistan, which will be handed £441 million in British foreign aid this year.

Between 2007 and 2014, 748 Pakistani nationals claimed asylum because of their sexuality.

In the same period, 343 Nigerians, 112 Jamaicans and 88 Ghanaians gave being gay as a reason to stay.
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Multiculturalism – births
Third of babies born in England and Wales in 2015 have at least one foreign parent
Michael Hamilton
The Sun on Sunday, 15 January 2017.

Almost a third of babies born in England and Wales have at least one foreign-born parent, figures obtained by The Sun on Sunday reveal.

And in some areas of the country more than four in every five new born babies has at least one immigrant parent.

Latest figures – covering the whole of 2015 – show that there were a total of 141,203 babies born where both parents had been born abroad.

Another 89,608 born were born to a couple where one of the parents was an immigrant.

In total 679,852 children were born during that year.

It means that in England and Wales 33 per cent – just under a third – of children born in had at least one parent who had travelled here after being born abroad.

But a breakdown of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveals huge variations across the country in where these migrants' babies are being born.

In London, the Olympic 2012 borough of Newham saw 84 percent of new-borns in 2015 have at least one migrant parent.

The 12 areas with the next highest proportion of migrants' children were also London boroughs including Brent, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Haringey.

Across the whole of the capital 66.2 per cent of all babies born – or 85,837 – had at least one immigrant parent.

Outside London, town and cities including that saw the majority of new- borns have one or both immigrant parents included Slough (71.5 per cent), Luton (67.7) and Oxford (59.6).

Watford, Cambridge, Leicester, Manchester and Reading all also recorded figures higher than 50 per cent. ...

Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman, of Migration Watch UK, said: "These figures show how uncontrolled migration leads to pressure on services; in this case maternity services and, in due course, on school places too.

"Our population is growing at its fastest in 100 years, driven mainly by migration; that is why getting current levels down is an absolute must." ...

Polish-born mothers gave birth to the most babies in England and Wales in 2015 – accounting for 22,928 new arrivals.

They were followed by mums from Pakistan (17,342), India (13,780) and Romania (8,734).

For foreign-born fathers of babies born here the nations that accounted for the most births were Pakistan (19,236), Poland (17,704), India (13,798) and Bangladesh (8,699).
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Racism – education
Old white dons 'unable to teach black students'
Sian Griffiths and Julie Henry
Sunday Times, 15 January 2017.

Black students' progress is being stalled by university tutors who are "60-year-old white men" and "potentially racist", according to students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London.

In a report called Degrees of Racism, the student union demands that "all academics must be prepared to acknowledge that they are capable of racism".

It claims unconscious bias is rife at the school – part of the University of London – and that white tutors allow white male students to dominate class discussions and have lower expectations of black and ethnic minority (BME) students because of "racist stereotypes of people of colour as less capable, or lazy".
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Immigration abroad – Europe
Europe braces for the next wave of 'record levels' of migrants and economic refugees
Lorne Cook
Business Insider, 15 January 2017.

Tens of thousands of people seeking better lives are expected to trek across deserts and board unseaworthy boats in war-torn Libya this year in a desperate effort to reach European shores by way of Italy. ...

Some European leaders are warning of a fresh migration crisis when sea waters warm again and more people choose to put their lives in the hands of smugglers.

"Come next spring, the number of people crossing over the Mediterranean will reach record levels," Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the European Union's presidency, predicted. ...

Muscat wants to build on a deal Italy is trying to reach with Libya by adding EU funds and other support. He also thinks the EU's anti-smuggler naval mission, Operation Sophia, should be extended into Libyan territorial waters to stop people in unsafe boats from reaching open water.

Easier said than done. The EU has been unable to secure United Nations backing for such a move, and Libya has no central authority with the reach or stability to negotiate a long-term agreement with the Europeans.
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Powers to stop UK jihadists' return ignored
Ben Farmer
Daily Telegraph, 14 January 2017.

Powers to stop suspected jihadists and terrorists from returning to Britain unless they submit to strict controls have never been used, almost two years after they were introduced.

Temporary Exclusion Orders were unveiled by David Cameron amid fears extremists fighting for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) abroad could continue their struggle back in Britain. More than 850 Britons are thought to have travelled to Iraq and Syria.

Yvette Cooper, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said: "Given that the threat from Isil remains extremely serious, and that the Government said these measures were so crucial, they need to explain why none have been used after all." ...

A spokesman for the Home Office said the orders were "one of a number of tools available" and the Government regularly used other powers to seize passports or control suspects.
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Terrorism – Europe
'Enormous danger' 10,000 leave Europe to RAPE and MURDER for ISIS, security chief warns
Jon Rogers
Daily Express, 14 January 2017.

Around 10,000 people from European countries have "set out to rape and murder in Syria and Iraq" under the Islamic State, the new chairman of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has said.

Sebastian Kurz made the remarks during his first speech in his new role, warning that those who return from the Middle East countries pose an "enormous danger" to Europe.

Mr Kurz, who is also Austria's foreign minister said that stronger action against terrorism by radicalised and extremist Islamists was needed across all the 57 member states that comprise the group.

He told the Permanent Council: "We know that around 10,000 people from the OSCE area have set out to rape and murder in Syria and Iraq.

"They are also an enormous danger when they return."

"We want to contribute to strengthening co-operative security and defusing existing conflicts."
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Racism – history
Black Campaigners Slam Lack of 'Diversity' in Dictionary of People who Shaped Britain
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 14 January 2017.

Campaigners are angry that most of the new entrants in a dictionary of people who shaped Britain are white, claiming black people have been 'airbrushed' from the country's history.

Critics called on editors to widen the scope of their research, as they say the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) fails to "truly reflect the contribution black people have made" to British life and history.

Five people from ethnic minority backgrounds are among the 241 new entrants added in the latest edition of the online reference book, which only publishes new entries four years after their deaths.

Director of Operation Black Vote, Simon Woolley, called the low number of black people among the ODNB new entries a "tragedy" and accused editors of having a "narrow view of great talent".
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Crime – police
Metropolitan Police accuses honour crimes whistleblower of gross misconduct
Hannah Summers
Daily Telegraph, 14 January 2017.

A Scotland Yard whistleblower who claimed the Crown Prosecution Service is failing Asian female victims of honour crimes has been served a formal notice alleging gross misconduct for talking to the press by his employers at the Metropolitan Police.

Det Sgt Pal Singh is facing possible disciplinary sanctions and even dismissal after disclosing to The Daily Telegraph that he believes "apathy" by prosecutors led to the collapse of what could have been the first conviction for forced marriage in England.

He claims his treatment is "indicative of state censorship" and shows "public institutions are more concerned about their reputations than the victims of crime".

In an article on Nov 8, 2016, he raised concerns that a "politically correct" CPS was failing to pursue convictions over honour crimes for fear of causing "unrest" in Asian communities. After the article appeared, the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, made inquiries into the alleged failings by the CPS.

His comments were supported by charities and Theresa May responded by insisting there was "no honour in so-called honour crimes".

Now Det Sgt Singh, who believes he should be protected by whistleblower legislation, has been informed he must attend a misconduct hearing.
[Site link]

Crime – motorists
Fears over uninsured drivers after record numbers fail to show ID
Martin Evans
Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2017.

Record numbers of motorists are failing to supply valid documents after being stopped by the police, amid mounting concern over the number of uninsured or unqualified foreign drivers on British roads.

In the past five years more than quarter of a million motorists have refused to disclose their identities after being challenged to do so by officers.

When a driver is stopped by police, they can be asked to provide on the spot identification such as a driving licence, insurance certificate or MOT certificate.

If the driver fails to do so, they must supply the correct ID information at a police station within seven days or risk being convicted. ...

Figures from the Ministry of Justice have revealed that in the past five years 280,000 drivers have failed to provide valid documents, with 73,000 in 2015 alone. ...

Transport experts believe the dramatic rise in the offence could be down to an increase in the number of uninsured drivers and foreign motorists who do not have the necessary qualifications to drive on British roads.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
The SECRET route migrants are using to enter Europe
Joey Millar
Daily Express, 13 January 2017.

Border guards said criminal organisations are smuggling people from Belarus, which is not in the European Union, into Lithuania, which is a member.

Renatas Pozela of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service revealed: "The transit route through Lithuania has been used for many years.

"We are also seeing constant attempts to open new corridors, mostly by Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are trying to reach Scandinavian countries."

Hundreds of those entering Europe via this route are Vietnamese citizens - many of whom had been working in Russia.

Due to an economic downturn in the country, many of these workers are now seeking employment in Europe. They travel from Russia to Belarus before Chechen smugglers help them into the European Union.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Islam, Italy
'Everyone will be Muslim because of our stupidity' Catholic leader blasts 'WEAK' church
Belinda Robinson
Daily Express, 13 January 2017.

A prominent figure in the Catholic church has controversially suggested that everyone will "soon be Muslim" because Italy lives in an increasingly secular society amid rapidly growing migration figures.

Monsignor Carlo Liberati, an Italian Archbishop, gave the warning after observing the growing number of detention centres opening up in Europe, suggesting it was a sure fire way to have the Islamic faith become mainstream. ...

Figures show that there were 5,014,437 foreign nationals resident in Italy as of January 1, 2015, an increase of 92,352 on the previous year.

Italy has also seen a sharp rise in the number of illegal immigrants who dock on its shores after making the dangerous boat ride from North Africa across the Mediterranean sea.

And there has been a growing number of Eastern Europeans and Romanians migrating to the country since the expansion of the European Union.
[Site link]

Racism – hate incident, free speech
Anti-immigration speech made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd was logged as a 'hate incident' by police... after complaint from lecturer who didn't see it
Andy Dolan
Daily Mail, 13 January 2017.

A speech on immigration by the Home Secretary was recorded by police as a 'hate incident' after a complaint by an Oxford don who had not even heard it.

Amber Rudd used her address to the Tory conference in October to propose tougher rules for immigrant workers and foreign students to ensure those from abroad were 'not taking jobs British people could do'.

She said the proposals would help the Government to examine 'whether we should tighten the test companies have to take before recruiting from abroad'.

She announced a consultation on plans to force businesses to set out the proportion of their staff recruited from abroad, but this proposal was later dropped.

At the time, Miss Rudd batted away criticism from the Left over the speech, saying she had been 'very thoughtful' in wording it and that 'we should be able to have a conversation about immigration'.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said she wanted to force companies to 'draw up lists of foreign workers' and claimed the Tories were 'fanning the flames of xenophobia and hatred'.

Oxford Professor Joshua Silver reported the Home Secretary to the police, claiming her comments were 'probably not lawful' because they were intended to make Britain less tolerant towards foreigners. ...

Yesterday Prof Silver told BBC2's Daily Politics show Miss Rudd had made comments that 'discriminated against foreigners' but admitted he had not heard the speech after being grilled by presenter Andrew Neil. ...

Mr Tatchell, director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, which campaigns for human rights, said: 'Even though many people would disagree with Rudd's comments, they clearly do not constitute a hate crime.

'Throwing these accusations around frivolously demeans and devalues genuine hate crime that causes people real suffering.'

West Midlands Police said it had assessed the academic's complaint but it had not been formally investigated. It has written to Prof Silver saying the inquiry is over and the matter 'recorded in line with the National Police Chiefs' Council's manual as a non-crime hate incident'.
[Site link]

Terrorism – Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Vulnerable people are being 'radicalised in refugee centres'
The Local [Austria], 13 January 2017.

An undercover reporter who visited 35 asylum centres throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland says security is so bad that they risk fomenting terrorism as radicals can easily infiltrate them and convert vulnerable people to their cause. ...

Ul-Haq managed to get into 35 different asylum centres throughout the German-speaking region during the summer of 2015. He said: "Just very easily, by not shaving for a day and putting on some old clothes, I was inside." ...

When he had enough of a stay at a centre in Kreuzlingen in north-eastern Switzerland, he asked to terminate his asylum procedure.

Together with five other migrants, he was released on to the streets, without travel documents, as illegal residents. Nobody checked whether the group left Switzerland or stayed illegally within its borders. ...

Ul-Haq explained that some Muslim refugees are being radicalised in asylum centres, or are already radicalised when they are sent to Europe by terrorist groups such as Isis.
[Site link]

Immigration – environment
Progressive protectionism - the Green case for controlling our borders [part 1]
Colin Hines
The Ecologist, 13 January 2017.

Given that the high watermark of free trade is now over and that resistance to present levels of migration into richer countries is growing rapidly, its time for environmentalists to start to consider what form of protectionism should replace globalisation, now it's on the ropes.

The right with its usual political sure-footedness is already utterly dominating this discussion. The rest of the political spectrum is caught like hares in headlights, with no comprehensive idea of what to do.

It is to fill this vacuum that I have written Progressive Protectionism: Taking Back Control. My new book presents a green, left - and with its emphasis on rebuilding local economies a small 'c' conservative - alternative that could effectively challenge the rise of the extreme right, while giving voters hope for a better future.

It details why progressives should endorse the controlling of borders to people, capital, goods and services - though not as a repeat of the oxymoronic protectionism of the 1930s, when governments attempted to protect domestic jobs while still wanting to compete and export globally at the expense of others.

Progressive Protectionism, by contrast, aims to nurture and rebuild local economies in a way that permanently reduces the amount of international trade in goods, money and services and enables nation states to control the level of migration that their citizens desire.

This approach can return a sense of optimism to the majority through championing policies geared to achieving more job security, a decrease in inequality and protection of the environment worldwide. ...

The huge error made by progressives was their failure around a decade ago to countenance addressing the concerns of the majority in Europe about a rapid and uncontrollable rise in immigration, as millions of workers from the new member states in Eastern Europe came to Western Europe. There were similar sins of omission in the United States. These left the stage clear for the European extreme right and Donald Trump.

Likewise it is time to ditch the tried, tested and failed path of fragmented issue-specific skirmishes which unsurprisingly results in constant defeat. The only way to reverse this trend and to actually defend the people, communities and the environment they purport to want to help is for activists to seriously consider uniting around the overarching alternative of 'Progressive Protectionism'.

... To increase public credibility it is also crucial that the green movement should campaign for controlling population as a priority.

Last year, the world population was estimated to have reached 7.4 billion, rising by approximately 83 million people per year. Because of previously overoptimistic expectations of declines in fertility rates, the UN now projects that world population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100, a staggering one billion more people than was forecast a mere six years ago.
[Site link]

Immigration – environment
Progressive protectionism - the Green case for controlling our borders [part 2]
Colin Hines
The Ecologist, 13 January 2017.

The environment movement has a responsibility to take the lead in campaigning to curb such increases. It was they after all who first drew global attention to the need for population control in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then most of the green groups have fastidiously ignored this topic, particularly in the face of developing countries' activists and leaders saying it was a form of colonialism, racism etc. ...

Most environmentalists are still gutlessly asleep at the wheel over this issue.

As I've said in The Ecologist before, it is also crucial that there is a candid, public recognition by green activists that the present level of migration, though not the cause, makes it much more difficult to tackle all social and environmental problems. Also that it has taken away jobs from the unskilled and that it has rapidly changed many communities in a way the majority oppose.

Not to control such migration is clearly undemocratic given the polls showing the overriding public opposition to present net immigration.

If we don't control migration in the UK more effectively, this will contribute to the population growing by nearly 8 million (virtually a Greater London) in the next 15 years, including stealing skilled professionals from poorer countries.

This will have severely adverse environmental effects in terms of increased resource use, a greater national contribution to climate change and further building on the green belt in a country that has to import nearly half of its food in a world of likely ever increasing food insecurity.

To underscore how correct the average person is to be very uneasy about inadequately controlled migration, an international Gallup poll showed that around two thirds of a billion people from poorer countries would choose to migrate if possible, with over 40 million choosing the UK, the second most popular choice after the US.

It is a complete dereliction of environmentalists' duty to protect the planet to continue to ignore immigration and population growth and not to campaign for their reduction. Without this decrease all solutions to other aspects of ecological and social concern are made far more difficult to deal with. ...

However, today's absence of environmentalists from the public debates about immigration and population makes them appear not to be serious about really tackling global, environmental and social threats. Instead they appear to be trapped in a form of politically correct denial. This must stop.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Calais, France
'It was inevitable' Calais migrants return to camp just 3 months after Jungle is cleared
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 12 January 2017.

British lorry drivers were placed on high alert last night as UK-bound migrants returned to Calais.

Gangs have been spotted loitering close to the port and lorry parks.

Evidence of their arrival in Calais, just three months after the notorious Jungle camp was closed, has sparked fears of a new border crisis. ...

Officials on both sides of the Channel are concerned the arrivals could trigger a resurgence in human trafficking gangs and a return to the chaos seen in northern France during the summer.

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: "We warned that if levels of security were not maintained it would be inevitable there would be a resurgence in migrant activity.

"That inevitability has now become a reality and the risk to UK-bound hauliers is increasing on a daily basis.

"We stand by our demands that the French military be deployed to protect drivers and the people of Calais."
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Labour Does Want To Reduce Immigration Says Shadow Minister, Despite What Jeremy Corbyn Says
Ned Simons
The Huffington Post, 12 January 2017.

The Labour Party does want to see a reduction in immigration a shadow cabinet minister has said, despite Jeremy Corbyn having said just yesterday that he did not believe the level was too high.

Speaking to the BBC's Daily Politics programme on Wednesday, Shadow Work and Pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams defended the Labour leader from accusations he had left voters confused over the party's stance on migration. ...

But Abrahams, asked today if the Labour Party want levels of immigration to come down, said: "Yes, we do."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Slovenia, European Union
Slovenia REVOLTS against Brussels and vows to TOUGHEN UP immigration rules
Will Kirby
Daily Express, 12 January 2017.

Brussels bureaucrats are facing yet another rebellion after Slovenia vowed to go against the crumbling bloc and toughen up it's immigration stance.

Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, told Slovenian government officials they need to "amend their approaches" after new plans were approved to try to manage the country's growing migrant population. ...

Last week, the Slovenian government approved amendments to asylum laws that would help the country regain some control of their borders.
[Site link]

Racism – hate incident, free speech
If Amber Rudd doesn't like being investigated for a 'hate incident', she should change the law
Ross Clark
Spectator blog, 12 January 2017.

At last October's Conservative party conference, Amber Rudd revealed a rather silly proposal that companies operating in the UK should be obliged to publish data on the number of foreign workers they employ. It was rightly condemned and Rudd later said that the information would not be published, only used by the government to identify areas of skills shortages among British workers.

But a 'hate incident'? That is exactly how, it transpires, the police recorded it. ...

The police were obliged to investigate because that is what the law requires them to do. While in an earlier age police might have sent Professor Silver away with a warning not to waste their time, they are now obliged to record every single 'hate incident' – defined by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service as 'any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone's prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender'. Moreover, they are obliged to consider whether the incident constitutes a 'hate crime', which is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'

In the case of Amber Rudd's speech the police decided it was not a crime, but nevertheless will remain on file as a hate incident. The irony is that Ms Rudd herself approved the government's action plan on hate crime last July. She has been hoist by her own petard. ...

Amber Rudd has not been convicted of hate crime, but she, like many other innocent individuals, is now officially recorded as someone who caused a hate incident. If she is not happy about that she should reform the definition to something which conforms to common sense.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Canada
Way more migrants are now sneaking across the US-Canada border
Julie Masis
PRI / GlobalPost, 12 January 2017.

Canadian border officials are spotting a noteworthy trend: The number of people sneaking in from the United States and asking for asylum has gone way up.

One popular route leads into Quebec. Families lug suitcases "over a little ditch," as one resident described it, to avoid passport checkpoints.

This past year, 1,222 people entered Quebec illegally and requested refugee status – almost five times the total in the previous year, according to the Canada Border Services Agency. The tally in November alone was higher than the whole of 2015. ...

According to the data, very few of the asylum-seekers walking across Quebec's border illegally are US citizens. The largest groups are from Eritrea, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and other countries facing economic or war catastrophe.

Retired policeman François Doré lives in Hemmingford, Quebec, less than a mile from the US border. He says he sees refugees from his window every week, sometimes two dozen people in a single day. ...

Last year overall, Canadian land-border refugee claims were up 50 percent from 2015. The top five countries of origin in 2016 were Colombia, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Pakistan. ...

"We catch most of them. At least 90 percent," asserts Camille Habel, a media representative for Canada's police, the RCMP. ...

"The entrance is illegal, but it's not a criminal case," Habel says. ...

After they're caught, the migrants generally request to be admitted into Canada as refugees. ...

The process of being admitted as a refugee once a person is already inside Canada is faster than applying from outside the country.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – rented homes, deportation
Illegal immigrant crackdown scheme sees JUST 31 people deported, officials admit
Daily Express, 11 January 2017.

A checking system designed stop illegal immigrants from renting homes in the UK has seen just 31 offenders deported.

The 'right to rent' scheme, requires landlords and agents to check the immigration status of prospective tenants ahead of them moving in.

But figures released by the government show that just 75 landlords were fined for breaking the law on rent.

And, while there were 7,806 calls made to the Home Office's helpline for landlords between July 1st 2015 and June 30th last year - only 654 of those cases led to investigations.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett called the low figures into question asking for more information on the number of illegal immigrants deported and the penalties incurred under the polices.

Baroness Williams said: "From 1 November 2015 to 31 October 2016, 75 initial civil penalties were issued to individual landlords of tenants who do not have the right to rent in the UK. ..."

She added: "The Home Office does not hold information about the overall numbers of illegal migrants found in private rented accommodation."

The Government introduced the right to rent scheme in February last year under the Immigration Act 2014. Its aim was to ensure that illegals would not flout the law.

On December 1, last year, breaking the law on rent rules became a criminal offence.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – France
Presidential hopeful Fillon says France needs immigration quotas
Reuters, 11 January 2017.

France needs immigration quotas, presidential election frontrunner Francois Fillon said on Wednesday ahead of a visit to the south-east border town of Menton. ...

"I want France to be able to decide every year the number of people it can accept on its territory," Fillon told RMC radio and BFM TV ahead of his trip to south-east France. ...

Fillon, who is seen beating Le Pen if they meet in a runoff vote in May in the election, will also urge the European Union to tighten its asylum and immigration policy to counter threats from Islamist militants.

He also wants to deny social benefits to immigrants who have legally resided in France for less than two years.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – integration
Immigrant integration is not a 'two-way street', integration tsar Louise Casey says
Jon Stone
Independent, 10 January 2017.

The process of immigrants is not a "two-way street", the Government's integration tsar Louise Casey has said.

The author of the controversial Casey Review suggested society had made a "mistake" in making significant effort to accommodate people "coming in from the outside" and that the onus should mostly be on immigrants themselves.

Ms Casey's review, published at the end of last year, claimed "segregation" was rife in parts of the UK and attacked immigrant communities for practices that "run contrary to British values and sometimes our laws".

Giving follow-up evidence to the House of Commons communities committee on Monday, Ms Casey was asked whether she agreed that integration was a "two-way street" – the idea that people who were already in the UK should adapt to newcomers.

"In terms of the two-way street, I don't think it's a two-way street. I think that's a sound-bite that people like to say," she said.

"I would say if we stick with the road analogy, integration is like you have a bloody big motorway and you have a slip-road of people coming in from the outside.

"What you need to do is people in the middle in the motorway need to accommodate and be gentle and kind to people coming in from the outside lane but we're all in the same direction and we're all heading the same direction.

"There is more give on one side and more take on the other and that's where we have successively made a mistake, which is where we've not been honest about that."
[Site link]

Population pressure – environment
BBC star Chris Packham says Britons should STOP having children amid immigration surge
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 10 January 2017.

A BBC presenter has warned the public to stop having children amid a surge in immigration.

Chris Packham says the UK Government should invest in family planning to prevent the destruction of the natural world.

According to analysis by Mr Packham's charity Population Matters, the country's population will shoot up by 10 per cent or 5.5 million between 2015 and 2030.

And that the UK will face a collapse in infrastructure as it buckles under the strain not to mention untold effects on the natural environment. ...

The report also estimates England will face total annual costs of £23.8 billion by 2030 as a result of road and rail congestion caused by surging population.

This would mark a 58.7 per cent increase over the £15bn figure for 2015, costing the economy an extra £8.8 billion annually.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the population of England is projected to increase by 7.5% by mid-2024.

The populations of the other UK countries are also projected to increase, but at a slower rate.

Northern Ireland is projected to increase by 5.3 per cent over the same period, while Scotland and Wales are both projected to increase by 3.1 per cent by mid-2024.
[Site link]

Border controls – airfields
Judge says small UK airfields are 'defenceless' against people traffickers as he jails Lithuanian pilot for smuggling in three illegal Albanian immigrants
Joseph Curtis
MailOnline, 10 January 2017.

A judge warned that small airfields in the UK were 'defenceless' against people smugglers as he jailed a pilot for trying to smuggle in three illegal immigrants today.

Algirdas Barteska, 60, was caught after Border Force officials acting on a tip off were lying in wait for him as he landed his Albanian passengers at a remote airfield. ...

Judge Holt added: 'In my judgement there are dozens of small airfields in East Anglia which are extremely vulnerable to this sort of people smuggling.

'There are people on duty at the major ports, but hat is the problem. There cannot be people on duty at every single small airfield and that makes them vulnerable.'
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn: I've not changed mind on immigration
BBC, 10 January 2017.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he stands by his view that immigration to the UK from the EU is not too high.

He told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg migrants played a valuable role and he was not proposing new restrictions on the rights of people to come to the UK.

Mr Corbyn said Labour was not "wedded" to freedom of movement, but denied this represented any change of stance on his part. ...

In his speech, in Peterborough, Mr Corbyn said he supported "fair rules" and "reasonable management" of immigration after Brexit but said that must be set against continued access to markets for British business.

"Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle, but I don't want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out," he said. ...

Talking to the BBC's political editor, Mr Corbyn, who has repeatedly insisted since becoming leader that EU migration to the UK is not too high, was asked if the speech meant he had now changed his view. ...

Despite the impression given by Labour HQ overnight that Jeremy Corbyn was on the point of ditching his long-held backing of the freedom of movement of European citizens - that allows an unlimited number of them to come and live and work in the UK - when push came to shove in interviews this morning, he couldn't quite bring himself to say it.

He has not changed his mind on the most basic question when it comes to immigration. Does he think that the current levels, with 190,000 EU citizens coming to the UK last year, are too high? "No."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – burka, Morocco
Morocco 'bans the sale and production of the burka'
BBC, 10 January 2017.

Morocco has banned the sale, production and import of the burka, according to local reports. ...

There was no official announcement from the government, but unnamed officials told outlets the decision was made due to "security concerns".

It is unclear if Morocco is now intending to ban the garment outright.

A high-ranking interior ministry official confirmed the ban to the Le360 news site, adding that "bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes".

The burka, which covers the entire face and body, is not widely worn in Morocco, with most women favouring the hijab, which does not shroud the face.

Women in Salafist circles, and in more conservative regions in the north, are more likely to wear the niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered.
[Site link]

Immigration – public opinion
More Britons want greater control of immigration than EU free trade - poll
Reuters, 9 January 2017.

Greater control of immigration is more important for Britons than access to free trade with the European Union during negotiations for the UK's departure from the bloc, according to a poll on Monday. ...

Pollster ORB found that 46 percent of Britons agreed that greater control over immigration was more important than access to free trade, while 39 percent disagreed.

That has flipped since November, when 43 percent disagreed and would prioritise access to free trade, compared to 41 percent who agreed. ...

The online survey polled 2,075 people, with fieldwork conducted between Jan. 6-8.
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Corbyn: Labour not wedded to EU free movement
BBC, 9 January 2017.

Jeremy Corbyn is to say Labour is not "wedded" to freedom of movement for EU citizens in the UK as a "matter of principle", as he sets out his views on Brexit negotiations. ...

Mr Corbyn will pledge to push for "fair and reasonably managed migration".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Africans, Europe
EU set for NEW migrant crisis? 15 million African immigrants 'to arrive in Europe by 2020'
Sunday Express, 8 January 2017.

As many as 15 million new migrants could enter Europe from Africa in the next three years, according to a report by an Austrian intelligence agency.

Analysis by Austrian Military Intelligence, an agency of the Austrian Armed Forces, has predicted a sharp rise in unemployment across Africa, which would lead to millions of economic migrants travelling to Europe in search of work between now and 2020.

The predicted numbers, reported by German newspaper Bild, dwarfs the estimated figure of one million migrants believed to have entered Europe during the current crisis.

The agency said one solution to the impending influx would be for Europe to bolster African nations' economies, in order to support job creation, productivity and education.

This in turn would encourage more investment from abroad and persuade more people to stay and work in their country of origin.

However, the agency recognised such payments are open to abuse by certain regimes, who would use the funds to "attack their own people" and only increase the number of people fleeing to Europe.

The report also called for countries of origin to invest in monitoring their own borders and reduce the "flow of migrants".

The study found that between 2013 and 2016, more than half a million Africans immigrated to EU countries, with the most coming from Eritrea.

About 100,000 Eritreans are believed to have fled their war-torn country, while Nigeria had the second most asylum seekers, with around 80,000.

Somalia was third with about 60,000, followed by Gambia (40 000), Mali and Algeria (30 000 each), Sudan, DR Congo, Guinea and Senegal (more than 20,000).
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Australia, European Union
'What use is it!' Australian immigration architect BLASTS Europe for border failings
Katie Mansfield
Sunday Express, 8 January 2017.

The man behind Australia's asylum policy has slammed Europe for failing to control borders.

Jim Molan says if Europe adopted the Australian model, the European Union would lower the risk of a terror attack on the continent.

He said he believes Europe should turn back boats full of migrants in the Mediterranean, process asylum requests outside of the EU and resettle migrants outside the continent.

Mr Molan, the co-author of Australia's controversial asylum policy, accused Europe of "making up excuses" when it comes to the challenges of border control.

Speaking to Politico, he said: "You can never say you've eradicated terrorism, you can only say you've lowered the probability of a successful terror attack.

"There are examples – Nice, Paris, Brussels – where the link between terrorism and migration has been made.

"Therefore one aspect of counterterrorism should be border control.

"Other aspects should be about the social contract with migrants in your country, improving your intelligence organisations and internal security and increasing counterterrorism activities." ...

He said: "Europeans think it's easy in Australia to control our borders, but they're just making up excuses for doing nothing themselves." ...

Mr Molan believes Australia's strategy of turning back boats is the most important part of its asylum policy.

If boats are unable to make it back to where they were launched, Australia replaces the vessels with seaworthy alternatives.

The policy also aims to destroy the people smuggling industry.

Mr Molan said when migrants who have paid thousands to get on a boat to Australia find themselves where they started "it destroys the people smugglers' business model". ...

"The support of the Australian population for our migration program is critical.

"If we subcontract our border control to people smugglers, the Australian people will not accept it, and they will not support the migration policy."
[Site link]

Racism – philosophers, political correctness
They Kant be serious! PC students demand white philosophers including Plato and Descartes be dropped from university syllabus
Jonathan Petre
Mail on Sunday, 8 January 2017.

They are titans of philosophy, without whose work an understanding of the subject is all but inconceivable.

But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.

These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy 'the majority of philosophers on our courses' should be from Africa and Asia.

The students say it is in order to 'decolonise' the 'white institution' that is their college.

Last night philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lambasted the union's demand, saying: 'This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can't rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven't investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant's Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.'

The vice-chancellor of Buckingham University Sir Anthony Seldon said: 'There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.' ...

The democracy and education union officer responsible for the statement, Ali Habib, is on SOAS's governing board of trustees. ...

SOAS is a leading centre for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The head of SOAS's Religions and Philosophies department Erica Hunter said the union's viewpoint was 'rather ridiculous', adding: 'I would firmly resist dropping philosophers or historians just because it was fashionable.'
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, America, USA
Rise of the Salvatrucha: World's most feared and vicious gang is expanding with ambitions to commit the most murders
Candace Sutton, 8 January 2017.

Cruel, merciless and with a passion for violence, the Mara Salvatrucha gang is one of the world's most vicious gangs and is spreading internationally. ...

Also called MS13, the gang is known for its barbaric fighting, contract killing, drug trafficking, gang rape, people smuggling and desire to be known as number one for most murders. ...

The gang exists in 42 US states, throughout the Central American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Spain, Canada and, some claim, Australia.

Reputed to have 100,000 gang members worldwide, the Salvatrucha recruits members as young as eight years old and punishes disloyalty with murder or maiming, such as cutting off a person's hands.

While the core membership of the gang originated in El Salvador, whose capital San Salvador is considered the murder capital of the world, the gang sprang up in Los Angeles in the 1980s and has since spread from the inner-city to the suburbs. ...

In the US, MS13 has an especially heavy presence in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey and Houston, Texas. ...

As the gang expanded, refugees from other Central American countries were permitted membership. ...

The US practice of deporting violent Salvatrucha gang members back to their home country had a bounce back effect.

The deportees recruited new members from the streets of San Salvador and gradually, the gang made its way back to the streets of America via illegal immigration routes.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Italy
Italy sees RECORD number of migrants as almost 200,000 arrive in 2016 alone
Simon Osborne
Daily Express, 7 January 2017.

Record numbers of migrants made it to Italy after surviving treacherous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea last year, according to shocking new figures.

Officials said there were a staggering 181,436 arrivals by sea in 2016 - an 18 per cent increase on the 154,000 who made the crossing the year before.

The Institute for the Analysis of Multiethnicity (Ismu) said October saw the highest number of landings recorded since the beginning of the year with more than 27,000 arrivals.

In the first 10 months of 2016, more than 98,000 applications for asylum were presented in Italy.

Data showed 85 per cent of asylum requests came from men and 4 per cent from unaccompanied minors.

UNHCR data shows Nigerians make up nearly a fifth of the arrivals in Italy, followed by the nationals of Eritrea at 13 per cent and then Sudan, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Somalia, Mali, Senegal and Bangladesh. ...

Around 90 per cent of migrants who make it to Italy began their voyage on smugglers' boats in Libya, although towards the end of 2016 there was an increase in refugees and migrants arriving from Egypt.

But nearly all those who reach the Italian coast arrive on EU rescue vessels, having been saved from the sea or unsafe and overcrowded vessels.

EU officials said the vast majority of migrants who reach Europe turn out to be ineligible for asylum and will be sent back though they acknowledged deportations often proved difficult in practice.
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Immigration abroad – Austria, EU
Austria calls for would-be migrants to be stopped from setting foot in Europe until they have formally applied for asylum
Allan Hall and Paddy Dinham
MailOnline, 7 January 2017.

Austria is to present a paper to the EU demanding all asylum applications to be made outside the union before migrants can set foot on the continent.

The plan, masterminded by the country's defence minister Hans-Peter Doskozil and interior minister Wolfgang Sobotka, also calls for limits on refugees in all member states.

And they want to extend border controls with Germany indefinitely, despite pressure from Brussels mandarins that this goes against the grain of the passport-free Schengen Zone agreement.

The move comes as a manhunt intensifies in Austria for men who sexually assaulted 18 women in the city of Innsbruck on New Year' s Eve. ...

We need to end the failed European asylum policy', sard Doskozil. 'We must all of us admit, and honestly say, that the absorption capacity in the EU for refugess is limited.'

He backed a call for detention centres outside the EU where applications for asylum could be made before migrants set foot in the bloc.
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Politics – free speech
Two years ago we were all Charlie Hebdo. Now our willingness to defend freedom of expression has been crushed again
Jacob Furedi
Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2017.

It's been two years since the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo, but it feels more like two hundred.

After two Muslim brothers stormed its offices at 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert in the centre of Paris and massacred 12 people, "Je suis Charlie" became the rallying cry of those who condemned the attack. ...

While the brute violence of the Charlie Hebdo massacre was abhorrent in its own right, the decision of the Kouachi brothers to target a satirical magazine carried a particular disturbing message. It signalled an attack on the progressive values of freedom of expression and tolerance. In the aftermath, there was recognition that, although the magazine had dared to satirise Muhammad, freedom of speech - including its mischievous extension, the freedom to ridicule - were more important than the right not to be offended.

But two years later, ...

Even at that one place where no idea should be beyond criticism – the university – "Je suis Charlie" has failed to resonate. While 28 UK universities have banned The Sun and/or The Daily Star because they don't conform to their union's values, the University of Bristol and University of Manchester have also forbidden Charlie Hebdo from being sold on campus. ...

The cry of "Je Suis Charlie" realised that to refute terrorism means not just condemning it, but to defend free speech and expression to the last. All too quickly, we have forgotten that the mere act of disagreeing with a sentiment does not necessitate its censorship.
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Extremism – Islam
Not the religion of peace and love...
Peter Mullen
Salisbury Review, 7 January 2017.

Information from Pew Research reveals that 27% of all Muslims polled across the world believe that any Muslim who wishes to leave the faith should be executed. That adds up to 237 million people in favour of the death penalty for anyone who decides to change his religion. 29% of Muslims believe that so called "honour killings" are justified. 36% of British Muslims age 18-29 believe that suicide bombings against civilians are also justified. ...

Islam, the famous religion of peace and love, has got a CV. ...

There was that other 11th September – 1683 when Christian armies under Jan Sobieski arrived at the gates of Vienna and defeated the last substantial Muslim incursion: the last, that is, before the one which we face at present.

Moreover, Muslims do not merely slaughter Christians and members of other religions or none in very large numbers, they also slaughter fellow Muslims. As soon as Mahomet died, there was a war over the succession between Shia and Sunni, and this war has continued unabated for 1400 years.

But you don't want to take my word for it. Winston Churchill wrote:

"The religion of Islam above all others was founded upon the sword. Moreover, it provides incentives to slaughter and in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men filled with a wild and merciless fanaticism."

The great English poet and philosopher S.T. Coleridge (author of The Ancient Mariner) wrote in 1828:

"Mahomet established the most extensive and complete despotism that ever warred against civilisation and the interests of humanity."

... Similar judgements on the true nature of Islam have been made over the centuries by hundreds of eminent scholars and statesmen including G.K. Chesterton and the 6th US president (1825-29), John Quincy Adams. ...

... How about a statement of intent directly from one of its most fervent supporters? Here is a proclamation from the most powerful and barbarous Muslim of modern times, Ayatollah Khomeini, dictator of Iran from 1979 until his death ten years later:

"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of other countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world."

There is no doubt that militant Islam's current aggression will have to be firmly suppressed if the character of Europe as we know it is to survive. If the European powers cannot bring themselves to act firmly, then the continent will be dominated by the Islamic ideology within a generation, with the resulting loss of all our freedoms – and of course the loss of countless lives.
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Politics – Liberal Democrats
Ditching EU free movement is a political necessity, says Vince Cable
Peter Walker
The Guardian, 6 January 2017.

The former Liberal Democrat minister Vince Cable has broken ranks with his party to argue that it is politically necessary to limit immigration from the EU as part of the UK's Brexit deal.

While stressing he was still firmly against leaving the EU, Cable argued that one of the few potential benefits would be "the opportunity for a more rational immigration policy" – including a limit on entrants from the EU.

"There is no great argument of liberal principle for free EU movement; the economics is debatable; and the politics is conclusively hostile," Cable wrote in the New Statesman. ...

Cable's comments were swiftly disowned by the Lib Dems. ...

However, his intervention is a further indication of the fast-changing nature of the immigration debate. ...

While mass immigration made economies bigger and aided business owners, Cable said the argument of an economic benefit to the wider population was harder to justify.
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Multiculturalism – integration, English language
It Costs Money To Teach Immigrants English, Mr Umunna
Bansi Kara
The Huffington Post, 6 January 2017.

Chuka Umunna's assertion that migrants need to learn English to avoid living parallel lives is most disconcerting. I heard this assertion over two years ago from less savoury quarters and was moved to comment on it at length. ...

What irks me this time is that it is a Labour politician making the assertion and it irks me on several levels. ...

One of the problems with Chuka Umunna's declaration is that he is a bit late to the party. The Casey Review was commissioned over a year ago by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary, with a remit to investigate integration and opportunity in isolated and deprived communities. The review was released in December 2016. In its 199 pages, it outlined the reasons why learning English if you are new to the country is a good idea. It outlined clearly and with a sense of compassion that life is much harder for immigrants that do not speak English. No one can argue with that.

Take this and the fact that government policy on requirements for immigrants to speak English to be able to gain citizenship or leave to remain seems to be fairly clear - and I am left wondering: why bring this up now, Mr Umunna? Visit and check the pages on immigration. It's there. There's a 15-page list of where you can take the tests to prove your English proficiency before or after you arrive.

So who is Chuka Umunna talking about? What kind of migrant? Refugees? The government have declared they are exempt from the requirement. Transient economic migrants? How do you enforce compulsory classes on a transient population? Established communities living parallel lives, then. I would argue that it would be even harder - and more expensive - to enforce language classes on high-ethnic minority concentration areas such as Bradford. Not because I think people would be unwilling. Immigrants do want to be able to communicate. But there isn't a solution to that until somebody coughs up the money it would take to cover it. And who is going to explain that to austerity Britain, already chomping at the bit, that tax payers' money is being spent on funding for immigrant language classes?
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – free speech, Finland
Eurosceptic politician fined for Facebook post claiming 'all terrorists are Muslims'
Aletha Adu
Daily Express, 6 January 2017.

A Eurosceptic European politician has been fined after making a comment on his Facebook page following the Nice terror attack that "all terrorists are Muslims".

Shortly after the horrific attack on July 14, last year, Teuvo Hakkarainen, a Finnish MP who is notorious for his anti-Muslim and anti-immigration comments, was fined almost £1,000 (€1160) after he published an article in relation to the terrorist attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel and made the comment which violated the Finnish law of "ethnic agitation".

Within his Facebook post, Mr Hakkarainen said: "All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."
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Immigration abroad – asylum, deportation, European Union
Just 42 Per Cent of Failed Asylum Seekers and Illegals Deported from Europe
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 6 January 2017.

Less than half of all failed asylum seekers and economic migrants who have no right to remain are deported from the European Union (EU), it has been revealed.

Just 42 per cent are being kicked out of continent according to Frontex, the EU's border agency. Reported by EurActiv, Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri sought to blame Greek border guards for the failure, but critics have slammed the EU for wider policy mistakes.

Mr. Leggeri said that he expected Greek officials to be sending back some 500 economic migrants a day to Turkey according to a new deal, which came into force last March.

Instead, just 748 migrants have been returned across the Aegean Sea in nearly eight months, while the EU has taken in 2,761 Syrians in exchange from Turkey in the same period.
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Immigration – wages, housing
Project Fear Brexit predictions were 'flawed and partisan', new study says
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2017.

Predictions by the Treasury ahead of the Brexit vote have been brought into question by a study which says that leaving the European Union will halve net migration, give British workers a pay rise and help to solve the housing crisis.

The report from the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge examined the possible future scenarios following the referendum decision to leave the EU. ...

However the academics' report forecast that if controls on migration from the EU were introduced in the middle of 2019, net migration would fall to around 165,000 from 2020.

The fall would be a 50 per cent drop in net migration – currently running at more than 330,000 a year – but would not deliver the Government's promise of cutting it to tens of thousands a year. ...

Average earnings are forecast to rise by more than 2 per cent a year, partly because of lower levels of migration after Brexit.

The report said: "Our equations for earnings suggest that earnings will rise by more than 2 per cent as employment rates reach a peak in 2017 and especially as migration reduces from 2019."

The report also forecast that house prices will become more affordable for people on lower incomes.
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Population pressure – traffic, illness, dementia
Living near a busy road may raise risk of dementia, major study into pollution finds
Sarah Knapton
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2017.

Living near a main road increases the risk of dementia, the first major research into air pollution and disease has shown.

A decade-long study of 6.6 million people, published in The Lancet, found that one in 10 dementia deaths in people living within 50 metres of a busy road was attributable to fumes and noise. There was a linear decline in deaths the further people lived away from heavy traffic.

Air pollution is already known to contribute to the deaths of around 40,000 people in Britain each year by exacerbating respiratory and heart conditions, while previous research showed emissions can cause brain shrinkage.

But the new study by Canadian public health scientists is the first to find a link between living close to heavy traffic and the onset of dementia, a discovery described as "plausible" and "impressive" by British experts.

Dr Hong Chen, the lead author from Public Health Ontario, said: "Our study suggests that busy roads could be a source of environmental stressors that could give rise to the onset of dementia.

"Increasing population growth and urbanisation has placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden.

"More research to understand this link is needed, particularly into the effects of different aspects of traffic, such as air pollutants and noise."

Around 850,000 people suffer from dementia in Britain, and it is now the leading cause of death for both men and women. ...

Prof Martin Rossor, NIHR national director for dementia research at University College London Hospitals, said: "The effects are small but with a disorder with a high population prevalence such effects can have important public health implications."
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Immigration abroad – European Union
EU officials are NOT doing enough to stop illegal migration, blasts Victor Orban's aide
Agnes Kegl and Katie Mansfield
Daily Express, 5 January 2017.

The external borders of the European Union must be protected to stop the migrant crisis and to combat the threat from Islamic State terrorists, Viktor Orban's chief security advisor has declared.

György Bakondi, chief security advisor to the Hungarian prime minister, warned the migrant crisis could worsen in 2017. ...

It comes as CCTV footage released today shows Berlin terrorist Anis Amri travelled across four countries in the days after the massacre before being shot dead by police in Milan raising questions over Europe's open borders and security services. ...

According to figures from the UN, Mr Bakondi said 361,000 people arrived in the EU last year, with 200,000 in Italy and the rest on the Greek islands.
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Multiculturalism – integration, English language
Let's stop pretending we need to force immigrants to learn English
Julia Rampen
New Statesman, 5 January 2017.

If you read the coverage of the report produced by the All-Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, you might believe immigrants have been skiving English lessons left, right and centre /.../ The report recommends "compulsory English classes", as if previously the great halls of learning were empty. ...

There was a programme designed to do exactly that. Government funding allowed those on low incomes to take free English language classes. ...

Unfortunately, back in 2011, the Tory-led Coalition government cut funding for English lessons in England. ...

At the time, it seemed, the government put short-term savings over the idea of English lessons, however important to integration they might be.
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Multiculturalism – culture, identity
Britain Has Become Divided - Let's Build A Country All Citizens Can Call Their Own
Chuka Umunna
The Huffington Post, 5 January 2017.
[Chuka Umunna is the Labour MP for Streatham and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Social Integration]

Immigration has been a defining issue in our national politics. We have experienced demographic change on an extraordinary level very quickly. Over the next fifty years our country will continue to change profoundly. We have seen nothing like it in our history. For many it has felt like a whirlwind over which they have little control. It has undermined their way of life and they worry it threatens their culture and identity. And all our main political parties have been far too slow to respond and so we have witnessed the rise of a populist right which claims to speak for 'our people' to the exclusion of others. ...

Our country has been fragmenting. Our union of nations pulling apart. People are losing trust in the political system but also in each other. The ties that bind us together into society are frayed and in places they are broken. Our mission must be to rebuild this country. ...

... How will we build a more integrated and united Britain? First we need better controlled immigration. Second we need to improve social integration. Our national conversation on immigration has been polarised. Some believe the country is full. Others want an open door. But a consensus is there to be made. The majority of people - whether they voted Leave or Remain last year - want immigration to be managed democratically by the government they elect. It isn't as much about numbers as it is about control.

... What the decision to leave the EU gives us is the opportunity to design a new immigration system. ...

... Our sense of belonging is formed through the inheritance of our culture and the everyday common experiences through which we recognise something of ourselves in one another. We all share a desire to live together. Our deeply felt need for community animates our attitudes toward change. But reaching out to people from different backgrounds is not straightforward but can be done. Government has a role to play in supporting integration and the process of creating shared cultures and identities. ...

Let's build a country which all citizens can call their own.
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Crime – border security
Why wasn't foreign killer turned away at the UK border? Afghan who beheaded Dutch woman is allowed into Britain... where he assaulted a Gatwick staff member and two police officers with a HAMMER
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 5 January 2017.

A convicted murderer from Holland was able to walk through Britain's porous borders without any checks and went on to attack two police officers with a claw-hammer.

Afghan-born Jamshid Piruz was allowed to enter the UK unchallenged despite being sentenced to 12 years in jail for slaughtering his female tenant in cold-blood after watching a Taliban beheading video.

Fury erupted after it emerged that the jobless 34-year-old was the latest in a string of foreign criminals to commit horrific offences in Britain after exploiting EU free movement rules.

MPs condemned the shocking lack of checks on offenders from the EU which left gaping holes in UK border controls.

European countries have no obligation to alert the UK about convictions of murderers or sex offenders, meaning many are able to travel to the UK unhindered.
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Immigration – employment, devolution
MPs call for immigration devolution
BBC, 5 January 2017.

A cross-party group of MPs has called on the UK government to "seriously consider" handing greater powers over immigration to Scotland.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration said a commission should be set up to examine how a devolved immigration system might work.

It said the current system had "led to friction" between the UK and Scottish governments.

But it acknowledged there would be major challenges to overcome. ...

In its report, the parliamentary group said the UK government should aim to encourage people to move to areas of the country which required higher levels of immigration or did not currently attract a great many immigrants. ...

"The government should appoint an independent commission to explore how a devolved or regionally-led immigration system might work." ...

And it said enabling nations and regions to set regional immigration quotas would give politicians the incentive to actively make the case for immigration in their area.
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Multiculturalism – integration, English language
Migrants should have to learn English, say MPs and peers
BBC, 5 January 2017.

Migrants should be expected to learn English before coming to the UK, or attend language classes when they arrive, a group of MPs and peers says.

The cross-party group said speaking English was "the key to full participation in our society and economy". ...

The interim report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration urges the government to go further, saying all immigrants should have either learnt English before coming to the UK or be required to sign up to classes when they arrive.

The group said integration should begin upon arrival in the UK and described speaking English as a "prerequisite for meaningful engagement with most British people".
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Employment – cap on work permits
Curbs on non-EU migration have 'no impact' claims campaign group Migration Watch UK
The Sun, 4 January 2017.

Curbs on a key non-EU migration route have had "virtually no impact" on the ability of firms to recruit overseas talent, a campaign group claims.

An annual cap on work permits available for skilled staff from outside Europe has not been reached in five years since it was introduced in 2010, according to Migration Watch UK.

It accused business lobby groups of "crying wolf" over the effect of the restrictions on Tier 2 general visas.

This is the main immigration route for nationals from outside the European Economic Area to apply to work in the UK.

Migrants arriving through the scheme must have a job with a yearly salary of at least £20,800, and Tier 2 is subject to an annual limit of 20,700 posts.

In the first three years of operation the cap did not bite at all, with just 54% of available certificates of sponsorship being used, according to analysis by Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for tighter immigration controls.

In 2014/15, there were 20,087 certificates issued out of 20,700 available, while 235 certificates were returned due to non-use, the report said.

It added that in the following year 22,037 certificates were issued – more than the cap – but almost 2,800 were returned unused or reclaimed. ...

The paper said that "on an annual basis, no employer has been prevented from bringing in a skilled worker since the economic cap was introduced, although some employers might have had to wait a month before they could obtain a certificate for their prospective employee".

It added: "The cap of 20,700 has therefore been sufficient to meet the needs of business for skilled workers."

Alp Mehmet, vice chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "The business lobby have been crying wolf for years about the impact of the cap on business but it has now become clear that the annual cap has never been breached.

"The very same lobby is now claiming that a reduction in migration from the EU for low skilled work will be a disaster but, with their record, the public will not be convinced."
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Border controls – terrorism
Britain's small ports and marinas are wide open to returning ISIS fighters because they are not policed, warns terror tsar
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 4 January 2017.

Small ports, marinas and beaches across the UK could give terrorists an easy route into Britain because they are not policed, a major report has warned.

David Anderson, the terror laws watchdog chief, said jihadists could attempt to sneak across our porous border at hundreds of remote locations because of the absence of stringent checks.

He expressed concerns that 'foreign fighters' returning from Syria and Iraq could breach the country's security checks using small boats and planes.

Mr Anderson, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, revealed his fears as Home Secretary Amber Rudd was handed a paper demanding a huge boost to frontier security.

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke said Parliamentary figures showed the Border Force's budget had been slashed by £120 million in just three years - from £617 million in 2012-13 to £497 million in 2015-16.

In an analysis submitted to the Home Office, he suggested EU citizens visiting Britain post-Brexit should pay a fee for a visa waiver to boost the agency's finances by £250 million a year.

It would also allow counter-terror and immigration officials to gain valuable information on who is travelling to the UK – a crucial weapon in the fight against terrorism, child sex abusers and human traffickers. ...

Mrs Rudd has been told that organised criminals are already exploiting gaps in the largely unprotected eastern coastline using private boats to smuggle in illegal drugs, migrants and weapons.
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Terrorism – deportation
UK Allows Illegal Migrant With Bin Laden Links to Stay
Kathzie Pena Yambao
Newsline, 4 January 2017.

The UK allowed an Algerian man who had a connection with Osama Bin Laden to stay in the country despite his terrorist links and his illegal entry into the country. A judge decided to let him stay because the battle for his deportation left him with 'mental' problems.

The man entered the UK carrying a fake French passport, and for 21 years, he fought against his deportation. Authorities suspected him of sending out young British Muslims abroad for terror training. ...

He is further suspected of having supported the Algerian terror group, Call and Combat.

In the case document, the Government stated, "Your activities on behalf of the group and of extremist fighters in Chechnya include sponsoring young Muslims in the UK to go to Afghanistan to train for Jihad."
[Site link]

Politics – Liberal Democrats
Why it's time to end EU free movement
Vince Cable
New Statesman, 4 January 2017.

All my instincts are to defend the freedom to work, study and retire anywhere within the EU. I was (and am) a Remainer. I value diversity and have a diverse multi-ethnic family. ...

But I have serious doubts that EU free movement is tenable or even desirable. First, the freedom is not a universal right, but selective. It does not apply to Indians, Jamaicans, Americans or Australians. ...

British opposition to immigration is mainly colour-blind. Until well into the 1990s "immigration" was code word for race. But in recent years concerns over immigration have been precisely that. The question has become: is unrestricted immigration – albeit from some countries only – desirable?

The economics are ambiguous. Seen globally, more migration is undeniably a positive. People moving from high unemployment, low productivity countries to areas of labour scarcity and higher productivity produce economic gains. But the benefits accrue mainly to migrants themselves (and business owners). For the receiving country, the benefits are less obvious: a bigger economy but not necessarily a richer one. ...

There are also distributional effects. Critics complain that immigrant workers depress wages and reduce job opportunities for natives. Undoubtedly, this happens in some occupations, like building and taxi driving. But there are other areas where immigrants are not competing and bring complementary skills, creating jobs. When I was secretary of state I commissioned studies to evaluate this. The conclusions were sufficiently reassuring that the Home Office blocked my department's wish to publish them. Losers, however, there undoubtedly are.

The economic arguments are not conclusive but, on balance, favour some net migration of younger, skilled workers. ...

There is no great argument of liberal principle for free EU movement; the economics is debatable; and the politics is conclusively hostile. ...

I do not see much upside in Brexit, but one is the opportunity for a more rational immigration policy.
[Site link]

Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
UK Puts 15-Year-Old Burqa Opponent on Anti-Terror Programme
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 4 January 2017.

A 15-year-old British schoolboy, who thought "Muslim women shouldn't be allowed to wear the niqab", was identified as a potential terrorist and put through the government's most strict de-radicalisation programme.

Channel is part of the Prevent scheme and is reserved for the most serious cases of radicalisation, targeting "individuals at risk of being drawn into violent extremism" and terrorism.

The unnamed boy, who comes from a predominantly white area, was required to spend time with an imam as well as visit mosques and a "multi-faith project", where he was signed up as a volunteer.

The workings of Channel are usually kept secret, but authorities made the unusual decision to publicise the targeting of the white schoolboy after activists claimed Prevent was "racist" and "unfairly targets Muslims".

Police told The Yorkshire Post that the boy was dragged in after he made comments in school about Muslims "trying to take over the country" and was "vocal in his views around what Muslim people should or shouldn't be allowed to wear".

Full face coverings are banned or restricted across much of continental Europe, and a poll last September found that that British public back a ban on burkas by two to one. ...

Sources insist the schoolboy's case is "fairly typical" of the work of Prevent, and as of last month, one in ten referrals had links to the "far-right" nationwide. In Yorkshire, "far-right" referrals account for nearly 50 per cent of their caseload and 30 per cent of the caseload in the East Midlands.
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Immigration abroad – crime, France
Almost 1,000 cars torched around France on New Year's Eve but government insists it 'went particularly well'
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 3 January 2017.

Vandals in France torched 945 parked cars on New Year's Eve in an arson rampage that has become a sinister annual "tradition" amid a row over whether the government sought to play down the figures.

According to the French interior ministry, the total of 945, which included cars that were either "totally destroyed" or "more lightly affected", amounted to a 17 per cent rise compared to last year.

Despite this, New Year's Eve "went off without any major incident", the interior ministry insisted in a statement, adding that there were only "a few troubles with public order".

In fact, police arrested 454 people over the night, 301 of whom were taken into custody.

On Sunday, the ministry had chosen to release a much lower figure of 650 cars torched, as this only indicated the number of vehicles "set on fire" and not those engulfed in the ensuing flames.

The lower figure enabled it to claim: "Once again this year, the overall number of vehicles burned demonstrates that, however intolerable, the phenomenon is contained". By this calculation, the rise, it said, was only 48 cars.
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Immigration abroad – crime, Germany
'You CANNOT defend your women' Experts' chilling theory behind Cologne sex attacks
Zoie O'Brien
Daily Express, 3 January 2017.

Sex attackers who openly assaulted scores of women in Germany wanted to give Europeans the message they "cannot protect" women, it has been claimed.

On the anniversary of the shocking assaults which took place on the final night in 2015, a German documentary showed behaviour experts reveal in their opinions, the attacks were planned.

Professor and historian Jörg Baberowski said research of the violence shows it was a pre-arranged mass attack, in a location chosen so the world would pay attention.

The New Year's attacks flummoxed police who failed to stop women being groped and robbed by men carrying translation notes in their pockets so they could threaten the women in their native tongue.

Professor Baberowski said the message of the predominantly North African perpetrators was "you cannot defend your women".

In their home countries, he said, "the rapists were killed by their own fathers".

The Berlin's Humboldt University scholar said the attacks were planned in Germany to show their lack of violence against criminals was being interpreted as a weakness.
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Racism – students
Racism review finds NUS 'has failed to seriously support black staff'
Monty Fynn
Varsity, 3 January 2017.

An independent review into institutional racism within the National Union of Students (NUS) has found "serious failings" in its "understanding of and engagement with race and racism".

The review was conducted by the Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tank, which concluded that they could not "definitively" state that NUS was institutionally racist. However, the trust reported "that NUS as an employer has failed to seriously support black staff, officers and volunteers". The review used the term 'black' to refer to all students of colour, in line with the NUS' own definition. ...

The review revealed a number of disparities in the respective attitudes of white and black staff towards race and racism. ...

The review criticised other aspects of NUS, including "the nature of political debate", its communications strategy and "the very low levels of trust that exist within the organisation". ...

However, the review was criticised by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). Josh Nagli, UJS Campaigns Director, said: "there seems to be a lack of any in-depth examination of the challenges facing Jewish students".
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Politics – Labour Party
Unite hopeful piles pressure on Labour with 'no compromise' call over immigration controls
Josh May
PoliticsHome, 2 January 2017.

Pressure is mounting on the Labour leadership to ditch its support for free movement, after one of the main candidates to be Unite general secretary called for controls on immigration.

Gerard Coyne, who is challenging Len McCluskey to lead the UK's biggest union and Labour's biggest donor, will call for "no compromise" on tightening border controls after Britain leaves the European Union. ...

Mr Coyne will say in a speech later the Government "should not even begin to negotiate" on regaining control over immigration in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

"My many conversations with Unite members leave me in no doubt that those who voted for Brexit expect that promise of an end to uncontrolled immigration from the EU to be kept, and will feel betrayed if it is not," he will claim in a speech in Birmingham. ...

Mr Coyne will say immigrants in some areas have "added to the pressures" faced by UK nationals due to increased demand on the health service, housing and education system.
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Immigration abroad – crime, Germany
Cologne police deny racial profiling after mass screening of North African men
Caroline Mortimer
Independent, 2 January 2017.

Cologne's police chief has denied accusations of racial profiling after the force tweeted they had detained hundreds of North African men to prevent a repeat of last year's mass sex attack.

The men had gathered late on Saturday near Cologne's main train station and in the Deutz district, across the Rhine river.

Police described them as being "Nafris" – a colloquial term for North Africans – which prompted furious online criticism as it suggested the men had been arrested on the basis of their appearance alone.

Police Chief Juergen Mathies said: "I reject this negative criticism. The clear aim was to prevent similar events to previous year."

He said that of 650 people detained for identity checks, almost all were from North African countries and claimed: "Their characteristics were such that potential crimes could indeed be expected".
[Site link]

Population pressure – housing
New garden towns and villages to provide 200,000 homes to ease housing shortage
Kate McCann
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2017.

New "garden" towns and villages will be built across England in an attempt to alleviate the housing crisis, the Government will announce on Monday.

The plans will deliver 14 new villages of between 1,500 to 10,000 homes to be built outside existing settlements.

A further three towns of more than 10,000 houses each will be built alongside Aylesbury, Taunton and Harlow and Gilston. ...

Announcing the scheme, the housing minister said the villages will create almost 50,000 new homes from Cheshire down to Devon, while the towns will take the total to 200,000 new homes. ...

Kevin FitzGerald, honorary director of CPRE Hertfordshire, said: "These plans herald the death knell of the rural character of whole swathes of Hertfordshire. Beautiful villages, supposedly protected by Green Belt, look set to be swallowed up by the urban sprawl of neighbouring towns.

"Housing targets are putting immense pressure on our area, and marginalising the basic purposes of the Green Belt which the Government has pledged to protect."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Ceuta, Morocco, Spain
More than 1,000 migrants storm Moroccan border at Spain's Ceuta enclave, injuring 55 security personnel
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2017.

More than 1,000 migrants tried to jump a high double fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on Sunday in a violent assault that saw one officer lose an eye, local authorities said.

A group of 1,100 people from sub-Saharan Africa trying to reach Europe stormed the border fence just after 4 am on New Year's Day in an "extremely violent and organised" way, said the central government's representative office in Ceuta.

None however managed to get through, bar two who were badly injured and taken to hospital in Ceuta, the office said in a statement. A similar assault on December 9 saw more than 400 migrants enter the tiny enclave.

They tried "to force open some of the doors in the external fence, using iron bars, wire cutters and large stones with which they assaulted Moroccan forces and (Spanish) Guardia Civil (police) agents," it added.

Five Spanish policemen and 50 members of the Moroccan forces were injured, including one who lost an eye, it said.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – asylum, crime, Germany
Asylum seekers scam German aid program for millions by applying with 'up to 12' fake IDs
RT, 2 January 2017.

A special commission in the northern German city of Braunschweig will investigate over 300 cases of fraud committed by asylum applicants, who gamed the welfare system by using multiple IDs to claim benefits – and that may just be the tip of the iceberg.

The estimated total loss of taxpayer money in the state of Lower Saxony alone has been put at three to five million euros ($3.2-5.3 million), Regional German broadcaster NDR reported.

In the majority of cases, the scheme was employed by Sudanese refugees who were applying for benefits within the social welfare system, the head of the newly established investigative commission, Joern Memenga, said, as cited by Deutsche Welle. ...

The welfare claimants would simply change their appearance to receive additional documents from unsuspecting social service workers. The not so sophisticated con met few road bumps, as the refugees did not have to give their fingerprints and, since they had no documents, were identified only from photographs.

"Sometimes just growing a beard, or putting on a pair of glasses, having shorter hair, but always different surnames," Memenga said, as cited by DPA.

The system was also susceptible to rigging because the civil servants did not have time to sift through all of the applications processed at other municipalities in Lower Saxony, so the same asylum seeker could collect money from different places. ...

Pursuant to the Asylum Seekers Act, every asylum seeker is entitled to €135 of so-called pocket money and €216 per month to cover basic needs, if the asylum seekers are not on complete state provision. ...

Though the fraud has now been exposed, the suspects may not face charges due to legal difficulties, as in most cases they used fake names and addresses.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – asylum, deportation, Germany
Germany to fast-track deportation of failed asylum seekers after Tunisian, 24, killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market despite having no right to stay in the country
Allan Hall
MailOnline, 2 January 2017.

Germany is planning to fast-track the expulsion of failed asylum seekers out of the country in the wake of the Christmas terror attack in Berlin that killed 12.

Interior minister Thomas de Maizière says he wants to set up a nework of 'federal departure centres' to be built in the vicinity of airports.

In an article for the influential Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper he says the government needs 'more powers' to get failed asylum seekers on to planes more quickly. ...

De Maziere wants central government to have authority for deportations rather than the 16 states which make up the German republic. ...

He also proposes giving police more powers by creating a central tracking agency to find, detain and deport illegals - 'a real federal police force,' he promised. ...

Tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers are currently clogging up the German justice system with taxpayer funded lawsuits fighting their deportation orders.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, racial profiling, Germany
Cologne Police Attacked for 'Racial Profiling' During New Year's Eve Security Operation
Oliver JJ Lane
Breitbart, 2 January 2017.

Hailed a success by its organisers for reducing the number of violent crimes committed on New Year's Eve from over 1,000 last year to less than a dozen, Cologne police are now being criticised for using "racial" methods.

Left-wing activists, including members of the local Green party, have criticised the police for focusing their security efforts too clearly at the same groups which were identified as the main perpetrators of the 2016 attacks. ...

Germany's Deutsche Welle reports the remarks of Green party chairman Simone Peter who noted that while the measures had worked, he doubted the legality of the police's actions. He said: "It raises the question of proportionality and legality when around 1,000 people were checked and partially detained based on their appearance alone." ...

... Upon arriving, hundreds of potential migrant troublemakers and even individuals known to have been involved in the 2016 attacks were immediately turned around and escorted to trains out of the centre.

... One train coming into the city which police learnt had 300 North Africans on-board was stopped and turned back just before it reached the centre. ...

The force also defended the 'Nafri' term, which was admitted to be an internal policing term. An internal document describing Nafris revealed in the German press briefs police officers that they come from Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, are generally between 15 and 25-years-old, and are violent.

The document states: "The clientele behaves very aggressively against intervening police officers and city colleagues... Armaments (folding knives) are regularly carried."
[Site link]

Terrorism – charities
Charities linked to terrorism at record high: extremists pose deadly threat by abusing fundraising groups, warns commission chief
Christopher Hope
Sunday Telegraph, 1 January 2017.

Reports of alleged links between charities and terrorism or extremism have surged to a record high, the charity watchdog has warned.

The number of times the Charity Commission has shared concerns about links between charities and extremism with police and other agencies has nearly trebled from 234 to 630 in just three years.

The Commission also opened eight compliance cases and four formal inquiries into "allegations of abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes" in 2015/16.

In an interview with the Telegraph, William Shawcross, the Commission's chairman, warned that extremism was "the most potentially dangerous and deadly" problem faced by charities.

He said: "It is the most dangerous because of the threat of Islamist extremism. It is not the most constant threat – it is the most potentially deadly threat."

The 630 disclosures, which Commission sources said was a record figure, concerned "allegations made and concerns about abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes, including concerns about charities operating in Syria and other higher risk areas, in which terrorist groups operate".
[Site link]

Asylum – children, fraud
Those man-child migrants? Some were as old as 29: Social workers discover hundreds of adult asylum seekers have lied about their age in order to enter Britain 'as teenagers'
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 1 January 2017.

A 29-year-old is among the hundreds of adult asylum-seekers in Britain who lied to officials and posed as children, according to newly released official figures.

Official age assessments carried out by social workers across the country revealed that a staggering number of those claiming to be lone refugee children were far older than they pretended to be.

In some cases they were close to 30 and could have posed a risk to school pupils or foster families had they not been checked.

The revelation comes after concerns were raised that some of the refugees allowed into Britain from the Jungle camp in Calais were no longer teenagers.

Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday from 50 local authorities across England show that social workers carried out 2,028 age tests between 2013-14 and 2015-16. Over these three years, almost one in four of the claimants – 465 – were found to be over 18.

Detailed figures provided under the Freedom of Information Act to this newspaper show that the eldest was found to be almost twice as old as he had claimed. ...

Overall, the number of people arriving in Britain and claiming to be lone refugee children has almost tripled in recent years, Home Office figures reveal, from 1,125 in 2012 to 3,253 in 2016.
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Sir Keir Starmer: Free movement rules 'have got to be changed'
Sebastian Whale
PoliticsHome, 1 January 2017.

Labour divisions over immigration have surfaced once more as the party's Brexit spokesperson called for a "fundamental rethink" of existing policies as the UK prepares to quit the EU.

Sir Keir Starmer said the rules surrounding free movement "have got to be changed", warning politicians must acknowledge why Britons backed leaving the EU at June's referendum.

His remarks appear to put him at odds with party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour's immigration spokesperson, Diane Abbott, who have resisted calls to curb free movement.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, the Shadow Brexit Secretary said: "There should be a fundamental rethink of immigration rules from start to finish.

"The rules on free movement have got to be changed – or the way the rules operate has got to change."
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam
Trojan Horse school witnesses fear for safety as names released
Andrew Gilligan
The Sunday Times, 1 January 2017.

The former police chief who led the official inquiry into the "Trojan Horse" schools scandal has accused the government of "betrayal" after it decided to give the alleged leaders of the plot the names and testimony of his confidential witnesses.

Sources who were promised anonymity received emails last month informing them that their identities and the full transcripts of their private evidence would be released to five of the alleged Trojan Horse ringleaders on Tuesday and made public.

The five are accused of conspiring to impose an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" on several Muslim-majority schools in Birmingham. They could be banned from teaching if the allegations are upheld.
[Site link]

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