Quotations of news and views in date order - latest first

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

Authors expressing their own views are indicated in bold. The names of reporters are in normal type.


Sorry but migrants will STILL abuse the NHS: Department of Health research shows only 16% of charges are ever recovered [part 1]
J Meirion Thomas
Daily Mail, 31 December 2013

Health Minister Lord Howe's announcement this week that foreigners coming to Britain will be charged for emergency treatment on the NHS appears at first glance to be a welcome first step towards tackling health tourism – a scourge which is causing untold damage to our National Health Service.

The plan is that migrants who go to A&E will be charged between £20 and £100 for a consultation, on top of the cost of their treatment. ...

That something has to be done is not in doubt. I work as a senior consultant in the NHS and, having become increasingly dismayed by the growing financial burden caused by overseas health visitors, I have researched the subject thoroughly – health tourism is costing the NHS billions of pounds.

Yet for those of us who have campaigned over the years to prevent health tourism, these new plans to tackle the problem come as a huge disappointment.

To explain why, let me first make clear who these health tourists are. They are people who come to the UK, often on a visitor's visa, with a pre-existing illness and whose motive is to access free NHS care.

This does not include asylum seekers or anyone who suffers accidental or incidental illness while visiting the UK.

For years, governments have not even dared to acknowledge health tourism was an issue. Even when they did, they underestimated the cost to the country.

In the House of Commons on March 25 this year, David Cameron said it was around £20 million a year. Later in the same debate, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt put the figure at £200 millon.

At least Lord Howe conceded this week that health tourism is a massive problem, and that it is costing the taxpayer £500 million.

This figure is still a fraction of my estimate of £2 billion to £3 billion, which is based on a vast number of case reports and other audit data I have received from those working at the frontline of the NHS.

The truth is that we have no reliable estimate of the cost of health tourism to the NHS because the Department of Health has failed to commission proper evidence-based research. It's as if they don't want to know. ...

But the problem is not just pregnant women. There is also the abuse of cancer, HIV, kidney dialysis, transplant and other services, all of which are specifically targeted by health tourists.

Yet even if the Government is woefully underestimating the cost of health tourism, should we not at least give them credit for planning to recover taxpayers' money by charging migrant patients?

Not really, I am afraid.

This plan merely confirms the Department of Health's misguided obsession with identifying and charging health tourists rather than preventing their access to the NHS in the first place.

The department has obviously not learned that charging doesn't work, even though its own research proves that only 16 per cent of charges are ever recovered.

However many times you turn up at a bedside with a chip-and-pin machine, no determined health tourist will pay up on the spot.

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Sorry but migrants will STILL abuse the NHS: Department of Health research shows only 16% of charges are ever recovered [part 2]
J Meirion Thomas
Daily Mail, 31 December 2013

Will there be a cashier's desk in every A&E department, and will all visitors and migrants have to supply a credit card before treatment?

I don't think so. As happens now, ineligible patients, even when rightly identified, will be invoiced weeks or even months later, by which time they will have left their temporary accommodation for their home country.

There is a reason that recovery figure is just 16 per cent. ...

On top of this, one of the most costly elements of health tourism – the abuse of GPs surgeries, because it involves so many patients – is to be left alone.

The report states that visitors, students and migrants will still be entitled to free GP services and puts forward the spurious public health argument that transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV, TB and sexually transmitted diseases would otherwise increase.

Where is the evidence for this assumption? On the same premise, the Department of Health announced last year that treatment for HIV would be free to all affected patients in the UK. Did that decision encourage health tourism?

We don't know . . . but we can all guess the answer.

It's as if the Department of Health thinks that as soon as the first anti-HIV, or anti-TB pills have been taken, the patient is no longer infectious. But patients with HIV can pass on the disease for months afterwards.

Half the TB in London is HIV-related and, for pharmacological reasons, these patients require anti-TB treatment for about one year before the anti-HIV therapy can even be started.

By encouraging them to receive treatment in Britain while they are still infectious, we could well be increasing the incidence of HIV disease in the UK.

So what is the answer to stopping health tourists – both those who come from within the EU and those without?

First, we should introduce an NHS passport, which defines an individual's entitlement to using the health service free of charge on the basis of permanent residency.

Along with this, foreign visitors should no longer be automatically given a free NHS number.

For it is an astonishing fact that, unlike in almost any other country in the world, visitors to Britain are entitled to free primary care in GPs' surgeries.

There they are given a unique NHS number which not only implies they have a legitimate right to use the NHS but also renders them virtually undetectable should they ever be referred for hospital care. ...

Second, we should follow the lead of every country with a sophisticated health service similar to our own, and insist that proof of reliable travel and health insurance must be provided before a visitor or student visa is issued. ...

An NHS passport and compulsory insurance for visitors and students may not solve all our problems. But they would go considerably further towards solving this scandalous abuse of taxpayers' money than these new Government proposals.
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Iain Duncan Smith: Britain's benefits system being threatened by immigrants
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2013

The "integrity" of Britain's benefits system is being threatened by European Union rules allowing immigrants to come and live and work unrestricted in the UK, Iain Duncan Smith has said.

With Britain opening its borders to Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants from tomorrow, Mr Duncan Smith said that toughened restrictions will ensure that foreigners are not allowed to "take advantage". ...

Mr Duncan Smith said: "The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country, and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system.

"That is why, as part of the Government's long-term economic plan, we have taken action. New rules are now in place to ensure we have a fair system - one which provides support for genuine workers and jobseekers, but does not allow people to come to our country and take advantage.

"I know that other countries across Europe share our concerns, so we'll continue to work with them to ensure we can protect the integrity of our benefits system."
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Chris Grayling accuses Lib Dems of blocking tougher immigration controls
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 31 December 2013

A senior Conservative has accused the Liberal Democrats of blocking tougher controls on Bulgarian and Romanian workers, sparking a coalition row in the last hours before Britain's borders are opened to immigrants from the two newest EU countries.

Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, spoke out after 90 Tory activists wrote to the prime minister urging him to apply emergency powers before controls on immigration from the eastern European countries end on New Year's Day.

In a letter to David Cameron, the Tory grassroots campaigners said the government has the ability to stop a potential influx of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania, because EU law allows a country to extend controls if it is "undergoing or foresees serious labour market disturbances".

But when asked about the powers, Grayling signalled that the Liberal Democrats had stopped the Conservatives bringing in stricter rules and "sorting out" the issue before the deadline. His comments were immediately rubbished by Lib Dem sources, who said the Tories had never even suggested trying to further restrict immigration from Bulgaria and Romania because it would be illegal under EU law.
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Benefits migrants will rush to Britain to be £13,000 better off
Alison Little
Daily Express, 31 December 2013

Britain is facing a flood of migrants who live in other EU states because our benefits are "difficult to resist", experts are warning.

Two million Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who already live abroad could raise their income by £13,800 a year by coming to this country.

The findings are at odds with Government predictions that there will be no stampede of Bulgarians and Romanians because other EU countries must also lift border controls at midnight tonight.

MigrationWatch UK said its analysis of European incomes supported its forecast that 50,000 Bulgarians and Romanians a year will come here. They include "some of the two million Romanian and Bulgarian migrants in Spain and Italy who may find the lure of Britain difficult to resist".

While the Government has acted to stop new immigrants claiming unemployment benefit, payments like tax credits meant Britain remained the "most lucrative" destination.

A single Romanian or Bulgarian on half the average wage could earn nearly five times more in Britain compared to four times more in France and Germany. A married worker with two children would be three times better off in Spain or Italy – but six times richer here.

MigrationWatch said taking tax, welfare and other living costs into account, they would have a "spending power" of £25,227 in Britain – compared to £13,715 in Italy and just £11,419 in Spain.

Germany, France and Holland were "financially attractive". But the English language might be an added incentive.
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Don't lift the border controls, grassroots Tories beg Cameron: Activists say he risk social unrest if the PM doesn't tear up plans
Tim Shipman
Daily Mail, 30 December 2013

David Cameron must reimpose controls on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants or risk social unrest, senior Tories demanded last night.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, seen by the Daily Mail, 90 activists and constituency chairmen demanded that he tear up plans to end transitional controls on January 1, saying the Government's position was untenable.

In a challenge to Mr Cameron's authority, the Conservative Grassroots group rubbishes claims by ministers that the Government is powerless to prevent what they call a 'destabilising wave of mass immigration'.

They demand that the Prime Minister uses a little-known clause in European Union law which allows governments to continue with border controls if their country is 'undergoing or foresees serious labour market disturbances'.

The loophole – known as a 'safeguard clause' – was used by Spain in 2011 to reimpose controls on Romanian migrants at a time when youth unemployment was running at 50 per cent.

The activists also call on Mr Cameron to stage an 'emergency' recall of Parliament to pass an amendment to the Immigration Bill, tabled by Tory MP Nigel Mills and supported by 70 Conservative MPs, to continue the restrictions on new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria after Wednesday. ...

In the letter to Mr Cameron, Conservative Grassroots chairman Robert Woollard says that action to strip the new arrivals of full working rights is 'a matter of economic necessity'.

He warns: 'How are local authorities going to be able to support unrestricted new immigrant individuals and entire families without additional financial support or increased local taxation? The fiscal position is simply untenable, irrational and grossly unfair – and may lead to social unrest.'

He demands that transitional controls are extended until 2018, the year after Mr Cameron has promised an in-out referendum on Britain's relationship with Brussels. Describing the Government's position that it cannot act as 'perplexing', the letter continues: 'Long-term UK youth unemployment – at 21 per cent – is the third highest within EU & OECD countries.

'As such it is only logical for the UK – invoking the Spanish example of "exceptional circumstances" – to unilaterally exercise its opt-out on immigration matters under the Lisbon Treaty and extend the original restrictions to 2018 to allow the UK economy the space and time to reverse the long-term high youth unemployment trend.'

Attacking the Government's refusal to budge, the letter continues: 'You must be aware that this is an untenable political position given the widespread opposition of the British people – from all walks of life including ethnic minorities.

'It is also an unsustainable economic position in view of the huge pressure already placed on public services at a time when the country is still facing acute challenges within the economy.'
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Migrants can see GPs for free, despite promise of crackdown
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2013

Migrants will be allowed to see GPs for free in an about-turn by ministers days before Britain's borders are opened fully to Romanians and Bulgarians.

The government will today set out further details about new restrictions on access to the NHS for migrants but doctors surgeries will be excluded from the crackdown.

Earlier this year ministers suggested migrants from outside the European Union visiting GPs should pay a fee and surgeries would be given a new obligation to check whether patients were genuine British residents.

However, ministers will say today this plan has now been dropped and new patients will not be charged to go to a GP. ...

Under the measures announced today GP and nurse consultations will remain free while other primary care services such as prescriptions, dentistry, eye appointments as well as treatment in NHS hospitals will be charged for migrants.

Other types of primary care services such as minor surgery that is carried out by a GP and physiotherapy that has been referred through a GP could also be charged. ...

The reforms are part of a concerted attempt by ministers to stop migrants coming to the UK to take advantage of free treatment on the NHS.

Ministers want to charge for access to the NHS services to crack down on the "pull" factors that attract migrants to Britain's shores and claw back £500million of the £2billion lost every year to health tourism. ...

Full details of the reforms will be set out in March. ... ...

The Department of Health said it was a "public health issue" to give free access to GPs for migrants, so that people with contagious diseases were not deterred from receiving an initial diagnosis.

Sources said the idea of charging for access to a GP was only ever proposed in a consultation in the summer.
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The Islamization of Britain in 2013 [part 1]
Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute, 30 December 2013

The Muslim population of Britain topped 3.3 million by the end of 2013 to become around 5.2% of the overall population of 63 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe.

At the same time, opinion surveys consistently show that voters in Britain view Islam and the question of Muslim immigration as a top-ranked public concern. The British public, it seems, is increasingly worried about the establishment of a parallel Muslim society there.

But government efforts to push back against the Islamization of Britain have been halting and half-hearted.

What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in Britain during 2013. ...

Also in March, St. John's Episcopal Church in Aberdeen, Scotland, became the first church in the United Kingdom to share its premises with Muslim worshippers. Church officials now welcome hundreds of Muslims praying five times a day in their building because the nearby mosque is filled to overcapacity and Muslim worshippers are forced to pray outside. ...

In April, a documentary secretly filmed inside several of the 85 Islamic Sharia Law courts operating in Britain exposed the systematic discrimination that many women are suffering at the hands of Muslim jurists.

The documentary, Secrets of Britain's Sharia Courts, was filmed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was first aired on BBC Panorama, a long-running current affairs program, on April 8.

The undercover investigation proves what has long been suspected: namely, that Sharia courts, which operate in mosques and houses across Britain, routinely issue rulings on domestic and marital issues according to Islamic Sharia law that are at odds with British law. Although Sharia rulings are not legally binding, those subject to the rulings often feel obliged to obey them as a matter of religious belief, or because of pressure from family and community members to do so.

The documentary contends that the Sharia courts, run by Muslim judges known as qadi, are putting women at risk of violence from abusive husbands by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages. ...

In May, new census data published by the British government showed that Islam is set to become the dominant religion in Britain within the next generation.

The report, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on May 16, shows that although Christianity is still the main religion in Britain – over 50% of the population describe themselves as such – nearly half of all Christians in Britain are over the age of 50, and, for the first time ever, fewer than half under the age of 25 describe themselves as Christian.

By contrast, the number of people under 25 who describe themselves as Muslim has doubled over the past ten years: one in ten under the age of 25 are Muslim, up from one in 20 in 2001.

If current trends continue – a Muslim population boom, combined with an aging Christian demographic and the increasing secularization of British natives – Islam is set to overtake Christianity in Britain within the next 20 years, according to demographers.
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The Islamization of Britain in 2013 [part 2]
Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute, 30 December 2013

Also in May, a BBC documentary called "Married for a Minute" reported that an increasing number of Muslims in Britain are reviving the Islamic practice of temporary marriage.

Temporary marriage – a euphemism for religiously sanctioned prostitution – is an Islamic custom that unites a man and an unmarried woman as "husband and wife" for a limited period of time (sometimes for less than half an hour).

The proliferation of temporary marriages – combined with the spike in polygamous marriages – shows how Muslims in Britain are using Islamic Sharia law with impunity to establish parallel forms of "marriage" that are otherwise illegal for non-Muslims in the country.

... But Islamic scholars interviewed by the BBC say the practice is widespread, and anecdotal evidence suggests it is especially popular among the younger generation of Muslims in England and Wales. ...

Also in June, a Muslim cab driver named Mohamed Hacene-Chaouch was jailed for seven years and three months after being found guilty of raping a female passenger in his unlicensed taxi. ...

The case drew public attention to a wave of sex crimes involving predatory Muslim taxi drivers who are raping female passengers. The number of so-called taxi rapes is snowballing to such an extent that a British judge has issued a warning that no woman can expect to be safe while traveling in a cab.

Reliable statistics on taxi rapes nationwide are difficult to obtain, and Freedom of Information requests seeking accurate data on cab-related sexual assaults are routinely denied ...

However, a much acclaimed report produced by the London Metropolitan Police Service estimates that on average there are a total of 1,125 sexual assaults, including rapes, each year involving taxi drivers just in London; this works out to approximately 22 sexual assaults against women by taxi drivers each week in the capital city of England alone. ...

In July, a House of Commons research report entitled "Prison Population Statistics" showed that the number of Muslim inmates in England and Wales jumped to 11,248 in 2012, up from 3,681 in 1997. ...

The rate of increase of Muslim inmates in British prisons is eight times faster than that of the overall prison population, and the numbers show a clear overrepresentation of Muslim convicts: Muslims, who make up roughly 5% of the British population as a whole, now make up 13% of the British prison population (compared to just 6% in 1997). ...

In October, more than a dozen Muslim clerics at some of the biggest mosques in Britain were caught on camera agreeing to marry off girls as young as 14.

Undercover reporters filming a documentary about the prevalence of forced and underage marriage in Britain for the television program ITV Exposure secretly recorded 18 Muslim imams agreeing to perform an Islamic marriage, known as a nikah, between a 14-year-old girl and an older man.

Although the legal age for marriage in Britain is 16, according to Sharia law girls can marry once they reach puberty. The imams who agreed to marry the girl openly mocked the legitimacy of British law, reflecting the rise of a parallel Islamic legal system in Britain.
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Mass immigration is destroying our once great nation
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 30 December 2013

The day of destiny has almost arrived. Another stage is about to be reached in the destruction of national identity and our existence as an independent country. From the beginning of January, all restrictions will be lifted on immigration to Britain of people from Bulgaria and Romania. ...

The vast new influx of eastern European migrants will be the next step in the revolution that has engulfed our country in recent years. A relentless flood of arrivals, running at a rate of more than 500,000 a year, has already transformed the very fabric of our society. As a result of our open borders Britain is now the most overcrowded nation in Europe. ...

With five million foreigners arriving here since 2001 the pace and extent of the demographic change has been phenomenal.

At least a third of all babies born in Britain have at least one foreign parent, a figure rising to an astonishing 90 per cent in some London boroughs.

In several of our urban conurbations, such as Leicester, Slough and Luton, white British people are significantly in a minority. It is no wonder that many ordinary Britons now feel like aliens in their own land.

What is so sickening is that we never voted for this upheaval. Mass immigration and the creation of a multi-cultural society have all been imposed without a shred of democratic consent. Opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of the public want tighter border controls.

Yet this natural instinct is treated with contempt by the bullying ideologues of the proimmigration brigade, who hurl accusations of racism and xenophobia against anyone who dares challenge their project. ...

... Mass immigration smashes the social contract on which civilisation depends. A nation can only function successfully when its people have shared values, a mutual sense of belonging and a universal moral code. But multi-culturalism and open borders promote division, segregation, and hierarchies of victimhood based on ethnic identities.

The higher the rates of immigration, the harder integration becomes. We are now a land scarred by practices that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, such as forced marriages, urban shanty towns, predatory grooming gangs, genital mutilation and tribal gangsterism. But such problems could just be the precursor of what is to come. "You Western Europeans have not quite registered the level of criminality you are about to face," says a retired Bulgarian colonel.

The EU and the self-styled progressives do not care about any of this. Mass immigration and the abolition of nationhood are central to their goal of a new federal entity in Europe. But the rest of us can only feel despair at what we are losing.
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UK 'cannot extend' migrant controls, says Grant Shapps
BBC, 30 December 2013

The UK has done all it can "within the law" to delay the lifting of work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, a top Conservative has said.

Party chairman Grant Shapps said the deadline for ending temporary controls had already been extended by two years and this could not be done again.

Tory activists say there is scope within EU law to retain controls until 2018 under exceptional circumstances. ...

Mr Shapps said he had sympathy with those worried about the economic and social impact of future migration from Bulgaria and Romania, on top of that seen since Poland and nine other countries joined the EU in 2004.

But he said the "maximum" seven-year limit for transitional controls on migrants after their countries join the EU could not be extended under current arrangements.
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Exposed: What they DIDN'T tell you about new wave of migrants heading for booming Britain
Jonathan Petre and Simon Walters
Mail on Sunday, 29 December 2013

Bulgarians and Romanians will flock to Britain in far greater numbers than forecast as our economy races ahead of the rest of Europe, a secret report predicts.

After immigration controls are lifted this week, Britons could find their jobs are squeezed in some areas – while community tensions could rise as the new wave of migrants fight for work with other Eastern Europeans who have been settled in Britain for a decade, it suggests.

The Home Office-funded review – obtained by The Mail on Sunday – also suggests that the UK could lose out financially if low-paid Bulgarians and Romanians drive out Poles on higher wages, who pay more tax.

From Wednesday, Bulgarians and Romanians, known as A2 migrants, will have the same rights as other EU citizens to live and work throughout Europe, but Britain is likely to be seen as more attractive than other countries struggling to make an economic comeback.

The authoritative report by University of Reading academics was commissioned ahead of the change by a group of 74 councils in the South East of England, working with the UK Border Agency, police and health services, but has not been officially publicised.

Obtained under a Freedom of Information request, the 40-page report reveals that migration overall was likely to be beneficial to the UK but warns that:

In some regions, employment for British-born citizens has declined while jobs for 'not UK-born other white residents' [mainly Eastern Europeans] have increased – suggesting this gap could get worse.

Already overcrowded schools will struggle to find places for the children of the new arrivals.

Overstretched hospitals risk coming under fresh strain, and the housing crisis could get worse.

The cost to taxpayers of state handouts, such as Child Benefit, could go up.

Town halls may fail to collect enough council tax from new immigrants to pay for the extra services because they often crowd into one home and have 'makeshift accommodation arrangements'.

Bulgarians and Romanians could compete for the jobs of previous immigrants such as Poles, 'negatively effecting social cohesion'. ...

The study drawn up for the South East Strategic Partnership for Migration says that immigration restrictions 'are ending when employment across the EU is changing,' which could have an impact on migration patterns.

Significantly, it adds: 'Against this background it is feasible the UK might receive a larger share of A2 migrants than in the recent past.'
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Britons ready to welcome migrants from Bulgaria and Romania, poll finds
Daniel Boffey
The Observer, 29 December 2013

Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK on New Year's Day will be welcomed by more than two-thirds of Britons if they integrate and work hard, a new poll suggests ahead of restrictions on them being lifted.

In spite of a surge of anti-immigrant rhetoric from leading politicians, British people are happy to accept migrants from the east of Europe who learn English, get a job, pay taxes and become part of their local community.

As many as 68% of those asked said they would be happy for migrants to come on those terms. That sentiment was particularly strong among people aged between 35 and 44, with 72% supporting their right to come to live and work in the UK.

The Ipsos Mori poll for the thinktank British Future comes in the wake of an intervention in the Observer by the president of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, who warned the British government not to abandon its traditional tolerance of immigrants in favour of isolation. ...

Yet, despite a barrage of negative publicity about the arrival of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, the new poll finds that only one in four Britons (24%) believe that restricting the free movement of people, while staying in the EU, should be one of the government's priorities. A similar proportion (26%) said leaving the EU should be a priority if it does not change its rules on allowing people to come to the UK.

Nearly half (45%) said that enforcing the minimum wage was one of the most important ways of stopping business undercutting British workers by paying European workers less. Around one in five (22%) believed in the importance of managing the impact of immigration by, for example, giving more support to areas heavily affected.

The polling also showed that, while a significant majority did want a tightening of the welfare system (63%), just 2% of those asked believed that there was nothing migrants from Romania and Bulgaria could do to be accepted. This compares with 69% who said that learning the English language should be a priority for migrants, and 64% who said getting a job and paying taxes were among the key things to do.
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Britain must keep Romanian and Bulgarian restrictions
Steven Swinford and Peter Dominiczak
Sunday Telegraph, 29 December 2013

Seven in 10 Britons believe David Cameron should retain restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants even if it means breaking European Union laws, according to a new poll for the Sunday Telegraph.

The ICM survey found that the public overwhelmingly backs a call by dozens of Conservative rebels for the Government to ban migrants from both countries coming to Britain for at least another five years.

The findings come amid fears that hundreds of thousands of migrants could arrive from Romania and Bulgaria – the poorest countries in the EU – when current restrictions are lifted on January 1. ...

The poll found that a sizeable majority of the public support the demand, with 72 per cent of people saying that Britain should keep current restrictions in place. Just 18 per cent oppose the move. ...

In response to the growing concerns, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has floated plans for an annual 75,000 cap on the number of EU migrants.

The suggestion increased Coalition tensions, with Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Business Secretary, comparing the Conservative "rhetoric" on immigration to Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech.

However, the ICM/ Sunday Telegraph poll suggests significant support for the idea, with 49 per cent of people in favour of changing EU laws to limit the number of migrants who can move to Britain every year.

The option was preferred to another of Mr Cameron's policies – barring migrants from poorer European Union countries from coming to Britain – which received the support of just 14 per cent of the public.
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The ugly, cynical EU immigration debate
Melanie McDonagh
Spectator blog, 29 December 2013

Tristram Hunt, Shadow Education Secretary, is an intelligent and articulate individual but like everyone in politics, has the handicap of having to square his views with the record and policies of his own party. ... He attributes some of the education failures of white boys – the new educational underclass – in British schools to the influx of large numbers of East European immigrants in areas like Kent and East Anglia. His remedy for the problem is benign, namely, to educate indigenous youth to the standards needed by employers, so as to outflank the competition, and to focus on vocational skills in a way that Labour didn't do in power. So far, so dandy.

He acknowledges too that in power Labour didn't anticipate the scale of the influx from Poland after the EU expansion to the east. ...

But what's interesting is that in order to outline the potential disadvantages of immigration from Eastern Europe, he has to demonstrate his essential inclusivity by squaring the policy with Labour's traditional immigrant constituency. Take this quote: 'I'm influenced by my time as MP for Stoke on Trent. I remember talking to a young, second-generation Pakistani British lad who was concerned about the speed on change in the community as a result of the failure to introduce control-led immigration from the EU accession states last time.'

Yes, the speed of the influx was unsettling all round, including to a previous generation of immigrants. But it's a curious device, to make his argument palatable by expressing it via a 'second generation Pakistani British lad' rather than, say, a white Brit. Because if it comes to the speed and scale of uncontrolled immigration, Labour has a case to answer, as Mr Hunt knows, about the influx from outside the EU during its watch.

There are two sets of figures to bear in mind. One is that in the decade between 2001- 2011, ie, during Labour's time in government, around four million people came to Britain. Roughly 30 per cent of them were from the EU. So the notion that ungoverned immigration is a problem of Poles is not true, though it suits the party to say so. The other is that in the last two years to June, over a million people came to live in Britain. About half of them were from the EU. So it's still the case that the problem of immigration is not just an EU problem, though you'd never think it to listen to the PM banging on about Bulgarians and benefits.

Both parties, in other words, are focussing on the unfortunate Bulgarians and Romanians who may come to Britain after tomorrow, as opposed to the larger and more problematic immigration from areas such as, say, Pakistan. But then it's easier to have a go at Bulgarians than to annoy your own constituency. Consider former Home Secretary, David Blunkett, who recently expressed rather unpleasant views about Romanian immigrants on the basis that they were getting up the noses of his Pakistani constituents. But didn't it similarly occur to him when he opined in office that there was no obvious upper limit to the extent of immigration that ever increasing numbers would have a disruptive effect on indigenous communities?

In other words, in order to divert attention from a real problem, the continuing scale of immigration from outside the EU, both parties are busy getting us worked up about a rather lesser one, the advent of the East Europeans. ... It's ugly, cynical politics.
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The 300 'maternity tourists'
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 29 December 2013

Hundreds of pregnant foreigners are flying to Britain just days before they give birth to receive free care on the NHS.

A government report found that immigration officials at one airport stopped more than 300 such mothers-to-be over two years.

Most of the women had to be admitted and allowed to give birth on the NHS, the report found, because their pregnancies were too advanced for them to fly home.

Airlines typically do not carry women more than 36 weeks pregnant. However, the women boarded flights in their home countries with forged doctors' notes concealing the length of their pregnancies.

The disclosure will heighten growing fears over "health tourism", which sees foreigners coming to Britain for free NHS care.

The problem of "maternity tourism" has become so acute that staff at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, in London, refer to the flow of West African women flying in to give birth as the "Lagos Shuttle".

The Government says health tourism costs the NHS as much as £80 million a year – enough to pay for about 2,000 nurses.

However, estimates seen by The Telegraph suggest the true figure may be far higher. Guy's and St Thomas' alone may be losing more than £5 million a year.

The disclosures come as ministers unveil a range of measures tomorrow to tackle the problem. ...

The disclosures about "maternity tourists" emerged from a previously unpublicised consultation document, prepared in 2010, on plans to refuse entry to foreigners with unpaid NHS bills.

The report found that over a two-year period, immigration officials at Gatwick stopped more than 300 expectant foreigners found to be in an "advanced stage of pregnancy [and] who evidently intend[ed] to access NHS maternity services".

Gatwick has few flights from the countries producing the most health tourists, suggesting the total British figure will be far higher.

Another unpublicised report, Visitor and Migrant Use of the NHS in England: Observations from the Front Line, published this autumn, quotes extensively from staff frustrated at what they see as visitors playing the system.

"Sometimes they will come back for their second or third baby," an immigration officer said. "Sometimes they will quite blatantly say, 'I'm coming because the care is better.' And once they are here, if they are assessed to a certain gestation, then we are stuck."

An NHS overseas visitor officer said: "People coming into hospital from overseas know the rules better than the hospital staff." Another said: "They lie through their teeth."
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We deserve the truth on immigration
Mail on Sunday, 29 December 2013
[Leading article]

The authorities know in detail that the lifting of immigration controls on Bulgarians and Romanians this week could lead to strain on public services, to housing problems and even to social cohesion issues among different migrant groups.

Yet the report which makes this plain – despite having been commissioned by a public body and aided with taxpayers' money – remained effectively secret until The Mail on Sunday obtained it through Freedom of Information requests.

How foolish this is. Trying to suppress debate on this subject only helps troublemakers and rabble-rousers, who are then free to exaggerate and spread panic.

Responsible people who have warned of the dangers of uncontrolled borders have far too often been dismissed or misrepresented by politicians and by liberal media.

Now the British state is actually censoring itself rather than facing the facts, hiding away a careful survey by serious academics.
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Beware this populism sweeping across Europe
The Observer, 29 December 2013
[Leading article]

One example of how populism has reframed the debate is illustrated by how UK politicians from all three major parties address immigration. Immigration is only discussed as a problem. Numbers obviously matter, but in the context of a significant skills shortage and ageing population, the more responsible approach has to be: "What rate of immigration is necessary to meet employment demands and rebalance the ratio of young earners to dependent pensioners?" According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, immigrants work hard and pay more taxes than they claim in benefits. ...

How often do we hear mainstream politicians making a case for the positive impact of immigration? How often do we hear them standing up for – and welcoming – hard-working people who will add to the economy? How often do we hear mainstream politicians praising Britain's multicultural mosaic as something that enriches our life and country in innumerable ways? It's OK, it seems, to embrace this diversity at the time of the Olympics – step forward Mo Farah and Christine Ohuruogu – but when the ballot box looms, most of our political class betrays a narrow-minded cowardice. If populism rises on their watch, and they have remained silent, then Europe will have been failed by a gutless political class unable or unwilling to find a voice. Serious politicians need to engage in the debate or watch the rise of a potentially dangerous and hugely divisive strain of populism.

Key to this will be addressing the issue of diversity and countering the populist parties' rhetoric. Diversity, for instance, means recognising that Muslims make up 8% of the population in France, 5% in Germany and 3% in Britain. Diversity also presents challenges: for example, in the name of multiculturalism and respect for other people's beliefs and custom, are host communities prevented from exercising their own freedom to live as they choose? ...

Populism feeds on social discontent and stokes the temptation to turn on "the other" as scapegoat for all ills. Mainstream politicians have a duty not to fan hostility but to address real concerns and fight harder to re-engage what the postwar populist Pierre Poujade called "the ripped-off, lied-to, little people", the backbone of democracy.
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Even Romanian MPs warn us that swarms of migrants are coming to live in UK
James Fielding
Sunday Express, 29 December 2013

Hundreds of thousands of Romanians will flock to the UK from other European countries in the New Year, the Sunday Express was told last night by one of the country's top MPs.

The largest wave will arrive from recession-hit Spain and Italy to take advantage of Britain's blossoming economy, warned the MP, Aurelian Mihai.

He said two million of his countrymen are thought to be living in the two Mediterranean countries but face racial abuse, a lack of job prospects and no access to unemployment benefits.

Many of them, he added, are now eyeing a move to the UK when work visa restrictions are lifted on January 1.

Mr Mihai, who was elected by Romanians living in Western Europe to represent their interests in Bucharest, admitted the UK was an attractive destination. ...

The Romanian population in Italy is estimated to be 1,000,000, 15 times greater than the number living there 10 years ago.

A similar number live in Spain, a figure which has shot up 30-fold in a decade.

Large numbers of the migrant workforce have seen their jobs wiped out by the economic difficulties in both countries. They also complain of being targeted for daily abuse by locals.

By contrast there are only around 90,000 Romanians living in the UK. They have reported a largely positive reception and have access to benefits when out of work.

Mr Mihai angrily dismissed claims Romanians were going abroad merely to live off the state. He told the Sunday Express: "I think it's insulting to lower the debate to the level of accusing Romanians and Bulgarians of wanting to come to the UK to claim benefits.

"The suggestion to us as European citizens is not only a tired one but a serious insult to the concept of European citizenship. Such stereotypes need to disappear if we are to really enact European Union legislation that allows all EU citizens the same rights." ...

Officially the number of Romanians living abroad is claimed to be over two million, but in reality it is believed to be far higher especially among the Roma community, some of whom are not even registered as existing by the Romanian authorities, let alone notifying them when they head abroad to live or work.
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Nigel Farage is right about Syrian refugees, but asylum should not be permanent
Melanie McDonagh
Spectator blog, 29 December 2013

There has been a stagey sort of surprise at the news that Nigel Farage has called for refugees from the conflict in Syria to be given asylum in Britain. He's anti-immigration, see, so his call for generous provision for refugees of war has, at least for our major broadcasters, a paradoxical element.

But it doesn't quite follow that if you are in favour of curbing immigration that you are therefore Scroogish on asylum. Paul Collier, the Oxford academic whom I interviewed for the Speccie after the publication of Exodus, his interesting book on the effects of migration on poor countries, was emphatic that countries had a moral duty to be generous in the provision of asylum. But only so long as the asylum is temporary; the deal being that once the conflict is more or less over, the refugees return to help rebuild their country. It's very much in the interests of post-conflict states that their brightest and best return home, rather than staying put in the countries that gave them refuge.

And that second element, it seems to me, is what Britain is rubbish at, viz, returning people back to their war-ravaged states, preferably with enough cash in hand to start rebuilding their lives. But that must be the deal. Otherwise, as David Davis pointed out, you can have the situation bequeathed by Labour in respect of the Somali conflict, whereby tens of thousands of people were given refuge here from the war, only to remain in perpetuity.

If the conditions are spelt out in advance, then by all means let some of the unfortunate victims of the Syrian conflict come to the UK as well as to other states in Europe, though it may be hard to distinguish between a genuine exodus of displaced people and opportunistic migration. But once there's some sort of cessation of conflict, they must be sent back.

The real argument against granting asylum is that the humanitarian initiative becomes a substitute for political engagement to help end the conflict itself.
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EU: Britain will have 12 million more migrants by 2060
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 28 December 2013

Up to 30 million people living in the UK will have an immigrant background by the middle of this century, according to a European Union population forecast.

Britain should brace itself for a population explosion with net immigration of more than 12 million people by 2060, the figures show. And about one in three residents will be a first or second generation immigrant.

The estimates are contained in a document produced by Brussels statistics agency Eurostat entitled: Fewer, Older And Multicultural? Projections Of The EU Populations By Foreign/National Background.

Germany and Spain are the only EU countries forecast to have higher net immigration than the UK.

The report says: "From the results it emerges that the European Union is going to experience unprecedented changes from the point of view of population composition.

"In a few decades, several countries will have to deal with relevant social changes. The growing diversity of the European population could therefore be considered a major socio-demographic challenge for the current century."

The projections were made more than a year ago but have not been circulated widely outside Brussels and were buried on an obscure part of the Eurostat website.

They ignited fresh concern last night about border controls ahead of the ending of visa restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians on Wednesday. ...

The document forecast UK net immigration of 12,135,000 between 2008 and 2060.

Separate figures released by Eurostat last month showed that Britain has the fourth fastest-growing population in Europe, rising by 6.2 per cent to a record 63.8 million last year. Britain also has the second highest birth rate in the EU after Ireland.
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Labour: White boys' underachievement linked to mass migration
Matthew Holehouse and Mary Riddell
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2013

The failure of white boys to succeed at school is linked to uncontrolled immigration from Eastern Europe, Labour's shadow education secretary has suggested.

Tristram Hunt, the former television historian, said the low attainment of white British boys, particularly those living on England's east coast, was linked to high levels of migration from the EU.

More must be done to train indigenous Britons for skilled jobs, Mr Hunt said, admitting the last Labour Government got its immigration forecasts "badly wrong". The children of Pakistani immigrants are now alarmed at the rate of migration from Eastern Europe. ...

"I'm influenced by my time as MP for Stoke-on-Trent. I remember talking to a young, second-generation Pakistani British lad who was concerned about the speed of change in the community as a result of the failure to introduce controlled migration from the EU accession states last time," Mr Hunt said in an interview for Fabian Review.

"I think the answer is partly on the supply side. We've got to make sure that we're training our young people for jobs [in which they will] succeed [but] the real fear is that we got the numbers wrong last time, the statistics were poorly produced and policy flowed from that."

"What we can do in the education sphere is to [show] that there is a growing issue of white British boys not getting the education they want," Mr Hunt said, highlighting low attainment in schools in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and on the Kent coast which have seen high levels of EU migration.

Asked whether he thinks the two issues are linked, he said: "Exactly. And that comes back to the supply side. We have to get in there."

His analysis mirrors that of David Cameron, who has described curbing immigration, raising standards in schools and reducing welfare dependency as a "three-sided coin" to the problem of improving Britain's economic fortunes

The last Labour government failed to provide vocational education because it believed in a "myth" that Britain was a "post-industrial nation", Mr Hunt said.
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How Labour can stop itself worrying about immigration
Peter Wilby
The Guardian, 28 December 2013

After the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in 1948, carrying 492 black men and one black woman from Kingston, Jamaica, 11 backbenchers sent a letter to the prime minister. "An influx of coloured people domiciled here," they warned, "is likely to impair the harmony, strength and cohesion of our public and social life and to cause discord and unhappiness among all concerned." The MPs demanded legislation "in the political, social, economic and fiscal interests of our people" and stated confidently that "such ... action would be almost universally approved".

The prime minister was Labour's Clement Attlee (Haileybury public school and University College, Oxford) who replied in the soothing tones of the British liberal elite: "The emigration of this Jamaican party to the United Kingdom" should not be taken "too seriously", he advised, and legislation would be reluctantly considered only if there were "a great influx of undesirables". The fretting backbenchers were not rightwing Tories however; they were all Labour MPs.

Hostility to eastern European migrants came also from the left. Polish servicemen, who fought alongside Britons in the second world war and were given the option of settling here rather than returning to a homeland ruled by communists, were welcomed by Whitehall because some industries, such as textiles and mining, were short of labour. Yet at a TUC conference in October 1946, they were accused of "strutting around Liverpool" as if they owned it and, according to Peter Stachura, author of a study of Poles in Britain, "the xenophobia of the British working class" compelled Attlee to fudge the question of whether Poles should be granted citizenship.

Such episodes show that British workers' objections to new sources of migration go back a long way. ...

The 1940s illustrate how Labour has always been an uneasy alliance of middle-class liberals, who usually hold most leadership positions, and the party's working-class supporters who, if not consistently illiberal, tend not to meet the exacting standards of Hampstead or Islington dinner tables. After his "rivers of blood" speech in 1968 – which Vince Cable, the business secretary, recently accused Tory leaders of echoing – Enoch Powell was instantly sacked from the Conservative frontbench and got only muted support from fellow Tories. It was the London dockers, Smithfield meat porters and other stalwarts of the union movement who marched in his support as Labour-voting, middle-class Observer journalists (me among them) booed from their office windows. ...

But there's a bigger problem: in one important respect, the voters have it right. ... Britons on average pay may reasonably prefer to rely on recent experience, which is that rises in GDP, whether attributable to migration or not, do not accrue to them. ...

That was where Labour went wrong. On its watch, the wages of its natural supporters stagnated and then fell. The historic bargain broke down. ... Ed Miliband needs to repair the alliance and convince what he calls "the squeezed middle" that he can restore to them a rightful share of economic growth. Convince them that he is on their side on the things that really matter – and not on the side of City financiers and international plutocrats – and he and his party need worry no more about immigration.
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It is not racist to voice concerns on EU immigration to the UK
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 28 December 2013

In four days' time the UK's borders will open to as many Romanians and Bulgarians as decide they'd rather be here than in their home countries. When we last opened our borders in similar fashion in 2004 the then Labour government insisted that there would be no more than 15,000 Poles and other eastern Europeans who would take advantage of the new freedom to move here.

Anyone who suggested that this was a ludicrous underestimate was dismissed as a racist scaremonger. Even on the official figures, which always undercount, the total so far has been more than 700,000. Some scaremongering!

... Yet if you want to get a thoughtful and realistic assessment of what is about to happen it's not the government you need to listen to. It's local authority leaders who will have to cope with what actually happens on the ground: leaders such as Susan Hall of Harrow Council in north-west London.

Ms Hall is a beacon of good sense whose argument is based not on hyperbole but fact. According to Ms Hall: "Councils simply can't cope with an influx of immigrants which will strain our housing lists and distort school class sizes." ...

Even worse there's the social disorder that also arrives, from people trafficking and prostitution to pickpocketing. New rules pushed through by David Cameron mean that immigrants will be able to claim in-work benefits only when they've been here for over three months. But that barely even scratches the surface of the issue. No wonder 82 per cent of people said in a poll this week that they don't think the Government's measures go far enough. It's obvious why Ukip, the only mainstream party to oppose the policy of open borders, is doing so well. Yet despite this the three main parties react with a form of selective deafness. They mouth platitudes about listening but behave as if they have contempt for the view of the majority of ordinary people.

Indeed, just as Labour labelled anyone who worried about the consequences of the 2004 changes as racist, so the word has now reappeared.

Last week the Business Secretary Vince Cable likened the modest - and frankly paltry - measures pushed through by the Conservatives as being similar to the controversy in the late 1960s around Enoch Powell's famous "rivers of blood" speech. What drivel. It's not racist for a nation to feel that it should have the power to decide who is allowed to enter. There's nothing racist about a council leader worrying about the practicalities of how her authority will cope with the extra strain on public services.

Playing the race card is the resort of political scoundrels who know deep down that their own arguments aren't remotely persuasive and so turn to name-calling. ...

We have a backlog of 432,029 immigration and asylum cases. That's just those we know about. Only 1.5 per cent of illegal immigrants are ever removed. Of the illegal immigrants we know about, 98.5 per cent remain here - as do 100 per cent of those we don't know about.

So let's have no more of the idea that we are racist in wanting to introduce order to the system - and to have some worries about next month's potential legal influx from Bulgaria and Romania.

The extremists aren't on our side of the debate. The extremists are the ones who scream racist.
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The new ethnic cleansing: This disturbing dispatch from Eastern Europe reveals how racism exploited by politicians is driving thousands of Roma to flee to Britain
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 28 December 2013

Marek puts his arm around his dark-haired wife before stating sadly: 'Life here is so difficult for us gipsies that we have lost hope. We are hated by the white Slovakians.' He says that virulent racism is directed against the Roma population and they face daily hostility. ...

'The racists are making life terrible. They are trying to chase us out of the country. Under communism, we were treated as equals. We had jobs and houses. But now many politicians call us dirt.'

Marek fears for gipsies in Slovakia and other former communist bloc countries. His family is just one of many turning their eyes towards Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain.

The result is that we are witnessing a significant exodus of people from the East – an insidious form of ethnic cleansing for which tolerant, liberal democracies such as Germany and Britain are picking up the bill.

Among them are thousands of Slovakian, Hungarian and Czech Roma. They are legally entitled to live in the UK because their nations of origin are already in the EU, giving them rights to work and claim benefits in other member countries.

Next Wednesday, on January 1, Romanians and Bulgarians will be granted the same access to Britain (although with a three-month wait before being entitled to claim benefits). ...

Yet the truth is that many Romanian and Bulgarian Roma are already here. They have taken advantage of EU rules that allow them to stay for 90 days – which they exploit by leaving Britain at the end of the period, only to return, legally, for another 90-day stint. It has allowed them to put down roots with ease right across the country.

They have also seized on legal loopholes by stating they are self-employed (one ploy is to become a seller of the homeless magazine Big Issue, of which a third of sellers are East Europeans) which entitles them to welfare benefits and free healthcare. ...

The 2011 census did not specifically do a headcount of the number of Roma in Britain, which means councils are unable to work out how to cope with the extra numbers. But it is clear that public resources – such as GP surgeries, refuse collection services and schools – are already overstretched with the new arrivals.

And a report by York University published two years ago, on behalf of the European Commission, found that between 600,000 and one million Roma had headed to the UK since the communist bloc collapsed.

More recently, a lower figure estimated by the respected charity Equality UK has put Roma numbers at 500,000, far higher than the 200,000 which is widely quoted by politicians from a report by Salford University earlier this year.
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'Illegal' migrants stay despite raids
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2013

Nearly two out of three illegal immigration suspects caught working in restaurants in Britain during the past five years are still here, figures have shown.

Immigration officers arrested 10,884 suspected illegal immigrants in raids on restaurants between 2008 and March this year.

Of those, 3,973 (36.5 per cent) were then removed from Britain.

The Home Office figures were described as "astonishing" on Thursday. ...

Restaurants have been a focus for immigration officers because they are hot spots for illegal migrants, who take jobs as waiters or cooks.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, who obtained the figures, said: "These are very worrying statistics. The cost of these raids, including the numbers of Home Office officials involved and the time taken to execute them, seems to be greater than the consequences for those who are caught working illegally.

"Two out of every three people caught working illegally are therefore still in the country.

"Not only that, but millions of pounds of fines imposed on employers are written off."

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "It is astonishing that so few of those arrested have actually been removed."

He called for a "tighter system" so illegal immigrants could be "swiftly deported".

A spokesman for the Home Office said: "The number of illegal immigrants removed following enforcement raids on restaurants has increased every year since 2010.

"The new Immigration Bill will reduce the complexity of the appeals system, which allows too many people with no right to be in this country to make repeated, spurious appeals to prolong their stay in the UK and frustrate attempts to remove them."
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UN accused of interfering over immigration
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2013

The UN is wasting tens of millions of pounds that it receives in British aid "interfering" in domestic immigration policy and should focus on issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis, senior MPs have said.

The comments came after António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, criticised David Cameron's proposed immigration laws limiting the right of new migrants to access bank accounts and some NHS services immediately. The commissioner said the reforms would create a "climate of ethnic profiling" and "prove detrimental to social cohesion".

But Andrew Mitchell, who as international development secretary from 2010-12 oversaw tens of millions in British aid handed to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), dismissed the suggestions. He said the commission was working beyond its "mandate" and must show British tax payers it was providing "value for money" for the aid it received.

The Department for International Development gave £65 million to the UNHCR in 2013 alone, with a further £145 million between 2009 and 2012. In 2012, the UK was the sixth largest contributor to UNHCR.

Mr Mitchell said: "It is not really the UN's remit. António Guterres may well have strong opinions, but it is not really for the United Nations to interfere." ...

Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said he did "not recognise" the criticisms and said it was "very extraordinary" that a UN high commissioner was spending his time analysing British immigration policy.

He said: "Ultimately it is for Parliament to scrutinise the Government's immigration legislation."

He added: "Once high commissioners for refugees start criticising individual immigration policies of member states it does open up a whole new area, which frankly, is not the remit of the United Nations. Otherwise they would have to do an audit of the immigration policy of all 145 member states."

Conservative MPs were united in their anger at the comments on Thursday night, arguing that the commissioner's language was "ridiculously hysterical" and accusing the UN of "wasting money" and "undermining the sovereignty of nations".
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Police finance chief resigns after allegedly making 'n***** in the woodpile' remark during meeting
Rebecca Camber
Daily Mail, 27 December 2013

A Metropolitan Police finance boss has quit in disgrace after using the expression 'n***** in the woodpile' in front of shocked colleagues.

Steve Hodgson is said to have been thrown out of the meeting he was chairing after making the offensive comment.

Mr Hodgson, who was hired by the force in February to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from its budget, left the premises immediately.

He is thought to have been overseeing a finance discussion between staff from the force's finance, human resources and IT departments at the time.

The management consultant, who has also worked for the Department of Health, British Airways and the Royal Mail, where he built a reputation for ruthless cost cutting, later apologised and resigned from his six-figure post.

But he then issued a statement through the force to say he did not recall making the comment, but could not be sure that he did not make it either. ...

A spokesman for the force refused to say in what context the expression he used was made.
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UK immigration bill could create 'climate of ethnic profiling' – UNHCR
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 26 December 2013

The UN refugee agency has condemned David Cameron's proposed immigration laws over fears they could stigmatise foreigners, deny housing to people in need and create a "climate of ethnic profiling".

In a highly critical document, the office of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, raised concerns that the immigration bill will damage communities and lead to the marginalisation of refugees and asylum-seekers. ...

Cameron has proposed the immigration bill in order to crack down on illegal immigrants, restricting access to bank accounts and private housing, as well as forcing temporary migrants to pay for public services such as the NHS.

However, the commissioner is worried that legal refugees and asylum-seekers will be caught up in the new restrictions, as landlords, GPs and banks will find it difficult to interpret their immigration status. The commissioner said these protected groups would suffer discrimination if the legislation went ahead. ...

Labour has said it backs some principles of the immigration bill but will try to amend some of the details. During scrutiny of the legislation, Helen Jones, a shadow Home Office minister, said she was concerned that British citizens from black or ethnic minority communities would be targeted for checks by banks and GPs "even though they may well have been born here".

"The worry I have is that if someone comes in from a black or ethnic minority background, the bank will not know whether they have leave to remain in the UK. The suspicion is that the bank will say 'produce a document' – a passport or whatever. "What will happen if that person does not have a passport?" she said.
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EU migrants: Public services 'must prepare'
BBC, 23 December 2013

Ministers should take practical steps to help public services cope with the arrival of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, a think tank has urged.

There should be more funds for housing, schools and policing, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said. ...

Over the past month, the government has tightened the rules on benefit claims by EU citizens who come to the UK, amid growing concerns about a possible influx of Romanians and Bulgarians.

But the IPPR said the plans had been devised in an "atmosphere of panic and fear-mongering" and were largely "symbolic".

Instead, the institute said practical help was needed to deal with increased demands on the privately-rented housing sector and on police who may have to deal with more incidents of anti-social behaviour by people unaware of UK laws and customs.

It also called for extra translators in schools and health centres.

It said there should be a "dedicated" pot of money to pay for the measures, from visa fees and the European Social Fund. ...

IPPR senior research fellow Alex Glennie said: "It is entirely legitimate for politicians to be concerned about the pace and scale of European migration flows, not least because this is an issue about which there is so much public anxiety. But the political response has been more symbolic than substantive.

"Failure to properly prepare for the rapid inflow of citizens from the previous group of eight states in 2004 and the effects that this had on communities was short-sighted, and led to a number of avoidable problems. It also polarised the broader migration debate in the UK.

She added: "Since then, the UK has had 10 years of experience managing the impact of migration from these countries.

"The past decade has shown that the UK's economy and society are flexible enough to adapt to and benefit from European migration flows, as long as the pressure points they create are quickly identified and addressed.

"There is little to suggest that these lessons have been learned and applied in the run up to January 1st, but even now it is not too late to take some practical steps to alleviate any issues that might arise."
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UK immigration policy seen as threat to growth
Helen Warrell
Financial Times, 23 December 2013

UK immigration policy has become a "nightmare" for businesses and is choking growth while providing zero political gain for ministers, according to a report.

The analysis, by the Liberal Democrat-aligned CentreForum think-tank, suggests that the government should scrap its policy of reducing net migration to "the tens of thousands", because the target is impossible to fulfil and makes it harder for businesses to employ the most skilled migrants. ...

Tom Papworth, the report's author and CentreForum's associate director for economic policy, said the government's immigration policy was "at odds with its ambition to grow the economy, create jobs and shrink the deficit". ...

Separately, new analysis from another think-tank, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research suggests that the long-term impact of the Tories' net migration policy would be to reduce gross domestic product per capita significantly and to erode the public finances. While gross wages would increase slightly, as a result of the shrinking of the workforce, the resulting increase in taxes to make up for lost receipts would mean that post-tax wages actually fall.

According to Niesr researchers, a reduction in net migration to 100,000 would cause an 11 per cent fall in overall GDP over the next five decades. By 2060, GDP per head would also be 2.7 per cent lower compared with where it would be without this migration cut.

The study also suggests a negative impact on public finances resulting from lower tax revenues, calculating that income taxes would have to increase by 2.2 percentage points to balance the budget. The effect of this would be a 3.3 per cent lower net wage by 2060.

"The message for government is that if the Conservative party is successful in achieving its policy, then the result will be higher taxes and reduced living standards for the average person," Jonathan Portes, Niesr's director, told the Financial Times.
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It's not racist to be anxious over large-scale immigration
John Harris
The Guardian, 23 December 2013

According to YouGov, in 2005 Britons supported "the right of people in EU countries to live and work wherever they want" by a ratio of two to one. Today, we oppose free movement by 49% to 38%. One recent poll by ComRes – admittedly commissioned by an anti-EU outfit called Get Britain Out – found that 79% of people opposed the lifting of the restrictions on new arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania. All this cannot solely be traced to the screams of rightwing papers and the rise of Ukip's Nigel Farage, let alone some metro-left fantasy that outside the M25 simple bigotry runs rampant.

The point is, millions of people will always be uneasy about large-scale change. Not because they are racist, or any more prejudiced than anyone else – but because human beings like a measure of certainty and stability. Further, it barely needs pointing out that immigration tends to impact places where certainty and stability are thin on the ground. ...

Millions of people understand all this, as a matter of day-to-day experience. In Peterborough, employment agencies are stuffed with young eastern European men being packed off to do temporary work, and locals swear blind their sons and daughters either do not get a look-in or are caught in a grim race to the bottom. ...

Throw in former council houses now pulled into the most disreputable end of the buy-to-let market (as has happened in the areas of Sheffield that have attracted newly arrived Roma people), and you have even bigger problems.

And none of these tensions have anything to do with "health tourism", the non-problem of EU migrants claiming benefits, or any of the other issues being played up by the Tories: instead they are reducible to the ideas embedded by the Conservatives in the 80s and 90s, largely sustained during the Blair and Brown years, and now being taken to new extremes by Cameron et al – surely the greatest dishonesty of all.
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White Flight in England? [part 1]
Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London
The Huffington Post, 23 December 2013

One litmus test of integration is spatial dispersion. In this context, the 2011 census results, released in late 2012, produced some worrying indicators. In particular, data showed that places with the largest increase in ethnic minority populations witnessed the greatest loss in white British population. London, for example, gained over a million people during 2001-11 but lost 620,000 white British at the same time. Moreover, across England and Wales, 38 Local Authorities simultaneously made the top 50 list for greatest decline in white British numbers and largest increase in ethnic minorities during 2001-11. White flight is the explanation favoured by some on the nationalist right, who see this as a sign of white distaste for diversity, as well as on the New Left - for whom white flight represents a prime example of the new 'covert' or aversive racism. The free market right and neo-Marxist Left prefer to speak of counterurbanisation, in which the hidden hand of economic forces or material self-interest is at work.

Gareth Harris and my ESRC-sponsored research in association with Birkbeck and Demos finds some merit in both arguments. Yet neither white flight nor counterurbanisation captures what's going on. ... ...

... All told, the story is that minorities, when treated as a single category, are attracted to minority areas and whites to white areas, yet individual minority groups are not sticking together.

Indeed, in a study of aggregate patterns, Ron Johnston and his colleagues show that the main ethnic minority groups are dispersing from their areas of concentration. This is clearly evident in maps of the location of ethnic groups in London between 1991 and 2011 prepared by Gareth Harris. Yet obtaining a clearer picture of whether age, class, ethnicity or some other factor drives ethnic movement requires information on individuals, not just areas. And we need longitudinal data that tracks people over time. Accordingly we use two world-leading datasets, the ONS Longitudinal Survey (ONS LS) and British Household Panel Survey (BHPS)/Understanding Society (UKHLS). ...

These show that while minorities are dispersing from their concentration areas, they are also - relative to whites - avoiding the heavily white wards which comprise 80 percent of England and Wales. Thus for minorities the big destinations are 'superdiverse' mixed-minority areas such as much of Newham in East London. Britain's minorities generally live in different parts of the country, and in different sections of London - Indians around Leicester, Pakistanis in the West Midlands and Bangladeshis in Tower Hamlets, for instance. Yet these groups are drawing closer together: segregation has fallen fastest between minorities, such as Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Whites and individual minority groups such as Bangladeshis are also less segregated however segregation between white British and minorities as a whole shows little decline.

Two other big trends stand out in our data. First, minorities are generally bypassing heavily white areas. There is a modest flow of minorities into the 80 percent of England and Wales that averages 96 percent white but a significant chunk of minorities who lived in these white areas left in the 2000s. Second, white British people are avoiding superdiverse wards. Is this not white flight?
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White Flight in England? [part 2]
Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London
The Huffington Post, 23 December 2013

Well, not exactly. Our work with the invaluable, endangered ONS LS census records finds that certain kinds of white British people move to diverse wards: renters, those relocating to London, twentysomethings and whites in mixed-ethnicity households. Yet the bigger white flow is in the opposite direction, toward white areas, dominated by those with children, homeowners, whites in mono-ethnic households and those leaving London. Minorities also tend to move toward diversity when in their twenties and away when they have children, but the life cycle pattern is not as sharp as for the white British.

Why are whites leaving diversity so much more than minorities? Counterurbanisation doesn't explain the pattern since working and lower-middle class white British opt for homogeneity more than their professional/managerial counterparts.

White flight is unpersuasive because white British people who ticked the 'English only' national identity box on the census move from diverse to white areas - and vice-versa - at the same rate as those who chose British or a Celtic option. We know an English national identity is, for whites, associated with stronger anti-immigration attitudes and a greater propensity to vote for an anti-immigration party. ... In order to explore this further, we repeated the exercise with the BHPS/UKHLS where there is a wider range of attitudinal measures. White British who vote conservative and those who vote Labour or Lib Dem move to white and diverse areas in equal measure. So do whites with conservative and liberal views on homosexuals, women's roles, patriotism and redistribution. Ditto for white tabloid and broadsheet readers. So whites who prefer white areas are no more conservative than whites who plump for diversity, casting doubt on the white flight hypothesis.

Keen to explore determinants of movement with racial attitude questions, we commissioned a YouGov survey in August 2013 which asked people whether they moved ward in the past ten years, and if so, from a ward with more, less or similar diversity. We netted around 1700 white British respondents of whom about 200 said they had moved to a more or less diverse ward over the past decade. ... ... racial and immigration attitudes had almost no effect on white mobility. Only at the conservative extremes did attitudes affect behaviour, but this was a marginal effect operating on 1 or 2 percent of the sample.

Commenting on our results in the Guardian after hearing our seminar at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Hugh Muir suggests the evidence points to culture rather than race or income. We controlled for the urbanity and affluence of wards but not for their cultural capital. Karl Deutsch's concept of the prestige direction of assimilation and Pierre Bourdieu's notion of cultural capital suggest wards exert an ethnically-specific allure, regardless of physical amenities. White areas have some appeal for minorities provided they are not - like most of England and Wales - so white as to be intimidating; but diverse areas attract white British people only when they are in their twenties. The prestige direction of assimilation is toward the white British core, which accounts for why whites tend to choose whiter places when they move. White attraction rather than repulsion seems therefore to be the story.
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Nine in 10 babies born in parts of Britain have a foreign parent
Steven Swinford
Sunday Telegraph, 22 December 2013

Almost nine in 10 babies born in parts of Britain have at least one foreign-born parent, official figures have revealed for the first time.

The Office for National Statistics disclosed that in 2012 more than 80 per cent of babies born in three London boroughs had either one or both parents born outside the UK.

Across London, nearly seven in 10 babies had at least one non-British father or mother, while across England and Wales the figure was one in three. ...

The new figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the proportion of babies with foreign born parents has risen from 21.2 per cent in 2000 to 31.4 per cent last year.

The figures show that 88,086 babies born in London - equivalent to 65.6 per cent - had either one or two parents born outside the UK.

There were 27,722 births where one parent was foreign-born, and 60,364 where both parents were born abroad.

However, in several parts of London the figure was significantly higher.

In the London borough of Newham, which hosted the Olympic Games, 5,464 babies - equivalent to 85 per cent - had one or more parents who were born abroad.

In both Brent in West London and Westminster in Central London more than eight in 10 babies were foreign-born. In only six of the 32 London boroughs was the figure below 50 per cent. ...

Concerns over immigration and its impact may be exacerbated by the new statistics on the parenthood of babies born last year.

The figures mark the first time a detailed breakdown of the figures has been released on both parents. The ONS usually only releases information on the proportion of mothers who are foreign born, a significantly lower figure. They show that it is not just London where there are large numbers of children born to either one or two foreign-born parents.

Outside London, the highest percentages were in West Midlands, where 28.5 per cent of babies had at least one foreign parent, the South East, where the figure was 27.9 per cent. In the East of England, 27.3 per cent of parents were foreign born.

The lowest levels of babies with foreign-born parents were in the North East, where 13.2 per cent had foreign born parents, and Wales, where the figure was 13.8 per cent.
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Vince Cable compares Tory immigration 'panic' to Enoch Powell 'rivers of blood' speech
Peter Dominiczak
Telegraph, 22 December 2013

David Cameron's "populist" immigration policies have created a "panic" in Britain comparable to the one started by Enoch Powell following his "rivers of blood" speech, Vince Cable has suggested.

The Business Secretary said that the Prime Minister is "doing harm" and failing to give the British public the "facts" about immigration.

Mr Cable compared the current debate over immigration to anti-Semitic "panics over Jewish immigrants" in the twentieth century.

He also accused British voters of being "schizophrenic" over immigration. ...

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Mr Cable backed Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, who has said he will block any Tory plans to cap immigration from within the European Union.

He appeared to compare the Prime Minister to Mr Powell, who was in 1968 sacked as shadow defence secretary for a controversial speech on immigration.

"I think there's a bigger picture here, we periodically get these immigration panics, I remember going back to Enoch Powell and 'rivers of blood' and all that, and if you go back a century there were panics over Jewish immigrants.

"The responsibility of politicians in this situation when people are getting anxious is to try to reassure them and give them facts and not panic and resort to populist measures that do harm." ...

In his "rivers of blood" speech, Mr Powell claimed that not all immigrants wanted to integrate in Britain, instead seeking to foster racial and religious differences "with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population".
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Clegg's vow to veto EU curbs on immigration
Channel 4, 22 December 2013

The Deputy Prime Minister dismissed Home Office proposals for a 75,000 cap on EU migrants as "pointless" and claimed without freedom of movement the National Health Service would "fall over". ...

In an article for The Sunday Times, Mr Clegg wrote: "Sticking a big no-entry sign on the cliffs of Dover may be politically popular, but at a huge economic cost. What would happen if tonight every European living in the UK boarded a ship or plane and went home?

"Are we really that keen to see the back of German lawyers, Dutch accountants or Finnish engineers? Do we want the NHS to fall over and the City of London to grind to a halt?"

He said the issue was "the biggest dividing line in politics today" and branded plans for a cap "arbitrary", "pointless" and "distracting".
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Bulgaria issues fierce rebuke to David Cameron over migrants
Daniel Boffey
The Observer, 22 December 2013

The president of Bulgaria has made a stinging intervention in the UK's immigration debate, attacking what he calls David Cameron's attempts to pander to nationalists – and warning the PM to consider how history will judge him.

In an exclusive interview with the Observer, less than two weeks before the lifting of all restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians seeking work in the UK, Rosen Plevneliev called for Britain to stay true to its legacy as "a great global power that pioneered integration" and not play on people's fears. In a direct warning to Cameron, he said: "Isolating Britain and damaging Britain's reputation is not the right history to write." ...

Plevneliev added: "Politicians should be ready to say the inconvenient truth and fight for unpleasant but necessary decisions which, in the short term, will bring our ratings down but, in the long term, preserve our values and keep the history of our proud tolerant nations as they are." ...

Plevneliev said Cameron should consider how history would judge him and forecast that, across the continent, the coming elections for the European parliament would be a clash of those who are "for Europe and against Europe". ...

In comments that will inevitably be controversial, Plevneliev also claimed Britain could learn from how Bulgaria had adapted to the first wave of immigrants in its modern history, with some 11,000 people arriving from war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East in the last two years.

He said: "We might even be able to give a lesson to Great Britain. As a country that is not so rich and not so powerful, we are trying to understand not so much how many could come to Bulgaria but how we can integrate them."
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PM warned: We'll lose ethnic vote if you bang on about immigration
Brendan Carlin
Mail on Sunday, 22 December 2013

Senior Tory MP Mark Field has warned David Cameron that 'banging on' about immigration could turn people 'with black skin' against the party.

Mr Field, an ally of Tory leadership hopeful Adam Afriyie, raised fears that Mr Cameron's new focus on immigration could alienate ethnic minorities.

And he warned that the Prime Minister risked becoming Britain's Mitt Romney – the failed US Republican presidential candidate whose defeat by Barack Obama last year was blamed on his being out of touch with America's Hispanic community.

Mr Field, who is half-German, admitted that focusing on immigration 'resonates' with voters' concerns.

But in an interview with Total Politics magazine he said: 'The more we bang on about that as the Conservative Party, the more I fear people in this country with brown skin, with black skin, people who've come from outside the UK, will just think, "God, Tories see us as second-class citizens." '

Allies of the Prime Minister accused Mr Field of making the 'classic' mistake that having legitimate concerns over immigration could be interpreted as racism.
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Oh come, all ye Romanians, a coalition exodus and one can have too many crowns
Jane Merrick
The Independent on Sunday, 22 December 2013

..., actually, Romanians (and their country neighbours Bulgarians) are not, in fact, a 27-million strong horde of beggars about to descend on Britain come the New Year, but two nations with a rich and deep heritage and much to offer Britain. ...

Tony Blair, the guest of honour at a fundraising dinner for Labour rising stars Gloria de Piero and Luciana Berger last week, gave a blistering defence of immigration, telling the audience that the UK is "best when we are outward looking", and he is right. It was under his government that, in 2004, Britain opened the door to hundreds of thousands of Poles. Ed Miliband has since distanced his party from the Blair government's enthusiasm. But this is surely distancing himself from the huge contribution Polish immigrants have made to our economy in the past decade.

In fact, Britain is not the "migrant beggar capital of Europe", to cite one newspaper's hysteria. Migrants contribute 35 per cent more to the Treasury in taxes than they take out in benefits and services, according to The Economist. ... ...

But the Tories have allowed the facts to go astray because they believe this is the only way to peg back Ukip in the polls. So, Cameron's announcement of new policies on EU migration this week was tied to a prime ministerial visit to a raid in Southall, seeing for himself the cramped conditions in which illegal immigrants were living. But the immigrants were Indian nationals, not Eastern Europeans. Yet, last month he was in Delhi and Calcutta appealing for Indians to come here. His position on immigration is as ramshackle as the suburban shed he clambered into; like a garish sheet hung over a dirty window, political desperation is obscuring the facts.
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A third of Big Issue vendors are now from eastern Europe, magazine founder reveals
Suzannah Hills
Mail on Sunday, 22 December 2013

One in three homeless Big Issue sellers are now from eastern Europe, the founder has revealed.

John Bird, himself a former offender who lived on the streets, set up the publication in 1991 to help homeless people earn some money from selling the magazine.

But Mr Bird has revealed that less and less British people are now living rough and a third of vendors are now migrants from poorer European countries.

Of those, he said the majority are from Roma communities who are escaping lives of 'feral poverty' in their own countries.

But Mr Bird added that the Big Issue is still vital for helping the homeless make an income - wherever they may be from. ...

Mr Bird also said he raised concerns when the Labour government first decided to open up freedom of movement in the UK to residents of other EU countries.

'I said, "Don't open the sluice gates to the ferally poor – go to their countries and help them earn their way into an economy which is more equal". But I was accused of being a fascist.'
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Should Britain fear a surge of east European migrants? [part 1]
Alp Mehmet
The Observer, 22 December 2013
[Alp Mehmet is vice chair of MigrationWatch UK and former British ambassador to Iceland]

'The issue around migration is now not just about economics, if it ever was'

The opening of our labour market to workers from Romania and Bulgaria in 10 days' time has attracted enormous attention from the media. Some say that this is just the tabloids blowing the whole issue out of proportion while being blind to the economic benefits of immigration as well as to the political advantages of stabilising eastern Europe.

We at Migrationwatch take a different view. ...

Last January, Migrationwatch published a paper in which we concluded that immigration from Romania and Bulgaria could be around 50,000 a year over the first five years following full access to the labour market. ...

Our forecast was based on the number who have already arrived in recent years and on a comparison with the Polish precedent. This time, other major countries – Germany, France and the Netherlands – are opening their labour market simultaneously. On the other hand, there are now nearly a million Romanians in both Spain and Italy who might transfer to the UK. According to European Union figures, 30% of Romanians in Spain were without work in 2011.

Critics of our forecast have vacillated between saying that it wasn't possible to make a forecast, that those who are going to come were already here, or that the number coming didn't matter because they would be mostly young and fit and intending to work rather than to claim benefits.

We have looked carefully at the economic incentives and found that even at the UK minimum wage, a single Romanian or Bulgarian worker in the UK would earn four or five times what he would earn at home. ...

It is very hard to know whether any of the 2.5 million Roma in these two countries will seek to migrate westwards in any numbers. Their situation is worse than that of their compatriots because they are often unable to access social welfare in their home countries. ... ...

... However, the issue around immigration is not just about economics, if it ever was. The Office for Budget Responsibility reported recently that, after reviewing the "vast literature" on the impact of migration, most of it indicated that immigrants have a positive, although not significant, impact on productivity and GDP.

The issue is now political, indeed highly political. The British public is already deeply concerned by the mass immigration of recent years. Net foreign immigration under the previous government was very nearly four million. This took place against the frequently expressed views of the public and has left a legacy of deep mistrust. ... ...

The wider picture, however, is that net migration must continue to be firmly and successfully tackled. If it is allowed to drift back up to its 10-year average of 200,000 a year it will drive our population to about 70 million in a dozen years and 80 million in 2060. At least 60% of the increase will be due to immigration, which will also account for one-third of the requirement for new homes and add to the existing pressures on schools and public services. The impact on our society will be enormous, especially in areas of high immigration.
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Should Britain fear a surge of east European migrants? [part 2]
Jonathan Portes
The Observer, 22 December 2013
[Jonathan Portes is director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research]

'Politicians need to start offering a positive vision of Britain as an open, liberal nation'

According to one Terence McLeod, a self-described "passionate Conservative" from St Albans, I'm an "east European immigrant", and so is my "religious buddy" (that is, fellow Jew) Ed Miliband. I've no doubt today's Conservative party is embarrassed and disgusted by such attitudes. But subtler forms of prejudice can be found even in my profession: Paul Collier, a well-respected development specialist and professor of economics at Oxford University, complained in his recent book Exodus that "indigenous" people – which he defines as "white British" – are now "a minority in their own capital".

Of course, the vast majority of those who are concerned about the full opening of the UK labour market to citizens of Bulgaria and Romania would be horrified not just at McLeod's antisemitism, but at Collier's view that black, Asian or even mixed-race people born here to British parents aren't "real" Londoners. ...

So it is no surprise that recent research by Christian Dustmann at University College London shows that new migrants from the EU since 2000 pay a third or so more in taxes than they cost in extra spending on public services and benefits; and that a public opinion study by ICM Research for British Future, a thinktank, shows that large majorities think that Polish people work hard and make a positive contribution to Britain. ... ...

Four weeks ago, government sources told the Daily Mail that the prime minister would announce that "new arrivals would have to wait a year, up from three months, to get benefits". But two days later, he wrote in the Financial Times: "We are changing the rules so that no one can come to this country and expect to get out-of-work benefits immediately; we will not pay them for the first three months." So he's changing the rules to the ones we've already got (which, while complex, are broadly fair, both to migrants and to taxpayers).

This is not xenophobia, as European commissioner László Andor suggested. Rather, it is a confused attempt to confuse the public, by pretending that there is a problem, and then pretending to do something about it. ...

Labour is wrong to apologise for its decision, in government, to open the UK labour market in 2004 to the new member states, but it did make a significant error in not addressing potential abuse of the posted workers directive, which has been used to get around labour laws and minimum-wage provisions, not just here but elsewhere in the EU. ... ...

What about wider economic impacts? Some have argued that immigration has little impact on per capita GDP. But this ignores much of the recent economic research on this topic, which suggests that immigrants can boost innovation and raise productivity; and that, perhaps as a consequence, countries more open to immigration, like countries more open to trade, seem to have higher productivity growth.
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'People are getting angry' - Kate Hoey on crime in Waterloo
London SE1, 22 December 2013

Vauxhall Labour MP Kate Hoey has described in Parliament local people's frustration with "an increasingly difficult problem" of crimes in the Waterloo area committed by immigrants to the UK.

Speaking on Thursday in a Westminster Hall debate about immigration, Conservative MP Philip Hollobone said: "I would say that we are importing a wave of crime from Romania and Bulgaria.

"I put it as strongly as that deliberately. There are no powers to deport EU citizens, unless they have been convicted of an offence that attracts a two-year prison sentence or a sentence of 12 months or more for an offence involving drugs, violence or sexual crime."

He went on to describe "a crime wave, particularly in London and particularly on the London Underground, to do with Romanians".

Kate Hoey intervened during Mr Hollobone's speech to say: "He raises an issue that resonates closely.

"Just across the river from the House of Commons, there is an increasingly difficult problem with many people doing exactly what he describes in the Waterloo area.

"Everyone gets involved – the police and the community safety teams – but at the end of the day, they can do nothing to get those people, some of whom do not even have the right to be here as EU citizens, out of the country. People are getting angry. I hope the minister will respond to that."

Responding to Mr Hollobone and Ms Hoey, immigration minister Mark Harper said: "The order I signed and laid before the house on 6 December ... enables us to remove from the UK people who are not here to exercise treaty rights – those committing low-level, but damaging crimes, begging and sleeping rough – and importantly stop them from coming straight back again, unless they are coming to exercise those rights.

"That is an important power and change that goes some way to addressing the concerns of my honourable friend and the honourable lady."
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'Colour blind' social workers couldn't see glaring racial clues to Rochdale sex abuse
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2013

A "dangerous" inability to recognise the importance of race meant social workers and police missed glaring warning signs about a gang of Pakistani men grooming white girls for sex in Rochdale, an official inquiry has concluded.

An obsession with being "colour blind" meant they failed even to notice the pattern of abuse going on under their noses, it found.

Although they carefully documented a spate of young white girls from troubled backgrounds in relationships with older men from a community they rarely otherwise mixed with, no one questioned what was going on, it said.

Had they asked why so many vulnerable white girls were striking up "friendships" with older "Asian" men they would have been able to stop the abuse much earlier, a serious case review finds.

The report focusing on six of the victims at the centre of one of the biggest child protection scandals of recent times concludes that a large part of the abuse could have been predicted and prevented if basic questions had been asked.

It found no direct evidence that professionals willfully ignored the problem out of "political correctness".

But it concludes that a baffling failure even to think about the racial element meant they missed some of the most obvious warning signs.

It also found evidence that class played a role in the failings. It said an army of professionals who dealt with the victims simply accepted what would otherwise be seen as tell-tale signs of sexual exploitation as being girls making "lifestyle choices" which fitted what was "expected" of them given their background.

Police, a youth offending team and charities also failed to recognise that many of the girls suffered significant learning difficulties or failed to recognise why this would make them more likely to fall prey to exploitative men.

The publication of the review comes more than 18 months after nine men from Pakistani Muslim backgrounds were convicted of the systematic grooming and sexual abuse of white girls in Heywood and Rochdale in 2008 and 2009.

The victims, some as young as 10, were lured to a flat above a takeaway for sex with the men, who mainly worked as late-night taxi drivers.

The trial resulted in a national debate over the role of gangs of largely Pakistani Muslim backgrounds in grooming white girls. ...

The latest report covers the period from the beginning of 2007 up until 2012 and looked at the involvement of various agencies including social services, health care teams, the Crown Prosecution Service and Greater Manchester Police.

It concludes that although it might not have been possible to have prevented all of the sexual abuse which went on but much of it could and should have been.
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Cameron issues threat to halt EU expansion over migration fears
Andrew Grice and Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
The Independent, 21 December 2013

David Cameron raised the stakes in his fight to curb immigration by threatening to veto the admission of new members to the European Union unless they accept tough new controls on their citizens moving to the UK.

The British prime minister's dramatic move fuelled tensions with other EU nations at the end of a two-day summit in Brussels yesterday.

Mr Cameron was greeted with silence when he called for the need for stricter transitional controls on the right to work throughout the EU when countries join the 28-nation bloc in future. He went further at a press conference, revealing that he would be prepared to block the entry of new member states unless stricter "freedom of movement" controls were imposed. ...

Potential new EU members include Albania, one of the poorest countries in the region, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Mr Cameron's threat will enrage their leaders, as these countries started the accession process years ago.

Although Germany, the Netherlands and Austria share Britain's concerns about migration, freedom of movement for all citizens is regarded as a fundamental EU principle.

Diplomats from other countries dismissed as a "non-starter" Mr Cameron's controversial plan to link the right to work in other EU countries to a new member state's GDP, income or wage levels. ...

However, some diplomats did not rule out longer transitional periods before people in new member states win full rights to work in all EU countries. For example, the maximum seven-year wait for Romanians and Bulgarians could be extended to 10 years when other countries join the EU club.
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EU freedom of movement is damaging us right now
Daily Express, 21 December 2013

It is good to hear the Prime Minister talking tough about the need to have in place long-term immigration controls on possible future EU members such as Albania or Turkey.

Following this newspaper's campaign on the issue of EU migration, it seems as if David Cameron really does now appreciate that freedom of movement cannot work between countries with hugely different levels of wages and welfare provision. And yet the main task of a political leader is to deal with the problems that are actually facing the country while he is in office rather than ones that may possibly come to pass afterwards.

Our exclusive dispatch from the town of Barbulesti in Romania should finally shake the entire political class out of its complacency about the imminent removal of all labour market controls on that country and its neighbour Bulgaria. Most of Barbulesti's 7,000 inhabitants are planning to head our way in 2014. Given that they currently survive on paltry welfare payments of £20 a month, nobody can blame them for seeking a better life. ...

But the blunt truth is that Britain is full up and needs to be more discerning about who is allowed to come rather than less so. We have neither the space nor the resources to sustain a new influx of impoverished families from Eastern Europe, whether they seek out low paid jobs or choose to live entirely off taxpayer funds. Something has to change in 2014.
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The towns braced for a 20 per cent rise in population in just 10 years: Population boom looks certain to engulf South
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 21 December 2013

Some towns will see their population soar by more than a fifth over the next few years, according to new estimates.

The Office for National Statistics says some areas will see expansion of more than 20 per cent between 2011 and 2021, in a population boom that looks certain to engulf much of the south of the country.

The forecasts come at a time of political concern over immigration – responsible for around two thirds of current population increase – and the need for large-scale housing construction.

The Government is also facing pressure from conservation groups led by the National Trust, which says councils are now aiming to meet the pressure for development by building on Green Belt land.

According to ONS projections, the population of England will rise from 53.1 million to nearly 58 million by 2021, up 8.6 per cent on 2011 levels.

Growth will be at its slowest in the north, it says, with an increase of 4.4 per cent in the North West and 4.9 per cent in the North East.

This contrasts with a projected 14.2 per cent rise in London; 10.2 per cent in the East region; and 9.3 per cent in the South East.

Population pressure will also be high in the East Midlands, which will have to make room for nearly 400,000 more people, an 8.6 per cent increase, and in the South West, where an expected extra 440,000 people will mean a 8.3 per cent rise.

Increases of more than a fifth are expected in a string of London boroughs and the districts of Welwyn Hatfield, north of London, and East Cambridgeshire.

The town of Boston in Lincolnshire, already one of the most popular destinations for immigrant workers from Poland and Eastern Europe, is set to take another 11,200 by 2021, pushing up its numbers by 17.4 per cent.
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David Cameron talks nonsense about vetoing future EU enlargement
Alex Massie
The Spectator blog, 21 December 2013

... No, the Prime Minister can be a terrible poltroon himself.

Witness his witless suggestion today that the United Kingdom might veto future EU enlargement unless something is done to thwart "vast migrations" of people. It is a silly thing to say for a number of reasons and the first of those is that Cameron is in no position to make any such suggestion. He cannot bind future British governments and since there is no immediate prospect of any country being accepted into the EU club it's not likely to be a decision he will ever have to make anyway.

Secondly, when did the British government start favouring protectionism? Because objecting the free movement of people is no different – in economic terms – to constructing barriers to the free movement of goods (and capital).

The mantra of British jobs for British workers makes no more sense than a mantra of Hampshire jobs for Hampshire workers. In terms of their employment is it any better for Hampshire workers to be displaced by an influx of labour from, say, Newcastle or Shetland than if the new supply of labour has come from Romania or Bulgaria?

Not really.
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Lee Rigby murder: We cannot stop lone wolves
Tom Whitehead and Hayley Dixon
Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2013

British soldiers are at risk from "thousands" of lone wolf terrorists like the home-grown fanatics who murdered Drummer Lee Rigby, the country's most senior counter-terrorism officer has warned.

Assistant Metropolitan Commissioner Cressida Dick said troops would always be a target for those with a "perverted ideology" and the threat could never be eliminated.

She was speaking after Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were convicted at the Old Bailey on Thursday of the murder of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London, in May. ...

The death of Fusilier Rigby was the latest in a series of Islamist plots to target soldiers in "revenge" for Britain's foreign policy.

Ms Dick said: "Every year we've stopped a major plot designed to cause mass murder, and trials earlier this year of people intending to kill people on the streets of the UK including soldiers." She added: "There are thousands of people who are subject to security service interest and investigations. We cannot reduce the risk of something like this happening to absolute zero but we will do everything in our power to do so."

In October, Andrew Parker, the director general of MI5, warned that Britain was facing its gravest terrorism threat, including from "several thousand" Islamist extremists living here.
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Tory MPs attack ministers over fears of east European immigration
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 20 December 2013

Tory MPs worried about a fresh influx of east Europeans into the UK in the new year have rounded on the Home Office, accusing ministers of failing to provide a realistic estimate of how many Romanians and Bulgarians will come to the country when work restrictions are lifted on 1 January.

The immigration minister Mark Harper insisted that his advisory body had told him it did not wish to provide an estimate. The chairman of the home affairs committee, Keith Vaz, contradicted this, saying the chairman of the migration advisory committee, Sir David Metcalf, was willing to give a number but had not been asked by ministers to do so. ...

In a special three-hour debate, Tory MPs warned ministers that they would return to the issue and called on David Cameron to make an end to free movement of EU workers his top priority when he seeks to renegotiate UK relations with the EU after the next general election.

Wildly conflicting forecasts have been offered by different groups on the numbers likely to arrive in the UK when the work restrictions are lifted. Phillip Hollobone, the Conservative MP for Kettering, said voters were "disgusted that HM government have failed in their basic duty to provide the British public with a realistic estimate of how many immigrants we might expect from 1 January".

He warned that crime among Romanians in England was "really quite startling", claiming: "Romanians are seven times more likely to be arrested in London than a British national.

"Romanians account for more than 11% of all foreign offenders, despite making up, at the moment, just a tiny proportion of residents. Last year, Romanians accounted for almost half of all arrests for begging, and one third of all arrests for pickpocketing in the capital."

Most Tory MPs welcomed measures to deter EU migrants from being able to claim benefits, but were sceptical they would have much impact since the vast majority were likely to be seeking work at wages far higher than they could secure in their home country. ...

By contrast, fellow Tory MP Douglas Carswell argued that Britain's system of non-contributory benefits – relatively rare in the EU – acted as a magnet for migrants: "We must make a choice between the welfare system that the Labour party put in place after the second world war and the grand project of the European grandees. We cannot have both."

Nigel Mills, MP for Eastbourne and leading figure in the campaign to extend controls on Romanians and Bulgarians, said he was extremely doubtful that Cameron would be able to convince his EU partners to end the free movement of workers.

But Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP for Bournemouth, said he was concerned the debate was being driven by fear. "It has become very binary, it's the little Englanders, if you like, versus the multicultural, open-door approach."

He said the single market was vital for Britain's economy, and warned that tariff barriers would inevitably be put up by European powers if Britain were to pull out.
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Rich Chinese seek Canadian migration through Quebec province
Ian Young in Vancouver
South China Morning Post, 20 December 2013

Thousands of Chinese millionaires are lining up to immigrate to Canada via Quebec, attempting to sidestep the federal government's freeze on its own version of the controversial cash-for-visas scheme, new data has revealed.

But the would-be "investor migrants" could face delays of eight years or more as authorities struggle to clear a backlog of tens of thousands of applications. Once they are admitted, it is unlikely many intend to stay long in the French-speaking province - about 90 per cent of arrivals under the scheme have ended up living elsewhere.

The data was obtained by Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland under a freedom-of-information request, in the wake of Ottawa's decision to halt new applications for the federal investor migrant scheme last year. Quebec's version of the scheme remains open for business. ...

Under both versions of the scheme, immigrants with a net worth of at least C$1.6 million (HK$11.7 million) can buy their way into Canada by giving the government an interest-free loan of C$800,000 for a period of five years.

The data obtained by Kurland shows that 2,123 applications lodged in Hong Kong last year have been approved by Quebec, then simply added to the federal backlog in defiance of the federal freeze. This was more than from the rest of the world combined. ...

Applicants approved by Quebec join a federal backlog that last year stood at more than 85,000. Only 9,359 visas were issued that year, suggesting a long wait if new applicants go to the back of the queue.

In August this year, Quebec introduced a cap on the number of investor visa applications it would accept each year. For 2013, the cap was set at 1,750, with a maximum of 1,200 from any one country.


Quebec has not revealed the number of applications it received via Hong Kong this year, but immigration consultant Mathieu Dumont said the scheme was heavily oversubscribed. ...

But Dumont disputed Kurland's suggestion of eight-year waiting times for applicants. He said the delay was about four years. ...

Data also released by Kurland shows that few of Quebec's investor migrants remain there. Of the 18,258 such migrants who renewed Canadian residency from 2000 to 2008, 89 per cent had no address in Quebec.

Canada's Conservative government has been harshly critical of the phenomenon. "If a person fills out Quebec's investor programme form and indicates their intention to reside in Quebec à then goes straight to Vancouver without even going to Quebec, that would be fraud," then-immigration minister Jason Kenney told MPs in June. "It is a crime."

But Dumont said it was perfectly legal for migrants to move. "Once you get your Canadian permanent resident card, you can live wherever you want in Canada," he said.
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Cabinet goes ahead with 'participation declaration' for most foreigners
Dutch News, 20 December 2013

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Amersfoort and Den Bosch are among the Dutch towns and cities to start experimenting with ensuring new immigrants, including EU citizens, sign a 'participation declaration'.

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said in a briefing to MPs on Thursday evening the cabinet is pressing ahead with its plans to introduce participation contracts to ensure migrants are aware of the 'basic principles of Dutch society.'

However, although Asscher wants the contract to apply to nearly all categories of immigrants and expats, signing it 'cannot be made compulsory' and there are 'no realistic options open to make signing compulsory for EU citizens,' he said. ...

Signing the declaration will welcome new migrants into Dutch society, will strengthen ties between new arrivals, councils and society and ensure migrants are better informed about the risks of being exploited, Asscher said.

People coming to the Netherlands under the highly-skilled migrant scheme will not be required to sign the declaration. Nor will international students. ...

'I see the participation declaration as a moral appeal and as a positive stimulus to encourage newcomers to play an intensive part in our society,' Asscher said.

The document states that 'in the Netherlands, all citizens are treated equally' and that discrimination is not accepted.

'In the Netherlands, we ask citizens to help each other and to support each other if necessary,' it states. The document continues: 'In the Netherlands, we ask all citizens to contribute to a pleasant and safe society, for example, by working, going to school or doing voluntary work. Speaking Dutch is very important in this.'

The declaration ends with the signatory saying they have taken note of these Dutch values and will play an active part in Dutch society.
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Sweden's March Into Oblivion
Bruce Bawer
FrontPage Mag, 20 December 2013

Sweden is self-destructing, and more and more people are writing about it – but, with very few exceptions, still not in the mainstream Swedish media, where denial continues to reign supreme. Indeed, even as concerned observers abroad (especially in neighboring Denmark and Norway, where the elites still look to their larger neighbor as a multicultural role model while many, if not most, ordinary householders view it as a cautionary example) are sounding the alarm about the fallout of Swedish immigration policies, Sweden's own mainstream media – and the rest of its cultural establishment – are laboring overtime to silence the truth-tellers and keep the rabble from openly questioning the wisdom of their betters.

... One rare recent exception to the Swedish media's see-no-evil approach to immigration and its consequences was a fascinating map, published last month in the newspaper Sydsvenskan, showing the relative levels of danger in the various neighborhoods of Malmö, the city that is regarded by many cogent observers as the ninth circle of the Scandinavian inferno.

Meanwhile, as I say, the admonitory essays keep coming. One example: "Sweden's Race to the Bottom," a bracingly frank piece that appeared on December 4 on the website of Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's biggest newspaper. The author, Morten Uhrskov Jensen, didn't mince words. His opening sentence: "Sweden has chosen to break down." Jensen went on to outline the steady slide in the quality of education in Swedish primary schools over the last decade or so, as detailed in a recent PISA study, and to link that decline to what Jensen bluntly called the country's "insane immigration policy." Sweden, warned Jensen, "will have to pay a very high price for its experiment with permitting excessive immigration from dysfunctional states." He placed special blame on the media, noting that in an article about the PISA study, Aftonbladet, Sweden's largest paper (and, as he put it, "official Sweden's mouthpiece"), chose to ignore the real reason for the school crisis and to pretend it's all the fault of "the decline in equality in schools," which, in turn, is a result of "free school choice." Reacting to this transparent hogwash, Jensen commented: "One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry."

... a book – its title might best be translated as The Immigration Cover-Up – that quietly but devastatingly lays bare the suicidal folly of Sweden's immigration regime. It's a remarkably comprehensive work, providing an informative overview of such topics as asylum smuggling, immigration and crime, sharia law, the costs of immigration, censorship of Islam critics, the wielding of the word "racism" as a weapon, the treachery of such pro-immigration authors as Stefan Jonsson and Mattias Gardell, and feminist fecklesness in the face of Muslim patriarchy. Privately printed by the authors, Karl-Olav Arnstberg (an ethnologist) and Gunnar Sandelin (a former reporter for Swedish television), after they failed to secure a publisher, the book, Javling wrote, can justifiably be described as a piece of "underground literature" which, like Solzhenitsyn in the USSR, is being read "only behind closed curtains."
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If David Cameron tackles immigration he'll win the next election
Chris Roycroft-Davis
Daily Express, 20 December 2013

Wide-eyed in amazement the Prime Minister comes face to face with reality in a squalid shack that some poor devils call home. Not in the shanty towns of Afghanistan, South Africa or Brazil but in the back garden of a semi in west London, 12 miles from Downing Street.

Rubbish is strewn across the floor, battered suitcases and grubby blankets are piled on filthy mattresses, a flimsy cotton sheet covers a missing wall and the half-built roof is open to the skies. This is London, Christmas 2013, the real world.

In one three-bedroom semi and that garden shack some 14 Indians scratch a desperate, meagre existence. ...

The Prime Minister has seen with his own startled eyes the scale of the disaster that has been unleashed by a decade or more of uncontrolled immigration. ...

He may even believe his own tough words about Europe, but there is one simple truth he cannot ignore: if he doesn't get to grips with immigration - legal and illegal - his chances of winning the next general election are as flimsy as that blue cotton sheet blowing in the wind in Southall.

He'll be put out by this view of course. He'll protest that he's rushing through last-minute rules to make immigrants wait longer before they can claim benefits. He'll be baffled that many people consider this is little more than a stunt. ...

... In 10 years under Labour, who betrayed this country by opening our borders to one and all in a despicable piece of social engineering aimed at changing the face of Britain for electoral gain, immigration was almost four million.

An analysis of the 2011 census shows where these people came from: 694,000 from India, 579,000 from Poland, 482,000 from Pakistan. Let's not forget the 212,000 from Bangladesh, the 191,000 from Nigeria and the similar number from South Africa. Consider the numbers from the Indian sub-continent a different way: they add up to a staggering 1,388,000. That's slightly more than the populations of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen put together. Or the populations of Liverpool, Bristol and Bradford.

In the London borough of Ealing, where the PM had his Southall moment, the council estimates that the inhabitants of "beds in sheds" have pushed up the area's population by 60,000 to 400,000. In neighbouring Hounslow the council reckons there are 20,000 ramshackle garden sheds, most of them rented out illegally. ...

But the Government must confront the harsh realities of this social and economic disaster.

We can't cope with the ones who are already here and there are many millions more still to come unless politicians take decisive action. ...

There is no shame in putting up the barriers and telling the world we can't take any more.
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Judge warns Romanian criminals: 'Don't come here'
Martin Evans
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2013

A judge has warned Romanian criminals planning to take advantage of the relaxation of EU migration rules "Don't come here."

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of Lincoln, expressed his frustration after being told the Romanian authorities are taking up to seven months to provide details of past crimes committed by their nationals.

In a stark warning to those intent on travelling to Britain and continuing their criminal activities he said he will simply lock them up until their own country provides the information.

But Judge Morris urged the Government take up the matter urgently ahead of the 1 January changes. ...

Judge Morris added "You can get in and out of this country. The borders are like a sieve."

His comments came as he said he was left with no choice but to adjourn sentencing a 28-year-old woman who was a member of a travelling gang of Romanians thieves that targeted elderly victims at cash point machines across the Midlands.

The Judge said: "I do not deal with foreign criminals without knowing whether they have been in trouble in their own country.

"If the fact is that people come over here from Romania to commit crime they cannot complain.

"The message can go out that I will not deal with these people until I have full knowledge about their background and that means that there will be Romanians who commit crime here and are left languishing in prison awaiting the confirmation of their previous convictions. The lesson is don't come here and commit crime."
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Expat Britons hit by benefit curbs aimed at Romanians and Bulgarians
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2013

Britons who go to work overseas for a few months and then come home will be hit by new restrictions on access to benefits.

New plans to try to dissuade Romanians and Bulgarians from moving to the UK when immigration restrictions are lifted at the end of this month will apply to Britons returning to the UK to find work after three months away from home.

The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed that a new tougher habitual residence test will apply to Britons who have been outside the UK for 13 weeks. This is because the Government is unable to discriminate between EU citizens.

The DWP said that returning Britons will have to live in the UK and then answer a "bank" of 200 questions – twice as many as before – to qualify for work-related benefits.

They will also have to disclose details of properties their own in the UK and where their children are at school as part of the toughened test.

If the returning Britons cannot answer the questions they will be denied access to work related benefits including Job Seekers' Allowance and income support.

MPs on the House of Commons home affairs select committee said the situation seemed unfair to people who had paid their taxes in the UK. ...

The new measures are being rushed through Parliament to ensure that they are in force by January 1, when transition controls are lifted and unlimited numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians can come to Britain.
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Immigration bill could lead to racism and homelessness, say MPs and peers
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 19 December 2013

The government's immigration bill designed to create a "hostile environment" for illegal migrants will lead to homelessness, human rights breaches and racism, MPs and peers have warned.

Parliament's joint committee on human rights says that in particular the legislation's proposed requirement that private landlords check tenants' immigration status will give rise to homelessness and discrimination.

The committee's report, published on Wednesday, says that the move could amount to "inhuman or degrading treatment" against migrants who have no right to remain in Britain but face genuine barriers to their ability to leave the country.

The MPs and peers also warn that safeguards are needed to ensure the new housing restrictions do not lead to migrant children being exposed to homelessness or to separation from their families.

Dr Hywel Francis, chair of the committee, said the MPs and peers accepted that effective immigration control was recognised by human rights law as a legitimate aim. "However, creating a 'hostile environment' for illegal migrants carries risks that the measures will have unintended consequences and lead to breaches of human rights and unjustified discrimination in practice," he said. ...

The MPs and peers also say they are "uneasy" about the statutory provision in the bill inserted by the home secretary that tells the courts and tribunals to give "little weight" to article 8 "right to family life" claims in immigration cases, including deportation cases.
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Why I'm Urging the Government to Restrict EU Migration for Another Five Years
Nigel Mills, Conservative Member of Parliament for Amber Valley in Derbyshire
The Huffington Post, 19 December 2013

On Thursday afternoon, Parliament will get a chance to debate the issue of the lifting of the restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migration to the UK. Sadly this debate will be in Westminster Hall (the so-called second chamber) and without a vote as the government have not allowed the Immigration Bill, and my amendment to it, to be considered before the Christmas recess. A total of 73 MPs have now signed my amendment that would keep the restrictions for a further five years. ...

The issue of further unrestricted EU migration has been a hot political topic in recent months, and is of great concern in constituencies up and down the country. ...

The concerns on the lifting of restrictions are many. They include:

• the impact on our employment market, where despite recent marked improvements, many more people, and especially young people, are unemployed than before the recession;

• the cost of welfare payments to new arrivals - both out-of-work and in-work benefits;

• the lack of housing in this country;

• the increased demand on already over-stretched public services including schools and the NHS.

We are assured that there will not be a problem this time that the numbers will not be as great. If that was the case, then why have we kept the restrictions in place until the very last day we are permitted to do so in the Accession Treaty? Why have most Western European countries also kept the same restrictions to date? We can only presume from this, that these governments fear the numbers will be significant. ...

There have been some positive announcements from the government in recent weeks including the accelerated introduction of restrictions on when new migrants can claim out-of-work benefits and for how long. These are sensible and much-needed measures to tackle the reputation that the UK is seen as more generous to new migrants than other countries - we give benefits based on entitlement not past contributions as in many other countries. Our free healthcare is also extremely attractive - a recent report estimated that the cost to the NHS of treating EU nationals was already up to £1.5 billion.

While it is absolutely right that we act to ensure that our systems are not acting as a greater pull for economic migrants to the UK than to other countries, these measures do not tackle the issue of the impact on our employment market. In fact, the justification for keeping the transitional restrictions in place to date had to be that there was a serious disturbance in the labour market. Two years ago, the government assessed that this was indeed the case in the UK and so kept the restrictions in place for the final two years permitted. The very same criteria used to justify that decision would apply to the UK's situation now.
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New immigration rules are too little, too late
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2013
[Leading article]

In the New Year, restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK will be lifted – raising legitimate concerns about the pressure on jobs and services. Now, in the middle of December and just a matter of weeks before the changes come into effect, the Prime Minister has suddenly announced new rules that will limit the ability of migrants to claim benefits. ...

Mr Cameron is right to assert that the public is "concerned that migrants do not come here to exploit our public services and our benefits system" – and he is right to take action to curtail what people can receive. Other countries have much tougher rules than Britain's and there is no reason why the free movement of labour should translate into a guaranteed right to benefit from the largesse of a nation state's taxpayers.

But many voters will probably roll their eyes at this latest announcement, out of exasperation and bitter experience of promises undelivered. Politically, the restrictions are obviously designed to draw back support from Ukip and to mollify Tory backbenchers calling for an outright confrontation with the EU. In practical terms, many will doubt the Government's ability to police the situation efficiently. There is currently a backlog of some 432,029 immigration and asylum cases, which at current levels will take five years to clear. Astonishingly, only 1.5 per cent of reports of illegal immigrants result in someone being removed from the UK.

Ultimately, an open border is an open border. It was the Labour government that lifted restrictions on Eastern Europeans entering the workforce, and since then treaty obligations have forced us to accept the hard reality that we cannot say no to EU citizens coming to Britain to compete. Only a serious reversal of policy could change this situation and that, frankly, seems unlikely.

What we have instead is tinkering. Limiting benefits might earn Mr Cameron some favour in some quarters, but most people will remain concerned about mass migration depressing wages, increasing competition for jobs and putting new strains on schools and hospitals. Ergo, the Government's latest efforts to assuage the Right are a classic example of an idea that is too little, too late.
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How Many Romanians Will Come Next Year to the UK?
Dr Ion Jinga, Ambassador of Romania to the UK
The Huffington Post, 19 December 2013

The answer depends on who you ask this question. Politicians from a party known for its xenophobic slogans insist that 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians will invade British shores. I can only smile, as this figure represents the entire population of both countries combined.

The Democracy Institute, an American think tank, predicts that 385,000 people will migrate from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK over the next five years. As this figure comes from a secret method of evaluation, nobody could challenge it but, again, a smile is allowed. Migration Watch advanced 50,000 persons a year.

A survey commissioned by the BBC's Newsnight suggests that less than 1% of adult Romanians could look for work in the UK. The survey revealed that they are likely to have a university degree and are aged 25-44. Another survey, conducted by the Infopolitic Center for Studies and Research in Bucharest, concluded that 0.56% of Romanians are interested to find jobs in Britain. In both evaluations the total number is 15-20,000 people. Finally, a report commissioned by the UK Government in 2010 estimates that 8,000 Romanians will come to Britain in 2014. From 8,000 to 385,000 it is a huge field open to speculations exploited by tabloid media and the UKIP.

14 million EU citizens live today in another EU country. A poll has found that immigration is seen as a bigger problem in the UK than anywhere else. It also found that Britons hugely overestimate the number of foreigners in the country - guessing on average that 31% of the population were immigrants, when the actual figure is 12%. But, surprisingly, no one in the EU migrates more than Britons do. According to a 2011 World Bank report, 4.7 million British people live outside their own country, and almost half of them have settled elsewhere in the EU. There are thousands of Britons who work in Romania. If you demand the right to seek work in someone else's country, they should be able to do the same in yours. That is only fair.

It is legitimate to ask who is entitled to get social benefits in your country. As of February 2013, over 5.5 million people were claiming DWP social benefits. Of these, 7% are estimated to have been non-UK nationals. Asia and Middle East (32%) and Africa (24%) form the largest proportion of those claimants who were non-UK nationals, whereas only 31% were from within the EU. Romania is not in the top 20 nationalities claiming social benefits in the UK.

I agree that in order to receive benefits, you should have made a contribution first. But when legally entitled to benefits, an EU citizen should get the same treatment in another EU country as the country's nationals. This is a basic principle of the EU. According to British media, ten thousands Britons in Germany get in total £230 million in jobseekers' allowance each year.

It is in the interest of all European countries to fight against abusing the social and benefits systems, and Romania fully supports legal measures against those that break the law. But this must not affect the principle of free movement of people. Most of Romanians who came to the UK did so for work, not for benefits. We plead in favour of honest, hard working people, who pay taxes and contribute to the society.

So, how many Romanians will come to Britain in 2014? Most probably, they will be fewer than in the previous years.
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David Cameron presses EU to restrict free movement of people from poorer member states
Andrew Grice and Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
The Independent, 19 December 2013

David Cameron will warn the European Union on Friday that it must restrict the free movement of people from poor countries that join the EU in future.

At a summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister will urge his fellow EU leaders to learn lessons from the mistakes made when Romania and Bulgaria joined the 28-nation bloc in 2007. His initiative will be seen as an attempt to reassure Conservative Eurosceptics, who are worried about a possible influx of Romanians and Bulgarians when they get the right to work in the UK on 1 January.

In future, Mr Cameron wants new member states to reach a certain level of income or economic output per head before their citizens enjoy full rights to freedom of movement throughout the EU - one of the Union's fundamental principles.

Curbing the rights of poor countries could prove controversial, as it would also undermine the EU's tradition of "solidarity" under which the richest members of the club help the poorest. Albania and Serbia are next in line to join the club and other potential members include Turkey and Ukraine.

British sources insisted Mr Cameron's proposal was not set in stone, and that he was floating ideas to kickstart a debate.
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Criminalizing undocumented migrants has got to stop
Michele LeVoy
New Internationalist blog, 19 December 2013

The EU and its member states must end criminalization of undocumented migrants to ensure equal access to human rights and to basic services, says the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM).

There is a growing trend of criminalizing irregular migrants in Europe, using criminal law, administrative detention or other punitive measures under administrative law, and through policies and practices that perpetuate prejudices.

PICUM has found that most EU member states punish irregular entry and irregular stay.

People who assist, support and rescue undocumented migrants for humanitarian reasons may also be prosecuted. Facilitating irregular entry and stay is considered a criminal offence in most member states.

The choice of terminology is also crucial in shaping perceptions. The view that undocumented migrants are 'illegal' frequently creates administrative, financial and other practical barriers to accessing their basic rights.

François Crépeau, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrant explains: 'Using incorrect terminology that negatively depicts individuals as "illegal" contributes to the negative discourses on migration, and further reinforces negative stereotypes of irregular migrants as criminals. Moreover, such language legitimates the discourse of criminalization of migration, which in turn, contributes to the further alienation, discrimination and marginalization of irregular migrants, and may even encourage verbal and physical violence against them' ..

Such perceptions distract attention from the fact that the majority of undocumented migrants in Europe do not enter irregularly but experience difficulties in renewing their residence permit or in complying with the increasingly tight requirements for a permit renewal. In many cases, migrants become irregular through exploitation by their employer or by losing their status due to gender-based violence.

Undocumented migrants and service providers witness first-hand, on a daily basis, how the perception that they are 'illegal' leads people to believe that they have no rights and that migration is a criminal activity. ...

Moreover, defining an individual or group as 'illegal' is erroneous and incorrect from a juridical point of view, as neither an individual could be considered by nature as 'illegal', nor have the individuals necessarily committed a criminal offence under national laws.

An increasing number of European and international institutions and media have abandoned the term 'illegal' and refer to 'irregular' or 'undocumented' migrants. ...

International human-rights law guarantees undocumented migrants' entitlements to a comprehensive set of rights regardless of their administrative status. European states must take steps to ensure and further implement a human rights-based approach to migration ensuring that the protection of all migrants, including the undocumented, is always the first concern.
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Tories rush through curbs on benefits access for Romanians and Bulgarians
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 18 December 2013

David Cameron is rushing through a block on European Union migrants' access to benefits from 1 January, the politically fraught date when the remaining work restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians will be lifted in the UK.

From New Year's Day all jobseekers from the EU will have to wait for three months from their arrival in the UK before they can apply to claim any out of work benefits, Downing Street announced.

The scrambled clampdown betrays the extreme nervousness in Downing Street at the possible reaction of potential Tory voters – and increasingly restive Tory backbenchers – if the public decide ministers have failed to take every measure possible to prevent Romanians and Bulgarians travelling to Britain en masse.

David Cameron said he believed the restrictions would "make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants who want to come here and try to live off the state". ...

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, accused the government of making last-minute changes because it was on the run. She said: "Labour called for these benefit restrictions nine months ago. Yet David Cameron has left it until the very last minute to squeeze this change in.

"Why is the government leaving everything until the last minute and operating in such a chaotic way? Three weeks ago Theresa May told parliament she couldn't restrict benefits in time, now the prime minister says they can."

Nearly 80 Tory backbenchers, including some of its leading lawyers, are backing calls for the UK to defy the EU and retain the tough labour market restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians for a further five years.

The rebels welcomed Cameron's speeding up of the denial of jobseeker's allowance, but said the lure of Britain for Romanians and Bulgarians was probably highly paid work, and not benefits. ...

Polls this week show 40% of voters believe 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will come to the UK in 2014. ... ...

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, this week supported the tightening of benefits to EU migrants by saying: "It is impossible to defend the core freedom to move from one EU state to another to look for work, unless the public is satisfied this is not the same as a freedom to claim benefit.". ...

The Border Agency will also be empowered from 1 January to debar EU migrants from returning to the UK for 12 months if they have been deported for begging, or not being self-sufficient.
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European Commission warns UK over EU benefit ban
ITV, 18 December 2013

The European Commission warned that it will be checking the legality of the Government's rules on how long EU jobseekers must wait to claim benefits.

"For the moment it is too early to say whether the new rules are compliant," said Jonathan Todd, spokesman for EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor, who is currently embroiled in a war of words with David Cameron over imminent unrestricted Romanian and Bulgarian immigration to the UK.
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Police crime figures being manipulated, admits chief inspector
Kevin Rawlinson
The Guardian, 18 December 2013

It is almost certain that some manipulation is going on in the recording of crime figures by police officers, the chief inspector of constabulary has said.

Tom Winsor the home affairs select committee that rather than asking whether fiddling crime statistics was happening at all, the question was "where, how much, how severe".

Giving evidence to the committee on Tuesday, the police watchdog said: "The fact is in anything that gets measured, once those who are being measured, whose performance are being measured, work out how the system works, there's an incentive, resisted by many, to manipulate the process as to make your own performance look good."

Winsor also questioned the evidence of the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who told the public administration select committee (Pasc) at the beginning of this month that inspectors had commended his force's crime data as "competent and reliable".

On the contrary, Winsor said he wrote to the commissioner to say he had "some cause for some concern" over the Met's recording of crime statistics. ...

Committee chair Keith Vaz asked Winsor if he was still "very concerned". Winsor replied: "I'd just like him to explain the disparity I'd referred to. But with crime recording, some people will call it fiddling, some people will call it honest mistakes, some people will call it the perfectly legitimate exercise of professional judgment."

Asked what he would call it, the chief inspector said: "It depends on the circumstances of individual cases."

Winsor's appearance before MPs followed the evidence of a group of serving and former police officers last month given to the Pasc. Met officer James Patrick, retired Met detective chief inspector Dr Rodger Patrick and former Met deputy assistant commissioner David Gilbertson all said that crime statistics were routinely being manipulated. ...

In Tuesday's hearing, Winsor was asked by Michael Ellis MP if he had confidence in crime figures. Winsor replied: "I have confidence in the integrity of the vast majority of police officers, some of whom will make honest mistakes."

He said: "There will always be errors in the statistics, the question is the motivation for the errors and many of them will be errors of professional judgment.

"The crime statistics do show that crime has fallen. But let us be quite clear about the nature of the crime statistics. The recorded crime figures do not record all crime. The police reported crime, obviously the police can only know about the crime that's reported to them."

Winsor later said the police had to deal with "industrial quantities of dishonesty".
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New data shows six million born overseas, 18 December 2013

More than six million people living in Australia were not born here, new migration figures have revealed - with Western Australia having the highest proportion of migrants.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that in June 2013 Australia's population included 6.4 million migrants or 28 per cent of the population - an increase of 1.7 million people in the past decade. ...

Across Australia, people born in the United Kingdom remained the largest group of migrants with more than 1.2 million calling Australia home.

They were followed by 608,800 from New Zealand, 427,600 from China and 369,700 from India.

State breakdowns show Western Australia now has 33.4 per cent, or 786,500 people, who were not born in Australia.

They also recorded the largest increase in the proportion of overseas born residents, up from 29.9 per cent in 2006.

Victoria has the second-highest proportion, with 28.7 per cent - or 1,589,800 residents - born overseas, with higher proportions of residents born in India (2.3 per cent), Italy (1.5 per cent), Vietnam (1.4 per cent), Greece (1.1 per cent) and Sri Lanka (0.9 per cent) than any other state or territory.

The Northern Territory had the highest proportion of people born in the Philippines (1.9 per cent).
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One in five in Germany have 'migrant roots'
The Local [Germany], 18 December 2013

A fifth of people living in Germany have foreign roots, figures released to coincide with International Migrants Day show. This is an 8.5 percent rise since 2005.

There were 16.3 million people with migrant roots living in Germany in 2012, according to the Federal Statistics Office. Of them, 10.9 million are people who have returned from abroad since 1949 and 5.4 million are the children of those returning migrants.

Over 70 percent came from Europe and almost a third came from an EU member state. A further 15.7 of migrants came from Asia, 3.5 percent from Africa and 2.5 percent from the United States. Just 0.2 percent came from Australia or Oceania.

Just over seven percent of people with migrant roots cannot be classified into any one category. This applies, for example, to children whose parents have different nationalities.

A spokesman for the federal statistics office Destasis, which collated the data, told The Local there was an accepted definition of 'people with migrant roots' - migrationshintergrund in German.

Obviously all migrants themselves count, as do their children - and any further generations who do not take German citizenship. Should the initial migrant get German citizenship, and their children be born as Germans in Germany, both of those first generations are counted as having migrant roots.

Only the second generation that has been born as Germans in Germany lose that label, he said.

Migration to Germany surged at the end of the 1950's with the arrival of so-called "guest workers" to boost the country's post-war recovery.

The 1980's saw an increase in the number of people seeking asylum in the country, while the following decade was characterized by the return of ethnic Germans from eastern Europe. More recently, the Eurozone financial crisis has attracted many southern Europeans into the country.

While the portion of second generation migrants has undergone a significant rise, the number of people arriving in Germany exceeded that of second-generation migrants for the first time in 2012.
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Fears unfounded: The public debate is becoming ever more xenophobic, but the reality is that foreign workers are good for Britain
The Independent, 18 December 2013
[Leading article]

As 1 January draws ever nearer – and with it the lifting of restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens' free entry into Britain – the more frenzied and out of proportion the public debate about immigration is becoming.

As the Prime Minister headed to Brussels yesterday for an EU summit, he was hastened on his way by tabloid headlines declaring, "If more come in, then get us out" and polls – conducted for the same newspaper – suggesting not only that more than 70 per cent of voters consider it important for him to limit immigration from Europe, but also that, if he does so, it could prove crucial to the outcome of the promised in/out referendum on Britain's membership.

Given the ferment on the Tory backbenches, and Ukip's gains to David Cameron's Little-England right, it is little wonder that he should feel pressured. In response, he has done much to try to gain the upper hand. Only weeks ago, he outlined plans to minimise the temptations of our welfare and healthcare provisions. But with hysteria about an "influx" showing few signs of abating, the Prime Minister yesterday went further still, rushing measures through Parliament to stop new arrivals claiming out-of-work benefits in their first three months, ahead of the new year deadline, specifically to "make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants".

The problem with all of this is not only the troublingly xenophobic tone increasingly – and ever more unthinkingly – dominating the public discourse. It is also that the suggestion Britain is in danger of being swamped by immigrants, particularly benefits-scrounging immigrants, is simply not true.

First, for every survey predicting a flood of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants in January, another anticipates but a trickle. More importantly, though, the vast majority of migrants come here to work, and do just that. Shorn of the rhetoric, there is nothing wrong with Mr Cameron's latest restrictions. But they are not needed in order to stem a tide from the former Eastern Bloc, nor will there be much noticeable impact in the immediate term.

Neither, sad to say, will the issue be laid to rest with Bulgaria and Romania – as The Sun's rabble-rousing invocation of the referendum makes clear. Indeed, Mr Cameron has already hinted that the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 election could include measures to curb the free movement of workers within the EU. ...

It is not that there is no issue here. Concerns about cultural integration, access to low-skilled jobs and pressure on public services do merit discussion. But the Prime Minister's capitulation to ill-informed group-think, giving credence to the notion that immigration is a cost to the country when quite the opposite is true, is no basis from which to begin. Not only is the UK's appeal to foreign workers a sign of our success; we are also the beneficiaries of the work that they do, the value they generate and the taxes they pay. If there is a wave that risks flooding Britain, it is a wave of fear and foolishness.
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Forty migrants a night sneak over from Calais, town's deputy mayor says
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2013

Up to 15,000 migrants are crossing the Channel from Calais illegally every year and the British authorities are hypocrites for failing to tackle the problem, the French town's deputy mayor has said.

Philippe Mignonet, who is also the port's immigration chief, told The Telegraph that Britain needed to do more to address the numbers crossing its borders because it had become "a magnet for illegal immigrants".

Calais town hall's estimate came days after MPs accused the Border Force of failing to check lorries for "concealed illegal entrants" before travelling to Dover.

Mr Mignonet called for border controls to be transferred from Calais to Dover to deal with what he said was essentially a "British problem".

"According to our estimations, depending on the night, between 10, 20, even 40 [migrants] are getting through. The UK and French border agency are catching some every night but hundreds are trying. What is for sure is that every night some are going through."

Mr Mignonet said he expected more migrants to arrive in Calais over Christmas, and criticised Britain for having a "hypocritical" attitude by talking tough on stopping migrants but allowing them to remain in the country. He said that if this did not change, France should just "let them through".

"The quickest, most radical and easiest solution would be simply to shift the border from Calais to Dover and Folkestone and then the problem wouldn't be handled in France but Britain," he said. "The ease with which illegal immigrants can work on the black market in Britain, coupled with the fact that migrants' family members can more easily join them, means that Britain is a magnet for illegal immigrants." ...

Under the Sangatte deal, Britain pays a contribution towards the policing of the migrant problem in Calais. British police and border officials also operate on the French side of the Channel. ...

The Commons public accounts committee warned in a report last week that the Border Force had repeatedly suspended checks for stowaways on lorries arriving from Calais because of staff shortages.
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Revealed: The countries providing the most migrants to Britain as number QUADRUPLES in 60 years
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 17 December 2013

The number of foreigners in the UK has quadrupled in 60 years, new figures showed today.

Immigration accounted for almost half of the population increase since 1951, a study by the Office for National Statistics said as it released details of the top 10 countries people moved from during each decade.

It reveals major changes in where people come from, with more than a third of Irish-born residents arriving before 1961 and 86 per cent Poles arriving since 2004.

In 1951 – when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister for the second time – there were 1.9 million people born outside the UK in England and Wales, equivalent to 4.5 per cent of the population.

But by 2011 this figure had leapt to 7.5 million, or 13 per cent.

The surge was driven in part by people forced to leave their home counties by war, political instability and poverty, the ONS said.

The availability of jobs and education also draw people to move to Britain. ...

The detailed breakdown of immigration shows how people move to the UK from more and more countries.

In 1951 the top 10 countries, including Ireland, Poland, India, Germany and Russia, accounted for 60 per cent of the foreign born population.

However in 2011 the figure was just 45 per cent, with Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa now in the top 10.

The ONS said: 'This shows that the population has become more diverse, with the non-UK born population in 2011 less dominated by the top ten non-UK countries of birth.'

For five decades Ireland topped the league table as the country from which the most migrants moved to the UK according to the census.

However in 2011 those born India had become the largest group, with Ireland falling to fourth. ...

In 2011 those born in India were the largest group of people not born in the UK at 694,000

The biggest increase in the Indian population happened between 1961 and 1971, when the number almost doubled from 157,000 to 313,000. In 1971 those born in India accounted for 10% of the whole non-UK born population, the ONS said. ...

In the decade from 2001 to 2011 there was a 10-fold increase in Polish migrants in England and Wales, after EU movement restrictions were lifted.

The ONS said: 'In 1951 Polish-born was the second highest ranking group making up 8% (152,000) of the total non-UK born population.

'This was a result of Polish migrants arriving during and after the Second World War. The number of Polish-born residents declined, largely due to mortality, until the 2011 Census, when 579,000 were recorded in the resident population.

'This was almost a ten-fold increase from 58,000 in 2001; it was a result of Poland being admitted to the European Union in May 2004 along with a number of other central-Eastern European countries.'
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Theresa May distances herself from plan for cap on EU migration
Nicholas Watt, Alan Travis and Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 17 December 2013

Theresa May was late Monday distancing herself from Home Office plans to impose a cap on migration from the EU's existing member states after Nick Clegg warned that such a move would be "illegal and undeliverable".

As the deputy prime minister warned that some Tories were damaging Britain's interests by "flirting" with a British exit from the EU, the home secretary said a cap would apply only to future members of the EU.

The clarification, in response to the alleged leaking by the Home Office to the Sunday Times of a government report that raised the prospect of a cap, came as May said there would be no special measures put in place at Britain's airports and ports in a fortnight's time when Romanians and Bulgarians win the full rights to work in the UK.

Her pledge that it will be "business as usual" at Britain's borders on 1 January comes as an ICM poll for British Future show that 38% of Britons expect up to 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians to come to Britain to work next year. The survey shows that some of the more extreme sustained media coverage has had such an impact that 13% of British voters now believe that as many as 500,000 Bulgarians and Romanians could come to work in Britain in 2014.

The survey was published as David Cameron indicated that the Tory manifesto for the next election would include plans to curb the free movement of workers within the EU. ... ...

Speaking after the intervention by Clegg, the home secretary insisted she was only talking about possible new conditions on unspecified future members of the EU. ...

The home secretary said she agreed that Clegg had made his claim that such a move would be illegal under the EU treaties if a 75,000 a year cap on EU migration was introduced now. "He has, as I understand it, made a statement on the basis of if we were going to do this now, this is what the situation would be. What I'm saying is, I'm not proposing to do it now. We're talking about potential reforms of accession treaties for the future."
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Life in jail for people traffickers but victims will be spared prosecution as Home Office report says there could be more than 10,000 slaves in Britain today
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 17 December 2013

Trafficking gang victims who are caught working in a cannabis farm or forced to run a brothel will escape prosecution.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced a blitz on the 'scarcely believable' modern slave trade yesterday amid claims there are up to 10,000 UK victims.

A Home Office bill will introduce a maximum sentence of life in prison for human traffickers, and new guidelines will be issued which state victims should not face prosecution.

A review by Labour MP Frank Field says those who commit crimes after being trafficked usually do so 'at the behest of their controllers'. ...

Home Secretary Theresa May said that it was impossible to know exactly how many people are being held in conditions of servitude in Britain, but referrals to official agencies suggest that the numbers are growing.

The draft Modern Day Slavery Bill, published today, sets out the Government's plans to tackle the problem of people being trafficked into the UK to work in conditions of slavery.

Thousands of slaves are thought to work in building sites and farms as well as brothels, shops and in domestic servitude.

The bill pulls together into a single act the offences used to prosecute slave-drivers and increases the punishments courts can hand down.

The government has been under pressure to act because fewer than 10 prosecutions are secured each year, despite there being thousands of victims.

Labour MP Frank Field, who has produced a report into slavery for the Home Office, estimates that there are 10,000 victims of slavery in the UK. ...

And a new Anti-Slavery Commissioner will be appointed to hold law enforcement and other organisations to account.
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Sir David Attenborough warns of impact loss of green space is having on children
Owen Bennett
Daily Express, 17 December 2013

Children are losing touch with nature because too many green areas within schools are being built on, Sir David Attenborough has warned.

The eminent naturalist and broadcaster warned too many schools are responding to pressure for places by building new classrooms on playing fields and areas set aside for nature study.

Sir David also called for vast improvements in education and healthcare provision and autonomy for women in developing countries as the most effective way of reducing the birthrate and attempting to put a brake on population growth.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Sir David said many British children no longer had the opportunity to experience nature in the way he did when he was growing up.

"We are such a densely populated country," he said. "We are in the 60 millions now. When I was a boy it was 50-54 million, and it's suddenly increased hugely.

"At the moment, the only way our children can see the natural world and become accustomed to the natural world for a lot of town children is in their schools.

"They are now saying, with the increase in the number of children and more classrooms having to be built, the only places they can find to build classrooms is on the one plot of green landscape on which children learn about daisies and buttercups and newts and frogs and tadpoles.

"I don't know what the answer is, except for those of us who think it is important to fight our corner and to say to the authorities this is essential, that children should be able to have a view of the natural world - albeit a very impoverished one, but nonetheless a glimpse of what plants do and what fish do and what tadpoles do."

Sir David said humans had "fundamentally" altered the natural world and were "destroying" the habitats of many species.

And he said that growth in the human population could not continue forever.

"Since I started making television programmes, there are three times as many people living on this world in that short period of time.

"We can't go on growing and growing and growing in a finite situation where the world is only so big. We can't go on increasing forever. Something has got to stop it. Either we will stop it or the natural world will stop it for us.

"If you were living in Ethiopia, you might be justified in thinking that the natural world is already stopping it by starvation."
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Gridlock is costing households £4.4bn a year
Herald Scotland, 17 December 2013

Gridlock in urban areas is costing car-commuting households £4.4 billion a year, according to a report.

Congestion in London accounts for £2bn of the overall annual cost, the report by traffic information company Inrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research showed.

The report was compiled by studying congestion in the UK's 18 largest urban areas. It was found that the average British driver spent 40 hours a year stuck in jams, with the average for London drivers 80 hours.

The overall cost was made up from the direct cost of fuel wasted (£441 million), commuter time wasted in traffic (£2.79bn) and the indirect cost to household bills (£1.19bn).

The bills figure was compiled from higher freight and business fees as a result of company vehicles being stuck in traffic, with the additional costs being passed on to households.

As well as London, the urban areas in the study included Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford-Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff and Coventry. ...

The other areas in the study included Kingston-upon-Hull, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester.
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'Weak' Charity Commission 'still not seized cash from charity linked to 7/7 bombings'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2013

The charity watchdog has been criticised for failing to seize the assets of a charity which was linked to the 7/7 bombings on London eight years ago.

The Charity Commission was also told it was "too ruddy weak" when it came to taking voluntary organisations to task for breaching charity rules.

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee also said that the Commission was not providing enough certainty that cash given to charities this Christmas would benefit those in need.

The MPs heard suggestions that the Commission had failed to take enough action over three charities with alleged links to terrorist groups.

One of these was a charity which ran a bookshop in Beeston, Leeds and was linked to the 7 July 2005 terrorist attacks on London.

Yet the Commission did not set up "a formal inquiry" until 2009 and "had yet to or had only just seized the trust's money".

Margaret Hodge MP, the committee's chairman, said that "even that step was taken on the back of media reports, and you have yet to seize the remaining trust money".

Mrs Hodge said the inaction was "really scary", adding: "Either your powers are too limited or you take far too long and you don't use the powers you have appropriately against an abuse of charitable status, particularly in relation to terrorism."
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A Mills bomb is ticking away under No 10's Immigration Bill
Paul Goodman
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2013

Scarcely six months ago, David Cameron told MPs that the Immigration Bill was "a centrepiece of the Queen's Speech". He went on to say that the Bill would go "across government, because for the first time we will look to ensure that everyone's immigration status is checked before they get access to a private rented home; for the first time, we will make sure that anyone not eligible for free health care foots the bill, either themselves or through their government; and for the first time, foreign nationals who commit serious crimes will be deported, wherever possible, and will then have to appeal from their home country".

... The Bill was duly introduced, sped briskly through its early stages – and then, suddenly, came to a halt. It has completed its committee stage in the Commons, but there is no date for it to return. The centrepiece of the Government's programme has gone missing.

Until it comes back and later becomes law, it presumably follows from Mr Cameron's words that the taxpayer will continue to provide for those not eligible for free health, and foreign nationals who commit serious crimes will carry on appealing from Britain, and so on. In short, people will continue to come here and expect something for nothing. So where is the Bill? Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the Commons, recently told MPs that the reason for the delay is that there is "a lot of legislation before the House". But the real explanation lies elsewhere – in an amendment tabled by Nigel Mills, a Tory backbencher.

Essentially, this seeks to halt the entitlement of Romanians and Bulgarians to enter Britain on the same basis as other EU citizens, as they will be at liberty to do from January 1. The amendment proposes to extend the current controls on their access. As of last Friday, 69 Conservative MPs had signed it. ...

Downing Street sensed which way the wind was blowing earlier this month, and smartly pulled the Bill, thus wresting control over its timetable from the Home Office. No one seems to know when it will return. ... ...

But it is almost impossible to see how Mr Cameron could swallow Mr Mills's amendment. To withdraw unilaterally from the free movement of peoples, one of the EU's most venerable articles of faith, would arguably be to leave it altogether. ... ...

But even if they take action, it won't happen by January 1. The Prime Minister's view on border control is rather like that of St Augustine's on chastity: "Give me an end to the free movement of peoples, Lord – but not yet." ...

There are many objections to the Mills amendment – its illegality and unworkability being two of the most substantial. Certainly, January 1 will have come and gone long before it is debated (if, indeed, that ever happens).
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Migrant body seeks end to religious discrimination by schools
Irish Times, 17 December 2013

An advocacy organisation for migrants has called for a change in the law to prevent schools giving preferential access to children of certain regions.

The Integration Centre published a report today, which looks the main roadblocks to immigrant integration in the Ireland.

There was an "accelerating trend" where one school in an area is becoming a migrant school while the other is becoming the "Irish Catholic" school, chief executive Killian Forde said

Section 7 of the Equal Status Act "needs to be amended" to prevent schools giving "preferential treatment to students on the basis of their religion", Mr Forde said. Section 7 allows schools to discriminate on the grounds of religion if necessary to protect their ethos. ...

In a submission to the Department of Education earlier this month, Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan said that denominational schools should no longer have the right to discriminate in favour of enrolling children on the basis of their religion.

The Roadmap to Integration report also calls for a more efficient racism monitoring system to be put in place by the Garda. ...

Mr Forde said there was a "legislative gap" as the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act was not "comprehensive enough".

He also wanted to see "enhanced sentencing" for racist crime and a "clear definition of a hate crime". "Racism needs to be introduced as an aggravating factor in sentencing," he said.
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The Stigma of Racism
Robert VerBruggen
Real Clear Policy, 17 December 2013

Research conducted this year shows that this reticence isn't rare at all. Scientists had a group of white adult volunteers play a game of Guess Who? – where players start with a lineup of faces and try to find the correct one by asking yes/no questions – with partners who were either white or black.

The lineup they were given was half-black and half-white, so asking about race was a great way to eliminate a lot of possibilities quickly. And yet 43 percent of the subjects failed to ask when the person answering the questions was white, and 79 percent didn't ask when the person was black. Perhaps because their discomfort showed, the whites who didn't ask about race were more likely to be seen as racist by outside observers (who for some reason were all white). Conducting the experiment with children revealed that this fear sets in around age 10.

There's a bad side and a good side to this. The bad side is obvious: Many white people are so scared of being seen as racist that they're not willing to talk about simple facts – and, ironically, they end up being seen as racist as a result. Many whites' sensitivity to racism may have gone so far past the point of diminishing returns that it actively harms their relations with blacks. They place so much importance on demonstrating that black people don't make them nervous that black people make them nervous.

The flipside, though, is an important fact this experiment reveals about America: The campaign to stigmatize anti-black racism – the most corrosive force in this country's history – has been remarkably successful. In fact, while we love to talk about this or that as "the last acceptable prejudice," it would be more accurate to say that racism and sexism are the only prejudices that are thoroughly unacceptable. ...

To be clear here: The 4 percent of Americans who still say they wouldn't vote for a black president constitute 1 in every 25 people, meaning that black people growing up today will still encounter proud racists. And further, to stigmatize racism is not to end it. People who would never, ever want to appear racist often nonetheless harbor subconscious biases or use race as a factor in employment decisions.

But still. Going from Jim Crow to white people who refuse to utter the words "Is the person black?" – often categorically, but frequently in deference to a nearby person of color – in 50 years is a remarkable accomplishment for the civil-rights movement, both as a social force and as a driver of government policy.
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Immigrant influx 'will put a strain on schools': Ofsted chief says Government has 'big job' in ensuring there are enough quality teachers to cope
Jason Groves
Daily Mail, 16 December 2013

'Huge numbers' of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria could place a major strain on Britain's education system, Sir Michael Wilshaw warned last night.

The Government faced a 'big job' in ensuring England has enough quality teachers to cope with the potential influx from the two countries when immigration restrictions are lifted at the end of this month, said the Chief Inspector of Schools.

'Obviously I have got concerns about that,' he said. 'If we get huge numbers of children from overseas and from Eastern Europe coming in, we have to have enough teachers to teach them and resources available in schools.'

England's schools are already facing a potential classroom crisis as they deal with a rising birthrate which is being partly fuelled by immigration.
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Now police fly out to tell Romanians: Don't come to Britain and commit crime! Officers' unprecedented trip to try and stem flow of migrants
Chris Greenwood
Daily Mail, 16 December 2013

Police have travelled to Romania to discourage young men from coming to Britain and committing crime.

In an unprecedented operation, Scotland Yard sent a 'police mission' of officers to rural northern Romania.

The trip was designed to help stem the flow of low-skilled migrants who see London and similar cities as attractive destinations.

Officers warned Romanians that if they arrive looking for jobs on the black market they are likely to be exploited or become victims of crime.

But there is also evidence that many of those who come to Britain end up committing petty crimes such as begging and pickpocketing – sometimes recruited by organised gangs who 'employ' them to shoplift, steal and rob.

The police operation came after a raid on the derelict ground of Hendon Football Club in North London. Officers discovered that almost every rough sleeper in the squat was from the same remote part of Romania.

One man told BBC's Panorama that up to 400 people had left his village in the Carpathian mountains for London. He said they were prepared to live in grim camps for the chance of illicit building work where they could earn up to three times their usual wages. ...

Around 70,000 foreign nationals are arrested in London every year – about 28 per cent of all criminal suspects taken into custody. ...

Susan Hall, leader of Harrow council, said: 'The reality is nobody knows how many Romanians and Bulgarians are coming and that is deeply unsettling for councils.

'People who come here to work are welcome but January the first shouldn't be the starter's pistol for local authorities to be deluged with people they can't cope with.

'We are already seeing the effects of some criminality linked to Eastern Europeans seeping out to the suburbs - and that ranges from prostitution to pick pocketing and beds in sheds overcrowding. This has long since ceased to be just an inner city issue.'
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Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols attacks immigration targets
Robert Booth
The Guardian, 16 December 2013

The most senior Catholic in England and Wales has branded the government's pursuit of immigration targets as "inhumane" and warned that rules preventing foreign spouses of UK citizens from settling here was damaging the development of thousands of British children.

In a rare political intervention, Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, urged the government to change a policy introduced last summer that prevents British people living with spouses who come from outside the European Union unless they can show an annual income of at least £18,600, well above the £12,855 of the minimum wage.

The measure was a scandal, Nichols said, adding: "Anyone truly concerned for the family as the building block of society, and realistic about the mobility of British people today, must see both the folly of this policy and how it is an affront to the status of British citizenship.

"The government's intention with these new regulations is to cut the number of immigrants from outside the European Union," Nichols writes in Monday's Guardian. "But in doing so, is it the government's intention to penalise British citizens? To undermine marriages and to split up families?

"Other EU citizens are free to come and live in the UK with spouses from outside the EU. And yet British citizens do not enjoy the same rights. The feeling of being victimised by one's own government is a bitter pill to swallow." ...

In each case the spouse who was prevented from coming to the UK was not going to be drawing any benefits, Nichols said, which he said suggested to him the government's argument that immigration must be constrained to safeguard the public purse was "false and misleading".

This summer, the all-party parliamentary group on migration chaired by the Liberal Democrat peer Lady Hamwee published a report into the new system that concluded there was "a strong case for these rules to be reviewed". It took evidence from 45 families whose inability to meet the income requirement had led to the separation of children, including British children, from a non-European parent or wider family members.

Jan Brulc, a spokesman for the Migrants' Rights Network, which introduced victims of the policy to the archbishop, said it has heard from more than 200 families adversely affected by the new rule. The Home Office's own impact assessment indicated as many as 17,800 families could be affected. ...

The Catholic church in England and Wales has found itself at the sharp end of the immigration debate with a large proportion of new immigrants coming from Catholic countries in Africa and South America, as well as the Philippines.
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Turkey: Readmission Agreement and Visa Liberalisation Dialogue
EUbusiness, 16 December 2013

Cecilia Malmström, the EU's Commissioner for Home Affairs has signed, with the Turkish Minister of Interior Muammer Güler, the EU-Turkey readmission agreement, and initiated, jointly with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, the EU-Turkey Visa liberalisation dialogue.

The main objective of the EU-Turkey readmission agreement is to establish, on the basis of reciprocity, procedures for the rapid and orderly readmission, by each side, of people who entered or are residing on the territory of the other side 'in an irregular manner'. ...

The agreement will now be sent to the Council of the European Union, to the European Parliament, and to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for ratification.

The aim of the EU-Turkey visa liberalisation dialogue is to make progress towards the elimination of the visa obligation currently imposed on the Turkish citizens travelling to the Schengen area for a short term visit.
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Nick Clegg: Theresa May's EU Migrant Plan Is 'Illegal And Undeliverable'
The Huffington Post, 16 December 2013

Nick Clegg has dismissed the idea of limiting immigration from the European Union, floated by home secretary Theresa May, as "illegal and undeliverable".

Reports of a leaked Home Office paper on Sunday suggested that May wants to introduce a cap on migration from the EU, possibly at 75,000 a year - around 30,000 lower than the current level.

On Monday morning, May declined to comment on the leaked report when asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. However she said it was something she had been "talking about" with EU ministers. "There is a growing concern not just here in the UK, but elsewhere too, about the abuse of free movement, about the way in which people can move freely across Europe, sometimes for access to benefits," she said.

"The whole issue of free movement has changed over the years. At the original start of the EU, it was about free movement of workers. It's now been expanded by treaties and by the courts in terms of their interpretation of it."

But speaking during his monthly press conference just a few hours later, Clegg slapped down the idea and also accused May of leaking the report in order to generate positive anti-immigration headlines for the Conservative Party.

"My advice to the Home Office is to spend less time leaking policies that are illegal and undeliverable and spend more time delivering on the policies we have agreed as a Coalition - notably to reinstate exit checks," he said.
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This Government Only Gives Promises on Immigration, and Little Else
David Hanson
The Huffington Post, 16 December 2013
[Shadow Immigration Minister and Labour MP for Delwyn]

In the Sunday Times, Theresa May had briefed and hinted about her plans to cap all EU migration to 75,000. She got her headlines and ducked all the difficult questions about whether it would mean visas for everyone, including EU citizens already here, and British citizens travelling abroad. Nor did she say how and when she might bring it in.

On Monday, however, on the radio, she was rowing backwards. Instead she was only proposing changes to the transitional rules for new countries that might join the EU many years into the future. Indeed the prime minister has already suggested a cap on migration from new countries (where visas and work permits could still apply) under transitional controls.

Next it was Nick Clegg's turn. He attacked Theresa May for wanting to cap total EU migration as "undeliverable and illegal," - and got his headlines too.

But the chaos and confusion within the government is no accident. Ministers are worried about full accession of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January but they have done little to prepare. So they are looking for distractions. Theresa May is also playing to Eurosceptic backbench Tories whose support she wants.

So the Tories want headlines saying they are increasing restrictions on EU migration, even though the reality is they are about to do the opposite.

At the same time, Nick Clegg is keen to get headlines from attacking Tories whilst still voting for their policies. So he joins Theresa May in pretending that she wants to cap EU migration altogether - even though in practice both vote for and argue for something very different entirely.

Such is the phoney war within the government - but none of this makes any difference to immigration policy right now.

Instead both Theresa May and Nick Clegg have failed to bring in the practical measures that would help manage migration in January and make sure the system is fair.

For a start we need to make sure the public have confidence that people who come are working and contributing. That's why Labour called nine months ago for restrictions on benefits for new arrivals. The government has finally agreed but won't get the measures in place before January.

Second we need to address the impact of migration on jobs and pay. Labour has a series of practical proposals to prevent exploitation of migrant labour undercutting local workers - including full enforcement of the minimum wage, cracking down on gangmasters, and stopping recruitment agencies from discriminating against UK workers. Theresa May is refusing to do any of that.

Yes, there does also need to be a longer term debate on EU reform too. We argued some time ago that the framework for free movement of labour should be revisited, as it is out of date. That means looking at transitional controls, the social security framework and also labour market protection. It means recognising the benefits of European travel and trade as well as the challenges of low skilled migration. And it needs serious analysis and debate with other European countries who are facing the same issues. ...

So the public get promises from this government but precious little else. Public confidence continues to decline and concern around immigration goes up.
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Books: The Politics Of Immigration
John Moore
Morning Star, 16 December 2013
[Review of The Politics Of Immigration by James Hampshire (Polity, £16.99)]

A new book explains why attempts by western countries to 'ring fence' themselves against immigration are failing, says JOHN MOORE

According to James Hampshire, the conflicting forces behind immigration policy are an essential feature of advanced capitalism.

They fill skills gaps and labour shortages, ranging from IT and financial services down to the lower-wage sectors of the market which are unattractive to indigenous workers for various reasons, not least low pay.

Hampshire shows how governments have long favoured immigration in order to "build the nation," the leading example being the US where, in face of popular opposition, the compromise solution was the "racial ring fence" which excluded Asians until 1965.

There was also a "White Australia" policy over a similar period and in Britain in the late 1960s when inflammatory propaganda directed against colonial immigrants, notably by Enoch Powell, led to legislation to restrict numbers.

Today, despite the economic crisis and the inflaming of opinion across Europe by far-right and neofascist parties, there have been no wholesale reductions in immigration across the OECD countries. Governments in the rich economies have actively encouraged some types of economic migrants and restricted others.

Apart from economic migration, all states that have signed the UN conventions are legally bound to give refuge to those arrivals who "face a well-founded fear of persecution" in their own country. Hampshire endorses the view that asylum has become "organised hypocrisy" because of conditions being tightened, with family access, language tests, reduction in rights to benefits or the growing use of deportation all now underway.

Hampshire's view is that jobs have a bigger influence on integration than culture, bearing in mind that throughout Europe immigrants have higher levels of unemployment than native-born workers.

As an academic writer, his main purpose is to present a framework of concepts - democracy, constitutionalism, capitalism and nationhood - that influence policymaking. He eschews analysis of Europe's developing crisis as right-wing and neofascist parties inflame popular prejudice against immigrants in their turf-war for votes, with fear of Islam and Muslims a major ingredient of their policies.

Yet immigrants from the EU, a common labour market as well as a common market for goods and services, are the present targets of attack in Britain, with a frenzy of fear and resentment whipped up by right-wing newspapers and the warnings of Prime Minister David Cameron.

This ignores the reality that Britain has 2.2 million EU migrants but there are 1.4m Britons living in other EU countries. It's in this context that European big business rationalises production and increases profits over the expanded market, while imposing austerity on ordinary people continent-wide.

A socialist alternative for Britain will necessitate its departure from the EU and resumption of powers to control its economy. That will change the ball game for migrations from Europe but just how far depends on the needs of society.
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EU Immigration 'Could Be Capped At 75,000' Leaked Report Says
The Huffington Post, 15 December 2013

A leaked government report has shown the Home Office is considering capping immigration from EU countries at 75,000 and blocking newcomers from claiming benefits or tax credits for their five five years.

The document, seen by the Sunday Times, suggests a cap could cut net migration from EU countries by 30,000 from the current 106,000 a year.

The paper emerged just weeks before restrictions on the movement of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens are lifted at the end of the month.

The proposals would mean professionals and highly-skilled migrants from countries such as Germany, Holland or Austria could only move to the UK if they had a job offer.

Lower-skilled workers would be allowed to settle if they had jobs on an approved list of occupations for which there was a national shortage.

The leaked open borders review was overseen by Home Secretary Theresa May as part of the Government's assessment of the balance of powers between the UK and Brussels.

Other proposals in the paper include giving British citizens a "national preference" by explicitly reserving jobs for them and limiting labour movement from poorer countries joining the EU to the UK until their GDP is 75% of Britain's. ...

The proposals were labelled "ridiculous" by the Tories' pro-Europe coalition colleagues.

A senior Liberal Democrat source said: "This surely can only happen by leaving the EU? It seems ridiculous.

"Even the Tories don't think they can renegotiate to that extreme. The amount of British people it would impact would far outweigh the people they're trying to stop, and British business would be crippled.

"We just cannot see how anyone would think this is a good idea, unless their priority is cheap easy headlines.
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'Toxic' immigration debate is giving Asia jitters, expert warns
Jane Merrick
The Independent on Sunday, 15 December 2013

The "increasingly toxic political debate" on immigration and the possibility that the UK could leave the European Union is rapidly fuelling concern among Asian governments and businesses, and risks damaging the country's economic recovery, Britain's former ambassador to Japan has warned.

In an article for The Independent on Sunday website, Sir David Warren, David Cameron's man in Tokyo until a year ago, condemns "anti-immigration rabble-rousers" for putting off Asian companies, who see Britain's membership of the EU as essential to investment and trade. Japanese politicians and companies are "bewildered" at the prospect of Britain "pulling up the drawbridge", Sir David says. ...

As ambassador to Tokyo, Sir David was repeatedly asked by Japanese companies about the EU referendum and the question of Britain's role in Europe. Sir David, a member of the Advisory Board of the Migration Matters Trust, writes: "To understand British government thinking on this is integral to major Japanese companies' investment plans, as Carlos Ghosn of Nissan made clear recently. The same will be true of firms in China, India and Brazil.

"Where immigration is a major issue in the bilateral relationship, the same scrutiny will be given to politicians' pronouncements and what they tell foreign observers about how open a country Britain really wants to be. And I have to say that, in my experience, protestations that Britain can be a stronger country by pulling up the drawbridge and going it alone are met by polite bewilderment." ...

He adds: "It's doubly important that we don't send mixed messages about just how open for business Britain is. An increasingly toxic political debate on immigration, encouraging politicians to outdo each other to reflect public concerns, plays immediately into doubts abroad about what the British really think on this issue."

Immigration should be seen as a key part of the Government's economic growth strategy and the coalition should not be "frightened off making that case by anti-immigration rabble-rousers".
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Tory rebels to defy David Cameron over Romanian migrants
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2013

More than 70 Tory rebels will next week defy the Prime Minister by confronting ministers and demanding tougher restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants.

The MPs will accuse ministers of trying to block a new law which would ban migrants from coming to Britain until at least 2019.

It comes amid growing public concern that hundreds of thousands could come to Britain when temporary restrictions are lifted on January 1.

Earlier this month four Tory MPs tabled an amendment to the immigration bill extending the ban, but were left furious when the government delayed a Commons vote until after the New Year.

On Thursday they will confront Mark Harper, the immigration minister, about the delay and warn that the government is "running and hiding" in a Commons debate.

The rebels have been given public support by Kris Hopkins, the local government minister, who has said it is the "democratic right" of MPs to demand that the government defies the European Union.

The amendment has been backed by John Whittingdale, chairman of the culture select committee, Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the Public Administration select committee, and former Tory ministers Bill Wiggin, James Duddridge and Sir Gerald Howarth. ...

Mr Cameron is facing growing demands from his own party to force a legal battle with Brussels over control of Britain's borders amid concerns of a fresh wave of mass migration from Eastern Europe.
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French minister calls on Britain to change its immigration policy and 'understand the burden on Calais' caused by migrants waiting to sneak into the UK
Aaron Sharp
Daily Mail, 14 December 2013

An outspoken French Minister has called on Britain to loosen its immigration policy to ease the pressure on guards at Calais, caused by immigrants waiting to enter the UK.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls has criticized the 'impasse' in communication between British border authorities and their French counterparts in the English Channel port.

He has even invited the Home Secretary Theresa May to visit the area to see the pressure on French border guards. ...

As political pressure increases, guards have been accused of turning a blind-eye to immigrants who are sneaking into the UK, where they become the problem of British authorities.

Valls said Britain should understand the plight of French guards and 'develop' its immigration policy accordingly.

He said: 'Our British friends must realise the burden, the weight, which is on France.

'At the time (of original border agreements), the idea was that the UK would evolve and develop its immigration policy.'

A spokesperson for the UK Home Office said would not comment on the offer for the Home Secretary to visit.

They did respond to the called for reform in a statement, however, saying: 'Border Force has staff in Northern France to stop individuals before they reach the UK and in the year to April 2013, 11,000 attempts to cross the Channel illegally were prevented.

'Border Force works collaboratively and successfully with the French authorities to combat cross-channel illegal migration and the organised criminality behind it.'
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EU in court threat over English tests for migrants: Brussels warned Britain over 'xenophobic' plans
Jason Groves and Eleanor Harding
Daily Mail, 14 December 2013

Brussels last night warned it would take Britain to court over 'xenophobic' plans to impose English tests on migrants before they can claim benefits.

The plan to require migrants to demonstrate a 'reasonable standard of English' was outlined by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith this week.

But Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, told David Cameron to drop proposals to tighten the so-called 'habitual residency tests' or face legal action.

The Hungarian official, who branded Britain a 'nasty country' last month, said the EU already had 'clear rules' on residency and 'the UK should apply it, like other states'.

He added: 'The European Commission has already decided to refer UK to EU Court. We will look at the latest measures and act again if necessary.'

Mr Andor also warned ministers against undermining the EU by raising concerns about immigration, saying: 'Responsible politicians should avoid legitimising xenophobic reactions that indeed weaken the European spirit.'
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How foreign students are fleecing Britain: Taxpayers are owed £46 billion in outstanding student loans. So why are foreigners being allowed to vanish with no intention of paying their debts?
Steve Bird
Daily Mail, 14 December 2013

For Mustafa Ali, stealing a large sum of money from the British taxpayer was remarkably easy. With a fellow fraudster, he fleeced the Student Loans Company out of £370,000 after submitting scores of bogus applications for student credit.

The pair supplied fake A-level exam certificates for people who didn't have the qualifications they needed to get into university.

When the tuition fees arrived in the bank accounts of their 'clients' – who were from both the UK and abroad – Ali and his accomplice would take a cut of the money.

In many cases, the applicants would then withdraw from their courses – and then apply to other universities to claim yet another loan.

The conmen were eventually caught and jailed, but the case highlights the shocking scandal surrounding the Student Loan Company and how vulnerable it is to widespread abuse.

The result is a staggering amount owed to the Government – £46 billion of outstanding student loans. Worse, it is estimated that this will rise within three decades to £200 billion. ...

Worryingly, it isn't just Ali and Buchanan who have identified the Student Loan Company as a soft target. Thousands of unscrupulous students from across the EU seem to have reached the same conclusion.

They take out low-interest loans to study in this country – both England and Wales are particularly popular with European students – and then, when the repayments are due, they simply vanish.

Many UK students fail to repay their loans as well, but, according to the National Audit Office, it is EU students who are three times more likely to default. ... ...

Official figures show that there are 26,800 EU students who have completed their studies in the UK and who now owe the Student Loan Company a total of £177 million. On average they owe £6,620 each.

Of those 26,800, 7,000 people – around one in four – could be said to have 'stolen' from the British taxpayer by going to ground abroad, failing to tell the Student Loan Company if they have any income or where they live.

These 7,000 people owe a total of nearly £50 million. Under the rules, after 30 years, any uncollected debt will just be written off. ...

This week, the Commons Public Accounts Committee heard that in 2010 it was estimated that 28 per cent of money loaned to students would not be repaid, but by 2013 that had risen to 35 per cent, and that figure could now be as high as 40 per cent. ...

It is anticipated by National Audit Office that the size of the outstanding loans will soar to £200 billion within 30 years – a figure it bases on the numbers of borrowers increasing from 3 million to 6.5 million people.
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Romanians and Bulgarians taught how to claim UK benefits in return for joining union
Jason Groves
Daily Mail, 14 December 2013

The Unite union is offering to teach unemployed Romanians and Bulgarians how to claim benefits in Britain.

The organisation, Labour's biggest donor, is courting foreigners from the two countries as part of a membership drive.

It offers the advice as a reward for signing up to the union.

It has even issued membership forms in Romanian and Bulgarian, despite the Government – and Labour – saying immigrants should learn English.

The unemployed are offered the chance to join the union for just 50p a week. In return, Unite says it will offer new arrivals with advice on how to maximise benefit claims. ...

In recent years Unite, led by Len McCluskey, has directly targeted immigrant workers in a bid to swell its membership – and coffers.

In 2011 its political officer Clare Moody met with Alexandru Petrescu and Ciprian Bolos, the UK representatives of Romania's Social Democratic Party, in a bid to urge migrant workers to join the British union.

The union now issues its membership forms in a range of foreign languages, including those of countries whose workers do not have an automatic right to work in this country, such as Ukraine, Turkey and China.

The forms include details of its controversial 'community' branch, which is aimed at the unemployed.
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UN panel: Brazil racism still 'institutionalized'
The New Zealand Herald / AP, 14 December 2013

Institutionalized racism persists in Brazil despite government efforts to tackle the issue, members of a United Nations panel examining conditions among black Brazilians said Friday.

Two members of the U.N.'s working group on Afro-descendants said their 10-day fact-finding mission to five Brazilian cities underscored that the government has finally acknowledged the problem and has "shown its willingness to combat racism."

But the panel said Brazilian blacks "still suffer from structural, institutional and interpersonal racism."

"Historical injustices continue profoundly affecting the lives of millions of Afro-Brazilians and are present throughout all levels of Brazilian society," panel member Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France told journalists at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro.
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Message sent abroad by toxic debate on immigration could have a devastating effect on our economy
Sir David Warren
The Independent, 14 December 2013

It's crucial to state clearly that the benefits of legal migration outweigh the costs, and that those benefits support the Government's strategy to get growth back into the economy ...

So it's doubly important that we don't send mixed messages about just how open for business Britain is. An increasingly toxic political debate on immigration, encouraging politicians to outdo each other to reflect public concerns, plays immediately into doubts abroad about what the British really think on this issue.

This is partly about ensuring that border control policies and procedures don't conflict with the messages of welcome being sent by other parts of Government. But it's also about understanding the importance of legal migration as part of the Government's economic growth strategy – and not being frightened off making that case by anti-immigration rabble-rousers.

All the evidence is that migrants put more into the economy than they take out. Only a tiny minority – around 6 per cent – claim benefits. ...

We also need them to tackle our burden of public debt. The anti-immigration lobby argues that the population of Britain is out of control and that the barriers need to be drawn up. But the fact is that holding down the population below some arbitrary level risks our national well-being. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that ending net migration would mean that by the middle of the 21st century, our national debt will soar to levels higher than Greece's today. This would mean higher taxes, deeper cuts and zero growth. The idea that we can detach our economic growth strategy from the continued need for legal migration is a fantasy.

Foreign governments and foreign companies watch these political discussions in Britain with close interest and increasing concern. Some British politicians and commentators seem to think that for a foreigner to express views – about visa regulations or about Britain's EU policy, for example – is a bit of an impertinence. But these countries have increasingly important economic stakes in Britain. Japan, for example, has 1300 companies here employing 130,000 directly and many more hundreds of thousands in the supply chain. Foreign firms are creating jobs and prosperity here. They have the right, indeed, the responsibility, to involve themselves in the public debate.
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Migrants from poorer countries could be banned from Britain to curb benefits tourism
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 13 December 2013

Workers from poor parts of Europe should be banned from moving to Britain until their home country's economy has improved, David Cameron suggested today.

The Prime Minister said tougher restrictions will be needed in future to stop an influx of migrants flocking to the UK in search of work and higher earnings.

The radical idea emerged as Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan defied the EU to declare that benefit tourism 'will not be allowed on my watch'.

The government has vowed to tackle the 'pull factors' including access to benefits which it claims attract migrants to Britain. ...

'It's only when you have a real imbalance when you have a poor country and a much wealthier country that you get these vast movements.

'Perhaps saying until your economy, until your wealth is similar to our wealth you can't have unrestricted movement.'
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Migrants quizzed on English skills before benefits
BBC, 13 December 2013

Immigrants to the UK are being tested on their English skills before being able to claim income-related benefits under a new scheme.

People are being asked what efforts they have made to find work before coming to Britain.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said people should not be able to "take advantage" of British benefits.

Labour supports English tests but says ministers are ignoring the exploitation of low-skilled migrant workers.

UKIP spokesman dismissed the move as "gesture politics" and said "a far more effective filter, if we had control of our borders, would be to have migrants learn English before they come to the UK," something, he added, that would be illegal under EU law.

Job centres in England, Scotland and Wales began using the "more robust" language tests on Monday and they are being rolled out to all centres.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the test would ensure "only migrants who have a legal right to be in Britain and plan to contribute to this country can make a claim for benefits".

"For the first time, migrants will be quizzed about what efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and whether their English language skills will be a barrier to them finding employment," the DWP said in a statement.

DWP sources said the tests apply to everyone whether they are a migrant or not.

The language element, in the context of migrants, "will be taken along with all the applicant's other answers and evidence to assess their links to the country and their chances of getting a job," the source added. ...

Labour's shadow welfare minister Chris Bryant said: "For generations, people have come to this country and worked hard to contribute to Britain, but the principle of contribution is an important one, and the controls on immigration must be fair to those who live here.

"That is why Labour called for stronger restrictions on benefits for new arrivals from the EU, including proposals eight months ago to strengthen the habitual residence test to make it clear that people should not be able to claim benefits when they first arrive."

He accused ministers of "still doing nothing to tackle the serious problem of low-skilled migrant workers being exploited, undercutting local workers and responsible businesses too".
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Roma migrants: Could UK do more to integrate them?
Andrew Fletcher
BBC, 13 December 2013

Last month, David Blunkett aired the grievances of some of his Sheffield constituents unhappy at the behaviour of their Roma neighbours.

But with recent research estimating the number of Britain's Roma now at 200,000 people, what is being done to smooth over the tensions between the Roma and their more established neighbours?

Other communities are also struggling to cope with an influx of east European migrant Roma, many living in poverty in overcrowded houses.

The government doesn't assess the size of the Roma population, and leaves it to local communities to help them integrate, but says it has a strategy that addresses the "pull" factors that bring people here and supports English language training for those already here.

For David Blunkett, that's not enough.

"We're on the edge of an explosion of feeling," he told BBC Radio 4's The Report. "We can actually make this work, but we can't if people are fearful that nobody's listening to them and nobody's responding."
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How does immigration affect crime?
The Economist, 13 December 2013

Researchers at the London School of Economics and University College London have studied the effect on crime of two large migration flows to Britain. One was the arrival of large numbers of economic migrants from eastern European after the enlargement of the EU in 2004. Rates of violent crime in the parts of England and Wales where they settled remained stable and property crime fell. Franco Fasani, one of the researchers, argues that such immigrants are eager to work, have social networks of some kind and might well have studied English. Economic migrants are likely to arrange jobs before they arrive. Few are unemployed. Studies in America have shown similar trends: the crime rate among first-generation immigrants is lower than the overall crime rate, even for those in their teens and early 20s, the most common age for criminal activity.

The second group were asylum seekers who fled to Britain in large numbers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Again, their presence had no impact on the prevalence of violent crime. Property crime did, however, rise slightly. Part of the reason behind this is the contrasting circumstances of asylum seekers, says Mr Fasani. Few planned to leave their homelands. They were forced to flee conflict or persecution. The government decided where they would live; many were sent to deprived areas where crime was already high. While waiting for a decision on their asylum claim, they were not allowed to work and had limited resources, leading some of them to turn to certain types of crime.

Among the children of immigrants, however, the situation changes. Bianca Bersani, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, has studied crime among the children of immigrants in America. In contrast to their parents, the crime rate among this group is almost the same as that among any one else born in America. Second-generation immigrants, argues Ms Bersani, become as susceptible to temptation and harmful influences as other Americans. The mixed blessings of integration.
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School population to grow by one million to 40-year high
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2013

The number of pupils in state schools is set to grow by a million over the next decade to reach its highest level in more than 40 years, according to official estimates.

By 2022, the pupil population in England will exceed 8m for the first time since the early 80s.

State-funded primary schools will see their numbers soar to almost 5m while just over 3m pupils will be in secondary education.

The hike is being fuelled by an increasing birth rate across England combined with an influx of migrants in some areas. ...

Earlier this year, the National Audit Office warned that 240,000 more primary school places would be needed within just 12 months to cope with the surge.

But the Coalition insisted it was easing the crisis, with £5bn being invested on school places by 2015. ...

According to figures, just over 7m children are currently in state schools and this will grow to 8,021,000 by 2022.

In nursery schools alone, numbers are expected to peak in four years time before levelling out.

The combined nursery and primary school population will increase from 4.2m to 4.8m by 2022 before beginning to plateau. ...

Secondary school pupils' numbers have been in decline, the figures show, but are estimated to begin rising again from 2016 onwards. By 2022, numbers will have reached 3,090,000, up from 2.8m this year.

The number of pupils in special schools will also grow.
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Ed Miliband interview: We put your questions to the Labour leader
The Independent, 13 December 2013

People are worried about immigration and that is why the next Labour government would offer a different approach, maximising transitional controls on EU accession countries, as well as driving out exploitation and driving up skills to reduce demand for low-wage workers from abroad.

Earlier this year Labour proposed clarifying and strengthening rules around access to benefits, including a three-month presence test. ... ...

Our diversity makes Britain stronger. Britain has benefited over many centuries from immigration and this will continue to be the case in an ever-more global economy.

I'm the son of immigrants myself and hugely proud of my heritage. But we must also address people's legitimate concerns. Those concerns aren't based on bigotry. They are real anxieties about the way our country works for working people.

We need to ensure the prosperity that immigration can help build is fairly shared. We need to drive out exploitation and drive up skills. But we must also do more to strengthen the ties which bind us together. We should ensure that people coming here from abroad learn our language so they can succeed and that people in public-facing public sector jobs have good standards of English.
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Romanians arrested at seven times rate of Britons: 800 held in London last month
Chris Greenwood
Daily Mail, 13 December 2013

Romanians are being arrested in London at seven times the rate of Britons, it was revealed yesterday.

Around 800 people from the Eastern European state were arrested in the capital last month, according to official figures.

Many of them are linked to a wave of cashpoint fraud which cost an estimated £40 million in the first six months of this year alone.

Police say that for every 1,000 Romanians in London, 183 are arrested. This compares to 26 Britons per 1,000.

Police chiefs have been told to investigate the reasons behind the hugely disproportionate figures. ...

The Government is preparing for a 'comprehensive' review of how foreign national offenders are treated in the criminal justice system.

There are concerns that gaps in cross-border intelligence checks are allowing prolific and dangerous offenders to slip through the net.

The latest figures emerged at a summit about the threat posed by foreign criminals held at City Hall, in Central London.

Stephen Greenhalgh, the capital's deputy mayor for policing, was told the Met has undertaken an in-depth study of overseas offenders.

It found that Romanians account for more than 11% of all foreign national offenders, despite making up just a tiny proportion of residents.

This placed the Eastern European nation at the top of a 'league table' of foreign suspects, followed by people from Poland, Lithuania, India and Nigeria.

The other five countries in the top 10 were Ireland, Portugal, Pakistan, Jamaica and Somalia.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, of the Met, admitted there is a 'capability gap' when it comes to tackling overseas offenders.

He said that 'historically' there has not been a 'strong enough' relationship between police and Home Office border staff.

There now needs to be a 'concerted effort' by both agencies, he added, to identify and kick out the most dangerous criminals operating on British soil.

Mr Rowley said: 'By definition, much of the information that would help us deal with these people more effectively is held in their home country.

'It is only if people are here a long time and develop a criminal history that this gap is equalised. There is a capability issue that needs to be closed.'

A Met study discovered that foreign national offenders are more likely to be cautioned and less likely to be prosecuted.

They are also arrested more often for low level offences such as ticket touting, begging and prostitution. ...

Around 70,000 foreign nationals are arrested in London every year, about 28% of all criminal suspects taken into custody.

Intelligence analysts also estimate that a quarter of the most dangerous criminals are from overseas.
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France mulls overhaul of 'assimilation' policy towards immigrants
Rory Mulholland
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2013

A French government report has proposed a radical overhaul of the "assimilation" model which requires immigrants to abandon their culture for that of France, including ending the ban on Muslim headscarves in schools and naming streets and squares after notables of foreign origin.

In response to fears over growing racism and ethnic divisions in the country, it recommends emphasising the "Arab-Oriental" dimension of French identity, barring the media from mentioning a person's ethnicity and promoting the teaching of Arabic and African languages in schools.

The report on how to better integrate France's millions of citizens and residents of foreign origin was commissioned by Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who plans to overhaul policy next year.

But it has drawn a furious reaction from the country's conservative opposition, which said it amounted to an abandonment of French culture and secular values. "It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others," Jean-François Copé, leader of the UMP main opposition party, said.

The proposals include holding philosophical debates in primary schools to examine questions such as ethnicity, gender and religion and having less focus in school history books on "white, male, heterosexual" figures.

The text by a team of specially-appointed experts also suggests that school children should learn more about slavery and colonisation and that a Museum of Colonisation be created.

Mr Copé called for the government to reject what Le Figaro newspaper dubbed a "shock report", and accused Mr Ayrault of using it to "wave a red rag" at the French in order to boost the anti-immigrant National Front and weaken the UMP.

The opposition leader, who was a minister in ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's government, said the report was calling for a "total break with our vision of republican assimilation", the model that requires immigrants to adopt French culture and leave their origins behind. ...

The prime minister shot back that Mr Copé was "irresponsible and a liar" and said he "obviously" did not plan to overturn the headscarf ban.

"Just because I receive reports does not necessarily mean that they are the position of the government," said Mr Ayrault. But he insisted the government needed to look at ways to fight discrimination and inequality to "get the republican model of integration working again because it has broken down".

The report has been posted on his official website and is due to form the basis of debates on integration he will begin in January.

Marine Le Pen, the Front National leader, said implementing its recommendations would be a "declaration of war on the French who are calling for an end to the policy of mass immigration and the reaffirmation of our republican laws and values".

There was dissent within government ranks too, with Thierry Mandon, spokesman for the Socialist parliamentary group, saying some of the proposals were "hazardous".
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No clear date to deport nearly half of foreign prisoners, says official inquiry
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2013

The Home Office has failed to set a clear timetable for deporting almost half of foreign criminals in jail, the government's spending watchdog has found.

An inquiry by the National Audit Office (NAO) said that removing more foreign nationals would help reduce prison numbers and save millions of pounds of taxpayer's money.

But out of 4,900 foreign offenders rated by officials in the bid to deport them, more than 1,880 - or 39 per cent - have been categorised as "difficult to remove" or "no clear date for removal".

Just 93 offenders were rated "removable within three months".

The NAO said fewer foreign nationals were being removed from prisons now than four years ago.

It found that although the Home Office deports more than 1,000 foreign prisoners every quarter, the number has dropped by 14 per cent from 5,528 in the final quarter of 2009 to 4,730 at the end of the second quarter of this year.

The report said the Home Office should prioritise cases that were more likely to succeed rather than wasting time and money pursuing those that would fail.

Some delays were beyond the Home Office's control, including people hiding their true identities and complex human rights issues, the report said.

But others were down to avoidable blunders including poor records and cases left for months. ...

There are about 11,000 foreign national prisoners in England and Wales, making up 13 per cent of the prison population.
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Why does Britain detain so many asylum-seekers?
Daniel Trilling
New Statesman, 12 December 2013

"Fast-track" detention, which is distinct from the practice of keeping failed asylum-seekers and foreign offenders locked up immediately before they are deported, is Britain's standard method for processing "straightforward" asylum claims.

Although most claimants live in the community while their applications are considered, asylum-seekers whose claims are deemed quick to decide – 2,118 people out of a total of 19,865 claimants in 2011 – are held at a detention centre during the process. It is one of the reasons why Britain holds more people in immigration detention – roughly 4,000 a year – than any other country except Australia. Yet a legal challenge that will be heard at the high court later this month could undermine this system.

Launched by the Blair government in 2000 and greatly expanded in 2003, fast-track detention exists largely for what is known euphemistically as "administrative convenience". After they arrive in the UK, claimants are locked up in a high-security detention centre; they are interviewed, their case is heard, and they are supposed to get an initial decision within three days. Difficult cases – survivors of torture, families, pregnant women, people with physical or mental conditions, potential victims of trafficking – aren't supposed to be processed in this way: the fast track was designed for single people, largely those coming from "white-list" countries (asylum claims originating from such countries are more likely to be false). The system's 99 per cent "refusal rate" on decisions before appeal would suggest that it is operating to plan – quick and efficient.

And yet for Omar, as for many others, it hasn't worked like that. First of all, he had to wait weeks for his hearing. He was introduced to his lawyer 15 minutes before the hearing began. The judge asked where the supporting evidence for his asylum claim was. It had been confiscated on arrival, he replied. Omar's claim was rejected "for lack of supporting evidence". He was given the right to appeal, which would allow him to stay in detention for weeks, if not months, longer.

As Jerome Phelps, the director of the charity Detention Action, explained to me, such delays – as well as a sense that the system is stacked against claimants – are typical. The purpose of fast-track detention, he says, has shifted away from processing people efficiently to being "a system to remove people quickly".

Since 2005, the scheme has ceased to be reserved for asylum-seekers from "whitelist" countries. It is now used for anybody whose case is seen as "quick to determine".

This approach was criticised by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in 2008, on the grounds that it did not identify complex cases or protect vulnerable people effectively. Survivors of torture, for instance, are expected to arrive in the UK with "independent evidence" of their abuse in order to avoid fast-track detention – an impossible task for many.

Detention Action has brought the legal challenge to the detention scheme at the high court, arguing that it does not protect vulnerable people and that the widespread delays in processing claims breach the right to liberty protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.
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On immigration and MPs' pay, the problem is political will
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2013
[Jacob Rees-Mogg is the Conservative MP for North East Somerset]

The words "cannot" and "will not" convey different concepts which seem to baffle politicians. In two distinct policy areas – immigration and MPs' pay – there are cries of discontent which the political nation, while noting the pain, says it cannot do anything about. In fact it is a matter of political will, not an impossibility.

The more important and pressing issue is immigration. The borders open to Bulgaria and Romania in January and previous experience shows that the United Kingdom is an attractive destination for Eastern Europeans. This is a problem for both sides. For the UK there is the strain on public services, housing and the uncertainty created in the communities directly affected. Equally the countries of origin risk losing some of their best and brightest who leave skilled jobs to carry out menial ones in Britain which are better paid than those in their home nations. Future generations of Romanians and Bulgarians may well curse the EU for impoverishing it and then compensating with a few solidarity checks.

Unfortunately, the current hand-wringing will satisfy neither the UK nor help Eastern Europe. It is dependent upon a view that taking unilateral action would be illegal but this depends upon a misunderstanding of what law in Britain means. As recently as 2011 the EU Referendum Act confirmed that European Law only has effect in this country because of the 1972 European Communities Act.

In other words, there is no validity in European Law other than from an active decision taken by Parliament 41 years ago to give it effect. It is a central tenet of the constitution that a Parliament cannot bind its successors, so the 1972 act is both repeal-able and amendable in the same way as any other law. The willingness to abide by EU law is a matter of diplomacy but not of any more than that. It does not even have the status of natural law which could be said to apply to some aspects of international law which have a universal force, such as those against genocide or torture.

This means that the law can be changed to stop immigration from the EU and that it would be entirely legal, proper and honourable to do so. It could lead to fines from the European Union but those would have the status of a fine from a golf club for not replacing divots, a matter not of justice but of convenience. Fortunately Nigel Mills, the Conservative MP for Amber Valley, has put down an amendment to the Government's own immigration bill to extend the transition period for five years. This can be done and is purely a matter of political will. ...

Trust in politicians is never as high as it seems retrospectively. Doctor Johnson, who counted Edmund Burke among his friends, lamented the feebleness of the politicians of his own day against those of King Charles I's time. However, by saying solutions cannot be adopted when political will is the problem lacks both frankness and backbone.
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The immigration merry-go-round is turning again
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 12 December 2013

Throughout the northern French port of Calais there are makeshift camps, tarpaulin shelters and filthy squats, all filled with African and Asian migrants desperate to reach Britain.

... But now, exasperated by the chaos, French politicians have taken an even more drastic step: they have decided to open a reception centre at a cost of £100,000 that will house up to 120 "refugees" a night.

Socialist mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart has described this move as "a humanitarian gesture". Yet this new base is all too depressingly reminiscent of the notorious Sangatte centre on the out skirts of Calais, which was opened in 1999 but had to be closed in 2002 because it had become a magnet for hordes of foreigners bound for Britain.

The French seem to have learnt little from that experience. As Sangatte graphically demonstrated the provision of free accommodation and food only succeeded in turning the flow of migrants into a flood.

It is estimated that in three years more than 50,000 so called "asylum seekers" passed through the Sangatte centre before settling in Britain. ...

Yet, though the approach of the Calais authorities might be misguided, the real blame lies with our own spineless Government. It is the British state's open door, soft touch outlook that makes all these migrants so determined to come here. ...

... When Labour home secretary David Blunkett announced the closure of the Red Cross San gatte centre in December 2002 he proclaimed "a breakthrough of tremendous proportions". That was empty bombast. The closure was not accompanied by any wider crackdown on immigration by Labour.

In fact Tony Blair's government moved in precisely the opposite direction, dramatically cranking up the number of immigrants to more than 500,000 arrivals a year by dishing out work permits, student visas and passports like confetti, preventing deportations through the new human rights regime, vastly expanding the welfare state and trumpeting its aggressive commitment to the dogma of multiculturalism.

This free for all subsidised by our taxes was perfectly illustrated by the aftermath of Sangatte. As part of the deal with the French over the centre Britain would immediately take in 1,000 "asylum seekers" based in Calais, all of them either from Iraq or Afghanistan. With a flourish the Home Office promised they would all be found employment and would "not be subject to continuing support from the taxpayer". More hot air. Four years later 60 per cent of them were still jobless. ...

... As the earlier Sangatte saga showed most of these Channel hoppers are economic migrants seeking to exploit our generosity. If they were really seeking sanctuary from persecution they would settle in the first safe country they reached instead of journeying across Europe. ...

Contrary to official propaganda about the economic gains of immigration there are 370,000 foreigners living here on out of work benefits, the majority from Asia and Africa.

No wonder the Calais free loaders are keen to join in this bonanza. Tragically there is no political will in Britain to stop them.
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Danish rap poet Yahya Hassan faces racism charge for knocking Muslims
Liz Bury
The Guardian, 12 December 2013

A young Danish Palestinian rapper and poet, whose debut collection criticising the Danish Muslim immigrant community provoked death threats and a physical assault, appeared in court this week to see his attacker sentenced to five months in prison.

But 18-year-old Yahya Hassan still faces a charge of racism in a second case brought in the same week by a local politician, who claimed that non-Muslims who spoke and wrote as he did would be open to prosecution. ...

His collection, titled Yahya Hassan, has sold 80,000 copies since October and is expected to have topped 100,000 by Christmas, according to publisher Gyldendal. He has won fans among the Danish middle-class for his work, which slams what he sees as hypocrisy among the immigrant Muslim community in Denmark, and accuses them of a raft of negative behaviours, including bad parenting and social security fraud. ...

The racism charge was brought this week by local politician Mohamed Suleban, who told Politiken newspaper: "He says that everybody in the ghettos like Vollsmose and Gellerup steal, don't pay taxes and cheat themselves to pensions. Those are highly generalising statements and they offend me and many other people."

Novelist Liz Jensen, who lives in Denmark, said: "Denmark is obsessed with him. He's a bright, angry young man, talented and very charismatic. He deserves attention because his poetry, born of rap, is raw and urgent and has huge flair. Its observational qualities, along with its mix of Danish street-slang and sophisticated word-play has real literary merit. But would he get so much coverage if he weren't criticizing the Muslim ghetto community he comes from? I suspect not."

She added: "Most of the people who come to his readings aren't his target audience. They are white middle-aged Danes. He's providing music for their ears. And many of those who laud him in the media aren't typical poetry-lovers: they're right-wing populists and those he calls "freedom-of-expression junkies". He is providing music for their ears, too. In the midst of all these he has really kept his integrity. He's the kid from the ghetto, giving the world the finger."
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France calls on Britain to 'share' Calais immigrant 'burden'
John Lichfield
The Independent, 12 December 2013

France has called on Britain to "share" more of the policing and financial "burden" caused by the pile-up of illegal immigrants in Calais.

The French interior minister, Manuel Valls, said that he had invited the Home Secretary Theresa May to meet him in Calais in the New Year to discuss a "renegotiation" of the Anglo-French agreement which led to the closure of the Sangatte refugee camp in December 2002.

Speaking at a press conference in Calais, Mr Valls said the agreement had succeeded in reducing the flow of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Britain through the French port. But he said that the current situation - with between 300 and 500 migrants living rough in the Calais area - was an "impasse".

"Our British friends must take more account of the burden, the weight placed on France by the Calais migrant problem", he said.

The French interior minister rejected suggestions in the British media that he was planning to open "another Sangatte" - the Red Cross refugee camp near the Channel Tunnel entrance which was accused of attracting migrants before its closure. He did confirm, however, that France planned to create a "migrant house" which would provide medical help - but not shelter - to foreigners living rough in the Calais area.

The vast majority of the migrants reaching Calais - including many Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Somalis - refuse to apply for asylum in France. Once they do so, they will lose their right to seek asylum in the UK.

Under the present "Sangatte accords" Britain pays a contribution towards the policing of the migrant problem in Calais. British police and border officials also operate on the French side of the Channel.

Mr Valls' call for Britain to share more of the "burden" is believed to refer to these elements of the accord. France is not suggesting that the Government should allow more immigrants to cross to Kent.

Mr Valls did say, however, that Britain had promised in 2002 to "review" policies which, according to France, make the UK a magnet for migrants.

"We have to review these accords. We have to admit that we are at an impasse (here in Calais)," he said.

Local politicians have criticised Mr Valls for failing to declare the port a "priority security area", which would boost police numbers. Mr Valls announced that a mobile unit of 60 riot police, intermittently based in Calais, would now be placed permanently in the town.
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UK population could hit 132 million, warn official figures
John Bingham and David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2013

The population of Britain could more than double in the next century unless immigration is tightly controlled, according to official estimates showing it could grow 40 per cent faster than previously thought.

Only weeks after the Office for National Statistics predicted that the UK will have 10 million more people within the next 25 years, it published new estimates showing that the true figure could be four million higher.

The dramatic upward revision suggests the population of Britain could rise from its current record level of 63.7 million to just under 78 million by 2037.

On the same projection it could reach and as much as 132 million by this time next century.

That would mean that the UK would pass the milestone of 70 million people – a figure once considered controversial and which some politicians have suggested might never be passed, by around 2024 – at least four years earlier than previously predicted.

Frank Field, the former Labour Cabinet minister, claimed the higher estimate could be just the start of the revisions as statistics become more accurate.

He said it showed that fears among voters about immigration which he said had long been played down by politicians were now being borne out by figures.

Mr Field warned that the result could wreak havoc with the NHS, schools and the housing crisis.

He said: "At a time when political parties are being committed to longer term controls on public expenditure where would the money come from for hospitals, for housing, for schools?

"We have already got a growing crisis in maternity services."

The upward revision is contained in a report by the ONS setting out "variant" population projections.

Britain already has the fastest growing population in Europe, fuelled by mass immigration during the last decade and a baby boom, itself linked to the fact that working migrants tend to be the age at which to start a family.

The ONS's main prediction is still that Britain is on course to reach 73.3 million by 2037 – a rate which would take the population to 93.3 million by 2112.

But statisticians have produced a series of alternative scenarios based on different assumptions about the levels of immigration, life expectancy and the birth rate.

They suggest that the population will be between 71.4 million and 77.7 million by 2037.

If higher levels of migration, life expectancy and birth rate are all factored in the, UK population would then soar to 77.7 million within 25 years and 93 million within 50 years. It would then reach 110.9 million by 2087 before hitting 131.9 million in 2112. ...

Mr Field said the figures suggested politicians had been burying their heads in the sand about the impact of immigration.
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Immigration minister: pay higher wages to recruit British and EU workers
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 11 December 2013

The immigration minister, Mark Harper, has hit back at employers who say they have to recruit foreign workers from outside Europe to fill low-paid jobs by telling them they should offer better wages.

Harper said that Lance Batchelor, the chief executive of Domino's Pizza, should reflect on the salaries he was offering if he could not fill 1,000 vacancies without recruiting unskilled staff from outside Europe.

The immigration minister told the Commons home affairs select committee: "He should probably pay his staff a little more and he might find them easier to recruit. It's a market."

Harper said that the government would not change the law to make it easier to recruit unskilled labour from outside Europe "just so he can keep his wages low".

Batchelor complained earlier this week that his pizza takeaway and delivery chain was struggling to get enough employees, especially in London and the south-east. ...

Harper said Romanians and Bulgarians had been able to live in Britain since 2007: "All we are talking about is that they no longer need to seek the permission of the Home Office before they come here to work." ...

The Conservative immigration minister firmly slapped down the demand by more than 60 Tory backbenchers to extend the current restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians beyond their 1 January expiry date. ...

Harper said an attempt to extend the seven-year transitional controls beyond their expiry date would be legally ineffective. It would require either an amendment to the European Union Act or changes to the Romanian and Bulgarian accession treaties, which would need the unanimous backing of all EU states, including Romania and Bulgaria.

The minister claimed, however, that there was growing support for Britain's campaign to limit the abuse of the principle of free movement of labour within the EU, with 11 countries now backing Britain on the issue. The home secretary, Theresa May, has been pressing EU justice and home affairs ministers for the power to prevent benefit fraudsters and others who abuse freedom of movement returning to Britain once they have been excluded from the UK. ...

The minister refused to comment on reports that Malta was now prepared to sell its passports, which give access to all EU countries to live and work, to any non-EU citizen willing to pay 650,000 euros (£540,000). He said that it was not for other EU member states or the European commission to interfere with national decisions on citizenship.
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Malta passport sale puts UK under pressure
Helen Warrell and James Fontanella-Khan
Financial Times, 10 December 2013

UK ministers are under growing pressure to intervene against plans by the island of Malta to sell EU passports for €650,000, allowing buyers immediate rights of residency in all member states.

Several EU states already give wealthy foreigners a fast-track to citizenship on the back of a government bond or property investment. But the new scheme – due to be formally opened by the Maltese government later this month – is unique in offering an instant passport to approved applicants with no requirement to be resident in the country beforehand. ...

David Hanson, shadow immigration minister, said he had "serious concerns" about the Maltese proposal and had tabled parliamentary questions to find out what steps the Home Office had taken to oppose it. "This risks being a backdoor route to reside anywhere in the EU which is not a tight or appropriate immigration policy", he told the Financial Times. ...

For Kamal Rahman, head of immigration at Mishcon de Reya, the Maltese passport represents the "single biggest rival" to the UK investor programme on the basis that €650,000 is a "small price for a highly reputable passport".

"It addresses all the critical concerns relevant to the global high net worth community," Ms Rahman said. "We have a large number of clients urgently awaiting the launch of the programme and are instructed to submit applications at the earliest opportunity."

The UK's own investor programme invites foreigners to make investments of £1m, £5m or £10m in gilts or British companies in return for permission to apply for permanent residence in five, three or two years, respectively. However, in order to qualify for this, applicants must not spend more than 180 days outside the UK each year. ...

The European Commission has no formal right to intervene in an EU member's sovereignty laws, but EU officials privately recognise that the Maltese government's move poses serious concerns to other member states' security.
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How crime lords slip into Britain: MPs warned gangsters are flying in and out with impunity because border guards are failing to check private planes
Daily Mail, 10 December 2013

The lack of border checks on private planes landing in Britain may be allowing organised crime bosses to fly in and out of Britain with impunity, MPs warned last night.

The chairman of an influential committee in Parliament warned that the failure of border officials to conduct passport and other checks on small aircraft could be 'letting billionaire gangsters off the hook'.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge made her warning in a damning report about failures at the Border Force - a Home Office agency tasked with protecting Britain's borders.

The Public Accounts Committee's report into Border Force found staff shortages meant freight coming in to the country's sea and air ports went unchecked - potentially allowing in illicit goods and illegal immigrants.

It also warned: ...

:: A major IT system, the Warnings Index, used to stop terrorists and criminals from getting in to Britain is 'at risk of collapse'.

:: Staff had been fired, paid off lump sums in redundancy and then re-hired when crisis hit.

:: Nearly forty per cent of passengers are not screened in advance of landing

Mrs Hodge said Border Force was unable to meet and check up to 90,000 private planes and private boats arriving in the UK each year - leaving the UK border 'vulnerable'. ...

The report found huge gaps in the data the agency receives on people landing private planes or boats in Britain.
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Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
Kunal Dutta
The Independent, 10 December 2013

A review into the impact of EU migration on Britain has been delayed because the Government feared it was too positive.

The latest part of Whitehall's Balance of Competences study, which looked specifically at freedom of movement, had been due to be released yesterday. But, according to reports, it has now been shelved until next year because Theresa May, the Home Secretary, takes issues with its findings.

Amid concerns that much of the evidence submitted was broadly positive about current rules for freedom of movement, The Times suggests Ms May believes the study underestimates the problem of people coming to Britain to take advantage of the welfare state, which is central to the Government's rhetoric about cracking down on migrants. Mrs May believes that the EU free movement rules make it too easy for European migrants to come to Britain to establish residence and benefits entitlements.
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Asian communities 'in denial' about grooming, says Rochdale MP
Rosa Silverman
Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2013

Some Asian communities are still "in denial" about ethnicity being a factor in child sexual exploitation cases, the Labour MP for Rochdale has claimed.

Simon Danczuk made the comments as Greater Manchester's Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd, announced an inquiry in the wake of the grooming case in the Lancashire town.

Mr Danczuk criticised police for saying the case of nine Asian men convicted for grooming and abusing white girls in his constituency was not a racial issue and said similar abuse was still continuing.

"I think it is still going on, not just in places like Rochdale but right across the country," he told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

There was "no doubt" that ethnicity was a factor in such cases, he argued.
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Bob Jones: Welcome illegal immigrants with open arms
Sir Bob Jones
The New Zealand Herald, 10 December 2013

A contentious issue in the Australian election was illegal migration, the party leaders competing for the harshest tactics to deal with it.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's first foreign trip was to Indonesia, the staging post for most Australia-bound boat people, but far from obtaining co-operation, he virtually apologised to the Indonesian President for bothering him. Meanwhile, the Australian Greens leader, Christine Milne, reinforced her wetness credentials by protesting at the Immigration Minister calling them illegal migrants. "People seeking asylum are not illegal, they are human beings," she said, as if anyone is questioning that.

In fact, they are illegal, most being economic migrants, these normally barred whereas access is accorded political refugees by international convention. ...

But who can blame them for seeking something better? Sri Lankans flowed in here during the civil war, to our benefit. I know many, both Tamil and Sinhalese, all but one (an employee of mine) medical and other professionals. Of our migrants they're among the cream: studious, hard-working and imbued in decency. But with the civil war over, still they come, fleeing the oppressive mismanagement of their homeland.

Afghani and Syrian migrants need no explanation. ... They're now forced further afield, spreading across Europe. Bulgaria has taken the most on a population basis but now intends spending millions it can ill afford on a lengthy fence.

It won't work, just as it doesn't with the Mexican border fence and today America hosts millions of illegal Hispanics, this a contentious issue in last year's presidential race.

It's also huge in Europe, the destination for black and North African jobseekers fleeing their mismanaged nations. ... ...

Everyone or their ancestors were migrants at some stage. But we all claim the right to determine whom we allow into our countries. The problem is what to do when they arrive illegally in large numbers. ... ...

But what of our country? To date, our geographic isolation has provided immunity from the boat people. That won't last, as the world abounds in cheap old ships and inevitably one laden with illegal migrants will turn up here, more so as that same isolation gives us an Elysian Fields imagery in the eyes of people enduring hardship in distant lands. It will be easy to send ashore in simple barges hundreds of migrants along, say, Ninety Mile Beach. By the time they're discovered, the ship will be 500 miles away, off to pick up a fresh load.

As with Australia, the navy will be helpless dealing with this. Hobson's choice will invariably see us accept them, resulting in ever more arriving. There's no answer to this problem other than not viewing it as a problem and, instead, accepting a multi-race future; a miniature melting pot as lies at the heart of America's greatness. The grandchildren of today's 20-year-olds will all be part Asian, Arab and God knows what else, and be better for this infusion.
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Why foreign criminals get softer sentences: Police are 'too busy' to check offenders' convictions overseas, warns former Scotland Yard chief
Mario Ledwith
Daily Mail, 9 December 2013

Foreign criminals are ending up with shorter jail terms than British offenders because police are failing to carry out adequate background checks, a former intelligence chief has warned.

Michael Askew, an ex-superintendent at Scotland Yard's intelligence bureau, claimed simple checks that could flag up an offender's criminal history overseas are being overlooked by police who are too busy.

And he said UK citizens are receiving comparatively longer sentences as a result, because their offending history is always considered in court.

Calling for such checks to be 'routine' for foreign offenders, Mr Askew pointed to a number of failings in the way police forces across the UK handle such cases.

His warning follows a spate of high-profile cases in which violent offenders have travelled freely to the UK to commit brutal crimes despite their past.

The alleged failures of police investigations could also increase concerns ahead of the UK's decision to open its borders to migrants arriving from Romania and Bulgaria in January.

Mr Askew said many forces were also regularly failing to act on European Arrest Warrants, and cited cutbacks as a factor in sub-standard investigations.

He said that one in ten foreign nationals arrested when he worked at Scotland Yard was the subject of such a warrant, but they were not effectively investigated.

He also pointed to legislation that suggests the failure of UK courts to check an alleged offender's criminal history could be illegal.

Speaking at a conference in Romania reported by the Times, he said: 'Every day hundreds of foreign nationals are arrested and the police don't always investigate the criminality of those people back in their own countries.

'Officers are under so much pressure to move on to the next case. We are not fully exploring intelligence opportunities and that can lead to problems.'
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How traffic fumes can be deadly - even at 'safe' levels: Living near a busy road can increase risk of premature death by 7%
Jenny Hope
Daily Mail, 9 December 2013

Living near busy roads could put men at higher risk of premature death – even when air pollution levels are rated as 'safe', claim researchers.

A major study found exposure to traffic pollutants can push up the risk of dying by seven per cent, compared with living in quieter neighbourhoods.

There is mounting evidence of the health dangers of pollution, which is already known to play a part in asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes.

Microscopic particles largely generated by diesel exhausts have been shown to cause lung damage and harmful changes in blood vessels and clotting.

But the latest study adds to research showing problems occur at levels well below those stipulated in current European Union (EU) air-quality directives.

The new research examined two decades of data from 22 studies involving over 367,000 residents of large cities in 13 European countries.

Researchers looked at the impact of prolonged exposure to tiny particles of soot or dust found in traffic fumes and industrial emissions, fine-particle matter known as PM 2.5. ...

The risk of death increased only in men, not in women. ...

Previous research found pregnant women exposed to 'safe' levels of air pollution have a higher risk of giving birth to small babies.
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We can't trust our politicians to act over immigration
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 9 December 2013

Public despair at mass immigration continues to deepen. All around we can see the disastrous consequences of the state's wilful refusal to uphold our borders. Our national identity is disappearing, our civic infrastructure is grossly overstretched and our social cohesion has come under intolerable strain.

Across the land there is rightly a profound sense of injustice at how we have to support a growing army of foreigners who have never contributed a penny to our country.

Politicians are finally waking up to the people's fury. After years of flinging charges of racism against anyone who objected to their colossal experiment in social engineering they now like to indulge in tough rhetoric about immigration.

But this supposed crack down is nothing more than another ridiculous Westminster pantomime. No genuine action is planned to restore our national integrity. The annual rate of foreigners settling here is still running at more than 500,000. Next year the number of arrivals is certain to increase dramatically when 29 million people from Bulgaria and Romania, two of Europe's most impoverished nations, are given full rights to live here under EU rules on freedom of movement.

The truth is that for all their populist rhetoric politicians do not really want to restrict immigration.

They remain too wedded to the dogma of multi cultural diversity, too in thrall to the European Union, too attached to the destructive, misnamed "human rights" culture.

Brimming with self righteous vanity about their supposed tolerance they have turned our country into a soft touch, where free loading, even criminal foreigners are treated by the state with far more respect than decent, hard working Britons. Thanks to ruinous policies our justice system is now used as a battering ram against our civilisation, while our benefits system is a magnet for alien parasites and fraudsters. ...

The entire immigration racket is a savage insult to the British public. Effectively we are paying for the destruction of our own country. And those bills will keep on rising as the Government acts as if we owe the rest of the world a living.

Only last week it emerged that more than 100 "asylum seekers" have been put up for nine weeks in a luxury £125 a night hotel in Sale, Manchester, with the cost to the taxpayer thought to have reached almost £300,000. Since when were disadvantaged Britons ever put up in prestigious accommodation for weeks on end? And more than 90 per cent of so called "asylum seekers" are bogus. They are usually economic migrants rather than people genuinely fleeing persecution.

We are all paying a terrible price for a mix of spinelessness and dogma in the political class. Unless we have a change in approach that leads to a real reduction in immigration our once great nation is doomed.
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Britain's immigration debate is utterly mad
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 9 December 2013

This week's Mail on Sunday carried two stories on the same page about immigration. Perhaps unwittingly the two stories – and one man in particular – demonstrate the craziness of this country's immigration debate.

One story was about a Conservative party candidate at the 2010 election who has defected to UKIP. Her ex-husband has released a video made while she was a Conservative candidate saying stuff about sending illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers back home. The second story is about a Labour party pollster who tweeted sarcastic comments about Labour voters who express concerns about immigration levels.

Perhaps unfortunately for him the Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi (who I once heard speak and had thought quite well of) was asked for comment on both pieces. These – as I say – appeared on the same page.

On the left hand side of the page, referring to the ex-Tory – now UKIP – lady's views Mr Zahawi called for her to:

'Retract her deeply damaging comments', adding: 'Hard-working immigrants contribute significantly to the UK.'

While on the right hand of the page, referring to the views of the Labour pollster we read 'Last night, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi said:

'This shows the contempt Labour and Ed Miliband have for the public. They don't want to hear people's views about immigration. Instead they want to censor and shut down any sensible and rational debate on an extremely important subject. It's the same old Labour. Anyone who doesn't share their world view is mocked and attacked.'

Is it possible these two Nadhim Zahawi MPs are one and the same person?
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French refugee camp for Asian and African migrants bound for Britain is opened up in Calais
Tim Finan
Daily Mail, 9 December 2013

A Sangatte-style refuge camp for Asian and African migrants bound for Britain has been opened up in the French port of Calais.

The town's mayor Natacha Bouchart said the number of people crossing the Channel had become 'untenable' and required radical action.

She had previously called on locals to report squats, parks and campsites being used by illegal immigrants in a bid to shut them down.

Now, she has decided to spend £70,000 on a winter refuge - providing migrants with running water, heating and a sanitary block.

The camp - situated in the centre of Calais - is similar in concept to the infamous Sangatte asylum centre, which attracted thousands of UK-bound migrants before it was closed by the French authorities in 2002.

It opened its doors early last Thursday to a queue of more than 100 Syrians, Eritreans and Afghans.

The migrants had been forced to beg for shelter due to stormy winds which had blown away their makeshift tents pitched within walking distance of the Channel ferry terminal. ...

However, its opening has sparked anger among a group of residents calling itself 'Save Calais'.
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Dutch authorities aim to restrict influx of migrant workers
Eileen Kersey
Digital Journal, 9 December 2013

Immigration is a bone of contention across the EU. Economic migrants fleeing poverty and restrictive regimes in their homelands often travel to EU countries which used to be classed as prosperous. However, the changing economic climate means their destination may not be as affluent, in real terms, as believed. ...

Romania's ambassador to the Netherlands, Ireny Comaroschi, went on TV to reassure the Dutch that few Romanians will want to come to Holland, claiming the few that will are likely to be affluent and highly skilled individuals.

Dutch News reports "A poll earlier this month on behalf of the Socialist Party found 80% of the Dutch think the borders should remain closed.".

For those unsure why the thorny issue of immigration in the EU is increasing tensions and fuelling hate consider a July Dutch News report which began:

"At least 100,000 migrant workers are not paying local and national taxes in the Netherlands because they have not registered with their local council, RTL news reports on Tuesday.

RTL says this is costing national and local government €150m a year. By not registering, migrants don't have to pay water and waste collection charges or health insurance and motoring taxes. In total, this adds up to €1,500 per person a year, the broadcaster said.

In Rotterdam and Amsterdam officials estimate some 30,000 migrant workers have not registered. In The Hague the figure is put at 14,000. By law in the Netherlands, everyone has to register with their local council (GBA) when they move to the area."

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Russia needs just 6 out of 11 mn migrants
New Europe, 9 December 2013

Russia today said that around five million migrants within its borders are unneeded and officials attributed recent attacks against immigrants on the discrepancy between the number of people the country needs and their actual numbers.

According to the Federal Migration Service (FMS) the Russian economy needs no more than six million foreign workers.

"Currently, there are nearly 11 million (foreigners) in Russia. About 60 percent of them came here as labour migrants," Konstantin Romadanovsky, head of the FMS, told a meeting chaired by the presidential human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin.

The FMS said that out of 11 million foreigners currently residing in Russia, some 3.5 million people have been staying in the country illegally while the rest arrived to the country on working, student, visitors' visas.

That imbalance led to the rise of xenophobic sentiment and hatred among the Russian population, Romadanovsky said.

The official also blamed migrants themselves for the tension.

"They behave in Russia like they got accustomed to behave in their home countries. This, obviously, irritates our citizens," he said, adding that this irritation is being used by political extremists for provoking inter-ethnic split.

In 2013, 19 people were killed and 168 injured in ethnic-related attacks in 32 Russian regions, according to human rights workers.
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Migrants cost up to £8k each in NHS care, schools and welfare
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 8 December 2013

Each immigrant costs the taxpayer up to £8,350 a year in healthcare, education and benefits bills, according to official government figures.

Home Office analysis shows that imposing a £200 annual NHS charge on immigrants from outside Europe when they enter the country would deter thousands from travelling to Britain in the first place.

This will result in British residents gaining up to 1,000 jobs a year which would otherwise have been taken by foreign workers, the Home Office said.

The deterrent effect of the health levy is also expected to save the state up to £60 million a year in public services, such as schools, medical care, and welfare spending which would no longer be needed.

The estimates emerged in a report on the government's Immigration Bill, which has been produced in an attempt to stop migrants travelling to Britain to take advantage of free healthcare, education and a generous benefits system. ...

For students the levy will be £150 per year and for other immigrants it will be £200. ...

The health levy is expected to save the state as much as £60 million a year in public services which would no longer be required due to lower levels of immigration. ...

The projected savings are based on a new estimate of the costs of providing public services to migrants.

On average, each migrant consumes between £5,050 and £8,350 per year in state services, including benefits, healthcare, schooling and social services, the Home Office report found.

The government's "central estimate" of the costs, between the highest and lowest figures, is for each migrant to consume £6,700 a year in public services. ...

Frank Field, the Labour MP and a government adviser on poverty, said the public would be "gobsmacked" by the figures.

"Every government estimate on the numbers and costs of immigration have turned out to be gross underestimates. One can only imagine what those figures really are," he said.

"I think people will be gobsmacked. What treatments are people coming over here to have? The results are stunning."
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Ed Miliband accused of contempt for voters after his polling guru said their anti-immigration views made him 'depressed'
Glen Owen
Mail on Sunday, 8 December 2013

Ed Miliband was last night accused of displaying contempt for voters after his polling guru said their anti-immigration views made him 'depressed'.

James Morris made a series of scornful remarks after holding a focus group meeting intended to help the party devise Election-winning policies on the issue.

Mr Morris, a key member of the Labour leader's strategy unit, dismissed the views of those present as 'fill jobs with Brits'.

His outburst reflects tensions among Mr Miliband's team over immigration. The party is haunted by claims that the last Labour Government was responsible for mass immigration from Eastern Europe – and divided over whether Mr Miliband should take a stronger line.

Mr Morris, a former No 10 adviser to Tony Blair at the time of the 'open-door' policy, used the social-networking website Twitter to announce on Monday evening: 'Recipe for a miserable evening: off to do focus groups on immigration.'

And afterwards, he wrote, in a line dripping with sarcasm: 'Tonight's focus groups as progressive as I hoped,' adding: 'Their plan: end migration and fill jobs with Brits who have to take job.'

He declared that it had left him 'depressed, as you might imagine'.

The liberal views on immigration of many of Labour's frontbenchers are not shared by most voters. ...

A spokesman for Ed Miliband declined to comment.
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Immigration and the vilification of UKIP's Victoria Ayling
"Archbishop Cranmer"
Archbishop Cranmer, 8 December 2013

This really is quite astonishing. A former Tory (she only defected in March) and prominent UKIP councillor has been recorded on video in a "rant" against immigrants. According to the spread in the Mail on Sunday 'exclusive', she "just want(s) to send the lot back". ...

Conservative Stephen Phillips MP said he was "disgusted" by the comments, which he says have "no place in front line politics". Fellow Tory Nadhim Zahawi MP called on her to "retract her deeply damaging comments', and Labour's Diane Abbot said she was "shocked".

Except.. except..

Mrs Ayling is plainly referring to illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers. Play the video. ...

The hysteria surrounding Mrs Ayling's comments is precisely that which inhibits any rational discussion of immigration: merely to raise the topic risks allegations of racism or bigotry. ...

All parties are pledged to end mass, uncontrolled immigration; indeed, Jack Straw recently apologised that Labour got it so badly wrong for a decade (though there was no apology to those who dared to voice concerns at the time and were duly demonised by the enlightened ones). It is not UKIP policy to repatriate legal immigrants or genuine asylum seekers, for that would lead to injustice and suffering. But, for God's sake, Mrs Ayling clearly says: "We must basically repatriate those that shouldn't be here."

If we cannot call for the expulsion of illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers without the Mail (the Mail!) stoking the fires of political disinformation and personal demonisation, we have come to a very sorry pass indeed.

And let us not forget that this video was recorded in 2008 – when Mrs Ayling was a fully paid-up member of the Conservative Party; when any talk of 'Britishness' or waving of the Union Flag was made just that little bit harder by their BNP appropriation. Two years later, Gordon Brown would have his little spat with a 'bigoted' pensioner by the name of Gillian Duffy, who simply expressed concern at the scale of immigration and the consequences for her local community.
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Warwick researchers evaluate the 'Go Home' immigration campaign
Junaid O'Balogun
The Boar, 8 December 2013

A University of Warwick based research team is set to extensively research the impact of the Home Office 'Go Home' immigration campaign.

The team, led by Warwick sociologist Dr Hannah Jones, has outlined their plans to go beyond the Home Office's internal evaluation of the 'Go Home' campaign to uncover the comprehensive impacts of the policy on local migrant and non-migrant communities.

The 'Go Home' Campaign which has already come under sustained criticism, seeks to encourage illegal immigrants to return back to their country of origin voluntarily or face arrest.

The research team was awarded a grant by the Economic and Social Research Council for £200,000 over an 18 month period, and the project will be carried out by universities across the UK.

Researchers will collaborate with community groups in the likes of Barking & Dagenham, Bradford, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Warwick professor Dr Hannah Jones said: "In July 2013, the UK Home Office launched a series of high-profile interventions which directed public attention to an increasing 'hard line' from the government on 'illegal immigration."

Dr Jones also commented on the aims of the project: "Using a combination of online, textual and visual analysis, large-scale surveys, interviews and participant observation, this project will study the operation, impacts and implications of these initiatives, and the responses to them.

"The project will engage directly with policy makers, local activists and public debates, including through a series of public events and online dissemination through social media and a project blog."
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If we are serious about freedom of speech, then everyone must have it
Brendan O'Neill
Telegraph blog, 7 December 2013

Why isn't there more alarm about the Government's proposals for clamping down on extremist ideas? Yes, it's a given that you and me and most normal, rational people do not like the finger-wagging Islamists who spout extremist rubbish about evil Britain, or the shaven-headed ignoramuses of far-Right groups who have a soft spot for Hitler, both of whom might find their ability to spread propaganda curtailed in the future. But so long as we are talking about ideas and not actions, about words and not violence, shouldn't these morons be free to say whatever they want to whomever they want? I think they should, because I believe in freedom of speech. The Government thinks they shouldn't, because it doesn't believe in freedom of speech.

In its report published this week, Tackling Extremism in the UK, the Government insists it remains committed to "the fundamental British value [of] freedom of speech". It protests too much, for everything it subsequently proposes suggests it has thoroughly abandoned its commitment to that great democratic ideal. Indeed, its starting point is that it has become "too easy for extremist preachers and groups to spread extremist views", and therefore we need new measures to make such activity harder.


So the report wonders if there is an argument for bringing in "new civil powers", along the lines of anti-social behaviour orders, to "target the behaviours extremists use to radicalise others". This is a terrifyingly woolly and potentially all-encompassing phrase. "Behaviours" that are used to radicalise others could include anything from giving a speech in a town hall to publishing a pamphlet, whether by neo-fascists who want to convince people to oppose all immigration or Islamists who want to drum up hatred for America. Would such "behaviours" – speaking and publishing, expressing ideas – be blocked by a behaviour-control order? If so, that would be a shocking assault on freedom of speech.

The report also says "extremist propaganda is too widely available, particularly online", so the Government should consider "work[ing] with internet companies to restrict access" to such material. In short, the Government should censor web-based "extremist propaganda" – which could potentially cover all sorts of things, from Nazi nonsense to extreme feminist literature produced by the likes of the Society for Cutting Up Men (Scum). The report insists universities must get better at "no platforming" – that is, banning – extremist speakers. It says extremists must be prevented from "spreading their messages" or their "poisonous narratives" on campuses. So it's messages and narratives we're talking about here, not calls to violence. This is an explicit demand for restricting people's ability to communicate or access ideas and theories. It is an alarmingly illiberal meddling in individuals' rights to speak their minds – however rotten those minds might be – and other individuals' rights to hear or read their thoughts and reject or accept them as they see fit.

It is one thing for officialdom to clamp down on groups of people sitting around plotting violent acts; such behaviour is clearly a no-no and not a free-speech issue. But it is another thing entirely for it to propose restricting access to those who simply promote horrible "propaganda", "messages", "narratives", and "views", the things this report focuses on.
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UK welfare system 'courts abuse of EU free movement'
James Fontanella-Khan and Helen Warrell
Financial Times, 6 December 2013

Britain's welfare system is too generous and is to blame for attracting a growing number of migrant workers from poorer EU nations, the EU's justice commissioner said as Brussels pushed back against a UK campaign to restrict the free movement of the bloc's citizens.

Viviane Reding said on Thursday that it was up to the UK to tighten up its own benefits rules, arguing that EU laws granted London ample space to take action to stop welfare fraud committed by foreign nationals.

"It seems that some national systems are too generous," said Ms Reding at a meeting of EU home ministers in Brussels. "Don't blame the [European] Commission or EU rules for national choices and national regulatory systems."
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Rebel MPs press for laws to limit new EU migrants
Alison Little
Daily Express, 6 December 2013

A cross-party group of MPs is to press for a Commons vote before Christmas on restricting Bulgarian and Romanian immigration, it emerged yesterday.

The move came after the Government said that legislation on the issue will not be debated until the New Year – even though restrictions on migrants from the two countries are due to be lifted on January 1 under EU rules.

More than 60 MPs, mostly rebel Conservatives but with a handful of Democratic Unionists, have so far signed an amendment to the Immigration Bill enshrining Government proposals to restrict foreign workers' rights to welfare benefits.

The amendment, tabled by Tory MP Nigel Mills, calls on Britain to keep its limits on Bulgarian and Romanian workers in place for another five years rather than comply with the January 1 deadline.

Commons Leader Andrew Lansley confirmed yesterday that the Immigration Bill's next stage – during which Mr Mills' amendment would be debated – will only take place next year. ...

The rebels, who think the Government is running scared of a potential massive Tory revolt, will meet a parliamentary committee with the power to allot debating time on Tuesday.

The success of the Daily Express crusade on the issue could yet boost the MPs' chances of securing the pre-Christmas session they are seeking.

Our petition urging the Government to keep the restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians in place was signed by more than 150,000 readers – well over the 100,000 threshold for getting a debate in Parliament.
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Immigration: good for whom?
Economic Voice, 6 December 2013

As the UK prepares to lift working restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians, Birmingham City University – in association with BBC Radio 4 – is hosting a public debate to explore wider immigration issues.

From 1 January 2014, migrants from Romania and Bulgaria will be able to work freely across Europe in countries such as the UK, Spain and Germany. Previously restrictions have been in place whereby migrants from these two countries could only work in the UK if they were self-employed or doing seasonal jobs such as fruit picking.

Posing the question "Is there such a thing as too much immigration?" the debate will be held at Birmingham Conservatoire on Tuesday 17 December at 6.30pm. ...

For the high-profile debate, BBC Radio 4's Ritula Shah, will bring together migration experts, academics and members of the public, to explore and discuss whether there is any real benefit for the UK when it comes to immigration

Paul Collier, the distinguished Oxford economist, and David Goodhart, Director of the think tank Demos, have both recently published controversial books challenging the traditional thinking of the liberal left on immigration. The two men will go head to head with Migrant Voice Director Nazek Ramadan and Susie Symes, Chair of the Museum of Immigration and Diversity, in front of a live audience in one of the country's most diverse cities – Birmingham.

... The debate will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 1 January 2014 at 20:00.
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Danish former justice minister calls for grouping of immigrants, 6 December 2013

Whilst Denmark isn't exactly at the top of the list for would-be migrants, it seems to have similar problems about attracting the right type of expat as many other first world countries.

The former Danish justice minister, Brian Mikkelsen, has put forward a suggestion that prospective immigrants should be divided into two groups, the bad and the good. Those meriting the label 'good' should be allowed to enter and stay and the bad should be sent back to their home countries.

Speaking to reporters from the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, he admitted speaking publicly about his views was politically incorrect, but reiterated that some immigrants are good for the county and some are not. He added that now was the time to take off the rose-coloured spectacles and begin a debate about immigration as a two-tiered system.

Bad immigrants, he continued arrive from certain specific countries and often end up committing crimes and being sent to prison. He believes that these should be deported and that only those who earn money, pay taxes and contribute in other ways to Denmark should be welcomed.

Mikklesen's views are the result of the country's stringent immigration laws, which have been proven to be counter-productive on many occasions. Whilst his party was in power, he helped to construct the present system, now considered restrictive, although he insists the laws were necessary to control the open-door policy introduced by the previous government.

He's impressed by the Canadian immigration system, saying that it encourages immigrants who have high marks in language, job experience and education and disallows those who are unable to pass the points test. Denmark, he insist, has need of highly-educated immigrants.
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The EU is corrupt because southern Europe is corrupt
Ed West
The Spectator blog, 6 December 2013

... Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.

The good news is that Bulgaria and Romania, with whom we will become much more intimate next month, are already in the EU's top 5 for corruption, placed 2nd and 4th, with Greece, Italy and Slovakia filling out the leader board.

I don't object to Romanian and Bulgarian EU citizens being able to come to Britain as such, I object to the very idea of these countries joining the polity of which I am a member.

But then I'm not too happy about being part of the same state as Greece and Italy, for the same reason. Perhaps I have to add some sort of caveat here about liking Italian and Greek people, as if not wanting to move in with someone and share their bank account or bed meant you hated them; yet although such a caveat would be absolutely true, corruption levels are a reflection of public morality. ...

I'm currently reading Paul Collier's Exodus, which makes some compelling points about the social effects of immigration, and further confirms my (deeply ingrained and prejudiced) belief that economists who make pronouncements on matters of policy while ignoring the social implications are the great charlatans of our age. Collier looks at how game theory applies in different societies and suggests that Nigeria is riddled with corruption and theft because enough people are corrupt (and it doesn't have to be that many) that it makes no sense to be an honest person.

For societies to avert this situation free-riders need to be punished (shamed, ostracised, prosecuted) by other individuals acting with the support of the rest of society, and almost as importantly, for those punishers not to be punished in turn, as happens in clannish societies where people care more about their family than the well-being of the wider society. Destroying the power of the clans can take a very, very long time; around the North Sea it began a good millennium ago.

Collier also made a point that is relevant both to migration and super-national states. He points out that as well as minorities integrating into a society's norms, the majority may start to integrate into the minority, if it is large enough, or if its cultural norms give an individual an advantage. He uses a study of diplomats in New York to show that, when a group of people from a more honest society and a group from a corrupt one join together, the former begin behaving like the latter. This is known as Steyn's Maxim, after Mark Steyn's comments about ice cream, dog faeces and the UN, and it fits perfectly into evolutionary game theory. Why would you be honest if everyone around you is on the fiddle? This has major implications for welfare, too.

The European Union might work well if it only accepted countries with a maximum level of corruption, which would in effect be a North European Union, but the EU must expand to further pressure troublesome members (ie Britain) thinking of seceding. This month the union will make a decision on admitting Albania, the most clannish society in Europe and with corruption levels off the scale.

How can Albania and Denmark fit inside the same polity? Only an economist would think that a good idea.
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Britain: Racism, Social Decadence and Moral Deterioration
Dr. Ismail Salami
Global Research, 6 December 2013

... In fact, a tragic sense of racism and hatred is permeating through the very fabric of the British society, eating it away like a kind of canker.

Racism, which in fact an abject form of dehumanization, has a rather long history in Britain and there are groups and organizations who capitalize on racism and other forms of discrimination as a means to achieve their diabolical goals and paint an untrue picture of a race or religion.

One of the most notorious racist and hate groups in Britain is English Defense League AKA EDL which has been sowing seeds of hatred across the country against the Muslim community in particular by launching physical attacks on the Muslims and their Islamic centers. A former EDL leader, Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley Lennon) used to be a member of the fascist British National Party known as BNP. Interesting, the BNP has worked in league with EDL and other racist groups in Britain and made concrete steps towards seeking to stamp out all vestiges of Islamic culture within the British society. ...

With racism being institutionalized across the country, there is little hope for the burgeoning of multiculturalism, hybridity and the possibility of a reliable future for immigrants and the like.
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French Philosopher Finkielkraut: 'There Is a Clash of Civilizations'
Spiegel Online, 6 December 2013
[Interview Conducted by Mathieu von Rohr and Romain Leick. Translated from the German by Paul Cohen]

French society is under threat, argues philosopher Alain Finkielkraut in a controversial new book. ...

Alain Finkielkraut is one of France's most controversial essayists. His new book, "L'Identité Malheureuse" ("The Unhappy Identity," Éditions Stock), has been the subject of heated debate. ...

SPIEGEL: Mr. Finkielkraut, are you unhappy with today's France?

Finkielkraut: I am pained to see that the French mode of European civilization is threatened. France is in the process of transforming into a post-national and multicultural society. It seems to me that this enormous transformation does not bring anything good.

SPIEGEL: Why is that? Post-national and multicultural sounds rather promising.

Finkielkraut: It is presented to us as the model for the future. But multiculturalism does not mean that cultures blend. Mistrust prevails, communitarianism is rampant – parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.

SPIEGEL: Aren't you giving in here to the right-wingers' fears of demise?

Finkielkraut: The lower middle classes – the French that one no longer dares to call Français de souche (ethnic French) – are already moving out of the Parisian suburbs and farther into the countryside. They have experienced that in some neighborhoods they are the minority in their own country. They are not afraid of the others, but rather of becoming the others themselves.

SPIEGEL: But France has always been a country of immigrants.

Finkielkraut: We are constantly told that immigration is a constitutive element of the French identity. But that's not true. Labor migration began in the 19th century. It was not until after the bloodletting of World War I that the borders were largely opened.

SPIEGEL: Immigration has had more of a formative influence on France than on Germany.

Finkielkraut: Immigration used to go hand-in-hand with integration into French culture. That was the rule of the game. Many of the new arrivals no longer want to play by that rule. If the immigrants are in the majority in their neighborhoods, how can we integrate them? There used to be mixed marriages, which is crucial to miscegenation. But their numbers are declining. Many Muslims in Europe are re-Islamizing themselves. A woman who wears the veil effectively announces that a relationship with a non-Muslim is out of the question for her.

SPIEGEL: Aren't many immigrants excluded from mainstream society primarily for economic reasons?

Finkielkraut: The left wanted to resolve the problem of immigration as a social issue, and proclaimed that the riots in the suburbs were a kind of class struggle. We were told that these youths were protesting against unemployment, inequality and the impossibility of social advancement. In reality we saw an eruption of hostility toward French society. Social inequality does not explain the anti-Semitism, nor the misogyny in the suburbs, nor the insult "filthy French." The left does not want to accept that there is a clash of civilizations.

SPIEGEL: The anger of these young people is also stirred up by high unemployment. They are turning their backs on society because they feel excluded.

Finkielkraut: If unemployment is so high, then immigration has to be more effectively controlled.
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Watchdog voices concern over eastern European visas
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2013

There is a "real risk" British visas are being handed to fraudulent eastern Europeans because of failings at one of the UK's major visa processing hubs, a watchdog has warned.

John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said he was concerned the Home Office's visa section in Poland, which handles applications from 11 eastern European countries, was approving visas "without the necessary checks being conducted".

Full verification checks are carried out on only 4 per cent of applications handled by the office in Warsaw, he said.

Mr Vine also disclosed that officials are now expected to process one application every 10 minutes.

Their workload rocketed by 460 per cent to 56,000 applications a year thanks to a Home Office reorganisation, he said, and it is due to increase even more from April to 87,000 a year.

The chief inspector's findings mean an unknown number of fraudulent applicants may have been allowed to come to Britain - opening the prospect of them staying here illegally once their visas run out. ...

He said security checks were not being used correctly and concerns had been highlighted by the Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON), an intelligence operation which identifies threats to the British border. ...

RALON also told Mr Vine the proportion of visa applications refused by the Warsaw office had dropped from 14 per cent to just 4 per cent over a period when the section took on a huge number of extra cases as part of a Home Office reorganisation.

It raised fears that British officials in Warsaw were unable to carry out verification checks because their productivity targets had been increased. Last year the visa section handled more than 36,000 applications from Ukraine, which earlier this week saw anti-government protests demanding closer links with the European Union.

Visa applications from Ukraine are ranked as a "high risk" of fraud, such as forged or counterfeit documents.

Mr Vine said there was a chance foreigners arriving on fraudulent grounds would stay beyond the end of their visa, and they could remain indefinitely because the Home Office has no way of knowing who has left the country. ...

Another report on the visa section in Bangladesh - also published today - warned that paperwork had not been kept in 36 per cent of cases, meaning it was impossible for the inspector to say whether visas had been granted when they should have been refused.
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Britain urges EU to change free migration rules
BBC, 5 December 2013

Britain wants to change the rules governing the free movement of people across the EU, Home Secretary Theresa May will tell European ministers.

Mrs May will speak in Brussels, ahead of the lifting of movement controls on Bulgarians and Romanians.

She says free access to labour markets must not be allowed to lead to "mass migration".

However, some countries have already vowed to defend what they regard as a fundamental EU principle.

EU justice and home affairs ministers will meet in Brussels on Thursday. ...

Mrs May argues that problems caused by free movement must be addressed and the rules should be changed.

In a statement she questioned why national governments should not be allowed to impose a cap on numbers if European immigration reached certain thresholds.

She said she planned to make clear at the Brussels meeting "that I believe we need to change the way free movement rules work". ...

Mrs May is also expected to propose requiring new member states to reach a certain level of income or economic output per head before full access to free movement rights is allowed.
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Is it racist to want a high street where you can understand the shop signs?
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 7 December 2013

Last week I mentioned that there were one or two things you couldn't say in this country of ours, stuff which transgresses the sensibilities of the terribly civilised and authoritarian political elite which squats on our shoulders like a well-dressed toad. Immigration is an excellent case in point: you are allowed to make the case against immigration if you base your arguments on the economic issues – how the locals are being forced either out of work, or to accept lower rates of pay, as a consequence of the new and eager arrivals from Poland and the Baltic states. ... It is the other argument, the cultural argument, which is more difficult to voice (if you are a politician) and will get you into trouble if you do.

... the number of Poles and Lithuanians who have descended upon South Lincolnshire in the last few years, 15,000 or so in Boston itself.

The locals there, and elsewhere, argue that it is not nice to feel an alien in your own town. They do not wish for a high street in which the English shops have closed down, to be replaced by ones which advertise their wares in a foreign tongue. This is, I suppose, racist of them. Just as it is racist of the London East Enders, if there are any left, who look at the Mile End Road – two miles of unrelieved burkas – and feel shoved out, colonised. Or the south Londoners who see shops down Southwark Park Road which resemble the flyblown, half-empty caverns from which meat is sold in downtown Mogadishu.

The response from the elite is always the same: areas change, nothing stays the same, get used to it – a hand airily wafted in the direction of these protests. My suspicion is, though, that the economic arguments weigh less heavily in the minds of those who have found their neighbourhoods colonised than the rest of the stuff, the stuff you are not meant to give voice to. People like familiarity and to hang out with the same sorts of people as themselves. Is that bad of them?
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Tory rebellion averted over immigration controls on Romanians and Bulgarians as vote is delayed
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 5 December 2013

David Cameron averted an embarrassing revolt on Thursday by more than 50 Conservative MPs by delaying a vote on the removal next month of border controls on Romanians and Bulgarians.

Existing "transitional controls" will be lifted on 1 January, provoking claims that the move will lead to an influx of tens of thousands of new arrivals.

But Tory rebels are urging the Prime Minister to defy Brussels by retaining restrictions on workers from the two new European Union member states for another five years.

More than 50 had been attempting to force a vote on the issue before Christmas through an amendment to the Immigration Bill, which restricts the rights of foreign nationals to claim benefits.

To the dismay of Eurosceptic MPs, Andrew Lansley, the Commons Leader, announced there would be no further debate on the Bill until the New Year – after the current controls have been scrapped.

Mark Reckless, the MP for Rochester and Strood, objected to the hold-up, protesting it would surely make sense for MPs to vote on "whether to extend immigration restrictions for Bulgaria and Romania in advance of them being lifted on January 1".
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385,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will come to Britain, report warns
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2013

At least 385,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will come to Britain after restrictions are lifted on January 1 a think tank has warned.

The report by the Democracy Institute, a think tank, warns that the British Government is to blame for the "mess" of migration describing the flood of new arrivals as a "self-inflicted economic migrant own goal."

Under "transitional" rules introduced when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, migrants from these two countries can only work in the UK in seasonal jobs such as fruit picking, or if they are self-employed.

These restrictions end on January 1, 2014, and all Romanians and Bulgarians will then have the same rights to work in the UK as British citizens.

The model predicts that over the next five years from January 1 at least 385,000 migrants will move from Bulgaria and Romania – more than the population of Coventry.

Of the estimated 77,000 migrants arriving each year the majority – 44,000 – will be from Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU. 33,000 will arrive each year from Romania the Democracy Institute estimates. ...

The report warns that Britain will be opening its borders to a "not insignificant, uneducated, unskilled group" planning to "avail themselves of the smorgasbord of government-provided benefits." ...

However the report warns that Britain's high minimum wage will also act as a "peverse" lure would be migrants deciding which country they will settle. The minimum wage in Bulgaria is 73p and hour and in Romania workers receive 79p – in Britain the minimum wage will rise to £6.31 for over 21's alter this year.
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Immigration warnings are just scaremongering, MP insists
Yorkshire Post, 4 December 2013

A Yorkshire MP has warned against "scaremongering" over the possible arrival of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria when border controls are formally relaxed next month.

Kevin Barron, the MP for Rother Valley, told the Commons that millions of people have already left the two eastern European counties to find work since they joined the European Union in 2007, and that much of the hard-line "rhetoric" around the likely impact of relaxing border controls in January has been "disgraceful". ...

Mr Barron, a Labour backbencher who chairs the Commons standards committee, said Bulgarians and Romanians have been emigrating for many years, and that the UK has nothing to fear next month.

"Three million Bulgarians have left their country to work in other countries over the last few years, because they have had the right to access 15 European countries," he said. "Is not a lot of the rhetoric that we have heard recently just scaremongering?"
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Hundreds of British jihadists in Syria
Con Coughlin and Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2013

More than 300 Britons are fighting with jihadist groups in Syria, raising concern that they will return trained in the latest terrorist techniques.

Syria is considered within Whitehall as a greater threat to national security than the al-Qaeda heartlands on the Afghan-Pakistan border because of the sheer numbers of British Islamists heading to the war zone.

Intelligence sources told The Telegraph that Britons make up the largest contingent out of about 1,000 Westerners fighting with Islamist groups against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

France and Australia each have about 200 citizens fighting in Syria, with others coming from countries including the US and Canada.

On Tuesday, Richard Walton, the head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said that children as young as 16 were travelling to Syria to fight.

The prospect of hundreds of battle-hardened extremists returning to Britain with sophisticated training and practical experience of bomb-making and weaponry has become a grave cause of concern in recent months.

A senior Whitehall source said: "The large number of British Muslims travelling to Syria to wage jihad against the Assad regime is developing into a major security issue for the UK. They are openly associating with Islamist terror groups like al-Qaeda, and the concern is that, once they have finished fighting in Syria, they will try to return home and wage jihad on the streets of Britain.

"Not only will they be battle-hardened as a result of their experience in Syria, they will also have been trained in all the latest terrorist techniques." ...

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is considering stripping terrorism suspects of their citizenship by cancelling their passports if they go abroad to fight, preventing them from returning to Britain.

Such a move would leave jihadists stateless, but Mrs May has repeatedly said that a British passport is a "privilege, not a right". She has revoked the British passports of 16 dual nationality terrorism suspects and plans to go further by passing a law that would allow her to do the same with people who have only one nationality.
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The Syrian civil war is breeding a new generation of terrorist
Con Coughlin
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2013

As adventures go, it might seem that there are few more worthy causes than fighting for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad's brutal dictatorship in Syria. ...

With the death toll now well past 100,000 after nearly three years of bloodshed, it is easy to understand why so many young men and women in the West, incensed by the Assad regime's disregard for human life, would want to offer their services to help overthrow this vile regime. ...

But the objectives of some of the more extreme factions within the Syrian opposition are hardly benign. ...

So it is hardly surprising that the presence of hundreds of Western volunteers within the ranks of the Syrian opposition movement is increasingly viewed with grave concern by security officials, who fear the conflict is being turned into a fertile breeding ground for a new generation of Islamist terrorists.

This is particularly true in this country, where British intelligence estimates that more than 300 British Muslims are now actively engaged in fighting for al-Qaeda-linked groups, such as the Nusra Front.

Scotland Yard warned yesterday that London was facing a "disturbing" new threat, with jihadists as young as 16 travelling to take up arms in the Syrian conflict. Richard Walton, the head of counter-terrorism command, warned there were signs of returnees being ordered by militants associated with al-Qaeda to carry out attacks in Britain. ...

This new wave of Western jihadists has been inspired by the increasingly sophisticated recruitment techniques used by Islamists to lure them to the eastern Mediterranean. ...

Not surprisingly, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has said she wants to introduce legislation that would give her the power to strip returning British jihadists of their citizenship, even if it means rendering them stateless.

The civil rights lobby will no doubt have a field day preventing the introduction of such measures. But without them it is hard to see how we can prevent a new generation of al-Qaeda militants from bringing carnage to the streets of Britain.
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Charity cash could end up in the hands of terrorists: Watchdog 'failing to tackle abuses'
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 4 December 2013

Money given to charity could be diverted to terrorists because a watchdog is not investigating abuses properly, a damning report has warned.

The Charity Commission monitors voluntary organisations over three areas of high risk: fraud, whether they safeguard beneficiaries, and counter-terrorism.

But it now has only two members of staff doing this work and just 42 probes were started last year, compared to 306 a year before the last election, increasing a 'risk that serious concerns will go undetected'.

In a critical report, the National Audit Office spending watchdog said failings could damage public faith in good causes. The commission needs a 'radical change of pace and rigour', it said. ...

The NAO report was prompted by MPs' concerns at a complex tax avoidance scheme engaged in by charity The Cup Trust.

It gave just £152,292 to good causes despite trying to claim back a stunning £46 million in Gift Aid from tax authorities on its £177 million income.

The commission launched a full investigation in April, admitting the case was 'a disaster for the charity sector'.

It insists its records suggest the case was unique – but it did identify 13 other charities which required investigation. ...

The report said: 'It opened 42 monitoring cases in 2012/13 and 72 in 2011/12, 276 in 2010/11 and 306 in 2009/10. This reduction in monitoring cases increases the risk that serious concerns will go undetected.'
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Why we face 50 years of austerity (and slashing immigration could make things much worse)
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2013

Only in 2018 is the debt mountain expected to start falling, after peaking at 85% of GDP. And the Office for Budget Responsibility, our spending watchdog, says this is just the beginning of decades of austerity. ...

Britain's economy is going to need millions more young, fit, tax-paying migrants in order to off-set the ageing population, the OBR believes - contradicting the Coalition's bid to get new entries into the tens of thousands.

With a total freeze on migration, the economy is forecast to grow at 1.9 per cent a year on average for the next fifty years – below the trend of 2.2 per cent. As a result, debt could reach 175 per cent of GDP. But with high migration – 240,000 new migrants a year – growth will rise sharply to 2.7 per cent, and the public debt will be much lower. But will any politician dare call for more immigration?
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Female genital mutilation a 'huge problem' in U.K.
Gabrielle Fahmy
CBC, 4 December 2013

Britain's reputation for turning a blind eye on the illegal practice of female genital mutilation may be about to change after British doctors, nurses and midwifes decided to take a stand and demand it be treated as child abuse.

Earlier this month, leading British medical groups delivered an extensive report to Parliament, recommending aggressive steps to eradicate the practice, which is still being carried out on young girls from certain African, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures.

The report revealed tens of thousands of cases of FGM in Britain (as many as 66,000 by some estimates). And while the practice was outlawed in 1985 and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment, the country has never seen a single prosecution. ...

In Britain, anti-FGM campaigners are saying that an overzealous cultural sensitivity has led to authorities being slow to react on the FGM front, with some even questioning whether FGM is actually a British problem. ...

In contrast, neighbouring France has adopted a much less tolerant approach to tackling FGM. Its systematic examination of young girls has led to some hundred prosecutions.

''I think England is very tolerant because they put cultural relativism first," says Isabelle Gillette-Faye, a French sociologist. "So if in your country of origin, you cut your girl, then it's possible in England as well.''

Gillette-Faye suspects many French girls are sent to "easier" Britain to have the procedure done.
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Migrants prefer schools with fewer foreigners
The Local [Germany], 4 December 2013

Migrants in Germany would rather send their children to schools with fewer other migrants, a study published on Wednesday revealed. Parents fear that attending a school with too many other foreigners could hinder their children's education.

On Wednesday preliminary results were released at a press conference in Berlin from the study entitled "Education, Background, Migration". The study was conducted by the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf on behalf of the Vodafone and Mercator Institutes. ...

The study's project leader Meral Cerci told the Welt newspaper that parents want the German school system to be improved in two main ways.

"For one they want to be better informed," she said. "Many are hardly familiar with the German school system and therefore choose the closest school or one where they know some of the other pupils."

Parents would also like to see more teaching staff who themselves are from migrant families, the study found.

Full results from the study will be published in December 2014.
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David Cameron admits migration target may not be met
Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2013

David Cameron has suggested he could be powerless to deliver on his promise to reduce net migration because of a recent surge in the number of people entering the UK from inside the European Union.

The Prime Minister has previously said that he would bring down net migration to fewer than 100,000 people a year by 2015. But the latest official figures showed that net migration increased by 15,000 to 182,000 in the year to June.

On a visit to China, Mr Cameron pleaded for more time before he was judged on the target, which has not been adopted by the Liberal Democrats. He said the Government needed to make "further progress". But he suggested that the Lib Dems' lack of agreement on the issue, twinned with his inability to halt free movement between EU countries, meant he may fail to meet the goal.

He said that he made the pledge before the last election when there was balanced migration between Britain and other EU countries.

However, the near collapse of some southern European economies has led to an unexpected increase in migration to Britain from elsewhere in the EU. ...

Mr Cameron denied a suggestion that it was now "nigh on impossible" to hit the target of bringing down net migration to the tens of thousands.

He said: "I don't accept that. If you take the whole three-year period, net immigration is down by around a third. The action we have taken takes some time to come through, getting rid of bogus colleges, trying to make sure that people who don't have a right to stay here leave, making sure that a family reunion really is just that."

Asked if the Liberal Democrats were stopping Mr Cameron from taking a tougher line on immigration, Mr Cameron said: "Would I like to go further? Yes I would."
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Scotland's immigrant numbers double in a decade
Gareth Rose
The Scotsman, 3 December 2013

Scotland's immigrant population has almost doubled in a decade and is growing faster than in the rest of the UK, a new study has found.

There were 369,284 people born outside the UK living in Scotland in 2011, compared with 191,571 in 2001. This is a 93 per cent increase, compared with 61 in England, 82 in Wales, and 72 in Northern Ireland.

Despite this, the proportion of immigrants in Scotland remains far lower than England and Wales, at 7 per cent compared to 13. ...

Edinburgh has the highest number of immigrants with 75,696, but Aberdeen's 35,436 is the largest proportionately, representing 16 per cent of the population. And Glasgow has seen the largest increase in numbers, up by almost 40,000 in a decade.
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One third claiming cash aid for homelessness are from abroad
Joseph Watts
Evening Standard (London), 2 December 2013

Almost a third of people receiving homelessness support in London are foreign nationals, figures reveal today.

Among the 15,450 the London boroughs help are 4,490 from overseas, with hundreds coming from Europe. The estimated cost the councils bear is between £25 million and £35 million a year. ...

Government figures show that of the 4,490 foreign nationals receiving help in London at least 1,120 are from the European Economic Area, with the number likely to be higher.

Officials said spending on each individual could range from between £5,600 and £7,900 depending on their needs, including the provision of temporary accommodation.
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What would a rational immigration system look like?
Douglas Carswell
Telegraph blog, 2 December 2013

Britain is one of the greatest places on the planet to live.

It's not just me who believes that. There are tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of people who settle in Britain each year who seem to think so too. ...

With so many people from around the globe wanting to come to our country, you'd have thought we might have a system in place that ensures we attract the brightest and the best. Unfortunately, we don't.

Being in the EU, we are open to anyone from any EU member state wanting to settle here. That means that we allow many unskilled migrants, who are more likely to claim Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

At the same time, highly educated and entrepreneurial Singaporeans, for example, have to apply for work visas. It makes no sense.

I know of a farm in Essex (not in my constituency, I might add) that has for years depended on Bulgarian students to help gather in the harvest. Each year they come over, work hard, and return to Bulgaria. Without them, the farm would not cope. However unfashionable it might be to point this out, it needs pointing out.

But here's the thing. While Bulgarian students are willing to travel across a continent to work on that farm, just a few miles away are some folk living at public expense, who could do the work, but won't. This also needs pointing out.

We cannot get serious about reforming the immigration system without also ending the something-for-nothing benefit culture. At times, I wonder if politicians almost depend on the crazy immigration system we have in order to avoid having to make any difficult decisions about benefits.

In order to change things for the better, Britain needs to take back control of its immigration system. ... ...

Surely we need to discuss not only the needs to the economy, but what helps make successful first and second generation Britons, too?

If those we elected to Parliament – and vulnerable to the views of the voters - were responsible, we might begin to have an intelligent debate about what kind of immigration we need. As long as we remain in the EU, I doubt this will happen.
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'Anti-Racism' of the Left Reaps Scorn in France
Celestine Bohlen
New York Times, 2 December 2013

Politically correct has long been scorned in French political debates as an Americanism that shrouds the truth with a veil of well-meaning but misleading euphemisms deployed by the "caviar left," the French equivalent of limousine liberals.

Now comes "anti-racism," a word that apparently has come to mean much the same thing, at least as defined by Alain Finkielkraut, a prominent French intellectual who, in his latest book, called it "an unrelenting battle against reality."

So what exactly does that mean? Some years ago, Mr. Finkielkraut elaborated by saying that "anti-racism was the communism of the 21st century," suggesting that only brave free-thinking dissidents could raise their voices against the reigning ideology.

This could be an empty semantic debate were it not for recent slurs aimed at Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, a black woman who has been compared to a monkey in a photo on a politician's Facebook page and on the cover of a right-wing magazine, and taunted with bananas at public demonstrations.

These ugly insults have been condemned across the political spectrum: The politician had to withdraw from the list of candidates for the far-right National Front party; the magazine, Minute, has been taken to court; and a petition against racism has collected more than 100,000 signatures.

But the question of racism – and anti-racism – in France lingers, casting a shadow on an ongoing debate about immigration, as poll after poll shows a deepening resentment of new waves of foreigners arriving in France from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

"One can observe a very clear hardening of French public opinion on the question of immigration," said Jérôme Fourquet, a director at the polling company Ifop, commenting on poll results published in the magazine Valeurs Actuelles that showed the percentage of French people who think immigration to be a good thing for the country dropping to 37 percent in 2013, from 49 percent in 2007.
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Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance
Lizette Alvarez
New York Times, 2 December 2013

Faced with mounting evidence that get-tough policies in schools are leading to arrest records, low academic achievement and high dropout rates that especially affect minority students, cities and school districts around the country are rethinking their approach to minor offenses. ...

Nationwide, more than 70 percent of students involved in arrests or referrals to court are black or Hispanic, according to federal data. ...

Pressure to change has come from the Obama administration, too. Beginning in 2009, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education aggressively began to encourage schools to think twice before arresting and pushing children out of school. In some cases, as in Meridian, Miss., the federal government has sued to force change in schools.

Some view the shift as politically driven and worry that the pendulum may swing too far in the other direction. Ken Trump, a school security consultant, said that while existing policies are at times misused by school staffs and officers, the policies mostly work well, offering schools the right amount of discretion.

"It's a political movement by civil rights organizations that have targeted school police," Mr. Trump said. "If you politicize this on either side, it's not going to help on the front lines."

Supporters, though, emphasize the flexibility in these new policies and stress that they do not apply to students who commit felonies or pose a danger.
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Councils call for tougher laws to police 'aggressive beggars'
Jamie Doward
The Observer, 1 December 2013

Councils across Britain have controversially called for new measures to deal with antisocial behaviour as they prepare for an influx of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants.

Local authorities in areas with high numbers of eastern European migrants have written an open letter to Home Office minister Norman Baker calling for an amendment to a bill going through parliament that would make it easier for police to arrest "aggressive beggars". The move will be seen as a sign that local authorities fear they will struggle to police the arrival of migrants from 1 January, when restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian workers will be lifted. But it is likely to alarm pro-migration groups, who will see it as an overreaction to an issue whipped up for political purposes.

Mounting concerns about the impact of further immigration on the UK's benefits and health systems resulted in David Cameron pledging last week that "if people are not here to work – if they are begging or sleeping rough – they will be removed".

However, councils including Westminster, Slough, Southampton, Birmingham and Nottingham say that the government's antisocial behaviour, crime and policing bill, which becomes law next spring, will make this task more difficult by weakening existing powers to tackle the problem.

Under the proposals set out in the bill, antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) will be replaced by what are to be called ipnas (injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance). But, unlike asbos, these carry no automatic arrest trigger if they are breached. Instead local authorities, housing associations and police chiefs will have to apply separately for an ipna arrest warrant, a lengthy bureaucratic process.

"Effectively, the ipna will bark but won't bite," the councils warn in their letter to Baker, which is also backed by business and property interests focused on central London. ...

The councils propose that the bill should ensure that an automatic power of arrest is attached to an ipna when "antisocial behaviour is intentional, deliberate and persistent". The letter states: "We believe that, if we don't get this legislation right now, the repercussions could have far-reaching and significant consequences." ...

Councillor Nickie Aiken, who has responsibility for community safety in Westminster, said that Romanian migrants were already costing the council £500,000 a year. ...

Five years ago the council counted 21 rough sleepers in Westminster, 18 of whom were Romanian. This year it has counted 324 rough sleepers, of whom 297 were Romanian.
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British taxpayers foot £73 million bill for Eastern European prisoners
Matthew Davis
Sunday Express, 1 December 2013

Eastern European inmates in British jails are costing taxpayers just under £73 million a year, official figures show.

Romanian and Polish prisoners have swollen their ranks by 60 per cent since 2010, bringing the total to 2,430 from 10 countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

Three years ago there were just 1,490 inmates from those nations in our jails, where it costs £30,000 to hold a prisoner each year.

The Ministry of Justice figures reveal Poles now form the biggest foreign contingent in British jails, with Romanians at Number five on the list, up from 400 in 2010 to 532.

In women's jails, with 46 prisoners, they are the second biggest group, behind Nigerians on 47.

Romanians are most frequently jailed for theft, pick-pocketing and shoplifting, as well as burglary, robbery, fraud and sex offences.
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David Cameron faces unrest over EU migration from inside government
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 1 December 2013

David Cameron is facing a rebellion from inside the government over plans to allow an unlimited number of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants to move to Britain from next year.

A minister has publicly backed a campaign by more than 50 Tory rebels who want Mr Cameron to pass a new law restricting the rights of Romanians and Bulgarians to travel to the UK for work.

Kris Hopkins, the housing and local government minister, defended Conservative backbenchers who are calling for the current border controls on migrants from the two countries to be extended when they lapse in January.

He warned that a failure to address public fears over immigration with "robust" action would drive voters into the arms of far-Right parties and extremists. ...

By Friday evening, 54 Tory MPs had signed a Commons amendment calling for the existing restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria to be extended for another five years until 2019. ...

Sources said that other members of the government had privately expressed support for the rebel amendment, although Conservative whips have been warning them not to sign it. ...

The campaign comes as research, due to be published at a debate at the Guildhall in the City of London next week, discloses widespread concerns among British businesses over the scale of EU immigration.

A poll, commissioned by consultants Lansons and Cambre, and conducted by Opinium Research, questioned senior executives from 274 British businesses of varying sizes.

It found that 54 per cent of executives thought EU membership had a negative impact on immigration to the UK.
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'We are not second-rate citizens!': Romanian Prime Minister tells Britain not to discriminate against 'migrant wave'
Mail on Sunday, 1 December 2013

Romania's prime minister has told Britain not to treat Romanians as 'second-rate citizens' when curbs on Romanian and Bulgarian workers are lifted on January 1.

Victor Ponta said last night that research showed no evidence that there would be large numbers of migrants moving from his country to the UK, despite mounting fears.

And he reiterated the claim, made elsewhere, that Romanians were more likely to seek work in southern European states like Italy and Spain, where the language is far more similar to Romanian. ...

'We will not accept being treated as second-rate citizens,' Mr Ponta said, adding that research showed 'there is no reason for concern regarding a migrant wave' from Romania to Britain. ...

Home Secretary Theresa May this week suggested moves to cap the number of EU migrants to the UK in order to stop British workers languishing on the dole.

Writing for the PoliticsHome website, Mrs May suggested that the Government's attempts to make the UK a less attractive destination - by restricting access to welfare and introducing an annual levy for use of the NHS - were likely to have limited effect.

'In all honesty, whatever the Government does in terms of reducing the pull factors that draw people to Britain, as long as there is such an enormous disparity between EU member states in terms of income per head, there will be an overwhelming incentive for people to move from poorer member states to richer member states,' she said.

Mrs May added: 'That not only puts pressure on communities in countries like Britain, it robs poorer EU member states of their most talented people. So in future, we must put in place new arrangements to slow full access to each other's labour markets until we can be sure it will not lead to mass migration.'
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Niceness is the UK's real problem, not nastiness
Janet Daley
Sunday Telegraph, 1 December 2013

Thirty days and counting until the influx that the Government dreads either does or does not materialise. The massed Romanians and Bulgarians, who may or may not be waiting for the magic date, present a terrifying political prospect not just to the Conservatives but to Labour as well, who tend to be blamed retrospectively for unlimited immigration even when they are out of office. ...

So, rather late in the day, David Cameron has panicked or, depending on your point of view, done what he should have done a long time ago. He has begun to agitate for a re-think on the EU policy of free movement of peoples between member states. This rule (or "fundamental principle" as they say in Brussels) was part of the original deal when the European project was conceived. Back then, it was fairly uncontroversial: the founding members were all Western countries whose economies were roughly comparable. ...

Then, in came the Eastern accession members whose post-war economic history was wildly unlike that of the West, and who blew apart the whole premise on which the unrestricted movement of labour, and interchangeable economic rights, was based. These countries were systemically, catastrophically poor. ...

Which is where the second prong of Mr Cameron's belated reaction comes in: getting the EU to agree to renege on the guaranteed free movement of labour is going to be a long haul at best. So in the interest of immediate results, the Prime Minister proposes to restrict the right of new migrants to our benefits system. Because the peculiarly generous UK welfare state does not require claimants to have contributed to the system, we have an attraction which most other European states do not, thus making us the destination of choice.

In other words, the problem is not just free movement: it's free money. This analysis is almost certainly correct, and its truth has little to do with the contentious question of whether foreigners come here to "scrounge". The fact that most Eastern Europeans come to find jobs – and tend to be exceptionally hard-working when they get them – misses the point. All those offended spokesmen for their migrant communities who insist that nobody they know has arrived here and sped directly to the benefits office, may (very largely) be speaking truthfully. But this ignores the issue of in-work benefits: tax credits, housing benefit and child benefit which, as we now know, is being paid to children still living back in the migrant's homeland at a much higher rate than their own country would offer. So when Mr Cameron asserts that "moving (here) to get a job" is a very different thing from "moving to get benefits", he is actually quite wrong. Our welfare system does not pay out only to the jobless or the destitute: it supplements the earnings of people on low and middle-incomes, and offers benefits to their dependants too – even if they live in another country. Then add to that unlimited health care absolutely free at the point of use. All in all, it's a pretty irresistible package.
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Eleventh hour 'fightback' on immigration
Gerald Warner
The Scotsman, 1 December 2013

Would you credit it? In spite of Dave's robust rhetoric, immigration has risen again.

Clearly, something has gone wrong. Yes indeed; it went wrong circa 1960, when the political class determined, against the known wishes of the majority of people in this country, to impose mass immigration on a resentful population as a symbol of its own power, enlightenment and contempt for its fellow countrymen.

Only recently has the sheer catastrophe of this experiment, aggravated by EU dictatorship, broken through the deafening silence imposed by intimidatory laws and complicity among the party political consensus. Even today bad news is sanitised by weasel language and massaged statistics. We are told that "net" immigration into the UK in the year to last June increased to 182,000. That is a meaningless statistic. It conceals the reality that, in that one year, 503,000 legal migrants entered Britain. Add to that the 517,000 who entered the previous year and you have a total of more than a million in the past two years. The number of retired Britons or homebound Polish plumbers who left during the same period is irrelevant to the social, financial and cultural effect the gross figure of 1,020,000 immigrants had on British society within those 24 months.

Politicians invented the concept of "net" immigration to camouflage the demographic revolution they are imposing on this country. Thus, we were told there had been "net" immigration of 2.5 million since 1997. In reality, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) calculated 3.8 million incomers in the decade 2001-11. Even that is almost certainly an underestimate. The ONS has admitted to undercounting immigrants from countries that joined the EU after 2004 – a key source of migrants. The Commons Public Administration Committee denounced the ONS figures as guesswork, "not fit for purpose". As for illegals, years ago a study by the LSE estimated their number then at 863,000, surely well over a million by now. Fewer than one in 60 illegal migrants caught is deported. ... ...

By 2011 the Census showed 13 per cent of the UK population was born overseas. Why should there be anything morally reprehensible about querying the wisdom – or, indeed, the morality – of destroying the cultural homogeneity of a society on so vast a scale?
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BBC chairman Lord Patten says political correctness stops politicians speaking the truth on immigration and says Europe's weak borders have led to rampant crime
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 30 November 2013

Lord Patten has weighed in to the immigration debate by suggesting that British politicians are now unable to cope with the country's 'porous borders'.

The Chairman of the BBC Trust and former Conservative minister blamed the 'dark side of globalisation' for the problem.

Chris Patten also suggested that elected representatives were increasingly reluctant to tell people the truth about such vexed issues. ...

Lord Patten said: 'Today with porous borders, the amount that politicians and political leaders can actually do on their own is very limited, and I think that it's a pity that people don't make that point rather more vigorously.'

He said that 'immigration, organised crime, drugs' and 'epidemic disease' were just some of the 'aspects of the dark sides of globalisation' leaving national governments increasingly powerless.

Referring to the September 11th 2001 attacks on America in which almost 3000 people died, Lord Patten said: 'The 9/11 terrorists were paid for with credit cards – that's the world we live in and I think it's astonishing that politicians are so reluctant to say we're not any more facing a series of challenges which are manageable within our own space, we're trying to cope with a predicament.

'It's proved extremely difficult for political leaders to tell people what they may not want to hear and get elected.

'And the general consequence has been that political leaders only tell people a bit of what they don't want to hear, which doesn't entirely prevent the growth of populism and parties on the extreme but can just about secure their election or near election.'

Lord Patten, who is also a former European Commissioner, said the problem with Brussels as it faced up to such problems was its lack of accountability.

While 'the buck stopped' with leaders like David Cameron in Britain and Francois Hollande in France, there was no-one in Brussels who was ultimately to blame for anything.
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End this gutter debate about Britain's immigration policy
Ian Birrell
The Guardian, 30 November 2013

It's been a depressing week for British politics as it takes another sordid step into the stinking gutter of xenophobia. It was hard to believe the immigration debate could become any more rancid. But once again we see our posturing political parties jostling to outdo each other in their desperate desire to demonstrate hostility to foreigners seeking to come here.

Many leading lights across the political divide privately loathe this tone, which is economically, socially and culturally corrosive for this country. They dislike the deliberate attempt to create a hostile climate to deter potential immigrants. They know many of the ugly arguments they parrot in public fly in the face of facts. But their defence is simple: we must respond to voters' concerns.

This is utter rubbish. While Labour falls over itself pathetically to apologise for its past, there is a fallacy among Conservatives – inflamed by the rise of Ukip and subsequent arrival of Lynton Crosby – that they failed to win outright the last election because they were too soft on immigration. The reality could not be more different: they held a 39-point lead over Labour on this issue, but were largely level-pegging on subjects of core daily relevance, such as economic competence and the health service.

Nor will immigration determine how people vote at the next election, according to several leading pollsters I talked to. "They do not believe it is a big issue in their lives," said Stephan Shakespeare, chief executive of YouGov. There is a huge gap between high figures showing voters saying it is a big issue nationally and far lower numbers saying it bothers them locally or in practice. Concerns are, incidentally, highest in areas with lowest numbers of immigrants.

Instead of feeding people's fears in tough economic times with a toxic debate locked into ever-decreasing circles, politicians should try something different: to show the leadership that is supposed to be part of their job description. ... ...

The tragedy of the immigration debate is that it contains such fertile terrain for politicians prepared to display courage. For a start, people think there are far more immigrants in the country than there really are.


Similarly, surveys show Britons seem comfortable luring wealthy foreigners to invest here; allowing nurses and doctors to work in the NHS; letting in skilled people to find jobs; and giving sanctuary to those fleeing war and persecution. But where are the politicians who use such findings to argue migration is a fact of life on a globalised planet – as shown by millions of British people living abroad? Instead, they pander to cheap prejudice.

Underlying the immigration debate are profound questions over our nation's uncertain role in a rapidly evolving world, allied to serious political issues such as inept border controls, benefit misuse, housing shortages, educational failures, low pay and productivity. Sadly, politicians think the easiest answer is to endlessly blame foreigners.
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Saudi Arabia's foreign labour crackdown drives out 2m migrants
Ian Black
The Guardian, 30 November 2013

Manfouha is the bleak frontline in Saudi Arabia's campaign to get rid of its illegal foreign workers, control the legal ones and help get more of its own citizens into work. ... ...

Until recently, of the kingdom's 30 million residents, more than nine million were non-Saudis. Since the labour crackdown started in March, one million Bangladeshis, Indians, Filipinos, Nepalis, Pakistanis and Yemenis have left. And the campaign has moved into higher gear after the final deadline expired on 4 November, with dozens of repatriation flights now taking place every day. By next year, two million migrants will have gone.

No one is being singled out, the authorities say. Illegal workers of 14 nationalities have been detained and are awaiting deportation. ...

The Ethiopian government said this week that 50,000 of its nationals had already been sent home, with the total expected to rise to 80,000. ... ...

Yet other foreign workers show little sympathy or solidarity. "These people believe this is their country," said Mohamed, a Bangladeshi who runs a petrol station in the centre of Manfouha. "They are big trouble, and dangerous. I've seen them carrying long knives." ...

Saudi Arabia's addiction to cheap foreign labour goes back to the oil boom and religious awakening of the mid-1970s. In recent years it has come to be seen as an enormous problem that distorts the economy and keeps young people out of the labour market. But the government turned a blind eye and little happened until March. ...

"We will need two decades to get back to where we were in the 1970s," predicted Turki al-Hamad, a writer who grew up in the eastern city of Dammam, where Saudis used to work in the Aramco oilfields. "We are better off economically than we were then, but much worse off socially."

The "regularisation" campaign has had some unintended though probably predictable consequences. The sudden acceleration of departures, both voluntary and forced, has left building sites deserted and corpses unwashed. Some schools have closed due to an absence of caretakers. ... ...

Middle-class Saudis bemoan the sudden disappearance of their maids and drivers (an economic necessity for women, who are banned from driving) and find themselves sucked into a costly labyrinth if they try to intervene.


In the long term the expulsions should help the wider "Saudisation" programme, based on the nitaqat or quotas for employing Saudis in certain sectors depending on the size of the enterprise. But this is not only about the menial work that pampered Saudis refuse to do. Hundreds of thousands of Europeans, Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians work in the private sector. According to the latest figures from the IMF, 1.5m of the 2m new jobs created in the last four years went to non-Saudis. Entire areas of the economy are controlled by foreigners. ...

It seems clear that the public is cheering on the government on the foreign labour issue.
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The truths you can't tell in today's Britain
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 30 November 2013

Mr Grieve has just offered a full and unqualified apology for having told the truth. I thought that politicians were meant to do that – tell the truth?

..., Mr Grieve said the following: 'We have minority communities in this country which come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic. It is something as politicians we have to wake up to.' Asked by the interviewer if he meant the Pakistani community in particular, Mr Grieve said that he did. Although he added that the whole blame should not be laid at the door of any single community. Cue, then, a fugue of idiocy which eventually led to the absurd apology.

First, Grieve's party colleague, the MEP Sajjad H. Karim, said that the comments were 'deeply offensive' and – remarkably – 'not based on fact', then the rest weighed in. Mr Karim is either an idiot or deluded, as we shall see. And so, after only a few hours, Mr Grieve said a really big 'sorry'. Here is his apology – you can cut it out and keep it if you wish, as it's full of asinine genuflections to the hysteria of the mob and therefore a model of its kind: 'Mr Grieve said he was wrong to give the impression that there was a problem in the Pakistani community. In a statement, he said: "It is not my view. I believe the Pakistani community has enriched this country a great deal as I know full well from my extensive contact with the community over a number of years. I'm sorry if I have caused any offence."'

Lordy. Let's deal with the facts first. Do Pakistanis come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic? Yes, they do. Pakistan is one of the most corrupt nations on earth, coming 139th on Transparency International's list of the world's most corrupt countries (the higher the number, the more corrupt, by the way). ...

As for the Pakistani community over here, a report in May this year by the Electoral Commission on voter fraud (to which Grieve was specifically referring) said the following: 'There are strongly held views, based in particular on reported first-hand experience by some campaigners and elected representatives in particular, that electoral fraud is more likely to be committed by or in support of candidates standing for election in areas which are largely or predominately populated by some South Asian communities, specifically those with roots in parts of Pakistan or Bangladesh.' ...

So, why the apology? An apology for telling the truth – a truth which, incidentally, had already been stated by his own colleague, Baroness Warsi, a couple of years ago: she made the point that there was a problem within British Asian communities of voter fraud. ...

There are truths that you can say in British society and then there are truths that you can't say. And poor Dominic Grieve – who, as Attorney General, should have had a bit more spine – gave voice to one of the truths you can't say. There are many, many, truths about our ethnic minority communities which you can't say and if you do say them you have to apologise and then spew out something egregiously platitudinous about how greatly the Pakistani immigrants have enriched all of our lives, in a very real sense, just as the hapless Grieve was forced to do.
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Net migration is bogus. Gross migration is what affects communities
Melanie McDonagh
The Spectator, 29 November 2013

Just over half a million people migrated to the UK in the year to June. And half a million the year before – actually, it was 517,000, but let's not quibble. A million, then, in two years... that's quite something. But you wouldn't have known from the news about the new immigration stats from the Home Office, which focussed instead on a rise in net migration to 182,000 (ie the number of people arriving, less the number of Brits leaving). Now, for all the noise about Bulgarians and Romanians coming to Britain, about half the new immigrants were from outside the EU – 242,000, down from 282,000 the previous year. You'd never think it though, to judge by the PM's obsessive focus on EU migration – which plainly is an important issue, but not the only one.

I've talked about this before, but it's gross migration, not net migration we should really be talking about, and especially non-European migration. Because it is the numbers arriving, not the numbers leaving, that have an effect on community cohesion, the sense of a common society, especially when the newcomers bolster an existing, large migrant body. And if, over four years, a million people from outside Europe are coming to Britain, however excellent and hardworking they are individually, it really does change the face of the country and its sense of its own identity. Unless, of course, they're largely Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Americans, who culturally have a good deal in common with the locals – and they're not.

It obviously suits the government to focus on net migration, because the figures are less scary. I don't quite see why the rest of us have to go along with it though.
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Comment: Concerns about immigration are not automatically racist
Samuel Lawes, 29 November 2013

Samuel Lawes is a freelance journalist living in Istanbul

We should be brave enough to have a robust, grown-up national debate about immigration without accusations of racism being immediately thrown around.

And when the cultural practices of new arrivals are at odds with modern Britain, we should be principled enough to say so.

Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow South, wrote a brave and intelligent piece in the Telegraph recently. It has breathed honesty and candour into what has become a depressingly hostile debate around immigration. ...

Let's be totally straight about this: Britain's immigration debate is a success story. We are one of the most open countries out there from top to bottom. We might be proud of that – and we ought to be careful not to let this debate turn nasty or puerile.

Recently, a decision by Harris' Labour party while in government – letting a great many people in at once – gave Britain an economic boost, a shot of cultural virility and a serious integration challenge. Like the burgeoning EU, we grew too fast.

Taking action to give things a chance to settle now is not racist. It has to happen at some point. We are seeing cultural tensions, housing shortages and a black market in employment (there are individuals earning £1.50 per hour in London). ...

Having concerns about the scale of immigration is not racist. Having concerns about the workings of integration is not racist. Having concerns about cultural practices that are fundamentally incoherent with modern Britain is not racist. All in all, by and large, modern Britain is not a racist country.

But calling anyone who voices such concerns 'racist' is not noble, brave or decent either. It's illiberal and unkind. In fact, it is quite possibly the worst thing about the immigration debate in Britain today.
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Go back home!
The Economist, 30 November 2013

It is time for the 500,000-odd citizens of Somalia living in Kenya to go home – that is, according to Kenya's interior minister, Joseph Ole Lenku. He visited the sprawling Dadaab camp near Kenya's border with Somalia on November 23rd to tell the nearly 400,000 refugees there that it was closing time. "The time for debate" over whether it was safe for them to return to their conflict-ridden country was past, he told them. "There is no turning back on the process [of repatriation] of refugees."

This has rattled the UN's High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). While progress in some parts of Somalia is stumbling ahead after two decades of civil war, the country remains one of the world's most dangerous. Refugees have rights under international law; strict conditions must be met before they can be sent home. Normally a survey would be conducted to establish whether they think it is safe to return. Little of this appears to have happened before a deal was signed on November 10th between the UNHCR and the governments of Somalia and Kenya.
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Half a million immigrants pour into UK in one year
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 29 November 2013

Half a million immigrants have flooded into the UK at a rate of more than 1,300 a day in 12 months, official figures revealed yesterday.

The numbers are being fuelled by citizens from the EU's poorest countries arriving in search of jobs or benefits.

In all, 503,000 people including 183,000 EU citizens came to Britain in the year to June, while 320,000 left.

It means net migration officially stands at 182,000 – when the figures are rounded up – a rise of 15,000 on the previous year, the Office for National Statistics said.

Separate figures from the Department for Work and Pensions point to a rise in citizens from ailing eurozone countries.

The number of National Insurance numbers given to Italians rose to nearly 40,000, up 52 per cent, while 50,000 Spaniards registered for work, up 40 per cent, and 28,000 Portuguese, up 45 per cent.

Significantly, the data shows 35,000 foreigners claimed benefits within six months of getting the right to work.

The figures come amid fears that lifting visa controls for Romanian and Bulgarians from January 1 will push the UK's public services to near collapse.

On Wednesday, the Daily Express delivered a petition against the changes to Downing Street. More than 150,000 readers have backed our campaign.
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UK Warned that Ban of Popular African Muslim Drug May Cause Terrorism
Daniel Greenfield
FrontPage Mag, 29 November 2013

The UK is experiencing an interesting reversal of the Opium War. Now Africa is forcing the UK to buy drugs. Some have blamed Khat for destroying entire societies. But on the plus side, it supposedly doesn't make its users violent so maybe a plus for social harmony.

Multiculturalism now comes with drug use tolerance included.

Britain's plan to ban khat, a leafy plant chewed as a stimulant in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula, should be dropped because it could alienate immigrants and damage counter-terrorism operations, lawmakers said on Friday.

How could banning a drug damage counterterrorism?

Banning the use of khat, or qat, would create tension between the police and immigrants, particularly Somalis who have settled across Britain, the committee said in a report.

"It is baffling that potential friction, between already disadvantaged communities and the police, has not been fully considered," said committee chairman Keith Vaz. "We cannot afford for those who are already marginalized to be pushed towards criminality or extremism."

Vaz was the guy who got out front to call for a Satanic Verses ban back in the day. While he's all for banning books that offend Muslims, he warns ever so subtly that banning a popular African drug will lead to Islamic terrorism.

It would also be seen as a betrayal by Kenya, where growing khat is a big source of income in some areas, the panel added. Any damage to bilateral relations could undermine the two countries' joint fight against militants.

Why not legalize heroin? Afghanistan will see it as a betrayal if the UK doesn't and it will push the Taliban toward extremism.

Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May said in July that the ban would help prevent Britain from becoming a hub for the illegal trade in khat to countries where it is banned. She also cited evidence that khat has been linked to "low attainment and family breakdowns".

Otherwise known as multiculturalism.

In Somalia, 80 percent of the men are on Khat. (Why yes we do need more immigration from Somalia. And as a bonus, 4 out of 5 Somali immigrants will be junkies.) ...

It's like importing immigrants from junkie societies increases drug use... and terrorism. Does Khat fund Islamic terrorism? Oh yes.
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When will Britain learn? Immigration from the EU is enormously beneficial to our economy
Vicky Pryce
The Independent, 29 November 2013

The Government's last-minute reaction to the prospect of Bulgarians and Romanians being able to work freely in the UK from 1 January has once again revealed its lack of strategic direction. After all, the date when the transitional arrangements for these countries comes to an end has been known for the past seven years.

Clearly all this talk of wanting to change the benefit system for new arrivals and reduce access to the UK labour market for EU citizens is a clear admission of what economists have been saying for some time. The Government's pledge to reduce net immigration was bound to fail since, as things stand, one cannot control the movement of people from the rest of the EU.

What does not make sense economically is that Labour too is fanning the flames of anti-European prejudice by saying repeatedly it was a mistake not to impose transitional arrangements as other EU countries did on the first eight Eastern European countries to join the EU in 2004. It's true that the number of Poles and others who entered the UK was vastly underestimated, but it was unquestionably good for the UK economy to have the increase in skilled and unskilled labour. Until the crash of 2008, the UK grew faster than its EU partners thanks to allowing a vigorous new labour force into Britain. ...

It is also wrong to accuse EU workers of benefit-scrounging. A recent paper for the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration argued that over the past decade, we have seen a net fiscal benefit from immigrants from European Economic Area countries. These workers are calculated to have paid more in taxes and contributions than they received in benefits and transfers.

Nor does it make sense to blame the foreigners for our current housing shortage. Britain long ago gave up state predictive planning. Even without EU workers, there would have been a major shortage of affordable housing for British citizens.

What about the NHS? Far from abusing the health service, many Eastern European men and women now work for the NHS (or in care homes), and the Conservative and Labour critics of EU workers need to ask what other sources there are to look after our ageing society. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has calculated that migration contributes positively to the sustainability of public finances, and without net migration of at least 140,000 a year, long-term public debt levels would rocket under the pressure to finance long-term social needs. ...

Let's also not forget that 2.2 million British people live and work on the Continent, and we should be careful before we hang a notice on Britain's front door saying "No more Europeans wanted". Unlike 2004, all 26 EU member states in 2014 will open up labour-market access to Bulgarians and Romanians, and these new workers will spread themselves around, with Germany and Austria other likely destinations.

The UK has always been in favour of enlargement, which does it credit. But being seen as a "nasty" country deters investment and growth. The current fear of the foreigner is British politics at its worst. It contributes to a growing populism which obscures the real economic benefits to the UK of being part of the single European market.
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Net migration into UK increases - Office for National Statistics
BBC, 28 November 2013

Net migration into the UK has risen year on year for the first time in two years, official figures show.

Net migration - the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those emigrating - rose to 182,000 in the year to June, up from 167,000 in the previous 12 months.

Prime Minister David Cameron wants to get this figure below 100,000 before the next election in 2015.

Immigration to the UK fell in the year to June 2013.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show some 503,000 people came to live in the UK in the year ending June, compared with 517,000 people the previous year.

Meanwhile 320,000 people left the UK - down from 349,000 the previous year.

Emigration is now at its lowest level since 2001.

The ONS said the number of people coming to the UK from the EU had gone up by 25,000, mainly for work reasons.

Immigration from outside the EU saw a "statistically significant" drop to 242,000 in the year to June, from 282,000 the previous year, it said.

China now tops the table for the number of new immigrants to the UK, followed by India, Poland, the US and Australia. ...

Earlier this year campaign group Migration Watch warned that officials could be underestimating net migration. The ONS accepted it undercounted the number of immigrants from countries which joined the EU after 2004.

In July, the Public Administration Committee also said the statistics were "little better than a best guess" and "not fit for purpose". At the time, immigration minister Mark Harper defended the statistics as "accurate" and "very robust".
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Student loans: thousands of Europeans 'failing to repay debts'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2013

Almost half of students from mainland Europe may be failing to repay taxpayer-backed loans amid warnings of a £5 billion black hole in the public finances.

A report by the National Audit Office found that around 18,000 students from EU member states who took out Government loans for English university courses are in arrears or failing to provide earnings information.

It represents around 40 per cent of the total number of EU students who are eligible for repayments after being given taxpayer funding for degree courses.

In all, European students are believed to be three times more likely to be avoiding repayments than those from Britain – partly because cash cannot be collected through the tax system in foreign countries.

The disclosure came as it emerged that a total of 417,000 students have borrowed money but are failing to make repayments. In most cases, the Government does not hold enough information about them.

Collectively, around £5.7bn of public money is unaccounted for in the English student loans system, figures show. ...

According to the NAO report, 42,000 EU graduates are eligible to make repayments, but 18,000 are failing to do so.

Of those, 7,000 are formally "in arrears" and living abroad, while 11,000 remain in the UK without providing earnings information. Some of the 11,000 may be under the repayment threshold or not in work but no details exist about them.
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Immigration: people move freely, but who pays?
Paul Collier
Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2013
[Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University]

Migration is often conflated with globalisation and described as inevitable. But globalisation is about the flows of trade, ideas and investment that are enabling poorer countries to converge on richer ones – think of China as the great beneficiary. In contrast, modern migration is driven by wide income differences. As poorer countries such as Romania and Bulgaria catch up, migration will go down. ...

While in the long run migration will slow down, in the long run we are all dead, as Keynes drily noted. We need to pay attention to shorter horizons. An important result of modern research is that until income gaps close, migration from poorer countries accelerates.

The reason for acceleration is straightforward. The act of migration is costly: the migrant is making an investment. But as diasporas build up, they act as a welcoming committee for further migrants, lowering the costs of migrating. David Cameron's decision to deny Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants welfare benefits for their first three months should help by making immigration a little more costly. Acting pre-emptively, before diasporas have accumulated, makes the change as effective as possible.

But in the longer term the right to migrate within Europe for work or benefits should be modified. The free movement of peoples within Europe is a great achievement, but as with the free movement of goods it is rooted in the ethical principle of reciprocity. Germany exports to France without trade barriers; France exports to Germany without trade barriers, and that is mutually beneficial. Several hundred thousand French citizens live in Britain; several hundred thousand Britons live in France: both societies gain from this enhancement of freedom. ...

The accession of south-eastern European countries to the European Union is not just an expanded opportunity for mutual benefit; it is an important contribution to stabilising these societies and enabling them to catch up. But an exodus of their workforce to Britain is a long way from practical reciprocity.

It is an inadvertent consequence of a different objective – stabilising Western Europe's neighbourhood. Nor, indeed, is an exodus of the brightest and most energetic young workers from Romania and Bulgaria conducive to their convergence. It is therefore in the interest of Europe as a whole that the rules of movement be modified to recognise the distinctive issues posed by the accession of countries that are much poorer. ...

Looming on the horizon is the potential accession of Turkey, a poor country with a larger population than any country in the union. We have no way of predicting how many Turks would choose to migrate to Britain, any more than we can predict how many Romanians and Bulgarians will come here. Recall how wildly wrong the forecasts of Polish migration proved to be. But Turkish Cypriots, who due to a historical anomaly have long had rights of entry, most certainly chose to come. There are now far more Turkish Cypriots and their descendants in Britain than remain in Turkish Cyprus. ...

As a recent OECD report showed, Britain has done a terrible job at skilling up our young people. Perhaps only by starving firms of willing immigrants will they face up to their social responsibilities.
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Halt the recovery, we're as happy as we're going to get
Steve Hawkes
Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2013

Forget sharing the proceeds of growth. Britons are not going to get any happier than they are right now – earning an average of £22,000 a year, according to a scientific study.

Rather than rising as a country becomes more wealthy, general levels of happiness peak below the GDP of the richest nations, Dr Eugenio Proto, an associate professor of economics at the University of Warwick, found. ... ...

While those in the poorest countries were least happy, life satisfaction peaked when average income reached $36,000, or £22,114. Britain's GDP per person is at £22,244, almost exactly the ideal level, after the economy grew by 0.8 per cent between July and September.

Dr Proto said: "Many policymakers, including in the UK, are interested in official measures of national well-being. Our new analysis has one very surprising finding which has not been reported before – that life satisfaction appears to dip beyond a certain level of wealth."
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Bulgaria Builds Fence on Border With Turkey
ABC News / Associated Press, 28 November 2013

Bulgarian authorities say they are constructing a fence on a 30-kilometer (19-mile) stretch of the country's 274-kilometer (171-mile) border with Turkey in an effort to stop illegal immigration.

Defense Minister Angel Naydenov said Thursday that the 3-meter-high (10- foot-) fence is expected to be ready by February. It will run mainly through forested, hilly areas where visibility for border patrols is limited.
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Cameron curbs welfare benefits for EU migrants
Andrew Osborn
Reuters, 27 November 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday promised to make it harder for migrants from the European Union to access Britain's welfare system and pledged to try to restrict the freedom of movement of people from poorer EU states in time. ...

"The EU of today is very different from the EU of 30 years ago," Cameron said in an article in the Financial Times.

"We need to face the fact that free movement has become a trigger for vast population movements caused by huge disparities in income. That is extracting talent out of countries that need to retain their best people and placing pressure on communities."

Cameron said he planned to change British law so that new EU migrants would have to wait three months before they could access unemployment benefits, saying he shared deep public concerns about a possible influx of new migrants.

Newcomers would not be eligible for housing benefits and would lose the right to unemployment benefits after six months unless they could prove they had a realistic chance of finding a job.

He said he also planned to try to renegotiate the way EU freedom of movement rules are applied to make it harder for people from poorer countries in the 28-nation bloc to relocate to richer countries in time.

That, he said, could involve capping the annual number of EU migrants or withholding full freedom of movement rights until a country achieved a certain gross domestic product per head.

"Britain, as part of our plan to reform the EU, will now work with others to return the concept of free movement to a more sensible basis," he wrote.

"We must put in place new arrangements that will slow full access to each other's labour markets until we can be sure it will not cause vast migrations."

The previous Labour government waived transitional controls for migrants from new EU members states, something Cameron called a "monumental mistake" which meant 1 million people from central and Eastern Europe were now living in Britain.

Laszlo Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, said the kind of "unilateral rhetoric" Cameron was indulging in on immigration was unhelpful.

"This is an unfortunate over-reaction. We would need a more accurate presentation of the reality, not under such hysteria which sometimes happens in the UK," he told BBC radio.

"Unilateral rhetoric ... is not really helpful. It risks presenting the UK as a kind of nasty country. We have to look into the situation collectively and act proportionately."
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EU migrant benefits crackdown
ITV, 27 November 2013

Economically inactive migrants from the European Union make up a total of between 1% and 1.2% of the total UK population, according to the EU Commission.

Britain has one of the lowest EU migrant jobless rate in the EU.

The countries with the highest number of jobless EU migrants are as follows:

Belgium, where inactive economic migrants make up 3% of the population.

Cyprus, where they number 4.1%.

In Ireland a total of 3% of the population are migrants from other EU countries who are out of work.

In Luxembourg this number jumps to 13.9%.
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EU migrants: David Cameron sets out more benefit restrictions
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 27 November 2013

David Cameron made a fresh effort to assuage public concern about a wave of migration from Bulgaria and Romania on Tuesday when he announced a series of benefit restrictions on all EU migrant workers, including a ban on access to housing benefit for all new arrivals and a three-month ban before jobseeker's allowance can be claimed.

Saying he shared the deep concerns of many in Britain at the EU's requirement to lift transitional controls on Romanians and Bulgarians in January, he blamed "monumental" mishandling of the issue by the previous Labour government.

The package of restrictions announced late Tuesday was backed by the Tories' coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, as sensible and reasonable. ...

In the package, Cameron announced:

• No newly arrived EU jobseekers will be able to claim housing benefit.

• No EU migrant will be entitled to out-of-work benefits for the first three months. In line with a previous announcement, no EU migrant from January will be able to claim jobseeker's allowance (JSA) for more than a maximum of six months unless they can prove that they have a genuine prospect of employment.

• A new minimum earnings threshold will be introduced before benefits such as income support can be claimed.

• Any EU national sleeping rough or begging will be deported and barred from re-entry for 12 months "unless they can prove they have a proper reason to be here, such as a job".

He also announced a fourfold increase in the fine for employers failing to pay the minimum wage, to £20,000, although critics have claimed the problem lies in lack of enforcement rather than the level of the fine. ...

Downing Street is confident that its own package of restrictions announced Tuesday does not fall foul of EU law, a view supported by the pro-European Nick Clegg. ... ...

Cameron also said he would like to like the EU to tackle long term how it prevented "fresh surges of immigration in future when countries join the EU". The big concern is Turkey.

He said: "One would be to require a new country to reach a certain share of average EU GDP per head before full free movement was allowed. Individual member states could be freed to impose a cap if their inflow from the EU reached a certain number in a single year," he said.
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The Polish minister was incredulous as I told him Blair was opening our borders to what turned out to be a million Poles
Charles Crawford
Daily Mail, 27 November 2013
[Charles Crawford was British ambassador in Sarajevo, Belgrade and Warsaw]

The look on the face of the Polish Interior Minister was one of incredulity.

As the British ambassador in Warsaw a decade ago, I had met him to spell out HM Government's immigration policy towards the former Communist nations of Eastern Europe, such as his own, once they became members of the EU in May 2004.

To his astonishment, I told him that controls on their citizens would be lifted immediately by Britain, with the new arrivals given full access to our labour market.

A droll, unconventional figure by the standards of the former Eastern bloc, he could hardly believe what I had said. 'What's the catch?' he asked me. ...

The Polish minister instinctively knew what Tony Blair's Labour government consistently denied: the immediate abolition of all border restrictions would lead to a surge of his people to these shores. ...

Not surprisingly, this disturbing experience of mass immigration is making us anxious about the relaxation of controls on Romanians and Bulgarians. ...

The new influx from next year may not be as big as the post-2004 tidal wave, partly because other EU states are lifting their labour controls at the same time, so there will not be the same intense focus on Britain. ...

The rate of immigration has regularly been running at more than 500,000 arrivals a year.

It is hard to think of any precedents for what is happening to change the face of our country outside earlier wartime convulsions.

Immigration has, of course, brought benefits. Britain has traditionally been a tolerant place, built on trade and open to new ideas and new people.

And a growing population has some obvious advantages. But the sheer speed and scale of these changes risks creating bewilderment and anger. ...

This sense of betrayal is keenest among the less well-off who bear the brunt of the impact of mass immigration. ...

... In good part, Labour's promotion of mass immigration was a deliberate policy designed to change the demographic profile and political DNA of our nation.

Peter Mandelson has said his party 'sent out search parties' to bring in more foreigners.

Labour was fixated by the modish chatter of multicultural diversity. But Labour also knew that it stood to gain from a growing migrant vote. ...

If mass immigration remains a taboo subject among politicians for debate and reform, I fear real dangers lie ahead.
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Labour and the Lib Dems fail to challenge the myth of "benefit tourism"
George Eaton
New Statesman, 27 November 2013

If you're looking for a liberal critique of David Cameron's plan to crack down on "benefit tourism" by restricting payments to new migrants, don't look to any of the main parties. The Lib Dems have welcomed the proposals as "sensible and reasonable", while Labour is busy arguing that it came up with the idea first. Yvette Cooper said this morning: "After Labour proposed this change in March, the government said it was all fine and nothing needed to change. Yet now, rather than following a coherent plan, they are flailing around." Neither party challenged the premise on which Cameron's intervention was based.

With the other main voice in the debate, Nigel Farage, complaining that the UK is "still being far too generous", it was left to EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor to provide a dose of reality. As he told the Today programme, "The point is that the British public has not been told all the truth." The truth being that "benefit tourism" is almost entirely a myth. As a recent EU study noted, "the majority of mobile EU citizens move to another Member State to work" and benefit tourism is neither "widespread nor systematic". Another truth rarely mentioned by any party is that migrants contribute far more in taxes than they receive in benefits and services, and benefit the economy as a result. ...

It's for these reasons, among others, that, as the Office for Budget Responsibility has shown, we will need more, not fewer immigrants, if we are to cope with the challenge of an ageing population and the resultant increase in the national debt. Should Britain maintain net migration of around 140,000 a year (a level significantly higher than the government's target of 'tens of thousands'), debt will rise to 99 per cent of GDP by 2062-63. But should it reduce net migration to zero, debt will surge to 174 per cent. ...

One might expect a fiscal conservative like Cameron to act on such advice but, as so often in recent times, the PM is determined to put politics before policy. By refusing to challenge the terms on which the debate is conducted, Labour and the Lib Dems are doing the same.
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Object to mass immigration from the EU? Join the Romaphobe club!
Tom Harris MP
Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2013
[Tom Harris is the Labour MP for Glasgow South]

How grateful we all were when our political leaders graciously informed us that we were once again allowed to discuss immigration without being accused of racism.

And it's (largely) been true. Because now there's a new word, or rather, a number of new words that can be used pejoratively to describe those who question the value of large-scale immigration. And all those words end with "phobe".

The latest is "Romaphobe", used to attack anyone who is too stupid to understand how "lively" and "vibrant" their communities will become after New Year's Day, when EU freedom of movement rules are lifted to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens.

Do I need to add all the usual caveats and qualifications before I continue? Okay, let's get it over with: the vast majority of immigrants from all over the world make a massively positive financial as well as personal and cultural contribution to the UK. Britain is far better off today than it would have been without immigration.

Okay? Can I continue now?

Like other MPs in parts of the country which have seen a large influx of Eastern European immigrants, I've been approached increasingly frequently by constituents with complaints and fears. The fears bit is easy to explain: no one wants to be accused of racism or of being a phobe.

But a consistent pattern of complaints took shape quite early on: filthy and vastly overcrowded living arrangements, organised aggressive begging, the ghetto-isation of local streets where women no longer feel safe to walk due to the presence of large groups of (workless) men, the rifling through domestic wheelie bins by groups of women pushing oddly child-free prams, and a worrying increase in the reporting of aggressive and violent behavior in local schools.

Naturally and inevitably, there are those who will point to similarly unpleasant anti-social behavior by the indigenous population, and for a time those complaints and fears of my constituents can be safely ignored or explained away in whatever way makes us all feel comfortable again.

In the meantime, my constituents become angrier and more resentful, because the lives they have worked so hard to build for themselves and their families are being impinged upon by people whose culture, way of life and attitude to authority and those around them are utterly alien. And no one is listening to them, or representing them or their concerns.

The cries of "(insert preferred ethnic grouping)-phobia" always come from those who resist value judgments on other cultures. What's good about our culture might be offensive to others, and vice versa. Everything's relative, yeah?


It would be absurd to claim that all foreign cultures are beneficial to the UK. ...

So, having established that not every foreign cultural can, or should, fit seamlessly into modern Britain, can we at least recognise that those who simply do not want any more immigration from (for example) eastern Europe have every right to say so? And to be heard?
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I Want an American Baby! Chinese Women Flock to the U.S. to Give Birth
Hannah Beech
Time, 27 November 2013

The U.S. is one of the few nations where simply being born on its soil confers citizenship on a newborn. That policy has spawned a birth-tourism industry, in which pregnant foreigners flock to American hospitals to secure U.S. passports for their babies. Although the foreign couple can't acquire U.S. nationality themselves, once their American-born offspring turn 21 they can theoretically sponsor their parents for future U.S. citizenship. Another perk: these American-born kids can take advantage of the U.S. education system, even paying lower in-state fees for public universities, depending on where they were delivered. (California is a popular birth-tourism destination because of its well-known university system.)

More rich Chinese than ever are sending their families and money abroad. One study of Chinese millionaires found that half had either emigrated or were thinking of doing so. Boston Consulting Group estimates that Chinese have some $450 billion stockpiled overseas. ...

All of which has led to a proliferation of so-called anchor babies. At least 10,000 such Chinese babies were born in America last year, according to an estimate by an online platform dedicated to monitoring and rating confinement centers for Chinese women giving birth in the States. Naturally, a thriving business catering to these tiny foreign passport holders has developed.
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The rift over immigration to Britain continues to widen
Peter Kellner
The Guardian, 26 November 2013

Immigration is not just one of the biggest and most sensitive issues in British politics; it also exposes one of the great and widening rifts between most of the people and much of the political and chattering classes.

During the past fortnight, YouGov has conducted surveys on the issue for the Times and Sunday Times.

• Detailed economic studies, for example by the National Institute for Economic Research, insist that Britain's economy has benefited from immigration in recent years; but by 57% to 31%, British voters disagree

• Official statistics show the number of immigrants coming to Britain has dropped significantly in the past few years; but only 7% believe this. As many as 73% think immigration is "higher than a few years ago", while a further 12% think the number "is staying about the same"

• Asked what they believe the government's target for immigration to be, only 19% know that it is to reduce net immigration from hundreds of thousands a year to tens of thousands.

It's a moot point whether voters are not paying attention, or simply don't believe official statistics, economic analyses or politicians' promises. I suspect that disbelief rather than ignorance is the main explanation. Mountains of YouGov research show how little respect voters have, not just for politicians but for other pillars of British society.

This interpretation would help to explain another set of findings. When people are asked about immigration overall, they think it is far too high and doing great damage. But when the same people are asked about immigrants as people, much of the resentment melts away. ... ...

In large measure, then it's not specific immigration policies that voters reject, but the belief that they are too easily evaded and/or not fully enforced.

That said, there is one feature of current immigration policy that most voters do dislike. By almost 2:1 they want the European Union to scrap the right of free movement throughout the EU. In asking the question we made clear that this freedom cuts both ways, with Britons able to live and work elsewhere in the EU and citizens of other EU countries to settle here. By 52% to 29%, voters want David Cameron to seek to end these rights as part of his proposed renegotiation of the United Kingdom's relationship with the EU.

The importance of this is underlined by responses to another question. We listed 10 possible issues for renegotiation and asked people to identify up to three that mattered most to them. "Greater control of our borders and immigration from the EU" was the runaway winner, picked by 57%. It was the first choice of every social, political and demographic group. The next two – our ability to determine our own trade policies, and set our own human rights laws – came a distant, joint second, on 27%.
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Half of Brits want to stop new migrants moving here as Romanian foreign minister warns Cameron against 'racist attitudes'
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 26 November 2013

Almost half of Britons think the right to work and live in the UK should be blocked for Romanians and Bulgarians, a survey has shown.

It comes as Downing Street confirmed it is looking at a possible extension of the length of time new arrivals from the EU have to stay in the UK before claiming benefits.

And the Romanian foreign minister urged David Cameron to reject the 'racist attitudes' which can dominate the political debate on immigration. ...

Meanwhile, an opinion poll for Channel 5 News found 47 per cent of people thought migrants from the two countries should have no right to live, work or claim benefits in the UK and 56 per cent believed immigration had resulted in a negative impact on Britain.

One in four people surveyed in the Chancel 5 News poll thought Romanians and Bulgarians should be treated the same as other EU citizens and 18 per cent thought they should have more limited rights to live, work and access welfare in the UK.

A third of people surveyed over-estimated the percentage of people born outside the UK living in the country, thinking the figure was over 40 per cent, rather than the 13 per cent indicated in the 2011 census.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of those surveyed said Ukip had the best immigration policies, followed by Labour on 18 per cent, the Tories on 12 per cent and Lib Dems on 7 per cent.
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Just 8,000 Bulgarians a year will move to UK, ambassador claims: But is it a dire underestimate, like Polish prediction?
Tim Shipman
Daily Mail, 26 November 2013

Only 8,000 Bulgarians a year will come to Britain when restrictions on entry are lifted in January, the country's ambassador suggested last night.

Konstantin Dimitrov's forecast is in stark contrast to the 50,000 estimate by the Migrationwatch pressure group, and will be regarded as a woeful underestimate by experts considering between 8,000 and 10,000 Bulgarians already come to the UK every year. ...

Although the figure is a lot lower than previous estimates, it still means Britain will have to build a new town the size of Harlow or Stevenage every decade to house new arrivals from Bulgaria alone. Earlier this year Mr Dimitrov's Romanian counterpart, Ion Jinga, predicted between 15,000 and 25,000 Romanian arrivals each year. ...

Sir Gerald Howarth, who signed a Commons motion calling for controls to be kept in place on Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants, said even the 8,000 figure cited by the ambassador was too high.
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(No title)
Gerard Batten MEP (Ukip), Immigration and Home Affairs Spokesman
Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2013
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – The Home Office has failed to reject a single work permit from Bulgaria in the past six years despite promising to protect British jobs.

On October 22, Bulgarian MPs voted to extend the ban of sale of agricultural land to foreigners, including EU citizens, until 2020, thus breaking EU law and a major term of their EU Accession Treaty.

The Bulgarian parliament has taken unilateral action to defend what it sees as its national interest: Britain must now do the same. The British Government should extend the labour market restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians, which are due to expire at the end of this year.

If Bulgaria can pick and choose which of its EU obligations apply, then so should we. With one million young people unemployed and public services stretched to breaking point, Britain would be foolish and irresponsible to allow labour market access to Bulgarians and Romanians.
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(No title)
Patryk Malinski
Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2013
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – There is a need for a proper debate on the immigration issue; but in order to have a proper debate, facts must be established in the first place.

Out of the estimated 7.2 million foreigners living in Britain, only 2.3 million are from the European Union. When we look at foreign benefit claimants, 66 per cent come from Asia, 24 per cent from Africa and only 16 per cent from the European Union.

Any debate should be based on these facts, as they clearly show that the EU's freedom of movement law is not the main source of immigration.
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Recruitment agents for foreign students to be 'vetted'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2013

Recruitment agents who sign up overseas students for British universities will be subjected to new vetting procedures amid warnings over a sharp rise in the number of foreigners entering the country.

For the first time, agents will be asked to sign up to a new "ethical" code of practice and undertake training to win formal accreditation, it was announced.

The British Council will create a new database of agents and subject them to regular assessments to make sure standards are being maintained. ...

More than 488,000 foreigners currently enter the UK to take degrees and postgraduate courses, with forecasts by the British Council suggesting that numbers could rise by a quarter within the next decade.

In many cases, they are recruited via a network of agents who offer guidance and support for students, particularly in parts of the Far East.

It is estimated that recruitment agents are paid as much as £120 million a year to attract foreign students into the UK.

But concerns have been raised over the system used to recruit some overseas students.

An investigation by The Daily Telegraph last year found examples of agents boasting that they could secure places for overseas students with far worse A-level results than those expected of British pupils. ...

Research last year found that universities made huge payments to agents who in turn recruited 51,000 students into universities.

One university alone – Newcastle – spent £2.2m in commission for foreign agents, who normally help students select courses, fill out application forms and prepare them for interviews.
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Even the Germans agree! Cities beg Angela Merkel not to allow Bulgarian & Romanian influx
Alison Little
Daily Express, 26 November 2013

Sixteen German cities have begged Chancellor Angela Merkel for emergency aid to help them cope with a looming influx of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants.

They warned they are already struggling with a sharp increase in arrivals from the two countries – and the lifting of restrictions on January 1 is set to bring many more.

Their fears reflect mounting concern in Britain at how many people from the two poor East European countries will head here. German mayors hinted in a letter to Mrs Merkel that their greatest concern is the arrival of Roma gypsies, who they say have no experience of western living and "the conventions of neighbourly co-existence".

Neighbourhoods are "overwhelmed" by numbers and tensions are being exploited by "Right-wing extremist and xenophobic forces".

The civic leaders said they did not dispute the right of eastern Europeans to seek work and said migration had benefits for the economy.

But they insisted that EU free movement rules had "far-reaching economic and social consequences".

Duisburg mayor Soeren Link said it would be better for Romania and Bulgaria to receive development aid, so their citizens did not have to seek a better life elsewhere.

He added: "Duisburg has a deficit of £1.7 billion. If we take on more costs we have to cut some other spending. We are being asked to pay for politics made in Berlin and Brussels.

"We do a hard job in integration work but you need a lot of money to be successful."

Romania and Bulgaria were the second and third main sources of immigrants to Germany, behind Poland, in the first six months of this year.
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Citizenship dilemma for German Turks
Anadolu Agency, 26 November 2013

Tens of thousands of German-born Turks, aged between 18-23, have to choose between Turkish or German citizenship since Germany denied Turkish migrants' dual citizenship in 2000. Three out of four Turkish migrants do not become German citizens in order to not lose their Turkish citizenship, a survey found.

It is estimated that between 3 -3.5 million Turkish immigrants live in Germany, making them the largest ethnic minority in Germany accounting for nearly 4% of Germany's total population.

According to a survey by the Essen-based Turkey and Integration Research Center (ZfTI), 77% of Turkish migrants who want to be German citizens also want to keep their Turkish citizenship. 83% of Turkish migrants, who are German citizens at the moment, would keep their Turkish citizenship as well if such were possible.

Out of the 3 to 3.5 million Turkish immigrants in Germany, just under half have German citizenship. The majority of Turkish immigrants are German-born but they do not apply for German citizenship, fearing that losing their Turkish citizenship may put them into a disadvantageous situation in Turkey if they return to their homeland in the future.

The coalition government of the Social Democrats and Greens legislated a law in 2000 ruling out "dual citizenships," affecting the Turkish immigrants' dual citizenship option negatively. According to the law, immigrants aged between 18-25 have to choose their citizenship.

Those who chose Turkish citizenship do not have rights to vote or be elected, and face minor problems in their daily routines.

In 1999, 242 thousand immigrants had been conferred German citizenship while figures stood at only 95 thousand in 2008. In 2011 only 28 thousand Turkish immigrants chose German citizenship.
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Thousands of illegal immigrants could be "fiddling" the system by claiming asylum only after being threatened with deportation.
Owen Bennett
Daily Express, 26 November 2013

Almost 20,000 foreigners have been allowed to stay in the last six years after claiming that deportation would breach their human rights.

The fact that they claimed asylum only after being detected has called into question the legitimacy of their claims and there are now calls for the Home Office to investigate.

Labour MP Frank Field – who has called for a crackdown on immigration – uncovered the figures.

He found that since 2008 a total of 66,569 foreigners claimed asylum after detection.

Of those 19,066 – or nearly one in three – were actually successful. The others had their return home delayed, often by years, by using the tactic.

The former welfare reform minister told the Sun: "It is an obvious fiddle that I am sure the Home Secretary will want to look at.

"You are either here for one reason or the other. You can't be both."

He added: "If people want to claim asylum, they should claim it straight away."

According to Government figures, each person living in the UK illegally costs taxpayers £4,250.

That figure is based on the costs incurred by public services such as the NHS and education.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of campaign group MigrationWatch UK, added: "If someone doesn't claim asylum until they are detected, you wonder how strong their case really is."
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Holding Foreign Visitors to Their Promises
Mark Krikorian
National Review, 26 November 2013

Visa overstayers are believed to represent between a third and a half of the 12 million illegal aliens in the United States – and with improvements in border enforcement it's possible the majority of new illegal aliens are overstayers. That translates to 4 to 6 million liars, people who swore they'd leave when their visit was over but didn't, something at least as contemptible as sneaking into someone else's country. ...

There are also more Korean illegal aliens than you might think. For instance, nearly 7,000 South Korean illegal aliens have been amnestied by Obama's unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (a.k.a. the administrative Dream Act) through the end of August, making it the No. 5 country after Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

The reason we have 4 to 6 million illegal-alien visa overstayers is that we have no effective way of tracking the departure of foreign visitors. This despite the fact that Congress has mandated the development of an exit-tracking system eight separate times, starting in 1996. As Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano dismissed the importance of exit-tracking. At a 2009 hearing, she told Senator Dianne Feinstein the "value of that system to security is dubious." While the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill passed by the Senate in June made development of such a system a sort-of prerequisite before amnestied former illegal aliens upgrade to full green-card status, the ten-year deadline would mean that exit-tracking wouldn't be in place until more than a quarter-century after Congress's original mandate.

Exacerbating this problem with regard to South Korea and other countries is the Visa Waiver Program. As the name suggests, people from the 37 countries on the list don't have to get visas for short tourist or business trips. Only those countries whose citizens are very unlikely to overstay are supposed to be included in the program. Unfortunately, the main force expanding the list of participating countries has been lobbying pressure from the travel industry and foreign governments. ... This has been a significant driver of illegal immigration; the GAO reported earlier this year that, of a very large sample of apparent overstays, nearly half were people who entered under the Visa Waiver Program.

With a proper exit-tracking system, and guaranteed follow-up arrests of all those who overstay more than a couple of weeks, we could afford to make our visa process more flexible. But as it is, we grant visas to people who shouldn't get them, waive visas for countries that send large number of illegal aliens, don't have any comprehensive way of knowing whether visitors have left when they were supposed to, and don't bother even to send a notification postcard to people we do know overstayed. It's no surprise, then, that there are millions of illegals like Ju Hong. But until we've fixed these problems, there can be no justification for amnesty; otherwise, we'll just have millions more Ju Hongs that the Democrats, and their GOP enablers, will insist have to be amnestied.
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Bulgarian immigrants: Home Office fails to reject single request
Ben Riley-Smith and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 25 November 2013

The Home Office has failed to reject a single request from British employers to hire Bulgarian immigrants since 2007, the country's ambassador has said.

Konstantin Dimitrov said he had never heard of a work permit application being turned down, though Border Agency staff are told to refuse requests if British workers can fill the role.

The disclosure raised concerns over whether the freedom of movement restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants – due to expire on Dec 31 – had ever been working.

It suggests that the Home Office has failed to protect British jobs in competitive markets. Labour said it would table questions in Parliament after the Home Office confirmed that it did not publish records on the number of rejected work permit requests for Bulgarians.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, pledged on Sunday night to look into the matter.

Mr Dimitrov also insisted that Bulgarians moving to Britain should not be described as "immigrants".

"Bulgarians are not immigrants," he said. "Bulgarians are members of the European Union and are moving freely inside the EU, including the UK." ...

Currently between 8,000 and 10,000 Bulgarians are estimated to come to Britain each year to work. Mr Dimitrov said this number would not increase when the restrictions were lifted.

Since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007, British employers looking to hire nationals from those countries have had to apply for a work permit, while the worker must get an access card.

Certain understaffed industries are exempt from the work permit scheme – those hiring doctors and teachers, for example. But employers in every other field must prove that the job being offered cannot be filled by a Briton.

These restrictions expire on Dec 31, leading to fears that British jobs will be under threat from a flood of migrants. But Mr Dimitrov says the protections in place have already failed to stop a single Bulgarian from working in Britain.

"In other words, most of all those who wanted to work here, especially since we became a member of the EU in 2007, have managed to do so," he said.
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Britain heading towards a 'colour-coded society', says Demos
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 25 November 2013

Britain is drifting towards a "colour-coded society", where white people and those from ethnic minorities are settling down in different areas, a thinktank says today.

The study from Demos and Birkbeck College warned that ethnic minority Britons were starting to steer clear of white areas to avoid having to be "ethnic pioneers".

Correspondingly white people were leaving more diverse areas for the countryside, which are 90 per cent white.

This led to greater integration between minority groups, with Pakistanis, Indians, Afro-Caribbeans or Bangladeshis leaving their areas of concentration to mix with other minorities.

The result, the thinktank found, was growing trend of 'comfort-zone segregation'.

It said that white British people who have moved out of diverse areas do not do so due to racism or discomfort with diversity – often being more tolerant than those staying.

Trevor Philips, chairman of the Mapping Integration project at Demos and a former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: "We've been in denial on this issue for far too long. This research reveals that we have yet to face to up to the risk that we are drifting into a colour-coded society.

"There's no doubt that today's Britain is way more at ease with ethnic and cultural difference than the country in which I grew up – nobody moves out of the street because I've moved in.

"But ironically, the next generation's natural desire to do the right thing for their families is leading to a new kind of social division – what you might call comfort-zone segregation."
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No need to apologise
Daily Telegraph, 25 November 2013
[Leading article]

Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, is one of our most serious and thoughtful politicians. The idea that he would deliberately stoke up racial tensions in order to counter Ukip's anti-immigration rhetoric is absurd. Yet this has been the unjustified interpretation that some have placed upon his interview in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday. In it he observed that there is electoral corruption among sections of the Pakistani community that has been imported from the political practices that are rife in the Indian sub-continent.

This is a fact but it does not mean that all Pakistani immigrants are corrupt or that most of them do not make a positive contribution to the UK.


It is dispiriting that when a decent politician tries to make a well-intentioned point, the roof should fall in on him and he is placed under pressure to say sorry for something that does not warrant an apology. As the Government's chief law officer, Mr Grieve was pointing up a problem that will not go away simply by denying it exists but by ensuring it is dealt with in the same way as any other similar offence. It is a shame some of his Conservative colleagues did not endeavour to put what he said in the context in which it was clearly intended. The lack of support or expressions of embarrassment were ill-advised and merely fuelled the chorus of phoney condemnation that too often undermines attempts to conduct serious political debate nowadays.
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Public attitudes to a diversifying society
Dr Philip McDermott
University of Ulster, 25 November 2013

Almost one in three people in NI think racism is likely to worsen over the next five years, according to a new survey report from Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NILT) released today.

The NILT Survey is an annual survey conducted by ARK at the University of Ulster and Queen's University Belfast. It records public attitudes to a wide range of social issues.

The report – which surveyed over 1200 people – also reveals conflicting attitudes about immigration, with just under half of people expressing the view that immigration had had a favourable impact on society, with another 47% feeling that immigration into Northern Ireland should be reduced. ...

Key findings from the research include:

:: the overall impact of immigration to Northern Ireland was viewed as favourable by almost half the respondents. Cultural life was identified as an area of society to have particularly benefitted

:: at the same time, 47% of respondents noted that immigration flows to the region should be reduced 'a little' or 'a lot'. These results contrast with GB where 75% of respondents to the 2012 British Social Attitudes Survey stated that immigration flows should be reduced

:: respondents were most likely to come into contact with Eastern Europeans but less likely to have interaction with members of the Muslim and Irish Traveller populations.

:: racial prejudice was still viewed as a long-term issue for Northern Ireland with almost a third of the responses indicating a belief that this would get worse in the next five years

:: The level of acceptance of mixed race marriages in Northern Ireland is falling: in 2008, 76% said they would accept and member of an ethnic minority group though marriage: in this 2012 survey, the percentage had fallen to 60%

:: 79% of respondents felt that prejudice exists toward members of minority ethnic communities – and that the problem is getting worse. ...

Dr McDermott said: "In the past decade conflicting responses have been expressed on immigration and cultural diversity and the results clearly show the range of feeling held on an often emotive topic.

"Overall, respondents seemed largely supportive in principle of increasing levels of diversity and the impact of these social changes. However, these feelings appeared to dissipate when participants were faced with the scenario of having closer personal contact with migrants.

"The findings also indicate areas where further research is required to better understand issues around prejudice and racism and to ascertain the best models for good relations between all communities in Northern Ireland."
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Israel to pay African asylum-seekers $3,500 to leave voluntarily
Ilan Lior
Haaretz, 25 November 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet voted unanimously on Sunday to allocate NIS 440 million to deal with African asylum-seekers in the coming year, with most of the money going toward a new detention center in the Negev. The ministers likewise voted as one to support a bill coming to the Knesset on Tuesday that would effectively keep the illegal migrants inside the detention center around the clock, even though it is billed as an "open" facility. ...

The cabinet also approved a proposal by Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to raise from $1,500 to $3,500 the grant given to African migrants who agree to leave the country.

"We are determined to remove the tens of thousands of infiltrators who are here, after we lowered to zero the number of work-seeking infiltrators who have entered Israel's cities," Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting. He said the measures the cabinet passed on Sunday were "proportionate and essential to protect the Jewish and democratic character of the state, and will restore security to Israel's citizens, while maintaining the directives of the High Court and international law."
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Rising tide of asylum seekers spills into Serbian forests
Matt Robinson
Reuters, 25 November 2013

With winter approaching, hundreds of asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East are living in a forest in Serbia without access to basic amenities, a sign of the Balkan state's failure to tackle a rising tide of migration. ...

All have legally sought asylum but the country's two asylum centres are full. With around 300 living rough so far, rights groups have expressed growing alarm and say the problem will only worsen as more arrive. ...

The number of people seeking asylum in Serbia has shot up from 52 in 2008 to almost 4,000 so far this year.

But the Serbian government has been slow to respond and has run into resistance from local communities to housing those who are caught trying to cross borders illegally and request asylum. Serbia's two asylum centres hold around 250.
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Cameron prepares for showdown with Europe over benefits for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants
Mia De Graaf
Daily Mail, 24 November 2013

David Cameron is set to defy European rules by announcing a severe new set of obstacles for immigrants as Britain's Romanian and Bulgarian communities rapidly multiply. ...

People wishing to enter Britain will have to prove they have lived here for a year, up from three months, before they can receive benefits in one of the proposals expected to be unveiled.

Another policy would remove child benefits from the dependent children of migrant workers, sources claim.

The move is a dramatic step that goes against EU laws preventing member states from having one rule for their citizens requesting state hand-outs, and another for immigrants.

If he goes ahead with the proposals, there is little Europe could do to stop him for years. ...

At home, pressure is mounting as at least 33 backbench Tory MPs have so far signed a petition to stop Bulgarian and Romanian immigration altogether by 2018.
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Cabinet split over restricting migrant benefits
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2013

David Cameron faces opposition from within his Cabinet over plans to impose new restrictions on benefits to migrants.

The Cabinet is split over restricting benefits to migrants.

David Cameron is considering dramatically increasing the length of time new arrivals have to stay in Britain before qualifying for welfare, ahead of the relaxation of border controls on people from Romania and Bulgaria in the new year.

One option being studied by the Prime Minister includes restricting benefits to migrants who have been in Britain for more than a year, four times the current requirement.

The move risks triggering a protracted legal row with the European Commission, which bans members states from discriminating between their own citizens and people from other member states.

Mr Cameron faces opposition from within the Cabinet over the plans, it emerged this morning. ... ...

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, indicated Labour would support new restrictions on migrant benefits and said the Government should have acted earlier.

"I do think when people are coming to this country they should be contributing and so we have already said there are changes you could make to Jobseekers' Allowance so people can't come and claim Jobseekers' Allowance straight away," she said.
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Britain to be hit with a flood of fake goods as migrants swarm in
Jon Coates
Sunday Express, 24 November 2013

The massive influx of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants expected in the New Year is set to open up a new route for counterfeit goods to be smuggled into this country.

It is feared the sheer volume of people pouring into Britain will swamp an already over-stretched Border Agency, leaving it unable to stop a wave of fake products. ...

In recent years Romania has been flooded with fake handbags, watches, clothes and electronic devices made in China and imported through Ukraine or Moldova.

A recent report by Romania's customs service, ANV, found about 50 per cent of all "brand name" products in its shops were actually fakes. Officers have confiscated thousands of counterfeit Rolex, Bulgari, Police and Patek Philippe watches this year. Lorry loads of counterfeit perfumes destined for Britain have also been seized.

Romania has the highest number of counterfeit toys in Europe seized every year and stashes of fake medicines have also been found.

Europol has warned that Romania and Bulgaria have also become favoured transit routes for fake luxury goods, cigarettes and drugs smuggled from Turkey. ...

The scale of the chaos at British borders was revealed last week, when it emerged three quarters of smugglers caught with cigarettes and alcohol were freed due to poor communication between Border Force guards and HMRC staff.
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Minister apologies for Pakistani 'corruption' remarks
Edward Malnick and agencies
Sunday Telegraph, 24 November 2013

The Government's chief legal advisor has apologised for "any offence" caused when he said corruption in parts of the Pakistani community is "endemic" and a growing problem that politicians have underestimated.

Dominic Grieve QC, the Attorney General, said he had not intended to suggest there was a "particular problem in the Pakistani community".

In an interview with the Telegraph Mr Grieve said corruption was "endemic" in some communities and he was "mainly" referring to those of Pakistani origin.

On Saturday he apologised for the remarks, which were branded "offensive" by a senior Conservative MEP.

In a statement Mr Grieve said: "If I gave the impression that there is a particular problem in the Pakistani community, I was wrong.

"It is not my view. I believe the Pakistani community has enriched this country a great deal as I know full well from my extensive contact with the community over a number of years. I'm sorry if I have caused any offence." ...

But his remarks drew criticism from Sajjad Karim, the Conservative Party's legal affairs spokesman in the European Parliament. ...

Grant Shapps, the Conservative chairman, said it was wrong to single out a particular community.

He told the BBC: "Of course corruption needs to be rooted out wherever it is in this country. But we think that's something that needs to be tackled everywhere, not in a specific community."

Mr Shapps said the Pakistani community has "done an awful lot to work in this country and actually is a well-respected, established community that I think has lent a lot to Britain".
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Ignoring corruption is the real racism
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 24 November 2013

Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, has warned about "endemic corruption" within some minority communities: Brune House may be the sort of place he meant. Last April, there was a council by-election in this area – a by-election that Lutfur Rahman, the borough's independent mayor, expelled by the Labour Party for his links to Islamic extremism, badly needed to win. It was indeed won by his candidate, Gulam Robbani. He did well to hold on – the by-election happened only because his predecessor, another Rahman ally, had been jailed for benefit fraud, a difficult start to a campaign.

That was not the only unusual thing about the by-election. Despite heavy rain on polling day, turnout (31 per cent) was amazingly high for a council by-election. In the previous contest in the ward, 16 months earlier, it was 17 per cent. Only 14 per cent of people in Tower Hamlets at the time had postal votes – but 36 per cent of votes cast were postal. And that's after 135 postal ballot papers were rejected, mainly because of doubts over their authenticity. Robbani won by 43 votes. ... ...

Mr Khan and Mr Rahman categorically denied misconduct. Gulam Robbani refused to comment. But the authorities' response was the most troubling. The Electoral Commission admitted there had been a "breakdown of trust" in the integrity of Tower Hamlets elections. But it and the police delegated the job of investigating many of the alleged irregularities to the council – in other words, to people working for Lutfur Rahman. Even where the police did knock on doors themselves, they didn't do it very vigorously. ...

It does not appear that the investigators spoke to the most obvious potential suspects, the election candidates. No action was taken, and no action ever has been taken in Tower Hamlets, despite similar allegations year after year.

Mr Grieve spoke of the need for politicians to "wake up to" the problems. He was right. Paralysed by the fear of being accused of racism, the authorities should realise that it's actually inaction that is racist. They are, in effect, saying that Asian people can have their votes misused in a way that would never be tolerated if they were white.
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Terror-link group met in parliament
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 24 November 2013

A group with undeclared links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the terror group Hamas has been holding meetings at the Houses of Parliament.

Separately, it can also be revealed that one of the Government's police and crime commissioners will this week speak on the same platform as a man who has justified the killing of British troops and called for democracy to be replaced by Sharia. ...

The Commons events – held in March and September – involving the group with links to Hamas were organised by the Emirates Centre for Human Rights (ECHR), which says it is a moderate campaign against rights abuses in the Gulf. ... ...

However, The Telegraph has established that the ECHR's website is registered to Malath Skahir, a former director of the Cordoba Foundation.

Mrs Shakir is the wife of Anas Altikriti, the current Cordoba Foundation chief executive and the key political lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. ...

The Cordoba Foundation works closely with other British extremist groups which seek the creation of an Islamic dictatorship, or caliphate, in Europe.

Mr Altikriti has also been spokesman for the British Muslim Initiative, closely linked to the banned Hamas terrorist group. The BMI's director, Mohammed Sawalha, is a senior figure in Hamas who is said by the BBC to have "masterminded much of Hamas's political and military strategy". ...

The March meeting was jointly organised with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights. MPs involved with the event last night said they had no idea about the ECHR's Islamist links. ...

It is not the first time Islamists have attempted to secure a foothold in Parliament. In 2010 The Sunday Telegraph revealed how iEngage, the group organising the PCC meeting in Leeds, had secured appointment as the secretariat to the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia. iEngage is another body with links to Mr Altikriti, the Cordoba Foundation and the IFE. iEngage was sacked as the secretariat soon after The Sunday Telegraph's article.

Meanwhile at a meeting, to be held in Leeds on Wednesday, Mark Burns-Williamson, Labour PCC for West Yorkshire, will speak alongside Azad Ali, a senior figure in the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE). ...

The meeting has been organised by the hardline group iEngage, which has repeatedly defended extremists and attacked Muslim moderates and for which Mr Ali also works.
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Corruption rife in the Pakistani community, says minister
Benedict Brogan
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2013

Corruption in parts of the Pakistani community is "endemic" and a growing problem that politicians have underestimated, the Government's chief legal adviser has said.

Dominic Grieve QC, the Attorney General, said ministers should "wake up" to the threat of corruption in public life, which he attributed to "minority communities" that operate a "favour culture".

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grieve praised the integration of minorities into British life, and pointed out that corruption can also be found in the "white Anglo-Saxon" community. But he said that the growth of corruption was "because we have minority communities in this country which come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic. It is something we as politicians have to wake to up to".

Mr Grieve said he was referring to "mainly the Pakistani community" but added that other minority communities had similar problems. ...

Mr Grieve, the MP for Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, has a sizeable South Asian community in his constituency. "I can see many of them have come because of the opportunities that they get. But they also come from societies where they have been brought up to believe you can only get certain things through a favour culture," he said. "One of the things you have to make absolutely clear is that that is not the case and it's not acceptable."

He said electoral corruption in particular had increased. He identified Slough, Berks, as an example of where abuses had occurred. In 2008 a Tory councillor, Eshaq Khan, was found guilty of fraud involving postal ballots. Earlier this year the Electoral Commission announced it was considering introducing ballot box identity checks in Tower Hamlets, east London, in an effort to stamp out electoral fraud in areas with large South Asian communities. ...

Tory ministers have avoided singling out particular communities over political corruption. However, in 2010, Baroness Warsi claimed the Tories lost three seats at the general election as a result of voter fraud within the Asian community.
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More than 5,000 slaves believed to be held captive in Britain as charity reveals three women held in London is 'tip of the iceberg'
Emma Thomas
Daily Mail, 23 November 2013

Frank Field, chairman of the Modern Slavery Bill evidence review, said criminal gangs were making 'huge sums of money'.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Field said many victims who escape have no way of communicating because they speak little or no English and often come from countries where they are 'deeply suspicious' of the police.

Cases of slavery around Britain have hit headlines in the past as the Serious Organised Crime Agency estimate there to be 2,255 potential victims last year in the UK.
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Cameron to clampdown on migrants' rights to benefits
Miranda Prynne
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2013

David Cameron is to impose tougher constraints on migrants' access to benefits to discourage a flood of newcomers when Britain's borders are opened to Bulgaria and Romania next year.

The Prime Minister is attempting to respond to growing public pressure to limit immigration from the European Union, which came top of a wishlist of issues people want to see renegotiated with Brussels in a recent YouGov survey. ...

Mr Cameron has not yet given details of the specific powers he plans to try and wrestle back from Brussels before the promised 2017 referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

He has promised to clampdown on "welfare tourism" and is due to unveil more details proposals to limit EU migrants rights to benefits next week, senior government figures have claimed.

Britain faces opposition from the European Commission over plans to cut down on migrants' access to child benefit, child tax credit and elements of job-seekers allowance for their first year in the country.
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Pakistani airline pilot was four times over the limit after drinking a BOTTLE of whisky ... but believed he was legal under 12-hour 'bottle to throttle' rule
Chris Brooke
Daily Mail, 23 November 2013

An airline pilot has been jailed for nine months for being drunk in his cockpit before a flight.

The judge said it was 'astonishing' that foreign pilots flying out of UK airports were unaware of the law here and believed it was legal to fly if there was a 12 hour gap 'from bottle to throttle.'

Captain Irfan Faiz, 55, was more than four times the drink-fly limit when he was breathalysed after being spotted 'staggering' and 'not walking straight' on the way to the plane, a court heard.
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Poorer pupils held back by 'soft bigotry of low expectations'
Nick Collins
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2013

Schools need to stop promoting the 'soft bigotry of low expectations', the Education Secretary has said, claiming teachers refuse to believe that children from poor homes can achieve high standards.

A change in attitude is needed to address the "shocking, stubborn" gaps in educational attainment between black children, or those from ethnic minority backgrounds, and their peers, Michael Gove said.

Black children are still at an educational disadvantage because Britain has failed to create a "truly colour-blind" society and providing good schools for all is the "civil rights battle of our time".

Speaking to an audience of teachers at City Hall, Mr Gove said Britain needs to fight just as hard as America for social justice, he added, to keep up the rate of progress and ultimately "fulfil the dream of equality". ...

Fewer black children reach the expected level in reading, writing, maths and science at age seven and the gaps still exist in English and maths at age 11, falling three points behind the national average.

At 16 only half of black pupils achieved five or more A*-C grades at GCSE, compared with almost three in five of all pupils, and at 18 a smaller proportion of black pupils are awarded two or more A-levels.

"For too long, there have been shocking, stubborn gaps in attainment between children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and their peers," Mr Gove said.
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Who was surprised by the Mail's immigration poll?
Melanie McDonagh
The Spectator, 23 November 2013

The point about Bulgarian and Romanian migrants isn't, I think, really to do with them at all; they're simply a useful opportunity for people to ventilate about immigration in general. And here, the important point to make is that the sheer size and scale of it is disguised by the Government's duplicitous habit of discussing the numbers in terms of net migration: the Mail's figure of 2.5 million added to the population since 1997 is the number of people who arrived during that time, less the number of Brits who left. In fact, as Migration Watch usefully remind us, the scale of gross immigration – foreign born individuals coming in, less foreign born individuals leaving – is much bigger. The figure to bear in mind is the one from the ONS which suggests that 3.8 million people came to England and Wales between 2001 and 2011. Crucially, only 30 per cent of them were from the EU – so not just Poles, then, thank you, Mr Straw. And if you consider that for that time, the estimates for illegal immigrants come to anything between half a million and a million, well, it all comes to quite a tidy figure.

The important thing, I think, is to require government to talk in terms of gross immigration, even if – especially if – it doesn't want to. The premise for ministers appears to be that in terms of what you might call population footprint, it doesn't really matter whether the footprint is that of Brits or Europeans or Tunisians. As Paul Collier, author of Exodus, the excellent study of immigration, pointed out on Radio 4's Start the Week, in theory, if a million Britons leave and a million Chinese arrive, the result is zero net immigration, but the overall effect on the population is quite significant. I spoke to him about this when I interviewed him for The Spectator recently; for him what matters is people's ability to assimilate in the community, which differs quite a lot, depending on their background. He was a bit reluctant to be drawn when I suggested that countries should be able to discriminate between would-be arrivals on that basis – so, treating Australians and Somalis differently on the grounds that Australians would blend in with the wallpaper, whereas Somalis, for various reasons, would do so less readily. But he did reiterate that net migration is a problem statistic; I'd go further myself, and say it's a deceitful one.
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Enough is enough Mr Cameron: Mail poll reveals voters' deep concern over wave of new migrants
James Slack and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 22 November 2013

A huge majority of voters want David Cameron to defy the EU and maintain controls on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants.

In an explosive Daily Mail survey, eight out of ten said they did not want citizens of the two countries to be handed free access to UK jobs from January 1.

Ministers warn Britain will be taken to court if it ignores the Brussels edict to let the migrants in.

But the threat of big fines from the European Court of Justice was brushed off by almost two thirds of the public.

They said that – even if it meant legal sanctions – the Prime Minister should keep the restrictions in place to 'serve the national interest'. And 80 per cent of voters say Westminster should retain the final say over who enters the country.

Only 5 per cent think Brussels should be in charge. An overwhelming 85 per cent said migration was putting too much pressure on schools, hospitals and housing.

The findings of the Harris poll, conducted earlier this week, will heap further pressure on Downing Street to stop a potentially major influx from Romania and Bulgaria. ...

In a devastating blow for the Premier, our poll reveals that only 11 per cent trust the Tories on immigration – six percentage points less than Labour and 11 less than UKIP. But, in a stark indictment of the whole political class, a disturbing 44 per cent have no trust in any party on this most serious of issues.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly pointed to the fact that net migration – the difference between the number of people arriving in the UK, and those leaving – is down by a third, to 176,000, since 2010.

But, in the Mail's survey, 80 per cent said this figure was still too many.

The findings are scathing about Labour's record in office. Two thirds of the public agreed with former Labour home secretary Jack Straw's statement that throwing open the doors to Poles and other East Europeans in May 2004 had been a 'spectacular mistake'.

An astonishing 79 per cent of the voters said they had not been properly consulted over the open door immigration policies pursued by the last government, which added 2.5 million to the UK's population.

Asked if the impact of mass immigration had been good for British society as a whole, only 19 per cent said yes, while 64 per cent said no. Four in ten said immigration had changed their community for the worse, compared with only 11 per cent who said it was better.

Seventy-six per cent say it has affected the ability of young Britons to get a job.

Yet, in results which will alarm Tory strategists, Ed Miliband's party scores better than Mr Cameron's on immigration policy.

Asked who they trust most, 22 per cent of voters picked UKIP, 17 per cent Labour, 11 per cent the Tories, and 4 per cent the Lib Dems. The poll shows older people are particularly concerned about net migration: 72 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds said it was too high compared with more than 90 per cent of those aged over 55.
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Prepare the border posts – fears over SNP immigration policy
Paul Gilbride
Daily Express, 22 November 2013

Border posts could be set up between Scotland and England because Alex Salmond wants to bring in more migrants if Scots vote Yes in next year's referendum.

The First Minister is determined to pursue a more "enlightened" immigration policy than Westminster should voters back breaking up Britain.

Twice this week, Mr Salmond has singled out how important it would be to an independent Scotland to have its own immigration policies. He claims that a more liberal approach would tackle the problem of the country's ageing population and boost economic growth. ...

Mr Salmond has said an independent Scotland would try to keep an opt-out from the Schengen agreement, which permits free movement across the Continent.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has warned failure to obtain such a deal would force the remainder of the UK to create passport controls at the Border.

Earlier this year, former Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said problems could be created even if Scotland managed to obtain European Union membership with a Schengen opt-out because of the SNP's stance on immigration.

Scottish Tory infrastructure spokesman Alex Johnstone said: "The rest of the UK would see Scotland as a soft point of entry. As a result, that would obviously require some form of border patrol."

Labour shadow immigration minister David Hanson said: "If the SNP wants an independent Scotland to have a radically different immigration policy from the UK it raises the frightening prospect of border posts." ...

A spokesman for the First Minister later said that immigration policy would be detailed in next week's long-awaited White Paper.
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Xenophobia on Rise in Bulgaria - Poll
Novinite, 22 November 2013

Bulgaria might be parting with its image of being one of the most tolerant countries in the world, as recent studies show a stark increase of xenophobic attitudes, according to sociology experts.

The alarming trend and statistics were presented Friday by the Director of the polling agency Mediana, Kolio Kolev. Kolev spoke during a round table titled "Lost Borders – the New EU Refugee and Immigration Policy."

According to a recent poll, conducted by Mediana, 15% of Bulgarians have said they approve violence against foreigners, which has also been in the rise in recent weeks, while 20% want full closure of the southern border.

"This is very dangerous and forecasts upcoming clashes between Bulgarians and immigrants. In reality, this xenophobia has been triggered by unpunished petty crime, the high crime rate among Bulgarian Roma, unemployment and decreased living standards," says Kolev, cited by bTV.
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UK won't see mass Romanian and Bulgarian immigration, minister says
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 21 November 2013

There will be no mass migration of Romanians and Bulgarians, coming to the UK for work in the new year when labour market restrictions are lifted, the immigration minister has said.

In the first official assessment of the likely flow of Romanians and Bulgarians to Britain when the curbs are removed on 1 January, the minister, Mark Harper, said the situation this time would not replicate the mass arrival of Poles to the UK 10 years ago.

He said the government was not complacent about the arrival of new migrants but said it would be different this time and suggested that people were more likely to go to Germany, Italy and Spain than Britain. ...

He said there were now eight other countries also removing their controls. "We are therefore not in the same position as previously, when we were the only country that was an option for those wishing to migrate. There are now a range of other European countries in the eurozone, including Germany, which is an economic powerhouse that is generating jobs and creating economic growth."

The original estimate by University College, London, which calculated that 15,000 Poles and others would arrive each year, was based on an assumption that all the other EU countries would open their borders when former communist states joined in 2004.

In the event, only Britain, Ireland and Sweden opened their borders immediately to allow migrants to work. The rest of the EU, including Germany, imposed the seven-year transitional controls, which came to an end only two years ago.

Harper said there were also other countries which already had significant populations of Romanians and Bulgarians, including Italy and Spain.

The eight countries, besides the UK, due to open their borders to Romanian and Bulgarian labour migrants are Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and France.

More than three million Romanians went to work abroad when Romania joined the EU in 2007; the majority went to Italy and Spain, which have already opened their labour markets to them. ...

Harper criticised rightwing Tory MPs who have been pressing him to extend the transitional controls on Romanians and Bulgarians, telling them it was not legally possible under the European accession treaties. He said Britain's domestic courts would rule that an extension of controls would not comply with the treaties.
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'Utterly pathetic!' Farage slams Minister's claim that UK is powerless to bar new migrants
Daily Express, 21 November 2013

A minister's claim ... that the Government is legally powerless to block east European migrants working in Britain from the New Year has been condemned by Ukip boss Nigel Farage as "utterly pathetic".

He said Immigration Minister Mark Harper should be "embarrassed at the impotence of his own role in government" after he conceded there was almost nothing Britain could do to stop the lifting of labour market controls on Bulgarians and Romanians from January 1. ...

The minister said a unilateral move by the UK "simply isn't legally possible".

Earlier this week, Tory MP Nigel Mills proposed changes to the Government's Immigration Bill to extend restrictions to Romania and Bulgaria from January 1 next year to the end of December 2018.

The Daily Express is set to hand David Cameron a petition of more than 100,000 signatures calling for the transitional controls to stay in force.

However, Mr Harper said ...: "It simply isn't legally possible. The accession treaties only give us the ability - and the other eight counties with transitional controls - to extend them to the end of the year.

"The only way you could legally extend them is if you amended the accession treaties, which you would have to do by unanimity including getting the agreement of Romania and Bulgaria and I don't think that is at all possible."

Mr Harper added: "We wouldn't even need to go to the European courts, the domestic courts would rule it wasn't compliant with our treaty obligations - because it isn't.

"We've extended the controls to their legal maximum.

"We're bound by the treaties signed by the last Government that limit the controls to the end of this year."
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You pay to teach migrants manners: Taxpayers foot bill for crazy council benefits guide
Paul Jeeves
Daily Express, 21 November 2013

A taxpayer-funded guide is asking Roma migrants to refrain from a list of shocking habits.

It says practices such as going to the toilet in the street, having sex in public, and spitting could 'upset your neighbours".

The information pack also asks migrants not to dump litter or hang out washing on a stranger's fence, while telling arrivals how best to claim benefits and interpreters for free.

It was produced by the city council in Sheffield where frightened residents in the suburb of Page Hall have spoken out about criminal and antisocial behaviour following an influx of Roma migrants.

The guide has infuriated opponents of uncontrolled immigration. Last night Ukip MEP Gerard Batten said: 'What kind of lunatic immigration policy do we have where we allow people to flood into this country and then have to tell them it's against the rules to defecate, urinate or have sex in the street?"

He added: "We have invited millions of people to come here that we neither need or want, and one of the first things we tell them is how they can claim benefits and assistance.

"Does Sheffield Council really think that the next wave of migrants have to be told how to use a toilet? If they really think this necessary then it should be protesting about them coming in the first place, not producing a booklet to make them feel welcome."

The guide produced by the Labour-run authority is currently in draft form.

... ...

Last night, Sheffield City Council confirmed the draft document had been created but insisted it would not now be published.

A spokeswoman said: "We have not released this document at all and it is not something which we ever agreed as a council to be used as a leaflet or otherwise."
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Britain never voted for large-scale immigration
Jenni Russell
The Times, 21 November 2013

Ministers are anxious, Migration Watch is apprehensive, the Daily Mail is apoplectic. What will the numbers be? Five thousand, fifty thousand, a quarter of a million? How many more Bulgarians and Romanians will move here when transitional controls are lifted in January?

The Government refuses to make predictions because official guesses have been so wrong in the past.
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Chief Constable: police manipulate crime figures because of pressure from senior figures
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 21 November 2013

A chief constable has admitted police are "manipulating" official crime figures because they are put under pressure to show crime is falling.

Mick Creedon, the head of the Derbyshire force, said "inadvertent" pressure from senior officers meant statistics did not depict the true level of crime in Britain.

Mr Creedon's candid admissions to the Association of Chief Police Officers conference in Northamptonshire, will further undermine public confidence in national figures which claim crime is at a record low.

The chief constable told the conference: "My fear is that inadvertently we are all still putting pressure on officers to do all they can to manipulate and create crime reductions.

"I don't think they do it because they are inherently corrupt but because pressure is put down to reduce it.

"It is whether we have the nerve to step away from crime reduction and obsession with crime figures, and whether we can move to a real environment where we do properly record."

He said he had spoken to officers from many police forces who said senior officers were applying pressure on them to reduce the crime figures.
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Migrants main driver of 2012 return to EU population growth
EUbusiness, 21 November 2013

Migrants remained the main drivers of a return to growth for Europe's official population in 2012, after a rare slump the previous year, new data showed Wednesday.

In a reminder of the mounting political focus on immigration, the European Union logged a net migration influx of nearly 900,000 people last year – four times the natural growth between births and deaths.

However, the numbers of legal immigrants fell for the second successive year, according to Eurostat figures.

The EU's population grew by 1.1 million last year after a near-1.8-million drop the previous year.

Movement of people, in and out of the 28-state bloc, as well as within the EU, remained heavily influenced by a record 18-month recession running right through 2012 for the 17 countries sharing the euro currency.

Spain haemorrhaged more than 160,000 people after a burst property and credit bubble that has left nearly three people in five under the age of 25 unemployed.

The biggest magnets for migrants, by a considerable margin, were Germany and Italy – which posted net migration increases of some 390,000 and 370,000 people, despite more deaths than births in each of these countries.

Government bailout recipients Greece, Ireland and Portugal each saw more people leave than arrive last year – although Ireland more than made up for this emigration with births far outstripping deaths there.

Lithuania's population, meanwhile, fell under three million.

The former Soviet republic has seen an extraordinary half-a-million collapse in its population in the short space of a decade, many to Britain, Ireland and other EU countries since its 2004 entry.

In absolute terms, Britain's population posted the biggest increase, nearly 400,000 more people due both to natural growth and net immigration. ...

Total population (natural change and net migration) increased in 17 countries: Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden.

The overall figure decreased in 11 countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Romania.

A major exporter of people around its EU entry in 2004, Poland's net migration outflow nevertheless fell to fewer than 7,000 people in 2012.
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Israel to stop issuing birth certificates to babies born to foreigners
Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian, 21 November 2013

Israel is to stop issuing birth certificates to babies born to foreigners – a move targeted at migrants but will also encompass diplomats and other international workers. The absence of official documentation is likely to cause major problems when applying for passports and other identity papers.

The plan was disclosed in state papers filed to the high court on Monday in response to a challenge to an existing policy of refusing to include the father's name in foreigners' birth certificates. As part of this policy, Israel also insists that only the mother's family name may be documented as the baby's last name.

The Israeli government says it has no legal obligation to issue official birth certificates to foreigners, and intends to stop doing so to prevent foreigners using such documentation to claim the right to stay in the country. Instead, foreigners will be given hospital-issued birth notices, which are currently hand-written in Hebrew.

A legal challenge, due to be heard on Sunday, has been brought by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and two other rights groups on behalf of a family of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo. A child born to parents with permission to stay in Israel and in possession of work permits was denied a birth certificate including the father's name. The ministry of interior also refused the parents' request to give the child her father's last name.

Israel says including the father's name on an official document without proof of paternity has significant legal ramifications. "Determining paternity is liable to determine the status of the father and child in civil law on matters such as inheritance, child support, custody, conversion, names, citizenship, residency, registration in the population registry and more," according to the court papers.

Amid rising public hostility, the Israeli government has sought to impose severe restrictions on the rights of migrant workers and asylum seekers, which it terms "infiltrators".
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How to have a sensible conversation about immigration [part 1]
Paul Collier
New Statesman, 21 November 2013

The poor of the world are on the move, eager to live and work in rich nations. What are the consequences? Talking about them cannot be a taboo.

Everyone has an opinion on migration but very few can justify it. I have reached this dismal conclusion in writing a book on the subject. ... ...

The passion underpinning opinions on migration is fuelled by identities and fears. This is true on both sides of the debate but I will focus on the likely readership of this article – those who think of themselves as liberal intellectuals, my own circle. Among this group, distaste and disdain for opponents of immigration have become differentiating tests of identity. Beneath the vitriol is the fear that any concession to popular prejudice risks unleashing anti-immigrant violence.

Ever since Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech in 1968, serious discussion of migration has been taboo in British social science. ... ...

Powell's forecast of immigrant numbers was remarkably accurate but his forecast of their social consequences was grotesquely wrong. This is not because of any fortuitous management of British migration (which has been inept beyond the bounds of parody), nor of any unusual strengths in the English character. All high-income societies have developed robust conventions against intergroup violence. ...

As part of my research, I have come up with ten building blocks needed for reasoned analysis of migration. ...

Block 1 Around 40 per cent of the population of poor countries say that they would emigrate if they could. There is evidence that suggests this figure is not a wild exaggeration of how people would behave. If migration happened on anything approaching this scale, the host societies would suffer substantial reductions in living standards. Hence, in attractive countries, immigration controls are essential.

Block 2 Diasporas accelerate migration. By "diasporas", I mean those immigrants and their descendants who have retained strong links with their home societies, rather than cutting loose and integrating into their host societies. These links cut the costs of migration and so fuel it. As a result, while diasporas are growing, migration is accelerating. ...

Block 3 Most immigrants prefer to retain their own culture and hence to cluster together. This reduces the speed at which diasporas are absorbed into the general population. The slower the rate at which they are absorbed, the lower the rate of immigration that is compatible with stable diasporas and migration. By design, absorption is slower with multicultural policies than with assimilative policies.

Block 4 Migration from poor countries to rich ones is driven by the wide gap in income between them. This gap is the moral horror story of our times. The difference in incomes is ultimately due to differences in political and social structures: poor countries have political and social systems that are less functional than those in rich ones. Their dysfunctional systems persist in part because they are embedded in the identities and narratives of local cultures. Migrants are escaping the consequences of their systems but usually bring their culture with them.
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How to have a sensible conversation about immigration [part 2]
Paul Collier
New Statesman, 21 November 2013

Block 5 In economic terms, migrants are the principal beneficiaries of migration but many suffer a wrenching psychological shock. ...

Block 6 Because migration is costly, migrants are not among the poorest people in their home countries. The effect on those left behind depends ultimately on whether emigrants speed political and social change back home or slow it down. A modest rate of emigration, as experienced by China and India, helps, especially if many migrants return home. ...

Block 7 In high-income societies, the effect of immigration on the average incomes of the indigenous population is trivial. Economies are not damaged by immigration; nor do they need it. The distributional effects can be more substantial but they depend on the composition of immigration.

In Australia, which permits only the immigration of the skilled, the working classes probably gain from having more skilled people to work with. In Europe, which attracts many low-skilled migrants, the indigenous poor probably lose out through competition for social housing, welfare, training and work. ...

Block 8 The social effects of immigration outweigh the economic, so they should be the main criteria for policy. These effects come from diversity. Diversity increases variety and this widening of choices and horizons is a social gain.

Yet diversity also potentially jeopardises co-operation and generosity. Co-operation rests on co-ordination games that support both the provision of public goods and myriad socially enforced conventions. Generosity rests on a widespread sense of mutual regard that supports welfare systems. Both public goods and welfare systems benefit the indigenous poor, which means they are the group most at risk of loss. As diversity increases, the additional benefits of variety get smaller, whereas the risks to co-operation and generosity get greater. Each host society has an ideal level of diversity and hence an ideal size of diasporas.

Block 9 The control of immigration is a human right. The group instinct to defend territory is common throughout the animal kingdom; it is likely to be even more fundamental than the individual right to property. The right to control immigration is asserted by all societies. ... Nor do Bangladeshis have the automatic right to move to Britain and claim a share of its social and economic capital.

It sometimes makes sense to grant the right to migrate on a reciprocal basis. Thousands of French people want to live in Britain, while thousands of Britons want to live in France. Yet if flows become too unbalanced, rights derived from mutual advantage can be withdrawn: Australia, for instance, withdrew them from Britain. The expansion of the EU has created these unbalanced situations and the original reciprocal right may therefore need modification.

Block 10 Migration is not an inevitable consequence of globalisation. The vast expansion in trade and capital flows among developed countries has coincided with a decline in migration between them.

These ten building blocks are not incontrovertible truths but the weight of evidence favours them to varying degrees. If your views on migration are incompatible with them, they rest on a base too fragile for passionate conviction.
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How to have a sensible conversation about immigration [part 3]
Paul Collier
New Statesman, 21 November 2013

Once accepted, the building blocks still leave plenty of room for disagreement as to their application to particular societies at particular times. Yet they do not leave room for existential confrontations between polarised positions. Liberal intellectuals want to combine rapid immigration, the multiculturalism that entitles migrants to remain within a distinct cultural community, and an egalitarian society. This is a noble vision but unfortunately the desirability of a policy combination does not ensure that it is technically possible. ...

... The weight of the evidence suggests overwhelmingly that if a society fragments between an indigenous population and a variety of diaspora communities, co-operation will weaken. More surprisingly, diversity even appears to weaken co-operation within the indigenous population: as indigenous networks are disrupted, people withdraw into more isolated lives. ...

... Jamaica has a murder rate that is 50 times that of Britain and so its criminals have an ingrained gun culture. Somalia has had inter-clan warfare for a generation, so its criminals are socialised into extreme violence. A sufficiently high frequency of Jamaican and Somali criminals in Britain would be liable to change the behaviour of indigenous criminals: why follow a personally disadvantageous convention if many others are breaking it?

At some threshold of criminal violence, an unarmed police force would become quixotic and our society would lose something we cherish. Judging by the difficulty that other societies have had in establishing the convention, it is likely that, once lost, it could not be re-established. ...

One of the key insights of recent research is that the composition of migration matters more than its rate. Migrants are more beneficial if they are skilled and employable. Whereas skill can be assessed by a points system, employability can only be assessed by employers and so a sensible requirement is that migrants should already have a job offer. Existing migrants want to bring in their dependants. This occupies migration slots that could otherwise have been occupied by skilled workers; it is likely to slow the rate at which diasporas absorb into mainstream society and increases the burden on welfare systems. ...

Parents naturally want to pass on their culture to their children. This is true both of immigrants and of the indigenous English population. It has become an article of faith in liberal and official discourse that cultural diversity should be respected and promoted. However, not all cultures are equally functional. The cultures that immigrants from poor societies bring with them have some attractive features but they are implicated in the social failures from which these migrants are escaping. For example, poor societies typically have far lower levels of trust and higher levels of violence and intolerance. There is therefore a solid, objective reason why we should want the children of immigrants to absorb English culture.

Left to their own inclinations, migrants cluster. In Britain, clustering is getting more pronounced. This reduces the rate of absorption of even basic attributes such as language. ...

The consequences of uncontrolled future immigration are potentially serious. Designing controls that are effective, just and advantageous to citizens will be complex and contentious. Yet the task cannot be ducked.
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Shifting the Balance: How the Gang of Eight bill and immigration generally shift seats in the House of Representatives
Steven A. Camarota
Center for Immigration Studies, November 2013

The government counts all persons when apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives – citizens, green card holders, guest workers, foreign students, and illegal immigrants. As a result, if the Gang of Eight immigration bill (S.744) becomes law, we project it may redistribute three seats in the House in 2020, and five seats in 2030. This redistribution is caused by the bill's dramatic increases in legal immigration, not the bill's amnesty provisions. In addition, S.744 can also be seen as redistributing seats by allowing illegal immigrants to stay, rather than using enforcement to cause them to return home. In 2010, the presence of illegal immigrants redistributed four seats.

Among the findings: ...

The overall impact of immigration is very large. The 22.5 million non-citizens (both legal and illegal) in the country redistributed nine seats in the House in 2010. Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania each lost a seat. Florida and New York each gained a seat, Texas gained two seats, and California gained five seats.

The 40 million immigrants (citizen and non-citizen) in the 2010 census redistributed 18 seats. Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin each lost a House seat and Ohio lost two seats. New Jersey and Washington each gained a seat, Florida and Texas each gained two seats, New York gained three seats, and California gained nine seats.

Of the 18 seats redistributed by the 40 million immigrants in the country in 2010, 16 went to states that voted for President Obama in 2012. Thus, from a partisan perspective, immigration tends to benefit Democrats.

The redistribution caused by immigration tends to take representation away from states comprised mostly of U.S. citizens and give it to states where a large share of residents are not citizens. In the states that lost seats due to all immigrants in 2010, 96 percent of the voting-age population were citizens in contrast to 86 percent in the states that gained seats.

In the states that lost seats due to all immigrants in 2010, the average district had 543,243 voting-age citizens compared to 449,553 in the states that gained a seat. There is a real tension between large-scale immigration and the principle of "one man, one vote".
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One in six college applicants is Romanian or Bulgarian: More than 5,000 apply for vocational courses with many entitled to up to £10,000 in grants and loans
Andrew Levy and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 20 November 2013

Colleges have been hit with a surge in applications from Romanians and Bulgarians wanting taxpayer-funded loans and grants to study in this country.

More than 5,000 students from the two countries enrolled on vocational courses in England last year – accounting for a staggering one in six of all applicants – with many entitled to up to £10,000 in grants and loans.

Yesterday leaked documents exposed government concerns over 'weaknesses' in checks on applicants, prompting fears of potential mass fraud.

Ministers have now announced a freeze on new grants and revealed all applicants from the EU had been asked for extra evidence they were eligible for the cash.

One college – which officials have refused to name – has had all its funding stopped while an investigation is carried out.

Experts also raised fears that Romanian and Bulgarian students could make cash in hand at the expense of the taxpayer while studying for these courses, which officials admit have less stringent entrance criteria.

Currently students from the two countries are allowed to work limited hours in the UK but can avoid checks if they are self-employed or take black market jobs. But from January 1 they will have full rights to live and work here when EU controls expire.

Overall, numbers enrolling for higher national diplomas (HNDs) and certificates (HNCs) have more than doubled from 13,000 to 30,000 in only 12 months.

The rush of applications has left an £80 million blackhole in the finances of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which is responsible for higher education.

Officials have written to all EU applicants asking for evidence of their eligibility. But nearly three quarters are yet to respond.

The applications surge has apparently caught officials unprepared, and half of colleges have been sent a letter this week telling them to cap student numbers.

HNDs are equivalent to two years' study on a university course and can be used to gain entry to a university in England and Wales. HNCs are equal to one year of study in higher education. ...

EU residents can apply for a loan of up to £6,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees. Those already living in the UK are also entitled to a maximum £3,400 maintenance loan for living costs.

Around four in ten students receiving financial support for the qualifications are from abroad, compared to just one in 20 in higher education generally.
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Immigration checks at tube and train stations will not be halted despite allegations of racial profiling
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 20 November 2013

Ministers have vowed to continue immigration checks at Tube and train stations - despite allegations of 'racial profiling'.

Immigration minister Mark Harper said one in three of the illegal immigrants caught during operations this summer had already been deported.

He defended the operations, which took place this summer, as part of efforts to encourage migrants with no right to be in Britain to return home. ...

On July 30 immigration officials carried out 29 stops at Kensal Green Tube station in North London, and arrested three people.

At Walthamstow, East London, a total of 48 people were stopped, leading to 14 arrests. One further person was arrested by British Transport Police in Stratford.

Out of the 18 arrests, six have been deported, ten are going through the deportation process and two have claimed asylum.

Mr Harper said the operations had been 'very successful.'

He said such operations were carried out under the last government since 2008.
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Police officers routinely fiddle crime figures, MPs are told
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2013

Police forces are routinely massaging crime figures to make hundreds of offences "disappear in a puff of smoke", MPs have been told.

Official crime statistics are regularly skewed to make a police force's performance appear far better than it is in reality, the House of Commons Public Administration Committee heard.

Retired and serving police officers gave evidence about techniques used to manipulate the figures - which they said were sanctioned by senior officers - such as downgrading offences to less serious crimes or persuading victims not to make a complaint.

In some cases crimes were only recorded if they were solved, and others were kept completely off the books if an offender could not be traced, the committee heard.
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We're importing the equivalent of three new Waleses in one generation
Daniel Hannan
Telegraph blog, 19 November 2013

For 15 years, I've been travelling from southern England to Brussels and Strasbourg, often by air. During that time, the view from my plane window has changed palpably. The fields and copses are in retreat; the concrete is spreading like slow lava.

Why is it happening? After all, it has been four decades since our birthrate was last at the level that demographers consider necessary to sustain a population at its existing size. It's true that we are living longer; but, even so, the overall population level ought now to be drifting gently downward.

In fact, we face a rise in numbers without precedent in our history. According to the latest official figures from the Office of National Statistics, our population will pass the 70 million mark in 2027, and reach 73.3 million in 2037 – 9.6 million higher than at present.

Our minds are not designed to deal with numbers on such a scale. Over the next 25 years, we shall be adding a population equivalent to three Waleses, or nearly two Scotlands. The impact on my South East region will be especially hard. Already, its loveliest villages are being ringed by new development, its bluebell groves paved over. Now we face building, in effect, a whole new London in the vicinity of the existing London. Large parts of the Home Counties will become a more-or-less continuous conurbation, whose towns and villages retain their separate identities only in the sense that Camden or Kensington retain theirs.

What is fuelling the increase? Longevity is one part of the answer, and a higher birth rate among immigrant mothers is another. But, even with that increase, our overall birthrate will still rise to just 1.9 live births per woman – well below the 2.1 level at which a population stabilises.

No, the single biggest factor is net inward migration, which will account directly for 43 per cent of the rise. The last Labour government took what can only be called a deliberate decision to open Britain's borders. The rules were changed, for example so that people could bring spouses into the country even when the primary purpose of the marriage was immigration. Almost no attempt was made to deport illicit entrants or failed asylum seekers. ...

The net result was a massive surge in numbers whose effects we are still struggling to accommodate. Labour was happy because it was importing new voters. Employers were happy because they were getting cheap workers. And the rest of us?

Well, it takes an effort of will to recall the political atmosphere of the 1990s and early 2000s, when simply to use the word "immigration" was to attract accusations of racism. Few people like to think of themselves as racist, so they looked away. ... The measured and moderate criticism of our out-of-control asylum system for which William Hague was excoriated during the 2001 general election now sounds so mild as to be platitudinous.

It took a long time, but I think most commentators have finally clocked that this is about space, not race. ...

... We are, not to put too fine a point on it, full up.
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Don't lift curbs on Romanian migrants, Tories tell Cameron: Dozens of MPs set to call for five more years of restrictions for jobseekers
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 19 November 2013

Tory MPs will challenge David Cameron over Romanian and Bulgarian migrants today – urging him not to throw open Britain's borders from next year.

Backbench support is coalescing around a plan to extend restrictions on new arrivals from the two eastern European countries, due to expire on January 1, for a further five years.

Dozens of Tory MPs are likely to back the measure and put huge pressure on the Prime Minister to defy the European Union over its cherished free movement rules.

The proposal will be heard by a committee of MPs today and could come before a full vote in the House of Commons within weeks.

Nigel Mills, the MP for Amber Valley in Derbyshire, is spearheading the campaign. ...

Extending restrictions on migrant workers would provoke squeals of outrage – and likely legal challenge – from Brussels.

But supporters say it would prevent huge pressure being placed on public services, including the NHS, and on jobs at a time when many British workers are struggling to find employment.

It would also allow Mr Cameron to make a defiant stand over two crucial issues for his supporters – Europe and immigration – where he is seen to be leaking support to Ukip.

Last night Mr Mills warned the economy 'cannot cope' with another large influx of migrants. ...

Eight out of ten newly qualified Bulgarian doctors are planning to work abroad, a study has shown.

In a questionnaire put to graduates from Bulgaria's largest medical school in Sofia, the majority said they planned to leave their country, with preferences for working in Britain and Germany.

One vascular surgeon told the BBC he could earn seven times more in the UK. But most Bulgarian doctors cite their reason for wanting to move as being due to corruption concerns within their own health service.
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'Go Home' vans research gets £200,000 grant
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2013

Researchers have been awarded £200,000 of taxpayers' money to look into the impact of the Government's controversial 'Go Home' vans for illegal immigrants.

The sizeable grant comes despite the high-profile advertising campaign drawing intense criticism from both the Labour and the Liberal Democrats. ...

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced that the Government would be dropping the scheme last month after admitting it was "too much of a blunt instrument" in the fight against illegal immigration.

The 18-month research project, jointly led by the University of Glasgow and the University of Warwick, will attempt to assess the "wide-ranging impacts" of the scheme.

Researchers from across the country will conduct interviews, organise large-scale surveys and analyse material posted online to work out how the campaign influenced community ties and public debate.
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Romania and Bulgaria – what can be done?
Sir Andrew Green
Conservative Home, 19 November 2013

1st January 2014 is a date that has loomed on the horizon for some time but is now just around the corner. From that day, Romanians and Bulgarians will have full access to the British labour market. ...

We predict that the UK population of these two nationalities will grow by between 30,000 and 70,000 in each of the first five years, with a central estimate of 50,000. Given that these migrants can increase their take-home pay by three to nine times (depending on their family circumstances) by moving here, this does not seem an unreasonable estimate.

What is to be done? Britain is very unusual in the EU as our benefit system is, in effect, non-contributory. This, of itself, can be a "pull factor". First of all, therefore, access to out of work benefits must be tightened. EU migrants who have not found work and have little realistic prospect of doing so should not be granted out of work benefits or housing benefit as can be the case at present.

As for in-work benefits, EU migrants should have no recourse to public funds for five years, as is the case for most other migrants. This would require renegotiation of the Treaties and would be opposed, tooth and nail, by the EU Commission supported by a number of member states. The Commission are already challenging the current arrangements.

However, even if the Government was to succeed in closing off access to benefits, there are no powers to remove EU citizens unless they have been convicted of an offence which attracts a two year prison sentence. Put another way, those who come and are unable to support themselves (whatever their original intentions) cannot be forced to leave. The second priority, therefore, should be to strengthen the powers of EU member states to return such migrants to their country of origin. ...

The third issue is whether a limit could be placed on the number of those who might wish to come to work, many, if not most, of whom would be genuine. This cannot be done within the current legal framework of the EU.


It looks, therefore, as though the government are stuck between the rock of EU legislation and the hard place of public opinion, which is increasingly exasperated by the failure of the political class to get a grip of immigration.
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Saudi deports 60,000 foreigners in crackdown on illegals
Yahoo! News, 19 November 2013

Saudi Arabia has deported more than 60,000 illegal foreign workers in a crackdown over the past fortnight and more are to follow, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef said Tuesday.

Police have rounded up tens of thousands of people for deportation since an amnesty for foreign workers to regularise their status expired on November 4. ...

Nearly a million migrants – Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Indians, Nepalis, Pakistanis and Yemenis among them – took advantage of the amnesty to leave voluntarily.

Another four million were able to find employers to sponsor them, a legal requirement in Saudi Arabia as in several other Gulf states. ...

Among those considered illegal are foreigners who have overstayed their visas, pilgrims who have sought jobs, and migrants seeking work other than for their sponsor.

Expatriates account for a full nine million of the oil-rich kingdom's population of 27 million.
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The Paradox of Diverse Communities
Richard Florida
The Atlantic Cities, 19 November 2013

Urbanists and planners like to imagine and design for a world of diversity. Diversity, we like to think, is both a social good and, as I've argued, a spur to innovation and economic growth.

But to what degree is this goal of diverse, cohesive community attainable, even in theory?

That's the key question behind an intriguing new study, "The (In)compatibility of Diversity and Sense of Community," published in the November edition of the American Journal of Community Psychology. ...

Their simulations of more than 20 million virtual "neighborhoods" demonstrate a troubling paradox: that community and diversity may be fundamentally incompatible goals. As the authors explain, integration "provides opportunities for intergroup contact that are necessary to promote respect for diversity, but may prevent the formation of dense interpersonal networks that are necessary to promote sense of community."

Their models focus on the emergence of the "community-diversity dialectic" based on two simple principles: homophily – the tendency of people to bond with others like themselves – and proximity – the tendency of people to bond with those nearby. Their models look at how the strength of these basic tendencies affect the evolution of neighborhoods comprised of two distinct populations (say by race, class, ethnicity and so on). In these simulated neighborhoods, the possible levels of integration ranged from 0 percent (totally segregated) to 50 percent (totally integrated). ...

After 20 million-plus simulations, the authors found that the same basic answer kept coming back: The more diverse or integrated a neighborhood is, the less socially cohesive it becomes, while the more homogenous or segregated it is, the more socially cohesive. As they write, "The model suggests that when people form relationships with similar and nearby others, the contexts that offer opportunities to develop a respect for diversity are different from the contexts that foster a sense of community." ...

These findings are sobering. Because homophily and proximity are so ingrained in the way humans interact, the models demonstrated that it was impossible to simultaneously foster diversity and cohesion "in all reasonably likely worlds." In fact, the trends are so strong that no effective social policy could combat them, according to Neal. As he put it in a statement, "In essence, when it comes to neighborhood desegregation and social cohesion, you can't have your cake and eat it too."

But, of course, this is the result of computer simulations of reality, not reality itself. Our identities, social relationships and actual neighborhoods are far more complex than simulations can get at. And yes, diverse neighborhoods, while they may be scarce, do exist in the real world. Moreover, people don't live in isolated neighborhoods of 500 homes, and segregation, diversity, and interpersonal relationships are phenomena that work on a far larger scale as well. But the fact of the matter is we sort ourselves into communities of similar, like-minded others. And this sorting process appears to be built into the very structure of our social lives.
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Poll shows 74pc not in favour of opening borders
Yorkshire Post, 18 November 2013

Almost three-quarters of people in Yorkshire are opposed to opening up UK borders to migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, according to the results of an opinion roll released today by Eurosceptic business tycoon Paul Sykes.

The polling, carried out by YouGov, found 74 per cent rejected the lifting of border restrictions from the beginning of January, with Mr Sykes using the findings as a springboard to announce plans to fund a war chest for Ukip to fight next May's European elections.

Only 15 per cent of 1,013 people polled in Yorkshire supported the change to border controls while the remaining 11 per cent said they did not know.

Mr Sykes, who developed the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, said he viewed the elections as Britain's last chance to break free from Brussels and was prepared to spend heavily to support Ukip which is already favourite to win the most votes at next year's elections.

He said: "You cannot call yourself an independent country if you surrender all controls over your borders. But this is what we have done by agreeing to ever closer union in Europe, the free movement across borders of its 500 million inhabitants, and signing treaty after treaty giving up our ancient democratic rights of self-government.

"I have nothing against people from Romania and Bulgaria. But given the four million immigrants we have absorbed since 1997 and given the prospect that the end of transitional controls on two of the poorest countries on the Continent will trigger another wave of mass immigration, in defiance of public opinion, we have to draw the line somewhere."
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A multicultural hell hole, that we never voted for
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 18 November 2013

Page Hall in Sheffield is a monument to the failure of the state's experiment in multiculturalism.

Due to official dogma, this area is rapidly turning into a cauldron of suspicion and squalor. A never-ending influx of Roma people from eastern Europe is fuelling combustible tensions with local residents, many of whom are immigrants from Asia. As complaints about feckless, intimidating behaviour by the Roma intensify, the air is now thick with warnings about ethnic conflict.

The sense of deepening social chaos in Page Hall was vividly illustrated last week by this paper's reports of two attempts by Roma immigrants to make money from the sale of babies. ... It is almost unbelievable that this could happen in 21st-century Britain but such depraved conduct is part of the world created by the ideology of multiculturalism, where the values of traditional civilisation are constantly undermined.

Page Hall's descent into social breakdown is just a foretaste of what will happen across Britain next year as the final restrictions on migrants from eastern Europe are removed. From January, 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to settle here, bringing a large number of Roma to our shores.

Already there are estimated to be 200,000 Roma people living here but that number will be dwarfed once all border controls are lifted. ...

This wave of mass immigration from two of Europe's most impoverished countries will be a disaster for Britain, hastening the collapse in national identity, wrecking social cohesion and imposing an intolerable strain on civic infrastructure.

Welfare bills will soar, not least because many migrants are adept at exploiting the laxity of our benefits. Even now a third of all sellers of the Big Issue fundraising magazine are Romanian, since such a role allows them to claim self-employed status and thereby gain access to social security. Incredibly, over the past five years there have been 27,000 arrests out of an estimated population of 87,000 Romanians living in London.

This act of institutionalised self-destruction has been foisted on us by a treacherous political class that selfrighteously preens itself over its devotion to multiculturalism and open borders. The imposition of mass immigration over recent decades has been accompanied by a barrage of official propaganda extolling the joys of diversity and portraying all opposition to this creed as racist bigotry. ...

Female emancipation has been set back by misogyny imported from the developing world, as re-flected by honour killings, forced marriages and female genital mutilation. There are estimated to be 66,000 cases of such torture in Britain yet not a single prosecution has been mounted. In the name of liberal tolerance, vicious intolerance is flourishing in our midst, repressing free speech and promoting dangerous extremism.

The tragedy is that immigrants wanted to come to Britain precisely because it was a well-ordered and harmonious place. "The gentleness of English civilisation is its most marked characteristic," wrote George Orwell in 1941. Now, as Page Hall shows, all that is being lost through the multicultural revolution.
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Calling time on Black Pete fun in the Netherlands
Anna Holligan
BBC, 18 November 2013

It is one of the most popular Dutch traditions but according to the UN, part of it is racist and should be abolished. The iconic figure of Black Pete has been arriving in towns and cities throughout the Netherlands. It is a curtain-raiser for the festive season and features a white person made up, wearing black face-paint and a curly Afro wig. Calls to ban it have caused outrage. Why is it so important in a country famous for promoting equality?

Riding bikes, launching themselves through hula hoops, somersaulting around the harbour and banging on drums. These controversial characters are integral to the celebrations. ...

The Netherlands is no longer a homogeneous nation.

After World War Two, canal-lined lowlands became a popular destination for economic migrants from Turkey and Morocco. A shared language also made it relatively easy for residents of the former Dutch Caribbean colonies to relocate.

In a country of approximately 17 million, more than 3.5 million are overseas-born Dutch citizens or children of non-Dutch immigrants.

Despite what it says on their passports, many of them are still referred to as allochtonen which literally translates as "originating from another country" or "outsiders".
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No change in Portuguese nationality laws for Goans: Ambassador Roza de Oliveira
Devika Sequeira
Herald, 18 November 2013

Portugal's Ambassador to India Jorge Roza de Oliveira has denied that there is a move on the part of his government to change Portuguese nationality laws that apply to Goans and people from Daman and Diu, and said recent media reports suggesting this were incorrect.

The clarification would no doubt come as a huge relief to the thousands of eligible Goans queued up to process their papers for Portuguese nationality.

Reports in the national media had claimed that the Portuguese embassy in New Delhi had recommended that Portugal wind up its policy of granting nationality to people from its former Indian territories, to "improve bilateral relations" between India and Portugal, and to avoid legal disputes over dual citizenship. ...

Senior Portuguese lawyer Miguel Reis says he doesn't believe any Portuguese diplomat would recommend that Portugal change its policy, because "If such a measure were to be adopted, it would be a gross violation of article 13, 2 of the Constitution (of Portugal)".

Reis, whose legal firm Miguel Reis & Associates with offices in Portugal, Brazil and Goa specialises in nationality and immigration laws told Herald: "Citizens of the Portuguese colonies in India never suffered the limitations of citizenship endured by people of other Portuguese colonies. When the colonies ceased in 1975, the law gave the descendants of citizens born in Goa, Daman and Diu the same rights as the descendants of people born in Portugal. This situation is completely stable, and only someone with a racist mentality might want to change these laws 40 years later."

The Portuguese counsel argues that any changes in the nationality laws to withdraw the privilege only to those born in Goa, Daman and Diu would be entirely discriminatory. "I have never heard of any diplomat to believe that Portuguese descendants born in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, France or Germany, just to name a few, should be denied access to Portuguese nationality," he said. Any such amendments would have "a huge bearing on Portuguese laws", Reis said.

Portugal, like the UK accepts dual citizenship, but India does not. ...

According to an official at the Regional Passports Office in Panjim, 2,000 Goans a year on an average have been surrendering their Indian passports over the past four years.

"After they collect a surrender certificate from us, they are required to register with the foreigners' regional registration office (FRRO)." He says he hasn't come across a single case of anyone wanting to reacquire Indian nationality.

The Indian passport office statistics are no indication though of how many Goans are acquiring the Portuguese nationality each year. A consular official says the Portuguese mission in Panjim handles barely five per cent of applications, with "thousands applying directly to the Conservatoria in Lisbon through agents".
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The great Roma home giveaway
Ben Borland
Sunday Express, 17 November 2013

Roma gypsies arriving in Scotland as EU citizens are set to benefit from a 'great homes giveaway' courtesy of the taxpayer, the Sunday Express can reveal.

Officials are considering a plan to move them out of the slums into newly renovated social housing alongside Scottish families with rents at "much below market prices".

Incredibly, migrants from eastern Europe may even be offered training and cash in order to construct their own self-build homes.

This is all despite the country facing a major housing shortage predicted to last 20 years, with thousands of young Scots unable to afford their own place to live.

Around 3,500 Roma migrants currently live in a few streets of ramshackle tenement blocks in Govanhill, in the south of Glasgow.

A new action plan prepared by city council officials states: "This number of Roma in Glasgow is likely to rise further as Romania's full accession to the EU in January 2014 approaches and Romanian and Bulgarian residents' rights align with other EU citizens."

The report - which the council insists is only a "draft", despite presenting it as a final document at a top level European conference - sets out dramatic measures to welcome new migrants after January 1.

They include the introduction of a project pioneered in Madrid, where Roma families were moved out of "slum accommodation" and into renovated homes across the city.

They were offered "subsidised rents, much below market price". Not surprisingly, the move created "conflicts between the re-housed former slum dwellers and their new neighbours".

In Glasgow, the council and several city housing associations hope to win public funding for the scheme from Brussels. ...

In addition, £1 million from the Scottish Government and a further £250,000 from the city council is to be spent on sprucing up the Govanhill ghetto.

Yesterday, Eben Wilson of Taxpayer Scotland said: "While we might want to be a society that looks after those who are not well off there have to be limits.

"One of those limits should be that people who have nothing to do with Scotland or Britain and have just arrived here should not be given immediate access to social housing.

"If you follow that course of action then more people will keep arriving and you will only generate more of a problem than you had when you started.

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Daltrey: Labour let down my generation
Matt Rudd and James Gillespie
The Sunday Times, 17 November 2013

Roger Daltrey, the frontman of the Who, has said he will "never, ever forgive" the Labour party for allowing mass immigration and undermining British workers.

"I will never forgive them [Labour] for destroying the jobs of my mates, because they allowed their jobs to be undercut with stupid thinking on Europe, letting them all in, so they can live 10 to a room working for Polish wages," he says in an interview in The Sunday Times Magazine today.

"I've got nothing against the Poles at all, but that was a political mistake and it made me very angry. And the people who get it in the neck are the immigrants and it's not their fault."
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Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century by Paul Collier – review
Ian Birrell
The Observer, 17 November 2013

The migration of poor people to rich countries is a phenomenon overloaded with toxic associations, a subject politicised before it has been analysed. This is the starting point for Paul Collier's lively exploration of perhaps the most contentious issue of our age, one that he sees as a natural extension of his influential previous books on the bottom billion people on our planet.

The former World Bank economist, who now advises presidents and prime ministers, thinks people are focusing on the wrong question. He says the key issue is not whether the impact of immigration is good or bad – although if pressed, he would come down on the side of good. He argues, instead, that we should focus on how much migration there should be and, more interestingly, who it really helps.

It definitely boosts those making the move in search of a better life. Their pay and productivity soar, the latter a consequence of moving to a better organised society. They send home huge remittances – almost four times global aid flows at $400bn – that help those left at home through bad times and encourage the spread of improved governance. Yet there can be a psychological cost to what he calls "a decentralised aid programme". ...

He concludes migration is good for those left behind as well as the new host nation, while the only people who suffer economically are, he claims, previous immigrants. Yet drawing on cases such as Haiti, he frets about the damage of faster emigration. For at the centre of his thesis is the idea that migration has an inbuilt inclination to speed up. As a diaspora grows, it becomes easier for others from the same community to make the same move: they can find family members to provide beds, friends to give them work, familiar food.

This may well be true. Yet from this finding he paints a dark picture of dangerous growth and declining assimilation, a curious conclusion given much of the evidence he has compiled. The reality, as shown by countries such as Canada and the US and cities such as London – where one-third of residents are now foreign-born – is that even large, rapid waves of immigration fuel success with surprisingly little tension. ...

Collier's logic can lead him down strange paths. Previously, he has praised military coups to remove unpleasant regimes. Now he wants to reduce the rights of migrants to bring in close relatives. He also focuses on cultural differences but ignores class, so essential to understanding the success and failures of immigration to Britain. Yet for all these flaws, Exodus is a valuable addition to the swelling library of books on this subject, written for a wide audience and containing some fascinating data. ...

We are only beginning to grapple with the issues raised by modern migration. Collier shows its complexity in discussing the two African countries with the largest diasporas, Cape Verde and Eritrea; one among the best-governed nations on the continent, the other ruled by one of its most ghastly regimes. Although, he remarks astutely, "mass migration... is a temporary response to an ugly phase in which prosperity has not yet globalised".
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Now Alan Johnson joins chorus of Labour chiefs apologising on migration
Jason Groves
Daily Mail, 16 November 2013

Alan Johnson yesterday became the third former Labour Home Secretary this week to admit their party's open door immigration policy had been wrong.

Mr Johnson, who presided over the Home Office under Gordon Brown, suggested Labour had encouraged immigration while in power to boost the economy, but he conceded they had 'got the sums wrong'. ...

Labour's reputation on immigration has been shredded following a 2004 decision to not restrict workers when eight former Soviet bloc countries joined the EU. The Government predicted up to 13,000 migrants would come to Britain each year and fill job vacancies, but the total over a decade was more than a million.

Mr Johnson said: 'There was a very good argument for doing it, but they got the sums wrong and the numbers coming were much greater than forecast. It was good economics and bad policy.'

He told the BBC: 'It was 2004 and three things were happening. The birth rate was going down. The dependency ratio – the amount of people working compared to the number of people retired – went down from 12 to one, when Lloyd George introduced the pension, to four to one.

'And it was due to go down to two to one – two people working for every one person retired. And we had a 75 per cent employment rate – one of the highest we had ever seen.

'So for Sweden, Britain and Ireland, the three most successful economies – although you might wonder what that success was based on – there was a lot of sense in doing that.'
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Smirking Roma migrants boast: We get FIVE TIMES more cash in Benefits Britain
Paul Jeeves
Daily Express, 16 November 2013

Roma migrants are revelling in Britain's generous benefits system by boasting they rake in £500 a week compared to just £104 a week at home, it was claimed last night.

Outraged residents in the Page Hall district of Sheffield say the authorities "bend over backwards" to provide Roma arrivals with an array of benefits ranging from free housing to food parcels.

But they claim the generosity is abused with many spending long hours in betting shops or paying girls for sex.

Gangs of men begin congregating outside the suburb's bookmakers as early as 9am and a steady procession fill the shop until late evening.

Outside, the men swig alcohol from soft drink bottles to get round street alcohol laws and locals say they frequently urinate in shop doorways or in people's gardens.

Others complain about the makeshift car repairs taking place in the street.

Shopkeepers near the betting shop are furious that the intimidating presence of the area's 4,000-strong Roma community drives their custom away.

One 33-year-old woman, a governor at a local school, said: "I watch day after day as men who don't work or make any effort to work spend my hard-earned taxes in that betting shop.

"Me and my husband have to work every hour to provide for our family; life is a struggle. They arrive and are instantly given houses to live in, clothing to wear and food along with money supposed to be for their families.

"Yet all I see is them pumping money into slot machines. It has to come from benefits because none of them work."
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Slovakian Roma in Sheffield: 'This is a boiling pot ready to explode'
Helen Pidd
The Guardian, 16 November 2013

Page Hall in Sheffield has seen a huge influx of Slovakian Roma, who say they want to give their children the chance of a better future in the UK. But rubbish, noise and gangs of young people have put them on collision course with other residents ...

... Sheffield MP David Blunkett ... gave an interview this week in which he warned that tensions between local people and Slovakian Roma migrants in this part of his constituency could escalate into rioting unless action was taken to improve integration. ...

In an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield the former home secretary also accused the government of "burying their head in the sand" over the scale of Roma settlement in the UK and said the Roma community had to make more of an effort to fit in with British culture: "We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there's going to be an explosion otherwise. We all know that."

By the time the interview aired and had caught the attention of the national media, Blunkett was on a plane to India, his press secretary saying he was uncontactable for at least a fortnight. By Thursday Blunkett had come out of purdah to say he had never warned of riots. But the touchpaper had been lit. ...

On Friday Sheffield council decided to renew the current Section 30 order until 11 February 2014, given the tension in the area.

South Yorkshire police says it doesn't have crime figures available for Page Hall specifically, but that anecdotally crime does not appear to have increased significantly since large numbers of Slovakian Roma started to move in three years ago. "It's anti-social behaviour which is a problem rather than crime, really," said one of the officers on patrol.

Nobody knows for sure how many Roma people have come to Sheffield since Slovakia joined the EU in 2004. The council's best guess is that 1,500 eastern European Roma children now live in the city as a whole, with around 500 in the small Page Hall area. Miroslav Sandor, a Roma community worker in Page Hall, gives a much higher estimate. He thinks there may be 600-900 large families in the city, mostly concentrated in Page Hall. ...

In Page Hall rubbish fills the gutters, and stained mattresses and sofas are piled up in gardens. Sheets taped to windows as makeshift curtains fail to disguise 10 or more people piled up watching TV in tiny front rooms.
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British jobs for British workers! Seven in ten go to those born here: Watershed moment as Brits are finally winning new jobs race
Becky Barrow
Daily Mail, 14 November 2013

Around seven in ten jobs created in Britain over the last year went to people who were born in this country, it emerged yesterday.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, represent a watershed moment following a long period during which foreigners regularly beat Britons in the employment race.

Of the 376,000 jobs created over the last year, the ONS said 256,000 – 68 per cent – went to workers who had been born in this country.

Only 112,000 of the jobs went to people born outside this country, with the 376,000 total also including those who refuse to say where they were born.

If the figures are calculated according to nationality, rather than country of birth, more than 90 per cent of the new jobs went to British people.

In 2011, before government initiatives had taken effect, ONS figures painted a very different picture. The number of British-born workers with a job fell by 311,000 in a year, while the number of foreign-born workers jumped by 181,000 over the same period.
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Mass immigration was a 'mistake'? Come off it, Jack
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 14 November 2013

Labour was founded to promote the interests of the British working-class but in recent years through its ideological attachment to mass immigration the party has grievously betrayed the people who were once regarded as the backbone of our country.

Most of the British public has been increasingly appalled at this process of national selfdestruction.

A recent opinion poll shows that 78 per cent of voters believe Labour let in "too many immigrants" during its time in power between 1997 and 2010.

Sensing the deep unpopularity of its immigration policy the party now wants to give the illusion that it has retreated from its dogmatic stance. Promises of a tougher approach are about to be set out by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. Apologies for the past are uttered with increasing frequency.

This week former home secretary Jack Straw confessed that the last Labour government made a "spectacular mistake" by relaxing border controls on eastern European migrants. ...

Yet this orchestrated pantomime of contrition could hardly be less convincing. For a start all this hand-wringing from party elders has been focused entirely on the European Union, yet the majority of immigration to Britain under Labour was from outside the EU.

Most of the vast influx, running at an annual rate of more than 550,000 new arrivals during Labour's last years in office, came from Asia, Africa and the Americas.

There is a foul stench of hypocrisy about Labour's pretence of concern on this issue given how it tried to silence critics.

In power Labour portrayed all objections to open borders as racist, outdated xenophobia, as exemplified by Gordon Brown's denunciation of Rochdale voter Gillian Duffy as "a bigoted woman" for daring to voice her concern about the transformation of her neighbourhood.

Above all Labour wilfully created the very problems about which their politicians now complain.

Blunkett might now wail about the impact of the Roma in his Sheffield constituency but he was one of the chief architects of the immigration free-for-all famously declaring a decade ago that he saw "no obvious limit".

Labour politicians now try to pretend that their approach was, in Straw's words, "a mistake" but in truth the obliteration of our borders was a deliberate policy to transform our society. Britain's demographic revolution was carefully plotted in Whitehall.

As Peter Mandelson recently put it: "We were sending out search parties for people." And one of Straw's very first acts as home secretary in 1997 was to remove restrictions on migrants bringing their families into Britain.

There followed a host of other measures such as dishing out work permits, British passports and student visas like confetti and allowing the asylum system to slide into chaos. ...

One of the great myths of immigration peddled by Leftwing ideologues is that all arrivals come here to work. In fact as a recent independent study demonstrated migrants from outside the EU cost our society far more than they contribute because so many are dependent on welfare.
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The man who made it OK to talk about immigration
Melanie McDonagh
The Spectator, 16 November 2013

It takes a lot to make the subject of immigration respectable for liberals, at least if you're pointing out its problematic aspects. But Paul Collier, an Oxford economist specialising in the world's bottom billion, has, in the 270-odd pages of his new book Exodus, opened up the issue for the left – well, for all comers, actually. Which, for a book suggesting among other things that, left to itself, there is no natural limit to immigration, is quite something.

'The overwhelming reaction I've had,' he told me, from his Oxford berth at the Centre for the Study of African Economies, 'is that people thank me for making the subject discussable. I had an email from one man who had been a senior economist at two government departments... and he said that, to his shame, he had been unable to analyse this issue even when he was chairing two committees about it.'

Discussion of immigration has long been taboo among liberals. ...

Indeed, when he started on the book, he was warned repeatedly by well-wishers that he shouldn't, you know, write anything that might start trouble. ...

So why is Professor Collier in a position to say the unsayable, viz, that while some immigration is good for everyone there is such a thing as too much diversity? One reason is that his approach is broader than that of most pundits. ...

And it's this last factor that really exercises him. 'I started this book from the perspective of what is the impact of all this outward migration from the poorest countries on the poorest countries.' The effect of that exodus, he thinks, has been disastrous, depriving poor African countries of their brightest and often their most prosperous people – as he says, 'The poorest can't afford to leave.' Indeed, one tough-love approach he favours is that wealthy countries should be generous about granting asylum to those who need it, but should make that asylum time-limited. In other words, once it's safe for refugees to go home, they should be sent back to help rebuild their conflict-ravaged societies. In fact, one of the confusions he wants to clear up is 'the failure to distinguish between the idea of helping individuals from poor countries and helping the poor societies themselves'.

That broad approach appeals to both ends of the political spectrum. The professor was rather proud, when I spoke to him, that his book had been favourably reviewed in the Guardian and had, that very day, been given a condensed serialisation in the Mail. ... ...

For him the important consideration isn't the amount of revenue that migrants add but the effect of large-scale migration on things like trust and generosity in the host society. The issue is whether too much diversity – and he insists he's talking about culture, not race – takes away our fellow feeling for each other. His broad conclusion is that migration does diminish levels of trust in the host society. ...

He doesn't shy away from policy recommendations. ...

But the real effect of his book is that he's made migration discussable. 'It was rather moving,' he said. 'The other day a man came up to me and said that because of my book it has, for the first time, been possible for him and his sister to discuss this subject. And they're both bright, well-educated people.' After decades of Brits skirting uneasily round the subject, it's probably time we all did.
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Immigration: Britain's doors are wide open, and we can't even talk about it
Peter Oborne
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2013

Another case in point has been freedom of movement, in essence such a wonderful idea, which makes perfect sense between convergent economies such as Britain, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

But freedom of movement between advanced economies such as Britain and underdeveloped countries causes grotesque distortions. On January 1 transitional controls are to be lifted, meaning that migrants from Bulgaria and Romania will be free to move around the rest of the European Union. ...

This enormous disparity means that it would be economic madness for Bulgarians and Romanians not to take advantage of the freedoms they are suddenly being offered. A large number of them are certain to travel to Britain (and other EU states) next year. Exactly how many it is difficult to say. ...

There are reasons to doubt that the influx will be so large this time. Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch (disgracefully treated by the BBC as a Right-wing alarmist 10 years ago) has provided more accurate, responsible and truthful predictions than anyone else. He guesses that around 250,000 additional migrants will travel to Britain over the next five years. ...

This is the trouble with the European Union. Decisions are made, no one knows where, which have enormous consequences for the lives of ordinary people, and local politicians are helpless.

The new migrants will be hungry for jobs, and are bound to price some British workers out of the market. They will have the right to use our schools and NHS, which are already creaking. They will need housing, and welfare benefits. ...

The decision will be enforced by anonymous officials and jurists. Without intending to, the European Union is turning into the enemy of democracy.

David Cameron is reduced to the role of a spectator in a country that he has been elected to govern. Ed Miliband may be Labour leader, but he is an observer as well. Neither politician has tried to defend the influx of migrant workers, which is understandable because it wasn't their decision. But they can't attack it either. As a result, an important issue that is likely viscerally to affect the lives of many British citizens has been sucked out of public discourse and the democratic arena. Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative are united in impotence and uselessness.

There is no way out. Free movement of people is one of the core principles of the European Union. The relevant directive gives limited scope to exclude individuals on grounds of "public policy, public security or public health" but no scope at all to impede the kind of large-scale migration which may occur next year.
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39.000 African migrants transmit 10 epidemics to Algerians across the borders every year
Nouara Bachouche, 14 November 2013
[English version: Dalila Henache]

Maj. Gen and Deputy Minister of National Defense, Chief of Staff of National People's Army, Ahmed Gaid Salah, sent on Wednesday, in the framework of a working visit and inspection of units of the Third Military Region in Bachar (southern Algeria), a prescriptive for all armed units, especially the services of the border guards and military personnel to impose tight control on African immigrants, after it was discovered that malaria cases, which has spread in many cities were imported from African country.

Official sources from the Ministry of National Defense told Echorouk that Gaid Saleh stressed, during his recent visit to the need to combat illegal immigration, especially Africans, after their risk exceeds the various crimes such as fraud, smuggling, witchcraft, drugs and other crimes to reach health of Algerians considering that many killer diseases are transmitted through these illegal Africans who have taken from Algeria a transit center. ...

Doctors of the military health warned of the dangers resulting from the displacement of illegal migrants coming from 23 African countries to Algeria, especially after the events in Libya and Mali, and the consequences of the flow of refugees who have made the risk exceeds to weapons and drugs' trafficking, to extend to the infectious diseases that are transmitted by more than 9000 illegal immigrants annually to Algeria, and 30000 refugees, who transmit 10 dangerous diseases such as malaria and AIDS.
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Jack Straw: Labour made mistake letting Poles in early
The Guardian / Press Association, 13 November 2013

The former home secretary Jack Straw has admitted that dropping immigration restrictions on eastern European migrants was a "spectacular mistake" on Labour's part.

The Labour MP said handing immediate working rights to Poles and other nationalities who joined the EU in 2004 was a "well-intentioned policy we messed up".

Writing in the Lancashire Telegraph, Straw said: "However careful you are, as a minister, in your analysis, many decisions are based upon predictions about the future, where, ultimately, your fate is in the lap of the gods.

"One spectacular mistake in which I participated [not alone] was in lifting the transitional restrictions on the eastern European states like Poland and Hungary which joined the EU in mid-2004.

"Other existing EU members, notably France and Germany, decided to stick to the general rule which prevented migrants from these new states from working until 2011. But we thought that it would be good for Britain if these folk could come and work here from 2004.

"Thorough research by the Home Office suggested that the impact of this benevolence would in any event be 'relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010'.

"Events proved these forecasts worthless. Net migration reached close to a quarter of a million at its peak in 2010. Lots of red faces, mine included."

Straw, the MP for Blackburn, highlighted recent research indicating that the immigrants from that period were less likely to claim benefits than UK natives but added: "I have never underestimated the social dislocation that can occur when large numbers of people from abroad settle in a particular area – as has happened in east Lancashire.

"But this latest research makes me feel a little better about this well-intentioned policy we messed up."
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5.2 million legal immigrants live in Italy
Gazzetta del Sud, 13 November 2013

There are 5.2 million legal immigrants in Italy, or roughly 8.7% of Italy's population of 60 million, revealed the Statistical Dossier on Immigration 2013 presented on Wednesday in Rome by Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge. The immigrant count greatly exceeds the government statistical agency Istat's figure of 4.4 million, and marks the first time the dossier is not signed by two Catholic charities, Fondazione Migrantes (Migrants Foundation) and Caritas Italiana (Italian Caritas). Instead the dossier was furnished through a coordinated effort of the government's Anti-racial Discrimination Office (Unar), under the Premier's Office, and the research firm Idos, which has analyzed the data for the report in the past. The reason for the difference between Istat's numbers and Unar's is that Istat counts only immigrants on official registries. ...

From 2007 to 2012, the number of immigrants in Italy grew 30% from under four million. The increase is due not only to foreigners seeking work, but also to family reunification and births to immigrants in Italy. Italy does not grant citizenship on the basis of birth or length of residency on Italian territory, but blood and marriage relationships to Italians. In 2012, nearly 80,000 children were born to immigrant couples, and roughly 27,000 were born to mixed Italian-foreigner couples. The total population of immigrant minors in Italy is more than 900,000 for non-EU citizens, and 250,000 for EU citizens. Immigrant population growth was far smaller in 2012 than in previous years, up 8.2% for EU citizens and up 3.5% for non-EU citizens. At the same time, return flows to countries of origin are rising, more out of necessity and lack of employment in Italy than choice, the study found.

The countries of origin for Italy's immigrant population are 50.3% European, 22.2% African, 19.4% Asian, 8% from the Americas, and 0.1% from Oceania. The single largest immigrant group is Romanians, who number about one million in Italy.
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Rather than apologising for immigration, let's keep our borders tighter in the first place
Douglas Murray
The Spectator, 13 November 2013

What is wrong with the now almost daily apologies about mass immigration? Today it is the turn of Jack Straw. The former Home Secretary has just admitted that opening Britain's borders to Eastern European migrants was a 'spectacular mistake.' He acknowledges that his party's 2004 decision to allow migrants from Poland and Hungary to work in Britain was a 'well-intentioned policy we messed up'. The Labour government famously predicted that a few thousand people would come, while the actual figure ended up being closer to a million.

Of course apologies are normally intended to draw a line under a matter. But how could that possibly occur when all three main parties are currently committed to making the exact same mistake again? The doubtless 'well-intentioned' coalition government will next year allow in a new wave of immigration from Romania and Bulgaria. And they are dismissing their critics in just the same way as the Labour government did back in the day. Last week the Conservative party's representative on Question Time, Anna Soubry, performed the very 2004 tactic of dismissing all fears over this as 'prejudice' and 'scaremongering'. So it looks like we will go around and down again. 'Racist', 'prejudice' and 'fear-mongering' will all once again be deployed by the incumbent political class at the exact moment when their predecessors are finally partially apologising for the last round.

Ten years ago it was David Blunkett who was doing the smearing. Using Parliamentary privilege he memorably dismissed mainstream critics of Labour's immigration policy as 'bordering on the fascist'. So how amusing yesterday to see that very same former Home Secretary now warning in the most panicked terms about the consequences of opening up our borders to Bulgaria and Romania. Blunkett now says that the influx of more Roma into Britain could lead to riots in British cities.

... David Blunkett said yesterday: 'We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming Roma community.'

Oh yes – and how exactly would he propose that we do that? Haven't we learned that it is in fact quite difficult to utterly change the behaviour and culture of an incoming culture when it arrives in huge numbers? ...

Well there are now 200,000 Roma in Britain. And the political parties are united behind a policy which is going to allow in, at the very least, many thousands more. I suppose we can look forward to an apology from David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Anna Soubry in about 2021. But here's an idea: why don't we circumvent the future humiliating apologies, and all the years of miserable attempts at integration and just not fling open our borders in the first place?

Crazy talk, I know.
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Britain's attitude to immigration is 'grotesque and hypocritical,' claims Calais politician who says town is approaching Sangatte-style crisis
Tim Finan
Daily Mail, 12 November 2013

Another Calais politician has launched a scathing attack on Britain for its policy on immigration which he claims attracts hundreds of illegal immigrants to the French Channel coast as they attempt to sneak into Britain.

Deputy mayor Philippe Mignonet, the man tasked with solving the problem in Calais, called UK policy on migrants 'grotesque and hypocritical'.

'Britain says we don't want immigrants but does nothing to prevent black economy employment yet two million people work on the black in Britain,' he said.

In an interview with the newspaper Manche Libre he said his town is having to cope with up to 400 migrants at any given time and that numbers will soon approach those counted before the closure of the Sangatte Red Cross Centre and 'The Jungle' - a squalid camp where Afghan and Iraqi refugees stayed before heading for the UK.

'The Town is facing something which is beyond its limits and which must be handled at highest national and European levels ', said Monsieur Mignonet. ...

Last month mayor Natacha Bouchart sparked controversy by using her Facebook page to appeal to citizens to report new squats to the police.

She too blames UK policies for welcoming migrants who queue up at Calais to stowaway to Britain on ferries.
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David Blunkett in riot warning over Roma migrants
BBC, 12 November 2013

Tensions between local people and Roma migrants could escalate into rioting unless action is taken to improve integration, David Blunkett has warned.

The former home secretary fears a repeat of race riots that hit northern cities in 2001.

His concerns centre on the Page Hall area of Sheffield, where Roma migrants from Slovakia have set up home.

But he also accused the government of "burying their head in the sand" over the scale of Roma settlement in the UK.

In an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield, he said the Roma community had to make more of an effort to fit in with British culture.

"We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there's going to be an explosion otherwise. We all know that." ...

He called on the Roma community in Page Hall to change aspects of their "behaviour", such as congregating on the streets on summer evenings and dumping litter, which he said was "aggravating" local people.

"We've got to be tough and robust in saying to people you are not in a downtrodden village or woodland, because many of them don't even live in areas where there are toilets or refuse collection facilities. You are not there any more, you are here - and you've got to adhere to our standards, and to our way of behaving, and if you do then you'll get a welcome and people will support you."

Mr Blunkett said the local population in Page Hall, which he said was made up of people with "Pakistani backgrounds, Somali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemeni and traditional white working class" also had to make an effort to reach out to the Roma community. ...

And he accused the government of "burying their head in the sand" over the size of the Roma community living in the UK, which he said was revealed in a recent study by Salford University.

"They [the government] have been saying there is less than 50,000 Roma in England. The Salford study shows that at a very conservative estimate, there's over 200,000. That they constitute a very large minority, with real problems." ...

Mr Blunkett's intervention was praised by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who campaigns against the ending of border controls for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, both countries with significant Roma populations.

He said: "Mr Blunkett should be admired for the courage he has shown by speaking so plainly on this issue. Of course, the type of language he has used I would have been utterly condemned for using.

"The fact that he is talking of the significant difficulties with the Roma population already in his constituency should be taken seriously by the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.

"My question is if they won't listen to the dangers of opening the door to Romania and Bulgaria next year when UKIP speak out on it, will they listen to David Blunkett? I certainly hope so."

Mr Blunkett later issued a statement distancing himself from Mr Farage's endorsement, stressing he had been talking about the need for better integration.
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What the Left-wing human rights industry won't tell you about the Roma
Tom Gallagher
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2013

David Blunkett's warning that friction between Roma migrants and local residents could spill over into rioting is unlikely to be welcomed by his Westminster colleagues or by officialdom. The insistence that Britain is sufficiently cohesive to endure social change remains an elite article of faith even in the age of Ukip.

But if there was any appetite for exploring the background of the Roma, there would be less cause for complacency. Most are coming from Romania, a country that I've been visiting for 24 years (and have written three books on). It joined the EU, mainly thanks to the advocacy of one Tony Blair, in 2007. It was the 17th year of a rackety democracy that followed a savage Communist tyranny. The Roma were on the margins of society. They were unlike most other minorities: they lacked a political cause based on territory or language and an aspirational elite keen to promote social improvements in order to strengthen the community.

Instead, the Roma (perhaps two million strong and increasing rapidly due to their birth rate) are a mosaic of multiple tribes or sub-groups, based on occupation and sometimes language and religion. Their culture is often based on customary laws and practices that promote a medieval pattern of human relations. Tribal chiefs resist external pressures and reinforce the traditional ways because they benefit materially and in terms of status. Women and young children are allotted roles which mean a harsh and cruel life often stretches ahead for them as beggars, sex workers or menial labourers. Education is disdained and Roma who have availed of a good education often find it hard to return to their own communities.

The Roma cause has been taken up by a well-resourced human rights industry in Western Europe (often composed of lawyers with no organic links to these communities). They demand that host communities should modify their societies so that Roma more easily fit in. But they show no appetite for ensuring that their humanitarian values are in fact also applied within the Roma communities and they seem unperturbed by their absence.

Romania is still a traditional society with high levels of religious observance, an emphasis on marriage and conventional gender roles. Mainstream society has acted to keep "rebellious" Roma at arm's length. Some Roma have assimilated (especially thanks to the work of religious groups) but most live on the margins of society. Their capacity for social disruption is usually limited due to a watchful local state. But they are NOT actively oppressed and enterprising Roma have carved important economic roles thanks to their prowess in the black economy.

Here in the UK many of the constraints that have prevented a collision between Roma and gadja (non-Roma) are absent or else weak. The third sector, the judiciary, and some local bureaucrats possessing a pro-diversity and equality outlook, are likely to be influential advocates for the Roma. The social restraints in a Britain which has been experimenting with hyper-plural lifestyles for at least a generation, are increasingly absent. As a result, for those Roma who wish to pursue a life of crime, there are far easier paths to advancement than for those with a conventional work ethic.
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The dreaded flood of Romanian migrants isn't going to happen
Alice Cobeanu
The Guardian, 11 November 2013

With less than two months to go until Romanians and Bulgarians gain free access to the UK employment market, the media campaign against them is well under way. "Allowing this new flood of migrants is economic lunacy," wrote Ukip's Nigel Farage this week. The day before, the Daily Mail had reported: "Recruitment firms are being inundated with requests from Romanians about how they can claim benefits in Britain."

As a Romanian living in Sheffield, I know people are already worrying whether my compatriots are going to swamp this island on New Year's Day. Not long ago my neighbour called over the fence to ask: "How many more of you lot are heading this way, then?"

She was surprised when I said I didn't know. The truth is that no one knows. As a spokesman for the Foreign Office told me this week: "There are no reliable statistics about the number of expected Romanians in the UK. It is a complicated issue involving a number of factors, and any figures would only be a guess."

I decided to take a trip home recently to try to answer my neighbour's question with a more educated guess.

First I met Ion Cristoiu, one of the best-known journalists in Romania, the founder of several newspapers and a producer of TV political broadcasts. He was clear that the shrill headlines in the UK media do not match the reality. "The immigration phenomenon is a complex one but the implications have already played out. Lifting the restrictions is not something of interest for Romanians any more," he said.

Most employment agencies in Bucharest that I contacted – which specialise in placing jobseekers overseas – report no particular spike in applications from jobseekers hunting for jobs in Britain after 1 January. ...

There is no doubt that wages are much better in the UK than in Romania. ... But the economic situation in Romania is slowly improving. ... About 5% of the economically active population in Romania are unemployed, compared with 7.7% in the UK.

Mariana Câmpeanu, the Romanian minister of labour, accused UK media of exaggerating: "I would like to say that it is an overreaction, and totally unjustified. Nothing shows that Romanians express a huge interest to work in the UK. It is obvious that those who wanted to leave Romania for the UK have already done it. This hysteria is completely wrong".
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Right-wing politicians plant hate not hope in our hearts
Kevin Maguire
Mirror, 11 November 2013

Blaming the stranger nearby is the politics of hate.

Immigrants who have travelled to Britain are not responsible for low wages, poor working conditions or bad housing.

They often fall victim to bad bosses, evil gangmasters and slum landlords who exploit the newcomers in dirty, unpleasant jobs.

But it suits a disreputable group of scaremongering right-wing politicians that migrants are wrongly blamed for our problems.

Spreading prejudice lets Ukip's Nigel Farage, and increasingly, alas, David Cameron with his "Go Home" vans, to divide people who are ALL being devoured by an economic system that sucks the lifeblood out of families as living standards plummet.

The woman from Pakistan who dresses differently or the hardworking Pole shopping in the local supermarket are seen and heard by those dealt a bad hand.

Hidden behind blinds in Mayfair or security guards in the receptions of City of London office blocks are the financial establishment responsible for the poisonous economy. City trader Farage and stockbroker's son Cameron protect their own while deliberately inflaming relations between communities.

You could paper your sitting room with reports proving that migrants more than pay their way in Britain.

Yet Cameron's Cons create vile myths about benefit tourism.

Turbo Tory Farage knows 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians aren't heading for Britain. ...

Ed Miliband, a son of two migrants, must confront head-on a politics of despair which thrives on poison.

And it took a decent Conservative, Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry, to show how best to deal with Farage.

The Defence Minister went on the attack on BBC1's Question Time with her brilliant "you put fear in people's hearts" denunciation.

The nauseating "Hate not Hope" of the Right withers when confronted.

The low-paid, whether born here or in Timbuktu, have much in common. It's time for decent people to unite.
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Bulgaria cracks down on illegal immigrants as tensions rise
EUbusiness, 11 November 2013

Bulgaria has turned back more than 100 clandestine immigrants at its border with Turkey at the weekend, an interior ministry official said Sunday, amid rising nationalist tensions in the European Union's poorest member.

The group of migrants was stopped in the Strandzha mountains in the southeast of the country, the ministry's secretary general Svetlozar Lazarov told public radio.

About 1,200 police officers were deployed in the mountainous and wooded region on Friday where around 100 migrants have been trying to cross the border every day for months.

With an influx of nearly 10,000 people so far this year, Bulgarian authorities are struggling to accommodate the migrants and Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev on November 4 announced plans aimed at speeding up expulsions of economic migrants, notably from northern Africa and Afghanistan.
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MI5 warned six years ago of terror escape
Robert Mendick and David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 10 November 2013

MI5's surveillance teams were warned six years ago that terror suspects could evade the security services by wearing a burka, it can be disclosed, in a further intensification of the row over an Islamist extremist on the run.

Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed is one of eight terror suspects on the loose after evading the Home Office's controversial control regime.

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the former independent reviewer of terrorism, urged David Cameron "to take personal charge" and introduce tougher restrictions on the movements of suspects.

Police are hunting for Mohamed more than a week after he fled a mosque in west London, disguised as a woman by wearing a burka after cutting off his electronic tag. ...

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is under growing pressure to strengthen the control regime - known as Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (Tpim). The Coalition replaced stricter control orders with the more lax measures in 2012. The orders restrict the movements of suspects who are believed to pose a risk to the public but cannot be tried for reasons of national security and cannot be deported.

Lord Carlile said on Saturday: "David Cameron now needs to take charge of this himself. This is a very important strategic issue of public safety and the Prime Minister should be taking executive control of this situation."

He added: "In 2007 authorities had enough experience of previous absconding to be able to anticipate that somebody might be able to abscond in the way Mohamed did. I am sure that the possibility of somebody entering a mosque as a man and leaving disguised as a woman was exactly the kind of situation that training had anticipated. Surveillance teams were told this in 2007. It is a technique that could easily be used and everybody knew about it."

Lord Carlile said Mohamed's disappearance was made easier by the introduction of Tpims. Under the old control orders, Mohamed, 27, could have been forced to live outside London and restricted to a prayers at a mosque away from known associates.

Of the 53 terror suspects subject to round-the-clock surveillance since 2005, 25 have been have been reported for breaches.

Nine have absconded, only one of whom has ever been recaptured.
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Illegal migrants' children denied access to education and housing - report
Daniel Boffey
The Observer, 10 November 2013

The children of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are having their lives made a misery by the government in an effort to put others off coming to the UK, according to a damning new report backed by former minister Sarah Teather.

They are being denied access to their basic rights and assistance to attain legal status in the UK, it is claimed. A proposed immigration bill, the report adds, will introduce further restrictions to these children's options by asking schools, GPs and landlords to monitor the immigration status of people they come into contact with.

The government is accused by the report's authors of trying to create a hostile environment for the children of what they describe as undocumented migrants, as well as the parents, as a way of encouraging more to leave and dissuade others from coming.

The report, Growing Up in a Hostile Environment: The Rights of Undocumented Migrant Children in the UK, published by the Coram Children's Legal Centre, finds that this tougher stance is having a "significant and damaging impact" on children in the UK.

Undocumented migrant children are not entitled to a post-16 education; their families are not allowed social housing; they are often forced into the hands of rogue landlords and exploitative relationships. Financial support has been withdrawn from such families following the government's local authority spending cuts; and, despite often having strong claims, leave to remain application fees of up to £1,000 and a lack of legal representation under the legal aid reforms condemn such children to live in the shadows. ...

The MP for Brent Central, who on announcing her resignation revealed that she no longer felt that the party led by Nick Clegg fights sufficiently for social justice and liberal values on immigration, said the government needed to urgently rethink its priorities. ...

Kamena Dorling, the author of the report, said: "Over half of the estimated 120,000 undocumented migrant children in the UK were born here. Many have lived here for their entire childhood. Despite having strong legal claims to remain in the country and being long-term residents of our communities, in practice they are left in a precarious situation without access to basic social rights."
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Flood of immigrants make 'township ghettos' out of Britain's seasides
James Murray
Sunday Express, 10 November 2013

Parts of Britain's once glorious seaside towns are becoming "third world township ghettoes" largely because of mass immigration and the Government must act now to stem the expected tide of poverty stricken Bulgarians and Romanians from January, a top council leader warned.

Tory Paul Carter, who leads Kent County Council, says the rising number of migrants in towns from Clacton in Essex, to Margate in Kent and Eastbourne in East Sussex is putting huge pressure on health and other public services. ...

The council is currently preparing a report which will call on David Cameron to demand a radical approach to the problem in towns such as Margate, where up to 3,000 Romas have set up homes in cheap low quality private housing or been given council flats.

Mr Carter revealed: "We will ask the government to stop the inward migration of vulnerable and troubled families out of London or abroad into these communities so we can start to lift them and reverse the trend of potentially building bigger ghettoes." ...

A council report estimated the potential influx of 10,000 Romanians and Bulgarians after restrictions are lifted in January would cost Kent another £3 million a year.
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The economy is desperately in need of more productive young immigrants
David Blanchflower
The Independent on Sunday, 10 November 2013

Across the world there is a mobility or movers premium, because moving is costly and difficult. Plus the incumbent population benefits from lower prices often because the new arrivals do jobs that others don't want to do or at a lower price.

The UK has been fortunate enough to receive a large number of young, highly motivated and well qualified English speaking and mobile East Europeans (A10), especially Poles over the last decade, not least because we were the only major country that allowed them to come and work in 2004 when they joined the EU.

I have talked to colleagues in Germany who have argued that it was a big mistake for Germany to allow the UK to get all the good ones who would inevitably stay once they had visited even for short work spells. Now they can live and work anywhere in the EU, but more than 750,000 came to work permanently in the UK.

The numbers from the A8 employed in the UK has risen from 64,000 in 2004 to 683,000 now. At the same time the numbers from Bulgaria and Romania (the A2) have risen from 12,000 to 141,000 and may well rise further next year when restrictions are lifted. About half the total rise in employment since the beginning of 2004 is accounted for by these A10 workers, which made the UK economy more productive.

... Their employment rate – the proportion of the population aged 16 and over that is employed – is much higher than it is for UK nationals and especially so for the A8. ...

The flow of these highly productive young people, especially young men from Eastern Europe that a dynamic economy desperately needs, is unlikely to continue for long as the home countries are suffering from a demographic time bomb.

Across all the A10 countries the collapse of the birth rate when the Berlin Wall came down means that the number of young people is falling precipitously year by year. ...

There is little likelihood this flow will continue for long. In any case what drives migrant flows is differences in GDP per capita and given the lack of growth in the UK most other European countries such as Germany, Austria, Sweden and Denmark, look like more attractive places for migrants to go to – they have jobs available.

A new paper by Christian Dustmann, who is definitively the number one expert on migration in the UK, and his student, Tommaso Frattini*, examines the fiscal impact of immigration to the UK economy and found that European immigrants, the majority of whom have been from the A10, and found that those who arrived since 2000 have made especially large positive fiscal contributions, even during periods of budget deficits.

We are better off with them than without them. They conclude that "rather than being a drain on the UK's fiscal system – immigrants arriving since the early 2000s have made substantial net contributions to its public finances, a reality that contrasts starkly with the view often maintained in public debate. This conclusion is further supported by our evidence on the degree to which immigrants receive tax credits and benefits compared to natives. Recent immigrants are 45 per cent less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits". ...

*Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini, 'The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK', CREAM Discussion Paper #22/13, 2013
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Conservative members get tips to win over ethnic minority voters
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2013

New "community engagement guides" have been issued by Conservative party headquarters to help party supporters win backing from ethnic minority voters.

The four-page guides have been prepared as part of a push by the Tories to expand their share of the black and minority ethnic vote ahead of the 2015 general election.

They have been published after a study found that Britain's ethnic minority vote may determine the outcome of the 2015 election. The report by Operation Black Vote found the number of seats where black and Asian voters could decide the outcome had increased by 70 per cent since 2010.

The first group of guides are aimed at helping Tory activists win the support of Bangladeshi, Chinese, Pakistani, Pakistani and Indian voters.

The guides give out basic information about where the different communities are based, their values, how to engage with them and tips on basic social etiquette.
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Full scale of border failings revealed
Channel 4, 8 November 2013

The failed UK Border Agency has left a massive backlog of cases that will take five years to clear, a new report by MPs reveals.

And despite promises to get tough on illegal immigration, only 6 per cent of tip-offs from the public were followed up, the home affairs select committee discovered.

UKBA was scrapped at the end of March after a string of damning reviews of its performance.

Home Secretary Theresa May has replaced the agency with UK Visas and Immigration and an Immigration Enforcement command, both brought back under the direct control of ministers.

MPs looked at UKBA's allegations database, which recorded tip-offs about illegal immigrants made by members of the public, and found that only 6 per cent of claims are investigated and 1.5 per cent lead to removals.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz MP said: "There are still over 430,000 cases languishing in the backlogs, enough to fill Wembley Stadium almost five times over.

"As we have said on numerous occasions, the backlogs must be cleared as a matter of priority. Only then will the Home Office be able to tackle the deeper problems in the immigration system."

"Currently only six in 100 reports of illegal immigrants result in an actual investigation and only 1.5 in 100 result in removal. This is a very poor record and does not give confidence to those who go out of their way to help the Home Office."

Between its introduction on 30 September last year and 30 June this year, the database had received 48,660 allegations - about 178 a day.

In the eight months to May this year, allegations resulted in 2,695 investigations with visits by immigration enforcement officers, 1,840 arrests and 660 removals.
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Just one in 67 suspect illegal immigrants is sent home: Officials are not properly following up tip offs in 94% of cases
James Slack
Daily Mail, 8 November 2013

Only one in every 67 reports of illegal immigration result in a person being booted out of the country, a damning report by MPs reveals today.

Incredibly, in 94 out of every 100 cases, immigration officials are not even bothering to properly follow-up on tip offs from concerned members of the public.

This is despite David Cameron personally urging people to 'report suspected illegal immigrants' a to new Border Agency database so they could be deported.

MPs say that, as a result of the inaction by officials, people will lose confidence and could soon stop bothering to ring the authorities to report illegal working or visa over-stayers.

The revelations are contained in yet another critical report on the UK's border controls by Westminster's home affairs select committee. ...

The study also said the UKBA had a backlog of 432,029 immigration and asylum cases when it was scrapped at the end of March - which at current levels will take five years to clear. ...

The committee backed the Home Office's policy of trying to persuade illegal immigrants to go home voluntarily, with government support.

MPs agreed this was cheaper than forced removals, which cost around £11,000 each.

But they joined attacks on the so-called 'racist van ', which toured London advising illegals to 'go home' or face arrest. The vans were scrapped by Mrs May last month after proving ineffective.

The report said: 'Tough enforcement action should be taken against those who are determined to remain here illegally, but for the target audience of potential voluntary returners, the effectiveness of the carrot is potentially undermined by the ostentatious brandishing of the stick.'
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With Britain's population set to grow by 10 million... The dangerous liberal myth that it's racist to want to curb immigration [part 1]
Professor Paul Collier
Daily Mail, 8 November 2013
[Extracted from Exodus by Paul Collier]

So I know from personal family history both sides of the immigrant issue.

That's why I can face up to two of the key questions of our times. Is this seemingly unstoppable exodus from some of the world's poorest nations to this country beneficial or harmful? And, should a country like ours open its doors to all and sundry, or should it impose restrictions?

Even to pose these questions requires a degree of courage because the issue of migration is a hornet's nest.

But I want there to be popular discussion of migration policy beyond views that are too often theatrically polarised and stridently expressed. The issue is too important to stay that way.

To me, there is a clear moral obligation to help very poor people who live in other countries. The persistence of mass poverty alongside the technology that can make ordinary people prosperous is the challenge of our age. Yet this does not imply an obligation to permit free movement of people across borders.

There is a prevailing opinion among liberal thinkers – a group of which I am a member – that societies like Britain should embrace a global future. In view of my own family circumstances, you might expect me to go along with that orthodoxy.

At borders, we present three different passports. I am English, my wife is Dutch but brought up in Italy, while our son, born in the United States, proudly sports his American passport. My nephews are Egyptian, their mother is Irish. If ever there was a post-national family, mine is surely it.

But what if everyone did that? Suppose international migration were to become sufficiently common as to dissolve the meaning of national identity. Would this matter?

I think it would matter a great deal. Shared identity is the foundation of trust, co-operation and generosity. In other words, it is the very fabric of a successful modern society.

Yet in liberal circles, the whole subject has become a taboo in which the only permissible opinion has been to bemoan popular antipathy to immigration and denounce those who dare to question it as racists, nationalists and Little Englanders.

But that slur is unwarranted. National identity is not of itself toxic. Its potential for abuse should not be forgotten, but if a shared sense of national identity enhances cohesion, it is doing something truly important.

A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist.

To question open access for immigrants does not automatically make someone a racist.

One of the dangerous mistakes of the liberal aversion to national identity has been to allow racist groups to hijack nationalist sentiment. When, by default, other politicians underplay a sense of national identity, it hands a potent political tool to evil; as does the embarrassed silence when it comes to discussing the rights and wrongs of immigration.
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With Britain's population set to grow by 10 million... The dangerous liberal myth that it's racist to want to curb immigration [part 2]
Professor Paul Collier
Daily Mail, 8 November 2013

Yet what we need in this country is a proper debate – based on facts, not prejudices – about designing a properly thought-through policy on immigration, rather than the dithering of politicians who often talk tough and act soft, and appear to be embarrassed by their citizens' preferences.

The story this week that official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain's population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73 million surely makes this debate more important than ever.

Astonishingly, as migration policy has soared up the rankings of the policy priorities of voters, mainstream political parties have dodged the issue.

We need to find a balance – and soon.

Because what we are now observing are the beginnings of an imbalance between immigration and emigration of epic proportions.

The global stock of immigrants from poor countries living in rich ones tripled from under 20 million in 1960 to more than 60 million in 2000. Further, the increase accelerated decade by decade.

Left to itself, migration will keep accelerating.

Existing immigrants make it easier for future immigrants to come: they provide the tickets, the welcome and the contacts without which migration is daunting.

Migration in itself need not necessarily be a bad thing. The key issue on which Britain must reach consensus is how much diversity we want in our society. Some diversity is likely to be better than none. But too much diversity would threaten cohesion and the vital things that cohesion sustains.

Because migration tends to accelerate, without controls we would almost inevitably end up with more diversity than we wanted. But how much migration is compatible with our chosen level of diversity depends upon how rapidly immigrants are integrated into mainstream society. The problem is that there are powerful forces preventing that from happening.

Here, the concept of multiculturalism framed by liberal elites has proved massively counter-productive.

It is often forgotten by those who pursue such policies that most migrants are escaping countries that are dysfunctional. One reason they are dysfunctional is because people are not used to trusting, co-operating with, and helping those who are different. We should be wary, then, of the mantra to have 'respect for other cultures'.

So how far should we expect those who come to our country to take on the norms of the society they've chosen to join?

At one extreme is assimilation and integration, whereby migrants intermarry with the indigenous population and adopt the ways of that population. ...

Then, at the other extreme, there is permanent cultural isolation of migrants in a hermetic community where schooling and language are separate, and marriage outside the group is punished by expulsion.

Multiculturalism began primarily because many migrants preferred to congregate together in clusters that protected their culture of origin. But to criticise them for this was thought to border on racism, forgetting that anyone of any race can absorb any culture. Hence multiculturalism was projected as desirable in itself.
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With Britain's population set to grow by 10 million... The dangerous liberal myth that it's racist to want to curb immigration [part 3]
Professor Paul Collier
Daily Mail, 8 November 2013

That would have been fine if the outcome was 'fusion' – a middle ground in which everyone brings something distinctive to the common table from which all eat, ...

Fusion places demands upon both migrants and indigenous Britons to be curious about other cultures and to adapt to them. But the dominant tendency so far has been to interpret multiculturalism as the right to persistent cultural separatism.

Long-term assimilation as a goal for immigrant populations has, sadly, pretty well fallen out of fashion. I say 'sadly' because it has some major advantages not just for the indigenous, but for everyone. ...

Separatism also shows up in cultural practices resulting from Islamic fundamentalism. Single-ethnicity immigrant schools are encouraged. British Bangladeshi women are increasingly adopting the full veil, whereas in Bangladesh itself the veil is not worn.

Research also shows that another barrier to greater integration is an easy-access welfare system, which tempts migrants into remaining at the bottom of the social ladder. ...

Thus, between them, multiculturalism and generous welfare systems hamper integration at home and at work.

This failure to assimilate quickly enough has two crucial effects. First, the data shows that the bigger and more separatist an immigrant community is, the more it supports further immigrants to join it. Thus the influx will not stop, but speed up.

Second, and more surprisingly, social bonds within the indigenous population can be weakened. As their locality becomes more culturally fragmented, people tend to withdraw from taking part in group activities and retreat into isolation. They opt out and hunker down – so society as a whole loses some of its cohesion.

Feeling English should be open to everybody. Everyone permanently living here should pitch in to forge a common cultural identity of which we are all proud.

Yet under multiculturalism, being English is in danger of being relegated to the status of just one racial-cum-cultural community among several others: 'the English community' alongside the 'Bangladeshi community' or 'Somali community'.

The English community has to be integrationist: anything less would breach anti-discrimination laws. Yet the English cannot be expected to be integrationist if that same expectation is not placed on immigrants.

In setting migration policy, governments need to balance fairly the interests of the indigenous poor, in particular, against the interests of migrants.

As we have seen, integration of migrants into British society has proved more difficult than anticipated. Newcomers are not being assimilated. If a balance is to be achieved, we need to make some fundamental choices. ...

A Gallup poll indicated that around 40 per cent of the population of poor countries would choose to migrate to rich ones if they could. That is the extent of the demand out there. ...

All the evidence that I have compiled leads to the conclusion that moderate immigration can bring gains to society as whole, but with the massive levels that would be implied by open borders, everyone would lose out.
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A frank dissection of the costs and benefits of immigration
Rupert Edis
Daily Telegraph, 8 November 2013
[Review of "Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century" by Paul Collier]

Whether due to ideological impulse, electoral advantage-seeking or gross incompetence, under Labour 3.2 million foreign migrants arrived in Britain, the majority from Africa and South Asia, plus a million illegal immigrants.


The transformation continues apace. As this book demonstrates, once a foreign diaspora is established, obstacles to further immigration diminish, leading to an accelerating number of migrants from the country of origin. In 2009, 24 per cent of births in Britain were to a foreign-born mother. ...

He identifies poor-country migrants as the clear winners from immigration, since their income can typically rise tenfold by migrating.

With regard to countries of origin, he describes the deleterious effect of a "brain drain" of the best educated and most ambitious. As for the claim that international migration helps poor countries, Collier suggests that "migration from rural poverty indeed matters, but the journey is to Lagos and Mumbai, not London and Madrid".

It is on host countries that the impact of mass immigration is most negative, especially on European countries, whose cultures do not provide the readier absorption of societies more recently built through immigration, like the United States and Canada.

Except in the welcome instance of the highly skilled, he shows that the economic impact is essentially neutral. ...

"The salient feature of ethnicity is not genetic but cultural... defined not by birth but by behaviour," Collier writes. This means that, with the cultural separatism encouraged and celebrated by the doctrine of multiculturalism, a "functional social model... built as a result of centuries of social progress", can be weakened "by diasporas attached to dysfunctional social models".

Manifestations of these models – among them, Collier suggests, honour violence, Islamic extremism, abuses of women and homosexuals – undermine conventions such as unarmed police, and impose a multitude of socio-economic costs.

The book's conclusions, however humanely and dispassionately presented, are alarming and in a euphemistic way echo what David Coleman, professor of demographics at Oxford University, wrote after the results of the 2011 census (which showed that London's "white British" population had dropped to 45 per cent of the total): "History is not sanguine about the capacity of ethnic groups or religions to overcome their differences." One does not need to go beyond the recent history of the Balkans, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland or even the segregated cities of America to see this. ...

As well as providing a fascinating analysis of the issues, the book is an appeal to the political Left from one of its own to shed some of its reluctance to discuss negative aspects of immigration, and to stop trying to suppress an informed and open debate with taboos and insults; and instead to frame it around issues of cultural separatism and social effect, rather than race.
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BBC is too big, too left-wing and ignored critics of immigration and Brussels, former head of news admits
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 8 November 2013

The BBC is too big and too left wing and should lose some of its licence fee, the Corporation's former head of TV news has warned.

Roger Mosey claimed the BBC had wrongly kept critics of Brussels, benefits and immigration off the airwaves and veered to the left on many issues.

He said it would 'enrich the nation' if rival commercial broadcasters had access to some of the licence fee to take on the BBC's dominance. ...

Mr Mosey, who was head of BBC Television News and oversaw the BBC's coverage of the London Olympics, said there should be a debate about how the next licence fee settlement 'helps pluralism and diversity'.

Writing in The Times, Mr Mosey said that while the corporation faced widespread competition in network television, its market share of 70 per cent of all news consumption on both TV and radio was something that 'even long-term loyalists find uncomfortable'. ...

Mr Mosey said: "On the BBC's own admission, in recent years it did not, with the virtue of hindsight, give enough space to anti-immigration views or to EU-withdrawalists; and, though he may have exaggerated, the former Director-General Mark Thompson spoke of a 'massive bias to the left' in the BBC he joined more than 30 years ago.

'I share Mark's view that there was more internal political diversity in recent times, but that isn't enough unless it's evident in a wider range of editorial view on air.'

Editors' views are 'influenced by like-minded peers' and co-ordination of policies across programmes can lead to homogeneity, he warned.

'That can be intensified by regulation that sees there being "right" and "wrong" answers.
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Rupert Murdoch's vision for Australian diversity checks out
ABC, 8 November 2013

Australia is on its way to becoming the world's most diverse nation, according to News Corporation executive chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Murdoch outlined his vision for Australia in the 21st century in a recent speech to the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney.

He says diversity gives Australia an "incredibly competitive advantage" when seeking trade relationships with other nations.

"We think of the United States as an immigrant nation and rightly so," Mr Murdoch said.

"But the percentage of foreign-born in the United States – a country currently wracked by a self-defeating debate over immigration policy – is just about 12 per cent.

"In Australia, it is double that. That means Australia is on its way to becoming what may be the world's most diverse nation."
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We don't have room for another London
Daily Mail, 7 November 2013
[Leading article]

The official projections are truly startling. Within just 25 years, Britain's migration-fuelled population boom will mean we'll have to find room for almost 10 million more people. That's equivalent to a city larger than London.

Such is yesterday's extraordinary forecast from the Office for National Statistics, which predicts that total numbers in the UK will crash through the 70 million mark only 14 years from now – two years earlier than previous estimates – to hit 73.3 million by 2037.

How, in the name of sanity, are we to cope with the pressure on schools, hospitals, transport, water, energy and housing – already creaking at the joints in the most crowded country in Europe?

Adding further to the challenges ahead, the ONS attributes 60 per cent of the expected population growth, or almost six million, to immigration and the higher birth rate among migrant families.

Since Tony Blair threw open our borders, hasn't this country had trouble enough dealing with differences of language and culture, without further increasing the strain on our social cohesion? ...

For well over a decade, opinion polls have shown substantial majorities in favour of cutting immigration to a rate at which it can be comfortably absorbed. Yet in this supposed democracy, politicians have simply ignored those who elected them.

Indeed, less than eight weeks from today, under orders from the EU, the Coalition plans to throw open our borders to any of 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians who choose to settle here.

With our national identity at stake, the time to start listening is now. The first step must surely be to defy Brussels and declare that the UK is full up.
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Roma leader says his people will be forced to beg on Britain's streets
Miranda Prynne
Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2013

A Roma leader has warned that travellers who move to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria when the border restrictions are lifted will turn to begging or black market trades if they cannot access social welfare.

Rudko Kawczynski, president of the European Roma Travellers Forum, criticised the panic over the opening up of European Union labour markets to Romanians and Bulgarians from January, which has prompted fears about large numbers of Roma heading to Britain, France and Germany. ...

Mr Kawczynski admitted Roma immigrants may cause problems in the West but blamed the Romanian and Bulgarian governments for forcing them out of their home countries. ...

"It's not a question of poorness, poor is a synonym for Roma, but they are forced to leave their countries from Romania and Bulgaria and now from Slovakia because they are taking away their land. There are forced evictions and so on."

He said EU countries should not complain about immigration after spending years arguing for democracy and free labour markets.

"The West preached for many, many years democracy, free labour markets, please come everybody who has a problems, he said in a video interview on the Council of Europe website.

"Then on the other side they cannot enter the social welfare system, it's impossible. Who's arguing with that.

"Nobody can come to a country, like France or Germany, and say, 'Here I am. Please, I want social welfare.' It's stupid, it's nonsense. People are coming doing what they used to do, what they used to do in Romania, to beg or to be misused in the black market."

He said Roma would continue to flood into the West until governments in their homelands in Eastern Europe were forced to address their plight.
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UK intelligence work defends freedom, say spy chiefs
BBC, 7 November 2013

Britain's security services defend - rather than undermine - freedom and democracy, the head of MI5 has said.

Andrew Parker was being grilled alongside GCHQ director Sir Iain Lobban and MI6 chief Sir John Sawers in an unprecedented public hearing.

He said 34 terror plots had been disrupted since the 7 July, 2005, attacks in London.

The three men were quizzed on the work of their organisations by the Intelligence and Security Committee. ...

Andrew Parker, who handles agents within the UK, told the committee a total of 34 terror plots had been foiled since 2005 including "one or two" plots aimed at causing mass casualties. Most had been foiled as result of the intervention of the police and security services.

He said MI5 was aware of "several thousand individuals in this country who I would describe as supporting violent extremism or are engaged in it" and "almost all" of the plots had involved some of "these people".
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UK Politicians Collaborate with Muslim Brotherhood Islamists?
Samuel Westrop
Gatestone Institute, 7 November 2013

At the end of this month, on November 23-24, UK politicians, in a crushing betrayal of Britain's moderate Muslims, are planning join many of Britain's most outspoken Islamist groups and preachers at the sixth Global Peace and Unity conference, due to be held in London. Tens of thousands attend these conferences; journalists applaud the initiative, and cabinet ministers, political commentators and other policy-makers address its crowds.

Mohamed Ali Harrath, a leading figure in the British Muslim community, founded and organized the Global Peace and Unity conferences in 2005. ... ...

In 2010, the Daily Telegraph reported that, "items glorifying terrorism were on open sale [at the conference] ... Also available were 'shahada headbands' as worn by many Palestinian suicide bombers... The headbands contain the personal testimony of the suicide bombers." ...

This year, Veritas Consultancy – a company that also provides services to groups such as Interpal, a US-designated terrorist organization – is handling the logistics of the conference. Veritas Consultancy, however, has just one director: Mohamed Ali Harrath.

Harrath is a leading Muslim Brotherhood member; and the wealth of evidence that ties the conference, its affiliates and the proposed speakers to Islamist networks seems inescapable. Paul Goodman MP has described the conferences as the "Royal Ascot of the British Islamist calendar."

Despite these warnings, however, a number of public officials and politicians from across the British political spectrum seem happy to share a platform with leading Islamists and, in doing so, legitimize the organizers of the conference as genuine representatives of British Islam. ...

The conference's list of "Supporters" and "Associates" includes organizations such as Interpal, designated a terrorist organization in the United States; Human Appeal International, which the CIA claims to act as a conduit to terror organizations; Islamic Help, which funds organizations run by senior Hamas leaders; Muslim Aid, which funded a number of terrorist front groups; Muslim Hands, a charity accused by Israel of having links to Hamas; the London-based Palestinian Return Centre, an Islamist lobby group considered by intelligence agencies to be a front for Hamas; and Al-Hiwar TV, a Muslim Brotherhood-controlled television station that was recently fined $158,000 for broadcasting a speech that advocated murder as a punishment for blasphemy.

In light of this assortment of speakers and supporters, have British politicians sought to distance themselves from that array of views?

Not in the least: Politicians and public officials speaking at the upcoming event include Andrew Slaughter MP, the shadow Justice Minister; Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice; Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, a Labour Peer; Simon Hughes MP, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats; Khurshid Drabu, a senior immigration Judge; and Shahid Malik, former Minister for International Development. Malik met with Hamas leaders in 2012.

Most remarkably, alongside the extremist organizations, two other "supporters" of the conference include the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police.
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UK population to rise by 10 MILLION in the next 25 years: 60% of increase linked to immigration, ONS says
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 6 November 2013

The UK population is on course to soar by almost 10 million in the next 25 years, fuelled mostly by immigration.

Official projections show that by 2037 there will be 73.3 million people living here, up from 63.7 million in mid-2012.

Around 60 per cent of the increase is linked to migration, including more people moving to the UK and having children when they settle.

Pressure will increase on public services as the number of people in the UK rises, with added demand fuelled by an ageing population. ...

The predicted extra 9.6 million people expected by 2037 is bigger than the current 8.3 million population of London.

Of the 9.6 million increase, 3.8 million will come from more births than deaths among people who already live here.

Around 4.2 million will come from people moving to the UK from abroad, and 1.6 million will result from immigrants having more children. ...

When the forecasts were made in 2010, the ONS predicted net migration of 200,000-a-year.

Now, the long-term assumption is for net migration to the UK of 165,000-a- year.

This includes an extra 143,500 in England each year, which is 29,000 lower than for the 2010-based projections.

For Wales it is 4,000 lower at 6,000-a-year, and for Scotland it is 2,000 lower at 15,500-a-year. Northern Ireland is unchanged.

The ONS says that overall immigration levels could vary between 225,000 and 105,000 each year.
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Almost 400,000 migrants due over next 25 years as Scottish population rises 9%
The Herald, 6 November 2013

A projected influx of 380,000 new migrants in the next 25 years has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.

Scotland's population is expected to rise by 9% by 2037 to 5.78 million, with more than four-fifths of the rise from inward migration, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, whose brief includes national records, said: "Scotland is more multi-cultural than ever before, with an increase of three percentage points in the number of people living in Scotland who were born outside the UK.

"The first census release in December 2012 revealed that Scotland's population is now the highest in history, and between 2001 and 2011 there was a six per cent increase in the number of people of working age (16-64 years).

"This publication shows that Scotland's population is projected to increase by 470,000 people over the next 25 years. I am pleased to see that 81% of this increase is attributed to continuing inward net migration. The Scottish Government welcomes the contribution that new Scots will make to our economy and society."
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The immigration debate is not just about numbers
Mary Dejevsky
The Guardian, 6 November 2013

If the authors of a new academic study of recent UK immigration hoped their findings would clinch the argument once and for all, ...

Listening to the BBC or reading the headline in the Financial Times ("Immigration brings economic and fiscal gains to UK, reports show"), you would have learned that the study, from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London, found arrivals from the European economic area (EEA) since 1995 to have been even more of an asset to the UK economy than previously thought. They had, it calculated, contributed £8.8bn over the 15 years between 1995 and 2011, and if you considered only the past 10 years, the balance was even more positive.

Turn to the Daily Mail, however, and the story was very different. Migrants from outside Europe, its headline said, "leave a £100bn hole in the public purse". ...

As well they might, because all the reports of the UCL study were correct. The burden of the report was in the eye of the beholder. The FT likes migration because business and employers do; it accentuated the positive. The BBC tends to see more pluses than minuses in Europe: its headline, like the FT's, focused on EEA immigration. While the Daily Mail – well, the Daily Mail is no friend either of Brussels or of a liberal immigration policy.

And the UCL study offered fuel for all. Along with its positive conclusions about EEA immigration, it also showed that the effect on the UK exchequer of non-EEA immigrants over the same period was negative, concluding that they took 14% more than they paid in. This was the angle the Daily Mail chose, nor was its gloss wrong. Non-EEA immigration over those same years accounted for two-thirds of the total.

The researchers themselves emphasised the EEA aspect, seeing themselves perhaps answering what might be described as the Polish question: when the 15,000 arrivals that were forecast to come from the EU accession states turned instead into 200,000, was this a boon or a disaster? Their answer was that it was, on balance, something of a boon. ...

There are reasons for this, of course. The "new" Europeans were mostly young, healthy and educated. They came ready skilled. The UK did not have to foot the bill for their schooling or university. But this is to look back rather than forward. If, as is likely – indeed, post-2011, it is visibly happening – the new arrivals settle and have children, the economics could change, as they qualify for child benefit, avail themselves of health services and schools, and eventually reach an age when they will be claiming, rather than funding, state pensions. ...

A central issue is trust. And on immigration successive governments have forfeited public trust. Once a government has so misjudged the number of "new" Europeans who would come to the UK, it is hard to convince people that future forecasts will be any more reliable. The use of "net migration", rather than "immigration" as the basis for official figures also looks like sleight of hand, even if it actually reflects governments' failure to track people in and out of the country competently. Nor is it just about numbers. It is also about people's daily experience and their sense of identity, too.

There is a real need for a comprehensive debate on the pluses and, yes, the minuses of migration, with an honest look at who is coming and going, and the attendant costs and benefits.
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'Stop abuse of deportation laws': Lord Chief Justice backs Government's drive to tighten laws on removing criminals and illegal immigrants from the country
Daily Mail, 6 November 2013

The Government drive to tighten laws on the deportation of criminals and illegal immigrants was backed by the Lord Chief Justice yesterday.

Lord Thomas said ministers were 'quite right' to be looking at abuses of the judicial review system by immigration lawyers.

And he wished success to the efforts by Home Secretary Theresa May to stop criminals and illegal migrants from using the right to family life to persuade judges that they should not be thrown out of the country.

Lord Thomas made his views known at a time when Mrs May and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling are both engaged in efforts to limit the use of what they see as loopholes in the laws.

The new Lord Chief Justice may have to take major court decisions in the most controversial areas of immigration law over the coming months.

He has already denounced the way immigration lawyers frequently make last-minute applications to overturn deportation decisions on grounds which some think spurious. ...

Lord Thomas also said he wanted Mrs May to win her battle to limit the way Article Eight of the European human rights charter, which sets out the right to a family life, is used by judges to prevent foreign criminals and illegal immigrants from being deported.

The Home Secretary has spent 18 months trying to set down rules which mean that judges do not allow criminals or illegal migrants to stay in the country on the thinnest of claims that they have a family life in Britain.

Some judges ignored a Parliamentary vote to tighten the rules, so full legislation saying 'little weight' should be given in court to claims of a newly-established family life are included in the Government's Immigration Bill, now going through Parliament.
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Labour let too many low-skilled migrants into Britain, admits Miliband as he promises to give local people 'a fair crack of the whip'
Gerri Peev and Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 6 November 2013

Ed Miliband will admit today that Labour was wrong on immigration and let too many low-skilled migrants into Britain.

In a party political broadcast tonight, the Labour leader will say that communities struggled to keep up with the speed of new arrivals to Britain.

And he will concede that the scale of immigration meant workers' wages have been undercut.

Mr Miliband will pledge to introduce a 'One Nation immigration policy' for the many and not the few.

But his party, which has consistently refused to support a cap on numbers, will again fail to spell out any firm policies to cut immigration.

In an astonishing about-face, Mr Miliband will say: 'Low-skill migration has been too high and we need to bring it down.

'That means the maximum transitional controls for new countries coming in from Eastern Europe, it means properly enforcing the minimum wage so people aren't brought here to undercut workers already here, and it means proper training for people here so that they have a fighting chance of filling the vacancies that exist.

'There's nothing wrong in employing people from abroad but the rules need to be fair so that local people get a fair crack of the whip.'

In an attempt to distance himself from Labour's 'open-door' immigration policy, which let hundreds of thousands of migrants from new EU countries come to Britain, he will add that it is 'not prejudiced when people worry about immigration, it's understandable'. ...

Diane Abbott appeared to torpedo Mr Miliband's change of tack, insisting Labour would not pander to 'anti-immigrant' feelings.

Writing in the New Statesman magazine, Labour's public health spokesman wrote: 'There is no path to victory for the Labour Party through the thickets of anti-immigrant politics.' ...

Mr Miliband will say: 'One of the things I've done since I became the leader of the Labour Party is understand where we got things wrong in government, and change them.

'And one of the things we didn't get right was immigration, and that's why I've got a new approach. Millions of people in this country are concerned about immigration and if people are concerned about it, then the Labour Party I lead is going to be talking about it.'

He will add: 'Britain's diversity is a source of our great strength. It makes us a more successful country.

'But people can lose out if migration isn't properly managed. The pace of change can be too fast or people can see their wages undercut.'
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Immigrants boost the economy says NIESR
Ben Chu
The Independent, 5 November 2013

Immigration to Britain has coincided with a boost to our national productivity, according to new research from a leading economic research organisation.

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has found a "positive and significant" association between the increase in the employment of migrant workers between 1997 and 2007 and labour productivity growth in that decade.

NIESR said that a 1 per cent increase in the share of migrants over the decade had occurred alongside annual labour productivity growth of around 0.06 per cent to 0.07 per cent.

The report's authors say more research is needed to establish a causal link, but they suggest migrant workers have tended to fill skills gaps in the labour markets rather than crowding out British workers.

NIESR points out that migrant workers' skills level were, on average, higher than those of native-born Britons. The report, which included employer interviews and focus groups, also found migrants were generally welcomed by workforces, despite widespread negative reporting of immigration. ...

The report found that both employers and employees tended to think the benefits of immigration could outweigh any possible drawbacks. ...

Separate research, which is published today, shows that immigrants who have arrived since 2000 are less likely to receive benefits and are less likely to live in social housing than native Britons. The report, from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London, also found that migrants have made a positive contribution to the national finances.

It estimates that immigrants from the European Economic Area have, on average, contributed 34 per cent more in taxes than they received in welfare transfers. Over the same period the average total of native Britons' tax payments were 11 per cent lower than the transfers they received.
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How migrants from outside Europe leave a £100 billion hole in the public purse: Amount taken in benefits and services is 14% higher than money put back
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 5 November 2013

Immigrants from outside Europe have taken £100 billion more in benefits and services than they paid back in taxes, a major study revealed yesterday.

Over a 16-year period, the bill to the taxpayer of providing them with welfare, health and education was 14 per cent higher than the money they put in the national purse.

However, migrants from Europe – including those from Eastern Europe who came in large numbers after 2004 – have paid more in taxes than they received, researchers said.

The report from academics at University College London claims to be the most far-reaching study yet conducted of the impact of migration on taxpayers.

Its findings were based on official figures, including those for public spending and tax receipts, and on the Government's Labour Force Survey that looks at the lives of around 150,000 families each year.

Professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini said that between 1995 and 2011, migrants from European countries paid 4 per cent more into the tax system than they took out, while British-born people had on average paid in 7 per cent less than they received from the state.

However, migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) – which is the 27 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – had made a 'negative fiscal contribution' overall,' their report said.

'This is partly explained by their demographic structure – non-EEA immigrants have had more children than natives, and we have allocated educational expenditure for children to immigrants.' ...

UCL's report said the population of migrants from outside Europe grew by more than 2.2 million between 1995 and 2011, reaching just under 6.15 million in 2011.

It said that over the same period, the non-EEA immigrants received public services and benefits worth £104 billion more, at 2011 prices, than they paid in taxes.

Their contributions, the report said, paid just over 86 per cent of the value of the services and benefits they received.

Over the same period, the EEA migrant population went up from under two million to 2.85 million in 2011. But they contributed £8.8 billion more to the Treasury than they received in services and benefits, meaning they paid 4 per cent more than they took.

According to the data, migrants are 20 per cent more likely to be claiming work tax credit than Britons. One in seven people claiming the benefit is a non-UK national.

The report does not break down differences between migrants from wealthy western European countries like France and Germany and those from poorer Eastern European nations. ...

But Sir Andrew Green of the MigrationWatch UK think tank said: 'It is very interesting that this report finds that non-EU migrants since 1995 have made a negative contribution to the national budget, yet they have accounted for two thirds of foreign immigration over the past 15 years.

'As regards EU migrants, much of the benefit stems from their relative youth but, like the rest of us, they will get older. No allowance has been made in these calculations for future pensions or for higher health costs in old age.'
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Experts slam net migration target
Evening Standard (London), 5 November 2013

The Government's target to cut net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands by 2015 is "neither a useful tool nor a measure of policy effectiveness", a group of academics has warned.

A discussion paper, published online by Professor John Salt and Dr Janet Dobson from the Migration Research Unit at University College London looked at progress towards the target since the coalition Government was formed in 2010.

In most recent figures, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a net flow of 176,000 migrants came to the UK in the year to December 2012, up from 153,000 in the year to September 2012, ending five consecutive quarters of decline.

In the paper, the authors said: "We have serious doubts that the net migration target is either a useful tool or a measure of policy effectiveness and we believe that recent experience provides a number of lessons for future migration policy, both in the UK and internationally."

Net migration to the UK is calculated as the difference between the number of people entering the country and the number leaving.

The target applies to all immigrants and emigrants, including British citizens and those from other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Government has focused its policies almost entirely on non-EEA citizens, the paper says, making big cuts in the highly-skilled immigrants and foreign students.

The paper added: "It is not clear what happens next - where further cuts would come from, what policies would be needed to maintain a net inflow below 100,000, or what happens if an improving economy requires more skilled labour."

The paper argues that "damage" has already been done by actions to cut work-related, student and family migration including to the UK's reputation as a good place to work and study.

It adds: "Too much of the debate about international migration in the UK is about 'immigrants' as an undifferentiated group, without getting to grips with who 'they' are, why they come, the jobs they do, the contribution they make and the length of time they stay.

"And there is almost no reference to the fact that international migration is a two-way street, involving British as well as non-British citizens, which is what net migration is all about.

"The flow of people out of the country is vital to achieving the target and is something over which the Government has much less influence."
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Daily Express Crusade finds 75,000 say NO to more EU migrants
Martyn Brown and Alison Little
Daily Express, 5 November 2013

The Daily Express Crusade to stop a new surge of European immigration to Britain has already received the backing of almost 75,000 people.

A staggering 15,000 readers a day have been signing our petition calling on the Government to keep in place controls on Bulgarian and Romanian workers coming here. ...

Yesterday a Romanian MEP demanded we end our Crusade. Catalin Ivan, the leader of the Romanian delegation to the Social and Democrat group at the European Parliament, said in a letter to the Daily Express: "There can be no restrictions on the labour market", adding: "I thus ask you to stop this endeavour".

Mr Ivan said any move by Britain to resist removal of the immigration bars simply could not happen, telling the newspaper "your publication asks for the violation of European Law". ...

... Last week the Daily Express reported that one in three vacancies advertised on Romania's top recruitment agency Tjobs was a British job.

Out of the 87,786 jobs on the agency's website, 28,577 were based in Britain.

The figures have added credence to fears of a mass influx on January 1.
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We need lots more Indians in UK politics – Cameron
David Mercer
Irish Independent, 5 November 2013

The UK's Indian community should be "ever more involved" in shaping British life, Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday, as he visited one of the biggest Hindu temples outside India.

He said he wanted "many more British Indians" in parliament after arriving at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, with wife Samantha to celebrate the Hindu festival Diwali.

The couple removed their shoes before entering, while Mr Cameron was also decorated with a "tilak" – the red dot on the forehead. ...

"We want many more British Indians in our parliament, Commons and Lords, and yes, in the Government of our country, too."

The prime minister apologised for failing to wear traditional Indian clothes after describing Mrs Cameron's sari dress as "magnificent".
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Saudis round up thousands of illegal immigrants
Reuters, 5 November 2013

Saudi authorities rounded up thousands of illegal foreign workers at the start of a nationwide crackdown ultimately aimed at creating more jobs for locals, media reported on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have already left the kingdom following a grace period of seven months during which authorities told expatriates that if they did not fix their legal status they had to leave the country or face jail.

The government hopes that reducing the number of illegal workers will create opportunities for Saudi job-seekers. The official Saudi unemployment rate is 12 percent but excludes a large number of citizens who say they are not seeking a job.

However, the majority of the kingdom's nine million foreigners are unskilled labourers or domestic workers, jobs usually shunned by Saudis. ...

Police carried out raids on businesses, markets and residential areas to catch expatriates whose visas are invalid because they are not working for the company that 'sponsored' their entry into the kingdom.

For a second day on Tuesday parts of the capital Riyadh were unusually empty as many expatriates stayed at home to avoid potential arrest. ...

Bouq told the paper that at least 1,899 illegal workers had been arrested in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

The paper also said police had arrested at least 2,200 people in the southwestern city of Samta, 379 in the Eastern Province and hundreds of others in other cities.

In Jeddah, dozens of Indonesian workers, mostly women, staged a sit-in to pressure the authorities to hasten their deportation, according to Arab News newspaper.

Many workers cannot leave the country because they lack official papers, including passports, the paper said.

The remittances sent home by expatriates in Saudi Arabia are often vital for their own nations, which include Yemen, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Egypt. ...

For decades, Saudi authorities ignored irregularities such as working for firms that had not sponsored their visas or in trades other than those listed on their immigration documents.
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Revealed: one in seven people claiming working tax credit is a migrant
Douglas Carswell
Telegraph blog, 4 November 2013

Migrants, we keep being told, are much less likely to claim benefits than Brits.


"Oh, yes", insist the "'experts". UK nationals, they repeatedly tell us, are twice as likely to be claiming benefits as foreigners. Anyone who dares question this "fact", as I discovered the other week, gets howled down by supposed "experts" on Twitter.

Yet the assertion that migrants are much less likely to claim benefits than UK nationals turns out to be just that. An assertion. Far from being evidence-based, the evidence turns out to be remarkably flimsy.

To be clear, there is data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that suggests that twice as many Brits claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), and other out-of-work benefits, compared to non-UK nationals in proportion to the size of the population. But it is ridiculous to jump to the conclusion that Brits are therefore twice as likely to claim benefits as non-Brits.

The "experts" who make such claims have failed to look at all the evidence. Those who insist that migrants are less likely to claim benefits tend to draw their data from the Labour Force Survey, which relies on respondents reporting claims to benefits, rather than actual data on claims made.

New evidence produced by Michael O'Connor, not previously in the public domain, looks at in work benefits, and HMRC data. Michael has crunched the numbers and his data seems to show a strikingly different picture.

• Migrants are more likely to be claiming working tax credit than the rest of the population. Indeed, they are 20 percent more likely to be claiming working tax credit that the rest of the population.

• There are nearly half a million migrants claiming working tax credit in the UK.

• One in seven (14.5 percent) claiming working tax credit is a non-UK national.

• More than one in six (17.6 percent) claiming both working tax credit and child tax credit is a non-UK national.

• More migrants claim working tax credit than claim all of the main out-of-work benefits together.

Don't get me wrong. I have enormous admiration for individuals wanting to come to this country to make the best of their lives. Switzerland, a country with a far higher standard of living than ours, has a much higher number of migrant workers (one in five of the work force) than we do. From 13th-century Venice, to 17th-century Holland, to 21st-century London and California, those parts of the planet able to attract the brightest and the best, flourish.

But if we are to attract the brightest and the best – rather than relatively unskilled benefit migrants – we need to have an open and honest debate about the kind of immigration we currently have.

The claim that migrants are half as likely to claim benefits as UK nationals turns out to be a myth.
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Britain's reliance on foreign health staff blamed for crisis in poor countries
Charlie Cooper and Sophie Robehmed
The Independent, 4 November 2013

Britain has been guilty of fuelling a "brain drain" of health workers from some of the world's poorest countries that threatens to reverse gains in global disease control, a leading charity has warned.

Rich countries collectively save billions of pounds every year by taking on doctors, nurses and midwives who were trained overseas, said a report by Health Poverty Action (HPA).

One of the main destinations has been the UK. About a third of doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) were trained abroad, and more than a quarter were trained outside Europe. The charity said that in some cases the impact of migration on health workers' home countries was so great that it cancelled out the benefits gained from international aid from wealthier nations.

Africa is hardest hit, with only 3 per cent of the world's health workforce practising on a continent that carries almost a quarter of the world's total disease burden, the charity said. ...

The World Health Organisation has estimated there is an international shortage of around four million healthcare workers.

Demand for staff, coupled with higher wages and better quality of life, have been major pull factors attracting healthcare workers to the UK from countries such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana for decades. ...

It costs just under £270,000 to train someone to junior doctor level. The cost of training the more than 60,000 international medical graduates on the GMC register to junior doctor level would be about £17bn. Nearly 85,000 nurses and midwives working in the UK were trained overseas – around one in every seven. ...

While healthcare professionals are flocking here, many home-trained GPs are going in the opposite direction. Increased workloads and poorer wages are thought to be to blame, with most GPs leaving for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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One-in-five workers in key industries hired from overseas
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 4 November 2013

Migrants are filling a fifth of jobs in key industries because of a shortage of highly skilled British graduates, according to a Government-backed report.

Companies are forced to rely on foreign-born workers in a range of "strategically important" areas as children continue to shun maths and science subjects at school.

In all, migrants account for 20 per cent of workers in fields such as oil and gas extraction, aerospace manufacturing and computer, electronic and optical engineering.

The report warns that half of the 119 occupations featured on the Government's "shortage occupation list" – which gives firms special dispensation to employ overseas staff – require engineering skills.

Another 20 per cent involve scientific and technical roles.

The shortage is so acute that universities are also filling courses with overseas applicants, with a third of places in engineering and technology subjects taken by non-British students, the report states.

The review, published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills today, calls for a drastic action to meet the "substantial demand" for engineers.
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'Don't rely on migrants to fill engineering gap', review says
Tereza Pultarova
Engineering and Technology Magazine, 4 November 2013

UK's dependence on importing engineers from abroad is not sustainable, a government-commissioned review has said, stressing the importance of inspiring young Britons to take up engineering as a career.

The review, led by Professor John Perkins, the chief scientific adviser to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), concluded that while there is "substantial demand" for engineers in the UK economy, there is also substantial evidence of shortages in specific areas of the industry – including IT, oil and gas extraction, electronic and optical engineering.

"Whilst this Review welcomes the fact that the Government allows employers to import engineering skills in key shortage areas, this should not be our long-term solution," the review says.

"We should support the UK's young people by preparing them to compete for highly-paid skilled engineering jobs, improving their career prospects and reducing the need to import engineering skills." ...

In the future, the review expects, changes in the economy will require even more professionals to work in the engineering sector – something the current strategy of importing skilled workers from abroad will not be able to address.
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CBI: 'emotive' immigration debate harming recovery
James Titcomb
Daily Telegraph, 4 November 2013

The president of the UK's leading business group has attacked "factually incorrect, emotive debates around immigration", saying that the opposition to migrants entering the UK is affecting the economic recovery.

Speaking at the CBI's annual conference on Monday morning, Sir Michael Rake said Britain must show it is open to immigration, and demanded the UK remain in the European Union.

"Closing ourselves off from the world cannot be the answer," Sir Michael told a delegation of business leaders and politicians, saying that Britain must be "open for business".

At the same event, Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, admitted that he was wrong to oppose Eastern European immigration.
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The Daily Express's Latest Campaign Flirts With Fascism
Steve Rose
The Huffington Post, 4 November 2013

The most recent front-pages from the Daily Express demonstrates their retreat from reality into the realm of myth. Last week, their front-page read, 'Britain Is Full and Fed Up' and their response was to launch a 'crusade' to stop a 'flood' of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants from entering the country next year.

An element of this 'crusade' was to create a petition that states:

"With youth unemployment in Britain running at nearly a million, to facilitate a new major migration from Romania and Bulgaria would amount to a betrayal of young British people looking to get on the first rung of the jobs ladder.

A large new migration from Eastern Europe could also risk numerous other harmful effects including placing further strain on housing, public services, welfare and community cohesion. It must not be allowed to happen."

There is a very real danger of the Express co-opting and channelling a real and legitimate frustration and sense of betrayal against vulnerable migrants. In Eco's 14 Points of Fascism, these groups warn about 'intruders' as they exploit the natural fear of difference. By definition, this movement is inherently racist.

One of the roots of fascist psychology is the obsession with plot. With Express readers besieged (by a flood of migration), xenophobia becomes rife. However, this plot must also be internal. For example, they cast the 'Europhile' Nick Clegg as the villain who downplays any plot as David Cameron's power is 'emasculated' by EU legislation. The conspiracy of unlimited migration quickly becomes easier to swallow.

Despite benefit and health tourism being widely debunked and quietly corrected by other tabloids, the Express still plays into the manufactured fears of their readership. Unlike the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini, the Express needs no salutes or swastikas - it creates the internal enemy in inflammatory language. ...

Moreover, in this retreat from fact, they make other wild claims:

"Campaigners say that could see 50,000 to 70,000, Romanians and Bulgarians a year arriving in Britain over a period of five years."

Who are these campaigners? The rather dubious MigrationWatch. ...

I would welcome a debate on the pros and cons of migration but not on proto-fascist terms. If Britain was truly 'full-up' as the Express claims, why are thousands emigrating every year?
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Visitor bond scheme to be scrapped by government
BBC, 3 November 2013

Plans for a £3,000 "security bond" for some "high risk" overseas visitors to the UK are to be abandoned, the Home Office has confirmed.

The visa bond scheme was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June and was set to be introduced this month. ...

The decision is thought to have been taken after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg threatened to block it.

The aim of the scheme was to reduce the number of people from some "high risk" countries - including India, Pakistan, and Nigeria - staying in the UK once their short-term visas had expired.

Visitors would have paid a £3,000 cash bond before arrival in the UK - forfeited if they failed to make the return trip.

Mr Clegg initially proposed the idea of a visitor bond in March, but under his version of the policy it would only apply to people from "high risk" countries who had been refused a visa through the normal route.

Business Secretary Vince Cable later claimed the deputy prime minister's plan, which had suggested a bond of £1,000, had been deliberately misinterpreted by some of their Conservative cabinet colleagues. ...

Mr Cable also criticised the level at which the bond was set and said that it had caused "outrage" in India.

He said both he and Nick Clegg would be arguing in government for a "much more sensible and flexible" approach to the policy.

Speaking to BBC's Andrew Marr show earlier this year, Mr Clegg said: "Of course in a coalition I can stop things," adding: "I am absolutely not interested in a bond which becomes an indiscriminate way of clobbering people who want to come to this country."

The bond idea was also floated several times by the previous Labour government but never implemented. ...

The announcement comes two weeks after a roll-out of Home Office vans with posters warning illegal immigrants to "go home or face arrest" was cancelled.

Mrs May told MPs she accepted they had "not been a good idea" and were too much of a "blunt instrument".
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Surgeon faced investigation for refusing to treat health tourist
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 3 November 2013

The surgeon who exposed the scandal of "health tourism" in the NHS spoke out after being investigated by the General Medical Council for refusing to give an ineligible health tourist free treatment.

The regulator subjected Prof Joseph Meirion Thomas, who has 44 years' experience in the health service, to a "fitness to practise investigation" after a complaint by the patient, a non-EU national who had never lived or worked in the UK.

Prof Meirion Thomas was cleared, but said that professional rules were one of many barriers to tackling the problem, claimed to cost the NHS up to £2 billion a year.

"If I recognise a patient as being ineligible, I am not allowed to declare that – because the minute that patient walks in to see me, I have a duty of confidentiality to that patient," he said.

"I cannot even tell my overseas visitor officer [a hospital official with the job of recovering money from non-NHS patients] that I am suspicious the patient is there illegally. The loopholes are phenomenal."

Prof Meirion Thomas, senior cancer surgeon at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, said he believed that around 5 per cent of the patients he treated were health tourists who had come to Britain specifically for free treatment.

"One of the most awful things that happens to me is that I have to cancel surgery for a legitimate patient because of a health tourist who is ineligible for care," he said. "That really, really bothers me."

NHS rules specify that cancer patients must start treatment within 62 days of being referred, meaning that some health tourists take precedence over British patients. ...

Jacqueline Bishop, an overseas visitor officer from the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton, said that NHS financial structures, where "clinical commissioning groups" of GPs pay hospitals for the patients they treat, actively discouraged hospitals from looking for health tourists.

"I generate a loss. Every overseas visitor I identify, I cannot charge the clinical commissioning group for," she said.

"There are NHS trusts out there who do not identify overseas visitors, because it is not in their best interests. We are penalised for identifying overseas visitors." As a result of this, she added, the NHS had no real idea how big the problem was, but she said that abuse of maternity facilities by health tourists was "rife".

"Anybody who says that they do not have overseas visitors in maternity either are not doing their jobs properly or just have their head in the sand," she said.

Only about 20 per cent of charges due from overseas visitors are ever recovered.
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Bulgaria's human timebomb: Syria's crisis hits EU's poorest nation
Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
The Independent on Sunday, 3 November 2013

Bangeen and many other refugees in Bulgaria carry a message for Europe's leaders, who have put off discussing an overhaul of the bloc's asylum policy until next June and are quietly hoping that the two million Syrian refugees will stay in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

But the evidence in Bulgaria suggests otherwise. As Syria's war shows no sign of ending, people want a more permanent home than a tent in the desert. Nearly 8,000 men, women and children have arrived in Bulgaria so far this year – up from 2,000 last year. And they are not planning on building their lives here.
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Your £125 yearly bill to help illegals! Taxpayers shocked by spiralling costs
Helene Perkins
Daily Star, 2 November 2013

Every British taxpayer pays £125 a year to support illegal immigrants, shocking new figures reveal.

A staggering £3.7 billion is needed to pay for their health, education and other services.

Figures show the estimated 850,000 illegals living in the UK each cost the public as much as £4,250 per year.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think tank, said: "This is a stunning figure which previous governments have covered up for far too long.

"It amounts to six times the cost to the taxpayer of the entire immigration system. So the case for a firm crackdown on illegals is absolutely undeniable."
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Deluge of support for Daily Express' petition of EU migrant ban
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 2 November 2013

The Daily Express crusade to stop a new surge of European immigration has already enlisted the support of tens of thousands of people.

In a staggering show of unity, almost 20,000 have now signed our petition calling on the Government to keep controls on Bulgarian and Romanian workers coming here.

During yesterday one person every 30 seconds was adding their name to the list on

... Yesterday Ukip leader Nigel Farage became the latest high-profile personality to speak up for our crusade. ... ...

He called for immigration to be restricted to 30,000 to 50,000 people a year with skills and without criminal records or lifethreatening diseases.
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Lips sealed on EU immigration
Patrick O'Flynn
Daily Express, 2 November 2013

The sheer volume of reader support this week for our crusade to persuade David Cameron to keep in place labour market controls on people from Romania and Bulgaria has taken us aback.

The weight of online "hits" has at times threatened to turn the servers of our website ( molten and the paper campaign coupons are already arriving in their thousands. People from all walks of life and all parts of the country have responded to our message that Britain is "full up and fed up".

Given what happened the last time the floodgates were opened to eastern Europe in 2004 one would expect the impending repeat performance to be a very major talking point in the House of Commons.

But in truth it is hardly mentioned. Nobody asked about it at Prime Minister's Questions this week. Scouring Hansard reveals an occasional aside elsewhere in parliamentary proceedings but no sign of a set piece debate. ...

A similar line was advanced by Immigration Minister Mark Harper during Home Office questions. He too treated the end of controls as a fait accompli, observing of Romanians and Bulgarians: "They will be able to come to the United Kingdom in any event after transitional controls have been withdrawn."

During that session most Labour interventions on the general issue of immigration were to express concerns that Government policy is too tough, not too lax. Labour Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper had nothing to say on the matter at all, choosing instead to raise the issue of whether a new police complaints system is needed in the wake of the shooting of Tottenham gangster Mark Duggan. At times it seems as if the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour are the three wise monkeys in regard to the impending Bulgarian and Romanian influx: see no problem, hear no problem, speak no problem.
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Human Rights Act is stopping us deporting foreign criminals, minister says
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 1 November 2013

European human rights laws that prevent the deportation of foreign criminals must be overhauled, a minister has said, after figures showed that only a tiny fraction are ever thrown out of Britain.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said "human rights laws need to change" after Scotland Yard released figures showing that just one in 100 foreigners arrested in London are removed from this country.

It comes amid growing police concern about the number of "foreign national offenders". More than a quarter of people arrested in London, equivalent to 70,000 people, are from overseas, with about half of them from outside the European Union. ...

In 2011-12 almost 177 foreign offenders who successfully appealed against deportation used the human rights act as the basis for their claim. Their claims were equivalent to 40 per cent of all successful appeals.

Under current legislation, all offenders from outside the European Union jailed for more than 12 months are referred for automatic deportation.

Offenders from the European Union can be deported if they are sentenced to two year jail sentences unless they have committed drugs offences or sexual crimes, in which case they can be deported if they are jailed for one year.

However, despite the arrest of tens of thousands of foreign criminals in London alone last year just 4,765 offenders were successfully deported from Britain.

Mr Grayling said that the government also wants to ensure that foreign offenders serve jail sentences for their crimes. Ministers are concerned that if they are deported before serving their sentences they will escape punishment.
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98% demand a ban on new migrants as thousands support our Crusade
Alison Little
Daily Express, 1 November 2013

The Crusade launched by the Daily Express yesterday to prevent a new surge of European immigration to Britain has already won massive support.

By last night more than 10,000 people had signed our petition calling on the Government to keep controls on Bulgarian and Romanian workers coming here.

Our telephone switchboard and website were also inundated with expressions of support. And in a further indication of the strength of public opposition to large-scale immigration, 98 per cent of readers taking part in a snap Daily Express phone poll agreed that Britain "should close its borders to ALL new migrants".

Strict controls on EU migrants are due to lapse at midnight on December 31.

Prime Minister David Cameron says that we are obliged like other European Union member states to lift these restrictions.
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29 arrested for massive document forgery and smuggling migrants in 5 European countries
Europol, 1 November 2013

With the support of Europol, 29 persons suspected of forgery of documents on a large scale, the smuggling of irregular migrants and money laundering, have been arrested in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. ...

The organised criminal network, composed of persons of various nationalities, was involved in the massive production and distribution of falsified or forged documents for the purpose of facilitating illegal immigration.
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Illegal immigrants cost taxpayer more than £4,000 a head each year
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2013

Every illegal immigrant in Britain costs the taxpayer up to £4,250 a year in costs for public services such as the NHS and education, according to a new official report.

It means that the total cost to the public purse could be up to £3.7 billion a year, under previous estimates which said there were 860,000 illegal immigrants in the country.

The figure emerged in an official Home Office document which showed the Government's controversial "Go Home" advertising campaign - which included ad vans touring the streets of multicultural areas - saved the taxpayer up to £830,000.

Mark Harper, the immigration minister, disclosed that the campaign was far more successful in persuading illegal immigrants to leave Britain than previously disclosed.

He said 60 illegal immigrants have already left the country after seeing the publicity and another 65 are in talks with Home Office officials about going back to their home countries.

Operation Vaken, which took place between July 22 and August 22 in six London boroughs, saw mobile billboards take to the streets emblazoned with the slogan "Go home or face arrest".

Mr Harper said the 60 voluntary departures represented a "notional saving" of £830,000 based on the average £15,000 cost of an enforced removal.

Last week Theresa May, the Home Secretary, admitted the vans were "too much of a blunt instrument" and will not be rolled out nationwide.

The Home Office report showed that of the illegal immigrants who decided to go home or who are among the ongoing cases, two thirds were from India. In all, 90 Indians came forward, along with nine Pakistanis, six Brazilians and five South Africans.
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I got a call from Jeremy Hunt about health tourism – but he still doesn't get it
J. Meirion Thomas
The Spectator, 2 November 2013

Yet for all the Health Secretary's good intentions, I fear his department is failing to grasp the nettle. The government has not recognised the extent of the problem, so its solutions are inadequate.

When I first raised this issue in The Spectator I quoted from the Department of Health's website section on 'Eligibility for free hospital treatment under the NHS', to show how open to abuse the rules and regulations governing free access to NHS care are. (Strangely enough, the page was removed and archived soon after my article was published.)

On the back of my article, the government employed a company called Creative Research to investigate the health tourism problem. It too found that the eligibility criteria for free NHS care were porous, ineffective and difficult to enforce, and that any determined non-resident can breach them. Nevertheless, Creative Research has grossly underestimated the extent of the problem.

Let's first remind ourselves of the strict definition of a health tourist. It's someone who arrives in the UK with a pre-existing illness whose purpose is to access free NHS care. (The term does not apply to visitors who suffer accidental or incidental illnesses during their stay, nor to asylum seekers or disadvantaged migrants who are entitled to 'Good Samaritan' NHS care.) The claim by Creative Research that this activity costs between £70 million and £300 million cannot possibly be correct. Where is the data to confirm that estimate? I still maintain that the cost of this component of the problem, as defined, is in billions, not millions. For example, the cost of treating expatriates who have lived abroad for decades and returned for treatment has not been included. ...

In the next few weeks, in an attempt to reduce the cost of health tourism, the government will announce new rules about who can access NHS care. There is a proposal for an annual health levy or surcharge set at £150 for foreign students and at £200 for other temporary migrants. The levy will apparently generate £1.9 billion over a ten-year period, based on approximately 490,000 applicants who would be required to pay.

This amounts to the cheapest travel/health insurance on the planet! All that students and temporary migrants have to do is cough up £150 or £200 and they will be fully entitled to unlimited free health care. Besides, don't the geniuses who thought up this plan realise that, apart from a few students who exploit the system, most health tourists come on a visitor's visa, so would be exempt even from this minimal charge? Why shouldn't students and temporary migrants be required to have health insurance, as is necessary for any British citizen studying or working abroad? ...

... Health tourists need to be identified and excluded from the NHS. But there is no method for enforcing payment. It's fraud without penalty. Any charge made is at the NHS tariff, which is about 25 per cent of the equivalent cost in a private UK hospital. The only permanent solution is a method of personal identification to prove entitlement to free NHS care, as you can find in all other countries with health systems equivalent to our own. Health tourists come to the UK because we let them.
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Join our Crusade today... stop new EU migrants flooding in to Britain
Alison Little and Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 31 October 2013

David Cameron's plan to open Britain's borders to a new wave of European immigration is dramatically challenged today by a new Daily Express crusade.

We invite readers and supporters to back us by signing a petition calling on the Prime Minister to keep controls on Bulgarian and Romanian workers coming here.

Mr Cameron insists there is nothing he can do under EU law to avoid lifting existing temporary controls at midnight on December 31.

Campaigners say that could see 50,000 to 70,000, Romanians and Bulgarians a year arriving in Britain over a period of five years.

The Government has repeatedly dodged Daily Express demands to provide its own estimate of the numbers expected.

Our petition urges Mr Cameron to have the courage to stand up to Brussels and protect British workers by keeping limits in place. ...

MPs and the Daily Express say we should enforce our right in EU law to waive free movement rules in our national economic interest. ...

To join our crusade go to
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UK has one of largest Roma populations in Western Europe with 200,000 living here
Amie Keeley
Daily Mail, 31 October 2013

Britain has one of the largest Roma populations in Western Europe - with about 200,000 living here - says an authoritative report.

The study contradicts Government claims that 'relatively few Roma citizens' had set up home in this country. Most are thought to have arrived in the last ten years.

The 200,000 figure is four times the 49,000 estimated just four years ago in a report prepared for the Department of Children School and Families. ...

It is claimed most of the migrants have arrived since a number of eastern European countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, joined the European Union in 2004.

The latest study, conducted by the University of Salford and seen by Channel 4 News, concluded the migrant Roma population in Britain was 'significant', increasing, and that 200,000 was almost certainly a 'conservative estimate'. ...

Dr Philip Brown, one of the authors of the study, said: 'A few years ago we didn't really understand the number of migrant Roma in the UK.'

The Council of Europe estimates the population across the whole continent is somewhere above 11 million – with 6 million in the EU.

Of those, around two million live in Romania. Spain has the largest Roma population in Western Europe, with 750,000, followed by France with 400,000.
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I'm the first London Mayor of 'Muslim extraction', Boris Johnson boasts as he pleads for Arab investment in the capital
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 31 October 2013

Boris Johnson has boasted of being the first Mayor of London of 'Muslim extraction' as he sought to attract billions of pounds of Arab money for the capital.

He told the story of his great-great-grandfather Ahmed Hamdi, a Muslim entrepreneur who made his money in beeswax.

Mr Johnson defended Britain's immigration policy, boasting that the spirit of openness could be seen in 'shisha bars' across the capital.

Addressing the Ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, Mr Johnson urged wealthy figures from across the Arab world to invest in London. ...

Mr Johnson drew on his own background to make the case for the capital.

'I am very proud to be here this morning because I am sure that I am the first Mayor of London of partly Muslim extraction, and indeed the descendant of a Muslim entrepreneur by the name of Ahmed Hamdi. ...

Mr Johnson announced a £100 million fund to encourage tech start-ups from the Muslim world to move to Britain.

It comes after David Cameron unveiled a £200 million new Islamic bond - known as a 'sukuk' - which complies with Islamic rules on investments and said the London Stock Exchange will launch a new Islamic index alongside the FTSE.
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Major smuggling tunnel found under US-Mexico border
Hannah Strange
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2013

A sophisticated smuggling tunnel equipped with a rail system and air conditioning has been discovered running under the US-Mexico border between Tijuana and San Diego, authorities in the two countries said.

Four tonnes of marijuana had so far been recovered from a building near the tunnel's entrance close to Tijuana's airport, Mexican officials told daily newspaper El Universal.

The tunnel stretched for 150 metres under the border at a depth of 20 metres, police said. It was unclear on Thursday to which drug gang the tunnel belonged, but a number of previously discovered passages have been operated by the Sinaloa Cartel.

The country's largest and most powerful drug gang, the Sinaloa Cartel controls huge swaths of territory along the US border. It operates a thriving trafficking trade which in recent years earned its notorious kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo (Shorty) Guzman, a spot on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, with a fortune of an estimated $1 billion in 2012.

Mexico's cartels have had to come up with increasingly inventive smuggling methods in the face of a nationwide security offensive launched by former president Felipe Calderon in 2006. The crackdown has unleashed a bloody drug war in which an estimated 70,000 people have died, many of them in border areas. ...

Authorities in Mexico said that the tunnel was found by members of the Mexican army working with local police. They had then informed the US Drug Enforcement Agency, which located the exit of the underground passage across the border in San Diego.

The passage was recently completed, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

More than 100 "narcotunnels" have been discovered along the US-Mexico border since 2005, according to the US Department of Homeland Security.
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Threat to Australian jobs with foreign workers on the rise
John Masanauskas
The Australian / Herald Sun, 31 October 2013

The number of foreigners with work rights in Australia has jumped amid concern that they are threatening the job prospects of young locals.

Several hundred thousand overseas students, temporary skilled workers and working holiday makers have poured into the country, in many cases escaping faltering economies abroad.

Working holiday numbers have soared by 14 per cent over the year, with about 166,000 here as of September 30, according to the latest Immigration Department data.

Most of them hail from the UK, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and Ireland.

Monash University migration expert Dr Bob Birrell said the uncapped program had produced a flood of young people from job-hungry countries in Europe and Asia.

"They are accessing our labour market but increasingly at the expense of young Australians who are looking for lower skilled entry level jobs," he said.

Also competing for local jobs are skilled workers on 457 visas, with their numbers rising by 12 per cent to almost 200,000. ...

Overseas students, who have limited work rights, increased their numbers by 1.4 per cent to 347,000, said the report Temporary Entrants and New Zealand Citizens in Australia.

The number of New Zealanders, who have their own special temporary visa, went up slightly to 648,200.

Overall, there were 1.73 million temporary entrants and NZ citizens here as of September 30, up 3.1 per cent on last year.
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Murdoch backs Australian immigration despite backing new government
Jane Wardell
Reuters, 31 October 2013

Australia should throw open its doors to immigrants to make the country more competitive, media mogul Rupert Murdoch said on Thursday, in contrast to his backing for the new government's tough policy on asylum seekers.

Murdoch said the diversity created by immigration, and the ties it brings with other nations, particularly in Asia, would help give Australia a leg-up as it seeks trade relationships.

"Australia is on its way to becoming what may be the world's most diverse nation," Murdoch, head of News Corp , said in a speech to the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney. "This is an incredible political advantage." ...

Murdoch's support for immigration did come with a caveat. Newcomers, he said, should abide by Australia's values, institutions and way of life.

"There is still a strand among some parts of Australian society who seem to value every culture except our own," he said.
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Eleven immigrants left UK after seeing 'go home' van adverts
BBC, 31 October 2013

Eleven illegal migrants left the UK as a result of seeing vans with the message "go home or face arrest", the Home Office has claimed.

The advertising vans drove around six London boroughs where it is thought a lot of illegal immigrants live.

Plans to use the vans across the UK were ditched after they were condemned by critics.

A report by the Home Office attributed 60 voluntary departures to a wider campaign known as Operation Vaken.

This included newspaper advertisements and postcards in shop windows.

Of the 60 migrants who returned home in total as a result of Operation Vaken, 11 people left after seeing the "go home" advert vans, the Home Office assessment shows.

Twenty-nine left the UK after being warned of the risk of arrest through immigration advice surgeries. ...

Immigration Minister Mark Harper pledged in a statement that the government "will continue to enforce the immigration rules and promote voluntary departure schemes to those who have no right to be in the UK".

In the written statement, Mr Harper said the voluntary departures represent a notional saving of £830,000, based on the average £15,000 cost of an enforced removal.

The pilot scheme, including the vans and other adverts, cost £9,740.
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University of California president earmarks $5M to help students living in US illegally
Washington Post / Associated Press, 31 October 2013

University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday she is devoting $5 million to provide special counseling and financial aid for students living in the U.S. illegally, a move aimed at disarming critics who worried she would be hostile to the small but vocal student population.

The former Homeland Security Secretary announced the initiative in her first public address since she became head of the 10-campus university system a month ago – an evening appearance in San Francisco organized by the Commonwealth Club. ...

"Let me be clear. UC welcomes all students who qualify academically, whether they are documented or undocumented," she told an audience of several hundred people. "Consider this a down payment – one more piece of evidence of our commitment to all Californians."

Napolitano said the money earmarked for immigrant students would be used for financial aid and to hire advisers at each campus who could provide guidance on matters ranging from how to pursue legal U.S. residency to applying for graduate school. ...

As part of a bill signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, California this year started allowing students who are not legal U.S. residents and are therefore ineligible for most types of federal financial aid to apply for state grants and scholarships.
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NHS foreigner charge 'opens floodgates to criminal gangs'
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2013

Charging foreigners £200 to access the NHS will "open the floodgates" to criminal gangs who bring heavily pregnant women from Africa to give birth in Britain, leading doctors have warned.

They said that pregnant women are routinely flown from Africa to give birth on the NHS, often to more than one child, in a practise so common it has become known in hospitals as the "Lagos shuttle".

The doctors said the lack of restrictions on IVF treatment abroad mean many of the women give birth to twins or triplets, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to the NHS each time.

They warned that the government's plans to charge migrants and foreign students staying in the UK a £200 NHS surcharge will act as a form of "insurance" and be "extraordinary attractive" to health tourists.

Professor J Meirion Thomas, a cancer specialist at the Royal Marsden hospital in London, said that about 5 per cent of his patients were health tourists.

He told the House of Commons Immigration Bill committee: "If you go to obstetrics at St Thomas's across there they would talk to you about the Lagos shuttle.

"I think there's organised crime behind this, by that I mean people pay an amount of money to come into the country. They are given accommodation, told exactly how to answer the right questions. ..." ...

"It's awful for me as a doctor to have to treat someone who I know is ineligible. I have to cancel a legitimate patient for surgery because there's a health tourist who is ineligible for care who is breaching the NHS rules for two day care. It really bothers me. It really happens so often. Weekly I would say."

Professor Terence Stephenson, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said that the surcharge should reflect the cost of treatment.

He said: "A flat levy is clearly a nonsense. £200 wouldn't pay didley squit for one consultation. A single inhaler for asthma costs £55. "It doesn't make any sense at all. You would have to match the cost to what people were taking out of the system for it to make any sense."

His concerns were shared by Clare Gerada, the chairman of the Royal College of GPs. She said: "It's not going to deter organised crime. It opens the floodgates to anyone that wants to have free healthcare. It would rapidly become a nonsense."
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UK immigration policy is tightening sharply, but it could still take decades to clear the backlog of illegals
Robin Mitchinson
The Commentator, 30 October 2013

Enoch Powell was right. All those years ago he predicted that by the turn of the century immigrants in the UK would make up 8 percent of the population. Forty years on, it's 8.5 percent.

And at this time there is a rough estimate that there are 600,000+ illegals, but the figure could be 800,000. These are people who have crept through the holes left by our notoriously ineffective 'Border Agency' (BA), those who have overstayed their visas, and failed asylum seekers.

Try finding and deporting that lot! Last year, the BA managed to get rid of 15,000. At that rate it will take 40 years to clear the backlog. Immigration, which has been a political taboo since Enoch's time, is back on the agenda with a new Immigration Bill.

It will do away with the never-ending scandal of years-long appeals funded by the taxpayer ending in a ludicrous judgment in favour of the immigrant because he has a cat or some other totally spurious claim to 'privacy and a family life'. There are 70,000 appeals a year. The only winners are criminals and lawyers.

Grounds for appeal will be reduced from 17 to 4; most of the European Court loopholes will be blocked. There will also be a power to deport criminals first and deal with their appeals later.

There will be a crack-down on abuse of public services (some action has already been taken under existing legislation to tighten benefit controls over immigrants who have no right to work in the UK). ...

The regulations about EU immigrants will be toughened so that the right to reside as a job seeker will cease after 6 months if still unemployed with no realistic prospect otherwise. That should take care of the much talked about Romanian gypsies.

It will be easier to identify illegals through checks at the point of embarkation, fingerprinting and cracking down on phony marriages. And there will be new powers to make it more difficult for illegals to live here, by bank account checks, making landlords check the immigration status of their tenants, and revoking driving licences on visa expiry.

Too little, too late, perhaps, but it's a start. There should be no problems with the passage of the Bill; the Labour Party supports it. It even wants to strengthen it.
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How do illegal immigrants get into the European Union?
CNN, 30 October 2013

The death of more than 300 African migrants in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa in early October has shone a spotlight on illegal immigration to Europe.

But although the tragedy at Lampedusa shocked the world, it has done little to dissuade migrants who continue to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean from northern Africa to European shores.

Frontex, the European Union border agency, says the majority of people residing illegally in the EU arrived by plane with a valid travel visa and simply stayed on after their visa expired.

But Frontex also estimates that at least 72,000 people illegally entered the EU via land and sea routes in 2012 – and the actual figure may be much higher.

According to Frontex's "Annual Risk Analysis 2013" report, 51% of migrants entering illegally via land and sea took an eastern Mediterranean route, with many crossing into Greece before continuing on to the western Balkans by land or through ferry links to Italy.
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Why Europe's immigration nightmare is only beginning
Khalid Koser
CNN, 30 October 2013
[Khalid Koser is Deputy Director and Academic Dean at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy]

Reactions to the drowning of nearly 400 migrants in the seas off Lampedusa and Malta earlier this month demonstrate three important reasons why Europe will not resolve its immigration crisis any time soon.

First, the polarization of public, media, and political reaction has been striking. For some these were humanitarian tragedies, made all the more harrowing by dramatic language about divers 'unpacking a wall of bodies' in a trawler's hull, and the Mediterranean becoming a "watery graveyard." For others in contrast they represent a failure of border security that jeopardizes the integrity of the EU and is a harbinger for mass uncontrolled migration.

The policy responses that flow from these conclusions are equally divided. There is a strong case to strengthen border controls. But an equally convincing argument is that more restrictive policies will only narrow options for desperate people and drive more of them into the arms of migrant smugglers and traffickers.

The former is clearly the predominant view among most policy-makers in Europe. ...

But experience around the world demonstrates that border control is not a silver bullet. A portfolio of policies is required to reduce irregular migration, certainly including border control, but combined with addressing the root causes of conflict and poverty, combating smuggling and trafficking, effective migration management and return, and the regulation of labor markets.

Second, the capsizing has also exposed deep divides within the European Union. Countries on the front-line – especially Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain – are calling for the rest of Europe to share out the burden of asylum seekers and irregular migrants who arrive there by sea, by relocating some of them at least temporarily.

But this challenges a fundamental EU law, the Dublin Regulation, which determines that dealing with asylum requests is the responsibility of the first EU state through which asylum seekers pass. And countries like France, Germany, and the UK, point out that they already receive the lion's share of asylum applications in Europe. ... ...

Third, the response to Lampedusa in particular could be described as an over-reaction in this sense: At least 1,500 people drowned or went missing while attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean in 2011, according to the U.N. ...

Indeed the Brussels Summit today put off policy decisions on immigration to the forthcoming December 2013 and June 2014 Summits. The reasons are clear. Immigration has become a toxic political issue; especially as high levels of unemployment and the economic crisis have fuelled a growing anti-immigration sentiment across Europe. ... ...

In the absence of a reasoned debate, a comprehensive policy response, a coordinated EU approach, and the political courage to confront irregular migration, Europe's immigration nightmare has only just begun.
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UK Roma population one of biggest in Europe
Ciaran Jenkins
Channel 4 News, 30 October 2013

An estimated 200,000 Roma migrants are living in Britain, new research shared exclusively with Channel 4 News reveals.

In 2011, the government said it believed "relatively few Roma citizens" lived in the UK, but it is now thought Britain has one of the biggest Roma populations in western Europe.

It is claimed most of the migrants have arrived since a number of eastern European countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, joined the European Union in 2004.

The figures come from a major new study by researchers at the University of Salford, which concluded the migrant Roma population in Britain was "significant", "increasing", and that 200,000 was almost certainly a "conservative estimate."

Roma are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe, with a population of around 12 million living mostly in eastern Europe, often in extreme poverty and subject to discrimination and segregation.

The researchers cited harsh conditions elsewhere as a significant "push factor" in Roma coming to the UK and reported that the rapid increase in Roma migrants was posing considerable challenges for local authorities, with staff often "overwhelmed".

In the Page Hall area of Sheffield, Gulnaz Hussain, who runs an advice centre for immigrants, says the number of Roma families has rocketed from just one or two in 2004 to several hundred today.

"It's a huge population that's arrived," she said. "It didn't happen suddenly, it was a trickling process. It kept going and going and more and more people arrived."

"The schools are full more or less. I don't think we could accommodate more people arriving. I don't think there's any more room to house further people."

Yorkshire and Humber is just one area identified as having a significant Roma population. Large numbers of Roma were also found to be living in London, the north west and the midlands.

"Roma are living in specific Roma areas across the country, in certain towns and cities, but not in others," says David Brown of Migration Yorkshire, which contributed to the research.

"Normally, they're following the first family who comes and that's why you get the same ethnicities in the same areas."

In Page Hall, most of the Roma community are thought to have migrated from just a handful of villages in Slovakia. In other parts of the UK there are significant Roma communities of Bulgarian, Romanian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish origin.
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Behind the Roar of Political Debates, Whispers of Race Persist
John Harwood
New York Times, 30 October 2013

President Obama last week sought to turn attention from health care to immigration – in other words, from one racially divisive issue to another.

Whites tend to hold negative views of Obamacare, while blacks tend to like it. Specifically, 55 percent of whites, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found this year, consider Mr. Obama's health care law a bad idea, while 59 percent of blacks call it a good idea. On immigration, 51 percent of whites oppose legal status for illegal residents, but 63 percent of blacks and 76 percent of Hispanics favor it.

The statistics mirror the core philosophical division in Washington's fierce battles over taxes, spending and debt. Whites say government does too much, while blacks and Hispanics say it should do more to meet people's needs.

Those attitudes, and the continued growth of the nonwhite population, have produced this sometimes-overlooked result: American politics has grown increasingly polarized by race, as well as by party and ideology.

That reality promises to command more attention as the day draws closer when whites will no longer make up a majority of the population, which the Census Bureau projects will be in 2043. ...

Now two factors have combined to raise the racial volume. First, the growing voting strength and allegiance of black, Hispanic and Asian-Americans have made nonwhites an increasing share of the Democratic coalition. Second, conservative whites are bitterly resisting both Mr. Obama and his agenda.

Thus a crucial variable before last November's election was the racial composition of the electorate. As the Obama team predicted, the proportion of white voters fell to 72 percent. The president won by drawing eight in 10 black, Hispanic and Asian-American votes, even as Mitt Romney won six in 10 white votes.
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Britain must say 'no' to eastern European workers, says Cameron
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2013

Britain must "say no" to Eastern European workers by making young people more able and willing to compete with immigrants, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister said that in factories across the country up to half of the workforce came from Eastern European countries such as Poland and Lithuania.

He said it was a "cruel fact" that a generation of young Britons could be "left behind" and fail to share in the benefits of the economic recovery because they lacked the skills to secure a job.

Speaking at the launch of an event to celebrate apprentices at the Mini plant in Cowley, near Oxford, Mr Cameron said "you can't blame" immigrants for wanting to work hard and get on. "You can go to factories in our country where half the people come from Poland, Lithuania or Latvia," he said. "You can't blame them, they want to work, they see the jobs, they come over and they do them.

"But as a country what we ought to be saying is no. Let's get our education system right so we are producing young people out of our schools and colleges who are capable of doing those jobs.

"Second, let's reform the welfare system so that it doesn't pay to be out of work, it pays for you to be in work.

"And third, let's have sensible controls on immigration particularly from outside the EU where we can cap the number of people who come."

Official figures show that between April and June this year a total of 683,000 people working in Britain were from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. The number of Eastern Europeans in Britain is expected to rise further when work restrictions on people from Romania and Bulgaria are lifted in January.

Campaigners have warned that as many as 250,000 people from the two countries could come to Britain. ...

Mr Cameron said he wanted to ensure that Britain's economic recovery was a "recovery for all".

He said: "Immigration, welfare and education are totally linked. Crack those three problems together and we can really get an economy that generates wealth for our people."
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Visa checks 'could put landlords in physical danger'
BBC, 29 October 2013

Landlords could be put in physical danger by being asked to check the immigration status of their tenants, MPs have been told.

Under government plans, private landlords would have to inquire whether prospective tenants are living in the UK legally.

The National Landlords Association said property owners confronting tenants could be accused of harassment.

But the government said the system would be "effective and light-touch". ...

From October 2014, landlords would be expected to carry out "straightforward" background checks on new tenants.

Ministers insist they do not expect landlords to become immigration experts and that property owners "taking simple steps have nothing to fear".

Unlike employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, landlords renting out rooms to those not entitled to be in the UK will not face criminal penalties although they will be liable for fines.

Ministers say they want to minimise the administrative burden on landlords and if a landlord has not had an answer from the Home Office within 48 hours of sending documentation, they can go ahead and rent.

But Richard Jones, from the Residential Landlords Association, told a committee of MPs scrutinising the bill that he believed the proposals were "unworkable". ...

National Landlords Association chair Carolyn Uphall said the principle of having to undertake pre-tenancy checks was not in question.

But she said landlords were in a totally different position from employers, having fewer resources at their disposal, and asking them to keep tabs on tenants on a regular basis could result in "dangerous and unintended consequences". ...

Universities UK said it already vetted foreign students and that asking landlords to duplicate this was unnecessary.

And the Association of Letting Agents said it was already "familiar" with having to carry out visa checks and it welcomed the government's proposals to make this compulsory. ...

The government maintains that landlords will not have to confront tenants they suspect of being in the UK illegally and will merely have to notify the Home Office of their suspicion, which will be treated in confidence.

Immigration minister Mark Harper said: "There is no doubt that immigrants have helped make Britain a richer and stronger society, but we must take firm action to address illegal immigration.

"We will be requiring all landlords to ensure that prospective tenants are here legally. This is in line with existing best practice across the rental sector.

"We do not want to disadvantage legitimate landlords and tenants and have devised a system which will be effective and light-touch while making it tougher for illegal immigrants to rent property, but giving us the powers to take robust action against rogue landlords."
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Immigration Roundup: Rights Versus Numbers?
Laura D. Francis
Bloomberg BNA, 29 October 2013

In "The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration," Martin Ruhs argues that there is a correlation between a country's willingness to admit greater numbers of guestworkers and its reluctance to grant them rights.

The Oxford University professor opined during a recent Economic Policy Institute event that restricting at least certain rights of guestworkers and focusing on "core rights" could lead to more countries being willing to admit more guestworkers. Ruhs is a researcher for the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society and a member of the U.K. Migration Advisory Committee. As it is, he said, very few nations have ratified the expansive 1990 United Nations convention on migrant workers' rights.

Ruhs said those core rights should include labor and employment rights, because omitting them would undercut the employment of native-born workers. However, he said, although guestworkers shouldn't be tied to a single employer, they shouldn't be able to move into different fields or sectors of the economy. If guestworkers are hired to fill labor shortages in a particular sector, the entire purpose of hiring them would be lost if they could move out of that sector, he said.

Linsay Lowell, director of policy studies for the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, responded that an adoption of "core rights" also should include an adoption of "core enforcement standards" such as employment eligibility verification, compliance with visa regulations and enforcement of labor laws. Even when guestworkers have rights, mandates aren't always enforced, he said, and enlarging a guestworker program means it will be harder to manage.

Lowell also pointed out that Ruhs only found a correlation between higher guestworker numbers and lower levels of guestworker rights, but not that one causes the other. Ruhs admitted these limitations, but said enforcement is hard to measure because it often involves subjective judgments about whether rights are being enforced properly.

Ruhs also said the choice between admitting greater numbers of guestworkers with fewer rights versus fewer guestworkers with full rights is an ethical one that has "no one right answer."
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Exodus, by Paul Collier
Ravi Mattu
Financial Times, 28 October 2013
[Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century, by Paul Collier (Penguin)]

For years, Prof Collier writes, rational debate on immigration has been impossible because "policy has been fought over using competing values rather than competing evidence". The debate was split between the extremes of those who viewed migration as a threat and those who believed that to question it was tantamount to racism.

The debate has shifted, led by left-leaning thinkers such as Robert Putnam, the Harvard political scientist, and David Goodhart, author of The British Dream, who have studied the impact of immigration on host societies, and whether diversity improves or threatens cohesiveness. Further, what impact should this have on policy towards migration?

Prof Collier, who has spent his career studying poor countries, has decided to step into this delicate territory. Exodus, he writes, is not an effort to tell us what to think about immigration but an attempt to create a new framework for how we think about it. For too long policy makers on both sides of the political divide have been asking the wrong question. Rather than arguing about whether immigration is good or bad, they should focus on the optimum degree of diversity. To understand this requires studying the rate at which migrants are absorbed into mainstream society.

He has created a model he believes is a more reliable way of achieving this goal. It relies on three factors: the size of the diaspora; the idea that migration increases the diaspora's size whereas "absorption into mainstream society reduces it"; and the idea that "the rate of absorption depends on the size of the diaspora".

Why does this matter? First, the bigger the diaspora, the more slowly it is absorbed into mainstream society. "The diaspora is the accumulated stock of unabsorbed migrants, so it is the diaspora that measures the impact of migration on diversity," he writes. "That in turns puts strains on relations between the indigenous population and newcomers." Second, understanding the rate of absorption provides policy makers with a more reliable tool for planning for future migration so that they can establish limits when necessary.

Every state, he contends, must aim to achieve equilibrium. For recipient nations, this would enable governments to manage the indigenous population's concerns over competition for jobs and resources (although it is not clear when, or even whether, "absorbed" migrants become "indigenous"). Should the economy suffer a setback, there would be enough slack in the system to prevent immigrants becoming a target of resentment. In this context, Prof Collier's research finds migration economically positive. ...

While Prof Collier poses interesting questions, his findings do not seem surprising, and many sentences include tentative phrases such as "might" and "could be", which undermine the strength of his evidence-based approach. ...

Prof Collier's is a voice to which it is worth paying attention. His book could be better written but this grandson of an immigrant is asking important questions about one of the world's most pressing issues.
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We're letting children pop pills, rather than play
Max Pemberton
Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2013

Last week the chief medical officer for England, Prof Dame Sally Davies, said every child should be given vitamins on the NHS in order to tackle rickets. ...

Historically, the main cause of this was malnutrition. ...

But the cases being seen today are almost entirely the result of a vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of sunlight: most of our vitamin D is made in our skin following sun exposure. ... ...

There are other social factors at play, too. Increasing immigration has meant there are more people living in Britain whose skin is not adapted to our often gloomy weather. This group is at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, because the dark pigment in their skin acts as a stronger barrier to the ultraviolet rays that the skin needs to synthesise the vitamin. In countries where the sun's rays are stronger or the days are longer, this is not a problem, but here it can lead to a serious deficiency.

Certain ethnic groups are at a greater risk of this because, for cultural or religious reasons, they cover up, limiting the amount of skin exposure. Indeed, all the cases I have seen of vitamin D deficiency have been in Asian women. We are now faced with the possibility of medicating the entire nation's children to combat this condition. Is this sensible?
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David Cameron: Don't blame migrants for coming to UK
BBC, 28 October 2013

Migrants "should not be blamed" for coming to Britain to work, and tighter immigration controls alone will not create more opportunities for British workers, David Cameron has said.

The prime minister said there were UK factories where more than half the workforce were from eastern Europe.

Changes to welfare and education had to accompany tougher entry rules if UK workers were to gain from the recovery. ...

The prime minister said a cap on the number of migrants from outside the EU was part of the government's attempt to substantially reduce levels of net migration.

But UKIP said leaving the EU was the only way to fully take control of the UK's borders.

"David Cameron is once again looking to pull the wool over the eyes of the British public," its leader Nigel Farage said.

"He has finally acknowledged the damage that unrestricted eastern European immigration has had on the prospects of British workers, especially our youngsters.

"Yet this is the same prime minister who supports Turkish membership of the EU and the open borders that come with it. The rise of UKIP may have prompted David Cameron into talking about immigration.

"But whilst we remain in the EU, talk is all we can do." ...

The latest figures for net migration to the UK show it increased from 153,000 to 176,000 in the year to December 2012, bucking a trend in which totals have fallen steadily from above 200,000 since 2011.

While the number of immigrants arriving in the country remained virtually unaltered over the period, the increase was driven by a change in the number of people leaving Britain.
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VIDEO: Criminal gangs smuggling Syria refugees into Britain for £11,000 a time exposed
Matthew Drake
Sunday Mirror, 27 October 2013

A people-trafficking gang raking in millions of pounds by bringing hundreds of Syrian refugees into the UK is today exposed by the Sunday Mirror.

The gang in Istanbul, Turkey, told our undercover investigators that for £34,000 they would smuggle three men here from Syria using false passports and minders. ...

The gang's activities raise serious concerns that terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda could use similar tactics to sneak jihadists into Europe.

We were alerted to the criminal organisation by an anonymous phone call to our London offices.

Our investigator was warned: "This trade is making millions for Turkish gangs.

"They have fixers around Europe and in the UK flying people across Europe. They have people working in airports who look the other way.

"They are taking Syrians to Italy, Holland and the Scandinavian countries, but Britain is the most expensive. On landing, the Syrian asks for asylum.

"They are often out of the airport within three hours because nobody is going to send them back to a country where people are being killed by chemical weapons." ...

Last week it was reported there were more than 600,000 Syrians in Turkey, 400,000 of them in refugee camps. ...

The National Crime Agency said last night it would study our dossier.
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Jewish group to Eric Cantor: Remember your Lithuanian grandmother
By Michael Wilner
Jerusalem Post, 27 October 2013

Talk about a guilt trip: A small US Jewish group is telling House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to remember his Lithuanian grandmother before denying Congress a full vote on immigration reform.

Pressing down on Republicans and Democrats alike to make the issue a priority, the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable is reminding congressmen of a moral imperative to tackle the broken system and that their ancestors were migrants, says the group.

The grandmother of Cantor (R-Virginia), the highest ranking Jewish member of Congress, immigrated to the US from Lithuania in 1907, the organization points out, citing publicly available records. ...

The Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a network of 26 NGOs, appeals to Democratic congressmen, as well, who are already on record in support of the immigration reform push, but have no power to bring a vote to the floor as the minority in the chamber.

"My ancestors immigrated to this country in search of freedom and greater opportunities," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DFlorida), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, is quoted saying in the report. "I believe that those important principles are still alive today, and that is the reason why so many immigrants desire to come to this great nation." ...

"It doesn't make sense to have 11 million people who are in this country illegally without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, meet their responsibilities and permit their families then to move ahead," Obama said on Thursday.
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£200 NHS levy on foreigners 'will attract more health tourists': Top cancer surgeon claims move would be a 'disaster'
Gerri Peev
Daily Mail, 26 October 2013

Plans to make foreigners pay a £200 NHS surcharge would create the 'best travel insurance on the planet', a leading surgeon has warned.

Professor J Meirion Thomas said the Government's move would be a 'disaster' and simply attract more 'health tourists'.

The proposals, which affect migrants and foreign students staying in the UK for more than six months, came as the Government estimated that health tourism was costing the NHS up to £2 billion a year.

Professor Thomas, a cancer specialist, was one of the first whistleblowers to expose the financial impact of non-British residents seeking free healthcare on the NHS.

He said: 'It [the levy] is the worst thing they could do. The biggest disaster that can happen to the solution of health tourism would be to accept this £200 levy for migrants wanting to come to this country and for students.' ...

Professor Thomas also said the £2 billion figure quoted by the Government regarding the cost of health tourism was wildly inaccurate.

'I don't accept those figures; they grossly underplay the total cost,' he said. 'For example, I know of examples where the bill for individual health tourists has been between £500,000 and £1 million. I know of one district general hospital where they get about 15 health tourists a month.'

He pointed to British citizens who have retired in the sun and then return to the UK when they find out they have cancer or another illness.

'The longest example I have is 48 years, but I have other examples of 20, 30 and 40 years, who then suddenly just walk back into the country with a serious illness. They are impossible to identify.' ...

The Home Office plans a new annual levy of £150 on foreign students and £200 on temporary migrants. The surcharge is expected to generate £200 million.
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British anarchists 'are turning Calais lawless': Mayor claims they fuel chaos by helping army of migrants targeting UK
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 26 October 2013

Calais is becoming a lawless town with 'no security' because of masses of migrants seeking to cross the Channel into Britain, the port's mayor says.

Natacha Bouchart blamed British activists from the anarchist group No Borders for helping migrants set up illegal squats in unoccupied flats, houses and commercial property in central Calais.

The group, which campaigns for an end to immigration controls, is trying to give the migrants shelter in France before they attempt their illegal entry into the UK.

Mrs Bouchart, 50, has previously blamed Britain's asylum and benefits system for 'imposing' hundreds of illegal migrants on her city.

She said the number of people trying to make it across the Channel was becoming 'untenable' and radical action was needed.

In a move that has caused controversy in France, she made a plea to residents to report squats used by UK-bound illegal immigrants so that they can be shut down. ...

She called the dozens of squats 'a plague which is spreading to the town centre, disturbing the peace of residents and tarnishing the town's image'.

She added: 'It is scandalous that we live in a state where foreigners come here to disturb our town and our residents.

'The migrants fight among each other and we do not feel there is any security at all.'

Mrs Bouchart, who was born in France to an Armenian father and a Polish mother, complained to Spanish-born Interior Minister Manuel Valls that she lacked powers to take direct action against squatters and asked for Calais to be declared a high-priority security zone. ...


No Borders is a shadowy group of activists campaigning for an end to immigration controls across Europe.

Motivated by an anarchist ideology, the British branch seeks to help migrants get around immigration rules and prepare them for life after illegal entry into the UK.

The group has been recruiting volunteers from throughout Britain, most of them ex-students.

Once recruited, they make regular trips to France to give would-be migrants food, sleeping bags, books and even phones and bikes, as well as helping them to find squats in towns such as Calais.

They are also trained to advise on means of illegal entry into the UK and what to do once a migrant arrives here. ...

One piece of advice they give illegal immigrants is not to answer any questions if they are stopped by the UK Border Agency.

They tell migrants that officers have no right to stop them on the basis of race, and advise that the worst course of action would be to give away their name and date of birth – from which other biographical information could be easily traced.
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Boris: I am the only British politician who will admit to being pro-immigration
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 26 October 2013

Boris Johnson has declared that he is probably the only politician in Britain willing to "stand up and say" that they are pro-immigration. ...

Speaking on Wednesday at Mayor's Question Time in City Hall, Mr Johnson repeated his assertion that Britain must be "tough on illegal immigration".

However, he said: "I'm probably about the only politician I know of who is actually willing to stand up and say that he's pro-immigration." ...

Earlier this year, Mr Johnson called for a one-off amnesty for illegal immigrants.

He challenged the Coalition's opposition to an amnesty and said that illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay after 12 years in Britain.

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday: "I'm not going to resile from or going to dismiss the notion that you've got to be tough on illegal immigration.

"Frankly it was, if I may so, the active decision of the Labour government to turn a complete blind eye that undermined immigration in the eyes of many people in this country.

"And you should think about that because it did serious social damage."

He added: "I go back in a pedantic way to this distinction between legal and illegal immigration. It is vital that we do make that distinction. I'm probably about the only politician I know of who is actually willing to stand up and say that he's pro-immigration."

Mr Johnson then jokes that the only other people backing immigration are the Green Party.

"I've got the support of the Greens, great," Mr Johnson added. "We can build on that. Labour being very quiet, I notice. I believe that when talented people have something to offer a society and a community they should be given the benefit of the doubt and I speak as the descendant of immigrants and all the rest of it.

"But you've got to be very, very tough in dealing with people who break the law. They are undermining the credentials and the hard work of everybody else."
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Elderly to blame for housing crisis, indicates minister
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2013

Old people and immigrants are forcing the Government to relax planning rules and allow more houses to be built on the greenbelt, Nick Boles has said.

The planning minister singled out the rise of four-generation families for an "intense" housing crisis, saying a rapidly-ageing population was putting greater pressure on the housing market than mass immigration.

Mr Boles, speaking at a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament, faced a major backlash from Tory MPs who warned the party was haemorrhaging votes after creating "planning anarchy" that would "destroy our open countryside".

But Mr Boles said the new targets for land supply for housing imposed on councils are too low, and said there are no longer enough brownfield sites to meet demand. ...

Mr Boles said he would "love" to avoid building on open countryside, but one in three developments must now take place on greenbelt land because many brownfield sites are in areas where people do not want to live.
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The truth about 'health tourism': Twice as many foreign visitors pay to use NHS as exploit free healthcare in Britain
Charlie Cooper
The Independent, 25 October 2013

The number of foreign patients who pay to use the NHS each year could be twice as high as the number of so-called "health tourists" exploiting free healthcare in the UK, a new academic study suggests.

In research that turns the high-profile debate over health tourism on its head, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and University of York found that 18 NHS trusts made a total income of £42m in 2010-11 from foreign paying patients – or "medical tourists". ...

In total, 52,000 people who entered the UK in 2010 declared that the main purpose of their visit was to seek healthcare. Researchers said it was highly unlikely that any of them would be seeking to exploit the NHS for free care because it would be too easy to track them. While some will have been visiting for treatment in the private sector, a large number will have visited NHS hospitals that were willing to charge for certain procedures.

Dr Johanna Hanefeld, lecturer in health systems economics at LSHTM, said that as a result it was likely that the number of foreign patients paying for NHS care is double the number coming to the UK seeking free healthcare – a group estimated to number between 5,000 and 20,000 by government-commissioned research published earlier this week. The new research also found that, overall, the UK is a "net exporter" of patients, with 63,000 travelling abroad for treatment in 2010. ...

The potential for foreign patients to pay for care at NHS hospitals is set to increase. Under the Government's health reforms, NHS trusts can now raise up to 49 per cent of funds through non-NHS work – a huge increase on the 2 per cent cap set by the previous government.
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Comment: The left must get tough on immigration
Simon Danczuk MP, 25 October 2013
[Simon Danczuk is the Labour MP for Rochdale]

Britain has a long and rich history of immigration going back as far as the Bronze Age. In more recent years, the post-war immigration boom has transformed Britain into one of the most diverse, multicultural countries on earth. Socially, culturally and economically immigration has been one of the most powerful forces for change our country has ever seen, doing much to shape the modern British identity.

But while many on the left celebrate this phenomenon as being an unquestionable force for good, there is no cosy consensus with the British public. Indeed, there are plenty who believe it's gone too far and needs reining in.

I represent a constituency with a large ethnic minority population and immigration is a major doorstep issue. We have one of the highest immigration caseloads in the North West and it's something that regularly comes up with constituents. It's rare, however, that their views are reflected in national debate (Gillian Duffy is a notable exception), as this tends to be a polarised and divisive affair between siren voices on the right and those on the left who cling to the benefits of mass immigration as an article of faith.

It's my hope that current debate around the immigration bill cuts through this shrill tendency to resort to dogma and creates the space for other hitherto ignored voices to be heard.

Health tourism is one area where we need to listen to frontline voices. One is a Rochdale GP who wrote to me recently to raise concerns about immigrants exploiting the NHS. I went to see him in his busy practice and listened as he told me stories of a family of immigrants landing at Manchester Airport at 6am and registering at his surgery at 10am before returning later in the afternoon to get their NHS number. He was in no doubt that health tourism was rife.

He went on to tell me how his practice manager had reported instances of people exploiting the system who had overstayed their visa. Nothing ever happens, he shrugged. He argued that there was no incentive for GPs to challenge NHS exploitation, as they get paid when someone registers at their surgery. Clinical Commissioning Groups, he explained, proactively tell GPs that they have a duty of care to treat people whether they have overstayed their visa or not. Is it any wonder, he asked, that we're losing hundreds of millions of pounds a year to short term immigrants exploiting the system?

This is just one of many conversations I've had on immigration in the last few months. I've also discussed problems in schools, jobs and the disproportionately high number of asylum seekers that Rochdale is forced to take. There is clearly a need for a sensible discussion in the Labour party about immigration and we need to clear away the shibboleths blocking this debate and start asking awkward questions.
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Britain's real immigration problem: our E-borders aren't fit for purpose
Stephen Barclay MP
Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2013
[Stephen Barclay is the MP for North East Cambridgeshire]

Parliament debated this week the new Immigration Bill, against a backdrop of a couple of poster vans telling illegal immigrants to go home.

Yet little has been said about the real problems at the sharp end – controls at our borders.

Figures I uncovered in Parliament this week reveal that more than nine out of 10 alerts on the Home Office immigration database – E-borders – are incorrect. It raises serious doubts as to whether the data used on a daily basis by the UK Border Force is fit for purpose.

While most false positives can be sifted out without the need for wasteful further investigation, such flaws in the accuracy of data suggests alerts are not being generated on the correct risks.

This compounds a continuing European problem whereby EU nationals from some countries can come to the UK without having to give their details in advance. National data protection laws prevent disclosure of this advance passenger information, even while EU free movement rules allow the journey to go ahead.

With Bulgarians and Romanians preparing to enter the UK with the right to stay from 2014, the pressure on the e-borders system, and on front-line border staff, is set to grow.

Despite repeated requests, the department has still not shared with Parliament the original business case behind the E-borders system introduced by Labour, which justified the initial £1.2 billion spend. Either the system is an important control, in which case it needs fixing, or other controls mitigate any risks raising value-for-money questions as to why we need such an expensive system.

Only a quarter of the 90,000 private flights (and many more maritime journeys) into the UK are classed as high-risk and are subject to routine border checks. Given that this classification is based on a IT system we now learn is wrong more than nine times out of 10, there is little comfort that all the necessary flights are being met.

The Home Secretary deserves great credit for acting to fix the flawed legislation through the new Immigration Bill. Constituents repeatedly tell me they want tougher controls. ...

Legislation will greatly strengthen immigration controls. But it will only be effective if it is enforced. The Treasury needs to show immigration will be a Government-wide priority. That will cost more than a few vans.
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EU leaders rebuff calls for action on Europe's migration crisis
Adrian Croft and Justyna Pawlak
Reuters, 25 October 2013

European Union leaders rebuffed calls from southern European states on Friday for emergency action to tackle a wave of illegal migration from Africa despite the deaths of hundreds of people in Mediterranean boat disasters.

EU leaders meeting in Brussels expressed "deep sadness" at the drownings, which have killed up to 550 migrants this month alone, but postponed any new action until December. ...

More than 32,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East have arrived in Italy and Malta so far this year, according to the United Nations, making a perilous crossing of the Mediterranean in rickety boats. The breakdown of order in Libya and the civil war in Syria have swelled the exodus.

EU leaders proposed no specific new steps to counter the crisis, beyond asking an EU task force to look at how to make migration policies more effective and report back in December.
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Million more school places needed by end of decade
Yorkshire Post, 24 October 2013

Schools Minister David Laws has told MPs that by the end of this decade the country will have needed to create a million more school places to meet a significant and sustained increase in the pupil population.

He also said that pressure on school places could have led to the small increase in the ratio of children to teachers in infant school classrooms that has been seen across the country.

Mr Laws told the Education Select Committee the biggest rising birth rate seen since the post war baby boom and an increase in immigration in some areas have led to the demand on places. ...

The Liberal Democrat Schools Minister said that over the course of the current Parliament the schools system will need to find an extra 417,000 places, 382,000 of which are in primary schools. He said this would "logically" mean that extra places would also be needed in secondary schools in future as these pupils move through the system.

He said around 500,000 extra places would be needed from 2015 to 2021.
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Fewer than a third of Birmingham schoolchildren are white, report finds
News agencies and Theo Merz
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2013

Less than a third of Birmingham school pupils are now white, with Asian students making up more than 40 per cent of the classroom population, figures show.

And a quarter of people in Birmingham as a whole are now born outside the UK, a report into the city's changing demographics has revealed.

Asian students form the single biggest ethnic group in schools, with 13,248 pupils or 44.3 per cent of the population, according to a report for the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.

Meanwhile white pupils account for 31.4 per cent of the school-aged population and black students 13 per cent.

Pupils came from a total of 87 distinct ethnic groups and spoke a reported 108 different languages at home.

English was still the most likely language to be spoken in the home, followed by Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Somali.

The study highlighted one school alone in which 31 languages were spoken by students.

Outside of schools, a total of 238,313 of Birmingham's million-strong population was born outside of the UK, with 45 per cent of foreign nationals having arrived in the last decade, the report said.
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Living in the countryside makes people happier, ONS suggests
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2013

People living in rural areas are happier than those in cities because they enjoy a greater sense of community and easy access to the countryside, the Office for National Statistics has suggested.

The ONS found that the most unhappy places in Britain are predominantly in urban areas, with the table topped by Harlow and Brentwood in Essex, Islington in North London and Hyndburn in Lancashire.

The happiest people live in predominantly rural areas, with the list topped by Fermenagh in Northern Ireland, the Orkney Islands in Scotland and Hampshire, East Devon and West Somerset in England.

Glenn Everett, the well-being project director at the ONS, said that the findings represent a "conundrum" because previous research has suggested that happiness is determined by people's health and economic factors.

He said that the ONS is conducting new research for the first time to understand whether "access to green spaces" and the "sense of community" in rural areas makes people happier. ...

More than one in five Londoners (22.4%) questioned said they had high anxiety levels.

"London has the most disposable income but very little life satisfaction and very high anxiety," said Dawn Snape, head of personal wellbeing at the ONS.
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French opposition leader pledges to ban citizenship for children of illegal immigrants born in France
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 24 October 2013

A would-be president of France has pledged to end the right of the children of illegal immigrants born in the country to gain citizenship.

Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of the main opposition party, the UMP, wants to do away with the ancient concept of 'jus soli', or 'right of the soil'.

It means that a child born in France to non-French parents can acquire citizenship at birth if at least one parent was born in France.

Even if this criteria is not met, parents can petition for French nationality for children born on French soil from age 13 if the child has lived in France at least five years.

In Britain, one of a baby's parents has to be a UK citizen, or legally settled in the country, for the child to gain citizenship.

Germany is another country which does not offer immediate legal rights to someone simply because they were born on German territory.

Mr Cope wants France to have similar restrictions because of the amount of illegal immigrants flooding into the country and having children.

Thousands of them are Roma gypsies who live in makeshift camps on the edge of major cities like Paris, often in large families.
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Illegal immigration: Over the top
The Economist, 26 October 2013

... a new immigration bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons on October 22nd. This will oblige landlords and doctors to check the immigration status of their tenants and patients, make it harder for illegal immigrants to obtain bank accounts and driving licences and crack down harder on sham marriages. Appeals against immigration and asylum decisions will be granted only on fundamental human-rights grounds, not procedural ones.

The bill is the latest in a series of government efforts to reduce immigration. It follows curbs on student and work visas and changes designed to prevent the poor from importing spouses. Immigration is broadly unpopular in Britain, the illegal kind particularly so. The opposition Labour Party not only backed the new bill in the Commons but has pledged to amend it by introducing even tougher measures. Among other things, it would ban employers from running foreigner-only shifts.

Nobody knows quite how many people live in Britain illegally. A plausible estimate by the London School of Economics in 2009 put the number at 618,000, around 70% of whom live in London. That study relied on census data from 2001, and had a margin of error of 200,000. ...

... The vast majority of illegal immigrants arrived in Britain legally and then lost their right to stay. These divide roughly into two camps: people who overstay their visas and failed asylum seekers ...

Though a few will have driving licences and bank accounts acquired legally, illegal immigrants of all sorts tend to live outside formal society, which makes it difficult for the government to reach them through tough laws. ... ...

For such people, renting formally from letting agents is already almost impossible – few have the references and income required – so the government's new rules are unlikely to have much effect. Indeed, even legal immigrants tend not to use normal letting agents, preferring to use the informal sector. Flats are often let legally and then sublet to migrants through online exchanges (to which English speakers get no reply). Stricter controls will, however, inconvenience legitimate landlords. The Residential Landlords Association grumbles that members will need to learn to recognise up to 404 different European identity documents.

The same may prove true of doctors. Unlike many European countries, Britain has no formal identity-card system, so checking the residency rights of patients will be difficult, not to mention unpalatable. But few illegal immigrants use public services much, says Myriam Cherti of IPPR, a think-tank. They tend to avoid registering with doctors or visiting hospital when they fall ill, for fear of being asked awkward questions. ... ...

... Some illegal migrants marry European citizens; others finally win asylum. Some create family ties strong enough to stay under human-rights laws. And some push off. Last year 30,000 left Britain voluntarily, having breached immigration laws; another 15,000 were deported.
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Revealed: Mafia's prime role in human-trafficking misery
Michael Day
The Independent, 24 October 2013

The role of Italian mobsters in human trafficking – of the kind that saw more than 350 African migrants perish off the coast of Lampedusa in a single boat disaster earlier this month – has been laid bare by police.

Members of Mafia organisations work with crime syndicates in Egypt to charge would-be illegal immigrants for the dangerous voyage from Africa to Italy – and then hold them prisoner in horrendous conditions, to extort more money from the migrants and their families, according to police reports carried by La Repubblica. ...

Mafia expert and author Corrado de Rosa said it was "inevitable" that Mafia clans would be involved in human trafficking on the southern coast of Italy.

"If there are illegal activities in their territory, they'll know about and they'll regulate and profit from them," he said.
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'Easy' for bogus colleges to abuse system, warns government whistleblower
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2013
[Exposure: Undercover Colleges is due to air on ITV at 10.35pm on Wednesday October 23]

A whistleblower has warned bogus foreign students are being allowed into Britain because the government system giving colleges "highly trusted" status is open to abuse.

The civil servant tells ITV's Exposure programme - due to be broadcast later - that colleges allowed to sponsor student visas can sometimes be phony companies operated from "one room above a takeaway", and adds that a "complete overhaul" is required of the Home Office's authentication process.

The programme also used undercover filming at a college in east London to reveal how the manager was willing to falsify students' attendance records so they could work illegally in Britain.

In the documentary, the Home Office employee says: "The system is just too easy to abuse currently. I would say it is broken and it needs a complete overhaul.

"The Home Office are struggling to inspect colleges and educational institutions. There's not enough staff to go out and do the compliance visits."

The whistleblower adds: "The reason I felt I needed to speak out is because there are too many colleges who are deemed 'highly trusted' who are exploiting genuine students who want to come to the UK to study.

"The scale of the problem ranges from one room above a takeaway which could never be perceived to be an academic institution, to a reputable-looking premises."

Colleges are supposed to prove their credentials and comply with a range of requirements, including accurate attendance registers, before being awarded "highly trusted" status.

Once approved for the kitemark they can sponsor students to come to Britain.
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'Irresponsible' prisons release foreign criminals, says jail watchdog
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2013

The Prison Service has been criticised for "irresponsibly" releasing foreign criminals without putting them through any courses to combat their offending.

Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, disclosed that foreign offenders are walking free without having to go through rehabilitation because prison officers mistakenly believed they would be deported.

Disclosing the failing in his annual report Mr Hardwick said one jail was releasing 10 per cent of its foreign prisoners back into the community.

There are more than 10,000 foreign nationals in prison in England and Wales.
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Most GPs back Government plans to charge foreign patients
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2013

Ministers have pledged to recoup funds spent by the health service treating foreign nationals, with reports suggesting it costs the UK £2bn a year.

The plans have been opposed by the British Medical Association, the trades union for doctors, and by The Royal College for GPs (RCGP), which said doctors should not be turned into a "border agency" policing entitlement to free care.

But a survey of more than 600 GPs from across the UK found the majority support a £200 surcharge on foreigners who wish to use the NHS, by a margin of almost two-to-one.

In total, 55 per cent of respondents supported the proposed levy, while 30 per cent were opposed to the plans, with the remainder "don't knows".

The survey found support for the plans even among GPs who studied overseas. Almost half of 113 survey respondents trained abroad said they backed the levy, with 34 per cent opposed. ...

Research for the Department of Health predicts that the health service would be more than £500m a year better off if it charged foreign nationals to use GPs and other services, including recovering about £388m in costs recovered from other EU countries and about £200m from the health surcharge.

The report also concluded that the public supported the idea "in principle".
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For years those who warned about the true cost of health tourism have been called racists. Now the truth is out
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 23 October 2013

Earlier this week, I received a letter from a hospital nurse who has worked in the National Health Service for three decades. ...

The letter said: 'When I began work in South London, 95 per cent of my patients were from the local population.

'Today, that percentage has shrunk to less than 20 per cent on children's wards and less than 40 per cent on adult wards.

'The impact of health tourists and migrants has been catastrophic for the NHS.

'The pressure on those who work in the health service has also increased as they try to cope with thousands upon thousands of patients from all over the world who come to Britain wanting – and getting – free treatment.'

Yesterday, the nurse, Peter Murray – who won an award as the top agency nurse in the country a few years ago – was proved right.

A report commissioned by the Government on foreign visitors and short-term migrants treated in the NHS reveals that their care is costing a staggering £2 billion a year, a massive squandering of resources in these austere times. ...

Those who have been brave enough to blow the whistle on health tourism have been called racists or, if they work in the NHS, have even been threatened with the sack for speaking out.

Earlier this year, the Mail published a series of articles by eminent consultant Professor J. Meirion Thomas, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Courageously, he stated the truth: that there is a 'massive and escalating problem' of foreigners travelling to Britain to exploit the NHS.

Expectant mothers, he said, are flying here just to give birth, while others are arriving for treatment for cancer and HIV, kidney transplants and even, believe it or not, infertility treatment, before leaving hospitals without paying. ...

One doctor has told me that some scheduled flights from the United Arab Emirates to Manchester are so full of sick people coming to access free treatment at the respected Manchester Royal Infirmary that they are known locally as the 'MRI planes'. ...

The true scale of how the NHS is being exploited by foreigners is shown by the figures for those who are actually billed, but have still not paid. ...

Dr Peter Graves, chief executive of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Local Medical Committee, which represents 500 doctors, said recently that one of his fellow GPs has 'thousands of patients on his list who entertain friends and relatives from Pakistan, India and other Asian countries, who come to England for the sole purpose of accessing free health care.

'This is a problem not just here, but across the country.'
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Is Jeremy Hunt right to act on health tourism? [part 1]
J Meirion Thomas and Kailash Chand
The Guardian, 23 October 2013

J Meirion Thomas: 'British taxpayers should not be funding an international health service'

I have worked in the NHS for 44 years, 31 as a consultant surgeon specialising in cancer treatment, and I believe health tourists should not be treated in NHS hospitals.

My only motive in campaigning against health tourism is to protect the NHS for future generations. Our health system has finite resources and any capacity taken up by ineligible patients means that other patients remain on the waiting list.

The definition of a health tourist is specific. The term describes somebody who arrives in the UK with a pre-existing illness whose purpose is to access free NHS care. It does not apply to visitors who suffer accidental or incidental illness, nor to asylum seekers or disadvantaged migrants, who are entitled to "good Samaritan" NHS care. ...

Health tourists fall into three categories. First, British citizens who have lived abroad who return for treatment of a serious illness. They have an NHS number from birth and are almost impossible to identify. Quantifying their number and treatment cost is impossible. Second, a proportion of migrants from within the European economic area who come either for better quality of care or because of contraction of health services at home. These patients are equally difficult to identify and are rarely charged. The third category is patients who arrive on a visitor's visa, have no NHS number and can be identified at the treating hospital. These patients can be charged, although less than 20% of invoices are paid. The charges for this group form the only reliable record of the cost of health tourism, which explains why the total cost is unknown and is inevitably underestimated.

The NHS is more vulnerable to exploitation than comparable health systems, all of which have a personal identification mechanism in place to prove entitlement to care. This should be based on residency and contribution as happens in France, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, Canada and Australia, whose systems successfully prevent health tourism.

Essentially, the Department of Health allows open access to our health service. The current rules and regulations are porous, ineffective and difficult to enforce. They can easily be breached. ...

The biggest error of all would be to adopt a health levy (said to be £200) on all migrants and students coming to the UK. That would be a disaster. For health tourists, it would amount to the cheapest travel insurance available anywhere and, furthermore, would confirm entitlement.

The time has come to protect our NHS from abuse. British taxpayers should not be funding an international health service.
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Is Jeremy Hunt right to act on health tourism? [part 2]
J Meirion Thomas and Kailash Chand
The Guardian, 23 October 2013
[Dr Kailash Chand is deputy chairman of the BMA council]

Kailash Chand: 'This plan will reduce doctors to debt collectors'

Anyone seeking to access the NHS should be eligible to do so and proposals to improve the current system of recovering treatment costs from other governments must be considered. However, there is little evidence that health tourism is a significant burden on the NHS or that migrants and short-term visitors are consuming a large part of the NHS budget.

We need unambiguous evidence and sound facts. The latest government figures are hundreds of millions of pounds higher than previous estimates, because they are based on a particular set of assumptions. ...

Most importantly, GPs and other healthcare professionals do not have the capacity or the resources to administer an extended charging system that could require them to extensively vet every single patient when they register with a new practice. At many GP surgeries, patients are already required to provide proof of residence. Anything more would result in another layer of bureaucracy chewing up time and resources that should be spent on treating the most important people in this – the patients.

GPs are already under pressure from soaring patient demand, declining resources and a proliferation of box-ticking targets. We should not be burdened further by having to verify every patient's eligibility. The government has failed to address the cost of the new structure and it is far from clear that the proposed changes would recoup enough money to cover the costs of setting it up in the first place.

There are also wider risks. Timely treatment keeps people out of hospital, stops the spread of infectious disease such as tuberculosis, and ultimately saves money. Denying treatment to people who need it – including pregnant women, torture survivors, and those with communicable diseases – is inhumane, impractical and could result in further costs to the NHS should a patient's condition deteriorate.

The health secretary would be wise to concentrate on the major pressures on the NHS rather than being distracted by imposing an unworkable system of charging for health tourism. If this plan comes to fruition it will at best reduce the role of doctors to debt collectors. At worst it will deter them from registering migrants and asylum seekers. Tampering with the core principle of the NHS , that it is free at the point of delivery, runs the risk of loading scarce resources on a minority issue, while the more meaty challenges remain unresolved.
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Uproar over plan to alter French citizenship laws
The Local [France], 23 October 2013

France's opposition party kicked off a storm this week by proposing a change in the law, aimed at making France less attractive to immigrants. The UMP wants to revoke the automatic right to French citizenship for children born in France to foreign parents.

The UMP's proposal to redefine France's immigration laws was put forward by party leader Jean-François Copé ...

Copé said the bill, which will be presented to the French Parliament in 2014, is vital to stop France being so attractive to migrants.

"Is it normal for a child born in France to parents who are in France illegally can automatically become French? The answer is no," Copé told France Inter radio.

The current rules around naturalization grant children born on France to foreign parents the right under law to gain French nationality once they turn 18, as long as they have lived in the country for at least five years from the age of 11.

In a move seen as a response to a surge in support for the far-right National Front (FN), Copé also backed qualifying periods of up to 10 years for some welfare benefits and the abolition of State Medical Aid (AME), a safety net that ensures doctors get paid for treating patients - notably asylum seekers - who are outside the country's social security system. ...

The principle of automatic citizenship for everyone born in France – known as "le droit du sol" (the right of the soil) - is a cherished one for many in France, who see it as one of the cornerstones of the republic and the country's long history of providing a haven for refugees from all over the world.

Its abolition in 1993 by a centre-right administration was hugely controversial and the legislation was reversed five years later, so any child born in France to foreign parents automatically becomes a French citizen at 18 provided they have lived in the country for five of the previous seven years. ...

Copé's proposals were given short shrift by the Socialist government's Morocco-born spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who accused the UMP leader of "seeking to reopen a pernicious debate on national identity."
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Have your say on the Immigration Bill
Parliament, 23 October 2013

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government's Immigration Bill?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider the Bill. ...

The Bill would significantly reduce rights of appeal; restrict migrants' access to services including private rented accommodation, bank accounts and NHS services by reference to immigration status; establish new arrangements for investigating sham marriages and examining persons departing the UK; and make various other changes related to immigration controls. ...

The Immigration Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 10 October 2013. The second reading of the Bill took place on 22 October 2013, giving MPs the opportunity to debate the main principles of the Bill. ...

The Bill has now been sent to the Public Bill Committee, where detailed examination of the Bill will take place. ...

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware.
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Foreign patients 'cost NHS £2bn a year'
James Kirkup and Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2013

The National Health Service is spending up to £2 billion every year treating foreign nationals, a report commissioned by the Government has suggested.

Research for the Department of Health predicts that the health service would be more than £500m a year better off if it charged foreign nationals to use GPs and other services, including recovering about £388m in costs and about £200m from the health surcharge.

So-called 'Health tourists', foreigners who come to the UK with the intention of using the NHS, are costing the taxpayer between £70m and £300 million a year, the study said.

Around £388 million a year is spent on foreigners who should pay for care under current rules – European citizens whose home governments should pay their costs – but only around £73 million is recovered, according to research from Creative Research, a consultancy.

Ministers said the study showed that there is a "serious problem" with foreigners using the NHS and justified Coalition plans for tougher rules, including charging some fees to some foreigners to use the health service.

But doctors and the Labour Party questioned the figures, which the report's authors admitted were subject to considerable uncertainty. ...

Reports commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said that the total cost of treating both foreign residents and short-term visitors to the UK is between £1.9 billion and £2 billion. ...

Andy Burnham, the Labour shadow health secretary, highlighted a warning from the report's authors that its findings are "based on incomplete data, sometimes of varying quality, and a large number of assumptions".

The British Medical Association, the trade union for GPs, also questioned the accuracy of the research, and warned against imposing a charge on foreign patients.

"It is doubtful that the expensive bureaucracy required to support an extended charging system would recoup enough money to cover the costs of setting it up in the first place," the BMA said.

The union also suggested that a charge could deter some people from seeking medical cares, which could "prevent the NHS from identifying individuals with contagious diseases".
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'Go home' billboard vans not a success, says Theresa May
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 22 October 2013

A billboard campaign, telling illegal immigrants to "Go home or face arrest" will not be repeated, the home secretary has said. Theresa May has apparently decided the controversial pilot scheme – where two advertising vans were driven around displaying the slogan and advertising a helpline advice to illegal migrants who want to leave the UK – was not effective.

The campaign was piloted in six London boroughs, featuring leaflets and posters with the message: "In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest."


Sources close to the home secretary told the Daily Mail the idea had not been successful – resulting in the voluntary repatriation of just one person.

The campaign had been robustly defended by Conservative immigration minister Mark Harper. Last week, he told the BBC's Question Time that the campaign might be rolled out across the country: "I don't see any problem with saying to people who have no right to be in the UK... they can't be here any more," he said.
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Race-Hustling Results: Part III
Thomas Sowell, 22 October 2013
[Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University]

One of the reasons for being glad to be as old as I am is that I may be spared living to see a race war in America. Race wars are often wars in which nobody wins and everybody ends up much worse off than they were before.

Initial skirmishes in that race war have already begun, and have in fact been going on for some years. But public officials pretend that it is not happening, and the mainstream media seldom publish it at all, except in ways that conceal what is really taking place.

For American society, a dangerous polarization has set in. ...

More dangerous than these highly publicized episodes over the years are innumerable organized and unprovoked physical attacks on whites by young black gangs in shopping malls, on beaches and in other public places all across the country today.

While some of these attacks make it into the media as isolated incidents, the nationwide pattern of organized black on white attacks by thugs remains invisible in the mainstream media, with the notable exception of Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News Channel.

Even when these attacks are accompanied by shouts of anti-white rhetoric and exultant laughter at the carnage, the racial makeup of the attackers and their victims is usually ignored by the media, and public officials often deny that race has anything to do with what happened.

These attacks have sent many people to the hospital, and some have died, but the attacks are often carried out in a festive atmosphere. What are called "troubled youths," in this and other contexts, are often in fact young people enjoying themselves greatly by creating big trouble for others.

Some of these many attacks are covered in detail in a book titled "White Girl Bleed A Lot" by Colin Flaherty. ...

When the Chicago Tribune was criticized for editing out the race of the attackers in a series of similar organized attacks in Chicago, it replied that race was irrelevant. Yet race is not considered irrelevant when indignantly editorializing on a disproportionate number of young black males arrested and imprisoned.

Sadly, what happened in Milwaukee and Chicago were not isolated incidents. They were part of a pattern repeated in dozens of cities, located in every region of the country. Colin Flaherty's book, which is subtitled "The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It," reveals this pattern in painful detail. ...

Thought is long overdue. So is honesty.
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More Polling on Free Movement of EU Workers
John Rentoul
The Independent blog, 21 October 2013

David Cameron's two big problems in renegotiating the terms of British membership of the EU, if he wins the election, are: 1. How to get "ever closer union" out of the EU Treaty; and 2. How to make it look as if he has curbed open immigration from other member states.

YouGov's poll for The Sunday Times had some new findings on the second point yesterday.

As ComRes has found before, the bald principle of free movement of workers is not popular:

Currently all citizens of EU member states have the right to live and work in other member states. Generally speaking, do you think this is a good or bad thing?

Good thing 33%

Bad thing 55%

What is interesting is that it remains unpopular when the question is rephrased in a way that reminds respondents that British people benefit from the right too:

Which of the following best reflects your view?

It would be better if citizens of other EU countries did not have the right to live and work in Britain, even if this meant British citizens no longer had the right to live or work in other European countries 49%

It is better that British citizens have the right to live or work in other European countries, even if this means citizens of other EU countries have the right to live and work in Britain 33%

YouGov also found that free movement for Romanian and Bulgarian workers, which will be unrestricted from January, is so unpopular that nearly half of respondents think the UK Government should break EU law to prevent it:

When Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union temporary restrictions were placed on their citizens' right to live and work in other EU countries. These restrictions run out in 2014, after which Romanian and Bulgarian citizens will have the same rights as other EU citizens to live and work in other EU countries. Which of the following best reflects your view?

There is nothing wrong with Bulgarian and Romanian citizens having the same rights as other EU citizens, and Britain should welcome them 22%

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens having the right to come and live in Britain would be damaging, but the British government needs to obey the law and has no choice but to allow them in 19%

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens having the right to come and live in Britain would be damaging and the British government should act to restrict their right to live or work here, even if it means breaking EU laws 45%

None of these 11%

Other 3%

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Budget airline tickets fuel illegal immigration into Europe, warns EU border chief
Colin Freeman
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2013

Illegal immigration into Europe is being fuelled by airlines that sell budget tickets from North Africa for as little as £120, a senior European border control official has warned.

Migrants buy low-cost, one-way tickets from Morocco and Algeria to Turkey and then slip into Europe via Turkey's porous land borders with Greece and Bulgaria, according to Gil Arias, the deputy executive director of Frontex.

They are able to take advantage of a recent policy of so-called "visa diplomacy" on the part of Turkey, which has sought to expand its influence in the Middle East by relaxing visa restrictions for citizens from other Muslim nations.

The route is quicker and safer than taking a people-smuggling boat across the Mediterranean. Two such vessels sank earlier this month in the waters between Libya and Lampedusa in Italy, with the loss of more than 500 lives.

"Due to this visa policy by Turkey to the North African nations, people are flying to Istanbul on cheap flights and then on to Greece and more recently, Bulgaria," said Mr Arias, who previously served as a police inspector and border control official in Spain. "When they get there they discard their travel documents, and will sometimes pretend to be either Palestinians or Syrians in order to try to claim refugee status."

There is no suggestion that airlines are complicit in illegal immigration, but Mr Arias said Frontex was powerless to stop them carrying such passengers – mainly Moroccan and Algerian passport holders. He said there was no evidence in advance that the passengers were planning to cross into the European Union.
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Behind closed doors, the Tories are divided on immigration
Ian Dunt
Yahoo! News blog, 21 October 2013

... But internally, the party is split between shire Tories and cosmopolitan Tories. Shire Tories share the Ukip view of immigration. They may sometimes grudgingly accept immigration has had some positive effects, but they view diversity with suspicion. ...

Cosmopolitan Tories are usually Londoners. Their political views accept labour movement as the other side of the coin to capital fluidity. They want as much freedom for labour movement over national borders as possible, within the unfortunate limitations imposed by the parochial concerns of the population and their less enlightened colleagues.

The shire Tories significantly outnumber cosmopolitan Tories, but cosmopolitan Tories occupy more influential positions in the party, not least that of the prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer.

This little-commented on disparity is not just political – it is also cultural. A London background tends to give people an admiration for diversity. And for younger MPs, diversity is all they knew. There is no gold-tinted homogenous past to hark back to.

The same cultural distinction exists in the Labour party, with city-dwelling Labour MPs taking an altogether more liberal approach to immigration than their colleagues from the northern industrial heartlands, where workers feel more under threat from migrants undercutting wages.

The politics are similar, but different. Many Labour MPs are wary of the relentless media and political attack on immigrants, who then have to endure the irony of hearing politics berate the lack of an "open" debate on the issue. They see it as part of their left-wing duty to stand up for such a marginalised group.

But others feel immigration is a product of neo-liberal economics, shunting workforces around the world in a bid to cut domestic wages and working conditions. Mass immigration is the weapon capital is using to lower workers' wages.

That's why Miliband's response to the immigration issue is to focus on the treatment of the worst paid. Get past the harsh rhetoric of the pre-speech briefings and you find policies aimed almost exclusively at protecting the domestic and foreign low paid. It's his best way of keeping the party together while trying to deliver what sounds like a tough message on immigration.

It at least has the benefit of consistency. The Tory response has been to try to pacify public wariness over immigration with increasingly authoritarian and ugly Home Office stunts, including the 'go home' vans and UK Border Agency spot checks at London Tube stations. Labour used to do the same thing in office. On the one hand they implemented a broadly liberal immigration policy, while shouting out BNP-style rhetoric about 'British jobs for British workers' on the other.

That's the irony of the constant demands for an 'open' debate on immigration. Most people who use the phrase are alluding to the imaginary idea that all critics are accused of racism. It's a laughable proposition which can be disproved by a glance at the tabloids on any given day.

But actually we really don't have an open debate on immigration. Internally, the political class - left and right, Tory and Labour - is cut down the middle by its political and cultural effects. But few MPs have the bravery to challenge the perceived public opposition of immigration.
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Britain's anger at EC opposition to restriction on migrant benefits
Robert Mendick
Sunday Telegraph, 20 October 2013

The European Commission and the BBC are facing new questions over a controversial report into the effect of European Union migration to the UK.

The study – whose details were first disclosed in The Telegraph – showed that more than 600,000 "non-active" EU migrants were living in the UK at a possible cost to the NHS alone of £1.5 billion a year.

But the EC report's main conclusions – that the impact on the welfare state and on the NHS is "very low" – are now the subject of intense debate. In a series of developments:

. Senior Labour and Conservative politicians made public their opposition to the findings, which have been used by the EC to try to show that "benefit tourism" – the practice of going to a country to claim state benefits – is "neither widespread nor systematic".

. Oxford University's migration research unit said the conclusions drawn by the report were open to interpretation, given the statistical evidence available.

. Inquiries by The Telegraph found that the independent consultancies who wrote the report were awarded EU contracts worth more than £70 million over six years.

. The BBC was drawn into the row over its flagship news bulletin on the report, which Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, accused of lacking "balance".

Evidence of mounting public concern in the EU's biggest economies over migration emerged in a poll yesterday which showed that the introduction of restrictions on EU migrants' rights is backed by 83 per cent of Britons, 73 per cent of Germans and 72 per cent of French respondents, in a survey of 5,206 adults.

David Cameron's official spokesman said last week that there was "widespread and understandable concern" in the UK about benefit tourism.

He was speaking in response to the report, which last night was questioned by Frank Field, a former Labour welfare minister, who chairs Balanced Migration, a group made up of cross-party MPs.

"The conclusion of this report is genuinely mystifying when the issue over what is going on is quite clear," he said. "Many migrants are here and they are not in work. So how are they living?"

The report shows that between 2008 and 2011, the number of job-seeking EU migrants coming to the UK increased by 73 per cent, while during the same period the total EU migrant population rose by only 28 per cent. It found that 611,779 economically "non-active" EU migrants aged 15 and over were in the UK in 2011. This includes job-seekers, students, stay-at-home spouses and pensioners.
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Analysis: Was the BBC's reporting of migrant issue fair and balanced?
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 20 October 2013

Last Monday night the BBC's 10 O'Clock News - its most popular television news programme - broadcast a bulletin by Mark Easton, the home editor, in the wake of the publication by the European Commission (EC) of its report on migration. ...

Here The Telegraph analyses the two minutes and 30 second report and examines whether it was fair and balanced broadcast.

What the BBC said

Introduction by presenter Huw Edwards: "The European Commission has found that jobless migrants from different parts of the EU make up a very small share of those claiming benefits.

"The study suggests that claims about large-scale benefits tourism in the EU are exaggerated.

"But the British Government still wants tougher EU rules and the Commission has asked the Government to publish any evidence it has to back up its claims. Our home editor Mark Easton reports."


It is impossible for the BBC to draw such a conclusion from the findings of the EC report. The paper focussed on only one category of migrant, those classified as economically "non-active". And it looked in detail at only one benefit - Jobseeker's Allowance - when many other types of benefits are available to immigrants from the EU. The BBC's assertion that "jobless migrants" make up a "very small share of those claiming benefits" is not based on the document as it did not address what proportion of benefit claimants are migrants. ...

What the BBC said

Easton: "British newspapers were also challenged over headlines that today's commission report identifies 600,000 workless European migrants in Britain."

Jonathan Todd, a European Commission spokesman, is shown at a press conference saying: "This report on behalf of this Sunday newspaper in the UK was a gross and totally irresponsible misrepresentation of the facts."


... The 600,000 - precisely 611,779 - is contained in the report. The Commission does not dispute it - and it is misleading to suggest that it does.

What the BBC said

Easton: "The figure of 600,000, the Commission points out, includes retired people, students and families of those working. Only 60,000 EU migrants claim Jobseeker's Allowance [JSA]."

A graphic reads: "EC Response: 60,000 claiming JSA. Source: DWP"


The Commission do dispute how to describe the 600,000. None of them work, but it objects to them being described as "unemployed" because it says this is a "labour market term" which means "seeking work". The EC paper says there were 112,499 EU migrants in Britain seeking work. It says that the rest are made up of people who are "inactive" for other reasons, including the retired, students and families of those working. However, the BBC uses another figure, 60,000, which is not in the report and comes from the DWP.

It is unclear why the graphic described the 60,000 figure as an "EC response" when it was, in fact, a figure from a completely different set of figures.
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Douglas Carswell: We need an honest debate on migrants
Douglas Carswell
Sunday Telegraph, 20 October 2013

Last week, an organisation called the ICF GHK, published a report on European welfare tourism. Paid for by the European Commission, the report looked at how many non-economically active EU migrants were living in different EU countries, including the UK.

There in black and white on page 234 of the report was an indisputable statistic; 611,779 "non-active" EU migrants were now living in the UK, compared to 431,687 only six years ago.

Not unsurprisingly, The Telegraph decided to report these facts.

How the Guardianistas howled! "How ignorant of labour market statistics", they screeched. How "gullible" Douglas Carswell was for taking what the report said "at face value" sneered Jonathan Portes, of the (part European Union funded) National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

But just what was it that Mr Portes and co found so objectionable? Did he dispute that over half a million EU migrants without a job were now living in our country? No. Did he dispute the Telegraph's observation that this enormous number of new arrivals was equivalent to the population of Glasgow. Not in the slightest.

The issue for Portes seemed to be that these 600,000 plus non-active EU migrants that the Telegraph wrote about were not all lay-about dole seekers, but students, pensioners and housewives.

No one was claiming otherwise. Nor is anyone, as far as I know, trying to imply that most EU migrants living in Britain are on benefits. There are far more EU migrants working in Britain than not working, and many, many more than are claiming the dole. ...

Within the EU today, only a handful of countries - Estonia, Germany, Finland, Ireland and the UK - offer those out of work and looking for a job non-contributory cash payments. In other words, only in those five countries can you draw payments, when unemployed, without having paid into the system. ...

The report's authors draw on "stakeholder consultation" to come to the conclusion that welfare is not acting as a magnet. Seriously. Now that really is taking things at face value.

Sooner or later, Britain must make a choice; either we can continue to allow the European Commission to write the rules, to decide who can come to Britain and claim benefits. Or, we can retain the system of unemployment benefits that we have. We cannot do both.

No rational person could individually begrudge any of the 2.3 millions EU nationals who have settled in our country in search of a better life. With hospitals to run, factories to operate, harvests to gather and innovations to invent, only a fool would suggest there are no advantages in having some skilled young Europeans joining our work force.

But we need an honest debate about it. Having 2.3 million Europeans pitch up in our country is, and will continue to have an impact. Good and bad.
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Inmates Bullied Into Converting To Islam
LBC / Sky News, 20 October 2013

Sky News has learned that increasing numbers of British inmates are being bullied into converting to Islam while in jail.

The Prison Officers Association says it is symptomatic of the growing power and influence of Muslim gangs in prison.

However, there are also concerns that some of those converts could be radicalised by more extremist elements in prison. ...

Official sources acknowledge forced conversions are a problem in the country's prisons.

How large the problem is remains unclear, as inmates are often afraid to report such intimidation for fear of reprisals.

Joe Chapman, a former prison officer who now acts as a prison law consultant, believes the problem is on the increase.

"I think it could be a huge problem. Previously I'd probably only worked in about a dozen or so prisons as an officer," Mr Chapman said.

"But this job takes me to 40 or 50 over the year, throughout the country. It's become obvious to me that it's a growing problem. ...

There are currently around 11,200 Muslims in prison in England and Wales.

That figure is about 13% of the total prison population and is far higher than in the wider community, where Muslims make up less than 5% of the population.
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What does the 2011 Census tell us about diversity of languages in England and Wales?
Guy Lansley
The Guardian, 19 October 2013

"What is your main language?" was just one of the questions asked by the 2011 Census in England and Wales and the results published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this year included data on almost 100 verbally spoken languages with 4.1m people reporting a main language other than English (or Welsh if they lived in Wales).

It is important to note that the maps only show 'main language', they do not indicate an absence an English speaking skills. ...

In total, 1.7m recorded a language other than English as their main language in London. More than half a million identified a south Asian language as their main language in the 2011 Census and an additional 100,000 identified an east Asian language. More than 130,000 people identified their main language as one native to Africa. ...

The spatial distribution of spoken languages in London is most remarkable; some languages are so concentrated it is possible to distinguish vast communities, many of which span entire boroughs. These include Turkish in east Enfield, Polish in Ealing, Bengali (with Syheti and Chatgaya) in Tower Hamlets.

In the Inner London, Arabic is particularly concentrated in North Kensington and Westbourne Green, whilst French is most frequent in South Kensington and Fulham. Districts such as Lambeth and Southwark reflect a cultural mixture of various European languages, particularly Spanish and Portuguese. ...

It is even possible to distinguish various smaller migrant communities in London from the local concentrations of particular languages. This is exemplified by the dominance of the Korean language in New Malden, Kingston-upon-Thames - a neighbourhood which hosts one of the largest South Korean emigrant communities in Europe.

The map reinforces London as a diverse and cosmopolitan city, hosting various different cultural and ethnic communities, which have originated from all over the world. It also emphasises the heterogeneity between different language speakers as their distributions conform to the distinctive spatial distributions of different expatriate communities across Greater London. ...

Another city with a distinctive lingual spatial composition is Bristol. The city comprises of a densely populated Somali language dominated segment east of the city centre, whilst the rest of the city is most commonly inhabited by speakers of Eastern European languages - Polish being the most frequent - when English is not considered. ...

Manchester has had far greater success attracting international migrants and consequentially it is far more multilingual. ...

The influence of Pakistani migrants is most visible from large expanses of southern Manchester dominated by Urdu. Indian settlers remain distanced from Pakistanis with the largest gatherings of Indian languages in Greater Manchester concentrated in Oldham.
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Air pollution causes cancer, WHO concludes
Nick Collins
Daily Telegraph, 18 October 2013

Air pollution has been listed as a leading cause of lung cancer by a World Health Organisation team tasked with identifying environmental carcinogens. Fresh air polluted by exhaust fumes and industrial emissions causes lung cancer, a team of World Health Organisation experts has officially declared.

Outdoor air pollution was officially classified as carcinogenic to humans by the cancer arm of the WHO after a review of the latest scientific evidence from around the world. ...

Dr Kurt Straif, head of the IARC Monographs Section which identifies environmental causes of cancer, said: "The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances.

"We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths."

The latest available data suggest that in 2010, air pollution was responsible for the deaths of 223,000 lung cancer patients around the world.

Scientists from the IARC studied more than 1,000 academic papers on polluted air and, separately, small particles found in polluted air.

They found that the risk of developing lung cancer rises in tandem with increasing levels of either, concluding for the first time that outdoor air pollution is a cause of cancer.

Prof David Phillips of King's College London, a member of the working group, said there was no particular threshold at which pollution becomes dangerous. "The higher the pollution, the greater the cancer risk," he explained. "It does not suddenly kick in at a particular level."

The programme had previously classed a variety of individual chemicals and mixtures found in polluted air as carcinogens, such as diesel engine exhaust, solvents, metals, and dusts. ...

Traffic, power stations, industrial and agricultural emissions, and cooking and heating in the home are the main causes of air pollution.
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Germany faces refugee crisis as calls to accept more migrants mount
Jason Overdorf
Global Post, 18 October 2013

In the wake of the Lampedusa tragedy, Germany says it can't take in more refugees. ...

Following the deaths of around 350 refugees off Lampedusa, European officials have mounted calls for Germany to accept larger numbers of asylum seekers to reduce the burden on Italy and other nations within striking distance for leaky boats from Africa.

But Germany is increasingly unwilling to accept new refugees, and German officials are now pushing for additional curbs to prevent migrants who land in other countries from making their way to the supposedly greener pastures of Europe's most vibrant economy.

"Germany is [already] the country that takes in the most refugees in Europe," German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told reporters last week, after calling for a "re-entry ban" for deportees not eligible for political asylum.

Last year, Germany officially accepted around 80,000 refugees, mostly from conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. This year it is set to accept an estimated 100,000, according to a recent report by the European Asylum Support Office. However, the state is groaning under the burden of the new migrants. Germany has proven unable to cope with housing and employing the refugees who are encouraged to move here by the cash-strapped governments of "front-line" countries like Greece or Italy.

"The Italians are kicking people out," said 38-year-old Issa Ali, a Libyan refugee who has been living in Germany for the past year. "They gave us papers, and said, 'You can go everywhere in Europe,' and they sent us on our way."

Under German law, refugees who can prove they face political persecution at home may attain a three-year residence permit that can later be converted to permanent residency. But the process is tortuous and time-consuming. ...

Asylum seekers are required by law to remain in the city or town where they were originally issued a stay of deportation, living in state-run shelters or camps that resemble detention centers. Though they receive a stipend of 400 euros per month, they are not permitted to work for more than 1 euro per hour until their asylum status is made official.
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New York Times 'Rejected Documentary Showing Anti-African Rally in Israel'
Gianluca Mezzofiore
International Business Times, 18 October 2013

The New York Times has rejected a documentary featuring non-Jewish African migrants in Israel despite having originally commissioned it, according to the film's producers.

The documentary, "Israel's new racism: the persecution of African migrants in the Holy Land" was produced by Israeli journalist David Sheen and American author and journalist Max Blumenthal.

It shows footage from the anti-African rallies of 2012 as well as exclusive interviews with Israel's former member of the Knesset Michael Ben-Ari.

Blumenthal, known for his work about the right wing in the US and extremism in Israel, told Consortium News that the New York Times asked him to submit a documentary for the new op docs section on its website.

"They solicited a video from me, and when I didn't produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it," he said. "So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.

"We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv and interviews with human rights activists," the journalist said. "We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited."

The New York Times did not respond when contacted by IBTimes UK.

The documentary was published by The Nation magazine.

Recent statistics published by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority in Israel show that only four refugee applicants have been granted asylum status so far in 2013, out of 2,593 who submitted requests. ...

Among the extracts filmed by Sheen and Blumenthal at an anti-African rally is a woman saying that she is "proud to be racist".

"We're racist because we want to preserve our lives and our sanity. So I'm proud to be a racist - and it's our right to be racist!"

Michael Ben-Ari, a notorious anti-African right-winger, is seen saying that migrants are a threat to the Jewish identity of Israel.

"We'll turn into a country of immigrants. We'll bring in a million Africans, half a million Philippines, 2 or 3 million Chinese and this is the end for Israel," he said during the interview. ...

The footage also shows rabbis singing decrees forbidding the rental of apartments to Africans. Rabbi Ariel Abreli is seen in 19 March 2013 saying: "We initiated a movement here to convince people not to rent them apartments."
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Dominican Republic: Transit point for xenophobia
Kavelle Christie
Washington Times, 18 October 2013

The divided island of Hispaniola is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and over the centuries not much has changed regarding their proclivity for gritty disputes. During the 17th-19th centuries there were countless wars of conquests and reconquests between the western end – now Haiti, which had belonged to the French – and the Spanish eastern end, now Dominican Republic, in an effort to claim the entire island.

In 1844, the Dominican Republic gained its independence from Haiti.

During this time period, the colonists residing in Haiti capitalized on the growing sugar market and imported an exorbitant amount of African slaves to work in the fields. By the late 1790s, the black population residing in Haiti numbered over 500,000, surpassing both the mulatto and white populace of almost 60,000 combined.

Next door, the Spanish colonists in the Dominican Republic were not as interested in distributing sugar to Europe as their Haitian counterparts were. As a result, not only was there minimal slave importation but there was also a varied crop culture and a white-majority population – approximately 125,000 white landowners compared to 25,000 free blacks/mulattos, and 60,000 black slaves. Keenly aware of the Haitian demographic, those in the Dominican Republic were determined not to allow a reinvasion of their country by the predominantly black Haiti.

This racial composition of both countries has remained largely intact. Haiti became a nation of mainly blacks, while the Dominican Republic was primarily inhabited by whites and mulattos with a black minority.

The overarching racial rivalry and xenophobia also became common denominators for the establishment of a defined border in 1929 and Dominican Republic's President Rafael Trujillo's decision in 1935 to make additional amendments to the 1929 border treaty. ...

In the Dominican Republic, being Haitian meant – and still means – being an outcast, a black pariah, and definitely not Dominican.

Sadly, the recent ruling by the Dominican Republic's constitutional court further exemplifies this fact. The September 23 ruling states that anyone born in the Dominican Republic after 1929 whose parents were not citizens of the Dominican Republic could not be classified as Dominicans. The main targets of this have been Haitian migrant workers who left their neighboring impoverished homeland Haiti to find work.
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Revealed: the schools where every child speaks English as second language
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2013

At least five state schools had no pupils who spoke English as a first language last year amid a continuing rise in immigration across the country.

Figures show that all children at a series of primary schools in the Midlands and North West speak other languages such as Punjabi Urdu, Arabic, Dari and Polish in the home.

It also emerged that there are a further 240 state schools in England where more than 90 per cent of students do not have English as their mother tongue.

The disclosure – in figures obtained by Sky News – comes amid a sharp hike in the number of non-native English speakers enrolling in state schools over the last 12 months.

Across England, the number of children who do not have English as their mother tongue increased by 54,000 in 2012/13 and by around 228,000 since 2008.

According to the latest figures, the number now stands at 1.1 million.
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Job Seekers' Allowance
Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2013

On Tuesday we reported that a European Commission study into immigration found that 120,000 EU nationals were claiming Job Seekers' Allowance in the UK. In fact, the study found that they had registered at JobCentres as job seekers, but did not say that they were claiming JSA. The most recent figures from the Department of Work and Pensions put the number of EU nationals claiming JSA at around 60,000.
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20% of unemployment benefit claimants are non-Irish
Ann Cahill
Irish Examiner, 17 October 2013

One in five people claiming unemployment benefit are non-Irish nationals from other EU countries – a quarter of them from Britain – according to a major report on the impact of unemployed migrants on social welfare budgets.

The survey coincides with an announcement by Social Affairs Minister Joan Burton, of gardaí checks on people – Irish and non-Irish citizens – to identify social welfare fraud.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland warned such checks must not single out any particular group of people or communities. "There is no evidence of social welfare fraud being more prevalent among migrant communities," said the council's Denise Charlton.

Ireland had one of the biggest inflows of workers from central and eastern Europe in the boom years who boosted the country's wealth by more than 3%. There are 260,000 living in the country, accounting for 7.6% of the population and about 80% have been living in the country for more than five years. ...

Germany, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, has just 2.5% of EU migrants receiving unemployment benefit, while the figure for Ireland is 20.5%. ...

The report says an estimated 30% of non-active EU migrants have made claims for jobseeker allowance and according to a Dáil question 79% of such claims made in 2011 were refused on the basis of the habitual residence test – that a person must be living in the country for two years before they qualify for aid.
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Immigration battle threatens to dwarf debt-limit fight as many Republicans fear power of 17 MILLION newly legalized loyal Democrats
David Martosko
Daily Mail, 17 October 2013

Republicans' new worst fear isn't defaulting on America's debts. If an immigration policy favored by the White House and Senate Democrats should become law, 17.3 million newly legalized immigrant voters would emerge by 2036, eager to reward the party that gave them a path to citizenship. ...

The Democrat-dominated U.S. Senate passed a bill in June that would provide a citizenship path for those who have been in the U.S. since the end of 2011. ... ...

The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C. think-tank, projects that the Senate bill, S.744, would add 17.3 million new legal, voting-age U.S. residents to 14.9 million whom analysts already expect to appear without the proposed law.

'To place these figures in perspective,' writes Steven Camarota, the group's director of research, 'the last four presidential elections were decided by 4.5 million votes on average.'

Converting illegal immigrants into citizens has long been a Democratic Party brass ring. ...

Hispanics are the biggest ethnic group involved in U.S. immigration. In the 2012 elections, 77 per cent of those who voted supported Democratic candidates for Congress, according to the polling group Latino Decisions. Seventy-five per cent voted for Obama.

Among Hispanic voters who weren't born in the U.S., Democratic congressional candidates picked up 81 per cent of the vote. Obama rated 80 per cent.

In fact, Republicans' share of Hispanic votes in presidential elections peaked in 2004, at 43 per cent before tumbling in the next two elections.
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UK Taxpayer Picks up Annual £400 Million Bill for Unemployed EU Migrants
Migrationwatch UK, 17 October 2013

Research from the European Commission suggests that it is much easier for migrants to access benefits in the UK than in other EU countries. As a result British taxpayers are paying out £1 million a day to EU citizens who have never worked in Britain.

The research from the European Commission showed that 37% of all EU job seekers have never worked in the UK – twice the proportion in France or Germany. Taking into account just the costs of unemployment benefit and housing benefit the UK taxpayer is picking up an annual bill of £400 million for these migrants. In reality, the costs will be even higher as this does not include the costs of child benefits, and free access to the National Health Service.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

"Unlike our European partners the UK benefits system is wide open to those who have never contributed. A determined renegotiation is now essential to ensure those who have made no contribution should have no access benefits."
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DW survey: Russians want limits on migration
Bernd Johann and Tatyana Senik
Deutsche Welle, 17 October 2013

Nine out of 10 Russians are in favor of measures limiting migrant workers coming to the country. There is particularly high resentment of workers from the Caucasus region and Central Asia, as a DW survey shows.

A clear majority of 86 percent of Russians are in favor of government limits on work migration to Russia, much of which comes from the states the emerged out of the breakup of the former Soviet Union, according to the current DW Trend for Russia. The survey was conducted just before the latest xenophobic riots took place in Moscow.

DW's Russian department commissioned the survey by the Ukrainian IFAK polling institute, which interviewed more than 1,000 citizens in Russia, aged between 18 and 65. The participants, who live in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, were interviewed on the phone.

The participants differed in their views of political measures to support integration. Some 43 percent of Russians were in favor while 45 percent were against the idea of the government promoting integration among migrants working in Russia.

While Russia's declining birth rate makes the country increasingly dependent on guest workers from former Soviet states, only one in four surveyed said migrants were a benefit to the Russian economy. Just over half of all interviewees did not see migrants as providing any benefit for Russia's economy at all.

Apart from the implications on the Russian economy, the topic of migration also has a substantial ethnic dimension, and participants' answers differed depending on their countries of origin. There is less resentment of guest workers from Belarus and Ukraine than of migrants coming from the Caucasus region and Central Asian states.

Some 41 percent of participants said they accept guest workers from Belarus, and 34 percent said the same about workers from Ukraine. But a mere 5 percent welcomed migrant workers from Central Asia, and only 3 percent wanted workers from Caucasus region in their neighborhood.

Most Russians (78 percent) can't imagine going abroad as a migrant worker to earn money there themselves. Only 17 percent didn't rule out taking such a step.
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Why we need a movement to counter xenophobia
Natalie Bennett
The Independent, 17 October 2013

Misinformation, outright lies, and twisted statistics – these have been the characteristics of Britain's immigration debate in recent years, distorting understandable fears about overstretched public services.

Since the coalition government adopted its immigration cap, voices of reason on the issue have struggled to be heard, so I was really pleased to be speaking last night in support of a new campaign, The Movement Against Xenophobia, coordinated by the Joint Council on the Welfare of Immigrants.

The opposition, what we might call the "Pro-Xenophobia" camp, falls into two groups. The first is the rightwing media, determined to focus on immigration and foreigners as a cause of Britain's problems. The second is the government, and far too many other politicians, who seem determined to legitimate the claims of Ukip by adopting policies that they think will appeal to likely Ukip voters.

You might even think these two groups were trying to divert attention from the real causes of our economic problems – the banks that caused the financial crash, the companies that continue to collect high profits while paying low wages to staff in insecure jobs, the failure of rich and multinational companies to pay their taxes.

As we heard last night, the government is trying to rush through parliament a new Immigration Bill, which John McDonnell described as "the most racist piece of legislation we've seen in 40 years".

The measures the government is choosing will have widespread negative effects on legal immigrants and British citizens, as well as those whose status is less clear. There's already evidence of racism in the letting of housing. Yet now, private landlords will be required to ensure that "illegal immigrants" are not given access to their properties. How many will just exclude anyone they think might be an immigrant?

Then there's the pressure on doctors' surgeries to check the immigration status of patients. Where does the patient in need of treatment go who's legal but doesn't have the papers? Where are the NHS resources to deal with the paperwork?

One speaker last night asked what actions the Movement Against Xenophobia should take. One intention was clear last night – there will be an action at parliament next Tuesday when the Bill is scheduled for its second reading.

I suggested two further steps in the continuing campaign. One is to systematically debunk the many misrepresentations of those encouraging the demonization of immigrants. It won't be hard. ...

The second long-term step I suggested was to make sure we talked about immigrants as people – individuals with individual human lives and concerns. We need to tell their stories.

There are the refugees trapped with "failed asylum claims", who live homeless and destitute for years, before an appeal finally finds that Britain is indeed obliged to recognise their right to refuge. There are the at least 18,000 Britons (on the government's own figures), who can't live with their spouse or partner in their own country, due to rules that a high court judge described as "onerous" and "unjustified". And there are the grandparents who, due to the introduction of £3,000 visa bonds, will never be able to spend time with their grandchildren.
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15,000 civil marriages every years are bogus: 1 in 5 weddings held in cities is faked to get around migration laws
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 16 October 2013

One in five civil marriages in parts of Britain may be bogus, it emerged yesterday.

Some 15,000 such ceremonies a year are taking place simply to get around immigration law, estimates one of the country's most senior registrars, Mark Rimmer.

Last year the Home Office received nearly 1,900 warnings about potentially bogus unions.

But Mr Rimmer, the chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, said that figure represented 'the tip of a very large iceberg'. He said that in urban areas, up to 20 per cent of marriages are 'suspicious'.

He estimated that overall, 15,000 of the 173,000 civil weddings each year in England and Wales could be fake unions designed to evade immigration laws.

Registrars were powerless to prevent couples they suspected of faking their relationships from marrying and were forced to conduct the ceremonies 'through gritted teeth', he said.

Mr Rimmer said the problem was worse than at its high point in 2004 because laws drawn up since then to deal with the problem had been watered down by a series of human rights judgments to the point where they were 'meaningless'.

Last week ministers announced a major crackdown on sham weddings, with laws designed to ensure every potential sham wedding is reported and investigated before it happens. It also gives officials more power to delay the ceremony taking place by up to 70 days.

Official figures show that the number of reported cases has tripled in the last three years. In 2009 some 561 reports were lodged with officials, a figure which nearly doubled in a year to 934 in 2010. By 2011 it stood at 1,741 and last year 1,891.

Home Office officials admit that the figure is likely to severely underestimate the scale of the problem. They put the likely number of sham weddings at between four and ten thousand a year. But Mr Rimmer says the problem is even worse than that. ...

The notice period for marriages and civil partnerships will be increased from 15 days to 28 days for all couples, and officials will be able to increase that to 70 days in suspicious cases.
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Theresa May: Migrants have forced Britons out of workplace
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 16 October 2013

Migrants have forced tens of thousands of Britons out of the workplace, the Home Secretary has said.

Theresa May cited a report from the migration advisory committee which found that for every 100 migrants who came to the UK, 23 Britons missed out on jobs. ...

Mrs May said that the government is determined to reduce the levels of uncontrolled immigration.

She said: "When I came into the Home Office I was told that the previous government's belief had been that there was no displacement of UK residents looking for jobs when immigrants came in to take jobs in the UK. I said I didn't believe that.

"I asked the migration advisory committee to look at it. And they said indeed there was a displacement ... I think the figure was for every 100 migrants who come into the UK, 23 people living in the UK will not be getting jobs."
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EU migrants claim jobs' welfare before job
Matthew Holehouse and James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 15 October 2013

More than 40,000 European Union citizens are claiming unemployment benefit in Britain despite never having worked here, a European Commission report has indicated.

British ministers and the European Commission are engaged in an escalating row about "benefits tourism".

The report suggested that 112,000 European citizens are claiming JobSeekers' Allowance and, of these, 37 per cent have no history of working in Britain. The study also suggested a possible link between the generosity of a country's welfare system and the number of EU nationals who move there.

However, the report noted that countries with more generous welfare regimes also tended to have better employment prospects and wage levels, which may do more to attract migrants than welfare.

The report was commissioned by Lazlo Andor, the employment commissioner at the European Commission, who has claimed that Britain's benefit system is not the "pull" factor for immigrants.

British ministers dispute that. Under current EU laws, Britain has to offer the same benefits to EU citizens as to native Britons. Senior Conservatives, including Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, say those rules should be changed.

Responding to the report, Downing Street said the Prime Minister believes public concerns about benefit tourism are "widespread and understandable".

The Commission said the Government had failed to provide evidence that EU nationals are coming to Britain in order to claim welfare. Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the Commission, said the "vast majority" of migrants go to Britain to work and contribute more to the welfare system than they take out. "The more EU migrants you have, the better off your welfare system is," he said.
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Immigration: Brit Workers 'Against The World'
Ed Conway
Sky News, 15 October 2013

Immigration is changing Britain. This is not merely a theory - it's statistical fact. Back in 2004, less than a decade ago, one in 11 of those living in Britain were born abroad. Today the proportion is one in eight - 12.4%.

And, just as is the case for economic growth and productivity, the immigration picture varies throughout the country. Some 42% of London's population was born outside the UK, compared to just 5% in the North of England.

Though more attention tends to be focused on the flows of immigration - in other words people entering and leaving the country, the gradually-changing make-up of the UK population represents a significant shift - both in social and economic terms.

On the one hand, there's the question of how much immigrants cost Britain's welfare state. A quarter of new-born babies in Britain last year had non-UK-born mothers - the highest proportion since records began in 1969.

But you can only really get a clear sense of the absolute impact by taking a step back and comparing the cost of immigration with the related income - the taxes these new members of the population pay.

Research from the OECD shows that immigrants actually bring in over £7bn more than they cost. That's the equivalent of a penny off the basic rate of income tax.

There are other economic arguments in favour: Free movement of labour is usually good news for businesses, since it allows them to attract workers from all over the world, not merely locals.

But there are clearly challenges as well. Immigration increases GDP (though not necessarily GDP per capita), but it also increases the demand for housing - a real problem in a country facing a chronic shortage of property. And more potential workers means more competition for British employees.

In pure statistical terms, immigrants work harder than their UK counterparts. Some 71% of foreign nationals are economically active, compared with 67% of UK nationals. They are better-qualified: 38% of non UK-born people in Britain have degrees, compared with 30% of UK nationals.

And contrary to popular opinion, they are not just plumbers. The biggest proportion of immigrants actually work in finance, followed by health, then retail, then manufacturing.

According to the OECD half of all immigrants hired in Britain are high-skilled - and the proportion is increasing.

This has had an undeniable impact on Britons' job prospects. Since the start of the crisis in 2008, seven British workers have lost their jobs for every one non-British worker to have lost theirs.
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Lampedusa migrant crisis: Sicily declares emergency
BBC, 15 October 2013

The governor of Sicily has declared a state of emergency because of the large numbers of migrants it is having to deal with.

The order will release funds for aid workers helping the now daily arrivals of hundreds of migrants from Africa and Syria.

Italian officials say 370 migrants were rescued from three boats in the waters between Libya and Sicily on Tuesday.

The migrants were all being transferred to the island of Lampedusa.

Italy has a nationwide civil protection service and the state of emergency means that they will be able to carry out their work of looking after the new arrivals more efficiently, the BBC's David Willey reports from Rome.

Lampedusa is swamped with new arrivals, so the efficient transfer of migrants to temporary accommodation in Sicily, which has better facilities to deal with the migrant emergency, has become essential, our correspondent adds. ...

A spokesman for the UN refugee agency in Lampedusa told the BBC on Monday that Italy was also planning to increase its capacity for receiving migrants from 8,000 to 16,000. ...

Also on Tuesday, the Italian interior ministry said 35,085 migrants had arrived on Italy's coasts this year, with about 24,000, or 73%, meeting the legal criteria for asylum.

Of the migrants, 9,805 were Syrians, 8,843 Eritreans, 3,140 Somalis, 1,058 Malians and 879 Afghans. Roughly 21,000 departed from Libya and 8,000 from Egypt, according to an official from the ministry.
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Immigration: Britons Want 'Drastic Action'
Joey Jones
Sky News, 14 October 2013

A Sky News poll suggests two thirds of people do not believe an attempt to reduce net migration to 100,000 a year is sufficient.

More than two thirds of the British public believe the UK population is too large and the Government needs to take "drastic action" to reduce immigration, a Sky News poll has found.

Some 67% of people questioned do not believe the coalition's attempt to reduce net migration to 100,000 a year is sufficient and think more should be done.

More than a quarter of those polled (27%) believe the wave of immigration Britain has experienced in the last decade has brought no positive benefit to the nation.

And more than half (52%) say they will be more likely to vote for a party that promises to "significantly" reduce the level of migration.

The poll, conducted by Sky News as part of a week-long examination of the issue of immigration, found the people most concerned about the impact of immigration are the ones least likely to have been exposed to migrants.

For example, 71% of people who live in the countryside think drastic action is needed, compared with 53% in urban areas.

And 71% of people who don't know any immigrants well support drastic action, compared with 58% who say they know immigrants well. ...

The UK population is set to rise from 62 million in 2010 to 73 million by 2035.

Approximately two thirds of the increased population is likely to come from increased immigration.

Between 2001 and 2011 the population of England and Wales grew by 3.7 million - the biggest increase in 200 years - with 2.1 million immigrants accounting for the majority of the increase.

The poll of 1,508 adults - conducted for Sky News by Survation - found widespread concern among the public about the impact immigration has had on public services.

The majority of those questioned believe the NHS, education system, and housing and welfare systems have been negatively affected by immigration.

And almost three quarters (74%) are concerned about the prospect of Romanians and Bulgarians being allowed free entry to Britain later this year.

Almost two thirds of those who took part in the poll (64%) believe employers should be given tax breaks for employing young, unemployed Britons.

And over half (52%) say companies should be forced to offer jobs to UK-born workers first.

Some 42% of those questioned believe the current debate about immigration in the UK is being unfairly shut down by accusations of racism.

A similar number, 40%, feel they will be labelled a bigot if they raise the issue in public.

In some good news for the coalition, almost two thirds of people (63%) support a new rule for British people to have a minimum income of £18,600 if they want to bring a non-EU spouse into the country.

A similar number, 65%, agree with a Home Office proposal that travellers from certain countries judged to be "high-risk" should pay a £1,000 bond to be allowed to visit Britain.
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Estate agents discriminate against black people, finds BBC investigation
Alexandra Topping
The Guardian, 14 October 2013

Estate agents in London are routinely discriminating against black people looking for a home in the private rental market, an undercover investigation has found.

The BBC's Inside Out programme uncovered 10 estate agents in north-west London who were willing to meets landlords' specification that properties should not be let to African-Caribbean people.

Posing as a landlord who did not want to let out his flat to black people, an undercover reporter asked agents if they would be willing to discriminate against potential tenants. All 10 said although they could not openly bar black people they could prevent them taking up the flat by pretending it had been let, or by falsely promising to call them back. ...

Inside Out London producer Guy Lynn said the investigation was prompted after hearing that racial discrimination was a huge and growing problem. "I spoke to lawyers, letting agents, landlords, they all said that this was something that was incredibly easy and very common for letting agents to do this and particularly at the moment, in a landlord's market.

"Many of them seemed to think it was OK because they were hiding behind the 'I got asked to do it' argument. We focused on a section of west London, but numerous other reports and stories came through to me that this is a problem that is taking place across the UK."
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Number of foreign nurses coming to UK doubled in three years as NHS poaches workers from abroad
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 14 October 2013

The number of foreign nurses coming to Britain to work has doubled in three years as scores of NHS hospitals embark on global trawls to poach workers from abroad, new figures show.

Patients' groups expressed fears that safety is being compromised, because the vast majority of the workers are able to come to this country without checks on their language skills or competence.

The figures show that more than one third of NHS trusts hunted overseas to recruit nurses in the last year, with even more drawing up plans to do so now.

Nursing leaders said the health service was wasting a fortune raiding staff from overseas, to plug a staffing crisis created by "boom and bust" planning, with the loss of 5,000 NHS nurses since 2010.

The total number of nurses who registered to work in Britain after receiving their training abroad rose from 2,306 in 2009 to 4,521 last year, official figures show.

Under EU rules on freedom of labour, three-quarters of the foreign staff were able to register to work in this country without any checks on their language or competence.

Regulators are not allowed to set tests, and research has found most hospitals do not carry out checks, despite Department of Health (DoH) advice that they should.

While many NHS trusts targeted countries in Europe in the last 12 months, several travelled thousands of miles to the Philippines, Australia, the US and India in search of staff.

Of 105 NHS trusts that responded to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Nursing Times magazine, 40 had actively recruited nurses from overseas in the last 12 months, while 41 said they now planned to do so. ...

Meanwhile, the number of training places has been reduced, with 2,500 fewer places this year compared with three years ago. ...

Dr Peter Carter, Royal College of Nursing General Secretary, said the vast sums being spent recruiting nurses from abroad were symptomatic of "short term, boom and bust workforce planning which is endemic in the NHS."

He said: "It is frankly perplexing that on the one hand nursing posts are being cut and training places being reduced, while on the other desperate managers are raiding overseas workforces." ...

A Government report recently warned that on current trends there could be a shortage of almost 50,000 nurses within three years.
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EU immigration is undermining our once proud British nation
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 14 October 2013

The European Union likes to cloak itself in the rhetoric of progress, but in reality it is a tyrannical force for destruction.

In its obsessive quest to create a federal superstate, Brussels has smashed our democracy, undermined our national identity and eroded our independence.

The full scale of the EU's malign influence on Britain is highlighted in a disturbing new report to be published this week. The study, compiled by the EU's own officials, shows that there are now more than 600,000 jobless immigrants from Europe living here, a bigger number than the entire population of Glasgow. ...

The migrant pressure from Europe is one of the key factors driving through a social revolution unprecedented in history. Combined with mass immigration from Asia and Africa, the influx from the EU is transforming the fabric of our society, even though the British people never voted for it.

In several towns and cities, including the capital, white Britons are in the minority, while a quarter of babies born here have at least one foreign parent, the figure rising to two-thirds in London.

The pro-immigration lobby pretends that this revolution is wholly beneficial to Britain, supposedly boosting our economy and enriching our culture. But the EU's own figures expose the nonsense of those claims. The idea that all foreigners "come here to work", one of the favourite mantras of the cheerleaders for mass immigration, can now be seen as desperate and deceitful propaganda.

In fact, huge numbers arrive from Europe and the rest of the world simply to exploit our welfare system. Even those migrants who do work can access a large array of state support, including social housing, child benefits, schooling, and child tax credits. ...

The burden on the British taxpayer will grow even heavier at the start of next year when 28 million Bulgarians and Romanians gain full rights to settle here. According to a survey by the BBC, which tried to downplay its own findings, around 2.5 million of them are seriously considering a move here, putting a new strain on our creaking public services. ...

At the entrance to the visitors centre of the European Parliament is inscribed the following quotation: "National sovereignty is the root cause of most of the evils of our times. The only final remedy for this supreme and catastrophic evil is a federal union of the peoples."

The words are those of Lord Lothian, a diplomat and fanatical appeaser of Nazi Germany who, even on the eve of the Battle of Britain, was begging Churchill to reach a deal with Hitler. We fought the war to uphold our independence from Continental despotism. We can only regain it by freeing ourselves from the clutches of the Brussels federalists.
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Birmingham MP calls for schools to celebrate white culture
Jonathan Walker
Birmingham Mail, 14 October 2013

A Birmingham MP has accused schools of neglecting the "culture and background" of white pupils.

Richard Burden, Labour MP for Northfield, called for a "greater celebration" of the heritage of white communities in schools, to help white working class children succeed in the classroom.

But he stressed that teachers needed to ensure their lessons were "unequivocally opposed" to the "racially divisive" approach of groups like the English Defence League and British Nationalist Party.

Schools could instead follow the examples of Birmingham historian Prof Carl Chinn and singer Billy Bragg in celebrating white identity in a positive way, Mr Burden said.

He said: "Schools are important places for helping children explore their identity.

"More emphasis needs to be placed on how teachers can support white pupils to develop and express their culture and background.

"When developing such policies, the Government must be cautious to ensure a white British history and narrative is not promoted at the expense of all other cultures."

The MP made his plea in a paper submitted to the Commons Education Committee, which is looking into underachievement by white, working class children.

Mr Burden said immigration had boosted the UK, making it "more inclusive, tolerant and vibrant". But he said it was "well documented" that not enough had been made of culture and identity of white communities in some areas.
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Met picked up 9% of human trafficking victims, report says
BBC, 14 October 2013

The Metropolitan Police has picked up only 36 of London's 389 identified cases of human trafficking this year, a report has said.

The research by Tory London Assembly Member Andrew Boff said in one case three police stations turned away a trafficked man who managed to escape.

And one council told a Chinese boy, thought to have been sex trafficked, to look on the Gumtree website for help.

The Met said it was disappointed in the report's conclusions.

As well as the police human trafficking victims are identified by local authorities, non-governmental organisations and charities, the report said.

Mr Boff's research, called Shadow City - Exposing Human Trafficking in Everyday London, said the capital accounted for 39% of identified cases in Britain this year.

But the report said authorities were "blind" to slavery taking place in everyday environments such as construction sites, mobile soup runs for the homeless, Chinese and Indian takeaways and Vietnamese nail bars across the capital. ...

A Met Police spokesman said it welcomed the report but it was "disappointed" by the conclusions.

"Since the launch of the HTU in April 2010, it has carried out 146 complex and lengthy operations and charged 282 people," he said.
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Libya turns zoo into migrant processing centre as more head for EU
Chris Stephen
The Guardian, 14 October 2013

There are so many African migrants in Libya wanting to make the dangerous trip to Europe that Tripoli zoo has been turned into a processing centre for them.

With the country's 22 refugee centres overflowing, the zoo – closed since the 2011 uprising – is being used to handle those picked up on the streets. More than 50 people are brought there every day.

"The numbers arriving here are changing in an unbelievable way," said Said Ben Suleiman, deputy commander of 20 Support Brigade, which operates the detention centre. "We deport 10 and we find hundreds coming back."

The smuggling gangs stay one step ahead of the authorities. ... ...

The International Office of Migration said Libya has yet to request an assistance programme, and repatriation flights it runs for some Africans to return home are rejected by asylum seekers from the horn of Africa. "We have an active program of voluntary repatriation but nobody goes back to Somalia or Eritrea," said IOM spokesman Chris Lom.
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Benefit tourism: the Commission gives us some facts
Jonathan Portes
NIESR, 14 October 2013

The Daily Telegraph (quickly followed by the Daily Mail) claimed yesterday that "an EU study has found 600,000 unemployed migrants are living in Britain.. at a cost of £1.5 billion to the NHS alone". ... ...

The report itself was produced in response to this sort of overheated rhetoric, particularly from the UK government. ...

Undeterred by this rather cavalier attitude to facts, the researchers working for the Commission have produced a detailed 291 page compilation of figures. It has now been published, so what does it actually show?

First, the 600,000 figure simply reflects the fact that the Telegraph writer doesn't know the meaning of the word "unemployed". There are in fact two common usages in the UK

• People who are not currently employed and are looking for work (in the EU, this is measured by national Labour Force Surveys). Importantly, such people may or may not be claiming benefits, depending on whether they are entitled to them. In the UK, approximately 100,000 EU nationals are unemployed

• People who are claiming "unemployment benefit" (Jobseekers Allowance]. In the UK, according to the latest DWP figures, approximately 60,000 EU nationals are claiming JSA.

For comparison, the number of (non-UK) EU citizens resident in the UK is about 2.3 million. So where does the 600,000 figure come from? In fact, as the report explains clearly (page 3), it is the "non-active" population aged over 15 – this means everybody who is not currently employed. So most such people are not unemployed at all. They include students, pensioners, those with caring responsibilities (including stay at home parents), older schoolchildren etc. The corresponding figure for the UK population as a whole is 20 million or so, which puts the 600,000 figure in perspective.

... But what is meaningful are the following statistics (accurate when the report was compiled):

• The "non-activity" rate among EU nationals in Britain is 30%. For UK nationals it is 43%;

• The unemployment rate among EU nationals in Britain is 7.5%. For UK nationals it is slightly higher, at 7.9%;

• The employment rate (for those age 16-64) among EU nationals is 77%. For UK nationals it is 72%;

• Approximately 4% of JSA claimants in the UK are EU migrants, although they represent well over 5% of those in work.

All this paints a very consistent picture, albeit not one you'd have got from the Telegraph or Mail, and none of it remotely surprising. ... ...

This is true for the UK. It has been known for some time that EU nationals (especially the more recent migrants from the new Member States) were young and came here to work, and were therefore significantly more likely to be in work than natives – and that this, combined with rules around benefit eligibility, meant that they were much less likely to claim benefits. ...

What about the burden on the NHS? The story here is likely to be very similar to that for disability benefits, and for similar reasons.
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True scale of European immigration
Robert Mendick and Claire Duffin
Sunday Telegraph, 13 October 2013

More than 600,000 unemployed European Union migrants are living in Britain at a cost of £1.5 billion to the NHS alone, according to an EU report.

The authoritative study, ..., shows the number of jobless European migrants coming to Britain has risen dramatically in the past five years, intensifying demands for the Government to renegotiate EU membership.

Opponents of the EU seized on the figures to suggest Britain could not afford to allow European migrants to come here at will while continuing to provide a universal benefits system.

The 291-page report, to be published this week by the European commissioner in charge of employment and welfare, discloses:

• The number of "non-active" EU migrants in Britain has risen by 42 per cent between 2006 and 2012;

• 611,779 "non-active" EU migrants were living in Britain last year, up from 431,687 just six years ago. The total is equivalent to the population of Glasgow;

• The number of EU migrants coming to Britain without a job increased by 73 per cent in the three years to 2011;

• The current annual cost to the NHS of "non-active" EU migrants is estimated at £1.5 billion (€1.8 billion);

• In contrast, the estimated cost to France's health system of "non-active" EU migrants is a fraction of that to the NHS, at just £3.4 million.

The report was written for Brussels and ordered by Laszlo Andor, the socialist commissioner in charge of employment and social inclusion. ...

The report studied the numbers of unemployed EU citizens coming to Britain looking for work, showing that the number coming without jobs has risen by 73 per cent in three years. ...

The report also shows the extraordinary burden on the NHS, concluding it is equivalent to more than one per cent of the total NHS budget of £1.5 billion. ...

Only Italy, of the major countries, came close to such a burden on its health care system, with a bill of £620 million, the report finds. ...

Although the report details the cost to the Government in stark terms, it comes with a conclusion that there is "little evidence" that EU citizens came to Britain to collect state benefits – and the practice known as "benefit tourism" was largely a myth. ...

Open Europe said the report was misleading – "possibly wilfully" – in its conclusions and in apparently ignoring the evidence its authors had gathered.

Mr Andor, who commissioned the report, is to use the conclusions that migration is mostly for work as part of a landmark European Court case he is bringing against the Government.

Mr Andor has accused Britain of discriminating against EU citizens by restricting their ability to claim state benefits through a "right to reside" test introduced in 2004 to stem the flow of claimants from the new Eastern European member states. The test does not apply to UK citizens.
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Why does the EU not want a common immigration policy
Focus Information Agency, 13 October 2013

Sofia. Georgi Gotev, Deputy Editor in Chief of EurActiv, commented in an interview with BNR, on common immigration policy of the EU. He said that the EU turned out to be quite a complex project, explaining that only after the Schengen area was established, EU officials realised that they also needed a common immigration policy. The question is "Why did not the EU come up with such a policy earlier?" Mr Gotev comments. He added that the EU had created the European Agency for Management of External Borders (Frontex) but its budget was "miserably low". Mr Gotev also said that countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece received huge waves of immigrants on a regular basis, while richer West and North European countries were unwilling to shoulder their part of the burden. Still, he explained that Europeans unwillingness to accept Muslim refugees was partly rooted in the fact that they failed to integrate into European society, unlike Bulgarian and Polish immigrants. Nevertheless, he pointed out that EU economy needed immigrants in order to survive.
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Great, Theresa! Now get even tougher on immigration
Simon Heffer
Daily Mail, 12 October 2013

Theresa May is reckoned to be a strong contender as a future Tory leader – and no wonder. ...

Mrs May is right to seek to stop foreigners automatically having free access to public services such as the NHS. Most people will also welcome her decision to force landlords and employers to check whether someone is entitled to be in this country before they are offered long-term accommodation or work. ...

Yet despite her tough talk, there are two glaring holes in her immigration crackdown.

It does nothing to address Britain's shamefully lax border controls, and it ignores the fact that the vast majority of immigrants are legally entitled to use state services – at a cost to the country of millions of pounds that it cannot afford.

These ever-increasing numbers, who are entitled to come to this country thanks to EU agreements, are continuing to put an impossible strain on the NHS, on our schools, on the Welfare State and on the transport system.

Of course, this problem will become even worse in January when we have to open our borders to anyone from Romania and Bulgaria.

Meanwhile, many Roma gipsies are already in France, and causing mayhem. Squalid camps have sprung up across the country, particularly in the north – within easy reach of the English Channel.

France's socialist interior minister, Manuel Valls, has bravely tried to tackle the problem. Fearing a massive, new influx of foreigners, he wants the Schengen Agreement – which allows free movement of people without passport controls throughout most of mainland Europe – to be changed to exclude Bulgaria and Romania.

In Britain, however, our political leaders seem paralysed and unwilling to do anything to deal with the issue.

With breath-taking naivete, the Government has tried to allay fears by claiming that relatively few Romanians and Bulgarians will want to come here. ...

The truth is that the poor economic and social record of Romania and Bulgaria means their nationals mostly lack the education, training or entrepreneurial outlook to make a positive contribution to British life.

Questioning the wisdom of such a policy is not 'racist' – as opponents crassly argue. But I am concerned this may be a reason why ministers are so reluctant to take the issue of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants seriously.

In modern, multi-ethnic Britain, no insult sticks more firmly than being called 'racist'.

As for Theresa May, all the good she is trying to achieve through her immigration Bill is likely to be undone by the effects of a new influx of foreigners after January.
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Landlord immigration checks restricted after Lib Dem concerns
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 11 October 2013

Theresa May's scheme requiring all private landlords to check the immigration status of new tenants and lodgers has run straight into trouble with the Liberal Democrats, who have voiced concerns that it will increase homelessness and drive migrants underground into the hands of unscrupulous landlords.

A spokesman for Nick Clegg said the home secretary had been forced to agree to restrict the proposal this side of the next general election to a trial scheme in a single area, as the government introduced the immigration bill in the Commons.

"The Conservatives want to roll this out nationally but because of our concerns we will not agree to that. This will be piloted in a single area," the spokesman for the deputy prime minister said.

The Home Office acknowledged that the landlord checks will be introduced on a phased basis across England and Wales but insisted that the first phase was not a trial scheme: "This is not a pilot, as the bill published today makes clear.

"We plan to introduce the measure on a phased basis starting from next autumn. This is a sensible approach to ensure that we have the correct systems and infrastructure in place before rolling this out nationally."

But it is unlikely that the first phase, which will start next autumn, will be completed before the 2015 general election.

The plan to introduce checks on the immigration status of millions of private sector tenants is a central element of May's immigration bill published on Thursday, which is designed to "create a hostile environment for illegal migrants".

It is not the first time that the Lib Dems have secured concessions from the Conservatives during eight months of tortuous coalition negotiations over the bill. A move to require headteachers to carry out immigration checks on new pupils was also dropped. ...

May's bill also aims to make it easier to identify illegal immigrants by extending the powers of immigration officers to collect and check fingerprints and search for passports, introducing exit controls at airports and ports and extending the notification period for a marriage from 15 to 28 days to enable suspicious "sham" marriages to be investigated.
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Asylum Report Slams Border Official Decisions Which Allow Terrorists Into Britain
The Huffington Post, 11 October 2013

Britain is at risk of harbouring war criminals and terrorists due to poor decisions made by border officials, a group of MPs have warned.

In a damning report on asylum, the Home Affairs Select Committee said it was concerned by the quality of decision-making as 30% of appeals against initial decisions were allowed in 2012.

A backlog of 32,600 asylum cases that should have been resolved in 2011 are yet to be concluded, the Committee discovered, while the number of applicants still waiting for an initial decision after six months rose by 63% last year. Some applicants have been waiting up to 16 years.

The group of MPs also raised concerns about the "appalling" housing conditions faced by asylum-seekers, as well as the pressure placed on gay applicants to prove their sexual orientation.

In 2012, there were 21,955 applications for asylum in the UK. As of September 19 this year, of those 21,955 cases, 18,423 have received an initial decision and 12,632 have been concluded.

This means that 3,523 people who applied for asylum in 2012 have yet to receive an initial decision.
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Indian origin groups take protests to 10 Downing Street
Parvathi Menon
The Hindu, 11 October 2013

The Campaign against Racism, comprising UK-based organisations of Indian origin, and led by Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing Southall, took their protests to 10 Downing Street on Thursday. The forum submitted a memorandum with 20,000 signatures to Prime Minister David Cameron opposing the proposed visa bond scheme that is likely to be introduced as a pilot this November.

The scheme, if introduced, will require a visitor to the UK from India and five other Commonwealth countries to pay a deposit of £ 3000 in order to get a six-month tourist visa. The government sees this as a way to discourage illegal immigrants from coming into the UK.

The memorandum calls for throwing out the "racist" proposal that applies only to visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana.
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May: Living in UK to get tougher for illegal immigrants
BBC, 10 October 2013

Home Secretary Theresa May says illegal immigrants will find it much harder to settle in UK under planned new laws.

The Immigration Bill would force private landlords to quiz tenants about their immigration status and restrict access to bank accounts for people in the UK illegally.

It also aims to streamline the appeals process in immigration cases.

Labour said the bill did nothing about bigger problems like the "shambolic" state of UK border controls.

The bill will include measures to allow the UK to "deport foreign criminals first and hear their appeal later" when there is "no risk of serious irreversible harm".

A requirement is also included for temporary migrants, such as overseas students, to make a contribution to the National Health Service to prevent so-called "health tourism".

• New powers to check driving licence applicants' immigration status

• Cut the number of deportation decisions that can be appealed against from 17 to four

• Restrict the ability of immigration detainees to apply repeatedly for bail if they have previously been refused it

• Make it easier for the Home Office to recover unpaid civil penalties

• Clamp down on people who try to gain an immigration advantage by entering into a "sham" marriage or civil partnership

• Require banks to check against a database of known immigration offenders before opening bank accounts

Immigration minister Mark Harper said: "The Immigration Bill will stop migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the pull factors which encourage people to come to the UK and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.

"We will continue to welcome the brightest and best migrants who want to contribute to our economy and society and play by the rules. But the law must be on the side of people who respect it, not those who break it."

Mrs May said the measures were about "making it harder for people who are here illegally to stay here". ...

The Conservatives say they want to reduce net migration from non-EU countries - the difference between the number of people emigrating and arriving in the UK - to less than 100,000 a year.

But the latest Office for National Statistics figures show net migration rose to 176,000 in the year ending December 2012 - up from 153,000 people in the year to September 2012 - appearing to buck the recent downward trend.

There are no official estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the UK. A 2009 study by the London School of Economics produced an estimate of 618,000 but the Migration Watch pressure group said this under-estimated the number of people who had overstayed their visas and the true figure was more like 1.1 million.
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Immigration bill will require identity checks for all, home secretary is warned
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 10 October 2013

A system of identity checks for all, including British citizens, would have to be introduced to enforce the government's moves to curb access for illegal migrants to privately rented housing and to tackle alleged health tourists, leading immigration lawyers have told the home secretary.

The warnings came as Theresa May publishes her flagship immigration bill on Thursday, which will require immigration checks to be carried out before anyone can open a new bank account, be issued with a driving licence or access routine health treatment. ...

The Home Office confirmed the bill will:

• Require private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants.

• Require temporary migrants, such as overseas students, who have only a "time-limited" immigration status, to make a contribution to the NHS. A £200 levy has been mentioned as an option.

• Require banks to check against a database of known immigration offenders before opening a bank account.

• Create new powers to check the immigration status of driving licence applicants and to revoke the licences of overstayers.

• Introduce "deport first, appeal later" policy for thousands facing removal who face no "risk of serious irreversible harm" from being sent back, and reduce grounds for appeal from 17 to four.

The bill will also restrict the ability of immigration detainees to apply repeatedly for bail if they have already been refused it and create stronger guidance for the courts on the use of human rights laws to prevent deportation, particulary the right to family life.

There are also plans to make it easier for the Home Office to recover unpaid fines on companies who employ illegal migrants, and local authorities may face fines for letting social housing to tenants without a direct connection to a local area.

However, leading lawyers, landlords, immigration welfare charities and housing organisations have warned that the bill will lead to a real risk of increased homelessness, including of families, and widespread discrimination.

The Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (Ilpa) has told May her plan for millions of private landlords to face "proportionate" fines of up to £3,000 if they fail to conduct checks on the immigration status of new tenants and other adults living in their properties, is unworkable.

The lawyers say the combination of the new housing and health checks with existing checks carried out by employers and educational colleges, amounts to a system of identity checks for foreign nationals in Britain.

"What this means in practice is a system of identity checks for all, since it is necessary for British citizens or people with permanent residence to prove that they are lawfully present in the UK if and when checked," says the immigration lawyers' official response to the Home Office consultation. "British citizens, European economic area nationals and third country nationals alike would be required to produce identity documents at many turns in a scheme that would be intrusive, bullying, ineffective and expensive and likely racist and unlawful to boot," says the Ilpa response.
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Public sceptical of need for tougher immigration rules as Theresa May is set to publish new bill
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 10 October 2013

The public does not support tougher restrictions on foreign nationals coming to Britain, but wants existing immigration rules to be properly enforced, a survey has disclosed.

The poll comes ahead of measures that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will announce today to reduce the number of migrants coming to this country.

She plans to limit their access to the health services and housing – a move the Government hopes will send out a strong deterrent message to foreign nationals heading to Britain.

However, a YouGov survey suggests the public believes the problem lies not with the system itself, but with the poor enforcement of existing rules by immigration officers.

It found that 60 per cent of people believed immigration rules were not properly applied, allowing too many illegal migrants to remain in Britain. By contrast, just 26 per cent said inadequate restrictions led to too many migrants settling legally.

The survey, carried out for the think-tank Migration Matters, also found the public was better informed than what was widely assumed about the scale of illegal immigration.

Just under half of those polled guessed that up to 10 per cent of migrants were in Britain illegally against an official estimate of between 8 and 15 per cent.

The public was sceptical about the ability of either the Conservatives or Labour to get to grips with the issue.

Asked who they trusted more to deliver the right level of immigration, 25 per cent named David Cameron and 13 per cent chose Ed Miliband, but 62 per cent said they trusted neither of the men or did not know.
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Terrorist infiltration is one of the 'greatest threats' to Britain's charities, says William Shawcross
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2013

Terrorists who exploit charities are one of the "greatest threats" to Britain's voluntary sector, according to the charity regulator.

William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission, said lawyers who work with charities had a duty to report cash being siphoned off to extremists to the police.

He also said he was shocked that convicted terrorists or paedophiles can legally be trustees of charities, and suggested that he wanted this to be changed.

In a speech to charity lawyers in central London, Mr Shawcross said: "Proven cases of terrorist involvement in charities are low.

"But we have to be very vigilant, the Commission sees terrorist abuse as one of the greatest risks facing the charitable sector today. I am determined to ensure the Commission does everything in our power to prevent and stop the terrorist abuse of charities.

"This is unfortunately an increasingly important problem as the threat of violent terrorist attacks and subversion, become greater and greater, around the world.

"The recent Islamist attack on a shopping Mall in Nairobi, where Christians were singled out to be murdered, was only the latest demonstration of the horror which the world faces." ...

In the speech Mr Shawcross said that the risk of donors' money leaking out to support terrorism was not confined to the world's trouble spots.

He said: "Charities working in conflict zones are not alone in being at risk. Terrorists and extremist subversion of charity can take many forms and threaten any charity. Terrorists can exploit charity funding, misuse their assets or misuse their name and status."
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100,000 asylum-seekers land in EU
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 10 October 2013

More than 100,000 migrants claimed asylum in the European Union in just three months this year, official figures showed yesterday.

The number of asylum claims across the EU's 27 member states between April and June was 50 per cent up on a year ago.

The figures from the Brussels statistics agency Eurostat were released amid concerns that EU border control policies are failing. In the UK, the rise was 13 per cent with a total of 7,400 asylum claims over three months.

Foreign nationals most likely to claim asylum in Britain came from Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Syria and Bangladesh, according to Eurostat.
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£1 million gang flies in EU benefit scroungers
Jan Disley
Daily Express, 10 October 2013

A Czech family flew "benefit tourists" into Britain in a bid to fleece taxpayers out of £1 million.

The gang arranged for scores of people from eastern Europe to come to the UK – because they thought it was a "soft touch".

In exchange for setting them up with temporary homes, the gang pocketed tax credits handed out to the immigrant workers.

By the time the scam was exposed they had swindled £500,000 and a further £535,000 was in the system ready to be claimed.

HM Revenue and Customs discovered 124 bank accounts set up to receive cash from 77 claims. ...

Sisters Iveta and Magdalena Ferkova, 32 and 33, their aunt Alena Lackova, 39, and her husband Jan Lacko, 29, were all convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of conspiracy to commit fraud.

A fifth defendant, Julius Ziga, 34, pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy.
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UK e-borders scheme 'failing to stop terror suspects'
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 9 October 2013

The Home Office's flagship "e-borders" programme, which has taken 10 years to develop and has so far cost more than £500m, has yet to deliver significant benefits to controlling immigration and has had only a limited impact on tracking terrorists, an official watchdog has concluded.

John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, reveals in a report published on Wednesday that high-profile e-borders alerts are not even being routinely used to stop "high-risk individuals" – such as terror suspects, war criminals and those who have previously been deported from Britain – entering the country at ports and airports, apart from Heathrow.

The e-borders programme, which requires passengers to provide airlines with their personal details before they travel to and from Britain, began in 2004.

The declared intention was to "export the border" to improve immigration control and to ensure passengers considered a threat to Britain could be prevented from boarding their flights. But it is thought that only two airlines have so far signed up for the pre-departure screening checks needed for such no-fly lists to work.

Vine's inspection report also reveals that a programme designed to implement the coalition's pledge to track the movement of all passengers in and out of Britain actually covers just 65% of such movements.

Those excluded include some scheduled flights from within Europe, most train and ferry passengers and thousands arriving on private jets and boats.

Security services, counter-terrorism officers and the police told Vine full 100% coverage was vital to track the movements of terror suspects and other national security targets in and out of Britain. ...

Vine says e-borders information has resulted in the arrest of thousands of people wanted by the police over the past decade. But planned increases in passenger data collection had not been able to deliver more than 65% coverage because of problems involving European law and the difficulties of collecting advance passenger data from rail and sea operators and private flights had not been anticipated.

He says that while the high-profile alerts generated by the system – requests to stop at the arrivals gate those who have been excluded from Britain or previously deported – were being used at Heathrow, they were not being acted upon at any other airport or port. ...

The immigration minister, Mark Harper, responded by saying passengers travelling to Britain were checked across a variety of databases before departure and upon arrival: "We now take advance passenger information from 78% of those travelling to the UK by plane, and require this information from 100% of those travelling from outside the EU.

"We have the best coverage of any country in Europe, but we are working to improve our coverage further. We will take the findings of the independent inspector into account as we continue to develop our advance passenger information policies and coverage."
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GCHQ leaks have 'gifted' terrorists ability to attack 'at will', warns spy chief
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2013

The leaks of thousands of GCHQ files by CIA spy Edward Snowden have caused "enormous damage" and handed terrorists the "gift" to attack the UK "at will", the new head of MI5 has warned.

Andrew Parker, the director general of the Security Service, said the exposing of intelligence techniques, by the Guardian newspaper, had given fanatics the ability to evade the spy agencies.

It comes at a time when the UK is facing its gravest terror threat, including from "several thousand" Islamist extremists who are living here and want to attack the country, Mr Parker said.

He used his first public outing since taking over at MI5 to launch a scathing attack on the Snowden leaks.

It is feared around Whitehall that the revelations have resulted in a "guidebook for terrorists" while there is frustration that the American is being heralded as some kind of heroic whistleblower.

Sources find it incomprehensible that exposing spy agency techniques for tracking terrorists has been argued to be in the public interest. ...

Since 2011, a total of 330 people have been convicted of terrorism-related offences in Britain.
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Germany refuses to take in more refugees, 9 October 2013

As the human tragedy near the Italian island of Lampedusa prompted calls to rethink the EU's immigration policy, the German Interior Minister rejected any suggestion that his country should accept more refugees. ...

At a meeting of EU interior ministers held in Luxemburg on Tuesday (8 October), Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU), the German home affairs minister, reacted to recent calls for a fairer burden-sharing of refugees among European countries.

"Germany is the country that takes in the most refugees in Europe," Friedrich claimed.

Last year, the Federal Republic accepted almost 80,000 refugees, and is expected to welcome a further 100,000 this year. This would result in a ratio of around 946 refugees for every million inhabitants.

"This shows that descriptions, stating that Italy is overburdened with refugees, are simply not true," Friedrich said.

Indeed, according to a recent report by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the total number of asylum applicants in Germany is the highest in the EU and is higher than Italy's by almost 20,000 people, according to data from 2010 and 2011. ...

At the moment, burden-sharing takes place on a voluntary basis among EU member states. And current rules stipulate that the country receiving an asylum application is responsible for processing the file. Therefore, if a refugee lands in Malta before entering Germany, the German authorities are entitled to send the applicant back to Malta.

Refugee organisations and countries like Italy or Greece, which receive the bulk of asylum claims, have called for greater solidarity. ...

Amnesty International supports more solidarity in Europe. Not only Germany, but the entire EU must take in more refugees, the organisation argues.
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70 million a year arrive in UK unchecked: Migration chief slams £1.2 billion electronic borders fiasco
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 9 October 2013

A £1.2 billion 'electronic borders' system supposed to stop terrorists, foreign criminals and illegal immigrants getting into Britain has descended into a shambles, an official report reveals today.

Ten years after it was devised by Labour ministers, e-borders is failing to meet most of its objectives, leaving a string of gaping holes in the protections it promised to deliver.

Some 70 million passengers a year – one in three of the total – are arriving without undergoing background checks because of European Union data protection rules, inspectors found.

The report reveals:

• The system is unable to count people in and out, leaving officials in the dark about the true scale of illegal immigration.

• Technical problems mean people arriving on ferries, Eurostar trains, cruise ships and small planes are not screened in advance.

• Even when known criminals and illegals are flagged by the system, airports may not be phoned in advance to warn about their impending arrival.

• Nearly 650,000 Customs records about drugs and other contraband were deleted without even being read.

• The system is not being used to track tax fraudsters and benefits cheats going on holiday because of technical problems.

• Alerts about criminals and illegal immigrants may be missed because staff start dealing with them then 'log off and go home'.

The report is the second in two months from chief inspector of borders and immigration John Vine to have been heavily redacted by Home Secretary Theresa May.

Some 39 paragraphs or entries were deleted, and four tables of figures, on the grounds that revealing them could undermine national security. ...

When the full plans for e-borders were drawn up in 2007 Labour ministers promised to 'export the border' to other countries by forcing anyone trying to get into Britain to reveal their personal information in advance. ...

The European Commission blew the most gaping hole in the system by ruling that it would breach free movement rules to force EU citizens to hand their data over in advance.
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Trafficking of women for sex in UK worth £130m
Rosa Silverman
Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2013

The trade in the human trafficking of foreign women to be sexually exploited in the UK is worth at least £130 million, a Home Office report suggests.

The annual revenue generated by one female sex worker was estimated as £48,000, which would make the market worth tens of millions of pounds.

Organised crime was responsible for all such trafficking, the report said.

A study of the problem carried out in 2009 identified 2,600 foreign women in England and Wales who were victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

A further 9,200 were identified as vulnerable to being trafficked or may have been trafficked previously.

The report, entitled Understanding Organised Crime: Estimating the Scale and the Social and Economic Costs, warned that the £130 million figure was likely to be an underestimate.

It estimated the social and economic costs of the problem at £890 million.

The authors wrote: "The suffering caused by human trafficking is extensive."

The total social and economic costs of organised crime in general were estimated to be at least £24 billion per year.

This includes the trade in the supply of illicit drugs, whose social and economic costs are estimated at £10.7 billion, and organised fraud, which is thought to cost the UK £8.9 billion.

The damage caused by organised child sexual exploitation was valued at £1.1 billion.
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Britain admits it has no figures on EU 'welfare tourist' numbers
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2013

The British government keeps no figures on how many European Union nationals claim welfare payments in the UK, a classified Home Office document has admitted, despite repeated complaints about "benefit tourism" and social security abuse.

The document is the UK's response to a European Commission demand for evidence of claims by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that some European migrants abuse the EU's free movement laws and become an "unacceptable burden" after travelling to Britain to claim benefits.

In the eight page text, which has been seen by The Telegraph, the Home Office concedes that it is unable to state the number of EU nationals claiming welfare compared to Britons on social security benefits over a "given period". Nor can it give figures showing the number of EU migrants making fraudulent benefit claims.

"We consider that these questions place too much emphasis on quantitative evidence," says the document, seen by The Daily Telegraph. "The UK does not currently impose a registration requirement upon Union citizens who enter the UK and exercise free movement rights."

Data on the nationality of claimants for social welfare benefits is not routinely published, it adds, as there is not routinely a "nationality marker" attached to them.

The admission, in a text submitted to Brussels last month, risks undermining British calls for tighter restrictions on welfare immigrants as EU interior ministers meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday. With German, Dutch and Austrian support, Mrs May has asked the EU to overhaul freedom of movement rights to make it more difficult to claim residency in another country and to make it easier to deport wrong-doers.

There are 2.3 million EU migrants living in Britain, with 155,000 new arrivals from the EU last year under the "free movement" rules, up by 90 per cent from the 82,000 who came in 2011. ...

An EU migrant must show that they have been in work and have the intention to settle to earn the "right to reside" qualification for benefits. ...


Last night a government spokesman said the system would be improved when the new "Universal Credit" system of benefits, currently on trial in four locations around Manchester, is rolled out nationwide. "We are planning to record the nationality of benefit claimants to ensure we have a better picture of who is claiming benefits," the spokesman said.
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Romanians 'seek UK benefits'
Mark Reynolds
Daily Express, 7 October 2013

Thousands of Romanian immigrants in Paris are planning to come to Britain because they have heard they "can get social benefits" here, it emerged yesterday.

The news comes as one leading academic called for set quotas to be introduced in order to control the UK's immigration crisis.

Some 15,000 to 20,000 Roma remain in France, with many planning to move to Britain. ...

Oxford academic Paul Collier said quotas should be used to control immigration.

The professor of economics advocates in his new book, Exodus, a lottery to limit the number of dependants allowed into Britain with each skilled migrant. He says set quotas should be introduced for Romanians and Bulgarians from the new year when they gain the right to live, work and claim benefits here.

Professor Collier, who has worked as an adviser to David Cameron, stressed that while it had become a taboo topic, immigration has to be discussed.

"Migration is the topic surrounded by 'keep-out' signs, it's a taboo topic," he explained.

He said one of the major problems is the extended families of migrants, who follow them to their destination.

"The most expert team analysing immigration in the world has shown that, left to itself, the diaspora brings in relatives," he said.

"The dependants of immigrants are not what you want. They don't come with skills and because they're dependants they do increase demands on social services.

That has to be limited if we want to avoid competition for jobs and social housing between immigrants and our own poor."
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Failure on immigration will cost the Tories dear
Daily Telegraph, 7 October 2013
[Leading article]

After all the speeches comes the action – and following some big promises made at the Conservative Party conference, the Government seems genuinely determined to tackle Britain's immigration problem. The issues include a black market in cheap labour, overstretched public services and foreign-born criminals who cannot be deported. The contribution that legal immigration has made to Britain's culture and economy is indisputable. But a country that cannot control its borders cannot control its destiny.

This week, the Government's new Immigration Bill is due in Parliament, and its content is suitably ambitious. The Bill promises that patients registering with a GP will be asked to prove that they are legally entitled to live in the UK and to access free NHS treatment. Councils will be ordered to stop giving social housing to those with no connection to their area. Private landlords will have to run background checks to ensure tenants are residing legally in this country. Employers who hire illegal employees could face a fine of £20,000 for each worker. And, finally, foreigners who are refused permission to stay in the UK – including criminals – will be made to leave immediately.

But while the aspirations contained within the Bill are welcome, there is still the thorny question of delivery. It remains difficult to control migration within an EU of open borders – a fact confirmed by Romanian beggars who have been expelled from the country at the taxpayers' cost, only to return months later. There are also the legal stumbling blocks to action that are a legacy of Labour's Human Rights Act and our signing of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It was Labour who helped Abu Qatada to resist deportation for 10 years, while the ECHR's guarantee of a "right to family life" has been spuriously invoked by many criminals in order to stay in Britain.

The public will not reward the Conservatives at the polls if they sense that they have made promises that they could not deliver, which means that the Bill could prove a serious political challenge for the Government.
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A quarter of organised crime gangs are run by overseas thugs, new figures reveal as Theresa May promises to deport foreign suspects
Amanda Williams
Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday, 6 October 2013

A quarter of Britain's organised gangs are operated by foreign criminals, it has today been revealed.

An official study of Britain's criminal world - to be released tomorrow - is expected to say that there are more than 5,500 organised criminal gangs operating in the country - with 25 per cent run by international syndicates.

Security sources say the greatest threat to the UK comes from Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Vietnam. Albania and Turkey are also causing concern. ...

Of the 37,000 gang members 'targeting Britain' according to the Home Office - 7,400 are classed as 'high harm' foreign criminals, the Sunday Times reports.

The Home Office said new measures to be outlined by Theresa May on Monday aim to identify, disrupt and eject foreign criminals operating within our shores while also stepping up protective measures to stop them reaching Britain in the first place.

She will tomorrow launch the £450mn National Crime Agency (NCA) - dubbed Britain's FBI - as she reveals that organised crime is costing the UK £34bn a year, with cybercrime costing a further £2bn.

New measures will see immigration officers based in police stations, who will identify overseas criminals and whether they are here illegally. They will immediately run background checks for previous convictions and to see if they are wanted abroad.

If there is enough evidence, they will be prosecuted here then deported. But if there is insufficient evidence to prosecute them in Britain, and they are found to be here illegally, or to already have a conviction abroad, they will be deported.

Anyone deported will be banned from the country for a decade.

A pilot scheme in London - codenamed operation Nexus - has seen 1,000 foreign criminals were kicked out in just 18 months.
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End of free NHS care for migrants under new bill
Tim Ross and David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 6 October 2013

Major restrictions on migrants' free access to the NHS are to be introduced.

Foreigners will have to prove that they are entitled to be in the country before they are given access to GPs and hospitals, while foreign students will have to make a "contribution" to the health service.

The measure will form the centrepiece of tough new legislation designed to reduce numbers entering the country and put pressure on illegal immigrants to leave.

A senior government source said it was an attempt to target "people who have no right to be here".

Restricting access to the NHS is highly contentious politically.

GPs will be told they have to check that people seeking to register with them are here legally and issue only time-limited "NHS numbers" – the proof of entitlement to free care – to those who do not have a permanent right to be in the country.

Separately, students from outside Europe will have to pay a £200 levy before they can access the NHS.

Hospitals will be told to step up attempts to pursue "health tourists" for the cost of treatments they receive.

The measures will be outlined in the Immigration Bill, which is due to be put before Parliament within days. ...

However, it will not affect migrants from inside the European Union, which is now the biggest single source of new arrivals.

Other elements of the Bill include:

• A ban on councils giving social housing to individuals with no connection to an area, with "penalties" if the rules are not followed;

• Fines of up to £3,000 if landlords do not conduct thorough background checks on their tenants to ensure they have a legal right to live in Britain, and fines of up to £20,000 for every illegal worker employed by unscrupulous businesses;

• A victory for The Sunday Telegraph's campaign to end the farce that sees foreign criminals dodging deportation by appealing using the Human Rights Act.

Instead the law will allow immediate deportation and appeals from outside the country unless criminals can show they face "serious and irreversible harm" in their home countries. ...

The foreign students levy will end the current situation which allows free access to the NHS for all students here for more than six months.

Currently 300,000 students from outside Europe are studying at British universities.

Official projections have suggested that this number will rise to more than 480,000 by 2025.

Although charging these students would raise less than £100 million, ministers believe it would be a significant disincentive to those who would abuse the NHS.

Analysis of Home Office figures suggests that one in five foreign students will remain living in the UK five years after first arriving, and many will settle permanently.
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The Roma invasion of Paris... next stop Britain
Claire Duffin
Sunday Telegraph, 6 October 2013

Romanian migrants are the scourge of Paris - sleeping rough, begging and blamed for rising crime. Is this what awaits Britain when they start crossing the Channel? ...

Welcome to a very modern European dilemma: how to deal with the increasing numbers of Roma using European freedom of movement rules to leave Romania and gather in the biggest and wealthiest cities of the West, where they turn to begging and, according to the authorities, crime.

Paris is bearing the brunt of the influx, but London is an increasingly attractive destination. ...

The problem in Paris is so great that it is being studied closely by Westminster city council, which is responsible for Park Lane in London, where a group of Roma is sleeping rough.

Under the current law, such Romanian migrants must leave Britain after 90 days unless they have found work. The council fears that London could see an escalation of its problems to those on the scale of Paris when all restrictions on Romanians living in Britain are lifted in the new year. ...

So far this year more than 10,000 Roma have been evicted from informal settlements, but it does not appear to have stopped them. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Roma remain in France, the vast majority gathered in shanty towns.

The Roma have been arriving in France in large numbers over the past two years, mostly thanks to good transport links and the lack of passport controls, because France is part of the Schengen area of European countries that has no border controls.

In Romania they are largely unemployed. The proceeds of begging and – allegedly – crime are far greater in western Europe than at home. ...

In London, Westminster city council is so concerned that it is holding a summit with Paris and other European cities to discuss ways to put pressure on the EU to give them greater powers to combat the problem.
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Now one council house in ten goes to migrants as Tories blame Labour for allowing locals 'to be pushed out of waiting list'
Daily Mail, 5 October 2013

One in ten of the families given taxpayer-subsidised social housing last year was foreign, figures revealed yesterday.

They show that the rate at which newly arrived immigrants acquire council and housing association homes has gathered pace even in the face of deep public concern.

The proportion of foreign citizens taking advantage of the diminishing supply of publicly-subsidised homes has risen by more than 50 per cent in five years.

In March, David Cameron pledged to stop foreigners taking advantage of state housing by introducing a residence test. It would require immigrants to wait two years before qualifying for social housing.

Yesterday, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles blamed Labour for allowing local people 'to be pushed out of the housing queue by foreign nationals'.

He said 'tough new guidance' to give priority to local residents would be published soon.

The Daily Mail revealed in July that nearly half a million immigrants who came to Britain in the decade after 2001 were housed in taxpayer-subsidised social homes.

The new count was published by the Department of Communities and Local Government in a rundown of social housing statistics for the year to March.

They showed that foreign citizens made up 10 per cent of those newly given social housing, up from nine per cent the previous year and 6.5 per cent in 2008.

That represents 23,000 homes. It is estimated that the cost to taxpayers for those homes over their useful life is £1.5 billion.

The true figure is likely to be higher because many immigrants take up British citizenship shortly after arrival.

The last national census in 2011 revealed that 13 per cent of people in state-subsidised homes were born outside Britain, which represents 1.2 million households.

One in five of the social tenants in London is a citizen of neither Britain nor Ireland.

The new figures brought calls for action from the pressure group Migrationwatch, which has pushed for councils to provide better information on who is being given state housing.

'These figures confirm that the occupancy of social housing by those born overseas is far higher than has been generally realised, or even admitted,' said chairman Sir Andrew Green.

'The Government's proposed action on this front would be welcome to many people.'
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Foreign-language driving tests to be banned
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 5 October 2013

Ministers are to bar people from taking the driving test in a foreign language amid concerns that they cannot read road signs in English.

There are growing fears that the 60,000 people who sat tests using interpreters or foreign voice-overs are unsafe to drive on Britain's roads.

The government also wants to reduce the levels of fraud amid concerns that having an interpreter during a theory test enables people to cheat.

The rules currently allow the theory test to be sat in 19 foreign languages, aided by either an interpreter or voiceovers. People are also permitted to attend the practical test with a translator. ...

Last year a total of 56,000 theory test candidates requested foreign voiceovers while 1,700 asked for the assistance of interpreters. A total of 19,500 people asked for interpreters during their practical driving test.

The taxpayer meets the cost of translating the various driving theory tests into foreign languages – although people must meet the cost of paying for their own translator during the practical test.

There is also growing evidence of fraud. Since 2009, around 1,000 driving licences have been revoked after evidence of fraud was found during the tests.
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'Take us to the UK': Syrian refugees go on hunger strike in Calais demanding asylum
Owen Bennett
Daily Express, 4 October 2013

Dozens of Syrian asylum seekers were today occupying a roof and footbridge in Calais and demanding: "Take us to the United Kingdom".

Riot police were trying to control the group, all of whom want to claim housing and benefits in Britain rather than France.

Around 40 of them have gone on hunger strike and refuse to move from the bridge in the Calais ferry port. Some have also climbed on a roof and threatened to jump off unless their demand to be taken to England is met. ...

Denis Robin, the prefect of the Pas-de-Calais region, said: "The Syrians are in a stalemate. What we can do is offer them asylum in France", adding that they all had a "95 per cent chance of success."

Mr Robin said: "We cannot take any decision on their access to Britain. I am not persuading them to settle in France but trying to legalise their status." ...

One woman, who said she originally came from 'near Damascus', said: 'The procedures for us to claim asylum are far simpler and quicker in Britain.

"Once there we will be well treated, and can bring our families too. We can start new lives in Britain."
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The Tories will wither away without migrant votes
Ian Birrell
The Guardian, 2 October 2013
[Ian Birrell is a former speechwriter for David Cameron]

It is hard to think of a more suburban constituency than Mole Valley at the core of the Surrey commuter belt. ... It is so solidly Conservative that even at the height of Blairmania it returned a Tory to parliament with a massive majority.

... This is bedrock Britain for the Tories, where they say a donkey would get elected so long as it was wearing a blue rosette. But like other parts of the country, this is an area changing at breathtaking speed – and it contains a message the party ignores at its peril.

For the migrants who came to Britain in big numbers in recent decades are moving to the suburbs. This is not surprising. The last census showed white Britons to be a minority in London, and one-third of the capital's population foreign born. As incoming communities make money and start families, many move out to the suburbs in search of bigger homes, better schools and safer environs, like generations before them. ...

Most moved in the past decade, and as communities become more established, the process speeds up. ...

Population growth is a sign of suburban success and renewal, but brings undoubted challenges. Surrey needs another 60 schools; it raised council tax to help fund an extra £100m a year on education expansion. Yet while the languages heard on the streets may have changed, the nature of these towns and villages has stayed largely the same. ...

Politically, however, this is dynamite that threatens the Conservative party. For these migrant families may share suburban values, but they do not share their politics. Research last year revealed only one in six ethnic minority voters supported the Tories at the last election. ... ...

As migrant communities grow and fan out, this is an issue that will increase in intensity for the Tories. ... The Conservatives are seen as historically hostile: the party of Enoch Powell and Norman Tebbit, that passed laws dividing migrant families and failed to stand up to apartheid in South Africa. This brand contamination is so strong that even when candidates from ethnic minorities are selected, they are seen as betraying their background.

The last presidential election in the United States demonstrated the dangers of ignoring non-white votes. Minority groups ensured Barack Obama won a second term, forcing soul-searching among Republicans. ... ...

The Conservatives face a fundamental choice: do they want to chase the votes of pessimists who preferred Britain as it was in the past, or those people living in the real world as it is today?
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World's population to hit 9.7 BILLION by 2050
Cyrus Engineer
Daily Star, 2 October 2013

THE world's population will hit 9.7 billion by 2050 and India will overtake China as the world's most populated nation, a study has revealed.

A report by the French Institute of Demographic Studies claims there will be over 10 billion people on the planet by the turn of the century.

Nigeria will also overtake the US in terms of population by 2050 with Africa's population set to double from 1.1 billion to 2.5 billion.

China is currently the world's most populous nation on Earth with 1.3 billion followed by India (1.2 billion); the US (316.2 million); Indonesia (148.5 million) and Brazil (195.5 million).

The study says Africa will be home to a quarter of the world's people in 2050 while Asia's population could reach a staggering 5.2 billion.
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Tough Tory curbs on migrants sabotaged by Lib Dems who then boasted about them in campaign handbook, says May
Jack Doyle and James Slack
Daily Telegraph, 1 October 2013

Theresa May last night criticised the Lib Dems for taking credit for tough Tory policies designed to curb rampant immigration – while seeking to block them behind the scenes.

The Home Secretary pointed out that in a Lib Dem campaign handbook the party boasted about cuts in net migration since the election.

But at the same time, she said, the party's ministers were opposing a new bond scheme forcing new arrivals to cough up £3,000 before they can enter Britain.

The policy, a Tory manifesto commitment, would see the surety paid by temporary immigrants from high-risk countries – and the money would then be seized if they failed to leave.

She said: 'Our drive to cut immigration has been so successful that even the Liberal Democrats are boasting about it in their campaign handbook.

'I don't remember their enthusiasm for cutting immigration when we worked on the policies – so I'm going to take this with me next time they try to block our reforms.

'The latest policy they're fighting is immigration bonds. It's a simple idea – the Government should be able to take a £3,000 deposit from temporary migrants and return it when they leave. If they overstay their visa, they'll lose their money.'

She added: 'Bonds were in our manifesto at the last election. But the Lib Dems suddenly announced that it was their idea.

'Then they said they were against them. Then they said they were for them – but only to help more immigrants to come here. Now they say they're against them after all. They were for them, then they were against them, then they were for them and now they're against them.

'Confused? Don't be – the simple conclusion is you can only trust the Conservatives on immigration.'
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Unauthorized immigrant arrivals are on the rise, and that's good news
Madeline Zavodny
American Enterprise Institute, 1 October 2013

New estimates from the Pew Research Center suggest that the number of unauthorized immigrants is once again rising in the U.S. Although this turnaround from the sharp decline in the unauthorized population during the Great Recession is likely to be condemned by many, it's actually good news.

Unauthorized immigration is a bellwether of the strength of the economy. Unlike legal immigrants who may have waited years or even decades for a visa, illegal immigrants respond quickly to changes in economic conditions. Inflows rise faster when the economy, especially the construction sector, is growing, and slow down when the economy is shrinking. ...

The possible increase in the unauthorized population is also good news in that it may finally spur the House to pass immigration reform. But it's critical that the House not use these numbers as a justification for even tougher border security. Economic forces, not border enforcement, drive illegal inflows. ...

Instead, the House should focus on addressing the fundamental factor that motivates most illegal immigration: jobs. Employers turn to undocumented immigrants because current immigration policy makes it impossible to bring in foreign workers quickly and legally when employers can't find Americans to fill jobs. ... It's far easier to hire an unauthorized immigrant.

To reduce unauthorized immigration, immigration policy needs to reproduce the flexibility that employers value in unauthorized workers. ... ...

... Before the Great Recession, the unauthorized labor force was growing by about 350,000 workers per year. This dwarfed the roughly 110,000 H-2A and H-2B visas issued annually. The difference is even bigger when considering stocks instead of flows: from 2003 to 2007, the U.S. gained about 1.4 million unauthorized workers whereas there was virtually no change in the number of H-2A and H-2B visa holders, who have to return home every year.

When the economic recovery picks up steam, immigration policy should ensure enough foreign workers can enter legally.
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Exclusive: Border Patrol Union VP Says Feds 'Cooking Books' on Illegal Immigration
Brandon Darby
Breitbart, 1 October 2013

Shawn Moran, the Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, recently spoke out on behalf of U.S. Border Patrol agents who routinely risk their lives to keep our nation safe and our borders as secure as possible to Breitbart News.

"The politically-appointed class within the U.S. Border Patrol and in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency are cooking the books to make it appear that illegal immigration is decreasing," Moran claimed.

"This all started when Janet Napolitano said the border was safer than it's ever been. People were told to get in line, and they've done a number of tricks to limit our effectiveness and our ability to accurately determine how many people are illegally entering the US, so that the numbers look 'right,'" he said.

Vice President Moran did not stop there. He offered specific insights into how the bureaucrats from the Department of Homeland Security have trickled down into the various agencies under their control: "Our core duties have been restricted," he said. "Most illegal aliens and smugglers do not have vehicles and have historically attempted to use public transportation to get from the border into the interior of the U.S., and our best results in Border Patrol have come from transportation checks, where we check buses and the like."

"It was late 2011 or early 2012 when the leadership in U.S. Border Patrol put out a specific memo declaring that we could no longer check buses unless we had specific actionable intelligence indicating illegal aliens would be on certain avenues of transportation," Moran explained. "Even though this was one of the most productive ways for us, they said Border Patrol was no longer allowed to do the checks."

"The numbers are down because they are not allowing us to check the places where we know illegal aliens are," he said.

Moran provided other examples, such as the leadership in Border Patrol actually altering the manner in which they record data. ... ...

"Some of our advanced surveillance reveals that we are about 45% effective, meaning we are not even catching half of the illegal aliens or drug smugglers who enter our nation," Moran claimed. "Now the politically-appointed leadership of U.S. Border Patrol and of U.S. Customs and Border Protection [BP's parent agency] have effectively grounded that system of surveillance after the numbers did not match what their public numbers were." He added that there have also been numerous sensors the bureaucrats have ordered turned off.

The shocking assertions from the National Border Patrol Council come just days after they released an explosive press release directed at their parent agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. The release included assertions that Border Patrol agents' lives were being placed in jeopardy in order to appease "fringe" groups; that the U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency were keeping information from the public about the criminal histories of illegal aliens who make accusations against U.S. Border Patrol agents; and that the federal government was refusing to prosecute violent illegal aliens who attack U.S. law enforcement officers.
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I'll kick out illegal migrants BEFORE they get chance to appeal, says May: Home secretary unveils massive shake-up of immigration laws
James Slack and James Chapman
Daily Mail, 30 September 2013

Foreign criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants will be kicked out of Britain before they get the chance to claim their human rights are being breached.

In a massive shake-up of immigration law, Theresa May today tells the Daily Mail the Government plans to 'deport first, and hear the appeal later' – after they have been put on a plane home.

The Home Secretary will also slash the number of grounds on which migrants can lodge an appeal from the current 17 to just four after the fiasco of the deportation of Abu Qatada, who finally returned home to Jordan earlier this year after a 12-year legal battle.

Home Office officials expect the crackdown to more than halve the astonishing 68,000 cases lodged against the Government every year. ...

Her move came as David Cameron gave the strongest signal yet that the Tories are ready to quit the meddling European Court of Human Rights.

The Prime Minister said he would do 'whatever it takes' to ensure Britain can throw out people who pose a threat to the country and have no right to be here. ...

Asked if the party is considering complete withdrawal, the Prime Minister said: 'It may be that that is where we end up.' ...

Ministers have tried for years to take a hard line against preachers of hate, foreign criminals and illegal immigrants. But they can drag out the appeal process for years – usually by citing the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. ...

In future, officials will be told to throw people out of the country as soon as their case has been decided by the Government – a system which is already in place in France. They can still appeal, but only from their homeland.

The only exception would be in cases where there is a 'risk of serious irreversible harm', such as torture or execution.
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François Hollande under intense pressure to resolve split within French government over mass expulsion of Roma immigrants
John Lichfield
The Independent, 30 September 2013

President François Hollande came under intense pressure today to resolve a poisonous split within the French government over the mass expulsion of Roma immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Mr Hollande, accused by both Left and Right of "hiding" on the Roma issue, is expected to make a speech in the next few days backing - with some reservations - the hard line taken by his interior minister, Manuel Valls.

Mr Valls said last week that almost all Roma gypsies had a "vocation" to "stay in Romania or go back there". Apart from a "handful of families", he said, it was impossible to integrate the 20,000 Roma now estimated to be in France. Most of them should be expelled.

His comments have been attacked in recent days by human rights groups, by the European Commission and - damagingly for President Hollande - by leading left-wing and green figures within the government. The housing minister, Cécile Duflot, a former leader of the Green party, accused Mr Valls of trampling on France's "Republican values". Another left-wing minister said that no Socialist should dismiss an entire ethnic group.

Mr Valls hit back today. He said that the criticism of some of his colleagues were "intolerable". The forced evacuation of Roma squatter camps were "vital", he said, to fight against "delinquent and mafia-like activities".

An opinion poll at the weekend found that 77 per cent of French people supported Mr Valls. ... ...

Amnesty International and other human rights groups say that the criminal activities of a minority of Roma are being used by successive French governments to justify systematic expulsions from squatter camps. Amnesty says that more than 10,000 Roma were expelled from illegal camps in France in the first eight months of this year - almost as many as in the whole of 2012.

Many of them were deported by the French authorities, on the grounds that they had exceeded the limited EU rights of free movement enjoyed by Romanian and Bulgarian citizens. From next year these rights will be extended, raising fears of a larger influx of Roma to Western Europe.
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France opposes border-free travel for Romania, Bulgaria
Tony Todd
France 24, 30 September 2013

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned that Bulgaria and Romania were not ready to join Europe's passport-free Schengen area, amid a heated debate on Roma (Gypsy) immigration in France.

France on Monday said it was firmly opposed to Romania and Bulgaria – transitional members of the European Union since 2007 – joining the "Schengen" area, where passport checks at border crossings have been abolished.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio that the two countries were "unable to secure their own borders" with their non-EU neighbours and should be barred from becoming members of the free-travel zone.
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How we are powerless to stop the 'carousel of career beggars'
Claire Duffin and Robert Mendick
Sunday Telegraph, 29 September 2013

Mrs Lacusta and dozens of her compatriots had been sleeping rough in Park Lane, one of London's wealthiest areas, earning a living by begging. The group was accused of anti-social behaviour and blamed for a rise in petty crime.

In response – and in the glare of publicity – police and immigration officers raided the Roma camp. More than 20 Roma were sent home on planes and coaches paid for by the taxpayer. Operation Chefornak, jointly staged by the Home Office, police and a taxpayer-funded charity, was deemed a great success. ...

That all had not gone well began to dawn when, a week later, The Sunday Telegraph traced Mrs Lacusta and some of her fellow Roma back at home in Romania. Each said they were planning to return to London.

Now, it can be disclosed, they have done precisely that: the Roma of Park Lane have boomeranged back.

About a third of those sent back in Operation Chefornak – according to Westminster City Council – are known to have returned, Mrs Lacusta among them. ...

Their return after what was effectively a summer holiday in Romania with travel courtesy of the British taxpayer has huge potential to embarrass ministers. It highlights more widely the difficulty of policing what are effectively Britain's open borders – and the burden put on the state by Europe's freedom-of-movement rules.

Westminster City Council, the authority in charge of the area, calls it a "farcical" situation that has created a "carousel for career beggars". ...

The problem of how to tackle the beggars is a vexing one. The Home Office insists that paying for flights is a cheap way of clearing them from London's streets.

Under European Union law, the Romanians have a right to be here for 90 days. After that, they need to be working, studying or self-sufficient. Sleeping rough and begging are grounds for removal.

By offering to pay for travel home the Government is avoiding a potentially expensive legal battle, which can only begin once the 90-day limit has been passed. ...

Meanwhile, the authorities are scrambling for solutions. Westminster council estimates it spends more than £500,000 a year tidying up the mess.

Cleaning up after the rough sleepers costs about £350,000, added to which are costs of £160,000 for a dedicated community-protection team on the ground.

The council spent a further £10,000 in 2011 when the first plan was launched to pay for coach tickets to send the Roma home. The council gave up when it realised the policy was "a bottomless pit". The council wants beggars turned away at the port of entry. Spotting the difference between beggars and Romanians coming on holiday or for social visits should not be hard, say council sources.
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GMF researcher Ziebarth: Turks skeptical on immigration
Yonca Poyraz Dogan and I. Stanbul
Today's Zaman, 29 September 2013

According to a major survey of public Turkish, US and European public opinion, the majority of people in Turkey are concerned about both legal and illegal immigration, and see immigration as more of a problem than an opportunity.

This week's guest for Monday Talk explains:

"The results for Turkey could mean – but again we cannot say for sure – that people do not or do not yet differentiate between legal and illegal immigration, or their perception might be tainted by the increase of Syrian refugees that some would probably label as legal immigrants," said Astrid Ziebarth, director of the Immigration and Integration Program based in the German Marshall Fund's (GMF) Berlin office.

Respondents from across 13 nations were invited to estimate the migrant population of their country. While all countries overestimated the figure, the disparity was particularly stark in Turkey – 23 percent compared to the actual figure of 2 percent, or around 5-6 percent, according to unconfirmed estimates.

Ziebarth points out that Turkey is a country in transition as it has turned from a predominantly migrant-sending country to a country of migration that is characterized now by the transit migration of migrants from mostly Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and African countries.
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The costs and benefits of mass immigration [part 1]
The Economist, 28 September 2013
[Book review: Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World. By Paul Collier. Oxford University Press USA; Allen Lane]

Paul Collier is one of the world's most thoughtful economists. His books consistently illuminate and provoke. "Exodus" is no exception. Most polemics about migration argue either that it is good or bad. They address the wrong question, says Mr Collier. The right one is: how much more migration would be beneficial, and to whom?

He examines this question from three perspectives: the migrants themselves, the countries they leave and the countries to which they move.

Migration makes migrants better off. If it did not, they would go home. Those who move from poor countries to rich ones quickly start earning rich-country wages, which may be ten times more than they could have earned back home. "Their productivity rockets upwards," says Mr Collier, because they are "escaping from countries with dysfunctional social models".

This is a crucial insight. Bar a few oil sheikhdoms, rich countries are rich because they are well organised, and poor countries are poor because they are not. ... When a rich country lets in immigrants, it is extending to them the benefits of good governance and the rule of law.

What of the countries that receive immigrants? Mr Collier argues that they have benefited from past immigration, but will probably suffer if it continues unchecked.

So far, immigrants have typically filled niches in the labour market that complement rather than displace the native-born. For most citizens of rich countries, immigration has meant slightly higher wages, as fresh brains with new ideas make local firms more productive. It may have dragged down wages for the least-skilled, but only by a tiny amount.

However, says Mr Collier, continued mass immigration threatens the cultural cohesion of rich countries. Some diversity adds spice: think of Thai restaurants or Congolese music. But a large unabsorbed diaspora may cling to the cultural norms that made its country of origin dysfunctional, and spread them to the host country. Furthermore, when a society becomes too heterogeneous, its people may be unwilling to pay for a generous welfare state, he says. Support for redistribution dwindles if taxpayers think the beneficiaries will be people unlike themselves.

Finally, Mr Collier looks at the effect of emigration on poor countries. Up to a point, it makes them better off. Emigrants send good ideas and hard currency home. The prospect of emigration prompts locals to study hard and learn useful skills; many then stay behind and enrich the domestic talent pool instead. But if too many educated people leave, poor countries are worse off. Big emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil benefit from emigration, but the smallest and poorest nations do not: Haiti, for example, has lost 85% of its educated people.
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The costs and benefits of mass immigration [part 2]
The Economist, 28 September 2013

Mr Collier's most arresting argument is that past waves of migration have created the conditions under which migration will henceforth accelerate. Emigration is less daunting if you can move to a neighbourhood where lots of your compatriots have already settled. There, you can speak your native language, eat familiar food and ask your cousins to help you find a job. Because many Western countries allow recent immigrants to sponsor visas for their relatives, Mr Collier frets that large, unassimilated diasporas will keep growing. And as they grow, they will become harder to assimilate.

Mr Collier is plainly not a bigot and his arguments should be taken seriously. Nonetheless, he is far too gloomy. ...

It is possible that Britain will prove unable to cope with greater diversity in the future, but one cannot help noticing that the most diverse part of the country – London, which is less than 50% white British – is also by far the richest. It is also rather livelier than the lily-white counties that surround it.

America's population consists almost entirely of immigrants and their descendants, yet it is rich, dynamic, peaceful and united by abundant national pride. Every past wave of newcomers has assimilated; why should the next one be different? The recent history of Canada, Australia and New Zealand also suggests that large-scale immigration is compatible with prosperity and social cohesion.

Mr Collier is right that there is a tension between mass immigration and the welfare state. A rich country that invited all and sundry to live off the dole would not stay rich for long. Immigrants assimilate better in America than in most European countries in part because welfare is less generous there. In parts of Europe it is possible for able-bodied newcomers to subsist on handouts, which infuriates the native-born. In America, by and large, immigrants have to work, so they do. Through work, they swiftly integrate into society.

Mr Collier approves of the European-style welfare state, so his policy prescriptions are aimed largely at preventing immigration from undermining it. He would peg the number of immigrants to how well previous arrivals have integrated. He would welcome quite a lot of skilled migrants and students (a good idea) but curb family reunions (which sounds harsh). He would allow in asylum-seekers from war zones but send them back when peace returns to their homelands. (This, he explains, would help their homelands rebuild themselves.) As for illegal immigrants, he would offer them the chance to register as guest workers who pay taxes but receive no social benefits.

Insisting that immigrants work is sound policy, but the tone of "Exodus" is problematic. Mr Collier finds endless objections to a policy – more or less unlimited immigration – that no country has adopted. In the process, he exaggerates the possible risks of mobility and underplays its proven benefits.
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Scottish independence immigration policy warning
Scott Macnab
The Scotsman, 27 September 2013

A more open approach to immigration in an independent Scotland is likely to meet with a public backlash, the Scottish Government has been warned.

Both Labour and SNP administrations in recent years have voiced frustration at a lack of freedom to attract people with the right skills to address labour shortages north of the Border.

But Christina Boswell, professor of politics at Edinburgh University, has told the Royal Society of Edinburgh that there would still be constraints after independence.

Scots have a "more generous approach" to immigrants, compared with the rest of the UK, the academic said. "Scotland in the event of independence would be keen to pursue a more liberal immigration policy than is currently pursued by the Home Office," she said.

However, this could change after a Yes vote next year. "I would caution against relying on this to be sustained in the event of independence and a move to liberalise immigration policy," she said.

"To be frank, no European government since the early 1970s, with the possible exception of Spain, has been able to sustain a more liberal approach to immigration. Both the UK and Germany in their different ways attempted to liberalise policy in 2000s but sooner or later were thwarted by negative populist media and negative party political mobilisation."

Most governments get round this with hardline rhetoric to appease public opinion, while having "opaque" immigration arrangements that let in people with needed skills.

"What hasn't happened in any European country, with the possible exception of Spain, is that there has been an explicitly open liberal rhetoric on labour migration that has been sustainable in the face of public opinion," she said.

Public opinion is likely to shift after independence, she added. "Once the government does have responsibility, it will be accountable for this area and there are likely to be strong incentives for opposition parties and the populist media to highlight the adverse effects of more liberal policies. This has been the experience of most European countries in the 1980s and 1990s." ...

But Prof Boswell said there was still likely to be a common travel area with the rest of the UK after independence. ...

Prof Boswell added: "The only reasonable and practical approach would be to concede that Scotland, like Ireland, would be part of a common travel area with the UK and would be outwith Schengen."

This would allow free movement without passport checks, but immigrants with permission to work in Scotland won't be allowed to reside or work south of the Border.
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Dominican court ends citizenship of some residents
Ezequiel Abiu Lopez and Danica Coto
Yahoo! News / Associated Press, 27 September 2013

Thousands of Dominican Republic residents have been thrown into limbo by a ruling from the country's highest court that strips citizenship from anyone born to migrants who entered illegally. The decree affects mainly people of Haitian descent and is likely to worsen already acrimonious relations with neighboring Haiti.

Advocacy groups for immigrants expressed anger over Thursday's ruling, saying it ignored the rights of those affected and was based on bigotry against predominantly black Haitians. ...

David Abraham, a law professor at the University of Miami, said the decision was part of a larger effort to keep Haitians from entering the Dominican Republic and to encourage self-deportation of those already here.

He cited the racial differences between the predominantly black Haitians and mixed-race Dominicans as well as Haiti's plight as one of the world's poorest countries.

"The fear of the Dominican Republic, of being pulled down to the level of Haiti economically and the 'blackening' of the country, has been an obsession of Dominican politicians for well over a century," he said.

Spanish-speaking Dominicans and Creole-speaking Haitians share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and have a long history of troubles, including wars and massacres. Relations warmed after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people, but tensions have since resumed. ...

The Constitutional Court said officials are studying birth certificates of more than 16,000 people and noted that electoral authorities have refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 people of Haitian descent. It gave the electoral commission a year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship.

The Economy Ministry recently calculated that about 500,000 people born in Haiti now live in the Dominican Republic, but it gave no estimate for the number of people of Haitian descent living in the country. The Dominican Republic's total population is a little over 10 million. ...

Until 2010, the Dominican Republic followed the principle of automatically bestowing citizenship to anyone born on its soil. But that year, the government approved a new constitution stating that citizenship will be granted only to those born on its soil to at least one parent of Dominican blood or whose foreign parents are legal residents.
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Tories 'borrowed language of the National Front' with controversial Go Home ad vans, Yvette Cooper claims
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 26 September 2013

Yvette Cooper sparked a furious row over immigration last night after accusing the Tories of using the 'language of the National Front'.

The shadow home secretary used her speech to the Labour Party conference to launch a ferocious attack on the Tories' crackdown on illegal immigration.

One Conservative MP last night described Miss Cooper's intervention as 'despicable', and said it showed Labour was still not serious about tackling illegal immigrants.

Miss Cooper singled out a Home Office advertising campaign which warned those here illegally to 'Go home or face arrest'.

The ads, displayed on billboards carried by vans, were trialled in several London boroughs during the summer.

Miss Cooper also criticised immigration checks at Tube stations, which she said were based on racial profiling. She said both measures were 'divisive gimmicks' and 'an utter disgrace'. ...

Ms Cooper rejected the idea that Labour could not debate immigration.

She added: 'Some people say Labour shouldn't talk about immigration. That it is pandering to prejudice or to the right. I disagree.

'We don't have a mature and honest debate about immigration, we leave it to the divisive politics of the right.
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Scotland becomes 'a more colourful country'
James Cook
BBC, 26 September 2013

Next year Scotland's four million voting residents will have a rare opportunity - the chance to decide the future of a nation.

But who are the four million facing this historic decision? Where do they come from? What do they look like? How do they sound?

The census breakdown released today suggests some answers to those questions.

And one fact screams out from the data: In Scotland, more than in other parts of the UK, there is an overwhelmingly sense of a very particular national identity.

The statistics suggest a deep sense of "Scottishness", with 4.4m of Scotland's 5.3m people saying they felt Scottish either solely or in combination with another identity. ...

The figures also suggest that many of those with a vote on the future of the United Kingdom do not hail from its shores.

Fifteen percent of people born outside the UK were from Poland (55,000); 6.4% were from India (23,000); and 6.2% from the Republic of Ireland (23,000).

They were followed by Germans (22,000); Pakistanis (20,000); and Americans (16,000).

Two other countries notable for moving quickly up the foreign-born table were China (15,000) and Nigeria (9,000). ...

Sixty-three per cent of those born abroad arrived in Scotland between 2001 and 2011, a clear majority of those (69%) were of working age and, of those, most (38%) were in their twenties. ...

As for ethnicity, as distinct from place of birth, Scotland was still overwhelmingly white in 2011 (5.1m or 96%) but the proportion of whites was falling, down two percentage points from 2001, despite the immigration from Eastern Europe.

The Asian population remained the largest minority group with 141,000 people, or 3% of the total, a rise of 69,000 over the decade.

Within this, Pakistanis were still the largest single category, up 18,000 to 49,000. ...

There is much to chew over and much to debate in today's census data, there are many more questions still to be answered.

But the Registrar General for Scotland, Tim Ellis, had a simple summary of the statistics.

Scotland, he said, was becoming a "much more colourful" country.
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France's Interior Minister calls for Roma gypsies 'to return' to Romania or Bulgaria because they can't integrate
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 26 September 2013

A French minister has called for Roma gipsies to 'return to Romania or Bulgaria' because they don't integrate well in France.

There have also been demands from other politicians for the two impoverished countries to be 'locked out' of European agreements which allow freedom of movement.

Interior minister Manuel Valls's explosive words yesterday started a wide-ranging debate about the abject failure of EU 'open border' immigration policies.

The European Commission immediately threatened sanctions against France for its policy towards the Roma community.

A spokesman insisted everyone from Bulgaria and Rumania was a citizen of the EU and therefore had a right to travel anywhere.

Three years ago the Commission's vice president, Viviane Reding, sent a similar threat to former president Nicolas Sarkozy, saying that Roma expulsions had to stop.

The row will be of huge interest in the UK, as next year restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians looking for work are being swept away.

In an interview on the France Inter radio station, Mr Valls said: 'The Roma should return to Romania or Bulgaria.'

The Socialist Party member added: 'Yes, we must tell the truth to the French – these populations have a way of life that is extremely different to ours, and they are obvious