IMMIGRATION CONCERN

Immigration and related issues, mainly in the United Kingdom.

Details of other pages are at the end of this page

RECENT NEWS AND VIEWS

Extracts in date order, except latest additions first. Updated 23 March 2017

*NEW*
Terrorism – European Union
Polish PM draws link between London attack and EU migrant policy
Reuters, 23 March 2017.

Poland's prime minister drew a link on Thursday between an attack in London targeting the British parliament and the European Union's migrant policy, saying the assault vindicated Warsaw's refusal to take in refugees.

Five people, including the attacker, were killed and about 40 injured on Wednesday after a car ploughed into pedestrians near the British parliament. Police believe the attack was "Islamist-related", but have given no details about the attacker, who they say was acting alone. ...

"I hear in Europe very often: do not connect the migration policy with terrorism, but it is impossible not to connect them," Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told private broadcaster TVN24.
[Site link]

 

*NEW*
Immigration abroad – USA
U.S. embassies ordered to identify population groups for tougher visa screening
Yeganeh Torbati, Mica Rosenberg and Arshad Mohammed
Reuters, 23 March 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has directed U.S. diplomatic missions to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny" and toughen screening for visa applicants in those groups, according to diplomatic cables seen by Reuters.

He has also ordered a "mandatory social media check" for all applicants who have ever been present in territory controlled by the Islamic State, in what two former U.S. officials said would be a broad, labour-intensive expansion of such screening. Social media screening is now done fairly rarely by consular officials, one of the former officials said. ...

Advocates and immigration lawyers said the guidance could lead to visa applicants being profiled on the basis of nationality or religion rather than because they pose an actual threat to the United States.
[Site link]

*NEW*
Immigration abroad – Turkey, Europe
Erdogan: Soon Europeans 'Will Not Walk Safely on Their Streets'
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 22 March 2017.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the European Union (EU) that if the diplomatic spat between Turkey and several European countries continues, Europeans won't be able to walk their own streets safely.

... Erdogan has threatened Europe before, but this time he threatened the safety of Europeans if the row continues, Die Welt reports.

"If you continue to behave like this, not a single European, not a single Westerner will be able to take a step on the road safely anytime in the world," Erdogan said at a press conference adding: "We as Turkey are calling on Europe to respect human rights and democracy."

Erdogan did not go into specifics of the threat, though many Turks living in countries like Germany and the Netherlands have expressed massive support for him following the failed coup attempt last year.
[Site link]

*NEW*
Immigration abroad – Italy
Boat Migrants Landing in Italy 'at a Pace Exceeding Anything We've Seen Before'
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 22 March 2017.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates 20,484 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea since the beginning of 2017, with numbers likely to explode as the continent heads into spring.

These totals do not include 3,312 migrants picked up off Libya on the 19th of March who are currently en route to Italy, according to the text of the IOM's report.

Including these migrants puts the number of Italian arrivals well ahead of the total for the first three months of 2015 (10,165) and the first three months of 2016 (18,777) – and March 2017 has over a week still to go. ...

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has previously confessed that its own activities, as well as the activities of vessels operated by pro-migration NGOs, seem to be responsible for this rising death toll.

"Dangerous crossings on unseaworthy and overloaded vessels were organised with the main purpose of being detected by EUNAVFOR Med/Frontex and NGO vessels," the agency reported in its most recent risk analysis.

"Apparently, all parties involved in SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean unintentionally help criminals achieve their objectives at minimum cost, strengthen their business model by increasing the chances of success."
[Site link]

*NEW*
Immigration abroad – Canada
Canada's New Immigration Problem Will Get Much Worse Once the Snow Melts, Lawmaker Predicts
Cristina Silva
Yahoo! News, 22 March 2017.

Hundreds of asylum seekers are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and Canadian officials are worried their illegal immigration problem will get much worse once snow on the ground melts, making it easier to cross the border during the spring and summer months. ...

Many asylum seekers are entering Canada in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. They told officials they were fleeing the United States because President Donald Trump could make it harder for them to obtain asylum. ...

Canadians aren't happy about the sudden influx of immigrants, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released Monday found. Roughly four out of 10 respondents said mass illegal immigration could make Canada "less safe."
[Site link]

*NEW*
Immigration abroad – public opinion, Islamism, Europe
Eastern European Youth: Islamism Biggest Problem in the European Union
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 22 March 2017.

According to a new survey, young Eastern Europeans love the idea of freedom of movement but totally disagree with open doors mass migration and see Islamism as the biggest threat to the European Union (EU).

The survey, carried out by the Bertelsmann Foundation, asked young people aged 15 to 24-years-old across the Visegrad 4 countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic), Germany, and Austria for their opinion on the EU. Across the Eastern European nations, a majority loved the idea of being able to work in different EU states, but were totally against the bloc forcing their countries to take in high numbers of migrants, Der Spiegel reports.

Seventy per cent of those surveyed in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary did not feel their countries should be made to accept asylum seekers. The results were almost the direct opposite in Germany where 73 per cent of young Germans and 61 per cent of young Austrians believed that their country had a responsibility to care for migrants.

Gabriele Schöler of the Bertelsmann Foundation said the results were "shocking".

When asked if migrants made their countries a better place and contributed to the economy, less than half (42 per cent) of Germans said "yes" while very nearly the same – 40 per cent – said a firm "no". Seventy-eight per cent of Hungarians also said "no" followed by 73 per cent of Slovakians, 65 per cent of Czechs, and 58 per cent of Poles. ...

While the young people in the six countries differed on questions of migrants, they all agreed that radical Islamism was the biggest threat to Europe.
[Site link]

Immigration – public opinion
Seven in ten voters say EU immigration MUST be curbed after Brexit but 60% would accept paying into Brussels coffers
James Tapsfield
MailOnline, 22 March 2017.

Britons overwhelmingly want immigration from the EU to be curbed in the impending Brexit negotiations - but they would be willing to pay Brussels to keep some aspects of membership.

The public's hopes for the divorce process, due to be kicked off by Theresa May next week, have been revealed in a major poll.

Some 68 per cent are determined that the principle of free movement has to go - in line with the PM's promise that the UK will regain control of borders.

But 88 per cent are keen to maintain free trade after we leave, according to the study by the NatCen think-tank. Even among Leave voters, 55 per cent would support paying into EU coffers to participate in specific schemes. ...

The majority want to end welfare benefits for EU migrants (77 per cent of Leave voters, 51 per cent of Remain voters).
[Site link]

Social cohesion
The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart – a liberal's rightwing turn on immigration
Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian, 22 March 2017.
[Review of "The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics"]

In 2004, he wrote an essay for Prospect magazine, ... In "Too Diverse?", he argued that there was a trade-off between increased diversity, through mass immigration, and social solidarity, in the form of the welfare state. Goodhart said that for citizens willingly to hand some of their hard-earned cash to others via their taxes, they needed to feel a basic level of affinity with those others. He wrote that in the homogenous societies of old that was never a problem: citizens felt the mutual obligation of kinship. But in the highly mixed societies of today, such fellow-feeling was strained. ...

Given all that, and whatever other objections Goodhart's new book might provoke, few could call it irrelevant or untimely. In The Road to Somewhere he returns to this most vexed terrain, picking his way through nettles and thorns that might deter thinner-skinned writers. He doesn't tread that carefully either.

He argues that the key faultline in Britain and elsewhere now separates those who come from Somewhere – rooted in a specific place or community, usually a small town or in the countryside, socially conservative, often less educated – and those who could come from Anywhere: footloose, often urban, socially liberal and university educated. He cites polling evidence to show that Somewheres make up roughly half the population, with Anywheres accounting for 20% to 25% and the rest classified as "Inbetweeners".

A key litmus test to determine which one of these "values tribes" you belong to is your response to the question of whether Britain now feels like a foreign country. Goodhart cites a YouGov poll from 2011 that found 62% agreed with the proposition: "Britain has changed in recent times beyond recognition, it sometimes feels like a foreign country and this makes me uncomfortable." Only 30% disagreed. A 2014 survey found a similar breakdown when asked if "people led happier lives in the old days". ...

... There can be little escape from the damning conclusion that, when faced with the chasm in attitudes Goodhart charts, especially on immigration, liberals chose to put their fingers in their ears and sing la, la, la. ...

So Goodhart deserves credit for confronting this issue early and front on. But that does not mean either his diagnosis or his prescriptions are right.

First, in his sympathy for Somewheres he caricatures Anywheres. ...

Second, Goodhart insists that the views of Somewheres have been overlooked for decades, over-ruled by the Anywheres who control the commanding heights of political and cultural power, from the civil service to the universities to the BBC. ...

... Goodhart skates over this crucial hole in his argument. He claims Somewhere views are marginalised in our collective life, yet the Mail, Sun, Express, Telegraph and the rest air little else. It is the liberal internationalism of Anywheres that is drowned out.

Where Goodhart goes wrong above all is on Britain's ethnic and religious minorities. ...

Even if that is asking too much, surely the task now is not to look back to the time when homogeneity made a cohesive society easy, but to ask how today's heterogeneous society might be made more cohesive, despite the difficulties. Goodhart is right that people are more inclined to share with those they regard as their fellows: so the challenge is to make all citizens, including the newer ones, appear to each other as fellows.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Italy, Europe
SIX THOUSAND immigrants rescued from Mediterranean in last few days
Daily Express, 22 March 2017.

More than 6,000 migrants have been rescued on the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy in the last few days, as greater numbers take to the sea in warmer weather, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said today. ...

Almost 20,000 have already made it by sea to mainland Europe in the first 67 days of 2017, it emerged yesterday.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – language, employment, France
'It violates our rules' EU bigwig BLASTS French ban on foreign languages on building sites
Romina McGuinness
Daily Express, 22 March 2017.

A new law banning labourers from speaking anything other than French on publicly-funded building sites in the Paris region "discriminates against" and "unfairly targets" foreign workers, an EU commissioner has claimed.

Earlier this month, Paris officials passed a 'Small Business Act' in a bid to funnel more local public contracts to small French businesses.

The move is also reportedly to help improve workplace safety and "squeeze out" foreign workers.

The act includes the hotly-contested Molière clause, which states that labourers hired to work on state-funded building projects must use French as their working language. ...

European rules on public procurement bar member states from discriminating against companies from another EU countries uniquely on grounds of their nationality.

But French officials have openly criticised this rule and have long argued that it allows French companies to hire cheap foreign workers – often from eastern Europe – who undercut locals. ...

Paris was the fourth region to introduce rules requiring companies to use the French language on public building sites, after Normandy, Hauts-de-France and Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – extremism, Islam, France
Study: Third of France's Young Muslims Hold Fundamentalist Religious Views
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 21 March 2017.

A study looking at the prevalence of radical ideology among high school students has found that French Muslims are much more likely to tolerate violence and to hold fundamentalist religious views than other pupils.

The National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) study involved more than 7,000 students, aged between 14 and 16, who were studying at 21 schools and four academies in France.

Sociologists who conducted the survey, Anne Muxel and Olivier Galland, stressed the sample is not representative of French youth as a whole.

The schools included in the study are located in poor areas, with overrepresentation in the student body of pupils from working class backgrounds (41 per cent), students with immigrant backgrounds (38 per cent), and Muslims (25 per cent).

The CNRS reported that 11 per cent of respondents overall adhere to religious fundamentalism, which rises to 32 per cent among Muslim youths.

Mr. Galland noted a "striking difference" between the figure compared with six per cent of Christians and 0.6 per cent of non-Muslims identified by the governmental research organisation as "religious absolutists".

"However, two-thirds of Muslims do not adhere to these ideas," the sociologist added.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam, Labour Party, Birmingham
How pandering PC Labour councillors helped create the UK's jihadi breeding ground: One in ten convicted Islamic terrorists come from a tiny area of Birmingham. But the cause may be even more disturbing...
Paul Bracchi
Daily Mail, 20 March 2017.

Leicester, with a significant but more widely dispersed Muslim population, has bred only two convicted terrorists over the past two decades compared with the 26 from in and around Sparkbrook, which is more than 70 per cent Muslim.

But the sweeping social and demographic changes in the heart of Birmingham down the years are only part of the story.

The Labour-controlled administration on Birmingham City council, Europe's largest local authority, has been consistently accused of turning a blind eye to extremism.

The council itself admitted in the aftermath of the Trojan Horse Scandal – when militant Muslims attempted to infiltrate state schools to impose an Islamic agenda – that it had shied away from the problem out of a 'fear of being accused of racism'.

Others, including a former head forced out of her school by hardliners, are convinced there was another reason for the council's inaction: that most Muslims and ethnic minorities in general tend to vote Labour.

This culture of acquiescence – and in some cases blatant pandering – has been exacerbated by many leading Muslim councillors. ...

This kind of political leadership has, it seems, done little to deter the spread of Islamic militancy in Birmingham – especially in Sparkbrook.

A university analysis identified Sparkbrook as one of two areas outside London with more than 30 per cent of people not born in the UK. A significant number of Sparkbrook inhabitants do not speak English.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – public opinion, Canada, USA
Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported: Reuters poll
Rod Nickel and David Ljunggren
Reuters, 20 March 2017.

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

A significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said the border crossers could make Canada "less safe," underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau's Liberal government.

The increasing flow of hundreds of asylum-seekers of African and Middle Eastern origin from the United States in recent months has become a contentious issue in Canada. ...

When asked specifically about the recent border crossings from the United States, the same number - 48 percent - said Canada should "send these migrants back to the U.S." Another 36 percent said Canada should "accept these migrants" and let them seek refugee status.

In the United States, where President Donald Trump was elected partly on his promise to boost deportations, 50 percent of adults supported "increasing the deportation of illegal immigrants," according to a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll that was conducted during the same week in the United States.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – terrorism, Belgium
Belgium's Molenbeek home to 51 groups with terror links: report
Cynthia Kroet
Politico, 20 March 2017.

A confidential report into anti-terror measures has revealed that police in the Brussels district of Molenbeek have uncovered 51 organizations with suspected ties to terrorism, local media reported Monday.

Police performed door-to-door checks and examined more than 8,600 houses and 22,668 inhabitants, a quarter of all Molenbeek residents, in the past year in a bid to improve security in Brussels.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon pledged to "clean up" Molenbeek, after authorities confirmed many of the suspects involved in the Paris and Brussels terror attacks either lived or operated from the area.
[Site link]

Racism – education
University appoints the UK's first professor of race and education
Yorkshire Post, 20 March 2017.

The UK's first professor of race and education will take up her post at Leeds Beckett next month as the university moves to address inequality in education.

Professor Shirley Ann Tate will join the Carnegie School of Education on April 3, where she will help to build and lead a new research team that will work with schools, nurseries, universities and community groups to challenge racism, improve outcomes for children and develop professionals who are able to create a real impact in their settings.

Her appointment comes after figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed that there were only 25 black female professors in the UK in the last academic year. ...

Professor Tate, who is currently an associate professor in race and culture at the University of Leeds, has written widely on topics including the body, mixed race, beauty, and the cultures of skin.

Her writing, research and teaching also includes drawing on black feminist, gender, critical race, queer, post colonial and Caribbean decolonial theory.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam, Labour Party
Man Who Helped Run 'Trojan Horse' School Now at Heart of Birmingham Labour
Guido Fawkes, 20 March 2017.

A man at the centre of the 'Trojan Horse' schools scandal is helping to run the Labour campaign machine in Birmingham, Guido can reveal. Mohammad Ashraf was a governor at Golden Hillock School, which was placed into special measures after it emerged it had segregated boys and girls, banned the teaching of some subjects and taught pupils: "Islam is the true religion, not like those Christians and Jews". ...

Yet Guido can reveal that, in spite of his past actions, Ashraf remains heavily active in Labour Party politics. This month he acted as a referee for the Labour council candidate Alison Gove-Humphries, who was deselected on Saturday after Guido revealed her posts linking Israel to ISIS. Ashraf was pictured in Stoke campaigning for new Labour MP Gareth Snell. He is listed on Birmingham Labour's website as the party's contact in Hall Green. This man helped run a Trojan Horse school, now he is helping run Labour's campaigns in Birmingham...

... Today's Daily Mail runs an investigation showing how Birmingham Labour councillors turned a blind eye to Islamist extremism in the city. Birmingham Labour is a rotten borough, not ideal for Sion Simon's "This is England" campaign for West Midlands mayor...
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Tony Blair admits he 'didn't know the numbers' on EU migration but defends its benefits for Britain
Dan Bloom
Mirror, 19 March 2017.

Tony Blair has admitted he could not foresee the number of EU migrants that would come to Britain in recent years.

The ex-Prime Minister said "we didn't know the numbers" when his Labour government backed enlargement of the bloc in 2004 to nations including Poland, Hungary and Latvia.

But he insisted limits in the first four years would not have made a difference, because migration rose sharply as the financial crisis bit later.

And he defended migration's "great benefit" to Britain in a passionate defence of globalisation and condemnation of the "tragedies" of Brexit.

Mr Blair insisted globalisation was an "unstoppable force" that would have happened with his government or without it. ...

Mr Blair spoke to the BBC's Andrew Marr show to outline his return to politics as he sets up the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – criminals, deportation, USA
23 countries refuse to take back criminal aliens
Leo Hohmann
WND, 19 March 2017.

More than 2,000 criminal non-citizens, including many here illegally, are released from prison every year onto the streets of American cities.

Americans like Casey Chadwick, 25, have paid with their lives. She was stabbed to death outside her apartment in Norwich, Connecticut, by an illegal criminal alien from Haiti who had already served 17 years in prison for attempted murder. ICE had tried to deport him several times but Haiti would not accept him.

The problem is that 23 countries will not take back their criminal migrants, according to a DHS report cited by Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The government has not named all 23 uncooperative nations but WND has been able to identify 13 of them.

The five worst are Cuba, China, Somalia, India and Ghana. ...

Adding to the indignity and lack of fair play, the U.S. continues to grant visas and refugee status to foreign nationals from these 23 countries. And in many cases, the U.S. also continues to send foreign aid to these recalcitrant nations that refuse to cooperate with ICE in taking back their criminals. ...

In addition to the 23 countries that don't cooperate at all with ICE, another 60 cannot be counted on to consistently cooperate.
[Site link]

Population – Turks, Europe
Erdogan calls on Turkish families in Europe to have five children to protect against 'injustices'
Raf Sanchez
Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2017.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turkey's citizens in Europe to step up their rates of procreation and have five children each, saying a booming Turkish population would be the best answer to the EU's "vulgarism, antagonism, and injustice". ...

Speaking in the central city of Eskisehir, Turkey's president urged "his brothers and sisters in Europe" to begin a baby boom in their new countries. "Have not just three but five children," he told his flag-waving audience.

"The place in which you are living and working is now your homeland and new motherland. Stake a claim to it. Open more businesses, enroll your children in better schools, make your family live in better neighborhoods, drive the best cars, live in the most beautiful houses."

The message was addressed to the 1.4 million Turkish voters who live in Germany, as well as the large Turkish populations in Holland, Austria, Bulgaria and the UK.
[Site link]

Crime – Romanians
Romanian crime gang who amassed £3 million from 11 'meticulously planned' jewellery store raids across the UK are jailed for 47 years
Harvey Day
MailOnline, 18 March 2017.

A Romanian crime gang set up camp and cycled to jewellers across the country armed with sledgehammers and set cars alight to block police in a string of burglaries where they stole more than £3 million worth of property.

Six men were jailed for 47 years today for offences, including a £644,900 raid on a store in Milton Keynes, committed between November 2015 and September 2016. ...

Detective Chief Inspector Ricky Fields said the group could be linked to the notorious Romanian Crime Academy as several of the members came from the same region of the country and employed similar strategies.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – deportation, South Africa
Home Affairs turn screws on migrants: Changes five Acts border processing centres citizen panel
Karl Gernetzky
Sunday Times [South Africa], 18 March 2017.

The Department of Home Affairs will push ahead with plans to establish border processing centres for refugees as part of sweeping legislative changes to SA's immigration regime that will also redefine processes leading to citizenship. ...

The department sees the policy framework as a shift towards a more "Afro-centric" immigration regime leveraging the development potential of migration particularly at a regional level.

The draft White Paper seeks to increase "rules" on economic migrants and the removal of an automatic progression from residency to citizenship.

The Green Paper on International Migration published in June 2016 proposed sweeping changes to SA's approach to economic migrants refugees and naturalisation.

These included "processing camps" that would house refugees pending adjudication of their cases. ...

Some 16 million foreigners enter and exit SA every year with 1 082 669 asylum seekers being registered between 2006 and 2015. SA has also deported 369 000 people from 2012 to 2017 with Home Affairs estimating that 95% of asylum applications are from economic migrants as opposed to political refugees.
[Site link]

Racism – culture, sense of loss, populism
'It's a sense of loss!' Wanting to CONTROL immigration is NOT RACIST, blasts professor
Chris Campbell
Daily Express, 18 March 2017.

A university professor hit out at public understanding of racism, claiming labels are being thrown around that could push more people towards populism.

Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, rejected the idea that wanting to "slow" immigration was racist and it could be understandable for a community to want more people around who are like them.

Speaking on Newsnight, Professor Kaufmann suggested shutting down conversation over the issue would lead to bigger problems and more division.

He said: "With racist self interest, for example, something like wanting slower immigration, which is something that a certain section of the majority community wants, to label that as racism I think is problematic and counterproductive."

Asked by host Evan Davis if that was the reason behind what was being termed as a "backlash" and "populism" in the UK, the professor agreed it was "partly" behind it. ...

"A lot of this is simply about a sense of cultural loss, which doesn't mean that should drive policy but it does mean that's something we should be cognisant of. I think if we call that racist, we're going to alienate a lot of people and drive them into the hands of populism."
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – NGOs, Italy
EU Border Control Accuses NGOs of Providing Shuttle Service for African Migrants
Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.
Breitbart, 18 March 2017.

In a remarkably blunt analysis of the massive migration from North Africa to Italy in 2016, the European Frontex agency has denounced human traffickers' exploitation of NGOs to efficiently transport African migrants from Libya to Italy.

The NGOs, the report suggests, whether knowingly or not, have become accomplices to people smugglers by providing a reliable shuttle service for migrants from Africa to Europe, lowering smugglers' costs and improving their "business model."

The assistance by NGOs has virtually eliminated the need for traffickers to procure seaworthy vessels capable of making the dangerous voyage across the southern Mediterranean, the report notes, since traffickers need only transport their passengers a few miles off the Libyan coast where they will be picked up by "rescue" vessels. It also allows traffickers to operate without fear of arrest by law enforcement.

Frontex, the European agency in charge of control of the EU's borders, has identified a major shift in maritime rescue operations from military vessels to NGOs, a shift intentionally orchestrated by traffickers. ...

During the first period, "smuggling groups instructed migrants to make satellite phone calls to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome to initiate targeted rescues on the high seas," the report states. More than 50 percent of all search and rescue (SAR) operations were initiated in this way, and the missions were mainly undertaken by Italian law-enforcement.

As of 2016, however, satellite phone calls to MRCC Rome decreased sharply to 10 percent and the military began playing a significantly diminished role in rescue operations.

Since June 2016, the report continues, a significant number of boats have been intercepted by NGO vessels "without any prior distress call and without official information as to the rescue location."

These rescues did not occur somewhere out in the Mediterranean, but extremely near the Libyan coast, and sometimes even in Libyan territorial waters. "NGO presence and activities close to, and occasionally within, the 12-mile Libyan territorial waters nearly doubled compared with the previous year," Frontex states, and as a result, "the overall number of incidents increased dramatically."

According to statistical data, criminal networks, particularly Libyan-based smugglers, have relied heavily on SAR missions, as well as humanitarian assistance efforts, "turning it into a distinct tactical advantage," the report states, adding that "the scope of the problem is alarming."

Frontex delicately adds that "all parties involved in SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean unintentionally help criminals achieve their objectives at minimum cost, strengthen their business model by increasing the chances of success." ...

All in all, in 2016, the Central Mediterranean "saw the highest number of migrant arrivals ever recorded from sub-Sahara, West Africa and the Horn of Africa," totally 181,459 migrants, or an increase of 18 percent over the previous year.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Turks, Netherlands
Trouble brewing in Netherlands as Erdogan supporters win first seats in Dutch election
Katie Mansfield
Daily Express, 17 March 2017.

A Turkish-Dutch party has secured its first ever seats in the Netherlands parliament as the Turkey row escalates.

Denk, a party founded by Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk has become the first ever ethic minority party in the Dutch parliament.

The party, which has long been accused of being a mouthpiece for Turkish president Recep Erdogan, won three seats in an election focused on immigration.
[Site link]

Racism – xenophobia, Brexit
Talk of a nonexistent 'tide of hate' against EU migrants does nothing to help their cause
Jim Butcher
LSE Brexit blog, 17 March 2017.
[Jim Butcher is a Reader in the School of Human and Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University]

The idea that there is a post-Brexit tide of hate has wide currency amongst Brexit's critics. Polly Toynbee in the Guardian has claimed that 'Brexit supporters have unleashed furies even they can't control' and that post-Brexit 'those feeling betrayed will lurch even further into racism and xenophobia'. Academic and anti-Brexit campaigner Tanja Bueltmann referred this month to a 'wave of xenophobia sweeping across the country'. Scientist Mike Galsworthy has argued that 'a rising tide of xenophobia' will discourage scientists from working in the UK.

Campaigners and some on the Left who opposed Brexit have concurred. The anti-racist Monitoring Group in London said 'no person should have been surprised to see the alarming rise of racism and the spread of xenophobia across the country so rapidly after the outcome of the Brexit vote.' They added that 'Brexit represents a new, unlike any other, dangerous phase for people of colour and migrants in our country.' The same sentiments have been expressed at recent demonstrations, on social media and in the universities.

The EU collects data on a variety of social attitudes, including immigration. Whilst the spike in reported hate incidents immediately following the EU referendum has been much discussed, the EU's data suggests that the notion of a general 'tide of hate' or xenophobia is, to say the least, a misreading of the mood. Its EU Barometer survey asks whether immigration (EU and non-EU) invokes a positive or negative feeling for respondents. The most recent figures from November 2016 indicate that the UK is average within the EU with regard to positivity towards immigration from EU member states. If there is a tide of hate, this suggests it is not solely a UK/Brexit phenomenon.

The 'tide of hate' thesis is explicitly linked to Brexit, so it is worth considering whether there could be a Brexit effect on the UK figures. A comparison /.../ indicates that the UK public actually became more positive towards EU immigration between November 2015 and November 2016, the period covering the campaign, vote and supposedly hate-filled aftermath. ...

There is nothing here that supports the 'tide of hate thesis'. ...

The EU also collects figures for people's positivity and negativity towards non-EU immigration. Whilst this is not directly linked to Brexit (the issue being the rights of EU immigrants), this has not stopped some commentators extending the 'tide of hate' thesis to apply to all non-EU nationals in the UK, BME UK citizens and the LGBT community. Yet the UK's positivity towards non-EU immigration is significantly higher than the EU average. ...

... There will doubtless be a few caveats I have not mentioned. However, the figures must cause a questioning of the 'tide of hate' thesis. There simply isn't any suggestion of it in the EU's own figures. ...

Yet the assertion of a tide of hate or xenophobia does a disservice to the cause of solidarity between people of different backgrounds and nationalities. It does this by establishing a dubious moral, rather than political, division between people who voted Brexit and those who voted Remain, the former mischaracterised as irrational and hateful. This assumed xenophobic tide is to be 'called out', shamed, associated with the far right and not taken seriously or argued with.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – terrorism, public opinion, France
Six out of 10 People in France 'Don't Feel Safe Anywhere'
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 17 March 2017.

Fearing terror attacks, the majority of people in France are pessimistic about the nation's security situation, with six in 10 saying they no longer feel safe anywhere according to an IFOP-FIDUCIAL poll.

The survey found that 93 per cent of French believe the threat of more terror attacks is high, and 71 per cent feel the security situation in France has got worse over the last five years.

More broadly, 59 per cent of those polled said they did not feel safe anywhere, with almost one in four (24 per cent) opting to "strongly agree" with the statement. ...

The vast majority of respondents (88 per cent) believe France should deport foreigners sentenced to prison for serious offences, and 84 per cent want the country to create more prison places.

A slight majority (55 per cent) would like to see France exit the European Union's open borders Schengen zone.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – detention
'10,000 deportees will be released onto Britain's streets' following new ruling
Rebecca Flood
Daily Express, 17 March 2017.

As many as 10,000 would-be immigrants fighting deportation could be released onto Britain's streets following a House of Lords ruling.

The decision from the unelected upper house, which is being seen as a humiliating slap in the face for the Government, was immediately attacked as a "threat to public safety."

The Immigration Bill debate hinged on how long would-be immigrants should be detained at immigration centres.

Currently immigrants can be held indefinitely but peers voted for a cap of 28 days.

Critic Lord Keen of Elie, who is also the Advocate General for Scotland, claimed the move would jeopardise safety and security in the UK, and said: "Such an amendment would significantly impact on our abilities to enforce immigration controls and maintain public safety."

The Lords voted 187 to 170 for the limit, which can only be extended by a court.

Crossbench peer Lord Green of Deddington said the 28-day time limit could lead to up to 10,000 people a year appealing for release from detention and said: "The power of detention is essential to effective removal.

"It is fundamental to the whole immigration system. Broadly speaking, I would say that the system is working.

"It would encourage people to spin things out to get to 28 days, and then who knows, they may disappear," Lord Green said. ...

A group of cross-party peers recommended the cap last year, with the The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees and the APPG on Migration putting forward a report. ...

A spokesman said: "Any legislation that's in the House of Lords if it's amended will be sent back to be either accepted or rejected."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Denmark
'One in five' newborns in Denmark has foreign heritage
The Local [Denmark], 17 March 2017.

The proportion of babies with non-Danish mothers has risen significantly over the last decade, says a report.

Of the 61,614 children born in Denmark in 2016, over 20 percent were born to an immigrant or someone with immigrant background, reports newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

The influx of refugees from Syria is one of the biggest factors in the statistic, says the report, with Syrian mothers making up the second biggest nationality group in the statistic after Danish, with Turkish the third largest.

A total of 18.5 percent of all newborns were born to foreign mothers, while 21.6 percent were born to either immigrants or descendants of immigrants.

The figures, taken from Statistics Denmark, show a significant increase since 2007, when the proportion stood at 13.5 percent.

Demographic changes of this kind can affect Danish society in a number of ways, says population researcher and professor Poul Christian Matthiesen, who told Kristeligt Dagblad he expects immigration to Denmark and Europe to continue. ...

"The economic burden for society from non-Western immigrants and their descendants adds up to 15-20 billion kroner ($2.2-2.9 billion) per year. That is the equivalent of one percent of GNP," Matthiesen told the newspaper.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Turkey, Europe
Fears of new migrant crisis after threat from Turkey to relax its border
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 16 March 2017.

Fears are growing Europe could be gripped by a new migrant crisis this summer after Turkey threatened to relax its border controls.

Tensions with the EU have soured to such a point a deal that sealed a popular refugee route to the continent could be torn up.

Last year Turkey promised to stop migrants using the country to enter the EU in return for aid and visa-free travel to the bloc.

Now Omer Celik Turkey's minister for EU affairs has aid he believes the time has come for Turkey to reassess its migration agreement with the European Union, since it has become clear the EU was not following through on its promise to grant Turks visa-free travel. ...

Under the terms of the deal signed between Turkey and Brussels asylum seekers were prevented from crossing by sea to the Greek islands in return for billions in aid to deal with the three million Syrian refugees on Turkish soil.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Turkey, Europe
Dutch elections: Turkish minister claims 'holy wars will soon begin in Europe' after Geert Wilders beaten
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 16 March 2017.

A Turkish minister has claimed "holy wars will soon begin" in Europe, in spite of the defeat of far-right leader Geert Wilders in the Netherlands elections.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, did not welcome the victory for Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

"Now the election is over in the Netherlands... when you look at the many parties you see there is no difference between the social democrats and fascist Wilders," he said according to a translation by Hurriyet.

"All have the same mentality. Where will you go? Where are you taking Europe? You have begun to collapse Europe. You are dragging Europe into the abyss. Holy wars will soon begin in Europe." ...

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prominent ministers have called the Dutch government "fascists" and "Nazis", while EU leaders have called the allegations offensive and "detached from reality".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Netherlands
Geert Wilders didn't win – but he has reshaped Dutch politics
Rose Asani
Spectator blog, 16 March 2017.

If the 2017 Dutch election was seen as a bellwether for populism in Europe, the verdict is still out. Mark Rutte's liberal VVD may have come out on top, but it was a limping victory. One which saw the party lose around a quarter of its seats and radically shift its position over immigration.

Just a year ago Rutte stood firm that immigrants were welcome in his country. But as the winds seemed to favour the anti-immigration stance of far-right parties, his rhetoric changed. 'Act normal or go away,' he said recently. It was in response to growing concerns that immigrants arriving in the Netherlands were not yet integrating. ...

'They get a nice home and money to buy furniture, when pensioners, Dutch pensioners, are struggling,' one woman told me. That's something I heard time and time again on the campaign trail. Other views echoed the more recent stance of Rutte. 'We are a tolerant nation, but Islam is intolerant,' they said. They don't integrate,' was another common response to the debate about Islam, pushed by Wilders.

Wilders has been described by many in the media as 'racist' but most people I've spoken to in the Netherlands see him as just 'saying what the majority of people think'. Even those who told me they despised Wilders defended his right to air his views. A lot even agreed there was a problem with integration and those who couldn't assimilate, shouldn't come here.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – public opinion, Islam, Islamisation
Why the fear of Islamization is driving populist right support, and what to do about it
Eric Kaufmann
16 March 2017.
[Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College]

The Muslim share of the population, and its rate of increase, is an important barometer of cultural change. /.../ Muslims are not only culturally different to Europe's white majorities, but – because our brains are drawn to vivid images rather than representative data – evoke panic about terrorism and threats to liberty. ...

Why focus only on Western Europe? Because right-wing populism in established democracies differs in important ways from similar phenomena in the new democracies of the continent's East. There are two main types of nationalism: one focused on national status, pride and humiliation; the other on ensuring the alignment of politics and culture. East Europe's nationalism is more concerned with the former, West European nationalism with the latter. ...

... If you are white and less concerned about safe and secure surroundings, the share of Muslims in your country has only a small impact on your view of immigrants. If you care about safety and security, Muslim share makes a big difference to those views.

What to do? To begin with, mainstream parties and the media need to acknowledge that demographic change increases anxiety over immigration among whites whose values are oriented toward security and order. Having isolated the real issue, they must then focus their efforts on raising people's awareness about the realities – not the fantasies – of Muslim demography in their countries. This will be much more effective than decrying worries as racist – which will only amplify fears that people are not being told the truth. ...

The belief that Muslims have sky-high fertility and will take over Europe is not confined to viral videos with over 16m views. ...

... Across Europe, the average overestimate of 2020 Muslim share is 25 points. Previous work by Bobby Duffy and Tom Frere-Smith at Ipsos-Mori shows that people across the West routinely overestimate immigrant share by a factor of two or three.

... In 2050, no West European country will be more than 12.4 per cent Muslim, far lower than most think is the case today.

Europeans should also be regularly told about what is happening with Muslim total fertility rates (TFR). These have dropped across much of the Muslim world. /.../ Finally, how many French voters are aware that half of Algerian-origin men marry out, or that 60 percent of French people with one or more Algerian-origin parents say they have no religious affiliation?

Europe's opinion formers have gushed about transformative diversity so much that people now believe it. /.../ Europe's mainstream parties and the media need to stop skirting public anxieties and start addressing the mammoth problem of demographic illiteracy.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Turkey, Europe
A year on from a deal with Turkey, Europe still struggles with migration
The Economist, 16 March 2017.

Lounging in a smoky café in Aksaray, a rundown part of Istanbul, Ahmed, a 23-year-old Palestinian people-smuggler, expresses confidence in the future of his industry. "People come here, they have sold everything, they will find a way to get smuggled," he shrugs. Business has got harder since March 18th 2016, when the European Union struck a deal with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, to send asylum-seekers back from Europe. But people are still trying to make the journey. Indeed, Ahmed boasts, before the deal smuggling was "too easy".

Ahmed's bravado contradicts European politicians' claims that the deal with Turkey has broken the smugglers' business model. Going purely by the numbers, the Europeans would seem to be right. Before the deal was struck around 50,000 people crossed the Aegean to Greece on flimsy boats each month. Between December 2016 and February this year, only about 3,500 made the journey. ...

In Turkey it is not hard to find people-smugglers still plying their trade. Mohammed (not his real name), a 37-year-old Palestinian who claims to have given up smuggling after he was caught and jailed for four months, estimates that around 100 smugglers are still operating in Istanbul. Their tactics have changed: some asylum-seekers fly to Europe from Turkey using passports – bought or stolen – belonging to similar-looking EU citizens. A few have been sent from Kas, farther south on the Turkish coast, to Kastellorizo, a tiny Greek island. Others are smuggled from Syria to Sudan, then up through Libya to Italy, Mohammed claims.

As the numbers show, however, since the deal many more migrants are staying put in Turkey. Some 2.9m Syrians and hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis live there.
[Site link]

Immigration – crime checks
Migrant teachers and nurses face overseas crime checks
BBC, 16 March 2017.

Teachers, nurses and social workers from outside the European Union are set to face criminal record checks before being allowed to work in the UK.

From April, migrants from outside the EU will need to provide a certificate with visa applications disclosing whether they have criminal convictions.

Most employers already require people to self-disclose they have no criminal record and they carry out UK checks.

But the Home Office says the move is designed to "strengthen safeguards".

The change, which is subject to parliamentary approval, will apply to applicants from non-European Economic Area countries for a Tier 2 visa to take up jobs which involve working with children and vulnerable adults. ...

An applicant's partner, or a partner wishing to join an existing skilled migrant worker in the same sectors, will also be asked to produce a certificate.

The requirement could be waived where it is deemed not "reasonably practicable" to obtain a certificate, such as if a country or authority does not produce such documents.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – Sikhs
Hundreds of Afghan migrants get to UK disguised as Sikh relatives as turbans hide identity
Simon Osborne
Daily Express, 15 March 2017.

Hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers came into the UK using the genuine passports of British Sikhs because of the turbans on their identification photographs.

Border officials are said to have difficulty distinguishing between illegal immigrants and genuine passport holders because Sikh men are allowed to wear turbans in their ID documents.

Three Sikh men, Daljit Kapoor, 41, Harmit Kapoor, 40, and Davinder Chawla, 42, have admitted running a scam providing Sikhs from the war-torn country with passports of family members who most looked like them so they could pass themselves off as British citizens.

Around 30 people from the same Afghan Sikh community are said to have successfully claimed asylum after paying the trio £12,000 per family to enter the UK.

But immigration authorities believe there may be hundreds more as the scam is thought to have gone on for a number of years undetected.

The three will be sentenced at Inner London Crown Court later this month for their part in the people-smuggling racket. ...

In February 2011 Chawla, along with four other men was jailed for five years for also helping illegal immigrants enter the country as part of an identical conspiracy.
[Site link]

Racism – politics, Wales
UKIP-Labour row over avoiding racism in local elections
BBC, 15 March 2017.

Labour and UKIP AMs have blamed each other after failing to agree an all-party anti-racism pledge.

The statement urges local election candidates not to address immigration in a way that builds resentment against different races or nationalities.

Labour said all the assembly party leaders, apart from UKIP's Neil Hamilton, had backed the statement.

UKIP said it wanted a version making clear the majority of people concerned about immigration "are not racists".

The introduction to the 366-word statement begins: "All local authorities in Wales will be subject to elections on 4 May 2017.

"They are taking place against a backdrop of heightened attention being given to immigration and its impact, both in Britain and internationally.

"Local government has a vital role to play in caring for migrants and asylum seekers, particularly with new people coming unexpectedly to their area in need of council services.

"In this situation, it is vital that candidates for election avoid addressing the issue in a way which serves to build up resentment against those of different nationality or race."

The statement continues: "Racism has absolutely no place in Wales. We are united in this message."

Labour said it had a "shared vision" - with Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Liberal Democrats - of Wales as a vibrant, tolerant and welcoming place to live and "only the UKIP leader declined to sign-up to the joint statement".

Responding, a spokesman for UKIP said Labour was "incorrect".

"UKIP was happy to sign up to the following statement sent to us by the Leader of the House, Jane Hutt AM," he said.

"UKIP condemns racism in every shape and form."

The spokesman said the party wanted to add an amendment to the statement "to make it clear, however, that the overwhelming majority of people in Wales who are concerned about immigration are not racists".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – deportation, Germany
Merkel DESTROYED for failing to deport 500K migrants - with some in Germany for 20 YEARS
Jon Rogers
Daily Express, 14 March 2017.

Public confidence in Angela Merkel's administration is being eroded over her failure to deport more than half a million asylum seekers, the Chancellor has been told.

Mrs Merkel, 62, has failed to remove a total of 556,499 migrants who had their asylum applications turned down and have remained in Germany, according to figures released by the Bundestag.

According to the figures, four out of five of those have been in the country for more than six years which means they are now entitled to more rights.

Many of the total are believed to have been living in Germany since the 1990s. ...

Christian Social Union (CSU) MP Hans-Peter Friedrich, who was a former Interior Minister in Mrs Merkel's Government said: "Allowing rejected asylum seekers to dance around the state like this is destroying the confidence of citizens in the capacity of the state to act."

Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police trade union, said: "There is a deportation prevention industry, which must be changed urgently."

About half of the figure have an unlimited right to stay due to a variety of reasons including being stateless; their native country being unwilling to accept them back or they have a medical condition.

Others though have remained in the country illegally or have claimed they do not have any identity papers, delaying their expulsion.
[Site link]

Immigration – diversity
Why we must allay the people's fears about immigration
Simon Jenkins
Evening Standard, 14 March 2017.

Tomorrow the Dutch go the polls and "not speaking Dutch" has brought Wilders within striking distance of power. A salient cause is the Netherlands' militant Turks. Almost five million now live in western Europe, occupying a majority of primary school places in some German provinces. And that is just Turks. A million immigrants arrived in western Europe last year, and the same number the year before, almost all of them Muslims with little affinity for European languages or culture.

Lumping together language, religion and country of origin is seldom helpful, but the antagonism towards all forms of immigration has become politically critical. London is still relatively free from this impact. But three million of its eight million citizens do not use English at home, and more than a third were born abroad. The police and 999 services claim to need translators in 150 languages. The extent of this diversity is reflected in London's schools and colleges, cafés and shops, national enclaves and foreign-language newspapers.

Like most Londoners I find this enriching. I love the city's diversity. /.../ I take the world as it comes and accept that just now it is coming to London.

Second and third-generation immigrants constitute a majority of Londoners and I have no doubt they will become ordinary citizens, working, playing, complaining, even voting, like everyone else. ...

But, unlike many Londoners, my neighbourhood is not my world. No foreigners are taking my job or leaving my child isolated at school. They are not demanding, as on the Continent, to be taught in their language rather than mine. I can afford to be broad-minded.

Most Dutch people of my acquaintance are no less tolerant. ...

What went wrong in the Netherlands appears to have been the fallacy of liberal totalitarianism – the view that other people's opinions, fears and insecurities do not matter because we find them intolerant and bigoted. Even the bigoted can vote. As the new politics is showing across Europe and America, people whose opinions are disregarded will eventually hit back. When that happens in the Netherlands of all places, liberals should worry.

Controlling immigration is no longer someone else's problem. It electrifies every corner of European politics. Yet I see no answer to it. Britain is supposed to have strict controls on migrants from outside the EU. Yet more are coming in from outside the EU than from inside. The biggest immigrant group is from India. We also host seemingly unlimited numbers of Somalis, Eritreans, Nigerians, Colombians, Afghans, Koreans and Vietnamese – mostly in London. ...

Newcomers clearly make many Britons feel insecure and alienated.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Germany
Migrant Crime and Violence Soars in German States
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 14 March 2017.

Authorities in two German states have expressed concern over official figures showing a huge rise in migrant crime, with the number of violent attacks having almost doubled in 2016.

"Refugees really entered onto the crime scene last year," said Baden-Württemberg State Criminal Police Office (LKA) president Ralf Michelfelder.

"We are very worried about the rise in violence by asylum seekers," the police official added. The comments come following the release of figures which reveal a 95.5 per cent spike in the number of physical attacks carried out by asylum seekers and migrants.

Around 60 per cent of the assaults take place in asylum accommodation but the other 40 per cent are carried out among the general public. ...

Of a total of 251,000 criminal suspects across the state in 2016, 107,417 were foreign, with 25,379 of these being asylum seekers and refugees. Syria was the most frequently seen country of origin in the latter category, followed by Gambia, and then Afghanistan.

In Bavaria, the number of crimes committed by immigrants rose 57.8 per cent from the previous year, a development which the state's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann described as "worrying".

"The increase in crime in Bavaria in 2016 is mainly due to foreign suspects, especially immigrants," the minister said. ...

The number of homicides in Bavaria increased by 15 per cent in 2016, while violent crimes carried out by asylum seekers rose by 93 per cent to 3,495 cases.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – extremists, Islam, Sweden
Swedish Minister: Country Needs to Integrate Returning Islamic State Fighters
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 14 March 2017.

Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke has suggested that Swedes who left to fight for radical Islamist groups in the Middle East should be welcomed back and helped to integrate into society. ...

Kuhnke also could not confirm that those who had been through the programmes had been successfully deradicalised, saying the process could take a decade or more. "We can not say that we have succeeded because it's been such a short time. It is only in 10-15 years we can say that they actually managed to leave these environments," she said.

Many on social media criticised the minister's comments including terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp who took to Twitter to note that at least two returning Swedish jihadists were involved with the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris in late 2015 and in Brussels in 2016.

"The interview speaks for itself. This is how ill-prepared we are to deal with returnees," Ranstrop noted.

The Swedish attitude toward returning jihadists is seen as strange by many, as several municipalities have gone above and beyond to cater for returning fighters. In the medieval city of Lund, the government is considering a range of measures including debt forgiveness, driving lessons, and free housing in the name of integrating returning extremists.

Last week, another damning report showed the Swedish government had still been paying many Islamists through the generous Swedish welfare system whilst they were fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Ranstorp, who was one of the authors of the report, said the main problem was the Swedish government refusing to follow up on welfare claimants to check whether they were in the country or ensuring that someone else wasn't collecting benefits on their behalf.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam
Books promoting ISLAMIC JIHAD sold openly in Birmingham
James Fielding
Express, 13 March 2017.

Books encouraging Muslim parents to teach their children jihad and referring to Jewish people as "evilminded" are being sold openly in one of Britain's terror hotspots.

Extremist literature which also advocates the death penalty for adulterers and promotes hatred of the gay community, is on sale in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

The predominantly Muslim suburb is a small corner of the city that has produced 10 per cent of all the UK's convicted terrorists, according to a report published last week. ...

The Sunday Express visited the Madina Book Centre just off the bustling Alum Rock Road, which falls into the Washwood Heath ward, and bought a copy of the 440-page Bringing Up Children In Islam for £5.

In what is intended to be a thorough guide to creating the perfect Muslim family, the book encourages parents to "keep alive in the children the spirit of jihad". ...

The book rallies against cinema and theatre, arguing they are the work of "evil-minded" Jews before warning of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
EU to Open Migration Centres in Africa Because Europe 'Needs 6 Million Migrants'
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 13 March 2017.

The European Union (EU) is to open asylum processing centres in West Africa and countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean because the continent "need[s] six million migrants", Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos has said.

Speaking in Geneva last week, the Greek Eurocrat denied terror attacks are linked to migration and warned the "biggest threat" to Europe is "the rise of populism, nationalism and xenophobia".

Declaring "the 27 [member states] will need 6 million immigrants in the future", Avramopoulos explained the Commission is going to open reception centres to recruit migrants, because an open borders approach would fuel populism.

"We will open offices in all countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean and in West Africa. This is the best way to fight smugglers."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Sweden
Sweden Can't Find Contractor Willing to Build Police Station in Migrant Suburb – 'It's Too Dangerous'
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 13 March 2017.

Plans to build a new police station in Rinkeby have been put on hold because construction companies fear for the safety of their workforce in the migrant-dominated Stockholm suburb. ...

"It's too dangerous to build a police station in the area," SVT News was told by a number of police officers who wanted to remain anonymous. ...

Concerned about the nation's image abroad, state broadcaster Sweden Radio recently aired a programme in English which claimed that No-Go Zones – dangerous suburbs where police fear to tread – don't exist in the country.
[Site link]

Crime – fake weddings
Gang jailed for flying Lithuanian brides into UK in immigration scam
Crown Prosecution Service, 13 March 2017.

A gang who flew Lithuanian brides into the UK as part of an immigration scam have today (10 March) been sentenced to more than 14 years' imprisonment in total by Croydon Crown Court.

Ringleaders Lina Kezelyte, 33, and Mohemmed Jemaldeen, 33, 'match-made' the brides and their grooms, who were men from south Asian and west African countries who had tried and failed to get visas to remain in the UK by other means.

By paying the gang to arrange for them to marry women from Lithuania, an EU nation, they could claim residency in the UK.

Altogether the gang saw 26 Lithuanian brides wed to grooms from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Nepal, making an estimated £315,000.
[Site link]

Diversity – employment
Taxi drivers, chefs and pharmacists are UK's most ethnically diverse occupations
Cathryn Newbery
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 13 March 2017.

New analysis of Office for National Statistics labour market data has revealed the most and least ethnically diverse professions in the UK.

According to the analysis from think tank Policy Exchange, the most ethnically diverse occupation is taxi drivers, where 53.8 per cent of all workers are minority ethnic. It's followed by dental practitioners (50.4 per cent), packers and bottlers (55.2 per cent) and medical practitioners (43.7 per cent). Chefs, security guards, pharmacists and legal professionals (excluding solicitors and barristers) also feature in the top 10 list.

The least diverse profession in the UK is farming, where only 1.4 per cent of workers have a minority ethnic background. Other occupations in the bottom 10 include police officers at sergeant rank and below (5.8 per cent), engineering technicians (5.9 per cent) and purchasing managers and directors (6.9 per cent).
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – deportation, Germany
Germany REJECTS Merkel's 'safe countries' proposals to deport North African migrants
Vickiie Oliphant
Sunday Express, 12 March 2017.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suffered another setback after her plans to declare three North African states "safe countries" were blocked by parliament.

The proposal would make it easier for Germany to deny asylum requests from migrants from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco on the grounds they are deemed safe in their own home countries.

It is thought the plans would also deter citizens from the three Maghreb countries from illegally heading to the European Union in future.

But the embattled German Chancellor saw her plans put on ice, as opposition parties blocked the proposals over concerns the countries were not actually safe for migrants to return to. ...

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the decision marked "a bad day in our efforts to stop illegal immigration".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Canada
Why Canada will come to regret its embrace of refugees
Kyle Smith
New York Post, 12 March 2017.

Pretty soon the US might not be the only North American country clamoring for tighter security on its southern border. Because suddenly, in the age of Trump, Canada has an illegal-immigrant problem.

... But at an almost-unguarded point just off Roxham Road in upstate Champlain, desperate people, many of them Muslims, are sneaking across the border from the US to Canada. Once arrested in Canuckland, they get a bus ticket to Montreal, a comfy room (the YMCA is a popular spot) and a hearing into their refugee status.

I call that a win-win: Prime Minister Dreamboat gets all the refugees he wants, and America no longer has to worry about the exact same people. Each illegal crossing represents one less headache for us, one more headache for them – sorry, one more beautiful soul to bask in Trudeau's utopia.

"To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada," Trudeau tweeted last month, trolling Trump.

That isn't exactly how things work in the non-Twitter world, of course: The March 8 New York Times story about the secret crossing noted that if the same migrants turned up at a legal border checkpoint attempting to gain entry to Canada while asking for asylum, they would be turned away, ordered to remain in the US.

So the migrants figure they must first commit a crime – crossing the border illegally.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – asylum seekers, cost, Germany
Germany 'spent more than €20bn on refugees in 2016' as crisis outstrips state budgets
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 11 March 2017.

German states spent more than €20bn (£17.5bn) on refugees in 2016, government figures have indicated as Angela Merkel continues to come under pressure for her policy on migration.

Statistics seen by The Independent for the states of Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse and Berlin show that the cost of housing and integrating asylum seekers has far outstripped official predictions.

The Bundestag's statistics service has listed a total spend of over €7bn (£6bn) for those four states alone in 2016, meaning the nationwide figure is likely to be far higher.

Johannes Singhammer, Vice President of the German parliament, told Die Welt: "[The figures] show that if the costs are added up for all federal states, around €23bn (£20bn) has probably been spent on migrants and refugees in 2016."

The four states recorded have taken around a third of asylum seekers currently living in Germany, where more than a million have arrived since the start of the refugee crisis in 2015.

Berlin set aside €685m (£600m) for accommodation, unaccompanied minors, integration programmes, healthcare, language lessons and other projects but spent around €1.3bn (£1.1bn) in total – almost double the budget. ...

An official survey conducted in December 2015 predicted that federal states would spend €17bn (£15bn) on dealing with the refugee crisis in the following year but with a huge backlog of asylum claims and difficulties with deportation, costs have spiralled beyond expectations. ...

Thomas de Maizière, the German interior minister, said about 55,000 migrants returned home voluntarily, compared with 35,000 in 2015, while another 25,000 were forcibly deported.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Europe
New migrant crisis on the way: Fears sparked of 'summer of chaos' at British border
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 11 March 2017.

A surge in the number of migrants has sparked fears of another summer of chaos at Britain's borders.

Almost 20,000 have already made it by sea to mainland Europe in the first 67 days of 2017, it emerged yesterday.

The crisis is set to intensify as the weather in the Mediterranean improves. ...

The looming crisis was laid bare in figures released by the International Organisation for Migration which revealed that 19,567 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea this year, up to March 8, a rate of almost 300 a day. ...

French officials estimate migrants are returning to the northern coast at a rate of 100 a week. There are now thought to be at least six secret refugee camps in the Nord-Pas-deCalais region.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam
London-based Islamic preacher linked to Tunisia attacks has his benefits cut after a Mail exposé cast doubt on his claim to be severely disabled
Paul Bentley
Daily Mail, 11 March 2017.

An Islamic preacher linked to the Tunisia beach massacre is being investigated by police on suspicion of benefit fraud after being exposed by the Daily Mail.

Fanatic Hani al-Sibai has also had his benefits cut after photographs taken by the Mail cast doubt on his claim to be severely disabled.

Al-Sibai, who lives in a £1 million house in West London, is described as a 'key influencer' of Ansar al-Sharia, the group believed to have recruited the gunman who killed 30 UK tourists in June 2015. ...

Al-Sibai, 56, who is from Egypt, arrived in the UK in 1994.

He had his asylum claim thrown out four years later due to his involvement with the terror group Egyptian Islamic Jihad. But he has managed to stay in the country on human rights grounds. He has been given £123,000 in legal aid.

The preacher was called a 'key influencer' of Ansar al-Sharia in a 2013 report by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, based in The Hague.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – teachers, USA
Test meant to screen teachers instead weeded out minorities
Karen Matthews
The Big Story, 11 March 2017.

New York education officials are poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers, in part because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it. ...

The literacy test was among four assessments introduced in the 2013-2014 school year as part of an effort to raise the level of elementary and secondary school teaching in the state.

Leaders of the education reform movement have complained for years about the caliber of students entering education schools and the quality of the instruction they receive there. ...

A federal judge ruled in 2015 that the test was not discriminatory, but faculty members at education schools say a test that screens out so many minorities is problematic. ...

Kate Walsh, the president of National Council on Teacher Quality, which pushes for higher standards for teachers, said that blacks and Latinos don't score as well as whites on the literacy test because of factors like poverty and the legacy of racism.

"There's not a test in the country that doesn't have disproportionate performance on the part of blacks and Latinos," Walsh said.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – migrant smuggling, European Union
Migrant smuggling is now worth £5 billion to criminal gangs and is comparable to the illegal drugs market, report warns
Rachael Burford
MailOnline, 10 March 2017.

Migrant smuggling has expanded dramatically and is so prevalent in Europe it is now comparable to the illegal drugs market, a new report has warned.

Criminal gangs have allegedly raked in huge sums of money amid the surge in refugees and migrants attempting to reach the continent.

A report from Europol, the EU's law enforcement agency, describes people smuggling as a 'highly profitable and widespread criminal activity'. ...

Figures suggested networks offering 'facilitation services' to either reach or move within the EU generated an estimated 4.7 billion euro to 5.7 billion euro in profit in 2015, equivalent to between £4.1 billion and £5 billion at current exchange rates.

These profits dipped last year, falling by nearly two billion euro, or £1.7 billion at today's rates, according to the assessment.

It said: 'This development is in line with the overall decrease in the number of irregular migrants arriving in the EU and as a result of a fall in the prices for migrant smuggling services following the peak of the migration crisis in 2015.'

Migrant smugglers originating from over 122 countries were involved in facilitating the journeys of irregular migrants to the EU, according to the study, while gangs relied heavily on social media to advertise their services. ...

It revealed that more than 5,000 international organised crime groups were under investigation in the EU.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – Libya, Europe
UK aid money 'helping Libyan people smugglers'
Olivia Rudgard
Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2017.

A watchdog has said that British aid money could be helping traffickers bringing migrants to Britain from Libyan detention centres.

A report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found that almost £9m in UK aid money, which is spent on the Libyan Coastguard and detention centres, could be increasing the number of people detained in Libya who are then trafficked to Europe.

Aid money helps the coastguard pick up more migrants from the Libyan coast and bring them to detention centres.

Libyan officials are suspected of trafficking migrants from the same detention centres, raising the risk that British aid money is providing them with a ready supply of migrants to be smuggled to Europe. ...

In total the UK Government spent £8.8m on migration-related programmes in Libya in 2016-17. The report said the Government had "some difficulty" putting together a comprehensive list of these.

Last month the EU agreed to give the Libyan government £171m to strengthen the coastguard and intercept people making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing.

Charities condemned the plan, saying that sending people back to Libya would undermine their human rights.

But according to this report, that money could also be helping the people smugglers who are sending migrants into Europe.
[Site link]

Citizenship – EU immigrants
The bureaucratic nightmare facing the Home Office
The Economist, 11 March 2017.

Yet many Tory MPs sympathise with at least one of those amendments, to instruct the government to guarantee the right to remain of over 3m EU nationals resident in Britain. The bipartisan Commons Brexit committee has just unanimously endorsed this suggestion. ...

Two-thirds of the 3m-plus EU nationals will have been in Britain for five years before Brexit, so they should qualify automatically. The bigger concern is the bureaucracy involved. A first problem is lack of information. Britain has no identity cards, no register of EU nationals and no checks on who comes and goes. ...

A second issue is the cut-off point for EU nationals who want to stay. Some have proposed June 23rd 2016, the date of the referendum, but this has no basis in law. Others are arguing for when Britain actually leaves, probably in March 2019, but that could encourage a last-minute surge. A report in December from British Future, a think-tank, floated a compromise of the day when Mrs May triggers Article 50 later this month.

Third and most problematic is the administrative burden of securing permanent residence, a necessary step towards citizenship. Last autumn Oxford's Migration Observatory noted that, at current rates, it would take 140 years to process all those eligible. In the six months since the referendum the number applying rose to over 135,000. Many more are to come. The Home Office does not have enough staff to cope. ...

And this is all before, fourth, a new migration regime is put in place.
[Site link]

Asylum – children
Child asylum seekers may have been illegally detained, rules court
Diane Taylor and agencies
The Guardian, 10 March 2017.

The government could be found to have illegally detained many child asylum seekers after a landmark ruling in the court of appeal said immigration officers could not simply disbelieve the stated age of refugees.

The Home Office on Thursday lost its challenge against a ruling that an unaccompanied asylum seeker was entitled to damages after his claim to be "a child" under 18 was not believed by an immigration officer.

The teenager from Sudan, who arrived in the UK in the back of a lorry, was deprived of his liberty because the officer said he "reasonably believed" he was over 18 and not a child exempt from detention.

A judge at the high court ruled last year that the policy of relying on the "reasonable belief" of immigration officers was legally flawed and declared that age assessments in unaccompanied minor cases must be determined as "an issue of objective fact".

In a ruling with wide ramifications, Sir Stephen Silber declared on Thursday that the claimant – previously referred to as AA but now named as Abdul-Muttalab Ali – was entitled to damages for the whole of his detention period.

The appeal court judges unanimously confirmed the previous judgment by the high court, which ruled last June that someone's age is a matter of "objective fact" and cannot be based on physical appearance or demeanour. ...

Five years ago the government paid out £2m for unlawfully detaining 40 child asylum seekers as adults yet the practice has continued.
[Site link]

Immigration – numbers, prospect
UK Net migration will be 'almost DOUBLE the Government's target by 2020'
Will Kirby
Daily Express, 9 March 2017.

Theresa May's plan to reduce UK net migration to the "tens of thousands" has been dealt a fresh blow after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) suggested figures will be running at almost double the Government's target by 2020.

Experts at the OBR forecasted net migration to be 196,000 at the end of the decade, although it represents a sharp drop from the 273,000 recorded in the year to September 2016.

The OBR said there was still "considerable uncertainty" over migration numbers because the upcoming Brexit negotiations could have a significant impact on Britain's border controls.

However, they conceded that net migration would still be responsible for around half of Britain's population growth over the coming years.

Migrants are also set to account for a 700,000 surge in employment during the next five years.

Net migration is predicted to drop to 232,000 in 2017, with a further decrease to 226,000 in 2018. ...

The news comes after EU chiefs demanded European nationals who arrive in Britain over the next two years are allowed to stay permanently.

Under informal Brexit rules it was expected that the cut-off point would be the date of the referendum.

But pressure is expected from the EU to push the cut-off date to 2019 – which could trigger a huge rush of last-minute EU nationals settling in the UK.
[Site link]

Politics – hate speech, hate crime
European Council Demands 'Mechanisms' to 'Tone Down' 'Anti-Immigrant' UK Media
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 9 March 2017.

The Council of Europe has claimed the UK media, "online sources", and "certain politicians" are inciting "hate speech" and "hate crimes", and demands the state strengthens "mechanisms" to "tone down" and silence such voices.

The Advisory Committee for the Council also said the "media should be promoting intercultural dialogue", "training" journalists in the right way to report, and hiring more ethnic minorities.

The demands were made in a report, published Wednesday, on the UK's compliance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), a legally binding treaty signed by the UK.
[Site link]

Official discrimination – justice, crime, punishment
Youths from ethnic minorities could get softer sentences after judges are told to consider 'discrimination' they may have suffered
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 8 March 2017.

Young offenders from black or ethnic minority backgrounds could be given lighter punishments under new sentencing guidelines. ...

The guidelines appear to be the first ever instructions to courts to treat defendants differently on racial grounds.

The Sentencing Council rules are in a package of measures designed to persuade judges and magistrates to go easier on young criminals from troubled backgrounds, or who have been brought up in state care. ...

The Sentencing Council is led by its president Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas and other senior judges, and the courts are bound to follow its guidelines when setting punishments.

The new rules, which will apply for young criminals from June 1, tell the courts they must pay regard to when young offenders have 'deprived homes, poor parental employment records, low educational attainment, and early experience of offending by other family members'. ...

However in a historic departure for the court system, the guidelines tell judges and magistrates: 'There is also evidence to suggest that black and minority ethnic children and young people are over-represented in the youth justice system.

'The factors contributing to this are complex. One factor is that a significant proportion of looked after children and young people are from a black and minority ethnic background.'

They go on to say: 'A further factor may be the experience of such children and young people in terms of discrimination and negative experiences of authority.

'When having regard to the welfare of the child or young person to be sentenced, the particular factors which arise in the case of black and minority ethnic children and young people need to be taken into account.'

The guidelines tell courts that different treatment should apply to black or minority criminals whether or not they have been brought up in state care.
[Site link]

Asylum – lost children
'We don't know where they are!' EU chief admits over 10,000 child migrants ARE MISSING
Belinda Robinson
Daily Express, 8 March 2017.

European authorities have lost track of over 10,000 refugee children who fled war torn countries and arrived on the doorsteps of the EU, an MEP has admitted.

Swedish Liberal MEP Cecilia Wikström told a press conference at the European Commission today that at least 9,000 children were missing from Germany and another thousand from Sweden.

But worryingly, she said that the number is probably even higher as authorities have no clue where the children have gone, who may have taken them, or what is being done to them. ...

Ms Wikstrom, Chair of the European Parliament Petitions Committee, admitted that thousands of adult asylum seekers also "go missing" each year once they arrive in Europe.

Last year, Germany admitted that it had lost tack of over 130,000 asylum seekers, according to its Government's figures. ...

Meanwhile, the UK is also grappling with the loss of hundreds of child refugees, according to The Independent.

It reported the government does not know where at least 360 vulnerable children are. More than 200 have been missing for two years or more.

It claimed that over the past five years 9,287 children came to England as an "unaccompanied minor" alone, without a parent or guardian.
[Site link]

Terrorism – crime
EU Security Boss: Continent Faces Most Severe Terror Threat for a Generation
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 8 March 2017.

The head of the European Union's (EU) law enforcement agency has said terror and criminal networks have "exploded in size and capability" and Europe now faces its "highest threat for a generation".

Rob Wainwright, the British director of the European Police Office (Europol), also said illegal migration and people smuggling, as well as the international nature of crime today, is exacerbating the threat, reports The Herald Scotland.

The senior officer told the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee:

"I am concerned about our ability in Europe on a collective basis to have the best possible capability to fight what are clearly more challenging and complex security threats that we face.

"Especially in cyber crime, in terrorism where we are facing across Europe the highest threat for a generation, in people-smuggling, which is a criminal community that has exploded in size and capability in the last two years.

"In all of these areas of organised crime, cyber crime and terrorism, the threat is more challenging and defined in particular by its international cross-border nature."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
EU concern over Libya immigration grows along with arrival numbers
Gabriela Baczynska
Reuters, 8 March 2017.

European Union leaders will discuss on Thursday their agreed plan to cut immigration from Libyan shores to Italy but they increasingly fear that calmer spring weather will bring a new surge of arrivals from Africa.

Arrival numbers from lawless Libya are already higher than last year. Some 9,000 people made the perilous voyage in January and February last year, compared with nearly 13,500 in 2017. ...

The Libya plan includes training the coastguard of the internationally recognised government in Tripoli to have it intercept people and put them back on Libyan shores, as well as funding the U.N. refugee and migrants agencies to improve conditions in migrants camps in Libya.

Helping to send more migrants back from Libya to their home countries further south in Africa, controlling the country's borders and fighting smugglers are other parts of the plan. ...

"It's a real headache how to translate this into action. And even if we manage, it won't bring immediate results in terms of migration," one senior diplomat in Brussels said.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Islamisation, Spain
Muslims Call for Marriage to Christian Women to 'Strengthen' Islam in Spain
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 8 March 2017.

Hundreds of posters displayed in a migrant-dominated part of Barcelona are urging Muslim men to marry Spanish women in a bid to spread Islam, and inviting members of the community to an "information meeting".

The posters, which are derogatory about Christians but call on 'Brothers' to marry women of the religion to "strengthen" Islam, have been plastered through the neighbourhood of El Raval. Official data collected in 2014 found that 56.7 per cent of residents in El Raval were born abroad. ...

"Brother, enter a partnership with a Spaniard, teach her that Islam is the true religion.

"Islamic law dictates that the fruits of this alliance will follow Islam, which will further strengthen our community," the main body of text reads.
[Site link]

Immigration – EU migrants, residence
UK faces 'NIGHTMARE' of registering 'MILLIONS of EU migrants post-Brexit', experts predict
Charlie Bayliss
Daily Express, 7 March 2017.

Britain could struggle to cope with the "bureaucratic nightmare" of registering millions of EU migrants if they are given the right to stay in the country after Brexit, experts have claimed.

The Government is due to set a cut-off date where EU nationals will not necessarily be entitled to remain in Britain permanently.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has previously admitted the 3.2 million EU migrants living in Britain would need "some sort of documentation". ...

The registering of EU migrants would be the biggest task undertaken by the Home Office since World War Two, where 65,000 enumerators delivered forms to households before returning and checking their documentation.

Professor of economics and public policy at King's College London, Jonathan Portes, told the Times: "It is going to be a bureaucratic nightmare. The Home Office is understaffed: there is simply no way that it could examine, case by case, the documentation of up to three million people.

"There would be huge delays. In the end, yes we can do it if we are prepared for money and resources to be allocated.

"It will be massive and we will make mistakes both in giving people we would rather not have the right to stay here and denying residence to people we would like to be here." ...

More than 137,000 EU citizens applied for a £65 permanent resident certificate in the six months after June 23's vote – a document which is needed by migrants who want to obtain a British passport. ...

The amount of certificates issued by the Government leapt from 18,064 in 2015 to a whooping 65,195 in 2016.
[Site link]

Immigration – Africans, Europe
African migrants needed in Europe to help 'ageing population', says EU ambassador
Zoie O'Brien
Daily Express, 7 March 2017.

Africans migrating to Europe could rescue nations from problems associated with its "ageing population", a European Union (EU) ambassador to Nigeria has claimed.

Legal channels allowing men and women from the continent to travel to the EU should be welcomed as a "good" thing and be opened up, Michel Arrion said.

Ambassador Arrion said Europe "must support properly-regulated immigration from Africa". ...

Tweets from Dr Joe Abah, director general at the country's Bureau of Public Service Reforms, revealed the comments on social media.

"There were more babies born in Nigeria in 2016 than in the entire European Union put together," Mr Abah reported him as saying. ...

Mr Arrion also admitted Nigerians are often being smuggled into the EU. ...

In 2015, Mr Arrion said the EU needed migration - and legal channels should be made easier.

He said the continent needs "fresh blood".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Canada
Does Canada have too many immigrants?
Scott Gilmore
Maclean's, 7 March 2017.

In Canada, our foreign-born population is already at 20 per cent and growing. This is far higher than in the United States and (except for Luxembourg and Switzerland, where there are large numbers of itinerant professional residents like bankers) it is far higher than in any other European nation. And it's getting bigger. Statistics Canada just released a report that projected Canada's immigrant population will increase to between 26 per cent and 30 per cent within two decades. ...

It makes sense that countries become unstable with too many foreigners. /.../ But is it possible that even when immigrants arrive gradually and they are integrated successfully, it can still destabilize a country? Perhaps a populist backlash is inevitable in Western democracies when the immigrant population grows to a certain size. ...

If this is true, it upends a lot of assumptions that this country is built on regarding multiculturalism, pluralism and immigration. Canada may be facing larger global forces, tectonic shifts which are are not felt until it's too late and a populist earthquake shatters our carefully built house of peace, order and good government.
[Site link]

Terrorism
Anti-terror Chief: Defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria 'will not eradicate terrorism problem in the UK'
Stephen Walter
Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2017.

Defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will not stop attacks on our shores, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer has warned.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley says the UK must be aware of the threat posed by other terrorist organisations and extremism even if military success eradicates Isis strongholds in the Middle East.

He urged that we must not assume the danger is limited to what is happening in Syria as he revealed security services are running more than 500 live investigations at any time into possible threats against Britain.

Figures have also emerged showing 13 potential terrorist attacks on the UK have been thwarted in less than four years since the murder of soldier Lee Rigby - one more than previously thought. ...

Investigators have been busy making arrests at close to one a day since 2014, as the flow of information from the public to build intelligence on individuals or groups plotting attacks is seen as more important than ever. ...

The official threat level for international terrorism in the UK has stood at severe - meaning an attack is "highly likely" - for two years.
[Site link]

Terrorism – Islam
Ten per cent of Islamist terrorists in UK are from five districts of Birmingham: Dangers of segregation revealed as women extremists treble is five years
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 6 March 2017.

One in ten of all Britain's Islamist terrorists come from just five council wards in Birmingham, a report has revealed.

A terror map of the UK shows 26 of the 269 jihadis came from the highly segregated neighbourhoods.

The wards have sizeable areas where the vast majority of the population is Muslim.

The findings of the most comprehensive study of terror convictions in Britain will raise fresh concerns that the failure to integrate has led some communities to be incubators of extremism.

The 1,000-page report covers all Islamist convictions and suicide bombings from the first in 1998 to the beginning of last year.

The study, by security think-tank The Henry Jackson Society, is being published tomorrow, as Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer launches a fresh appeal for the public to help tackle the threat. ...

The report has found:

• The number of Islamist terror offences doubled in the five years to 2015 from 12 to 23 a year.

• Women's involvement in Islamist terrorism in the UK has trebled in the same period from 4 per cent to 11 per cent.

• Bombing is the most common type of offence planned or committed but there has been an 11-fold increase in plots involving Islamic State-style beheadings and stabbings.

• Only 10 per cent of terror attacks were carried out by 'lone wolves' unconnected to wider extremist networks.

The landmark report has analysed all aspects of every Islamist terror case including plotting or carrying out attacks, funding jihadis and offering support to terror groups. ...

Mosques or faith charities were places of radicalisation for 38 per cent of terrorists. The internet was cited as a key source of brainwashing in only 35 per cent of cases, although this was increasing.
[Site link]

Immigration – Ending EU free movement
Brexit: Ending free movement will not reduce immigration, peers warn
Tom Peck
Independent, 6 March 2017.

Ending the free movement of people from EU countries after Brexit may not result in lower overall migration, a committee of peers has warned.

No details on a new immigration system for EU nationals has been released, but the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee says net migration to the UK from outside the EU remains significantly higher than within it, despite non-EU migration already being covered by restrictions.

The wide-ranging assessment says: "Restoration of national control over EU migration may or may not, therefore, deliver a reduction in overall net migration." ...

Before the referendum, leading figures in the Leave campaign argued for an Australian-style points-based immigration system, though nothing of that nature has been formally proposed or suggested by the Government. The peers' report warns that any immigration system "hedged" with exemptions for particular economic sectors or schemes could produce the "worst of all worlds, failing to deliver a meaningful reduction in immigration while also proving more onerous and costly for employers, prospective applicants, and those charged with enforcement".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – public opinion, USA
AP-NORC Poll: Divided Americans fret country losing identity
MailOnline, 6 March 2017.

Add one more to the list of things dividing left and right in this country: We can't even agree what it means to be an American.

A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds Republicans are far more likely to cite a culture grounded in Christian beliefs and the traditions of early European immigrants as essential to U.S. identity.

Democrats are more apt to point to the country's history of mixing of people from around the globe and a tradition of offering refuge to the persecuted.

While there's disagreement on what makes up the American identity, 7 in 10 people - regardless of party - say the country is losing that identity. ...

The poll found Democrats were nearly three times as likely as Republicans to say that the U.S. should be a country made up of many cultures and values that change as new people arrive, with far more Republicans saying there should be an essential American culture that immigrants adopt.

Republicans overwhelmingly viewed immigrants who arrived in the past decade as having retained their own cultures and values rather than adopting American ones.
[Site link]

Asylum – refugees, numbers
Refugees in the UK
Full Fact, 6 March 2017.

People sometimes use the terms "refugee" and "asylum seeker" interchangeably. But they're different.

The UK government accepts someone as a refugee if he or she has fled their own country because of a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion". ...

The government also allows people to stay in the country to keep them safe without granting them refugee status as defined by the Geneva Convention. When we refer to "refugees" or "asylum grants" in this article, we're including these other forms of asylum, such as Humanitarian Protection or Leave Outside The Rules for human rights reasons.

An asylum seeker is someone who has applied to the Home Office for refugee status or one of those other forms of international protection, and is awaiting a decision on that application.

In 2016, there were around 39,000 applications for asylum in the UK. That's including dependant family members of the main applicant. ...

Many of those applications are rejected. Last year 21,000 people were turned down by the Home Office at the initial stage of the asylum process.

The annual success rate is more complicated than dividing 21,000 by 39,000, because of the time lag in making decisions, and because people can appeal the initial decision.

But we can say that over the past few years, excluding unknown outcomes, around half of asylum applications have ultimately been successful and the other half withdrawn or rejected.

Refugees will generally get a residence permit for five years, and apply to settle in the UK permanently after that.

There were 33,000 asylum applications pending at the end of 2016, again including the dependants of applicants.

There may also be asylum seekers whose claim has been rejected that join the "irregular migrant population", as immigration policy experts refer to it. Others might call them "illegal immigrants". It's hard to get a handle on how many failed asylum seekers are still here without permission, let alone the entire "irregular" population.

There's no official figure for the number of refugees in the UK.

It partly depends on who you consider a "refugee", given that people's residence status can change over time after being granted asylum. They may start on a time-limited residence permit, move to permanent residence, through to British citizenship. ...

The UN does publish annual estimates of the refugee population, which it's previously told us are based the number of successful refugee applications in the previous 10 years – the assumption being that after a decade, a refugee will have become a citizen and no longer needs international protection.

On this fairly uncertain method, there were an estimated 123,000 refugees in the UK in 2015. That's around 0.2% of the population.

Almost 90% of asylum seekers came from Asian or African countries in 2016. The top five nationalities for UK asylum applications were Iranian, Pakistani, Iraqi, Afghan and Bangladeshi.

In terms of asylum grants (before any appeal), Syrians topped the list, followed by Iranians, Eritreans, Sudanese and Afghans.

These figures don't include over 5,000 people resettled from other parts of the world, as distinct from coming to the UK to apply for asylum (you can't do so from another country). The vast majority of those have been Syrians.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – schools
Nearly 60,000 East European kids started at schools in England in the last two years
Ryan Sabey
The Sun, 5 March 2017.

Nearly 60,000 pupils from East European countries have started at schools in England over the past two years.

Polish-speaking kids are the biggest group, rising by nearly 30,000 to a total of 105,000 between 2014 and 2016.

There has been an increase by 18,000 pupils whose first language is Romanian or Lithuanian.

Other rises have come among kids with Albanian, Russian, Slovak, Hungarian, Czech, Bulgarian and Latvian backgrounds.

Overall 150 pupils with English as an additional language are joining classes each day of the school year.

The figures represent around five per cent of the total number of pupils joining primary and secondary schools each year.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – France
France's Death Spiral [part 1]
Guy Millière
Gatestone Institute, 5 March 2017.
[Dr. Guy Millière is a professor at the University of Paris]

France is a country at the mercy of large-scale uprisings. They can explode anytime, anyplace. French leaders know it, and find refuge in cowardice.

What is happening is the result of a corrosive development initiated five decades ago. In the 1960s, after the war in Algeria, President Charles de Gaulle directed the country toward closer relations with Arab and Muslim states.

Migratory flows of "guest workers" from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, which had started a few years earlier, sharply increased. Immigrants were not encouraged to integrate. Everyone assumed they would return home at the end of their employment contracts. They were settled in the outskirts of big cities. The economy was dynamic, with strong job creation. It seemed there would be no problems.

Twenty years later, serious difficulties became obvious. The immigrants now numbered millions. People from sub-Saharan Africa joined those coming from Arab nations. Neighborhoods made up of just Arabs and Africans were formed. The economy had slowed down and mass unemployment settled in. But the jobless immigrants did not go back home, instead relying on social benefits. Integration still did not exist. Although many of these new arrivals had become French citizens, they often sounded resentful of France and the West. Political agitators started teaching them to detest Western civilization. Violent gangs of young Arabs and Africans began to form. Clashes with police were common. Often, when a gang member was wounded, political agitators would help to incite more violence.

The situation grew difficult to control. But nothing was done to fix it; quite the opposite.

In 1984, a movement called SOS Racisme was created by Trotskyist militants, and began to define any criticism of immigration as "racist". Major leftist parties supported SOS Racism. They seem to have thought that by accusing their political opponents of racism, they could attract the votes of "new citizens." The presence of Islamist agitators, alongside agitators in Arab and African neighborhoods, plus the emergence of anti-Western Islamic discourse, alarmed many observers. SOS Racisme immediately designated those who spoke of Islamic danger as "Islamophobic racists."

In 1990, a law drafted by a Communist lawmaker, Jean-Claude Gayssot, was passed. It stipulated that "any discrimination based on ethnicity, nation, race or religion is prohibited." Since then, this law has been used to criminalize any criticism of Arab and African delinquency, any question on immigration from the Muslim world, any negative analysis of Islam. Many writers have been fined, and most "politically incorrect" books on those topics have disappeared from bookshops.

The French government asked the media to obey the "Gayssot law." It also asked that history textbooks be rewritten to include chapters on the crimes committed by the West against Muslims, and on the "essential contribution" of Islam to humanity.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – France
France's Death Spiral [part 2]
Guy Millière
Gatestone Institute, 5 March 2017.
[Dr. Guy Millière is a professor at the University of Paris]

In 2002, the situation in the country became dramatic.

Arab and African neighborhoods had become "no-go zones." Radical Islam was widespread and Islamist attacks began. Dozens of cars would be torched each week. Muslim anti-Semitism was rising rapidly and led to an increase in anti-Jewish attacks. SOS Racisme and other anti-racist organizations were silent on Muslim anti-Semitism. Unwilling to be accused of "Islamophobic racism," organizations tasked with fighting against anti-Semitism were also silent.

A book, The Lost Territories of the Republic, by Georges Bensoussan (under the pen-name "Emmanuel Brenner"), was released. It depicted accurately what was going on. It spoke of the sweeping hatred for the West among young people of immigrant origin, and of the full-blown hatred of Jews among young Muslims. It said that "no-go zones" were on the edge of secession and no longer a part of French territory. The mainstream media ignored the book.

Three years later, in October 2005, riots broke out across the country. More than 9,000 cars were torched. Hundreds of stores, supermarkets and shopping centers were looted and destroyed. Dozens of police officers were seriously injured. The storm stopped when the government reached an agreement to make peace with Muslim associations. Power had changed hands.

Since then, the state scarcely maintains law and order in France. ...

All history textbooks are "Islamically correct". One-third of the French Muslims say they want to live according to Islamic sharia law and not according to the laws of France. ...

Attacks on police officers occur on a daily basis. The police have orders: they must not enter "no-go zones." They must not respond to insults and threats. They must flee if they are assaulted. Sometime, they do not have time to flee. ...

Elections will be held in France, in April. ...

A third candidate from the left, Emmanuel Macron, is a former member of the French Socialist government under François Hollande. To attract the Muslim vote, Macron went to Algeria and said that French colonization was a "crime against humanity." He stated several times that French culture does not exist, and that Western culture does not exist either; but he added that Arab Muslim culture must have "its place" in France. ...

Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate of the National Front, may seem the most determined to straighten France out, but her economic program is as self-defeatingly Marxist as that of Hamon or Mélenchon. Le Pen also wants to attract the Muslim electorate. She went to Cairo a few months ago to meet the Grand Imam of al-Azhar.
[Site link]

Terrorism – Islam
Report: Beheadings and and Islamist Stabbings Up 11-Fold in Five Years
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 5 March 2017.

The rate of beheadings and Islamist-inspired stabbings has risen 11-fold in the last five years according to a major new report. Terror attacks in the UK also tripled during this period.

The 1000-page report by the Henry Jackson Society examines all terror convictions and suicide attacks inspired by Islamism in the UK between 1998 and 2015. It warns "Islamism-inspired terrorism remains the principal terrorism threat".

The report recorded 269 convictions during the period, involving 253 individuals. 72 per cent of those who committed Islamism-related offences (IROs) were British nationals. 16 per cent were converts to Islam.

The report states: "The 269 Islamism-related offences (IROs) comprise 135 distinct terrorism cases.

"The rate of offending increased in the five-year period between 2011 and 2015 compared to the 13-year period between 1998 and 2010.

"IROs doubled in five years (increasing from an average of 12 to 23 per year) while distinct terrorism cases almost tripled (from five per year to 14 per year)."

The most common place of arrest for IROs were ethnically diverse areas, with London accounting for 42 per cent of the total, and Birmingham 14 per cent.

The 2011 census showed just 45 per cent of London's population belonging to the white British category, whilst a 2013 report found that fewer than a third of schoolchildren in Birmingham were white.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – France
The new Jungle: France grapples with fresh wave of migrants just four months after Calais camp was demolished
David Chazan
Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2017.

France is struggling to cope with new waves of migrants desperate to reach Britain barely four months after the sprawling Calais "Jungle" shanty-town was bulldozed in an effort to end the crisis.

More than 1,500 migrants, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan, are crammed into unheated, waterlogged chipboard huts at a state-funded camp beside the nearby port of Dunkirk, less than 50 miles from Dover. Its population has more than doubled from about 700 before the Calais camp was closed.

Hundreds of other migrants are sleeping rough in muddy woodlands on the fringes of Calais, where the mayor has banned food handouts to try to deter migrants from congregating in the area and setting up new camps.

About 200 migrants arrive in Paris each week from Italy after crossing the Mediterranean in small boats, joining more than 1,000 already in the French capital. Most will head north, lured by people-traffickers offering to smuggle them across the Channel for about £2,000. Gilles Debove, a police union spikesman, said about 300 migrants a day are being turned back at the ports of Dunkirk and Calais, and at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel.

"A lot of them are minors and many are released. To be honest, we no longer know what to do with them," Mr Debove said. ...

Mr Debove, the police spokesman, said some charities were deliberately straining limited police resources.

"Some charities are sending underage migrants to police stations to overload us with people. We have to register them, then we book taxis to take them to centres for processing, but after a few kilometres they tell the taxi to let them out."
[Site link]

Asylum – children
Only ten of 750 child migrants taken into UK from Calais last year were from Syria, says Amber Rudd
Steve Hawkes
The Sun, 4 March 2017.

Just ten of 750 child migrants taken into the UK from Calais last year were from Syria, the Home Secretary has revealed.

Furious Amber Rudd launched a fierce defence of the Government's refugee policy by saying asylum seekers in Europe were not the "most vulnerable".

And she said critics of the Home Office's approach were doing a "disservice to the UK's big heartedness and goodwill" so far in helping thousands whose lives have been turned upside down by the brutal Syrian conflict.

She said of the 750 child asylum seekers given emergency refuge in December last year when the French demolished the Calais Jungle, only 10 were from Syria.

Others were from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And Ms Rudd said continuing to take children from Europe only fuelled the horrific trade of the illegal people smugglers in the Med – while failing the most at need in camps on the Syrian border. ...

The blast comes just days after 20 Tory MPs backed calls for the Government to take in hundreds more child refugees already in Europe under the so-called Dubs Scheme.

The Home Office sparked fury last month by closing it down and saying it would instead focus on hitting its goal of helping Syrian refugees in camps around the war-torn country. ...

... The Government has invested £2.3 billion in the camps, with aid charities in Syria and the wider region.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Calais, France
Calais' mayor sparks anger by ordering charities to stop feeding UK-bound migrants
Romina McGuinness
Daily Express, 3 March 2017.

Calais has issued an emergency decree banning the distribution of food to Britain-bound migrants stranded in the northern port town.

The town's mayor Natacha Bouchart, who has vowed to wage a relentless war the refugees, said that she did not want Calais to become, the "focal point" of the European migrant crisis and that locals had "already suffered enough", according to La Voix du Nord.

The hardline official said that the "repeated, prolonged gatherings" – i.e., the distribution of food to migrants – posed a "threat to the peace and security of the area," before adding that the ban would help prevent "violent acts and disorderly conduct and nuisances". ...

The bitter tug-of-war between local officials and pro-immigrant charities started earlier this year, weeks after it came to light that more than 400 migrants had returned to the port town in the hope of reaching the UK.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Italy
Hundreds rescued in Mediterranean as migrant arrivals in Italy outpace 2016
Reuters, 3 March 2017.

Rescuers plucked around 900 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean on Friday while hundreds more were brought to Sicily, as Italian figures showed far more people are braving the crossing from North Africa this year than last. ...

Meanwhile more than 800 people from African countries including Eritrea and Somalia, who were rescued on Thursday, were brought to the port of Augusta in southeastern Sicily. ...

Since the beginning of the year, 14,319 migrants have been brought to Italy, according to the Interior Ministry. That compares with 9,101 in the same period of 2016, a year in which a record 181,000 arrivals were recorded.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
European countries have carried out 8% of promised refugee relocations
Daniel Boffey
The Guardian, 2 March 2017.

European countries have accepted less than 10% of the 160,000 refugees they promised to move to safety from unsanitary and cramped camps in Italy and Greece, leading the European commission to warn it will "accept no more excuses".

Only 13,546 relocations have been carried out so far – 3,936 from Italy and 9,610 from Greece – amounting to just 8% of the total the EU committed to relocate in 2015.

Just two member states, Malta and Finland, have met their resettling obligations under the relocation scheme that will close in September.

During a press conference in Brussels, the commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, warned that infringement proceedings against member states, including huge daily fines, could soon be levied.

He added that the obligations on countries to take people in would continue beyond the close of the scheme in September, describing it as akin to an "outstanding bill". ...

Hungary, Austria and Poland refuse to participate in the relocation scheme. The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovakia are doing so on a "very limited basis". The UK, which can opt out on parts of European asylum policy, has chosen not to participate.

Member states were also called upon to support the new European Border and Coastal Guard Agency, and improve their performance in returning those who have illegally sought to settle in the EU. Among the commission's suggestions was that member states shorten deadlines for appeals, and systematically issue return decisions that do not have an expiry date.

The commission said the EU-Turkey deal, under which Turkey acts as a buffer to those seeking to settle in the bloc in return for economic aid, was working well a year into its operation.

Daily crossings from Turkey to the Greek islands have gone down from 10,000 people in a single day in October 2015 to 43 a day currently, with overall arrivals dropping by 98%.

The number of lives lost in the Aegean Sea since the agreement took effect has also fallen substantially, from 1,100 in 2015-2016 to 70 in the same period in 2016-17.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – world, Islam, Christianity
Islam will be largest religion in the world by 2070, says report
Olivia Rudgard
Daily Telegraph, 2 March 2017.

Islam is the only religion growing faster than the world's population, and it will be the largest in the world by 2070, research has found.

US-based Pew Research Centre analysed demographic change among the world's major religions and found that the world's population of Muslims will grow by 73 per cent between 2010 and 2050, compared to 35 per cent for Christians, the next fastest-growing faith.

The world's population will grow by 37 per cent over the same period. If those rates of growth continue past 2050, Muslims will outnumber Christians by 2070, the report found.

It also says that Muslims will make up 10 per cent of Europe's population.
[Site link]

Politics – politicians, influence
Taking back control of ideas: How politicians can shape public debates on immigration
Christina Boswell and James Hampshire
British Politics and Policy at LSE, 2 March 2017.
[Christina Boswell is Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh; James Hampshire is Reader in Politics at the University of Sussex]

Politicians and commentators often fall into one of two traps. Either they take anti-immigrant sentiment as a given – a legitimate democratic preference, which needs to be taken at face value and respected. On this view, the role of mainstream political parties is to allay concerns through introducing more stringent controls and tougher integration measures.

Alternatively, politicians and pundits understand anti-immigrant sentiment as a problem of ignorance. On this account, large sections of the public hold inaccurate beliefs about the scale and impacts of immigration, and the answer is to better educate people, supply them with robust evidence and facts in order to bust the myths about immigration, and encourage a more enlightened approach. ...

This is where political elites and the stories they tell – or do not tell – come in. In trying to persuade a sceptical public that immigration is not the threat many of them perceive it to be, narratives and images are probably more important than statistics and data. ...

In our paper, we identify some of the strategies through which politicians can select and shape background ideas about immigration. Political leaders can selectively marshal ideas, foregrounding particular strands of public philosophy over others. ...

In the early 2000s, New Labour attempted to justify a new approach by invoking British values of tolerance and diversity, and was successful – at least for a brief period – in uniting mainstream parties and the media around a narrative about the economic benefits of immigration and diversity. In doing so, Blair and his cabinet tapped into public philosophies of Britain as a cosmopolitan and multicultural nation, and programmatic ideas about the importance of attracting skilled workers to boost productivity and growth. ...

These beliefs will not be shifted by bombarding voters with data, since people rarely change their minds when presented with contrary evidence. Paradoxically, therefore, a more rational debate about immigration cannot be purely rationalistic. Instead, politicians who want to challenge ignorance and prejudice need to construct narratives about immigration and its place in our society which draw on existing public philosophies of openness and inclusion. These public philosophies do exist and they have been mobilized in the recent past. They can and should be resuscitated.
[Site link]

Racism – public opinion, white self-interest
White self-interest is not the same thing as racism
David Goodhart
Financial Times, 2 March 2017.
[The writer is head of the demography unit at the think-tank Policy Exchange]

The dividing line between liberals and conservatives in the US and the UK increasingly hinges on different definitions of racism. ...

The argument is not just about physical or economic protection, but cultural protection too. Modern liberals tend to believe that preference for your own ethnic group or even your own nation is a form of racism. Conservatives regard it as common sense and resent being labelled as racist.

The challenge here is to distinguish between white racism and white identity politics, or what Muslim-American writer Shadi Hamid terms white "racial self-interest". The latter may be clannish and insular, but it is not the same as irrational hatred, fear or contempt for another group – the normal definition of racism.

The question of legitimate ethnic interest is complex. Multiculturalism is premised on the rights of minorities to maintain certain traditions and ways of life. But liberals have usually been reluctant to extend such group rights to majorities. ...

When YouGov, Policy Exchange and Birkbeck College asked 2,600 Americans whether it is racist or "just racial self-interest, which is not racist" for a white person to want less immigration to "maintain his or her group's share of the population", 73 per cent of Clinton voters but just 11 per cent of Trump voters called this racist. In a companion survey of 1,600 Britons, 46 per cent of Remain voters in last June's EU referendum but only 3 per cent of Leave voters agreed this was racist. ...

... As Eric Kaufmann argues in a new Policy Exchange paper, accepting that all groups, including whites, have legitimate cultural interests is the first step toward mutual understanding. ...

The liberal reflex to tar legitimate majority grievances with the brush of racism risks deepening western societies' cultural divides.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – African migrants, Europe
TWENTY MILLION African migrants heading for Europe: European parliament president warns that a huge number will arrive in the 'next few years' unless action is taken
Fionn Hargreaves
MailOnline, 1 March 2017.

As many as twenty million African migrants could come to Europe in the near future, according to the new president of the European parliament.

Antonio Tajani said Europe needs to do more to help asylum seekers in order to quell migration.

He proposed the EU should open asylum centres in Libya in a bid to protect vulnerable refugees. ...

Mr Tajani told Die Welt there are more than 30 centres that are run illegally by smugglers or by groups for the government. ...

So far, 12,000 people have travelled across the Mediterranean this year.

The news comes as the head of the EU border agency warned that organisations who rescue migrants from the Mediterranean are fuelling people smugglers. ...

Fabrice Leggeri also told Die Welt that rescue missions by non-government organisations makes it more difficult to monitor migrants as they pass into Europe.
[Site link]

Asylum – children
These comparisons with the Kindertransport are crass
Nick Ferrari
Jewish News, 1 March 2017.

When an issue as charged and explosive as to how Britain should react to the migrant crisis engulfing Europe comes along, it's hardly surprising it provokes great swathes of emotion, howls of protest and deep soul-searching.

However, the narrative that has been allowed to spring up that the decision by the government to restrict the number of migrant children coming into this country to 350 is akin to bolting the door in the face of children at the time of the Kindertransport shows a love of hyperbole and a lack of historical context.

Under an amendment to the Immigration Act of last year proposed by the well-meaning and nobly motivated veteran Labour peer Lord Alf Dubs, Britain appeared to be ready to welcome 3,000 unaccompanied migrant children, who are currently left stranded in camps in Europe. ...

The government's reasoning behind limiting the numbers? It fears a higher number serves as a magnet and therefore aids the trafficking gangs. In reality, the problem should be dealt with at source.

Meanwhile, a raft of celebrities including Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Benedict Cumberbatch (come on, you didn't think for a second he'd miss out, did you?) wrote an open letter in which they said the restriction was "completely unacceptable." ...

This shows just how crass and uninformed their take on history is and, disappointingly, some prominent rabbis have joined in the chorus of disapproval. But the comparison just doesn't hold. The Nazis' loathsome final solution was an attempt to exterminate the entire Jewish people. While the Syrian civil war and unrest in surrounding areas is unutterably pitiful, it cannot be likened to the Holocaust.

Also, it's worth remembering there were no migrant or refugee camps anywhere in Europe before or during World War II. Families were being rounded up and herded off to their near certain deaths. Also, all those decades ago the entire continent was going up in flames, so the children hadn't crossed a number of safe countries that could accept them before arriving in camps in France. ...

You would need a heart of stone not to have sympathy for genuine child victims and there is an argument for helping those of a much younger age. However, using the Holocaust as a comparison demeans the millions of victims from that horrific time.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – racism, Africans, Germany
UN accuses Germany of 'institutional racism and racist stereotyping' against people of African descent
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 1 March 2017.

A panel of UN experts has accused Germany of discriminating against people of African descent and allowing widespread racial profiling by the government and security agencies.

Researchers warned that the situation remains largely invisible to wider society, partly because the country's colonial past and racism against black people has been "overshadowed" by a focus on Nazi history and the anti-Semitic far-right. ...

UN researchers said they were "deeply concerned" about the situation, warning that laws against racial discrimination were not being enforced and black people's lives were being marred by racism and negative stereotyping, as well as hate crime.

Stop and search and controls by police are targeting at minority groups, a report said, while cases of state discrimination and violence against have not been properly investigated. ...

Because Germany does not gather official statistics on the basis of ethnicity, equality data cannot be used to identify and combat issues, while people of African descent are not recognised as "a significant minority" deserving specific action, according to the report.

Around 800,000 people of African descent live in Germany – 1 per cent of the population – according to government estimates, although others believe the number is far higher. ...

The delegation from the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent visited German cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Hamburg on an eight-day trip at the invitation of the German government.
[Site link]

Immigration – world, data
Data on movements of refugees and migrants are flawed
Nature, 1 March 2017.

Accurate and timely information on the flow of people is crucial for policymaking and apolitical interpretations. ...

The headline "710,000 migrants entered EU in first nine months of 2015" blared from a press release that year by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Warsaw. Not so, said social scientist Nando Sigona, an expert on refugees and migration at the University of Birmingham, UK. Frontex, he pointed out, had been counting the same people two or three times or more /.../ Frontex has since made this caveat clear in its releases of cross-border data. But it is often the headline numbers that are retained by the media, and by the many populists and politicians who abuse data on refugees and migrants for political ends. We simply do not know the true figure.

Similar uncertainty surrounds data on asylum applications. Around 1.2 million people applied for asylum status in the EU in 2015, but the true total is unknown, because individuals often register in multiple countries across the continent.

Misinterpretation and misrepresentation of data on population movements is rife. Official numbers are often mistakenly taken at face value, when further examination shows the underlying data are a mess. The UNHCR, the United Nations' refugee agency, states for example that the world is "witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record". However, as we outline in a News Feature, that claim doesn't stand up to scrutiny – particularly when global population growth is taken into account. ...

Data on economic migrants have flaws too. ...

Finer analyses of the actual migration flows over five-year periods paint a very different, and often counter-intuitive, picture. Global migration has fluctuated at around 0.6% of the world's population for the past 50 years, peaking at around 0.7% in the early 1990s and falling to its lowest levels from 2010 to 2015. ...

But migrant data is often so sub-standard that no one truly knows the global picture. /.../ Only one in four countries worldwide can provide data on migration flows. And only 10 of 48 countries in Asia could supply flow data for 2005-14.
[Site link]

Immigration – liberalism, national identity, borders
The progressive case for borders [part 1]
Jon Holbrook
Spiked, 1 March 2017.
[Jon Holbrook is a barrister]

Nowadays, those who favour border controls are portrayed as backward. They are dismissed as mean-spirited, small-minded, racist and xenophobic. Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and other 'populist movements of the right' are put in this camp. On the other hand, those who favour weak borders are portrayed as progressive. They are viewed positively as good-hearted, broadminded, cosmopolitan and tolerant. 'Respectable liberal opinion' puts itself in this camp.

Yet the narrative that motors weak borders is not progressive. For it starts with a one-eyed view of society that allows collective interests to be trumped by individual rights: the individual's right to live in a nation of choice; the individual's right to draw on the collective and historic endeavours of that nation; and the individual's right to avoid the obligations of a home state. This is a view of society that undermines centuries of learned liberal thinking about how to balance individual rights with collective interests.

It is a narrative based on a flawed view of the individual, whom it sees as an undifferentiated member of the human race: a person without ideas nurtured by the education he received as a child; a person without values shaped by the community he grew up in; and a person without political views forged from engaging in the nation's political life. This person has no relevant history, no roots and no sense of belonging to a community. Because the American, the Spaniard and the Somalian are members of the same human race, they are treated as essentially the same. This is a narrative that recognises the commonality of a beating heart but cannot understand the differential of a thinking mind.

It is a narrative based on a flawed view of the nation, which it sees as a collection of cultural differences: Britain, Germany and Nigeria are essentially the same, save for accidents of history that resulted in different lines drawn on the globe. If millions of Germans and Nigerians migrated to Britain (and a similar number went the other way), it wouldn't be a problem because cultural, social and political differences would add to the nation's diversity. ...

It is a narrative based on a flawed view of economics that downplays the political complexity of wealth creation in favour of statistics prepared by experts claiming to show that migrants are hard workers who pay taxes proportionate to the needs they create for health, education and other public services. This is an economics where wealth is a given that must be shared around the globe. ...

The weak-borders narrative is now widespread in Western nations that have absorbed flawed views about society, the individual, the nation and economics. /.../ It also informs the unwillingness of Western nations to remove those who enter or remain unlawfully.

An argument for no borders is rarely made in its purest form, except by libertarians who have abandoned the political arena in favour of market forces. But the antipathy of the European Union towards internal borders is fairly clear and was justified by the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in August when he claimed that national borders were 'the worst invention ever'. Politicians who are answerable to electorates find the weak borders narrative difficult to articulate and defend but the practice of mass migration into Western nations is evident. ...
[Site link]

Immigration – liberalism, national identity, borders
The progressive case for borders [part 2]
Jon Holbrook
Spiked, 1 March 2017.
[Jon Holbrook is a barrister]

Bad arguments can win the day by default if not challenged by better ones. It is necessary for the progressive case for border control to be advanced by recognising the two hallmarks of liberal democracy – namely, liberalism and democracy. Liberalism has always acknowledged the need to balance individual rights with collective interests. The desire to emigrate is an important individual right that liberal states have long since recognised. The problem comes not in recognising the importance of this right but in failing to balance it against the equally important collective interests of a nation.

Liberal states have traditionally also recognised the importance of borders as a means of curtailing immigration according to the collective interests of the nation. /.../ And when people talk of immigration, rather than emigration, it is the collective interests of the nation that should be to the fore.

The second hallmark of liberal democracy is democracy. /.../ The reactionary liberal cry of 'don't trust the people' has informed today's weak-borders discourse, not by openly denying the people a right to control their borders but by using the law to deny them that control by stealth. The British people were never consulted about the desirability of large numbers of Europeans and asylum seekers entering after 1997; and when they voted in 2010 for a government committed to reducing net immigration to an annual rate in the tens of thousands (where it had been for decades until 1998), they soon discovered that the government was unable to do anything about net immigration that was running at an annual rate of over 300,000.

The weak-borders narrative has fettered democracy by capturing institutions that are beyond direct democratic control: the institutions of law, especially those with a supranational character. ...

The issue with all these legal fetters on border control is not whether the right border decision has been taken – it is the fact that the people's right to make that decision through their elected representatives has been removed or curtailed. Supranational institutions such as the UN, the EU and the Council of Europe (which oversees the European Convention on Human Rights) have given judges, particularly in Europe, unprecedented power to remove border control from the democratic arena.

A liberal democracy that fails to address popular and legitimate concerns about levels of immigration forfeits the right to be called a democracy. And a liberal democracy that fails to see the need to balance individual rights with collective interests risks tarnishing the very idea of liberalism. The problem will only be worsened by an elite which, instead of addressing these issues, responds to the unpopularity of its weak borders by calling its critics racist and xenophobic.
[Site link]


Recent news and views

Recent news and views (this page, above).
These extracts are ones not yet included in any of the following pages which are updated less often than this page.

Selected news and views in date order

News and views - selected extracts for 2017 except current month (seld.htm).
News and views - selected extracts 2016 (seld3.htm).
News and views - selected extracts 2013-2015 (seld2.htm).
News and views - selected extracts before 2013 (seld1.htm).

These are the more notable or substantial items, omitting ones that are more lightweight or ephemeral. These can be found also in the main collections shown in the pages described below, but are copied here for those who want to skip the less important material. Some items are, of course, borderline but have to be either included or excluded. The extracts are in reverse date order, so the latest are at the top of the page.

News and views in date order

Extracts of news and views in reverse date order, so the latest are at the top of the page. Items that are less important or more ephemeral are included along with those that are more notable. If you prefer to read by starting at an earlier date and working forwards, you can do so either by using the "Up" links provided or by going through the summary list (see below) in the desired order and using the hyperlink from each item there to the relevant extract.
From 1 January 2017, except current month.
2016.
2015.
2014.
2013.
2012.
2011.
2010.
2008 and 2009.
2007 and earlier.

News and views in subject order

These are the same extracts as given elsewhere in date order, but they are presented here by subject. To avoid having too many subject headings, 'multiculturalism' here includes multiracialism and multiethnic issues; 'population' includes overpopulation.
From 1 January 2017, except current month.
2016.
2015.
2014.
2013.
2012.
2011.
2010.
2008 and 2009.
2007 and earlier.

Publications

A list of some publications on immigration and related matters (pubs.htm). Not updated recently.

Links to other sites

Links to relevant other sites of possible interest (sites.htm). Not updated recently.


Notes:
The date given for an extract occasionally differs slightly from the date given for the article on a website. This is because it is not uncommon for an article to appear on a publisher's website the day before it appears in the printed version of the newspaper.

Some reports here do not mention immigration or immigrants, but their relevance is indicated elsewhere. For example, a report on the consequences of population pressure is relevant since the rise in the UK's population is largely due to mass immigration. A report on the level of knife crime might not at first seem relevant here, since there is usually no mention of immigration. However, other reports indicate that it is a significant factor. An item on education can be relevant because inadequate education in the UK is a reason given by some business managers for employing foreigners.

Where longer extracts of an article are divided into several parts, this is almost always done only for convenience of presentation here.

Where no webpage link is provided, the source is usually, with the exception mainly of older extracts, the printed publication. In these cases, many but not all of the full reports can be found on the publishers' websites. However, if searching for the full report, note that it is not unusual for the heading and the text to have been modified. For example, the heading "British television is hideously white, says equality chief", printed in The Daily Telegraph, is or was "Britain's most popular television programmes 'too white', says Trevor Phillips" on the newspaper's website.

Extracts can, if preferred, be read in chronological order by using the "" link to go to the start of the item next above the one just read.

The address of this site was www.immat.info until early July 2011.

Please report errors and omissions to contact @ immigration-concern.info (omit spaces) - thank you.


Number of recent news items on this page: 88


Site address: http://immigration-concern.info