IMMIGRATION CONCERN

NEWS AND VIEWS - BY DATE
2014

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.


2014

POPULATION PRESSURE – HEALTH SERVICES, CHILDBIRTH
Warnings over 'conveyor-belt' maternity units
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2014

British mothers spend the least time in hospital when they give birth according to new figures which triggered warnings that too many are forced to endure "conveyor-belt care".

Midwives said EU figures suggest too many women in this county are being rushed through childbirth and sent home exhausted and unable to cope.

Parenting groups said women were left to endure "woefully inadequate" care in chaotic surroundings, because there was not enough help available after they gave birth.

New mothers in the UK spend an average of 1.5 days in hospital, the statistics show – around one third of the length of stay in France, and half that of Germany and Italy.

The figures from show that Britain's 1.5 day length of stay is less than half the EU average of 3.6 days. ...

Midwives said overstretched maternity units in the UK were unable to cope with demand, amid a shortage of 5,000 staff, and not enough beds.

Too many were forced to send exhausted new mothers home before they had properly recovered from labour or got to grips with basic baby care, they said.

Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Midwives are under pressure to get women home earlier and earlier.

"You get to a situation where women in labour are basically queuing for a bed, so those in the post-natal wards have to be discharged far more quickly than we would like," the senior midwife said.

Prof Warwick said the rapid turnover of mothers to free up beds was sometimes unsafe, and meant too many women had a poor experience of childbirth.

"The whole system is incredibly pressured, it raises real safety issues," she said.

"Midwives say too often it feels conveyor-belt like, they are under pressure to get a women out and home, so the focus ends up on getting the paperwork done, rather than having time to care." ...

The figures from the OECD report, Health at a glance 2014, show that 31 countries have longer maternity stays than in the UK. ...

The report also shows that rates of infant mortality in Britain are higher than the European average with 4.1 deaths per 1,000 births, worse than countries including Croatia, Estonia and Slovenia.
[Site link]

 

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – EMIGRATION, LITHUANIA
Ghost town: As Lithuania joins euro, concern over emigration
Liudas Dapkus
Yahoo! Finance / Associated Press, 31 December 2014

As Lithuania prepares to adopt the euro on Jan. 1, it is hoping that membership in the European Union's official currency will bring a rise in investment and trade. But the Baltic country's increasing integration with richer European countries is also having a pernicious side-effect: a wave of emigration that is emptying towns and causing worker shortages.

Emigration has been on the rise since 2004, when this country of 3 million people joined the EU, whose membership guarantees freedom of movement.

During the 2008-2011 financial crisis, more than 80,000 people – almost 3 percent of the population – left every year, mainly to Germany, Britain and other richer economies to earn salaries many times higher. Experts forecast that trend to continue, or even increase.

In the field of construction, business owners complain it is impossible to keep hold of workers, even with massive annual wage increases of 10 to 20 percent. The problem is not confined to rural villages. Most shopping malls, restaurants and businesses in once busy urban areas are increasingly short of labor. ...

A quick look at wage figures shows why. A manual worker in Lithuania can expect to earn 1.80 euros ($2.20) an hour compared with 4.30 euros ($5.24) in Spain and 8.60 euros ($10.50) in Ireland, according to the EU statistics agency.

In the more skilled sectors like computing, medicine or the services industry, where Lithuania's educational system produces highly qualified graduates, wage differences are even greater. ...

The problem is that Lithuania is the bloc's poorest member and even though its economy is growing at a stronger pace than most EU countries, it has a long way to develop before it can hope to offer wages on a par with other EU states. ...

One solution businesses are lobbying for is to facilitate immigration from countries that have even lower wages – Ukraine, Belarus and even China. There has been little progress by the government on that front, however.

Sarmite Mikulioniene, sociology professor at Mykolas Romeris University, warns that in time, worker shortages will hurt the economy, threatening the gains made in the first place by joining the EU and euro.

"There will simply be no one left to do simple jobs here in 10 or 15 years," she said.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – BULGARIANS, ROMANIANS
47,000 Bulgarians and Romanians enter UK in a year: Number who now live here has increased fivefold in last eight years
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 30 December 2014

More than a quarter of a million Romanian and Bulgarian nationals now live in Britain – a figure that has risen by almost 50,000 over the past 12 months.

The number based here has increased more than fivefold in eight years – making up the equivalent of a city the size of Wolverhampton.

The figures, which are published today by Oxford University's respected Migration Observatory, are based on analysis of the official Labour Force Survey.

The data also shows that around one in five working-age migrants from Romania and Bulgaria are not in work – a total of 46,000. Arrivals from both countries have increased following the lifting of transitional border controls in January. ...

The Migration Observatory's analysis said migrant numbers from both countries had 'grown steadily' since the countries joined the EU in 2007.

The numbers align almost exactly with predictions from the MigrationWatch think-tank which suggested net migration from both countries would average around 50,000 a year.

The figures show that in 2006, in the year before Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, the population of nationals from both countries living here stood at just 43,000. It barely changed the following year before steadily increasing, to 98,000 in 2009, 132,000 in 2010 and 160,000 in 2012. ...

The Migration Observatory said the not-in-work total of 46,000 will include a large number of students, spouses, dependants and those wealthy enough not to work.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – BULGARIANS, ROMANIANS
No surge of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants after controls lifted
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 30 December 2014

A quarter of a million Romanians and Bulgarians are now living and working in Britain, more than 80% of whom arrived before labour market restrictions on migrants from their countries were scrapped 12 months ago, say academics.

The Oxford University-based Migration Observatory said the growth in the Romanian and Bulgarian populations of the UK had remained at the same steady pace for the last seven years.

The lack of a surge in migrants from the two EU countries after seven years of transitional controls were lifted on 1 January 2014 confounds predictions by Ukip's Nigel Farage and others that 5,000 Romanians and Bulgarians would arrive "each week, every week" for several years.

The migration experts said the latest labour force survey figures showed that the overall population of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK rose from 205,000 in September 2013 to 252,000 in September 2014, an increase of 47,000. This followed a similar rise of 45,000 in the corresponding period in 2012-13.

Madeleine Sumption, the Migration Observatory director, said: "The growth in the Romanian and Bulgarian population of the UK has been steady for the last seven years, despite transitional controls that limited their access to the labour market and welfare state in the UK. The end of these controls do not seem to have had a very significant effect."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – TELEVISION, COMEDY
Racist 1970s comedies would be banned now, says head of Ofcom
Sarah Knapton
Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2014

Seventies comedies would not be allowed on television screens today because they were so racist and offensive, the outgoing head of Ofcom has said.

Ed Richards, who stands down as chief executive of the media watchdog at the end of this month, said programmes from a previous generation were no longer suitable for today's more enlightened audiences.

Although he did not name names, comedies like 'Love Thy Neighbour', 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum' and 'Mind Your Language' have all been criticised in recent years for their racial stereotyping.

In 'Mind Your Language' which ran from 1977 to 1986, Germans were represented as dour and humourless; the French as sexy and flirtatious and the Chinese as communist agitators.

'Love Thy Neighbour' saw a black man referred to as 'nig-nog' and 'Sambo' while 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum' regularly made jokes about the cultural differences between the Indians, Burmese and Japanese.

The show was written and created by David Croft and Jimmy Perry, the comedy due behind 'Dad's Army', and 'Allo Allo!'

While 'Dad's Army' and 'Allo Allo!' Are still regularly repeated, more controversial shows have been quietly removed from television schedules. ...

However the writers have criticised broadcasters and the regulator for shelving older series' which, they say, are an 'accurate portrayal of a bygone era.'

When the BBC announced it would no longer show It Ain't Half Hot Mum in September 2013, Mr Perry criticised 'Oxbridge graduates' at the corporation saying they had no grasp of reality.

He told the Telegraph it was a "shame" it does not get repeated on television today, when a "whole younger generation would be able to enjoy it". ...

However while viewers will no longer accept racism and national stereotyping, Britons do not appear to mind on-screen vulgarity, Mr Richards has claimed.

"They are more tolerant of light swearing, non-aggressive swearing in a comedy situation," he said.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – ISLAM
The Islamization of Britain in 2014
Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute, 30 December 2014

The Muslim population of Britain reached 3.4 million in 2014 to become around 5.3% of the overall population of 64 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France and Germany.

Islam and Islam-related issues were omnipresent in Britain during 2014, and can be categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism and the security implications of British jihadists in Syria; 2) the continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain; 3) the sexual exploitation of British children by Muslim gangs; and 4) Muslim integration into British society.

What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in Britain during 2014.

In January, an analysis of census data showed that nearly 10% of the babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim. The percentage of Muslims among children under five is almost twice as high as in the general population. By way of comparison, fewer than one in 200 people over the age of 85 are Muslim, an indication of the extent to which the birth rate is changing the religious demographic in Britain. ...
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – BIRTH CONTROL, WELFARE BENEFITS, AUSTRALIA
Former Labor Minister Gary Johns suggests linking the dole to contraception
news.com.au, 30 December 2014

No contraception, no dole – that's the view of an ex-Labor Minister who believes welfare should be linked to compulsory contraception.

Gary Johns, writing in The Australian, suggests there should be "no taxpayer inducement to have children".

The former MP who served in the Keating government admits such a measure will "undoubtedly affect strugglers, [and] ... Aboriginal and Islander people in great proportions".

"But the idea that someone can have the taxpayer, as of right, fund the choice to have a child is repugnant."

According to Mr Johns larger families of past generations "were the result of the combination of absent contraception and the need to have many children, in order that some survive to care for parents in old age".

But he says such conditions now don't apply.

"Infant mortality is minuscule in all sectors of society, and the taxpayer picks up the tab for aged care.

"Potential parents of poor means, poor skills or bad character will choose to have children. So be it.

"But no one should enter parenthood while on a benefit."

The ex-Minister claims "it is better to avoid having children until such time as parents can afford them".

"No amount of 'intervention' after the fact can make up for the strife that many parents bring down on their children."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
Immigration beats economy as number one worry for UK voters
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 29 December 2014

Immigration is now consistently the most important political issue of concern to voters, pollsters have revealed.

Over the past year it has moved ahead of the economy as the British public's top priority, according to YouGov.

Since May, voters have put it above or tied with the economy in every survey conducted by the organisation.

At one point, in September, it was selected by 58 per cent of voters as one of the three most important issues for the country while only 48 per cent had the economy in their top three.

YouGov chose 'Immigration becoming the public's most important issue' as one of its top five public opinion trends of 2014.

Will Dahlgreen, from YouGov, said: 'From May to December immigration was seen as the most important issue facing the country, except for on three occasions when it was tied with the economy.

'Although immigration began to narrow the gap at the end of 2013, 2014 is the first year since 2010 when the economy has not been the top issue.

'Immigration had an average lead of one point over the whole year, compared to a deficit of 18 in 2013 and 32 in 2012.' ...

Crossbench peer Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of the MigrationWatch think tank, said: 'These are remarkable findings. It's simply not possible for the political class to remain in denial any longer.

'Suggestions that those who are canvassing should simply change the subject are now clearly absurd. The public want effective answers on immigration and will see through attempts to dodge the issue.'
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
I'd find it a challenge if Roma gipsies moved into my street, admits Blunkett - the Home Secretary who opened Britain's borders to new EU members
Jenny Awford
MailOnline, 29 December 2014

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has admitted he would find it tough if Roma gipsies moved into his own street – 10 years after he opened Britain's borders to new EU members.

The Labour politician allowed migrants from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to work in Britain from 2004, resulting in one of the biggest waves of immigration ever seen in the UK.

More than one million workers from Eastern Europe arrived between 2004 and the end of 2009 – many of them settling in his home city of Sheffield.

He warned that the influx of Roma migrants would result in riots in British cities last year and suggested they should 'change their culture' as it was causing tensions.

Now as he prepares to live out his retirement in Sheffield, Mr Blunkett, 67, has said he would be distraught if gypsies moved into his street.

'I would find it a challenge because of the way of life they are used to. The deprivation in Slovakia was awful. We've got to say it isn't awful here and your behaviour has to change,' he told the Sun on Sunday.

Despite this, the MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough insisted it was not a mistake to open the UK's borders to Eastern Europe 10 years ago.

'The only regret I have about 2004 is not to put more time and cash into helping communities cope with that massive change,' he said.

'It wasn't a deliberate policy of 'Let's open the doors and have a massive flood'.

'Did we make mistakes? Yes. We should never have condoned the predictions it was going to be tens of thousands coming to Britain when, over the next four years, it turned out to be hundreds of thousands.'

The last Labour government predicted that only 13,000 would move to Britain from Poland and other eastern European countries after 2004, when in fact it was more than one million.

Mr Blunkett said Britain must wake up to the fact it cannot close its borders and pointed out the country has always been built on inward migration.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – PUBLIC OPINION, GERMANY
Germany's anti-Islamisation sentiment isn't going to disappear any time soon
Melanie McDonagh
Spectator blog, 29 December 2014

There's a reason why the numbers – including pensioners and manual workers – at these anti-Islamisation gatherings – or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West – swelled from around 200 at their inception in October in Dresden to the thousands the Monday meetings attract now in cities around Germany. One is that mainstream politics have not articulated popular concerns about immigration, and notably immigration from outside Europe. Indeed a poll for Der Spiegel suggested that two thirds of Germans feel that Merkel doesn't adequately reflect concern about it.

If this were simply an anti-immigration movement, though, the title wouldn't work. Most immigrants to Germany are from Eastern and southern Europe, especially Poland; mostly secular or Christian. So it's something to do with the advent of significant numbers from outside the EU, many of them Muslims. /.../ The numbers seeking asylum in Germany, again, many of them Muslim, were over 77,000 for the first six months of this year; they have grown since. ...

But immigration numbers do, I think, matter when it comes to tolerance of yet more arrivals – the supersaturation point, if you like. The reality is that there are 16 million people living in Germany already who came from abroad. In 2013, the number of arrivals came to 1,226,000 of which 1,108,000 were non-Germans. A million people in a year; it's quite something. And even the most welcoming society – Ulrich Grillo urged Germans to welcome immigrants on the Christian basis of loving your neighbour – will find it hard to cope with that many, and remain recognisably the same.

In Germany, as in many European countries including Britain, the uneasy question underlying concerns about Islam is just what constitutes the state, the nation: is it merely the space occupied by a given number of residents with increasingly little in common; an understood legal framework and a given number of employers whose need for cost effective and skilled labour is the one imperative to which policymakers must defer? A common language? All European countries would talk about their cultural traditions but in multi-ethnic Germany it's hard to know what that would mean any more. If you exclude Christianity and history and Goethe and music from the equation, and focus on the obvious – beer and sausages – well, you can see how alien that is if you're a Syrian migrant.

The German president, Joachim Gauck, has spoken about 'a new German us'. But what if the old German 'us' isn't terribly happy about it? And this old German 'us' is, I'd say, a critical part of the makeup of the Pegida demonstrators. Because in Germany, as elsewhere, the remaking of the country through large scale immigration has happened by default, not by explicit consent – you only get that in Switzerland.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – SWEDEN
Sweden can't avoid immigration debate: analysts
Peter Harmsen
Yahoo! News / AFP, 28 December 2014

Sweden may have narrowly avoided snap elections that would have been dominated by a debate on immigration, but with asylum seekers arriving in record numbers the issue is unlikely to stay off the agenda for long, analysts say.

The Sweden Democrats, a far-right party holding the balance of power in parliament, had said they wanted the polls to serve as a "referendum on immigration" – and they almost succeeded.

"If we had ended up with snap elections, we would have talked a lot about immigration and it would have been on the Sweden Democrats' terms," said Camilla Sandstroem, a political scientist at Umeaa University in northern Sweden.

The Sweden Democrats, who came third in September parliamentary polls, this month pushed Prime Minister Stefan Loefven to call early elections after they refused to back his budget to signal discontent with his generous immigration policies.

But on Saturday, Loefven, a Social Democrat, announced a surprise deal with the centre-right opposition that enables him to stay in the job without seeking a new mandate from voters.

He unveiled a wide-ranging agreement that aims to ensure political stability until 2022 by allowing the traditional parties to govern without asking for support from the Sweden Democrats.

But one word was absent from the accord: immigration.

"It's a bit surprising that the immigration issue is not part of the deal," said Sandstroem. "We urgently need to discuss it."

Sweden, with a population of 9.6 million people, has one of Europe's most liberal immigration policies and is expected to receive up to 105,000 asylum seekers next year, according to official estimates.

This record number is partly due to a sweeping gesture announced last year to grant permanent residency to all Syrian refugees who make it to Sweden.

Most Swedes are proud of the openness and tolerance associated with their country. However, many also insist on the need to discuss the consequences of their immigration laws.

"We have to talk more about immigration and integration. No one talks about it and that gives the protest parties more room because they are willing to address the issue," said Jakob, a 35-year-old IT consultant, who declined to give his last name.

Critics argue politicians like former prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who says Sweden can handle many more immigrants, are out of tune with the reality on the ground.

They say integration has generally been much less successful than claimed by the political establishment and a lack of open debate has made the situation worse.

A series of riots last year by stone-throwing and car-burning youths in several immigrant-heavy neighbourhoods, mainly in the Stockholm area, has added to the controversy.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POLITICS, GERMANY
Ex-minister blames Merkel for rise of anti-immigrant groups
Madeline Chambers
Reuters, 28 December 2014

A former cabinet minister and member of Angela Merkel's conservative bloc blamed Germany's chancellor on Sunday for steering a course that has strengthened the eurosceptic AfD party and a new anti-immigrant grass-roots movement.

In rare direct criticism of Merkel, Hans-Peter Friedrich, forced to resign as agriculture minister in February over leaked information, said Merkel made a "disastrous mistake" by wooing centre-left voters and ignoring those on the right.

Friedrich said voters who had joined the AfD, which has won seats in three state assemblies in Germany after shifting its focus from euroscepticism to concerns about immigration in the last year, had felt abandoned by the conservative bloc. ...

Merkel's deal last year to share power with the centre-left SPD worried some on the right of her party who feared she would move too far left, and Friedrich pointed to SPD initiated policies such as the introduction of a minimum wage.

He also said Merkel was partly responsible for the rise of PEGIDA, or the "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West" movement with its weekly marches in the eastern city of Dresden which have shocked many Germans.

With net immigration in Germany at its highest level in two decades, a poll this month showed that a majority of Germans think Merkel's government is paying too little attention to concerns about immigration and asylum seekers.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – GERMANY
Germany needs immigration, Finance Minister says after anti-asylum rallies
Reuters, 27 December 2014

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday that immigration is good for the country and politicians must explain better that everyone stands to gain from it, in response to the rise of a new movement opposing an influx of Muslim immigrants.

The number of asylum seekers in Germany, many from Syria, has more than doubled this year to around 200,000, and net immigration is at its highest level in two decades.

Many Germans are concerned about the related costs and worry about refugees taking jobs.

The sudden emergence of grass-roots movement PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, which last week held a 17,500-strong anti-immigrant rally in the eastern city of Dresden, has forced lawmakers to respond.

"The world is more open and immigration helps everyone. Just as we used millions of refugees and expellees after World War Two to rebuild .. so we need immigration today," Schaeuble told Bild Online when asked about the popularity of PEGIDA. ...

"Of course we have to live together with immigrants. That will change our day-to-day life but won't make it worse, but will mostly improve it," added Schaeuble, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – ETHNIC MINORITY VOTERS
Labour's crucial ethnic minority vote set to collapse
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2014

Labour have seen a collapse in their crucial ethnic minority vote since 2010 in a blow for Ed Miliband with three quarters of Indian voters abandoning the party.

Influential pollsters say that Labour are mistaken in their belief they are "sitting pretty" with the ethnic minority vote and Indian, Pakistani and African voters are turning away from the party in huge numbers.

The number of Indian voters identifying with the Labour party has fallen from 77 per cent in 1997 to just 18 per cent in 2014 - a fall of over three quarters, according to the figures from the British Election Study.

Pakistani support has fallen from 77 to 57 per cent, a fall of 27 per cent. Meanwhile Carribean support has dropped 14 per cent from 78 to 67 per cent.

Support from the African community has dropped by 20 per cent, from 79 to 63 per cent, the research shows. ...

According to recent research one in three people in Britain will be from an ethnic minority within a generation with non-white people will making up between 20 and 30 per cent of the population by 2050. The current share is around 14 per cent.

Dr Maria Sobolewska, an expert from Manchester University and part of the team conducting the Ethnic Minority British Election Study, told a conference this month: "What is happening is that the Labour party is sitting pretty, or at least they think they are sitting pretty, they think they have the minorities is the bag.

"The ethnic minorities are seen to be the core of Labour party vote, they have been for years, for decades but I will make these people here representing Labour a little bit uncomfortable about this assumption that minorities will vote for them as a matter of course.

She added: "Labour is not really sitting pretty on ethnic minorities anymore and in fact it wasn't in 2010 either... we can already see that a lot of the ethnic minority groups, in fact all of the ethnic minority groups supported Labour a lot less even in 2010, but this did not yet make Labour worried.

"Looking at the 2014 figures I am hoping that all of you from the Labour party are shifting uncomfortably in your seats. This is a disaster.

"The percentage of people who identify with the Labour party is falling very fast."

The Conservatives, who only attracted 16 per cent of black and ethnic minority (BME) voters at the last election have, in recent years, set their sights on winning more over to counteract the losses they have made to Ukip. ...

However Dr Sobolewska says that although the Tories believe many BME voters should be "natural 'small c' Conservatives" they have had little luck winning over any of the voters leaving the Labour party.

She told the conference: "The Conservatives have been trying to win some of this vote because they think that ethnic minorities are natural small 'c' Conservatives.

"And they have been trying for a while, but they don't think for the effort they are putting in they are getting enough back - in fact they think what is going to happen to them is this so-called death by demographics that has been advertised as something that is already happening to the republicans in the US."
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
Illegals who fiddled £130,000 in benefits may stay in Britain
Daily Express, 26 December 2014

Two illegal immigrants who used false names to live in Britain for seven years and claim more than £130,000 in state handouts have escaped jail – and may even be allowed to stay here.

Mohammed Zakariya Wadiwala, 42, and his wife Zenabbibi, 44, from India, destroyed their passports and claimed asylum, saying they had been persecuted for their mixed religion marriage.

They are thought to have raked in up to £2,000 a month in benefits for themselves and their five children, three of whom were born in Britain.

Had their real names been known when they arrived in 2007 they would have been deported within a "months". Instead, the case "dragged on for years".

They are now appealing against deportation.

At Burnley Crown Court, the couple, of Blackburn, speaking through an Urdu interpreter, admitted fraud and were given two years jail, suspended for two years. ...

Their counsel Kenneth Hind claimed they had been persecuted in India and said friends and family in Britain told them to destroy their passports to have a better chance of staying here.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
Hungarian killer driver wins right to stay in Britain
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2014

A Hungarian man whose dangerous driving killed a British father has been allowed to remain in Britain thanks to European Union rules.

The man, who was jailed for four and a half years for the crime in 2011, had been told by the Home Office that he would be deported on his release from prison.

But he lodged an appeal and immigration judges ruled he could not be removed.

They said European Union rules only allow citizens of member states to be deported if they pose a "genuine, present" threat.

The case will trigger further concerns about Britain's ability to control its borders amid growing criticism of EU freedom of movement rules. ...

In the latest case, the Hungarian man – who can be identified only by the initials AZ after being granted anonymity by the court – killed the father after driving in a "reckless, foolish and irresponsible" manner. ...

AZ was jailed for four and a half years and banned from driving for five years.

European regulations say any criminal from another EU state must pose a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat" to be deported.

When AZ brought his appeal to the first-tier Immigration and Asylum Chamber, the judges said his case was not serious enough to justify deportation.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – BBC, MULTICULTURALISM
BBC's head of religion Aaqil Ahmed calls for more 'literacy' at the top
Ian Burrell
The Independent, 26 December 2014

The head of religious programmes at the BBC has complained that a lack of diversity and religious literacy at the top of British public service television is letting down modern audiences.

Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC's head of religion and ethics, complained of a "lack of religious literacy" in modern society and said viewers from minority faiths complained that television often failed to understand their beliefs and reflect them in its output. "We have got to do better," he said.

Mr Ahmed noted that census statistics showed that 2.7 million people in Britain and about one tenth of babies are born into the faith. "What [Muslim viewers] want is more programmes that explain what they believe in and more programmes where they see themselves," he said.

Highlighting the lack of religious diversity at senior levels of the industry, he said: "I'm not the first person to commission religious programmes for the BBC or Channel 4 but I'm the first person to have done [programmes on] the Koran and the life of Muhammad."

Noting that the UK is also home to substantial populations of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, Mr Ahmed said religious-based programming was a way for the BBC to connect with minority audiences. "One of the things we have seen in the research is that these hard-to-reach audiences think that religion is important," he said. ...

British television needed to broaden the range of backgrounds of key staff. "What we do need to get better at is finding more diverse presenters," he said.

As a leading member of the industry-wide Creative Diversity Network he has been working with Lenny Henry to persuade broadcasters to give wider training opportunities to those wanting to work as commissioning editors.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – FREE SPEECH
Japan needs a hate speech law now rather than 30 years in the future
Erik Bleich
The Asahi Shimbun, 25 December 2014
[Erik Bleich is a professor of political science and author of "The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism"]

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has rebuked Japan for its failure to pass and enforce laws against hate speech and racial discrimination. Although Japan's Supreme Court recently upheld a ruling against anti-Korean activists who engaged in hate speech, Japan lacks a well-established law that can be used to punish aggressive racist speech targeting vulnerable members of society. It needs one now.

Japan acceded to the United Nation's 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1995. At the time, it expressed reservations about enforcing the convention's Article 4 mandate to outlaw hate speech and hate groups. The government's rationale was that any restriction had to be compatible with the "guarantee of the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression and other rights under the Constitution of Japan."

Japan isn't the only country that has struggled with balancing the goals of upholding fundamental freedoms while also fighting damaging racism. The United States expressed a similar reservation when it ratified the U.N.'s International Convention, and its Supreme Court has steadfastly refused to allow any restrictions on racist statements made in public places. The United States places a priority on freedom of speech over the harm that may come from expressions of racism.

Most other liberal democracies have passed laws against hate speech. Germany did so in 1960, Great Britain in 1965 and France in 1972. These countries' laws recognize that freedom is a critical value, but so is human dignity and social stability. When people use their freedom to stir up hatred against others, it not only hurts the victims, it can also generate tensions within society. In a worst-case scenario, it can stigmatize groups in a way that leads to human rights abuses. ...

To give one example, French statutes prohibit abuse, defamation or provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence on the basis of ethnicity, nation, race or religion. They do not forbid offensive speech or controversial debates about issues of public policy. French law has served as a signal to members of society – both the powerful and the vulnerable – that freedom of speech ends when it creates a risk of promoting real harm.

France created its law expressly to bring the country into line with the requirements of the U.N.'s International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It now has more than a 40-year track record of enforcing it. While some skeptics may fear that courts would go too far in restricting speech, and others may wonder whether any convictions would emerge at all, the truth lies in the middle. The highest French criminal court reviewed 104 cases dealing with racist speech between 1972 and 2012.

It upheld restrictions against such speech 58 percent of the time. Although it is easy to disagree with some of their decisions, on the whole, judges have proven capable of distinguishing between speech that is offensive but protected, and that which is destructive and forbidden.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – WELFARE BENEFITS
The truth behind our political parties' immigration policy arms race
Anoosh Chakelian
New Statesman, 24 December 2014

This year has seen an immigration policy arms race among the main Westminster parties. But policy-wise, it's more specific than a question of who can generally talk the toughest on immigration. Each party has proposed policies on how far they would curb benefits for EU migrants. ...

This was all part of a political race to who could promise the fewest benefits for migrants. ...

But why attack immigrants via benefits, when they overwhelmingly move to Britain to work and study?

Ukip provides a simple answer to the question it poses about reducing net migration: it calls for Britain to exit the European Union. This would stop Britain being obliged to host EU migrants, as any renegotiation of our EU membership would be unlikely to overhaul the core freedom of movement principle.

So David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg – all of whom currently support the UK remaining in the EU – cannot realistically promise to block EU migrants from coming to Britain without coming out in favour of leaving the EU. So their only option is to come down increasingly harder on the welfare available to these migrants.

It's useful for Cameron et al that the only policy they can pursue in terms of immigration is most popular among voters. Polls recording attitudes to immigration have long shown that respondents see it as first and foremost a drain on the welfare state, ahead of any concerns about migrants taking their potential jobs. ...

This year's NatCen Social Research British Social Attitudes survey showed 61 per cent of British people think immigrants from the EU should have to wait three years or more before they are allowed to claim welfare benefits. And that was before Cameron mooted four years.

This perception doesn't reflect the reality of the situation; the concept of "benefits tourism" is a myth. While it is convenient for our politicians that the most popular approach to immigration policy – cracking down on benefits – is the one approach they can take without calling for Britain to leave the EU, this will cause problems in the long term. It is a "solution" to a problem that doesn't exist. Not only will it do little to change immigration numbers in the way the rhetoric suggests – it's also unlikely to change attitudes.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – UKIP
Nigel Farage: Only Ukip is going to stand against mass immigration
Nigel Farage
Daily Express, 24 December 2014

Suddenly, the other political parties are bounding up and down over immigration. Suddenly. Have you noticed?

Just 134 days before a general election, Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron are convening speeches, dossiers, and chucking around fanciful and in most cases unworkable "solutions" to what they now seem to regard as one of the most important issues before we go to the polls on May 7th.

Of course, the matter was not just totally ignored by the party that Ed Miliband served in government from 2006 to 2010 – in fact it was that very party that opened the doors to mass migration from Europe, only to wait until after they lost in 2010 to admit they made a spectacular "mistake" on the issue.

The Conservatives, on the same side of the argument, voted in favour of the accession to the European Union of a number of member states who now also enjoy the freedom of movement to Britain.

Effectively, trusting either of these parties on immigration is the same thing as trusting the Tories with the NHS, and trusting Labour with the economy. In other words: you must be barking mad to believe a word of it.

Labour will try and pretend, between now and May, that their 2004 decision was simply an "experiment" and that they have learned something along the way. But their "experiment" with our livelihoods has cost Britain and the British people so much – how could it not?

And they're still campaigning, as Mr Cameron is, for our continued membership and indeed for the expansion of the European Union. So what has it cost?

In 2000, the population of the United Kingdom was 58 million. In 2013 it was 64 million.

That's six million more people to cater for in just 13 years – and that's discounting the illegal immigrants that the Home Office now admits to not knowing much about.

Six million more people needing housing, six million more people potentially using trains, roads, the London Underground, the National Health Service, that potentially need benefits – and, yes, potentially six million more people contributing to the British economy. But that's where things get hazy – and where you're often sold information that isn't quite true.

Just like Labour's "experiment" line – statistics that emerge about open door immigration are often smoke and mirrors, perhaps funded by the European Union itself, as a recent University College London report was. Or perhaps mis-sold to you by political parties who have yet to grasp the nettle in terms of what the British public wants back: control.

But the control actually lies well outside Britain's purview – which is why for all the speeches the other parties give, for all the reluctant noises they make, you can't trust a word they say.

The European Union wields the power, and our partners across Europe know it.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – WORLD
What to Do About Slums
Josephine d'Allant
The Huffington Post, 23 December 2014

Eighty-five percent of the world's housing is built illegally. In cities across the Global South, this often takes the form of low-income neighborhoods that grow organically in areas where residents can access jobs, schools, and public services. ... Surabaya, Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nairobi lend insight into global efforts to address the challenges of informal settlements.

Surabaya's ongoing rapid urbanization brings hundreds of thousands of migrants to the city each year looking for work. Due to the lack of affordable housing, many of these migrants move illegally onto empty government land, often to areas around railway tracks. ...

In Delhi, when slum dwellings occupy land that is centrally located and strategic in terms of real estate, the government usually turns to a policy of demolitions. In the last ten years, most of Delhi's evicted slum dwellers have been resettled in the municipality's rural fringes, far away from their jobs and communities. ...

Ho Chi Minh's polluted inner-city canals have been home to the city's biggest slum communities for decades. Beginning in 1985, the government has followed a policy of resettlement, moving over 13,000 families into new houses in new communities. Surveys in 2009 revealed immense challenges facing resettled families, the most severe of which was the drop in income due to losing old jobs. Many families even opted to leave the "better" homes to return illegally to the informal settlements. ...

In Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, grassroots initiatives are improving the community in the absence of effective government solutions.

...

From remote resettlement to same-place resettlement, and from government-led upgrading to grassroots initiatives, it is clear that the debate on solutions for informal communities is a hotly contested one.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ISLAM, FRANCE
France embroiled in free speech row after Islamophobic TV presenter is sacked for saying Muslims 'should be deported to prevent civil war'
Dan Bloom
MailOnline, 23 December 2014

France is engulfed in a free speech row after a TV commentator was sacked for appearing to suggest all 5 million of the country's Muslims should be deported to prevent civil war.

The comments by Éric Zemmour, who has previously been convicted of inciting racial hatred, prompted outrage and led to him being dropped from an 11-year stint on a chat show.

But many sprang to the best-selling author's defence including the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who declared the move 'loathsome censorship'.

Mr Zemmour's interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera went largely unnoticed on the other side of the Alps for more than a month after it appeared in October.

It sparked a public debate, however, after the comments were picked up by former French education minister Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Although the original interview has been deleted from Corriere della Sera's website, it was copied and translated several times by people on both sides of France's political divide.

In the interview Mr Zemmour said Muslims 'live among themselves' in suburbs which French people have been forced to leave, according to one of his supporters.

The interviewer then asked: 'Then what are you suggesting? To deport 5 million French Muslims?'

Mr Zemmour is said to have replied: 'I know it's unrealistic, but history is often surprising.

'Who would have thought in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs [Europeans living in North Africa], twenty years later, would have left Algeria to return to France?

'Or that after the war five or six million Germans would leave Central-Eastern Europe where they had lived for centuries?'

The interviewer protested that Mr Zemmour was 'speaking of exoduses triggered by immense tragedies', to which he replied: 'I think we are heading for chaos.

'This situation of a people inside a people, of Muslims inside French people, will lead us to civil war.

'Millions of people live here in France and refuse to live in the French manner.' ...

On Friday the iTELE channel, where Mr Zemmour has made a regular appearance on a debating show since 2003, said it had cancelled the latest episode and he would no longer appear. ...

France's population of 5 million Muslims is the largest of any country in Europe, and France also has the largest Jewish diaspora on the continent.

Mr Zemmour's parents were Jewish Berbers who emigrated from Algeria in the 1950s.

His book The French Suicide, which argues France's identity is being destroyed by factors including immigration, homosexuality and feminism, has sold more than 250,000 copies.

In 2011 he was convicted of inciting racial hatred in France after telling a chat show most drug dealers were 'blacks and Arabs. That's a fact'.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ECONOMY, POPULATION, GERMANY
Immigration a 'losing game' according to German economist
Deutsche Welle, 23 December 2014

President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Hans-Werner Sinn, has rebuked a study's claims that immigrants are bringing money to Germany. The top economist said Germany is a "magnet for unqualified immigrants."

In a guest contribution to the Monday edition of the German Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, the president of the Munich-based research institute claimed that Germany's current immigration policy had several failures.

"Immigration as it currently stands is going wrong," Hans-Werner Sinn wrote.

According to researchers at the Ifo Institute, a study carried out by the Bertelsmann Foundation did not take expenses into account. The study, which was released in late November, came to the conclusion that foreigners living in Germany contributed in 2012 22 billion euros /.../ to the welfare state.

At the time of its release, the study caused somewhat of a stir in the media as it contradicted popular assumptions among the German population regarding the cost of migration.

In Monday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine, however, Sinn rebuked the study's claims, saying that "on the net balance sheet, immigration cost the state more in social costs and other issues than it brings in through taxes and social contributions."

A new calculation Ifo Institute claims that "every migrant costs 1,800 euros more per year than they contribute."

Sinn went on to accuse the media of misreading the Bertelsmann study last month.

"Ultimately, the study comes to a negative conclusion with an "implicit deficit" of 79,100 euros per migrant," Sinn wrote.

"Faced with this situation, we should finally begin a non-ideological debate on immigration policy which is not driven by the quest for political correctness," demanded the Ifo president.

"In future immigrants from non-EU countries should be selected by age, qualification, health, language skills and assets."

In the article, Sinn also warned against the dramatic social distortions caused by Germany's falling birthrate, claiming that 32 million young immigrants would be needed, most of them probably from outside of Europe, to stabilize the relation between old and young and to secure relative pension levels and contribution rates for pension insurance.

"However, it is difficult to imagine that German society could muster the strength and tolerance for such mass immigration. Already, the willingness of the population to accept the high number of refugees is limited, as PEGIDA and other protest movements have shown," warned the Ifo economist.

Therefore Sinn urged for an active population policy in a bid to increase the number of children in Germany. It needs "a fundamental and radical change" in "favor of families with children," Sinn said.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS
Frank Field: Labour and Tories will be 'broken up' by immigration
Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2014

Labour and the Conservatives could both break up because they have failed to recognise the scale of public feeling over immigration, a senior Labour MP has said.

Frank Field, a former welfare minister, suggested that increasing numbers of MPs will reject their own parties' policies on immigration and run for election making their own independent pledges of much tougher action.

Mr Field, an MP since 1979 and one of the most widely-respected members of the Commons, said neither Ed Miliband, his own leader, nor David Cameron, has done enough to answer public anger about mass immigration.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he also praised the UK Independence Party for "breaking the power of political correctness" over the issue of immigration.

Rejecting Labour's liberal approach to immigration under the last government, Mr Field has been a longstanding campaigner for much more restrictive entry rules.

Mr Field also has close ties with some Conservatives, running an immigration campaign with Sir Nicholas Soames, a senior Conservative MP. He was also a friend of Baroness Thatcher.

Criticising the leaderships of both parties for ignoring voters' concerns over immigration, Mr Field suggested that both the main parties could now effectively be destroyed by splits over how to respond. ...

"Immigration has the power that the Corn Laws did, to break up parties," Mr Field said.

Next year's general election will see "the beginning of the break up" as many MPs effectively offer voters their own personal manifesto on immigration, promising much tougher action than their official party manifestos.

"Many MPs will be making personal commitments on this. I shall be one of them. Others will too. They will want to survive."

Mr Field suggested that the main parties' real moment of reckoning will come in the 2020 general election, when voters will be able to judge them on how much they did to recast Britain's EU membership and restrict the right to free movement.

"The temporary restriction of immigration must be the cornerstone of our renegotiation," Mr Field said. "This election will be the beginning of the break up, but it is the election after next where the electorate will have a clear view of which parties supported it and which did not."

Mr Field said that the failure of the main parties to discuss immigration had fuelled the rise of Ukip.

"The denial of the issue has helped Ukip grow. It was thought that any talk about this was racist. Both parties have been responsible."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POLITICS, ITALY
Third of Italians back anti-immigrant Northern League
EUbusiness, 22 December 2014

More than one third of Italians – including many in the once-hostile south – are ready to vote for the anti-EU, anti-immigration Northern League, a poll showed Sunday.

Matteo Salvini, the youthful leader of the right-wing regional party, confirmed his status as the rising star of Italian politics with approval ratings of 35 percent in a Demos & Pi poll published by La Repubblica newspaper – up five per cent on November. ...

In fact, 19 percent of voters in the centre of the country said they would vote for it – one per cent higher than in its northern heartlands – with seven percent of southerners saying they would support it.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – BRITISH VALUES, RACISM, INTEGRATION
Enforcing "British values" is a convenient pretext for casual xenophobia and bigotry
Rabah Kherbane
New Statesman, 22 December 2014

Terms like "British values" even appear in government guideline documents. For example, aspects of schooling have been reformed to "actively promote British values."

Border control also makes reference to integration. In Appendix FM (Immigration Rules for family migrants) passing English language and citizenship tests is apparently sufficient evidence for integration.

However, the deliberate use of these terms is primarily a headline aimed at retaining popularity with certain demographics. It can also be a form of subsidiary justification for imposing more restrictive measures and border controls.

After all, there is no national policy framework on integration in the United Kingdom. Nor is there domestic legislation aimed specifically at what constitutes British values. ...

Outside the remit of government, these terms pose a greater threat. Perpetuated as a standard of sensibility by consistent political use, enforcing "British values" has become a convenient pretext for casual xenophobia and bigotry. It is natural to see baseless comments from far-right supporters alleging that multiculturalism will cause a genocide of British culture.

This is demonstrated by openly hostile articles and overwhelming support for comments which would otherwise be deemed unequivocally racist and intolerant. ...

For example, the wearing of traditional clothing, speaking another language in public, or refusing to partake in certain celebrations. Such "foreign" behaviours are frequently met with a scornful "integrate or leave". Radical measures are also increasingly being justified on the basis of "protecting culture".

Is it not ironic to use the maintenance of one cultural heritage as reason to destroy another?

"Integration" has a variety of meanings depending on the user. When Britain First say "integrate", it is not the same as the Tories saying so. Nevertheless, both imply an obligatory element of change in the migrant or minority's personal characteristics. This begs the question, how much change is necessary?

"British values" and "integration" undoubtedly go hand-in-hand. The controversy of what constitutes integration is largely due to "British values" having no consensus. If one were to objectively and fairly define British values, the requirements for integration would become obvious. ...

One such source emerges. It is a provision contained in an international treaty, ratified by (never revoked) and tacitly accepted by more than ten consecutive democratically elected British parliaments. Parliaments spanning views from every shade of the political spectrum

Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, binding on the UK since 1976 reads:



[States in] which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be deniedà their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.



British values evidently encourage multiculturalism. Therefore, integration would simply mean, as former Labour Home Secretary Roy Jenkins put it, "an atmosphere of mutual tolerance" (Rose-1969).

British or otherwise, the only aspect one may need to change to integrate, is their perspective.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – RACIALISM
Racism and Racialism Are Different [part 1]
Peter H. Schuck, Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus, Yale Law School
The Huffington Post, 22 December 2014

Our campuses, newspapers, sports commentary, and electronic media are filled with accusations of racism – most recently, against police departments and sports team owners. A WSJ/NBC poll conducted shortly after the highly-publicized police killings of unarmed black men finds that only 35% of blacks and 40% of whites think that race relations are very good or fairly good – a sharp drop from a 2013 Gallup poll in which 66% of blacks thought that race relations were very good or somewhat good. Even so, whites overwhelmingly favor racial equality even in the most intimate settings. (85% of whites support black-white marriage – twice the percentage as recently as 1990).

How can these two things – acute distress over race relations, and support for interracial marriage and equality – both be true? Several explanations for this paradox are possible. Perhaps whites more effectively conceal their anti-black bias from pollsters now, embedding it in social institutions. Perhaps they are unaware of their own bias, as some psychologists (including a new MacArthur genius award recipient) infer from experiments in which whites quickly exposed to identical black and white images respond more negatively to the black ones. Perhaps the genuine racists – former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, for example – are far more influential than their small share of the population would suggest. Indeed, even if only one in ten Americans are racists, that is still a lot of people.

These explanations surely have some validity, but another reason for the paradox seems even more likely: widespread confusion between racism, which is hostility to blacks based on their supposed inferiority, and what I call racialism, which is a heightened consciousness of the race of others. It is easy to conflate them; dictionaries often define them as synonyms, and distinguishing them empirically is very hard. But they are crucially different. Racism is irrational, contemptible, and toxic. Racialism is rational, morally neutral, and inevitable in a society with our history of slavery, discrimination, and white-black social differences in so many areas.

Whether people are animated by guilt, observation of blacks' pervasive disadvantages, or the racially stratified nature of almost all of our institutions, they would have to be mad or willfully blind not to be racialist – and callous not to sympathize with the plight of blacks and other subordinated groups.

If whites describe this social reality truthfully, they will inevitably say racialist things, which will seem racist to those unaware of the distinction or ideologically inclined to ignore it. Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson, for example, was forced to sell his team after he sent an email that on its face indicated only a belief that some white fans prefer white cheerleaders and neighboring seatholders to black ones and that this may reduce Hawks' ticket sales. This belief may or may not be true (one hopes it isn't), but it could be true – and if so, Levenson should not have been pilloried for saying it. Absent evidence of his own hostility to blacks, merely opining on others' views and their financial effects is racialist, not racist.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – RACIALISM
Racism and Racialism Are Different [part 2]
Peter H. Schuck, Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus, Yale Law School
The Huffington Post, 22 December 2014

Similarly, the psychology experiments finding differences in split-second reactions to images of people of different races might reveal racism. But it might instead show only that the subjects were as racialist as most other whites (and probably most blacks as well) in their acute awareness of America's pervasive racial disparities. For all we know, they may ardently want to reduce those disparities. We all entertain many stereotypes, including racial ones, based on perceived probabilities, not hostility. Probabilities, by definition, are true much of the time but not always. Sometimes, we must make quick decisions with no information other than probabilities – but absent hostility, this bespeaks racialism, not racism. Jesse Jackson famously said that if he were walking down the street, heard footsteps behind him, and feared robbery, he would be relieved to see that the person was white.

Life presents countless examples of such racialism. None of us can escape them, but we can resist using them invidiously. The law and our own moral beliefs tell us that we must treat people as individuals, not statistics. In the workplace, for example, employers are legally required to individualize hiring decisions rather than rely on stereotypes – even statistically accurate ones. But the law still distinguishes between racism and racialism by allowing employers who do not hire candidates from protected groups to negate the inference of bias by proving legitimate reasons for not hiring them in individual cases.

A just society must struggle to reduce unfair disparities between racial groups. At the same time, we should respect the difference between merely acknowledging disparities and wanting to maintain them out of hostility. It is often challenging to treat people as individuals rather than lazily apply negative group stereotypes. Fortunately, Americans of good will manage to do so every day, while running the risk that their mere awareness of the other's race will backfire. Accusing racialists of racism makes a tough problem much worse because it indicts everyone, blacks included. If mere awareness of race in a racially differentiated society condemns us, then we have no defense and no remedy; we are all guilty and helpless. This is a recipe for endless misunderstanding, recrimination, strife, and misplaced guilt – not social progress.

Our much-urged "conversation about race problems" should put this on the agenda.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – WORKERS FROM TURKEY
UK loses bid to opt out of benefits deal with Turkey: Ruling could lead to higher spending on welfare payments and pensions for immigrants
Mail on Sunday, 21 December 2014

Britain could be forced to pay benefits to more Turkish migrants and their families after losing yet another EU court case.

The UK had argued it should be allowed to opt out of an agreement giving workers from Turkey the same benefit rights as those from the EU.

Ministers feared the Brussels 'power grab' would make Britain an even more attractive destination for immigrants and would lead to higher spending on welfare payments and pensions.

It took the European Commission to court in a last-ditch attempt to get out of the deal.

But in a ruling quietly announced last week, Britain lost the case and was told by judges at Europe's highest court it could not opt out.

It means any Turks who are allowed to come to Britain to work will be able to claim benefits for themselves and their families as well as building up pensions, which they could then transfer back to their home countries if they retire there.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: 'The British public quite rightly expect that those who come here should contribute.

'We will be examining the full implications of the ruling.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ISLAMISATION, FRANCE
Sacking of Islamophobic television presenter provokes free-speech row in France
John Lichfield
The Independent on Sunday, 21 December 2014

France has been split down the middle by the sacking of the nation's favourite – and at the same time most detested – hard-right, Islamophobe misogynist.

Eric Zemmour was dismissed by the 24-hour news channel i-Télé after telling – or seeming to tell – an Italian journalist that France's estimated five million Muslims should be "deported" to avoid "chaos and civil war". ...

With the radio station RTL also under pressure to dismiss Zemmour from his twice-weekly commentary slot, the fate of the provocative journalist and author has become the hottest issue in French politics. Zemmour, 56, a Jew of Algerian origin, could therefore be said to have disproved his own pet theory.

His book Le Suicide Français has sold 250,000 copies in the past three months. It claims that France's core identity has been destroyed by immigration, feminism, homosexuality, Europe, free trade and excessive, unnecessary guilt about the persecution of Jews in the Second World War.

The controversy surrounding the scrapping of Zemmour's programme on i-Télé suggests that, au contraire, France remains France.

In few other countries would the sacking of a political commentator arouse such passions. In few countries, would politicians on both sides of the left-right divide have defended Zemmour's right to freedom of speech.

The row is also typically French in being partly semantic. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Zemmour said the removal of France's Muslim population seemed "unrealistic" but might be necessary to avoid "chaos and civil war".

The interview went unnoticed until it was picked up and translated by the hard-left French politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon. On his blog, Mr Mélenchon said Zemmour had called for the "deportation" of all French Muslims, many of whom are second or third-generation French citizens.

In France, "deportation" carries dark overtones of the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews and other French citizens sent to Nazi deathcamps during the war. Zemmour protested that he had never used the word.

The Italian journalist who conducted the interview pointed out that the word "deport" was in his question, as published, not in Zemmour's reply. The word in Italian – deportare – was the normal word for "repatriate", he said.

Senior figures in the Socialist-led French government nonetheless questioned whether Zemmour should be allowed to remain in his three slots as a TV and radio commentator on current affairs. They pointed out that he was, in effect, raising the desirability of the forced repatriation of one in 12 of the French population.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE
Scandal of the 400,000 migrants 'missing' throughout Britain
Martyn Brown and Macer Hall
Daily Express, 20 December 2014

The immigration crisis is in "intensive care" with the number of migrants who are missing or caught in a massive backlog is enough to fill the city of Cardiff.

The total, almost 400,000, is highlighted in a Commons report, which comes after Britain's border chief John Vine lashed out at the Home Office's handling of immigration yesterday, saying it "isn't good enough" at removing illegals.

A day earlier Mr Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders, had revealed that more than 173,000 foreign nationals had overstayed their visas in the UK after 2008 and some 89,000 of those have vanished.

The true scale of the problem is far worse, says the damning assessment published today by the Home Affairs Select Committee. It says that the backlog of "unresolved" immigration cases – those involving people who have applied for asylum or citizenship but whose ases have yet to be dealt with – is now out of control and officials have lost track of 393,222 migrants.

It also criticises ministers for failing to achieve the Government's promised reduction in net immigration because they underestimated EU migration levels. Keith Vaz, chairman of the committee, said: "Following John Vine's recent report, it was estimated that the number of missing migrants in the UK had reached 89,000.

"Added to the backlog of cases currently being dealt with at the Home Office, which is 304,222, this brings the total number of unresolved immigration cases to 393,222, which is more than the population of Cardiff.

In addition to this is the Government's missed immigration target. Our immigration system has left A&E and has entered intensive care."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE, BORDER CONTROLS
Immigration system in intensive care, warns Keith Vaz
BBC, 20 December 2014

The UK's immigration system is in "intensive care", the chair of a parliamentary committee has warned.

Keith Vaz criticised ministers over exit checks, missing migrants and the use of a single immigration target.

The Home Affairs Select Committee report on UK immigration directorates raised "serious doubts" over plans to bring in exit checks on all those leaving the UK by next April. ...

One of the key areas of concern was the government's plans to introduce exit checks at British ports.

Mr Vaz said MPs had been assured that, by April 2015, a new system of "departure lists" would be in place for all passengers leaving the UK - but the report says this "no longer looks likely".

Failure to meet the target on time would "give rise to the twin perils of increased security risks and illegal migration", Mr Vaz said.

It follows more than a decade of problems and delays in the "e-borders" project, a scheme devised by the Labour government in 2003 to count everyone in and out of the UK by collecting advanced passenger information.

Mr Vaz said: "Successive governments have spent millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on the botched e-borders programme. ...

In its report on the immigration directorates formed when the UK Border Agency was split into two parts, the committee criticised the Home Office over the target to reduce net migration to fewer than 100,000.

It said this was "too blunt" and "unwieldy".

The report said: "No government of whatever political formation can control the number of people who voluntarily wish to leave the country.

"This raises questions about future immigration policy. An arbitrary target set by ministers, however well-intentioned, only serves to reduce public confidence in the ability of any government to deliver a future pledge on immigration." ...

The committee also attacked the Home Office for "poor record-keeping" over foreign nationals convicted of a criminal offence.

"The public simply cannot understand why people convicted of a criminal offence in our country who are of different nationality are either still in the UK in prison and have not been sent back to their home country, or are at large in the community," Mr Vaz said.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Don't say 'illegal immigrants': Whitehall prefers 'clandestine entrants' or 'irregular migrants' to avoid 'connotations'
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 20 December 2014

The Home Office risks accusations of political correctness after saying that foreigners sneaking into Britain should not be referred to as illegal immigrants.

The department said those trying to get into Britain unlawfully should be referred to as 'clandestine entrants'.

The debate about the correct term to use was ignited after John Vine, the independent immigration watchdog, described them as 'irregular migrants'.

It comes after it emerged almost 3,000 attempts to enter Britain are made each month by illegal immigrants.

The number, which has almost quadrupled in just three years, does not take into account those who made it into Britain undetected. ...

Mr Vine appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today to discuss how the number of illegals attempting to reach Britain had soared in 2014 and described them as 'irregular migrants'.

Referring to inspection reports on the immigration system, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration said: 'We found that people found in lorries were being released to the French authorities but no record was being kept of who they were.

'And of course these people when they try again and very often succeed in getting into the UK as irregular migrants, the authorities in Britain have no record of who they are.'

The Home Office later said that the preferred term for 'illegal immigrants' was 'clandestine entrants'.

A spokesman said: 'If you say 'illegal immigrants' there is a presumption and connotations that they have done something wrong. There are other reasons people come to this country by illegal methods, for instance because they are trafficked or organised crime groups.'
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – BORDER SECURITY
3,000 migrants a month caught trying to enter Britain
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2014

The number of times migrants have been caught trying to enter Britain illegally has almost quadrupled over the past three years and reached nearly 3,000 a month, according to official figures.

The Home Office on Thursday disclosed that 11,920 entry attempts were detected at Calais and British ports in the first four months of this year alone – equivalent to almost 100 a day.

Migration experts said that Britain is one of the most "attractive" destinations for migrants in the World and suggested that many more illegal immigrants are likely to have successfully made it into Britain. ...

The figures, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request, show that in 2011/12 migrants were caught trying to enter Britain a total of 9,632 times, a figure which by last year had almost doubled reaching 19,003.

This year the number has risen sharply, and at current rates could exceed more than 35,000 by the end of the year.

Experts said that migrants were attracted by Britain's unregulated labour market, the ability to get free health care on the NHS and relatively generous welfare system. ...

Mr Vine said in his final annual report before stepping down that he was concerned by evidence of the Home Office's shortcomings. It was "frustrating and disappointing" to encounter the same problems "over and over again", he added. ...

He said: "I still find too much evidence that the Home Office does not get the basics right. This includes the quality and consistency of decision making but also having caseworkers with the right skills, aligning resources to the right priorities and having high quality management information that provides a sound basis on which to make decisions on future strategy and resourcing.

"It can be both frustrating and disappointing, when I encounter the same issues over and over again."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – HUNGARY
Hungary Is New Hot Spot on Migrant Route Into EU
Pablo Gorondi
ABC News / Associated Press, 19 December 2014

With the Mediterranean Sea becoming too treacherous and other routes blocked by barbed-wire fences, would-be migrants are taking a new route into the Europe Union: through Hungary.

Coming from as far away as Afghanistan and Syria and as near as Kosovo and Albania, thousands of migrants a week are crossing into Hungary and requesting asylum, turning the country into an EU transit hot spot.

The surging number of immigrants has encouraged far-right and anti-Islam movements across Western Europe. It is also causing strains in remote places like Asotthalom, a Hungarian village near the border with Serbia, where a trickle of migrants three years ago has turned into a flood.

The situation this year "has become practically unbearable," said village mayor Laszlo Toroczkai.

This summer he formed a team of rangers who spend most of their time picking up migrants, who are taken to a police station in the city of Szeged where most apply for asylum in Hungary. Then, just as migrants entering the EU from Italy do, they continue on to Germany, Sweden or elsewhere in Western Europe where they hope to make new lives or join relatives who have already made it.

"A lot of people come and they want to be caught," said Kitty McKinsey, spokeswoman for the UNHCR Regional Representation in Central Europe. "They file for asylum and they go to what are called open reception centers and then a lot of them do frankly disappear into Western Europe."

Lt. Col. Gabor Eberhardt, chief of the border police in Szeged, said this year proceedings were launched against more than 26,000 people of 61 nationalities for illegal border crossings in his territory. That compares to 34 in 2004, the year Hungary joined the EU.

Hungary has seen 35,000 asylum requests so far this year, compared to 18,900 in 2013, and the flow of migrants has soared in the last few months. There were 683 asylum requests in March but 9,125 in November and a projected 12,500 in December.

About half of these asylum requests were migrants from Kosovo, south of Hungary's border with Serbia. ...

The second-largest asylum group to Hungary this year was 7,400 people from Afghanistan, followed by 6,600 from war-torn Syria.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – REPATRIATION
Files on missing migrants were left to rot in boxes: More than 260,000 foreigners thought to have overstayed visas
James Slack
Daily Mail, 18 December 2014

More than 220,000 files on immigrants who should have been removed from Britain were found rotting in boxes in back rooms in yet another Home Office scandal.

Overall, the number of migrants who are suspected of overstaying their visas has now hit a staggering 263,000.

Yet, according to the chief inspector of immigration John Vine, little or no progress is being made in clearing the backlog.

A private firm paid £12.7 million by the Home Office to improve removals has managed to repatriate less than one per cent of immigrants contacted.

Tactics used by Capita included sending text messages which, in many cases, were simply ignored.

The latest Vine report – which Theresa May's Home Office has been sitting on for months – examined the department's so-called migration refusal pool, or MRP. This contains migrants who, since 2008, have overstayed their visas.

Despite ministers promising to clear the backlog, the MRP still contained 173,562 in the three months to June this year, compared to 174,057 in the same period two years earlier. As fast as a case is cleared up, a new one is added.

However, in a new debacle, Mr Vine said that he had also been made aware of a further 223,600 records, pre-dating December 2008, which ministers had not previously disclosed.

Government sources said the files – which date from the New Labour years, when the immigration system was in chaos – had been found piled up in meeting rooms and cupboards at centres in Sheffield and elsewhere.

Incredibly, some documents were found dumped at the bottom of a disused lift shaft, insiders said.

Many of the files contained duplicate records, but among the pre-2008 pool are an estimated 89,000 over-stayers who are still here.

Added to the almost 174,000 migrants in post-2008 pool, it gives a total of 263,000 – which is the equivalent of the population of Stoke-on-Trent.

While much of the debacle took place under Labour, Coalition efforts to fix the mess have been faltering according to Mr Vine – who last week revealed how the Home Office had been granting citizenship to foreign criminals and illegal immigrants.

The Home Office signed a contract with outsourcing giant Capita to review and, where possible, close the records of migrants in the MRP. But the deal – worth a potential £40 million – has saved the taxpayer far less than anticipated. In around 60,000 cases, migrants could not even be traced.

The inspection also found there were 'significant inaccuracies' in Capita's records – with the number of departures it claimed credit for overstated by more than 1,140 in 2013/14. This represents more than a quarter of Capita's 4,080 'successes'.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – EU LAW
European court ruling threat to Britain's borders
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2014

Britain has been told to change its immigration rules by European Union judges over a controversial case allowing EU citizens to bring foreign relatives to this country.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, which interprets EU law, said Britain cannot block non-EU family members from entering the country without a travel permit, providing they are settled in another EU country.

The decision potentially opens Britain's borders to large numbers of non-EU nationals who live with Britons, or other EU nationals, across Europe.

It comes after Sean McCarthy, a dual British and Irish national who lives and works in Spain, and his wife, Patricia McCarthy Rodriguez, a Colombian citizen, lodged legal action against Britain.

Mrs McCarthy claimed she should be allowed to travel to Britain with her family without having to obtain a British visa because she holds an EU residence card issued by the Spanish government.

However, the British Government had required Mrs McCarthy to obtain a "family permit" visa every six months if she wanted to come here.

The ECJ ruled in the McCarthys' favour stating that freedom of movement rules do not allow measures which preclude family members from entering a member state without a visa.

The court ruled: "Where a family member of an EU citizen who has exercised his right of freedom of movement is in a situation such as that of Ms McCarthy Rodriguez, that family member is not subject to the requirement to obtain a visa or an equivalent requirement in order to be able to enter the territory of that EU citizen's member state of origin." ...

Britain introduced the visa regime because it had concerns that othe EU member states' residence cards do not meet international security standards and therefore could be used to abuse EU freedom of movement rules.

A Government spokesman said: "The UK is disappointed with the judgment in this case.

"It is right to tackle fraud and the abuse of free movement rights.

"As the case is still to return to the UK's High Court for a final judgment, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT – EU RULES
British job ads for British workers: Ministers tear up rules forcing all Jobcentre vacancies to be advertised across the EU
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 18 December 2014

Britons are to get first sight of tens of thousands of job vacancies after ministers demanded an end to adverts being placed across the EU.

Brussels rules used to mean that any jobs advertised on the government's Universal Jobmatch had to be broadcast on an EU-wide website used by migrants looking for work.

But a deal struck between member states means that the jobs will now only be seen outside the UK if employers request it.

Universal Jobsearch was launched in November 2012, and more than 7 million people have registered to use it.

More than 4 million searches are carried out every day, with half a million vacancies on the site.

It replaced the old system of jobcentres advertising vacancies on cards in their windows.

However, EU rules meant that any of the adverts uploaded by 500,000 employers were replicated on an EU-wide jobs portal called 'EURES'.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE
Fury as Home Office 'loses' 174,000 illegal immigrants: Scathing dossier to reveal three quarters of foreigners who were refused permission to stay in the UK have vanished
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 17 December 2014

The Home Office has lost track of 174,000 illegal immigrants and is struggling to find them, a report will warn today.

The dossier, which Home Secretary Theresa May has been accused of suppressing, is set to say that three-quarters of foreigners refused permission to stay in Britain have vanished.

The scandal of huge numbers of 'over-stayers' – migrants who remain in the UK even though their visas have expired – will be exposed in a scathing study by the independent immigration watchdog.

John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, highlighted the fiasco as the latest in a string of glaring gaps in border controls.

Mr Vine, who has clashed with Mrs May over the timing of the release of several reports, is expected to reveal today that pre-December 2008, about 232,000 foreigners had applications for visa extensions to allow them to live in the UK rejected.

The UK Border Agency – now replaced by the Border Force – should have ensured they left the country, but out of that number, only 58,000 have been tracked down, and either forced to go home or are awaiting deportation. It means 174,000 illegal 'overstayers' could not be found. Mr Vine's report is also expected to say that 80 per cent of students who are given visas to study here for four years do not leave after that period elapses. Some 85 per cent of sham marriage grooms are students, the Mail has been told. Officials have also failed to carry out basic checks on more than 200,000 migrants applying for British citizenship every year. ...

Earlier this year, MPs accused Home Office officials who admitted they had no idea where the missing immigrants and failed asylum seekers were of 'unacceptable complacency'. Despite being ordered out of the country, many had 'gone to ground' and were working in the so-called black economy, illegally claiming benefits and even voting in elections, the Commons' public accounts committee found.

MPs said the shambles had worsened and called for 'urgent steps' to sort out the 'mess'.

It is understood there are an additional 3,000 illegal immigrants who need to be removed every week, a figure that does not include foreign offenders or refugees whose request for asylum has been rejected.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – HOUSING
One in 10 council houses is occupied by a foreigner
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2014

Nearly one in 10 council houses is occupied by a foreigner, according to official figures.

The proportion of council houses occupied by British tenants has now fallen from 94 per cent in the final year of the last Labour Government to just 91 per cent.

The figures mean that occupation of council houses by foreigners in England is now at its highest level since at least 2006/7, with 27,000 homes lived in by foreigners.

The figures also show that the number of homes occupied by Eastern Europeans had doubled since the Coalition was formed in 2010 to four percent. ...

Frank Field MP and Sir Nicholas Soames MP, co-chairmen of the Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration, said: "The proportion of social housing going to non-British nationals continues to increase.

"This nationwide figure of one in ten disguises local variations where the impact has been much higher. A stronger priority for social housing should be given to long-standing local residents." ...

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said that the figures would fall next year after new measures introduced by the Government.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – COSTS, SCHOOLS
Schools struggling with influx of Roma children who can't speak English: One primary has seen numbers rise from 4 to 99
Laura Clark
Daily Mail, 17 December 2014

Schools are struggling to cope with an influx of Roma children from Eastern Europe who arrive unable to speak English, Ofsted warned yesterday.

Inspectors said schools were hampered by a lack of resources to meet the 'wide-ranging needs' of new arrivals who may never have experienced formal education.

They said some pupils were unfamiliar with school routines and behaviour expectations. Many also needed intensive help to learn English but schools were struggling to find enough bilingual staff to teach them. ...

Ofsted warned that school budgets were being put under strain by the cost of extra provision.

At one school in Derby, the number of Roma pupils rose from four to 99 – almost a third of its roll – in three years.

The watchdog urged the Government to ensure that funding for schools was more responsive to fluctuations in the pupil population. However, inspectors found no negative effect on the achievement of other pupils.

The report follows visits to 11 schools in Manchester, Sheffield and Derby – where there have been large increases in the number of Roma pupils from Eastern Europe after border controls were relaxed.

In Sheffield, numbers rose from 100 to 2,100 in five years. Derby's Roma pupil population tripled to 600 between 2009 and 2013. Manchester has an estimated 800 Roma pupils. Nationally, the number of gipsy and Roma pupils in schools has risen 14 per cent in a year to 19,000.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Mass migration threat to civilised Britain says David Davis
Tim Iredale
BBC, 17 December 2014

Former Europe minister David Davis has called for a cap on the number of EU migrants coming to the UK.

The senior Conservative MP said mass immigration had put unprecedented strain on education, health and jobs.

The former shadow home secretary also warned that migration was putting too much pressure on certain communities.

In an interview with BBC Look North, David Davis, said: "We are a tolerant nation. We accept people with open arms, but this challenges that.

"From the point of view of maintaining a civilised society, we need to change the rules and that has to be one of the conditions of us staying in the EU."
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Why illegal migrants can laugh at the law
Daily Mail, 17 December 2014
[Leading article]

Another week, another devastating report on the hapless Home Office's inability to cope with the vast numbers who abuse our immigration system.

Last Thursday, chief borders inspector John Vine exposed how hundreds of thousands of British passports have been handed out to illegal settlers, including violent criminals, without any checks.

Today, the Mail reveals he has also laid bare officials' failure to deport scores of thousands specifically refused permission to remain in this country.

In a report that the Home Office has been shamefully sitting on for months, and now hopes to sneak out on the eve of MPs' Christmas recess, he finds that 174,000 of those ordered to leave Britain before 2009 have never been traced.

Meanwhile, an extraordinary 80 per cent of those who arrived on student visas failed to return home at the end of their courses – while 85 per cent of grooms in sham marriages are foreign students.

Most striking of all, Mr Vine finds that forcibly removing one illegal migrant costs taxpayers an average of £18,000.

With 3,000 more joining the queue for deportation each week, this means the cost of removing a year's worth would be nearly £3 billion – or a third of the Home Office's annual budget. No wonder our terminally incompetent officials give up.

Belatedly, politicians have begun competing to suggest tougher rules on migration. But until they devise cheap and effective ways to enforce existing laws, their words will be mere hot air.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – RECORDS
Foreign criminals' DNA and fingerprint records must be destroyed by police
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2014

Thousands of foreign crime suspects have had their DNA and fingerprint samples deleted from British databases because police are barred from storing details of offenders convicted abroad, it has emerged.

A watchdog said the public may be at risk because of the "obviously unsatisfactory state of affairs" which forces police to destroy the biometric samples.

It means the samples – which play a crucial role in detecting crime – cannot be retained indefinitely on prolific criminals who have committed offences abroad and then come to Britain.

Police are only allowed to store the biometrics when the offender has been convicted or if officers decide to go back and take new samples, by which time the suspect may be "untraceable", according to the new report.

In one case police had to delete samples from a burglary suspect because he had not been convicted here, even though he had served 13 years for similar offences in another, unnamed, European country, the watchdog said.

Alastair MacGregor QC, the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material, warned that recent reforms by the Home Office may not solve the problem.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ISLAM, FRANCE
France to have Muslim president in 2022, predicts Michel Houellebecq
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2014

France's most famous living novelist, Michel Houellebecq, appears on course for a fresh literary polemic after it emerged his next book predicts a Muslim will beat the far-Right Front National to run the country in 2022.

Few details had previously emerged about the latest work of France's literary enfant terrible, who shot to global fame with Atomised and recently won France's top literary award, Le Goncourt, for The Map and the Territory.

But on Tuesday, it was reported that his next book, out on January 7, is called Submission – a reference to Islam and the submission of infidels to Allah through conversion to the religion. ...

France has the highest Muslim population in Europe, estimated to be between five to six million people. Pew research recently predicted that 30 per cent of the French population would be Muslim by 2030.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – NUMBERS ARRIVING AND LEAVING
Why don't we know how many migrants are entering and leaving the UK?
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 17 December 2014

About 100 million people enter the UK every year, and about 100 million leave. Net migration – involving those who come here to stay or leave for at least a year – is a tiny fraction of that, estimated at 260,000 last year. So last year there were 260,000 more immigrants than emigrants.

The accuracy of that net migration estimate is limited – it's based on a survey of just 4,000-5,000 migrants interviewed at ports, and that means there's a large grey area. It could very easily be nearly 40,000 less than that in reality, or 40,000 more. Little wonder, then, that it's been described as "little better than a best guess" by Public Administration Select Committee Chair Bernard Jenkin MP.

To that you might well ask: "why not just count everyone in and count everyone out?" And you wouldn't be alone: it used to be an aspiration shared by government, statisticians and politicians alike. It still is in some cases, but delays, management problems and data issues have made this a more distant prospect.

So how have we got here? Who are we counting now? And can we count people entering and leaving our country in future?

In 1994, the Conservative government of the time partially scrapped exit checks on passengers leaving the UK. In 1998, the Labour government finished the job. Those decisions have provided the background to often-heard criticisms that successive governments stopped 'counting people in and counting people out'.

The justification at the time was that the then paper-based checks amounted to "an inefficient use of resources and that they contribute little to the integrity of the immigration control", according to the Home Office.

Since then, the prospect of reintroducing exit checks electronically has gained widespread favour. For the past decade, pledges to reintroduce the checks have been made repeatedly, while the timetable for actually doing so has been repeatedly pushed back. ...



Gordon Brown, April 2010: "border controls have been brought in and we're counting people out and in from the end of this year"

Coalition Programme for Government: "We support E-borders and will reintroduce exit checks."

David Cameron, November 2014: "We have also brought back vital exit checks at ports and airports"

Ed Miliband, December 2014: "We will introduce those [proper entry and exit] checks"



The government has rarely been explicit on how exactly it would implement such checks. Initially a programme called 'e-borders' was assumed to be the answer. ...

Starting in 2008, it was expected to gather an increasing proportion of passenger data, culminating in 95% coverage by the end of 2010 (reflecting Gordon Brown's claim above) and 100% coverage by 2014. In fact, by 2010 only about 60% of passengers were being recorded and today about 80% are.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION – RACISM
Boris hits out at xenophobia after complaints London is too crowded
Joseph Watts
Evening Standard (London), 16 December 2014

Boris Johnson today said that those complaining of overcrowding in London should ask themselves if they would feel the same if the extra bodies were "white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant babies".

The Mayor of London challenged people to say what they were "really calling for" when they made their complaints.

Mr Johnson recently complained of xenophobia in the UK debate about immigration on his Far East tour.

Speaking on the BBC London call-in show, the Mayor argued that it was not the UK's approach to have Chinese-style one-child policies.

Instead he said a larger number of people was needed to sustain a growing economy and help pay for the UK's ageing population. When it was put to him that people wanted blocks on immigration, he agreed the state should control its frontiers.

But he went on: "How would people feel if the population pressure was caused entirely by white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant babies?

"How would they feel about that...there's a lack of clarity about that and people need to ask themselves what they really [think]."

Mr Johnson said that the UK needed "a proper conversation" about what the ultimate size of Britain should be.

He went on: "We are now at 62 million... is that too many? If it is too many then by how many would people like that number to be reduced, and how would they like it to be reduced?

"What are they seriously calling for?"
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – PUBLIC OPINION, GERMANY
15,000 join anti-Islam protest in eastern Germany
Frank Zeller
Yahoo! News / AFP, 16 December 2014

A record 15,000 people marched Monday in eastern Germany against "asylum cheats" and the country's "Islamisation" in the latest show of strength of a growing far-right populist movement.

Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier cautioned Germans against falling prey to xenophobic "rabble-rousing", reacting to the nascent movement called "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident" or PEGIDA.

"The people are with us!," the group's founder Lutz Bachmann shouted at the crowd, celebrating a 50-percent rise in attendance since their last "Monday demonstration" in a series of rallies that started only in October.

"Everywhere now, in every news rag, on every senseless talkshow, they are debating, and the most important thing is: the politicians can no longer ignore us!" Bachmann told the mass of people, many waving the black-red-gold national flag. ...

The demonstrations have flared at a time when Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has become the continent's top destination for asylum seekers, and the world's number two destination for migrants after the United States.

The influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and several African and Balkan countries has strained local governments, which have scrambled to house the newcomers in old schools, office blocks and army barracks.

One demonstrator, Michael Stuerzenberger, said he does not oppose asylum for refugees but asserted that "70 percent of people claiming political asylum here are economic refugees. We don't want to stay silent about this anymore."

"We don't want a flood of asylum seekers, we don't want Islamisation. We want to keep our country with our values. Is that so terrible? Does that make us Nazis? Is it a crime to be a patriot?" ...

Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the marches "bring shame" on the country, and that Germany is experiencing an "escalation of agitation against immigrants and refugees", a trend he labelled "repugnant and abhorrent". ...

More than 1,200 police kept a close watch on the non-violent crowd and on about 6,000 counter-protesters nearby marching under the banners "Dresden Nazi-free" and "Dresden for All", organised by civic, political and church groups.

Most protesters claimed they are not neo-Nazis, just patriots.

"To call these people sick with fear, Islamophobic, is outrageous," said an Austrian protester, Lana Gabriel, in her 40s. "They are not far-right. They just love the country and its traditions." ...

A survey for news website Zeit Online showed that nearly half of all Germans – 49 percent – sympathised with PEGIDA's stated concerns and 30 percent indicated they "fully" backed the protests' aims.

Almost three in four – 73 percent – said they worried that "radical Islam" was gaining ground and 59 percent said Germany accepted too many asylum seekers.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ETHNICITIES, POPULATION, USA
White Americans to become minority by 2044 thanks to ageing population while Hispanics will make up a quarter of U.S. citizens
Chris Pleasance
MailOnline, 16 December 2014

White people will be a minority in the U.S. by 2044 while the rest of the population will be a mixture of different ethnicities, according to a new survey.

The next 30 years will see an ageing white population reduced from 75 per cent of U.S. citizens today to 49.7 per cent in 2044, the first year minorities will outnumber whites.

In the same time period the Hispanic population will soar from 16 per cent today to 25 per cent, while the Asian population will nearly double from 4 per cent to 7.9 per cent.

While whites will still be the single largest ethnic group in America by 2044, when all the minorities are added together, it will form a 'majority minority' population.

That trend will continue into 2060 when white people will make up around 44 per cent of Americans, according to research by Brookings Institution.

As younger generations opt for having fewer children, and delay parenthood into later life, deaths will begin to outnumber births in the white population by 2025, when numbers will start to decline. ...

Guy Garcia, a spokesman for researchers Ethnifacts, told the Latin Post: 'Thirty percent all grandparents in America have a grandchild of a different race or ethnicity, and the diversity in this country is growing in so many ways, we are just starting to get a grasp on those changes.

'Gay parents, when they adopt, there is a high rate of multicultural adoptions. We have all these new variation and permutations of the American family.

'It's going to continue to happen, and the highest growth is coming from people of color, but they are mixing and merging and having children with people of every race, and it is going to continue to be that way.'
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Labour immigration document: shadow cabinet claims it was unaware of leaked advice to candidates
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

Labour's shadow cabinet are said to have been unaware of a leaked strategy report warning MPs not to campaign on immigration and are reportedly "incandescent" that it was circulated through the party.

The internal election strategy report sent out to MPs who are in danger of losing votes to the UK Independence Party by Labour headquarters warned that the bigger immigration becomes as a campaign issue, the more votes the party would lose.

Instead Labour MPs were told to move the conversation on to other topics suchg as health care or housing and away from border controls and immigration.

The shadow cabinet are now rounding on the party's election strategy team, which includes Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, Spencer Livermore and Lucy Powell, for allowing a document to be written and circulated which goes directly against the party's public message in recent weeks. ...

Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary and one of Ed Miliband's closest allies, said she had never seen the document although she then insisted it had been taken out of context.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Revealed: Labour MPs told not to campaign on immigration in secret Ukip strategy document
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

Labour MPs have been secretly ordered not to campaign on immigration because doing so could cost them the next election, the Telegraph can reveal.

A private strategy document circulated by Labour HQ and seen by this newspaper warns that the bigger immigration becomes as a campaign issue the more votes the party will lose.

MPs are told to focus on "moving the conversation on" if voters express concerns about border controls to topics Labour is stronger on such as healthcare or housing.

They are also urged not to send leaflets on immigration to all voters because it could be "unhelpful" and "risks undermining the broad coalition of support we need to return to government".

The revelations are a major embarrassment for Ed Miliband, who is expected to tell voters Labour understands their immigration concerns and harden the party's stance on cheap foreign workers in a major speech on Monday. ...

The 33-page document, entitled "Campaigning against Ukip", was produced by the Labour Party and recently distributed to dozens of MPs in danger of losing votes to Ukip alongside detailed constituency maps pinpointing where possible defectors can be found. ...

Private party polling, target voters, doorstep messages to be "carefully dropped into conversations" and specific catchphrases to win back disaffected constituents are all detailed in the leaked document.

But perhaps the most damaging revelations concern advice given to Labour MPs about how to approach immigration - an issue the party has been accused of being too soft on in recent years after soaring net migration numbers under New Labour.

The document makes clear that with Ukip-leaning voters, activists should listen to their immigration concerns and outline Labour's policies for tackling the issue with tightening border controls and limiting access to benefits.

However it also warns MPs that the party loses votes the more "salient" immigration becomes as an election issue and urges them against contacting all constituents on the topic. ...

The document notes: "As a general rule, a higher salience for the issue [immigration] does not translate into electoral advantage for us."
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
One in seven people arrested in Britain last year was FOREIGN, damning figures reveal
James Slack
Daily Mail, 15 December 2014

Police arrested 173,0000 foreign crime suspects last year – one in every seven people who were apprehended nationwide.

The figures from Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office reveal the extraordinary strain being placed on the justice system by overseas criminals.

In many cases, the suspects have lengthy criminal records back home which should have prevented them from entering the UK – or would allow for them to be deported.

But, alarmingly, police are only bothering to carry out checks in only 30 per cent of cases and in some force areas it is as low as six per cent.

It means offenders who should have been detained are being bailed or, when they appear before the British courts, are not being sentenced properly because judges do not know about their criminal past.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, said: 'It is simply unacceptable that people with serious convictions could be allowed to enter the UK in the first place.

'We need to tighten up our borders and get as much information as possible from our EU partners.'

The figures, released by ACRO to a BBC Five Live investigation, showed 14 per cent of all arrests in England and Wales last year were foreign nationals.

The National Audit Office told the BBC that the failure to carry proper checks is the result of the Home Office not having access to up to date computer and information sharing systems.

In 2006, the Labour Government declined to join up to a Europe-wide information sharing regime, known as the Schengen Information System that would have given access to alerts on known criminals.

It leaves Britain as one of only four countries out of 32 in the European Economic Area that cannot access the data.

Under the Schengen arrangement, 2.5 million alerts about EU criminals are issued every year.

The UK does receive some information under separate data sharing arrangements – but missing out on half, or a disturbing 1.25 million.

There is a separate computer system, known as ECRIS, which the UK does have access to – but can only be used when a suspect is already inside the UK's borders.

In only three out of every ten cases are officers bothering to use it. ...

The NAO said the system for tracking foreign offenders was in chaos.

The Home Office has lost track of 760 of the 4,200 criminals who have been freed back on to our streets, including 58 'high harm' individuals – a category that includes rapists, killers and drug dealers.

Despite a ten-fold increase in case workers, the number of foreign prisoners has gone up by four per cent, to 10,649. Meanwhile, one in six overseas inmates freed from jail has absconded
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
Criminals 'let off' by inefficient courts and prosecutors, says police watchdog
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

A Conservative police and crime commissioner has warned criminals are being "let off" by inefficient courts and prosecutors.

Anthony Stansfeld, who oversees the force which polices the Home Counties constituencies of both David Cameron and Theresa May, also attacked the Government's proposed cuts to police budgets as "absurd" and "dangerous". ...

In September Mr Stansfeld warned his force, Thames Valley, was poised to lose 400 officers because government cuts had "gone too far".

But following this month's Autumn Statement by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the commissioner said the headcount would fall even further.

"In the Autumn Statement it suggests that the actual cuts will be 43 per cent by 2019-2020," said Mr Stansfeld.

"If that happens we would lose a further £100 million, or 2,000 posts. That is clearly absurd."

Cuts to policing and other parts of the criminal justice system "will strike at the very heart of running a civilised society", he suggested. ...

"Policing at its now reduced level is sustainable but stretched. What will not be sustainable are the ongoing reductions over the next three years.

"The public is not being asked whether policing should be run down to the dangerous level that is currently planned. It is high time it was."

Cuts to forces were taking place at "a time of fast population growth largely fuelled by immigration, much of it illegal", he said.

"Leaky border control, an influx of foreign criminals, weak extradition laws, and an over-stretched judiciary do not make for a safe society unless there are sufficient police to cope."

The Thames Valley force was seeing its population grow at such a rate it should be gaining 100 officers a year but instead is losing twice that many annually, the commissioner said.
[Site link]

Up

BIAS – BBC
John Humphrys: Sheltered, liberal BBC staff did not interrogate immigration for fear of appearing 'racist'
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

The BBC has been staffed with too many "Oxbridge liberal"-types whose "relentlessly middle-class" view of the world coloured its coverage of immigration, the broadcaster John Humphrys has suggested.

Humphrys, the journalist and Today programme presenter, said the BBC had employed people who feared that questioning immigration would make them appear "racist", admitting the corporation had failed to investigate it "rigorously enough".

Saying many members of staff lead "sheltered" lives in which they did not encounter the reality of areas affected by mass immigration, he added they had "failed to look at what our job was" in relation to the contentious issue. ...

Humphrys, who despite his criticism argues the licence fee is "essential to the future of the corporation", has previously made clear he believes matter are improving within the BBC following the admission it had not be "sufficiently sceptical" about the pro-immigration argument.

He has now said the BBC had become "a bit complacent" and "a bit pleased with itself" over the years, without properly reflecting the changes immigration had brought to the rest of the country,

"We were too institutionally nervous of saying, isn't immigration getting a little bit out of hand? And can we be critical of multiculturalism?" he told the Sunday Times, adding staff were "frightened of appearing racist".

When asked whether there was a similarity with the situation in Rotherham, where police and council members have been accused of turning a blind eye to child abuse for fear of being labelled racist, he said: "Precisely. We didn't interrogate immigration rigorously enough. We failed to look at what our job was."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
A whopping 83% of Brits want PM to crackdown on immigration
Sabi Phagura
Daily Star, 15 December 2014

Pressure is mounting on the PM to clamp down on immigration as it emerged a staggering 83 per cent of Brits are demanding he take swift action.

A poll showed six in ten adults want David Cameron to curb migrant intake from Europe and a further 23 per cent want to ban EU immigration altogether.

The shock OnePoll/ITV findings will be released this evening in ITV programme Europe - The People's Poll. ...

Tory MP Philip Davies said: "The poll shows the public are genuinely fed up with uncontrolled immigration."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – UK, EU, PUBLIC OPINION
Most Europeans back migrant curbs, poll finds
Benjamin Fox
EU Observer, 14 December 2014

Most Europeans believe that the number of migrant workers from other EU countries has been bad for their country and would like to restrict freedom of movement, a new opinion poll suggests.

The research by polling firm YouGov, which was released on Thursday (11 December) interviewed more than 6,000 people across six EU countries - the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Finland - as well as Norway.

Swedes were the only country surveyed where a majority agreed that EU immigration had benefited their country.

Meanwhile, although majorities in Britain, Germany, Denmark and Finland all believed that immigration had been bad for them, French people were the most hostile. Only 9 percent agreed that immigration had been beneficial for France, while 53 percent disagreed. ...

Asked whether migrants should be allowed to claim benefits, a large majority in all six EU countries said that migrants should be required to work for at least one year before being able to access benefits, and should find work before being allowed to move abroad.

However, the three Scandinavian countries disagreed that annual quotas on EU migrants should be imposed. The strongest support for quotas was in the UK and France where 64 percent and 58 percent, respectively, supported their introduction.

The introduction of quotas has been rejected by EU leaders on the grounds that this would breach the bloc's commitment to freedom of movement, one of its four fundamental freedoms.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – PUBLIC OPINION, GERMANY
Germans want tougher stance from Merkel on immigration - poll
Yahoo! News / Reuters, 14 December 2014

A majority of Germans think Angela Merkel's government is paying too little attention to concern about immigration and asylum seekers that has prompted weekly marches in the city of Dresden, according to a poll.

In the survey by TNS for Spiegel magazine, to be published on Sunday, 65 percent said the chancellor's right-left coalition was not taking current record levels of immigration and asylum seekers seriously enough.

More than a third believe Germany is undergoing a process of "Islamisation". Dresden has seen increasingly popular Monday marches under the slogan PEGIDA, which stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West".

Germany has an estimated 4 million Muslims, in a total population of nearly 81 million. ...

Merkel argues that Germany, whose population is ageing and shrinking, needs immigrant workers to avoid a chronic shortage of skilled labour. But local officials say they are struggling to cope with the largest number of asylum-seekers in Europe, with net immigration at its highest levels in two decades.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – FRANCE
France shaken up by Zemmour and 'new reactionaries'
Hugh Schofield
BBC, 14 December 2014

There is a new intellectual force in France - giving shape and weight to ideas that challenge the disastrous post-1968 left-wing consensus.

That at least is the hope of the so-called neo-reactionnaires (new reactionaries) - a loose group of writers and thinkers who want to shake up debate on issues like immigration, Islam and national identity. ...

Most famous of the exponents is journalist Eric Zemmour, whose new book French Suicide reads like a desperate cavalry charge, sabre aloft, into the massed ranks of the progressives.

Zemmour is scorned by most of the Paris establishment but his book is a runaway bestseller. To date it has sold 400,000 copies. ...

"There are parts of France which feel like a different continent today. There are neighbourhoods which are completely Muslim - in their appearance, in their shops, in their tradition.

"And at the same time we have the constant process of Americanisation. Our budget is controlled by Brussels. We have no currency. Our army has to follow Washington's orders.

"That is what I mean by destruction."

Other well-known figures in the movement include philosopher Alain Finkielkraut. Formerly identified with the political left, he was nearly blackballed this year from the prestigious Academie Francaise because of his writings on national identity.

More controversial is aesthete and prolific writer Renaud Camus, who lives in self-imposed isolation in a 14th-Century fortress in the wilds of Gascony.

Camus was ostracised from French literary society after he said he would vote for the far-right's Marine Le Pen at the last election. Lacking a publisher, he now produces his own books.

"It's absurd, because in most things there is nothing right wing about me. But I just happen to think that today's immigration is the most important thing to have happened to France - ever," he says.

"It is what I call 'le grand remplacement' - the great replacement. If there is a new population in France, then we will no longer have our own history. It will be another people's history, and another people's civilisation."

Camus strongly resists charges that he is racist.

"Of course I have been called a racist. I have given up fighting it. I do not see myself as one. I don't think I am unfair about other races. I do not seek to judge.

"But I do think that ethnic belonging is an important factor in the history of the world. It would be absurd to pretend otherwise.

"France has been very good at integrating individuals. But you cannot integrate whole peoples. If immigrants come from a different civilisation which they have no particular interest in abandoning, then they will be representative of that civilisation."

Back in Paris, a new magazine called Causeur has been created to disseminate the views of the "neo-reactionnaires".

Founders Gil Mihaely and Elizabeth Levy say that mainstream publications are too scared to discuss issues such as immigration and national identity. ...

None of the neo-reactionnaires - not even Camus - claims allegiance to the FN. Many of them are Jewish.

Nonetheless they stand accused, by expressing such strong views on Islam, identity and the nation, of promoting the cause of the far right.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – BORDER SECURITY
18,000 illegal immigration attempts stopped at English Channel border in one year
Mirror, 13 December 2014

More than 18,000 attempts by migrants to cross the English Channel and enter the UK illegally were halted by border officials last year.

Tory minister James Brokenshire said the figures, to April this year, represented an increase of more than 60% on the previous 12 months.

Mr Brokenshire, who is Home Office Minister for Security and Immigration, said success was down to a shake-up in border patrolling, which had included instilling a "law enforcement ethos" in staff and streamlining operations.

He said : "Security has been re-established as the priority, with all passengers now subject to checks."

Border Force employs 8,100 full-time staff, 600 more than last year.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EMIGRATION, BANGLADESH
Climate change 'will foster terrorism and fuel immigration to UK'
Emily Gosden
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2014

Climate change will foster terrorism and will fuel immigration to the UK as millions of people are displaced by rising sea levels, a senior military figure has warned.

Major General Munir Muniruzzaman, a former military adviser to the president of Bangladesh, said his country simply did not have enough space to cope with the rising numbers of people who would be forced to leave their homes due to global warming.

A large displaced and marginalised climate refugee population would become "a breeding ground for recruitment for extremists and radicals", he warned.

Displaced people would attempt to flee Bangladesh and many would likely seek refuge in the UK, where there is a substantial Bangladeshi population, General Muniruzzaman, head of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACC), warned.

"There will be pressures, both from the people living in the UK to save the relations who are displaced - or from the displaced people in Bangladesh trying to reach out to their relatives in the UK," ... ...

By 2050, a sea level rise of one metre could result in vast areas of the country being lost and displace many millions of people, General Muniruzzaman said. A Bangladeshi government strategy paper on climate change estimates that more than 20 million people could be displaced by rising sea levels, extreme weather and other effects of climate change. ...

"Bangladesh is bordered on three sides by India and the India-Bangladesh border is already fenced by India so that people can't get through. The fear is any large-scale migration attempts through the border into India will result in a large human catastrophe. In India itself the coastal regions are vulnerable like Bangladesh and it is already an extremely overpopulated country," he said.

"These displaced people will try to reach anywhere they can go. No country is out of their reach. They will firstly reach out in the vicinity and if they can't get there they will reach out to their friends and relations wherever they are - and a large segment of the Bangladeshi diaspora population lives in the UK."
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – BORDER SECURITY
'Tip of iceberg' fear as 18,000 migrants are seized in a year
Border guards caught around 350 illegal immigrants a week trying to sneak
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2014

into Britain last year.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said more than 18,000 would-be migrants were seized in the 12 months to April – a 60 per cent increase on 2012-2013.

But it is feared thousands more have escaped detection and slipped in unnoticed. ...

An ITV News investigation last week reported that some workers fear they are unable to protect the country's borders effectively and that guns, drugs and illegal immigrants are getting in too easily.

There has been a recent spate of high-profile incidents featuring migrants who have managed to beat security at Calais and sneak into the UK in lorries, cars and caravans.
[Site link]

Up

CITIZENSHIP – INSPECTOR'S REPORT
Thousands of foreign criminals given UK citizenship every year... including violent killer who admitted frenzied stabbing
James Slack Tom McTague
Daily Mail, 12 December 2014

Home Office staff have given British passports to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and foreign criminals - including at least one murderer, a damning report revealed yesterday.

Officials have failed to carry out even basic checks on more than 200,000 migrants applying for British citizenship every year, it said.

The shambles allowed criminals and others with 'very poor immigration histories' to obtain a passport – allowing them access to the jobs market, benefits and public services.

Inspectors unearthed one case in which staff accepted an application from an asylum-seeker – unaware that he had admitted a fatal stabbing in his homeland.

Of the 235,000 applications in 2013, the refusal rate was only 3 per cent – three times lower than in 2007.

And with two million passports handed out over the past decade, critics said the potential scale of the scandal is enormous – with up to 12,000 cases being wrongly approved every year.

Last night the Home Office was frantically working to withdraw the citizenship granted to the killer.

Mr Vine's report – which was handed to Home Secretary Theresa May on September 1 but only released by the Home Office yesterday – found rules were routinely ignored. He said 'no attempts' were made to check an applicant's criminal record. Bizarrely, if an applicant volunteered information about a conviction, it was ignored if the Home Office could not independently verify the information.

There were 'virtually no other checks' to establish the good character of applicants, the inspection found.

Rules state that those seeking citizenship must not breach British immigration laws at any time during the five years leading up to their application, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

But officials were routinely ignoring a poor history of evading controls – such as entering Britain illegally or working without permission – a 'blanket policy' that was applied without ministerial approval.

Officials also took a lax attitude to those caught cheating the rules or who were bankrupt.

In one case, officials made the 'very poor decision' not to revoke the citizenship of someone who used forged documents.

There were also 'significant delays' in dealing with allegations concerning deception.

The report heaps huge new pressure on Theresa May after a string of scandals involving foreign criminals and border failures. Mr Vine claims a string of damning reports have been suppressed and is standing down at the end of the year, apparently in protest. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper accused Mrs May of 'sitting on the report for months' and called on her to reveal exact numbers of those awarded citizenship without proper checks. ...

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire said the Government was still clearing up the 'mess' it inherited – including Labour's decision in 2007 to grant large numbers the right to remain in Britain indefinitely even if they did not meet the rules.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – FRAUD, CITIZENSHIP
Migrants drove miles to 'cheating' test centre: Officials became suspicious when applicants drove huge distances to sit Life in the UK exam at specific centre
James Slack
Daily Mail, 12 December 2014

Migrants were driving hundreds of miles to obtain fraudulent passes in the so-called Life in the UK test, a report reveals.

Applicants for British citizenship must pass a multiple choice exam on English history, laws, and public services.

The exam is taken on a computer in supposedly strict conditions.

However, the chief inspector of immigration said that, at one unnamed test centre, evidence of fraud had been unearthed – dealing another hammer blow to the credibility of the system.

Migrants were allowed to take the test, administered by Learn Direct on behalf of the Home Office, at any centre they wanted nationwide.

Officials became suspicious when 'applicants were travelling significant distances to complete their test at a specific centre'.

Yesterday's report revealed how 'investigations concluded that the staff at the centre were colluding with applicants in committing fraud'.

It went on: 'As a direct result, the booking system was strengthened to give applicants the option of only five centres where they could take the test, based on a postcode check.'

The Home Office has now also introduced new checks to make it harder for applicants to cheat – such as verifying their identity using fingerprints.
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT – NHS
Letters: Scotland may have room for millions of immigrants, but at what cost?
Luke Stanley
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – Stephen Nickell is reported as saying that 35 per cent of health professionals are migrants. A Freedom of Information request that Get Britain Out placed with the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed migrants make up only 11 per cent of the NHS work force, with migrants from EU countries making up just 4 per cent.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POINT-BASED SYSTEM
Why a points based system for immigration control is a bad idea
Lord Green
Conservative Home, 12 December 2014
[Lord Green is Chairman of MigrationWatch UK]

The enthusiasm to be found in certain quarters for a Points Based System for immigration control is simply amazing. It has already been tried in the UK and has proved a disastrous failure.

It has worked in Australia but in a totally different context where:

• The objective is not to restrict immigration. Both the Australian government and the main opposition party pursue a policy of population growth partly supported by immigration.

• As a proportion of their population, Australian net migration is three times higher than the UK.

There are other major differences which should be obvious:

• Their location in the middle of a huge ocean.

• Their autonomy over their visa system. The UK has some 500 million EU citizens who can enter at will.

• A legal system which does not have to cope with the European Convention on Human Rights.

That said, the Australian system has been reasonably successful in its own terms but for the reasons outlined above, not because of their Points Based System which, on examination, that turns out to be:

• Extremely complex.

• Applicable only to job seekers. (Employers have a different route).

• Only covers 15 per cent of all migrants.

So how it is that the Australian Points Based System keeps cropping up in the British debate? It must be because the term has become shorthand for an effective system and, perhaps for that reason, it is regarded by some as an electoral asset. If so, it is fool's gold.

Our own experience should underline the point. The previous government attempted a Points Based System which was explicitly designed to eliminate human judgement. The effect was a shambles of which the most obvious example was the massive surge of bogus students from the Indian sub-continent in 2008. At one point the visa sections had to be closed to stem the flood of applications. Subsequently, the National Audit Office found that some 50,000 students "might" have intended to work rather than study. We cannot go back to that kind of chaos.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – WAGES, ECONOMY
Britain has 'masses of space' and without migrants the NHS would be in 'dire straits', claims economic watchdog
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 11 December 2014

Britain has 'masses of space' and the issue of immigration is 'not very important', a senior member of the independent economic watchdog has claimed.

Stephen Nickell, a board member of the Office for Budget Responsibility, said just 10 per cent of the country has been 'urbanised'.

And he warned the NHS would be in 'dire straits' without the influx of migrant workers to take jobs.

Latest figures show that net migration is rising, with 260,000 more people arriving in the UK in the year to June than left. ...

But Mr Nickell told MPs that while new arrivals had held down unskilled wages 'to some extent' but the overall impact was marginal.

The former economics professor at Oxford university and the London School of Economics was giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee.

Mr Nickell said: 'It's perfectly true, I think, from the evidence that the pay of unskilled workers, particularly in the service sector, has been held back to some extent - not a massive extent, but to some extent - by unskilled immigration...

'At the end of the day - let's say over the next 10 years or so - the general consensus is that for the native population, the existing population, immigration may be a little bit good, it may be a little bit bad economically. But there isn't overall that much in it.' ...

But Mr Nickell suggested that large parts of the country are far from full, and able to cope with more new arrivals.

He said the argument about immigration, 'basically boils down to people, the number of people'.

'The evidence suggests that, since more immigrants mean more housing, more roads, more airports, more incinerators, more more more of this being required.

'And since the evidence would suggest that people by and large don't like these things - especially if they are near them - I think that is the key issue about immigration that people may wish to face up to.'
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – DIVERSITY
How to fix Britain's immigration crisis (without leaving Europe)
Paul Collier
The Spectator, 13 December 2014
[Sir Paul Collier is a professor at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University]

In truth, the economic effects are trivial: a decade of fast immigration has changed average wages by around half-a-percent. The important effects are long-term and social. They work predominantly through the size and diversity of the population.

The issue of population size is, I think, relatively straightforward. England is the most crowded country in Europe, our transport infrastructure and our housing stock are under severe stress, and environmental concerns are gaining popular traction. So there is a strong case for stabilising the population. What this implies for immigration depends upon what we do on child benefits. Since 1997 there has been a huge increase in child benefits, which has predictably increased the birthrate to above replacement levels. Were this to persist, the target for net migration would need to be negative.

Child benefits not only provide incentives, they set norms. Benefits, though modest from the perspective of those accustomed to English levels of income, can seem munificent to people from much poorer societies, and may delay the adjustment to current norms of family size. So there is a case for revising child benefit, perhaps capping it at two children while protecting provision for existing larger families.

Diversity is a more complicated issue. Social science can tell us that some diversity is better than none, and that there can be too much diversity as well as too little. It widens variety of choice and can be a stimulus to new thinking. But at some point adverse effects set in: diversity undermines cooperation and generosity. Immigration reduces the willingness to pay for benefits, and particularly undermines the acceptability of targeting them – currently the favoured approach to shrinking the welfare bill. We should therefore aim for a happy medium on immigration. The question, of course, is where this happy medium lies.

Different groups in society will reasonably have quite different views on where the happy medium lies. ... But overall, it's clear that a majority in England is uncomfortable even with existing levels of diversity: and England is where immigrants choose to settle.

A common narrative among the bien-pensant is that discomfort is reduced by exposure: host populations are supposedly more accepting in high-immigrant localities. This is an example of picking studies to suit values. The weight of the research evidence unfortunately suggests the opposite: further rapid immigration is unlikely to abate concerns.

So we should probably aim to stabilise immigration and the diversity it brings at around the present level. The speed of integration depends on policies. The official espousal of multiculturalism (meaning we encourage a diverse range of cultures) has implied slower integration, and so a lower immigration target for any chosen level of diversity. ... ...

It is dangerous and wrong to dismiss concern about immigration. Inchoately, many people sense that ever-rising population would threaten our environment, while ever-rising diversity would threaten our cohesion. Trotting out exaggerated claims of the economic benefits of immigration talks past these concerns. In doing so, it plays into the corrosive populist idea that political elites are disconnected from reality. Only if proper concerns are accepted can bogus ones be credibly dismissed.
[Site link]

Up

CITIZENSHIP – INSPECTOR'S REPORT
Citizenship checks missed criminal records, report finds
BBC, 11 December 2014

The Home Office has granted British citizenship to people with "very poor immigration histories", according to the chief borders inspector.

Citizenship was being approved without checking applicants' criminal records in their home country, John Vine found.

In one case, officials did not look at files showing an asylum seeker had killed someone in their home country.

The Home Office said most of the issues were down to "wrong-headed decisions taken by the previous government".

Mr Vine, who will step down as chief inspector of borders and immigration at the end of this year, looked at 179 applications as part of a study of nationality casework.

He said he had been "concerned" to discover that applications for UK citizenship were not being scrutinised appropriately.

The chief inspector agreed that decisions to refuse citizenship had been made correctly, but found that in several instances citizenship was granted without checking all the information available.

British citizenship had been granted to one person who had previously stabbed someone, and to another who had lived and worked illegally in Britain for 13 years.

Citizenship can be refused if someone has not been in Britain for long enough, if they have a recent or serious criminal record, or if they are judged not to be of "good character".

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said some "alarming examples of poor decision making" had been highlighted, where "not enough things like poor immigration record or lying on your application had been taken into account".

The report turned up no evidence that authorities were attempting to prosecute those who had lied in their applications, except in a few cases involving organised crime.

While caseworkers generally provided good service and took account of automated police checks, the chief inspector concluded, they did not have routine access to paper records relating to individuals' histories.

This amounted to a "serious failing" and made it likely that the failure to notice that one asylum applicant had previously killed someone "was not an isolated case".
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – ISLAM
Jihadist violence: The devastating cost
Peter Neumann
BBC, 11 December 2014

Professor of Security Studies, King's College London

Less than four years ago, jihadist violence was widely believed to be in a state of terminal decline. ...

By the end of 2014, it is no longer al-Qaeda or jihadism that look outdated but the predictions of their imminent demise.

Far from nearing defeat, jihadist groups everywhere have regrouped and taken advantage of new conflicts and instability - often in the very countries that saw popular uprisings during 2011.

The most spectacular newcomer is Islamic State, a group that has declared the creation of a caliphate, holds territory from the Syrian city of Aleppo to the outskirts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and has rivalled - if not replaced - al-Qaeda as the leader of global jihadism.

Over the past three months, I helped the BBC produce a global snapshot of this phenomenon. ... ...

The findings are both important and disturbing.

In the course of November, jihadists carried out 664 attacks, killing 5,042 people - many more than, for instance, the number of people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. ...

The project tells the story of a movement in the middle of a profound transformation - one whose final outcome is impossible to predict.

Our immediate focus, however, was the terrible human cost: with, on average, more than 20 attacks and nearly 170 deaths per day, jihadist groups destroy countless lives - most of them Muslim - in the name of an ideology that the vast majority of Muslims reject.

If anything, this highlights the movement's scale and ambition, but also the long-term political, social, ideological, and military commitment that will be needed to counter it.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
Public attitudes towards immigration
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 11 December 2014

About a quarter of people say immigration is the most important issue facing Britain today and 4 in 10 say immigration is one of the most important issues – more than any other single issue. ...

Finding out what people think of immigration is actually quite awkward because they have different groups in mind when asked about the issue. There are official definitions of who counts as a migrant, but these don't match who people think of as immigrants.

People tend to see immigrants as citizens of other countries, rather than people born abroad. But official figures can include either.

A majority (62%) of people also think immigrants come here permanently, even though almost half of immigrants say they intend to stay less than two years. Of those who do emigrate, almost half say they were here for under four years.

Many also think the main reason people come to the UK is to seek asylum – more than work, family or study reasons. The reality is the exact opposite: asylum is the least common reason for immigration. Most immigrants say they're coming to study or work.

70% of people said they want to reduce or stop immigration completely according to a recent YouGov poll. And last year 77% wanted some sort of reduction according to the British Social Attitudes Survey.

That said, people are less opposed if they're asked simply whether or not there are too many immigrants, rather than being asked what should be done with them. A majority of people in Britain have expressed opposition to the number of immigrants in general since at least the 1960s, although it's difficult to determine whether there's a historical trend one way or the other because the wording of questions has changed. ...

Age, occupation, education and household income make the biggest difference to someone's likelihood to be opposed to immigration, but men and women are fairly equally against, according to the British Social Attitudes Survey.

People are generally negative about immigrants' impact on the country's public services and jobs, but less so about the cultural impact.

Since 2006, people have cited the abuse of or burden on public services as one of the main causes for concern. More recently, pressure on jobs and employment has also been a leading factor. By contrast, community tension, lack of integration and crime or anti-social behaviour problems have ranked among the least important factors.

When it comes to the impact of immigration on the economy in general, people are fairly evenly split on whether it is a good thing or bad thing. Between 39% and 55% of people have said immigration has a negative impact on the economy in recent years.

People are more favourable about certain types of immigration than about others. Students, highly-skilled workers and professionals score well when people in the UK are asked what they think of them. Only a third of people want to limit the numbers of these groups.

On the other hand, extended family members (as opposed to more immediate family), asylum seekers and low skilled workers are more opposed. The same study found between 55-65% of people want reduced immigration of these groups.

Most people also say 'professional' immigrants are 'good for Britain' and that unskilled labourers are bad for it.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EU, GERMANY, UK
Germans love EU but question free movement
The Local [Germany], 11 December 2014

A poll from YouGov released on Thursday showed that while Germans still believe in the European project, they share other nations' worries about free movement of workers. ...

But Germans were just as worried about immigration from other EU countries as the British, with just 27 percent of residents in both states believing it had a net positive effect on their respective countries.

While similar numbers of Brits and Germans agreed on positive effects of immigration, including filling labour shortages in highly-skilled and low-paid jobs, the two countries shared concerns about immigration too.

The biggest was that EU immigrants would come to claim benefits, which worried 64 percent of people in the UK and 67 percent of Germans.

Germany, France and Denmark all had similar levels of approval (70 to 73 percent) for the idea of stopping EU migrants claiming benefits in another country for a year after moving - although they were far short of the British, 83 percent of whom liked the idea.

A majority in all the countries thought people shouldn't be allowed to move to another country unless they had work lined up and could support themselves, with three-quarters of Brits and two-thirds of the Germans and French in favour.

Crime was a much bigger concern for the Germans than the British, though, with 48 percent believing EU immigrants would increase crime compared with 14 percent of people in the UK.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POPULATION GROWTH, USA
Number of Americans expected to hit 400 million by 2051, led by more immigrants
Mark Trumbull
Yahoo! News / Christian Science Monitor, 11 December 2014

The number of people in the United States will reach 400 million by 2051, according to new projections from the Census Bureau. Immigration-related growth is expected to account for nearly two-thirds of the increase.

Although prior Census reports have had a similar forecast for the US population by mid-century, the composition of the expected growth has shifted.

Compared with a 2012 forecast, less of the growth is expected to be based on "natural increase" through births. The 2014 report, released Wednesday, finds most of the growth rooted in immigration. ... ...

Some key details from the Census report:

Overall population: The new long-term projection calls for the US population to go from 319.4 million today to 398.3 million in 2050 and 400.1 million the year after that. It would reach 417 million by 2060, the final year encompassed in the research. ...

Hispanic share: The growing Latino population remains a dominant demographic trend, driven both by immigration and higher fertility rates. The new Census projections envision the Hispanic population growing by 49 million between now and 2050, compared to growth of just 28 million for the non-Hispanic population. By mid-century, that would bring the Hispanic population to nearly 106 million, or 26.5 percent of the population.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
12,000: Size of the army of foreign criminals living in Britain today, including 700 murderers and 500 rapists
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 10 December 2014

The staggering scale of Britain's foreign criminal population is exposed today.

There are more than 700 murderers and 500 rapists among nearly 12,000 foreign offenders in this country, figures show.

For the first time, the Home Office has published a detailed breakdown of the offences and nationality of every criminal from around the world, who is currently on its books having been convicted of offences in this country.

In total, nearly one in six has been found guilty of an offence categorised as 'most serious' – including murder, rape, terrorism and sex offences against children.

Murderers and rapists alone make up more than one in ten of the total.

The nationality breakdown shows Britain hosts a 'United Nations of Crime', with offenders from 177 different countries. It shows there are more Jamaican criminals here than any other nationality – a total of 1,026 – or around 2 per cent of the entire Jamaican population in the UK.

Second on the list is Nigeria, followed by Poland and Somalia. The top ten countries alone account for more than 5,500 criminals.

The figures were uncovered by Labour's immigration spokesman David Hanson using a question tabled in Parliament.

He told the Mail: 'Foreign criminals have no place in Britain and there is no excuse for ministers not deporting them as early as possible.

'Yet under this Government fewer are being removed and it's taking longer; Labour has clear plans for making it easier to deport foreign criminals but Theresa May still won't get a grip and remove people who shouldn't be here.' But Tory MP Michael Ellis, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee said: 'The hypocrisy from Labour is nauseating. It was the previous Labour government's ramshackle immigration arrangements that facilitated entry of many of these individuals in the first place.

'And the Human Rights Act created an imbalance in favour of foreign criminals which we are having to correct.'

The full list, entitled the Foreign National Offender Caseload, includes all 11,719 convicted foreign criminals the Home Office is managing, whether they are in prison, in immigration detention or at large. It excludes those who have been given the right to remain permanently in this country under human rights laws.

Their numbers include 775 murderers, 587 rapists, 155 child rapists, and 15 convicted terrorists. Also in the category of most serious offences are 99 other killers convicted of manslaughter, and 228 paedophiles.

There are also 88 criminals found guilty of attempted murder, 1,022 of serious violent assaults, 497 burglars, and 43 arsonists. In total, 2,247 were convicted of the production, supply, or importing drugs. More than 8,000 offences are listed simply as 'other'.

The breakdown shows that of the total, more than 1,100 are unlikely to face deportation because they were jailed for less than a year – the threshold for automatic deportation of criminals outside the EU. A total of 1,075 were handed indefinite or life terms and 2,831 five years or more.

Last night immigration and security minister James Brokenshire said: 'Many of these cases are a legacy of the last government – which this Government is taking action to deal with. Last year, we removed more than 5,000 foreign criminals, the highest number since 2010/11.'
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT
EU immigration limits 'not a priority for managers'
ITV, 10 December 2014

Few managers believe limiting the movement of labour across Europe is a priority for them, according to a new study.

Despite the political focus on immigration, company bosses said they would rather the Government made it easier to give work experience to youngsters.

A survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that many pledges from political parties were not in line with managers' priorities.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – ARTS
Are theatre audiences too white?
Dominic Cavendish
Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2014

On Monday, Sir Peter Bazalgette, chairman of Arts Council England, outlined a policy shift reaching right across our cultural provision.

"From now on the responsibility for promoting diversity within the leadership, workforce, programming and audiences, must belong to all our funded arts organisations," he said. ...

Things will get tough for those who don't reach out and draw in a more diverse demographic, either as producers or consumers, whether that be in the field of theatre, dance, opera, music or the visual arts. "There has to be a reckoning," warned Sir Peter, incidentally white, middle-aged and a product of private education. In other words, change or face cuts – even the chop.

If the underlying sentiment is benign – leave no one out, harness the best of multicultural British talent – the unintended consequences may prove divisive. ...

And it's across the arts as a whole that the diversity agenda is being pursued. In some ways, theatre is in a stronger position. ... In 2008, an Arts Council survey concluded that that "those attending art exhibitions are the most likely to be white: people who define their ethnic background as Black, Asian or 'other' are all less likely to attend art exhibitions."

...

Impatient of change, what the Arts Council wants is a seismic shift. But it's easier to identify problems than come up with solutions. As well as an age of lasting austerity, are we in for an era of perpetual guilt-trips? ...

... Art for everyone, yes – but we don't need conscription, quotas, rationing, court-martials. Cultivated evolution is required, not revolution.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – EUROPE
Record Numbers Dying To Reach European Shores
Sky News, 10 December 2014

The UN calls for more protection for those crossing seas to escape the conflicts in Libya, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq.

More than 3,400 migrants have died attempting to reach Europe across the Mediterranean this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has said.

Governments have been urged to do more to prevent further casualties as it emerged a record 207,000 people had attempted to make the dangerous crossing since January.

The figure is almost three times the previous high of 70,000 reached during the Libyan civil war in 2011.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT
Spotlighting racism, stigma, UN launches International Decade of People of African Descent
UN News Centre, 10 December 2014

People of African descent still face racism in every country, region and continent of the world, said United Nations General Assembly President Sam Kutesa as the world body today kicked off its International Decade of People of African Descent.

"Over the next ten years, people everywhere are encouraged to take part in the global conversation on the realities faced by people of African descent," Mr. Kutesa who is a national of Uganda told the General Assembly today, calling the Decade's launch a historic achievement.

"The Decade will allow us to explore the challenges faced by people of African descent due to pervasive racism and racial discrimination engrained in our society today," he added.

On 23 December 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming the International Decade for People of African Descent, commencing on 1 January 2015 and ending on 31 December 2024 with the theme "People of African descent: recognition, justice and development."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, REPATRIATION, NIGER, ALGERIA
Algeria and Niger start repatriation of 3,000 illegal migrants
Abdoulaye Massalaki
Reuters, 10 December 2014

Algeria and Niger have started to repatriate 3,000 citizens of Niger who crossed into Algeria illegally, as part of a bid to stop people-smuggling to North Africa and Europe, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Algerian Red Crescent society took a first group of around 300 people to the remote border town of In Guezzam in the Sahara on Tuesday for transfer to Niger, according to Niger's Association for the Defense of Human Rights.

At least three-quarters of the returnees are children and almost all the rest are women. Many worked as beggars in Algeria, Niger Prime Minister Brigi Rafini told parliament in November.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, DEPORTATION, INDONESIANS, MALAYSIA
Malaysia to 'deport 70,000 illegal Indonesian workers'
Ainur Rohmah
Anadolu Agency, 10 December 2014

Malaysia is to deport 70,000 illegal Indonesian workers, a Jakarta-based newspaper has claimed. ...

The official was quoted as saying: "We are coordinating a meeting about it. Yes, approximately 70,000 illegal migrants [will be] deported from there."

The report contradicts an earlier statement from Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia Herman Prayitno who said 50,000 workers would be deported by the end of the year.

"There is not only 50,000 people but around 70,000 people," the Jakarta Globe's source said.

Deputy ambassador Hermono, who like many Indonesians only uses one name, said companies employing migrant workers in Malaysia should bear responsibility for the prevalence of illegal Indonesian workers. "Why should it be the workers who are always blamed," he said. "We [have] asked the Malaysian government to be fair in applying policies related to the problem." ...

According to the International Organization for Migration, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians work without permission in plantations and other industries in Malaysia.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – RACISM, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, FREE SPEECH
College president sorry for saying 'All lives matter'
Maxim Lott
Fox News, 10 December 2014

The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that "all lives matter."

Kathleen McCartney wrote the phrase in the subject line of an e-mail to students at the school, whose alumni include feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and celebrity chef Julia Child. McCartney was attempting to show support for students protesting racially charged grand jury decisions in which police in Missouri and New York were not charged in the deaths of unarmed black men.

Protesters have adopted several slogans in connection with the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, including "Black Lives Matter." McCartney's more inclusive version of the refrain was seen as an affront that diminished the focus on black lives and racism, according to emails obtained by FoxNews.com.

"We are united in our insistence that all lives matter," read the e-mail,in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had "led to a shared fury... We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest."

But she soon received backlash from students for her phrasing. They were offended that she did not stick with the slogan "black lives matter."

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which first covered the story, quoted one Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, as saying, "it felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives."

In response to student backlash, McCartney apologized in another campus-wide email Friday, saying she had made a mistake "despite my best intentions." ...

Some who follow campus issues say that the idea of apologizing for saying "all lives matter" shows political correctness is out of control.

"It's getting increasingly difficult to figure out what you can say on the modern campus, even for university presidents... Too many of today's students want freedom from speech rather than freedom of speech," Greg Lukianoff, President of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and author of "Freedom From Speech" told FoxNews.com.

Smith College did not respond to a request for comment on the criticisms, but noted that the body of her emails is on the Smith website.

The issue is a problem at colleges around the country, Lukianoff said. He noted that Columbia Law School recently allowed students to postpone final exams if they felt they had experienced emotional trauma. The University of Hawaii, meanwhile, recently prohibited students from handing out the U.S. Constitution in most areas of campus, and only reversed course after being sued in court.

He added that such an atmosphere hinders learning at colleges.

"It's hard to challenge minds while walking on eggshells," he said.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – TRANSLATION SERVICES
Boris Johnson: Scrap translation service for 'hopeless' women who can't speak English
Dominic Gover
International Business Times, 9 December 2014

Boris Johnson has said translation services for migrants can be "cut very comfortably".

The Mayor of London suggested native-language aids achieved the opposite of their intended aim by dividing communities in to "Balkanised little boxes"

Johnson said speaking English was the best way for migrants to build new lives in Great Britain in strong communities.

Speaking on LBC, the Tory politician blamed translation services and said: "You could very comfortably cut them." ...

Johnson said City Hall under his regime "rarely used" translation services and cited changes in the field of education as the way forward.

Don Flynn, Director of the Migrants' Rights Network said: "Mayor Boris statement on this issue is very disappointing. If fails to acknowledge the fact that London owes so much of its dynamism to the diversity of its population and the huge range of languages that are spoken in its communities and workplaces on a daily basis, making it a global hub of choice for business.

"There are occasions when some people find it difficult to get across their needs to public services like schools, health service clinics and local government.

Translation services do not detract from people want to learn English but they do help help ease contact between service providers and users."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EU, TURKEY
David Cameron: I still want Turkey to join EU, despite migrant fears
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 9 December 2014

David Cameron has said that he still "very much supports" Turkey joining the European Union, despite his Government's inability to control numbers of EU migrants coming to the UK.

The Prime Minister was quizzed about his support for Turkey's accession to the EU during a visit to Turkey to meet the country's Prime Minister and President. ...

In a speech at the Turkish parliament in Ankara in July 2010, Mr Cameron said: "I'm here to make the case for Turkey's membership of the EU. And to fight for it."

He added that he wanted to "pave the road" for Turkey to join the EU, saying the country was "vital for our economy, vital for our security and vital for our diplomacy".
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Cameron risks stoking 'false migrants fear' says Tory minister Anna Soubry in warning not to pander to Ukip
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 9 December 2014

A conservative minister last night questioned David Cameron's immigration policy – suggesting that he was in danger of stoking 'false fear'.

Anna Soubry, the outspoken defence minister, said she wanted to know why the Prime Minister has pledged to crack down on European workers claiming benefits.

In a colourful interview, she said the Government should not be 'pandering' to the view of parties such as Ukip, and warned there was a risk of 'playing to people's prejudices'. ...

Interviewed on Radio 4's PM programme, Miss Soubry questioned Mr Cameron's insistence that benefits were drawing people to the UK – claiming that migrants were really interested in jobs.

She said: 'I want to know and understand why my Prime Minister who I have huge amounts of respect for, I genuinely do, I think has done an outstanding job, I want to know why he's come to that conclusion. Is that the real problem, that people might be able to claim benefits? There's a danger that you create false fear and sometimes you play to people's prejudices.'

She added: 'It's really important that we make it clear that the majority of people who come to our country come here to work these are good people.

'Just because some people have a particular view, doesn't mean to say that you should pander to it.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ISLAM, GERMANY
Germans take to the streets to protest against 'Islamisation'
Justin Huggler
Daily Telegraph, 9 December 2014

A new type of anti-immigration protest is sweeping across Germany, as thousands take to the streets against what they say is the growing "Islamisation" of the country.

The new protests, which began in the city of Dresden in the former East Germany, feature no neo-Nazi slogans and have nothing to do with the traditional far right.

Instead the demonstrators have adopted the old rallying call of the protests against the East German communist regime that brought down the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, "Wir sind das Volk", or "We are the people". They say they want to preserve Germany's Judeo-Christian Western culture. ...

While Angela Merkel's government has made clear it will block any attempt by David Cameron to curtail freedom of movement within the EU, the German debate over immigration has focused on those coming from outside the bloc, and on Muslims in particular.

Thousands have defied sub-zero temperatures to join weekly marches each Monday in Dresden under the banner of Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of Europe, or Pegida. ...

Pegida has inspired similar movements across Germany. Though the numbers have not been as high as in Dresden so far, marches have been called in cities from Düsseldorf to Munich.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM
Why You May Be a Racist (Even Though You Don't Feel Like One)
Derek Penwell
The Huffington Post, 9 December 2014

Racism isn't just people intending other people harm because of the color of their skin. Racism is toleration of (and, therefore, participation in) a system that routinely disadvantages people because of their race. In other words, it's entirely possible to be racist without intending to be. That's why we so often encounter racist statements that begin with "I'm not a racist, but ... " – which then go on to use racist placeholders like "thug" or "inner city" or "you people."

And I take (most) people at their word – that they don't consider themselves racist. But whether you feel like a racist is largely beside the point. If you prop up a system – either actively or passively, through silence – which regularly negatively impacts non-white people, you're a racist.

That you don't belong to the KKK, or sport a Confederate flag license plate, or call people appalling epithets is a step in the right direction.

That you have a friend of a different race is laudable.

That you like Martin Luther King, Jr., and have a soft spot in your heart for his "I Have a Dream" speech is wonderful thing.

But none of those things get you off the hook.

Because you can do all of those things and still make excuses for a system that repeatedly refuses to hold white police officers accountable for abusing, and too often killing, people of color.

Because you can talk all you want about being "color blind," while still unconsciously assuming that middle class white lives are the standard against which all other lives are to be measured. ...

Feeling strongly that you're not a racist isn't enough. Avoiding using overtly racial stereotypes and epithets isn't enough. Not being "prejudiced" isn't enough.

Whether or not it's intended, if the practical effects of a system over time continually disadvantage one race to the benefit of another, it's a racist system. If you think a system that's obviously weighted to keep those in charge ... in charge ... is fair, and that any fault in it can always be traced to poor choices made by individuals, whether you feel like it or not, you're a racist.

Now, me calling you a racist under that description of racism isn't a value judgment about you personally (I don't even know you); it's merely an observation about the criteria necessary to establish that racism exists, and that otherwise nice folks (Christian or not) are up to their eyeballs in it.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – RACISM, USA
Racism's uncomfortable truth
Eugene Robinson
San Jose Mercury News, 9 December 2014

President Barack Obama's observation that racism is "deeply rooted" in U.S. society is an understatement. Racism is as American as the Fourth of July, and ignoring this fact doesn't make it go away.

These truths, to quote a familiar document, are self-evident. Obama made the remark in an interview with Black Entertainment Television, telling the network's largely African-American audience something it already knew. The president's prediction that racism "isn't going to be solved overnight" also came as no surprise.

Right-wing media outlets feigned shock and outrage. But their hearts didn't seem to be in it. Not after Ferguson and Staten Island. Not after the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland. These recent atrocities prompted Obama's comments. ...

Patience and persistence are virtues. As Obama well knows, however, we've already been at this for nearly 400 years.

The election of the first black president in 2008 was an enormous milestone, something I never dreamed would happen in my lifetime.

But no one should have expected Obama to magically eliminate racial bias that has been baked into this society since the first Africans were brought to Jamestown in 1619. The stirring words of the Declaration of Independence – "all men are created equal" – were not meant to apply to people who look like me. ...

You knew all of this, of course. I recite it here because there are those who would prefer to forget.

A Bloomberg poll released Sunday found that 53 percent of those surveyed believe race relations have worsened "under the first black president," while only 9 percent believe they have improved. A 2012 Associated Press poll found that 51 percent of Americans had "explicit anti-black attitudes" – up from 48 percent four years earlier, before Obama took office.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – RACISM, USA
America Is Among Least Racist Countries In The World
Jamie Weinstein
Daily Caller, 9 December 2014

With all the recent race clang clanging on MSNBC and other cable news networks, now's probably a good time to remind everyone that America is among the least racist countries in the world. ...

From 2010 to 2014, the World Values Survey asked residents in over 50 countries who they would not want as neighbors. Just over 5 percent of respondents in the United States said "people of a difference race." That's far more tolerant a response than citizens of most European, African and Asian countries gave. As a comparison, 15 percent of Germans, 41 percent of Indians and 22 percent of Japanese said they wouldn't want to live next to "people of a different race." ...

The survey is probably not a perfect indicator of how pervasive racism is in a given society, but the results do correlate with what we know anecdotally. Take, for instance, the fact that America elected and then reelected a black man for president.

Yes, I know. Some in the civil rights industry like to argue that this doesn't mean anything. But of course it does. Blacks make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. There aren't too many examples of a democratic country electing someone from such a distinct and previously persecuted minority to their top office. ...

The United States is also a country where seven of the eight most powerful celebrities, according to Forbes, are African American. That's an amazing statistic – one also not indicative of a virulently racist society. ...

...

Cops sometimes overreact and there are probably too many police shooting deaths in the United States, but the Brown and Garner cases hardly demonstrate that racist cops are regularly and deliberately killing African-Americans with impunity.

None of this is to say that there is no racism in America anymore or that terribly racist events never occur here. There is and they sometimes do. We need and can do better as a country, but we also ought put things in perspective. We have come a long way since the 1950s. Far from being a bastion of racism, America today is in fact one of the least racist countries in the world.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – WELFARE BENEFITS
My £60,000 in benefits helped build my house: Romanian migrant boasts handouts from the UK have helped him construct home for wife and children in his homeland
Sam Webb
MailOnline, 8 December 2014

A Roma gypsy says he is using the £60,000 he has received in benefits to create a lavish house in his homeland.

Ion Lazar boasts that British handouts are funding the refurbishment of the property in the village of Argetoaia in southern Romania.

He said: 'I know the benefit I can make very easily in England. It's coming in benefits. It's like free money, thank you England.'

Mr Lazar, 36, a part-time self-employed scrap metal collector in London, pays no tax as he earns so little and claims £1,700 a month in welfare. The father-of-three's comments will feature in a Channel 5 documentary to be shown this week. ...

Mr Lazar came to the Britain with five other immigrants when the work restrictions on Romanians were lifted in January.

In April he appeared in another Channel 5 documentary which followed the lives of Roma gipsies in Britain.

In it he admits he is just planning to stash his benefits to take home to his family in Romania.

He added: 'I know it's very, very easy to take benefits in Englandà She's give me home free, she's give me money free, she's give me everything.'
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – ARTS
Arts in England told to make progress with diversity or have funding axed
Mark Brown
The Guardian, 8 December 2014

Arts organisations in England face having their public funding axed unless they show better progress in making audiences, programmes and their workforce more diverse.

The stark warning will come from the chairman of Arts Council England (ACE), Sir Peter Bazalgette, on Monday in what he describes as "one of the most important speeches I'll make".

Bazalgette will announce a fundamental shift in ACE's approach to diversity. It will publish data for the first time showing how diverse the workforces are of the 670 theatres, dance companies, orchestras and arts venues to which it gives regular funding.

Each one will also have to implement plans to make their workforce, audience and productions more diverse. ACE will then make a judgment on success.

"There has to be a reckoning," Bazalgette will say. "The progress our funded organisations make with the diversity of their programmes, their audiences, their artists and their workforce will inform the decisions we take on their membership of the next national portfolio after 2018."

Bazalgette said he preferred to see that as encouragement rather than a threat. He told the Guardian: "I call it a carrot because it is a way of making it work better – I don't call it a stick."

In his speech Bazalgette will say much good work has already been done and figures indicate that 13% of people employed in the ACE portfolio are from black and ethnic minority (BME) groups, close to the national average of 15%.

New separate research by Drama UK last week showed that the live sector was more diverse than television in terms of performer ethnicity. On TV and radio, 96% of actors were white while in musical theatre the figure was 70% and at the National Theatre it was 85%.

Bazalgette will say much more needs to be done – especially to get more black and minority people in to management jobs. He also believes that much of the work to make the arts more diverse has been abandoned to a few companies that specifically champion the work of BME artists.

"Focusing on these organisations has diverted our attention from promoting change across the whole arts sector," he will say. "From now on the responsibility for promoting diversity within the leadership, workforce, programming and audiences must belong to all our funded arts organisations." ...

The big change is that all applicants for arts council funding will now have to make a creative case for diversity, with each setting out how they will produce more diverse work and encourage more diverse audiences. The success of the plans will help to dictate future funding.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – FREE SPEECH, PUBLIC OPINION
Silenced: third of Britons feel they are denied free speech
Nicholas Hellen
Sunday Times, 7 December 2014

A third of people in Britain believe they cannot speak freely on controversial subjects such as immigration and religion for fear they may be criticised, lose their job or be prosecuted.

The study by the New Culture Forum, a Westminster think tank, warns that Britain has developed a "culture of silence" where people censor themselves in the workplace.

According to a YouGov poll more than a third (36%) believe they cannot speak freely on immigration, while 31% feel constrained on religion and 27% on ethical issues; 20% feel they cannot express their political views.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Tony Blair wants Chuka Umunna to be the next Labour leader
Jane Merrick
The Independent on Sunday, 7 December 2014

Tony Blair is backing Chuka Umunna to be the next Labour leader, the former prime minister's friends have revealed, in an intervention that will set the battle for succession alight. ...

The MP for Streatham has repeatedly refused to set out his leadership ambitions and is actively loyal to Mr Miliband. But he speaks regularly to Mr Blair and other New Labour veterans, including Lord Mandelson, Tessa Jowell and Lord Adonis. The former PM sees Mr Umunna as a "natural heir" to his New Labour legacy, said a friend. Since being elevated to the Shadow Cabinet, Mr Umunna has stuck to his business brief, but in recent weeks has been more outspoken on immigration in the face of the Ukip surge. His strident defence of the benefits of immigration to the UK has drawn further admiration from Mr Blair who is in total agreement, said a source. ...

A recent Survation poll, which showed video footage of possible Labour leadership candidates to voters, put Mr Umunna significantly ahead of his potential rivals, including Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – CALAIS
Holiday camp for migrants: EU spends £3 million converting Calais play centre to cope with hundreds queuing to get into UK
Abul Taher and Tim Finan
Mail on Sunday, 7 December 2014

European Union cash is set to be used to fund a 'holiday camp' for migrants in Calais in a scheme that was last night condemned as being an 'encouragement' for the many thousands desperate to enter the UK illegally.

The new day centre for migrants is being built on a former children's summer camp, next to Calais port, where hundreds of illegals try to board lorries each day in the hope of stowing away to Britain.

The French government has demanded a £3 million grant from the EU, which would include money that ultimately comes from British taxpayers.

But critics of the plan have already compared the new centre to the notorious Sangatte camp, which was closed down in 2002 amid claims that it attracted thousands of migrants who wanted to enter Britain illegally. ...

French officials say that the new centre will be up and running by the middle of this month or by the beginning of January at the latest.

It will have kitchens that will serve about 700 meals per day. There will be four halls where up to 400 migrants will be able to sit to stay warm.

There are an estimated 2,500 migrants in Calais, from troubled countries including Eritrea, Sudan and Libya in Africa and the war-torn states of Syria and Afghanistan. ...

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said: 'I don't think it's a good idea. What will be created is a new Sangatte which will be a magnet for different sorts of migrants.

'People traffickers will advertise this day centre as another reason to come to Calais to go to Britain. This day centre will definitely attract more migrants to Calais.' ...

The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, announced the plans to build the migrant centre in Calais in October, saying it will cost around £4.3 million to run each year. ...

Philippe Mignonet, deputy mayor of Calais, said: 'We get blamed for doing something, and we get blamed for doing nothing. The new centre will not make Calais more appealing for illegal migrants – the appeal lies in England, in your benefit system and your illegal jobs market.'
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS
UK border FARCE: Meet the smiling 'illegal immigrants' who easily slipped into Dover undetected
Patrick Hill
Mirror, 7 December 2014

The two Afghans and a pal made UK border controls look farcical as they slipped into Dover in the back of a truck.

They were only caught because they clambered out in a lorry park after mistaking it for a layby near the port.

Despite being arrested, the trio were overjoyed at making it to the land of "money, money, money" and were last night believed to be applying for asylum while held in a detention centre.

Our exclusive photos were taken by another cross-Channel truck driver who told us: "It's scary the number of immigrants getting through undetected.

"The whole system both in Calais and Dover is failing and is in total chaos. It's just a joke.

"The immigration guys on both sides of the Channel are understaffed.

"Over in Calais they're happy for immigrants to get through to Britain so that they're not their problem any more.

"Sadly officials here just aren't equipped to stop the flow.

"It's wrong and I'm speaking out now because things are out of control."

The three men, who have not been named, entered the UK last Saturday night after boarding a haulage truck driven by a Hungarian man in Calais before it boarded the P&O ferry the Spirit of France.

Our whistleblower, who saw the moment they were caught by chance, said: "They got in and out of the truck by cutting a hole in the roof tarpaulin with a knife.

"The truck had been checked four times by immigration officers in Calais but unbelievably they hadn't spotted the hole or the men.

"The driver showed me the paperwork. It's a scandal really. They completely missed them. The hole wasn't spotted by officials at our end either." ...

Our source, who asked not to be named for fear of losing his job, went on: "It was another truck driver who spotted the three.

"They tried to get away into nearby woodland but couldn't because the car park the lorry was in is surrounded by 12ft fences. ...

"Eventually they realised they couldn't get away and peacefully gave up. When police arrived they asked the men, 'Why are you here?' One who could speak quite good English said, 'Money, money, money.' He was laughing.

"He said they were part of a group of eight who came from Afghanistan via Turkey and then to Italy before spending months in Calais. One said he had family here. Even though they were caught they were celebrating." ...

Speaking about lack of checks at Dover, the man added: "I'd say only one in ten trucks get stopped when they arrive in Britain. I reckon at least 50 illegal immigrants get in undetected a month and that's a conservative estimate."
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – EUROPEAN UNION
Keith Vaz: 'Migration is the number one problem facing Europe'
Harriet Alexander
Daily Telegraph, 6 December 2014

The European Union should make migrant control its top priority and is failing to adequately police its borders, Keith Vaz MP, the chair of the Home Affairs Committee, said on Friday.

Mr Vaz visited Calais to view border controls and assess the pressures on the city from migrants wanting to come to the UK.

"Britain has given £12 million to spend on securing the port and tunnel – but that's not the answer," Mr Vaz told The Telegraph. "The EU must take responsibility. What are they doing here? Nothing. And the issue is also with the borders in Greece, Italy, Spain. Imagine if we used that £12 million there."

Mr Vaz said the EU should cooperate with the governments of Turkey and northern Africa, from where the migrants sail or cross by land into Europe.

"The solution is not building camps to house them, or fences to keep them out," he said. "The solution is starting with the source countries, and Libya, Algeria, Morocco. Because once they get to Calais, it's too late."

He said Britain, at the same time, needed to start "a propaganda war."

"We need to show that there is no soft touch in Europe. That you are better not to set off on that long journey to Europe, because it will not be worth it. Let me be very clear: the benefits system in Britain is very tough indeed."

Mr Vaz was accompanied by two members of the Home Affairs Committee, Tim Loughton and David Winnick. The three visited the port area to be shown how the lorries were scanned, and the Eurotunnel to see the security measures in place.

They also spoke to some of the estimated 1,500 migrants currently living in Calais – sleeping rough in the forests outside the city, or in squatter houses scattered throughout the town.

The committee was told that the numbers of migrants caught trying to enter Eurotunnel had doubled since last year – rising from 6,000 in 2013 to 12,000 this year.

At the port, 10,000 migrants have been stopped since January 1. The majority are Eritrean, Sudanese, Afghan or Albanian. ...

The real villains, Mr Vaz said, are not the migrants themselves but the criminal gangs who traffic people into Calais and smuggle them onto the lorries. ...

Mr Vaz's visit followed the appearance of Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, before his committee on October 28.

She said that Britain needed to overhaul its benefits system and lax identity controls which made the country seem like "El Dorado" to the migrants.

Mr Vaz told a press conference in Calais town hall yesterday that it was not simply a question of Britain reforming its benefits system.

"I believe that this is the number one problem facing Europe," he said. "And the answer must be at EU level."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – ANTISEMITISM
Criticism of Israel is consistent anti-racism, as with apartheid
Phillip Goodall
The Guardian, 6 December 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

It's not at all self-evident that linking Jews with sharpness about money constitutes antisemitism, let alone racism (Antisemitism is racism and merits equal contempt, 3 December). A character in the film Kes was accused of "throwing his money about like a Scotsman with no arms". This kind of stereotyping – Italians with cowardice, Irish with stupidity, French with licentiousness, Americans with cultural shallowness, English with snobbery or emotional constipation – is mostly associated with rather coarse or lazy habits of mind, but it isn't generally called antiScotsism, antiItalianism, or antiIrishism etc.

It isn't always very nice, perhaps, but shouldn't we at least equally challenge any assumption that generalisations about cultural differences between peoples and nations are always wrong? Remember, if it were so, positive qualities – of which so many and so significant are also attributed to the Jewish people and culture – would in logic have to go out with negative ones. ...
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DEBATE, PUBLIC SERVICES
Immigration debate will get 'very nasty', Labour MP warns
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2014

The immigration debate will get "very nasty" if politicians continue to ignore the pressure the foreigners are placing on Britain's public services, a Labour MP has warned.

Frank Field, a former employment minister, said that immigration is causing Britain's population to increase by the size of the city of Birmingham every two years.

He said that while immigrants make a positive contribution to the economy, it is "a lot less than people think".

He said that the levels of immigration must be questioned at a time when public spending is facing huge cuts. ...

"That is the underlying theme to politics which if we as politicians continue to ignore what is going on is obviously going to become very nasty."

He said that it would be "foolish" to say that immigrants do no make a positive contribution to the economy, but added: "The dispute is actually how big that contribution is because quite naturally people who come here to work draw the proceeds of work.

"What is actually left over in their contribution to the wider community is a lot less I think that actually people maintain. But I don't actually think it is a question about that anymore."
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS
'Border security damaged by staff shortage', claims poll
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2014

An overwhelming majority of Britain's border guards have said security is being damaged by staff shortages, meaning illegal immigrants and contraband could be evading detection.

A poll of 500 members of Border Force staff, carried out by a trade union and ITV News, found 98 per cent said there were not enough guards to check goods vehicles and freight for illegal substances and stowaways.

More than six out of 10 also said they had been taken off customs duties to check passengers' passports as a result of staff shortages, with most saying this happened on a regular basis. ...

ITV News also said the number of illegal immigrants found in Britain rose from 6,520 in 2012 to 8,564 in 2013, according to figures obtained under freedom of information laws.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – BORDER SECURITY
Why are we allowing an army of thugs and riff raff into this country?
Frederick Forsyth
Daily Express, 5 December 2014

Once again David Cameron has been humiliated by the revelation of figures showing immigration from the EU to have skyrocketed after he had pledged "no ifs, no buts" to bring it plunging down.

All right, it is the dire economic situation of the Eurozone that has triggered the lemming-like rush for the French cliffs and then the UK.

But that was all totally foreseeable.

Almost the same day we learned these figures we also saw once again the battered face of Mr Paul Kohler, beaten half to death by four Polish thugs. Now, I regard the Poles as a very fine people but these were four animals.

Is there any connection here? Of course there is if our politicians had the wit to see it.

Our hands may be tied on immigrants seeking work, but not on thugs and career gangsters.

There are an estimated 30,000 EU-sourced criminals in the UK, about 11,000 in prison, the rest on the streets.

Hardly a week goes by without reportage of a crime of major theft or violence by a foreign perpetrator.

What would Brussels say, what would it dare say, if we began by giving career criminals a one-way ticket home?

I suspect there would be an icy silence, Treaty of Rome or no Treaty of Rome.

And from the British people? A thunderous round of cheering.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – MAFIA, ITALY
For Rome's mafia, more refugees means more money
Rick Noack
Washington Post, 5 December 2014

Italy's mafia is renowned all over the world for its brutality and omnipresence in the south of the country. Judicial documents have now revealed surprising details about the organization's revenue sources in Rome. According to the Italian news agency ANSA, a mafia network run by Massimo Carminati – known in Italy as the "last king of Rome" – makes most of its revenue by extorting money destined for the country's Roma population and immigrants.

The documents explain how the mafia bribes officials to gain access to profitable public work contracts. ... Other evidence suggests that Rome's mafia has largely given up on trafficking in drugs and has instead embraced the more profitable "immigration business," according to investigators.
[Site link]

Up

REPATRIATION/DEPORTATION – CRIMINALS
Only two leave UK under scheme to deport petty foreign criminals
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 4 December 2014

A flagship Home Office scheme to deport foreign criminals and save £10m a year has led to only two offenders leaving the UK, according to a watchdog report published by immigration inspectors.

The report – which the home secretary, Theresa May, has sat on for more than five months – says a Home Office target of removing 62 immigration offenders under a conditional cautioning scheme has been wildly missed during the past 12 months.

May has still not published four other reports she received in August from John Vine, the chief inspector of borders and immigration. They are believed to include two highly critical reports on nationality and overstayers.

The flagship cautioning scheme was announced by the home secretary in April last year in an attempt to increase the number of deportations of foreign nationals charged with petty and low-level offences. Under the scheme individuals can avoid prosecution by agreeing to leave the UK for at least five years and accepting a caution.

But the Vine report says that the Home Office consistently missed its targets for offering cautions to foreign nationals who had been arrested by the police as well securing their removal.

The failure is uncovered in the inspection report on Operation Nexus, under which immigration officials work jointly with the police to boost the deportations of foreign criminals.

The chief inspector says Operation Nexus had more success in increasing the number of removals in London where there has been a 158% rise in the number of immigration offenders from 418 in 2011/12 to 1,077 in 2013/14.

But he found a similar effort in the West Midlands where immigration officials were "embedded" in three police custody suites was less effective.

The chief inspector says that only 336 out of 717 foreign criminals who identified themselves to the police had their immigration status checked and the number of removals barely improved during the period of the special operation.

Operation Nexus has since been extended to Manchester and Scotland but, as the Commons public accounts committee documented, there has been too little progress in increasing the number of foreign criminals leaving the country despite nearly £1bn being spent and a tenfold increase in staffing.

Vine said the police and immigration officials were more successful in targeting "high harm" criminals for deportation leading to 85 of them leaving Britain in the past year. He said that such successful cooperation showed the potential for Operation Nexus to be implemented successfully.
[Site link]

Up

ASYLUM – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
UK hands visas to eight illegal migrants a day
Daily Express, 4 December 2014

Britain's soft-touch system is granting asylum to illegal immigrants and those who overstay their visas at a rate of up to eight a day.

Figures reveal that the number who move from being here illegally to legal residency each year – and with it the right to tap into Britain's welfare state – has doubled since 2010.

Up to 11,500 migrants were given refuge in the UK in only four years with many only claiming sanctuary after their visas ran out.

Ukip migration spokesman Steven Woolfe said: "Not only has the Government broken its promises on the number of legal migrants entering the UK, but it still remains ignorant and delusional about the problems we face over illegal immigration.

"These figures will have a serious effect on social cohesion and the provision of public services that the Government budgeted for in yesterday's Autumn Statement.

"The Government needs to tell us what levels of legal and illegal migration it has planned for in its economic numbers.

"Otherwise, it's like building a house and not knowing how many will be living in it."

The figures were released by Home Office minister James Brokenshire. ...

Migrants who sneak into the UK then claim asylum make up the majority at 9,679, with 1,775 overstaying visas accounting for the rest.

Even on the lower estimate, the total more than doubled from 1,400 a year in 2010 to 3,300 in 2013.

Ugandans led the stampede for the right to stay with 2,410 over four years – often by saying they are gay and face persecution.

Those from Eritrea are the second biggest group with almost 1,400 granted asylum since 2010.
[Site link]

Up

REPATRIATION/DEPORTATION – CTIMINALS
3,200 foreigners deported from UK in crime crackdown
Justin Davenport and Martin Bentham
Evening Standard (London), 4 December 2014

More than 3,000 foreign criminals have been deported from Britain after being suspected of committing crimes including rape and murder in London, figures revealed today.

They include 188 who are classified as "high harm" offenders suspected of serious crime and violence.

The joint Home Office and Met Police crackdown has been rolled out across the UK after the success of a pilot scheme in the capital.

Figures show that more than 3,200 foreign offenders have been removed since the Operation Nexus scheme was launched less than three years ago, including 192 dangerous offenders considered by police to represent a particularly serious threat.

These included 3,100 people deported from London, including 188 "high harm" individuals, suspected of serious assaults, robberies, possession of weapons, rape and murder. The dangerous criminals are also banned from returning for 10 years.

Under the project, Home Office immigration officials are embedded in police custody suites to check on a suspect's immigration status and their criminal history. Since early November, the Met has been routinely checking overseas convictions for all EU nationals as well as the immigration status of suspects.

The scheme follows a series of cases involving foreign criminals committing serious offences here. ...

Last week, it emerged that members of a Polish gang who attacked university professor Paul Kohler, 55, and his wife in their Wimbledon home had convictions for violent robberies.

Police say they are arresting 200 foreign nationals a day in London, though 33 per cent of London's population comprises foreign nationals. About 50 per cent of those arrested are EU nationals.

Some of those who are deported are convicted criminals in the UK illegally and are sent back to their home countries after serving sentences here. Many others are suspected serious criminals against whom there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

Intelligence gathered by police is put before immigration courts to prove that their presence in Britain is "not conducive to the public good".
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT – REMOTE-CONTROLLED ROBOTS
Will remote-controlled robots clean you out of a job?
New Scientist, 4 December 2014

Faced with the difficulty of developing genuinely smart robots, people are exploring the idea of having humans guide relatively dumb machines. Trials are under way with cleaning robots, but it is not hard to see how the same technology could be used to outsource all sorts of jobs, from receptionists to care workers.

Robotics thus has the potential to help countries that are short of labour by, in effect, importing virtual workers – if it can win public acceptance.

That will be challenging. Outsourcing has already caused economic and political upheaval; farming out yet more blue-collar work to "digital immigrants" who undercut the natives is likely to be no less disruptive.

Many of the jobs that are in the roboticists' sights are already done by immigrants. In the UK, that largely means people from poorer parts of the European Union, whose increased presence in the country is stoking anti-immigration hysteria. How digital immigrants will be received is impossible to predict.

Those whose jobs are on the line, meanwhile, will be hostile: a report from the University of Oxford last year suggested that as many as half of all jobs in the US could be at risk from automation and computerisation.

We are likely to see cultural difficulties arise, too. Anyone who has been shuttled from one operator to another on a helpline will understand why: the lack of a human bond engenders mistrust, and differences in etiquette can quickly foster discontent and even xenophobia. This has already begun to manifest in telerobotics tests, when early users of a cleaning service reported being "creeped out" by the idea that an anonymous stranger might be viewing them and their property through the eyes of a robot.

So researchers are now working on ways to make telerobotics more customer-friendly ...
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – NATIVITY PLAYS
We love nativity plays, yet they seem doomed
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2014

Well, I'm afraid, we can no longer take it for granted that British children will be taught any part of the Christian story. According to a poll by Netmums, nearly half of all schools have scrapped the traditional nativity play for an updated version. Carols replaced by tinny pop songs and religious figures dropped in favour of Elvis Presley and Premier League footballers.

As shoppers splashed out £650 million on "Cyber Monday", it's dismaying to think that one of the remaining sources of spirituality and meaning at Christmas is being eroded. There are few more touching things in this world than a group of mixed infants singing Away in a Manger. A row of Elvises and David Beckhams boogying to Santa Claus is Coming to Town doesn't have quite the same seasonal magic, does it?

And so another part of our culture dies, mainly because politically correct apparatchiks fear they will cause offence to people of other faiths. I can think of no other country that has so swiftly and cravenly deferred to the sensibilities of immigrants, even though most incomers are delighted to take part in this country's traditions.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – UKRAINIANS
Fleeing war and crumbling economy, Ukrainians flock to Europe
Liisa Tuhkanen and Guy Faulconbridge
Reuters, 4 December 2014

Andriy left his home town in western Ukraine earlier this year on a journey that brought him through the hands of shady traders in Poland to one of the world's booming markets for illegal immigrants - London.

Fleeing the strife of war with Russian-backed fighters and a shattered economy, Andriy is following a path similar to one taken by thousands of his fellow Ukrainians who have travelled either eastwards to Russia or westwards to the European Union. ...

More than 4,300 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine since pro-Russian rebels seized border regions in April. Nearly a million people have fled the area, with a surge in the past two months.

Most have fled to other areas of Ukraine but some have gone further afield, with thousands seeking a new life in Russia and, increasingly, Europe.

According to several legal and illegal migrants who spoke to Reuters, many are coming via gangs in Poland, the Baltics and Ukraine that offer fake or doctored EU documents for several thousand dollars, plus the option of transport to Western Europe where spot document checks are extremely rare.

The nature of illegal immigration means it yields little data but legal flows show Ukrainians were the biggest single group of non-EU citizens granted residency permits by EU members in 2013.

According to Eurostat, 236,700 Ukrainians were granted residency permits by EU states last year, and 171,800 of those permits were granted in Poland, one of the main routes for Ukrainians to travel to Western Europe. ...

The migrants thrive in a taxless underworld that is flush with demand and cash: Andriy has no intention of returning to Ukraine because demand for his decorating and repair services is high in London's booming property market.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – SHOPLIFTING
Weekend trafficking: Gangs now flying shoplifters into Britain and back on budget airlines
Paul Peachey
The Independent, 4 December 2014

Eastern European victims of people trafficking are being exploited by criminal gangs to carry out weekends of high-end shoplifting before being returned home on block-booked budget airline flights, in a new trend of modern slavery identified by Scotland Yard.

UK-based gang leaders are marshalling groups of up to 20 people brought over from countries such as Poland and Lithuania on cheap flights to target designer shops during trips lasting just a few days, detectives said yesterday.

The gangs accept a 20 per cent arrest rate as the cost of a "weekend trafficking" operation that can secure items worth up to £100,000 that are then taken out of the country for resale. Suspected thieves who have given statements have told police that they have been coerced into carrying out crimes out of fear about what would happen to their families if they refused. ...

A report into the scale of human trafficking into Britain earlier this year found that six of the top 10 source countries of trafficking victims were European, with most coming from Romania and Poland. Statistics from Scotland Yard also revealed that more than a quarter of people arrested for criminal offences in the capital were foreign nationals.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DIVERSITY
Immigration's 'dark side': a challenge for the left [part 1]
Paul Collier
Policy Network, 4 December 2014
[Paul Collier is professor of economics and public policy at the University of Oxford]

The spectacular rise in support for the UK Independence party has, at its root, widespread concerns among ordinary people that immigration has become excessive. The instinctive response of the intellectual left has been to dismiss these concerns as a mixture of proxies for racism and misunderstandings of economic realities. The response from the radical chic has been social condescension: Englishness is naff and the St George's flag risible. But these responses have in turn induced a dangerously debilitating reaction from ordinary people. They infer that political elites are disconnected from the realities that they themselves face. Roma arrive on the housing estates of Sheffield, not the lovely homes of Hampstead. ...

The place to start is to strip advocacy out of analysis. Some concerns about immigration can then be shown by evidence to be groundless, while others look to be legitimate. The groundless include all the short-term economic concerns about competition for jobs and claims on benefits. There is now rather solid evidence about the effects of immigration on the British labour market. It shows that the effects are positive but very small: the most recent and convincing study finds that a decade of rapid immigration raised British wages by 0.5% (Docquier, Ozden and Peri, Economic Journal, 2014). This has implications for both sides of the debate. Ukip's assertions that immigrants from 'new' Europe are stealing jobs and lowering wages are false. But so are the self-serving counter-claims of British business, and the narratives of immigration-driven prosperity peddled by the pro-migration lobby. ...

Ukip's concerns about tax and benefit payments have no substance in respect of immigrants from Europe, but they are correct for non-EU immigration. The recent estimate of a net cost of £118bn over 16 years works out at around £120 cost per year per British citizen. This is not negligible, but it is almost cancelled by the small gain from the higher wages that immigration has generated. In other words, the net economic effect of immigration on the rest of us has effectively been zero. Within this there have, of course, been modest winners and modest losers. ...

If the debate was about the economic effects of the surge in migration the only conclusion would be that the passion on both sides has been misplaced. But obviously, these are not the real issues. Immigration is a social, not an economic, phenomenon. The pro-immigration lobby does not really think that it is vital for the economy; it is terrified that any other narrative would unleash hostility to immigrants. The anti-immigration lobby does not really think that immigration has caused an economic shipwreck; it is fearful that social cohesion is being destroyed.

The way out of the fly bottle is to recognise that the proposition that past immigration has been modestly beneficial is entirely compatible with the proposition that further immigration should be curtailed. Existing immigrants have made a useful contribution, but future rapid immigration should be discouraged because of its longer-term social effects. These effects work partly through the size of the population and partly through its composition.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DIVERSITY
Immigration's 'dark side': a challenge for the left [part 2]
Paul Collier
Policy Network, 4 December 2014

Immigrants overwhelmingly come to England rather than the other, less crowded, parts of Britain. By European and North American standards, England is already very heavily populated. It shows up in the severe congestion of the major cities. Rapid population growth requires continuous encroachment on rural areas, something that is already deeply resisted by English environmentalists and also has direct practical implications for flooding (see, for example, 'Effects of Urban Development on Floods', Konrad, US Geological Survey). England's transport infrastructure is overstretched, and its housing stock overpriced. If rapid immigration implies substantial population growth, it is not hard to see why many ordinary people would quite reasonably be opposed to it. The case for a stable population is an entirely sensible social goal.

The important implications of immigration for social composition are not about who we should let it. The notion that Britain should win some global scramble for talent by denuding poorer societies I find troubling, and it implicitly denigrates our own population. Rather, it is about the appropriate degree of diversity in our society. Social heterogeneity is a matter of degree. ... Diversity brings variety and stimulus, but it also weakens cooperation and generosity towards the less fortunate.

Of particular concern to the left is that as diversity increases, cohesion erodes, and voters become less willing to support generous welfare programmes. I describe some of the supporting global research in my book Exodus. But the research available while I was writing it investigated the effects of social heterogeneity in general and only incidentally on that generated by immigration. New, highly rigorous experimental research has focused specifically upon the effect of immigration. The Oxford political scientist Sergi Pardos and his colleague Jordi Munos find that immigration reduces the willingness of non-immigrants to finance welfare benefits out of taxation. They further investigate which type of benefit is most undermined by immigration. Worryingly, their answer is that targeted benefits are considerably more vulnerable than universal benefits.

This matters because in the difficult fiscal circumstances of the coming decade, overall expenditure on benefits will clearly be squeezed. Ed Balls has already announced a reduction in child benefits, which will inevitably be the first of many. In such a fiscal climate, the most straightforward way to protect the needy would be for benefits to be converted from being universal to being targeted. The new research tells us that immigration makes that option substantially less politically acceptable. We can have a more generous society or more immigrants, but perhaps not both.

... It has become a commonplace that Ukip is essentially the English SNP, but this is usually meant merely as an insult that both are playing the nationalist card. The deeper truth is that both are offering a reduction in social diversity. There should be no surprise that this is appealing to those who depend upon cohesion. Alex Salmond can safely posture in praise of diversity. With a straight face he can welcome immigration because both he and Scottish voters know that it will not happen: immigrants will continue to go overwhelmingly to England. The politically correct nod to diversity is a cheery conceit.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DIVERSITY
Immigration's 'dark side': a challenge for the left [part 3]
Paul Collier
Policy Network, 4 December 2014

Consistent with the research on the adverse effect of immigration on generosity, since the post-1997 surge in immigration there has been a huge decline in voter willingness to accept higher taxes in return for higher social spending. Other research shows an adverse effect of increased diversity on cooperation. Modern societies depend upon a myriad of cooperation games which we know from behavioural psychology typically crack at some threshold of non-compliance. ... Here are some uncongenial examples for which immigration may be pertinent:



• Gun culture: in the 1950s Jamaican criminals and police used guns, whereas British criminals and police did not. Unsurprisingly, when Jamaican criminals came to Britain they brought their gun culture with them. During subsequent decades British police and indigenous criminals have also started to use guns.

• Loyalty: social scientists now think of frequency distributions of attitudes. Salmon Rushdie has recently drawn attention to the contrasting proportions of Muslim youth joining Islamic State and the British army. These are the observable tails of an unobservable distribution of loyalties that also affects less dramatic choices.

• Otherness: as identities fragment, people start to see others as alien and so not subject to the normal restraints on behaviour. ...; the emergence of caste discrimination and slavery as common British phenomena are analogous.

• Prison gangs: during the 1950s, rapid changes in the Californian prison population led to the formation of ethnic gangs. Despite their grim consequences they have proved impossible to eradicate (The Social Order of the Underworld, Skarbeck, 2014). ... Our prisons may be in the first stage of ethnic gang formation.



At some point, fragmented identities become oppositional. With isolated exceptions English society is not yet so characterised and hopefully never will be. But more identity-divided societies such as Kenya are now at this stage. People are excessively loyal within their group: school boards cease to function properly as people refuse to sanction people of their own identity (Miguel and Gugerty, Journal of Public Economics, 2005). People are unable to cooperate across identity divides for local public goods (Miguel, World Politics, 2003). Voters support co-ethnics regardless of how they judge performance (Kenya: Policies for Prosperity, Adam, Collier and Ndungu (eds.), chapter 17, 2010). On production lines rival identity groups actively sabotage each other's work even at cost to themselves (Hjort, Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming). ...

The implication of a stable population is that we indeed need some target for net immigration, although what it should be depends upon the fertility decisions of residents. That in turn depends upon child benefits. Labour increased them, inducing an increase in the birth rate to above replacement levels. The link from benefits to birth rates has been standard in economics for decades, but sceptics could be disabused by the recent work of Cohen, Dehejia and Romanov (Do Financial Incentives Affect Fertility?, Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013). They showed rigorously that fertility rates are sensitive to changes in government child subsidies, with the effect most pronounced among poorer families. ...
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DIVERSITY
Immigration's 'dark side': a challenge for the left [part 4]
Paul Collier
Policy Network, 4 December 2014

... On the ubiquitous official tick-box identity forms, used in the NHS, museums and schools, 'English' is not even a permitted category, though 'Irish' is welcome. Even at its best, the multiculturalism agenda can produce only mutual 'respect' between distinct clusters of identity.

Yet the requirements of a compassionate society are far more demanding: not merely mutual respect, but mutual 'regard'. For regard to be more than the patronising compassion of de haut en bas, it has to come from a sense of common identity. I have spent my life trying to encourage a sense of common humanity between rich and poor societies. But I have to face the reality that by far the most effective expression of mass mutual regard that mankind has achieved has been through a few inclusive national identities that embrace large populations. A common English identity is not an embarrassing anachronism, but a marvellous inheritance of immense social value which we should be protecting.

Both stabilising the population and stabilising diversity imply major reductions in the rate of immigration from the levels of the recent past. ... ...

... Labour could revive its policy of identity cards: as a consequence of the Conservative campaign against them we have become a paradise for illegality. ...

Ukip has ingeniously linked its core obsession with Europe to the electorate's core obsession with immigration. The attempt to counter it by the message that continued immigration is economically necessary is seen by ordinary people as a self-serving elite narrative that conceals contempt for their concerns. This is now building to a dangerous political upheaval: no party will garner the legitimacy to govern if it secures less than a third of the vote, regardless of seats in parliament.

The left is best-placed to break out of this spiral: ... Only Labour can credibly justify effective controls by a rationale of social cohesion and environmental sustainability, untainted by accusations of racism.

A rethink does not imply a renunciation of core beliefs. That the rise in diversity in England has been a net benefit to the non-immigrant population is not in dispute. Rather, it involves recognising that diversity also has a dark side and that as it increases, so do the risks. Further increases in diversity might significantly erode generosity and cooperation, and might at some point tip the balance into the range of problems now evident from Kenya's multiculturalism. Or they might not: we cannot tell. But we have reached the range in which there are no significant economic benefits to the current population from further rapid immigration, while we already have enormous variety of choice. By the nature of these risks, and the powerful psychological forces that discount inconvenient evidence, if the only process whereby Labour policy on immigration gets rethought is to wait until social damage becomes incontrovertible, it may be extremely difficult to reverse. On the balance of gains v risks, the prudent policy is to have an immigration pause while we assess how both integration and fertility evolve. Unfortunately, this class of argument requires judgment rather than dogmatism. Acting to pre-empt deterioration in social cohesion is analogous to acting to pre-empt global warming. 'Wait and see' may be convenient, but it would not be wise.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – JOBSEEKERS' ALLOWANCE
Migrants who can't find work 'will lose benefits': 4,000 long term claimants face tough new tests
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 3 December 2014

Thousands of EU migrants who are still on the dole after a lengthy stay in Britain could have their benefits taken away under a crackdown to be unveiled today.

Up to 4,000 Europeans living here for a year or more will be assessed on whether they have the genuine prospect of finding work.

Those who fail will lose their right to Jobseeker's Allowance.

The measures are in addition to David Cameron's detailed plans to ban EU migrants from claiming benefits including lucrative tax credits until they have worked in this country for four years. ...

From January this year EU migrants were given a maximum of six months of JSA claims during which they could look for work. In July, Mr Cameron announced this would be cut to three months.

But the rules were not retrospective, meaning some 4,000 EU migrants who have been here since before January do not fall under the six months maximum. ...

Currently, Jobseeker's Allowance is paid out at £72.40 a week for over 25s and £57.35 a week for under 25s. Meanwhile, Eurosceptic Tory MPs will attempt to embarrass Mr Cameron today with a new demand to seize back powers from Europe over borders and immigration.

Twelve backbenchers have signed up to a proposal that would hand Parliament an override on all diktats from Brussels – and allow Britain to overrule rulings from European judges.

The Bill would provide for an effective veto of any law coming out of the European Union with a majority vote in both Houses of Parliament.
[Site link]

Up

ASYLUM – BORDER CONTROLS
European court: asking asylum seekers to prove sexuality is breach of human rights
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2014

Gay and lesbian asylum seekers must not be asked to prove they are homosexual in order to stay in Britain, following a judgement by a European court yesterday.

Asking refugees detailed questions about their sexual habits in order to establish whether they are at risk of persecution at home is a breach of their fundamental human right to a private life, the European Court of Justice ruled. ...

In a ruling that may have implications on British cases, the court said an asylum seeker's failure to answer questions about their personal circumstances was not sufficient reason to reject their credibility.

Nor was an applicant's failure to declare his homosexuality from the start grounds to reject a claim, the judges said.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – XENOPHOBIA
Boris Johnson: Being xenophobic is human, and it's up to politicians to praise immigrants
Joseph Watts
Evening Standard (London), 3 December 2014

Boris Johnson today said it is part of human nature to be xenophobic and that those who were afraid of foreigners were "not bad people".

But the London Mayor said it is up to politicians to highlight benefits immigrants bring and call for a "welcoming policy" for those wanting to work in the UK. ...

The Mayor finished his trip by delivering a keynote speech to an audience including the Prime Minister of Malaysia in which he drilled home a message that the UK needs to stay open.

It has been a key theme at a time when the immigration debate has dominated and soon after the Prime Minister announced a major crackdown on benefits tourism.

Last week in Singapore the Mayor said there was a "certain amount of xenophobia" in the UK debate.

Speaking in Kuala Lumpur he expanded: "All human beings are prey to that feeling.

"It's part of human nature. It doesn't mean people are bad people, ok?

"What we've got to do is point out that there are benefits of immigration and that there are benefits of having talented people, and having a welcoming policy to people that will work hard."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – ANTISEMITISM
Antisemitism is racism. We need to acknowledge that
David Baddiel
The Guardian, 3 December 2014

In those terms, the campaign myself and my brother created, with Kick Racism Out of Football, to raise awareness of the chanting of the Y-word and associated antisemitic abuse at Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham and other clubs, also wasn't just about football. It was about a realisation we had that, in a culture much possessed by the idea that certain hate-inspiring words and ideas pertaining to race had now become unacceptable, somehow the hate words and ideas pertaining to Jews had got left out of the unacceptable bracket; or at least put into the "Well, that isn't quite so bad" bracket; or a "Well, maybe they mean it in a nice way" bracket. ...

... But it points to a key problem as regards the wider apprehension of antisemitism, which is that the left – which, in the end, is where anti-racist ideas start and trickle down even to people like Dave Whelan and Mario Balotelli – has always been a little bit ambiguous about Jews (an ambiguity that has clearly become even more ambiguous since Israel was deemed the nutcase pariah state du jour). ...

You can see this, I think, in the way Mackay, Whelan and Balotelli's remarks are referred to in reportage as involving racism and antisemitism. What is that? Why are those two things separated? Antisemitism is racism. When I've said this before on Twitter, people get into a pedantic spin about whether or not Jews are a race or a religion, but that's irrelevant: they are considered a race by racists. The Gestapo were very happy to murder Jewish atheists. Therefore antisemitism is racism, and the separation of it from racism in general can be considered a way of saying "obviously, though, not as bad as racism towards black or Asian people: that's clearly the top racism".
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, WELFARE BENEFITS
Polish minister warns David Cameron that proposed migrant welfare reforms will cross a 'red line'
Antonia Molloy
The Independent, 2 December 2014

A Polish politician has warned Prime Minster David Cameron that Poland would firmly oppose plans to curb the amount of benefits paid to European migrants entering the UK.

Rafal Trzaskowski said it was an "absolute red line" for his government that there is no discrimination in the welfare system on grounds of nationality – and said Warsaw would block the measures unless they applied to Britons as well.

The deputy foreign minister said the plans to stop migrants from claiming benefits for the first four years after they arrive in Britain as well as kick out those who fail to find work after six months would go against all existing laws and insisted Poland would oppose the plans as they currently stand.

Mr Cameron has admitted that his proposals would require treaty change but would need support from across the EU to push through such measures.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS
Britain now home to 4.9M migrants
Ed Riley
Daily Star, 2 December 2014

Britain is now home to 4.9 million migrants – that's one in 12 of the population.

They include 679,000 Poles, the same as the number who live in Poland's second biggest city, Krakow. About 1.3 million foreigners from the 10 eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 have moved to Britain.

The total number of foreign nationals has risen by 3% to 4.9 million last year, which is 7.9% of our population. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released the detailed figures yesterday.

Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the EU in 2004. Romania and Bulgaria followed in 2007. But the report revealed Britain was not Europe's top destination for migrant workers with four times as many EU workers moving to Germany than the UK.

Almost 30% of migrants moving under rules within the EU in 2012 went to Germany compared with just 7% coming to the UK, the OECD said.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS
Migration Watch's Lord Green on UK population rise
BBC, 1 December 2014

The UK's population could rise by 10 million in 20 years mainly due to immigration, said the chairman of the Migration Watch think tank.

Lord Green said that, unlike some other countries, the UK did not need immigration in order to sustain its population.

He called for work permits to control the numbers, and suggested that net migration to the UK of 70,000 would be an acceptable level.

And he said of the number of immigrants in Britain "Why not consult the public? 70% want it reduced, 50% want it reduced by a lot."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – EU, WELFARE BENEFITS
EU says UK must dole out MORE benefits: Brussels takes legal action to force Britain to lift restrictions on migrants claiming handouts
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Britain will be forced to pay benefits to even more migrants under EU plans to be fought over in a politically explosive court case.

Officials in Brussels last night confirmed that the European Commission is taking legal action to make Britain lift existing restrictions that prevent some migrants claiming child benefit and child tax credit in the UK. The news comes just days after David Cameron pledged to cut handouts in a bid to reduce soaring immigration.

The case at Europe's highest court will further anger the public and politicians who have called on the Government to tighten up Britain's generous welfare system and make the country a less attractive destination for would-be immigrants.

If Britain loses, it will either have to change the law to allow jobless migrant families to claim child benefit, or face paying millions in fines.

Latest figures show 24,000 families are currently claiming child benefit of at least £89 a month for 38,500 children living abroad, at an estimated cost of £30 million a year, while 4,000 claim child tax credit.

On Friday, the Prime Minister pledged to end the 'exporting' of child benefit, as well as to ban migrant workers from claiming tax credits until they have worked in the UK for four years. ...

The case, to be heard at the European Court of Justice, centres on the 'right-to-reside' test that EU migrants must pass before they can claim benefits in this country.

Labour introduced it in 2004 as concerns began to be raised about the 'open doors' policy that would eventually see more than one million Eastern Europeans arrive over a decade. The test allows officials to check if benefit claimants are 'economically active' – in a job, self-employed or looking for work – or able to support themselves.

But since 2011, the European Commission has been telling the UK that the right-to-reside rule is discriminatory, as it makes it easier for native Britons to access social security than migrants. ...

It can be disclosed today that court papers were lodged on June 27 this year. ... ...

Professor Steve Peers, an expert in EU law at Essex University, said: 'This is a very important case regarding whether the UK can deny benefits to other EU citizens and could potentially have a big impact on Mr Cameron's renegotiation plans.' A Treasury insider insisted the right-to-reside test was 'vital and fair', adding: 'We are not only fighting this, but pressing ahead with plans to strengthen the UK benefits and tax credits system to ensure it cannot be abused.'

Next month, the Luxembourg-based court will pass judgment in a separate case about whether or not Britain can opt out of a decision to give Turkish migrants more rights to social security systems in Europe. The UK has already lost two similar cases involving other countries outside the EU.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Cameron dropped plans to cap EU immigration after being 'sat on by the Germans' claims top Tory
Tom McTague
MailOnline, 30 November 2014

David Cameron dropped plans to put a cap on the number of EU immigrants allowed into Britain after being 'sat on' by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a former minister said today.

The Prime Minister announced last week that he would ban migrants from claiming benefits for four years after moving to Britain. But he failed to include a controversial 'emergency break' on migration if the benefit cuts did not lead to a fall in the number of EU workers moving to the UK.

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson today said he did not think Mr Cameron could 'deliver' even his watered-down pledge. He said: 'It looks as if we've already been sat on by the Germans.'

In a further blow to Mr Cameron – just days after his set-piece immigration speech – leading Eurosceptic Tories will now table a bill on Wednesday to override the EU's principle of free movement of workers.

It comes amid claims 200 Tory MPs want to leave the European Union. Tory veteran Sir Bill Cash has warned that at least two thirds of the 303 Conservatives in the Commons now want to leave.

Mr Paterson – a leading Tory favouring Britain's exit from the EU – told the Prime Minister he had to 'deliver' on his promise to cut benefits for migrants.

He added: 'It's quite clearly impossible for a country like ours to absorb 260,000 new immigrants net every year, it's putting a terrible strain on public services and causing real social problems.'

'This is a real pressing problem. We cannot go into long, rambling negotiations with the European Union, particularly if they're not going to play ball.'
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – COST, SCHOOLS
£244 MILLION - That's the staggering sum YOU pay each year to help children in British schools who cannot speak English
Jonathan Petre
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Teaching children who come from immigrant families to speak English is costing the taxpayer more than £244 million a year.

The extraordinary level of funding allocated to deal with the language problem in schools emerged just days after immigration from the European Union was revealed to have reached a record high.

Department for Education figures for the current school year suggest the costs have risen by about £40 million in just three years – up from £204 million in 2011.

The money is currently allocated to schools by local authorities on the basis of the number of pupils they have with English 'as an additional language', with primaries in England getting £190 million in 2014-15 and secondaries £54 million.

Most of the Government's vast expenditure goes on teachers who specialise in teaching English to foreign children, bilingual teaching assistants – and even interpreters for parents' evenings. And increasing numbers of teachers are enrolling on courses to learn how to teach English as a foreign language, often at their own expense.

Some schools are having to offer separate classes for children who have recently arrived from abroad, which they have to attend in order to gain essential skills in oral and written English. Only later will they join classes containing fluent English-speaking pupils.

However, native English-speaking pupils are often losing out, with more time and resources allocated to pupils from immigrant families in the classroom.

Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: 'The teaching of English to pupils from abroad is taking up a large chunk of money at a time when expenditure on education is severely constrained, placing extra stress on our schools.'

He added: 'This is of great concern to parents.

'I know of parents who are so concerned about the impact of large numbers of pupils from abroad on the education of their own children that they have taken steps to move them to schools where they can concentrate on their studies without the distraction of non-native speakers.'

Recent figures revealed that the number of schoolchildren with English as a second language has leapt by a third in just five years, with more than 1.1 million now using another language in the home.

And last year there were 240 schools where 90 per cent or more of pupils did not have English as their native tongue. There were also five schools where not a single child grew up learning English as their first language.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – WAGES
We're adding a migrant city the size of Birmingham every 30 months reveals MP who co-chairs migration group
Frank Field
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sometimes in life, the truth is staring you in the face. We can all see that mass immigration is changing our country – with schools, hospitals, and the housing and welfare systems struggling to meet our taxpayers' wishes.

Too late in the day, the last Labour Government accepted that effectively opening the borders to economic migrants from the rest of Europe had been a mistake.

The Coalition Government has done little to help, admitting last week that David Cameron's laudable pledge to cut immigration to the 'tens of thousands' was in tatters amid an influx of 583,000 immigrants last year – a worse record than the last Labour Government.

Despite plans to restrict welfare to people who have already paid in to our tax system, the Prime Minister is still in danger of missing the European bus.

Forecasts from the Office for National Statistics suggest that immigration will add a city almost the size of Birmingham to our population every two-and-a-half years for the next 75 years. This is not a misprint.

Current levels of immigration are unprecedented. We recently received more immigrants than in the whole of our history – we now have 1.8 million people here who were born in another European country.

The situation is urgent and has to be tackled as a matter of priority. Any government intent on reducing immigration needs to insist on temporarily barring arrivals from the newest EU member states.

The crucial lesson from the Government's failed attempt to curb the numbers of incomers is that we don't have any control of our borders when it comes to immigration from the European Union.

I believe this has to form the basis of a renegotiation of our terms of membership within the EU. Without this, there is no way the Government will be able to exert any meaningful control. The alternative is to practise the economics of madness.

How can any government set a budget if it doesn't know how many people are going to be here, or how many will need new houses and schools – or how many patients will need to use the NHS?

This is without mentioning the need to plan roads, sewerage and other infrastructure. What's more, we've clearly become the country of choice for immigrants.

While the European Union can't be bothered to collect proper figures for each country, the statistics say there are as many Eastern Europeans living here as there are in Germany, Spain and Italy put together. Half of all Poles and Slovakians and 60 per cent of Latvians and Lithuanians who have moved to Western Europe have chosen to live here. ...

Studies show that each 1 per cent increase in the share of migrants in the labour market leads to a 0.6 per cent decline in the wages of the poorest workers. Those at the top who are earning mega-bucks can look on the sunny side though. The same study shows that the wages of those at the top actually increase under the same circumstances as a result of higher profits.

The impact of immigration solves one long-running economic puzzle, helping to explain why we are living through the longest period in our history when real wages haven't increased or have, for all too many, decreased.
[Site link]

Up

EMIGRATION – POLES
Astonishing new figures show immigration numbers up nearly 50% in just 10 years... as it emerges one MILLION more Poles want to come to UK
Martin Delgado
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Up to one million more Poles are considering moving to the UK to look for work during the next 12 months.

The vast majority are young men aged under 35 who are dissatisfied with wage rates in their homeland, according to a new survey.

There are thought to be at least 500,000 Polish-born people already living in the UK, and the survey suggests that number will continue to rise since relatively few of them are returning home.

Nearly a quarter of those questioned named Britain as the country where they would most like to settle – up from 13 per cent at the beginning of the year.

Germany is favourite, with 26 per cent naming it, and the Netherlands is in third place on 23 per cent. ...

The survey, carried out by international market research company Millward Brown, indicates that one in every five Poles of working age is considering emigrating by the end of 2015 to improve their standard of living.

Many are well educated and already have jobs in Poland, yet are drawn abroad by opportunity to increase their earnings.

The survey was commissioned by Poland's biggest recruitment company, Work Service.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
David Cameron is all fine speeches and no action
Janet Daley
Sunday Telegraph, 30 November 2014

Another week, another smart political move from David Cameron. Or was it? The endlessly trailed and ever-so-long-anticipated speech on immigration finally arrived, and in spite of Mr Cameron's delivery – which implied unambiguous frankness – was immediately subjected to forensic textual analysis. Instead of putting to rest the question of what he really intended to do about the EU, he launched an instant new wave of doubt and interpretation. For all the Kremlinology about how much of this had been pre-agreed with Brussels and sold in advance to the Liberal Democrats, the most concise judgment – oddly enough – came from Ed Miliband: people were not going to believe the Prime Minister's new promises when he had broken the old ones.

Banal it may be as an Opposition leader's retort, but it does hit what has become the most serious (perhaps fatal) Cameron problem squarely on the head. The example at the top of everybody's mind was the failure to deliver on the "no ifs, no buts" promise to reduce immigration, which was so inconveniently exposed by the net migration figures the day before the speech.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – NHS, HEALTH SERVICES
Is THIS why you wait so long to see your GP? Half a million immigrants are signing up at doctors surgeries every year
Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

The strain placed on the NHS by patients from abroad is revealed by figures showing that around half a million immigrants sign up at GP surgeries every year.

The startling finding has come from independent research because the Government has failed to look into the impact of immigration on the health system.

Adding to the demand on the NHS, many GP surgeries lead new arrivals to believe that all health care is free – even though temporary migrants should pay for expensive hospital care, unless it is an emergency.

While doctors struggle with groaning workloads, they are reluctant to talk about immigration and often downplay the issue.

But with more patients sometimes waiting weeks for an appointment with their GP, the issue has begun to move up the political agenda.

On Thursday, Tory Chief Whip Michael Gove became the latest politician to voice concerns.

He told the BBC's Question Time audience that 'the rate and pace of immigration' was creating particular pressures, including those 'on access to GPs and hospitals'.

Experts do not know how many immigrants registering at GPs come from within the EU, but it is estimated they account for about 40 per cent, or 200,000 each year.

Despite growing worries, the Department of Health has not carried out a single study into the impact of a decade's worth of mass immigration on use of the NHS. It has only researched the sensitive issue of 'health tourism'.

However, analysis by the highly respected Nuffield Trust think-tank has found immigration is leading to about half a million joining GPs' books every year.

Researchers Adam Steventon and Martin Bardsley looked at the number of people aged 16 and over registering with a GP for the first time. Mr Steventon said: 'The method is not perfect, but we identified 550,000 probable immigrants registering in the year 2003-04. This rose to 583,000 for 2004-05 and to 625,000 for 2005-06.' ...

Separate figures show that the average length of GP patient lists has increased in 198 of 211 health authority areas across England since April 2013.

Dr Richard Vautrey, a member of the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee, said that although doctors were concerned about being overwhelmed, the pressure was not down to immigrants, but the ageing population.

He said: 'They [GPs] say they are struggling, but it's not because of changes in the population.'

Dr Vautrey added that immigrants tended to be younger and healthier than the general population, elderly people used the NHS far more and GPs were having to carry out more work traditionally done in hospitals. However, he said migrants with poor English did tend to need longer consultations and also the use of interpreters.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – MATERNITY SERVICES, BIRTHS
Huge jump in numbers of East European women who give birth in NHS hospitals
Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Births to women from Eastern European countries in the EU have leapt tenfold over the past decade at NHS hospitals.

In 2004, there were about 4,500 births in England and Wales to women from Poland and other former Eastern bloc nations that are now members of the EU.

But by 2013 that figure had risen to 42,500, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Polish women account for about half of these births, with their number rising from 1,830 a decade ago to 21,275 in 2013. ...

With the average hospital delivery costing around £1,500, the NHS's total maternity bill may have risen by around £57 million due to immigration from these 'new EU' countries.

Women from these countries used to account for a tiny proportion of births in England and Wales overall – just 0.7 per cent in 2004. By 2013 that had grown to 6.1 per cent.

Over a similar period, the ratio of UK births to all foreign-born mothers rose from 19.5 per cent to 26.5 per cent – up from 124,563 in 2004 to 189,075 in 2012.

Births to UK-born women numbered 515,144 in 2004 and 540,572 in 2012.

The rises have left maternity units struggling, with the Royal College of Midwives demanding 3,200 more midwives.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Eurosceptics 'hopping mad' over claims Angela Merkel intervened in David Cameron's attempt to curb migration
Robert Mendick, Tim Ross and Justin Huggler
Sunday Telegraph, 30 November 2014

Senior Conservative MPs are threatening a new revolt over Europe amid claims that the German chancellor Angela Merkel had intervened in David Cameron's plan to curb European Union migration.

Leading Eurosceptic Tories reacted angrily to reports that Mrs Merkel had warned Downing Street she would not tolerate any attempt by the UK to place a cap on the number of European migrants coming to Britain.

They will table a bill on Wednesday – ahead of the Autumn Statement – that would attempt to enshrine in law Britain's right to control its borders and allow Westminster to override the EU's principle of free movement of workers.

The Bill, although unlikely to succeed not least because it will not be given space on the parliamentary timetable, is expected to receive widespread support and provide a rallying point for Conservative MPs disaffected with Brussels. ... ...

Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, rejected accusations Mr Cameron had backed off after pressure from Mrs Merkel. "I don't think that is right. What is right is that we have sought to work with our partners in the EU to understand the best way of delivering a reduction in immigration numbers from the EU in to the UK," Mr Hammond told the BBC.

Mr Hammond attempted to quell backbench rebellion over the failure to announce a cap. He said that with "well over" 400,000 EU nationals claiming UK benefits or tax credits, the changes would make Britain a "significantly less attractive destination" for migrants. He said: "That will get the numbers down."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS
The Observer view on David Cameron's immigration speech
The Observer, 30 November 2014
[Leading article]

On Friday, the prime minister again talked at length about the benefits migrants have brought and Britain's history as "an open country". He warned against the "snake oil of simple solutions". In not advocating a cap on EU immigrants or an "emergency brake" – both a rebuttal of one of the fundamental planks of the European Union, the free flow of labour – Cameron indicated that he had heeded the warnings from Germany to avoid a position that would curtail this country's EU renegotiations before they even commenced.

However, the portrait Cameron then went on to paint of the EU citizen coming to these shores to milk the system was ugly and disingenuous. Usefully for him, it distracted from fundamental flaws in our economy, namely, the lack of investment in skills, qualifications and housing and the huge subsidies paid to employers from the public purse in the form of in-work benefits to boost pitifully low wages.

... Among the measures Cameron intends is banning in-work benefits such as working tax credit and housing benefit for EU migrants for four years, an end to the payment of child benefit to parents whose children live abroad, deportation of an immigrant who is jobless for six months and a four-year wait before eligibility for social housing is granted. They are all measures that are possibly illegal and, even if watered down – a two-year wait for eligibility for benefits? – they are potentially extremely difficult to deliver since the agreement of the other 27 member states is required.

Britain does face a number of challenges on immigration. The way in which Cameron framed those challenges as primarily the exploitation of Britain's welfare system was itself toxic and negative. Cameron said that a migrant in full-time work on a minimum wage with two children currently receives £700 a month in support from the state; twice the amount paid in Germany and three times as much as in France. "No wonder so many people come to Britain," he said. The way statistics are selected shapes the argument. According to figures from the thinktank Open Europe, Britain pays £5bn a year to 415,000 foreign nationals. Open Europe says the change would mean, for instance, that a single worker coming to the UK from Spain, instead of seeing his or her income boosted by a third, would receive 8% less than in their Spanish wage packet.

The difficulty is that if the Spanish worker then stays at home (and first he or she has to find a job in a depressed economy), who will fill the numerous low-paid vacancies in, for instance, the UK care industry? As Katja Hall, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, says: "Immigration has helped to keep the wheels of this recovery turning by plugging skills shortages and allowing UK firms to grow." ...

As Professor Ian Goldin argued on these pages earlier this month, immigrants are also drawn from the highly skilled and motivated. The US Federal Reserve Bank found that "immigrants expand the economy's productive capacity by stimulating investment and promoting specialisation." This is in part because immigrants tend to be "exceptional people" who strive to overcome adversity. This is the positive and vibrant side of the immigration debate that Cameron, Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg never flag up. They are so keen to adopt populist rhetoric that they throw away the opportunity to reframe the debate positively.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – WELFARE BENEFITS, GERMANY
Deport jobless migrants? Germany ALREADY doing what Cameron can only promise
Sunday Express, 30 November 2014

David Cameron's tough new stance on immigration has been left looking too little too late with Germany already enforcing his 'radical' ideas. ...

Instead the PM outlined a number of ideas including shipping out EU migrants who failed to get a job within six months of entering the country.

But it appears Mr Cameron has been taking note of German chancellor Angela Merkel, whose Government passed the same rule yesterday.

Despite Mrs Merkel being an advocate for freedom of movement across the EU, the tightened rules have been made to stop Germany attracting poverty migration. Benefit fraudsters will also be banned from Germany for up to five years.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, INDIA
India's Modi vows to halt illegal immigration from Bangladesh
MailOnline, 30 November 2014

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed Sunday to halt illegal immigration from Bangladesh into Assam, saying they were "destroying" the northeastern state.

Modi, whose right-wing Hindu nationalist party stormed to power at May elections, said: "Bangladeshis are entering Assam every day and destroying the state."

"I will make an arrangement by way of which all the routes used by them to enter Assam are closed," he promised in the state's main city of Guwahati. ...

During his election campaign earlier this year, Modi said illegal immigrants from Bangladesh should pack their bags and leave, warning of tough action if he were elected prime minister.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – SLAVERY
Slavery Levels In The UK Are Four Times Higher Than Previously Thought
The Huffington Post, 29 November 2014

Up to 13,000 people in Britain are being held in conditions of slavery, four times the number previously thought, the Home Office has said.

In what is said to be the first scientific estimate of the scale of modern slavery in the UK, the Home Office has said the number of victims last year was between 10,000 and 13,000.

They include women forced into prostitution, domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.

Data from the National Crime Agency's Human Trafficking Centre had previously put the number of slavery victims in 2013 at 2,744.

Launching the Government's modern slavery strategy, Home Secretary Theresa May said the scale of abuse was "shocking".

"The first step to eradicating the scourge of modern slavery is acknowledging and confronting its existence," she said. ...

While many victims are foreign nationals, the document emphasises that vulnerable British adults and children are also being systematically preyed upon by traffickers and slave drivers.

The National Crime Agency estimates that the UK was the third most common country of origin for victims identified in 2013.

Among overseas victims, many of them brought into the UK by people traffickers, the most common countries were Romania, Poland, Albania and Nigeria.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – EU MIGRANTS
EU migrants 'could be required to register with police on arrival in the UK'
Stephanie Linning
Daily Mail, 29 November 2014

Migrants arriving from the European Union could be required to register with police as part of the immigration reforms announced yesterday by David Cameron, it has been reported.

Mr Cameron hopes that the new packet of measures, which the Tories say they will implement if they regain power in the general election in May, will work to cut overall levels of immigration by making it harder to stay in Britain without a job.

But critics were quick to point out that it would be difficult to monitor and deport any out-of-work migrants - arguing that they were unlikely to appear on official databases.

Now the Daily Telegraph has reported that the solution might be in a controversial scheme that would see migrants being forced to register at a police station on their arrival. ...

The practice is common in a number of other countries, and minister believe it would be straightforward to set up a similar scheme here.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
A fine speech... but it was five years overdue
Daily Mail, 29 November 2014
[Leading article]

The Mail makes no apologies for returning to David Cameron's speech unveiling draconian welfare restrictions for new migrants. It was both beautifully crafted and full of common sense.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that it is 'wrong' and 'dangerous' to ignore the public's legitimate concerns about 'overcrowded classrooms' and local communities that are 'changing too fast'.

He pointed out, rightly, that the sneering chattering classes who are most avowedly in favour of mass immigration 'have no direct experience of its impact'.

And Mr Cameron will have struck a chord with millions when he said that what makes ordinary people 'really angry is that if they dare to express these concerns they can be made to feel guilty about doing so'.

We have only one beef: we wish he'd made the speech almost five years ago, when he first walked into Downing Street.

Had he done so, the Tories might not have hopelessly missed their target for cutting net migration to the 'tens of thousands' – and Ukip might not be riding quite so high in the polls.

True, it did not go far enough for some Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers who bemoaned the absence of an 'emergency brake' on EU migrants – an idea heavily trailed by Downing Street, but abandoned in the face of hostility from Brussels and George Osborne.

But Mr Cameron's plan for making Britain less of a magnet for migrants by stopping them from claiming in-work and, crucially, out-of-work benefits for four years is a significant step (even if much more needs to be done to curb non-EU migrants, whose numbers are once again rising alarmingly).

Equally, the towns which have been most affected by mass immigration will welcome the long-overdue pot of emergency funding to help them cope.

However, as the Prime Minister himself acknowledged, his speech was as much about Britain's 'future' in the EU as immigration, since the bulk of his reforms require the approval of our continental neighbours – some of whom were screeching their disapproval yesterday.

Mr Cameron insisted that if he does not get his way, he will 'rule nothing out' – intimating that he might campaign for Britain to leave the EU.

Significantly, he also threatened to veto any new countries joining the Brussels club if his demands are not met.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Tory MP Philip Davies calls for Government to be honest about net migration
Owen Bennett
Daily Express, 29 November 2014

Tory backbencher Philip Davies yesterday urged the Government to admit "the bleeding obvious" that net migration cannot be controlled while the UK is part of the EU.

Speaking in the Commons after tabling an urgent question on the rise in the net migration figure, Mr Davies said it was time all political parties were "honest" with voters.

Ministers this week finally admitted they could not reduce net migration to below 100,000 before next May's election despite David Cameron's "no ifs, no buts" promise.

Net migration is now higher than when the Coalition came to power in 2010.

New figures show it had risen to 260,000 in the year to June and up from 244,000 four years ago.

The MP for Shipley told Home Office minister Mike Penning: "Isn't the simple problem that the Government made a pledge that it was in no position to be able to guarantee?

"Isn't it time that the main political parties were honest with the British public?

"Why is it so difficult for the Government to say what is merely a statement of the bleeding obvious?

"The public want immigration to be controlled but more than that they want politicians to be honest."
[Site link]

Up

EMIGRATION – ADOPTION, CHILDREN, KENYA
Kenyan Government bans adoption of children by foreigners
Thiong'o Mathenge and Rawlings Otieno
Standard Digital, 29 November 2014

The Cabinet has approved "an indefinite moratorium on inter-country adoption of Kenyan children by foreigners. The decision was informed by Kenya's current ranking by the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014, United Nations Office on drugs and crime, citing Kenya as a source, transit and destination country in human trafficking. The move is a response to concerns about increased cases of child trafficking through abuse of Kenya's adoption processes by foreigners. It also follows a damning story published in The Standard on Saturday on November 8, on international adoptions. ...

The ban also comes in the wake of a damning report by experts saying financial gain, as opposed to rights and needs of children, was a key driver in the international adoption processes. A report by the Experts' Group of the Hague Adoption Convention, published in June, says though 'reasonable and lawful' fees for services rendered was allowed, profiteering had become rampant despite prohibition by the Convention enacted in 1993. Members of the Expert's Group included UNICEF, the EuroAdopt, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the International Social Service among others.
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – ISLAM
Why Islamist extremism perplexes our security services
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2014

Throughout our battle with radical Islamism, we have had great difficulty in understanding the rules of the game. In his official history of MI5, Christopher Andrew quotes the service's message to the heads of its special branches in December 1995: "Suggestions in the press of a world-wide Islamic extremist network poised to launch terrorist attacks against the West are greatly exaggerated". Contact between extremists were "largely opportunistic", it went on, and so "seems unlikely to result in the emergence of a potent trans-national force".

Even today, this mindset persists. To a body such as MI5, whose mentality is fundamentally like that of policemen, the idea that something could be simultaneously global and "opportunistic" is hard to comprehend. Yet this, surely, is exactly what we are dealing with, and exactly why it is so hard to handle.

Islamist extremism combines something very new – the power of internet technology – with something very old – the power of belief. It is a social movement – in the modern, web-world sense – but it is not monitored and analysed as such. It could have been (indeed, it is) designed to perplex conventional policing and intelligence. It needs no permanent command structure or government backing. It does not have to win a big war, or even a formal terror campaign, to make its presence felt. ... ...

... MI5, for example, has a "behavioural" unit, which looks into questions like the mental health of potential terrorists. What it does not have is an ideological unit. It does not study the genealogy, theology and politics of jihadism, and so it constantly misunderstands what it is dealing with. It is rather as if we were trying to combat Communism without knowing the theories of Marxist-Leninism.

Indeed, the comparison with the Cold War should be suggestive to MI5. An important reason that the West won it is that our intelligence agencies got inside the Communist Party and traced its agents and sympathisers through the trade union movement, students, academics and so on. The prevention of "subversion" was a specific aim of MI5. Today, it is stated on its website that is not. There are important differences between Soviet Communism and Islamist extremism. The first was mainly state-run and entirely secular. The second is much less formal and dresses what are often political ideas in the turban of faith. But Islamist subversion is, if anything, greater than that of Communism, because it can touch the heart of almost any Muslim in the world. It can persuade someone in North Kensington to go to fight in Syria, and vice versa.

Time after time, it is non-violent subversion that has prepared the ground for serious trouble. The Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools need never have reached such a dangerous point if it had been clearly recognised earlier. The new work of the Charity Commission, now rigorously investigating charities that claim to be doing good works but often promote struggle in the Middle East, is making up for years of ideological slackness.

Today, if an Islamist wants to kill the next Fusilier Rigby, he will be faced by more formidable security measures than in the past, but little has been done to stop him wanting to do such a deed. We run round trying to catch the bad fruit, instead of taking an axe to the tree.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – WELFARE BENEFITS, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
David Cameron: We will bar EU nationals from benefits 'for four years'
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 28 November 2014

David Cameron will announce plans today to ban European Union nationals from claiming in-work benefits in Britain for four years as the Prime Minister attempts to regain the political initiative on immigration. ...

In a long-awaited speech, Mr Cameron will detail proposals to be included in the Tory manifesto for a four-year ban on EU migrants claiming in-work benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit, as well as on entitlement to social housing. Jobless EU nationals will be barred from receiving out-of-work benefits including the new universal credit. And he will announce moves to make unemployed migrants liable for removal if they have been out of work for six months. The moves are designed to reduce the "pull factor" of Britain's buoyant economy, which ministers believe is attracting some migrants, as well as responding to accusations that Britain is a "soft touch" for migrants.

Mr Cameron believes he will gain support from other EU nations for some of his plans, but Tory sources acknowledged the proposals on in-work benefits, deporting unemployed migrants and child benefit would require EU treaty change.

Mr Cameron is also expected to announce proposals to limit the right to freedom of movement within the EU, arguing that Britain has unfairly shouldered the burden of recent population shifts within the Union.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Analysis: David Cameron's 'agonising' EU immigration speech
Nick Robinson
BBC, 28 November 2014

It is a speech which David Cameron and his advisers have agonised over for months.

Ideas for it have been floated in the media, tested in capitals across Europe, debated with civil servants and, no doubt, market tested as well.

What is revealing is not just what has stayed in but what has come out.

In - and the centrepiece of the prime minister's proposals to cut EU immigration - is a proposal for a significant new limit on benefits paid to those in work. It is a recognition that what attracts people to the UK is not just the availability of jobs and decent wages (relative to those available at home) but the fact that money is topped up by the state.

So David Cameron will argue today that no EU worker should be able to claim tax credits, social or council housing until they have lived and worked in the UK for four years. What's more, no child benefit or credit should be sent to children living abroad. This is a tougher version of an approach already set out by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

What is not in the speech is just as interesting. After months of floating the idea of a cap or limit to the numbers coming here or a so-called emergency brake, all such ideas have been abandoned.

Cameron's advisers have concluded that it would not just be tough to negotiate but very difficult to implement in practice - for example, how many German bankers would the cap permit? How would a Lithuanian who claims to be coming for a holiday be distinguished from one declaring they want to work?

Missing too will be the promise which some in his party have demanded that he will campaign for a No vote in an EU referendum if he doesn't get his way. The Tory leader will say, instead, that cutting EU migration will be "an absolute requirement" in a renegotiation of Britain's EU membership and he will "rule nothing out" if he doesn't get that agreement. He will repeat his view that he can and will get a better deal for Britain.

The test Number 10 has set for this speech is that it is seen as tough but deliverable - EU ambassadors have been invited to view it at the Foreign Office before receiving a briefing from the Europe minister - and that it must not sound like the sort of speech Nigel Farage would give. There will be praise for the contribution immigrants have made and continue to make.

All of which means it is sure to disappoint arch-Eurosceptics who wanted the prime minister to pick a fight with the EU over immigration which they believed Britain could not win and which would, therefore, lead the country towards the exit.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Immigration policies will not be powerful enough
Daily Express, 28 November 2014
[Leading article]

David Cameron is to ban immigrants from receiving any taxpayer-funded benefits for up to four years from their arrival in Britain.

If they have not found a job in six months they will be sent home and there will be tougher measures for dealing with rough sleepers and criminals. These are radical commitments and by far the toughest policies he has ever proposed. Realistically this is as tough on migrants as it is possible to be without committing Britain to leaving the EU.

It is clear that at long last the Prime Minister finally understands the depth of concern about uncontrolled immigration. Unfortunately these policies come several years too late. David Cameron had promised to reduce net immigration to the "tens of thousands". But official immigration statistics released yesterday showed that net immigration for the year to June was 260,000 – up 78,000 on the previous year. Far from getting the issue in hand in recent months it has been getting even worse.

The numbers coming here are now so large that, as this newspaper has long warned, it is only by freeing Britain from Brussels' freedom-of-movement rules that serious progress can be made in reducing levels of immigration.

To regain that level of control over our borders there is no choice but to leave the EU. Cameron's measures are a move in the right direction but they will not satisfy the British people.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – ECONOMY, WELFARE BENEFITS
Mr Cameron does nothing on immigration, because he can't
Tom Bradby
ITV News, 28 November 2014

One might argue that David Cameron has just given a speech about a problem that doesn't exist.

As you would expect, here at ITV News we try simply to concentrate on evidence based analysis. This is what we know our audience wants and what we are legally mandated to do.

So every time there is a story in the papers about benefit migrants or NHS tourism, we dutifully go off to investigate and try to establish the facts. And every time, the answer comes back the same; it isn't really a problem in the way that some are suggesting.

The basic facts seem to be that migrants come here to work, drawn by the dynamic nature of our economy. They are not particularly lured by benefits and certainly not by the NHS.

Both the OBR (the government's maths and spending watchdog) and the independent Institute of Fiscal Studies repeatedly argue that immigration is good for the public finances, because many European immigrants come here, work and pay tax - and then, often, go home.

So we haven't had to pay to educate them and we don't have to pay to care for them in old age. Or to put it another way, we get their economically productive years - and someone else has to pick up the bill for the rest.

Some argue that paying child benefit for children left behind in Poland is a particularly good idea because that way we don't pay to educate their children either, as we would if they were here.

The issue, if you think there is one (and clearly a lot do), is the sheer number of people coming here.

It doesn't seem to be increasing unemployment, but one might reasonably argue it is depressing wage inflation.

Today, Mr Cameron did nothing whatsoever about this for the simple reason that he can't.

Our European partners - pretty much all of them - simply won't let us.

Even if we left the EU, it is not clear it would make much difference unless we wanted to go back to square one and leave the Economic Area and the single market as it stands and try to negotiate our way back in from outside.

For an economy as big as the UK's, this would be an enormous and very risky step that few politicians outside of UKIP seem really willing to contemplate.

So he has changed quite a lot around benefits. But on the core issue of immigration itself and freedom of movement, the message of this speech is; no change.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Cameron forced to retreat on immigration: 'Game-changing' speech makes unexpected concessions to EU leaders
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 28 November 2014

David Cameron has beat a retreat over Tory plans for Britain to impose a cap on numbers of European Union migrant workers in response to soaring levels of immigration, confounding hopes among many of his backbench MPs.

The Prime Minister announced an array of moves for stopping EU migrants from claiming benefits, but while attention was still focused on those moves he backed off from a confrontation with his counterparts on the Continent over proposals to introduce a quota system for migrants.

His plans, set out in a long-awaited speech that Mr Cameron's allies hoped would be a "game-changer", received a mixed reception from Eurosceptic backbenchers who had been pressing for a tougher stance with Brussels. The Conservatives had previously floated the idea of restricting the number of EU nationals allowed to work in Britain – a so-called "emergency brake" – and ministers had discussed it with EU counterparts. But it was conspicuously absent from his remarks yesterday, in the face of opposition from other European capitals.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
How does concern about immigration differ by age, class, party and gender?
Harry Lambert
May 2015 / New Statesman, 28 November 2014

The data tells a clear and remarkable story of division across Britain, by almost every metric. First, take age. Perhaps no other data more convincingly shows fear of immigration is partly about a fear of cultural change, rather than economic competition.

If opposition to immigration was about economics it should be greatest among younger voters – who are the least secure and the ones competing with EU migrants. But it a secondary issue among voters under 40. It is far more important among those who are either most likely to be in secure work (40-59 year olds) or retired (over 60s). Migrants are rarely taking the jobs of these voters. ...

Concern started to rise among all groups eighteen months ago, as 2012 became 2013, but among the youngest it has only returned to its 2010 levels: other age groups account for its new importance. ...

But not all retirees – or rather, two in three – are fearful. Concern is far greater among those from less high economic classes: "C2", "D" and "E" voters. These are, respectively, skilled manual workers, semi or routine workers and the non or rarely working.

This suggests opposition could be about the economy. These are the classes of workers most likely to suffer if a European migrant is willing to paint, plumb or pick fruit for less cash (it often is cash).

Immigration became the most important issue for C2, D and E voters a year ago; among A, B and C1 workers (managerial, professional or white-collar workers), it is still secondary to the economy.

But the greatest differences are evident when we look at party affiliation.

...

Lib Dem voters are about as unconcerned as 18-24 year olds, Labour voters look very like 25-39 year olds and Tories are as concerned as those older than 60.

As for Ukip voters, their levels of concern are – unsurprisingly – far beyond anyone else. 91 per cent of them think immigration is one of the three most important issues facing Britain, which makes it more than twice as important to Ukippers as any other issue.

Finally, women are, perhaps surprisingly, more concerned about immigration than men. Again, women are underrepresented in the workforce, which could suggest concern is more cultural than economic; EU migrants are usually working manual, and mainly male, jobs.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS
Net migration to UK rises to 260,000 in year to June
BBC, 27 November 2014

Net migration to the UK rose to 260,000 in the year to June - an increase of 78,000 on the previous year.

The figure is calculated by taking away the number of people leaving the country from the number coming in.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he hoped to get net migration below 100,000 before the election in 2015.

But according to the data, 583,000 people immigrated to the UK in the last year - an increase of 45,000 from the EU and 30,000 from outside.

Net migration is now 16,000 higher than it was when the coalition government was formed in 2010.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said the figures were "deeply, deeply significant" and "deeply awkward for David Cameron".

Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused Mr Cameron of "spectacularly" breaking the "promise he made to the British people".

The prime minister is expected to make a speech in the coming days outlining his plans to reduce immigration.

Home Secretary Theresa May has already accepted it is "unlikely" the government will meet its annual migration target before the election.

Some 228,000 EU citizens came to the UK in the year to June 2014, the Office for National Statistics said, while the number of people immigrating from outside the EU rose to 272,000.

The figures include 32,000 Romanians and Bulgarians - an increase of 18,000 on the previous year.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – NUMBERS, GOVERNMENT
Government 'aware from the start' that immigration target unattainable
Alexandra Topping
The Guardian, 27 November 2014

Theresa May's claims that the government's target for net migration – which it has pledged to reduce to the "tens of thousands" – was missed because of an increase in EU migrants coming to the UK is wrong, according to analysis by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University.

The home secretary attempted to manage expectations ahead of migration figures that are to be released on Thursday, admitting that the government was "unlikely" to meet its target for reducing immigration. In an interview on Sunday, she said that EU migration had blown the government "off course" because migrants had been attracted to jobs created by the UK's improving economy.

But Carlos Vargas-Silva, from the Migration Observatory, said government policies to curb migration from outside the UK had failed to reduce numbers to below 100,000, meaning that the target would have been missed regardless of EU migration.

He added that the government's own analysis revealed in 2011 that the target was unlikely ever to be hit.

"The government only has control over non-EU net migration and although non-EU migration has decreased somewhat, it has not decreased by enough to meet the net migration target," he said. "So, even if you forget about net migration from the EU, which has occurred and has made it more difficult to meet the target, even without that ... they would still not be able to meet the target."

Vargas-Silva added that the government always knew its "no ifs, no buts" pledge to meet the target, was unlikely to be realised. "From day one in 2001 [when the policy was announced], the government impact assessment document was clear that the policies were not going to sufficiently decrease non-EU migration," he said. "So they were aware from the start that their policies were not going to decrease non-EU migration enough to hit their own net migration target." ...

David Cameron said in May the target for net migration – the difference between the number of people coming into the UK and those leaving – was "perfectly achievable".

The prime minister is to deliver a speech on immigration, in which he is expected to call for a ban on EU migrants claiming in-work benefits such as tax credits for two or more years.

But the move was unlikely to have any effect on overall net migration, said Vargas-Silva. "Most EU migrants come to the UK to work, so cutting benefits is likely to have only a very small impact on migration flows," he said.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
How much do immigrants really claim in benefits?
Raziye Akkoc
Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2014

The Deputy Prime Minister has waded into the argument about EU migrants on benefits by giving his support for "ensuring that EU jobseekers cannot claim out-of-work benefits from day one".

Nick Clegg, in an op-ed for the Financial Times, said they must wait three months and "support will depend on demonstrating a genuine prospect of employment".

The Lib Dem leader's piece comes months after the head of the Conservatives in the European parliament, Syed Kamali MEP, called for migrants to have their benefits blocked in a new contributory system where people 'pay in' first before making claims.

Mr Kamali's comments in the Times are themselves not unfamiliar arguments in the Tory party.

Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, previously said unemployed foreigners from the European Economic Area (EEA) would be barred from claiming benefits in a future Tory government.

But let's have a look at the numbers: how many of those who receive welfare payments are EU migrants?

Between 2008 and 2013, the number of EU working age benefit claimants doubled from 65,000 to 130,000.

Data in a House of Commons Library briefing note released on earlier in October show that the majority of non-UK working age benefit claimants are still from outside the EU. And of course, the vast majority of claimants are British.

... EU claimants are the smallest group receiving either working age benefits or tax credits.

The data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HMRC, also show that the majority of welfare recipients are British.

In 2014, 4.9 million (92.6 per cent) working age benefit claimants were British while only 131,000 (2.5 per cent) were EU nationals. The number of recipients from outside of the UK – but not from the EU – was 264,000 (five per cent).

Likewise, in the latest data from 2013 for those tax credits, 3.9 million (84.8 per cent) families receiving the benefits were British citizens, 302,000 (6.4 per cent) were EU citizens and 413,000 (8.8 per cent) were from outside of the UK.

But the data do show that among single families receiving either working family tax credit or childs tax credit, the majority of within non-UK claimants are from the EU: 157,600 single families from the EU receive one or both of the benefits while 146,000 of those from outside of the EU do. ...

According to the Roderick McInnes, author of the Commons Library analysis, it is important to note when looking at the data that it does not offer a "complete picture" as the numbers are based on individuals who were not UK nationals when they applied for National Insurance. They could have since applied for British citizenship.

Between 2008 and 2014, the number of benefit claimants increased by more than 130,000. The total number of migrants receiving working age benefits also increased in the last five years from 288,000 in 2008 to 395,000.

But only 113,700 EU migrants were on key out-of-work benefits in February this year of which only 65,000 were on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). In February, more than 1.1 million were unemployed although the DWP said last month the figure dropped to below a million for the whole of the UK.
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – STUDENT LOANS, WELFARE BENEFITS
Jihadists funded by welfare benefits, senior police officer warns
Peter Dominiczak, Tom Whitehead and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2014

Britain's benefits system is being abused to fund terrorism, a senior police officer has warned.

Terri Nicholson, from the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism command unit, said that taxpayers' money was being claimed fraudulently and used by terrorists in countries such as Iraq and Syria.

She said there had been "a number of cases" recently of terrorists making fraudulent student loan claims to fund their activities.

MPs described the prospect of British money being used to bankroll potential terrorist plots on British soil as "sickening". Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said he would in the coming weeks question Theresa May, the Home Secretary, over the "shocking" disclosures. ...

Miss Nicholson, a Met Assistant Commander, said terrorists were using "innovative" techniques to send money abroad. "We are seeing a diverse fraud, including substantial fraud online, abuse of the benefits system, abuse of student loans, in order to fund terrorism," she said.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS, POPULATION
The hidden impact of migration: Statistics ignore 1.3 million children born to foreign parents
James Slack and Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 26 November 2014

Immigration is responsible for 84 per cent of the surge in Britain's population this century, a report claims today.

It suggests the true impact of immigration has been 'substantially understated' because the Office for National Statistics did not count 1.3 million children born to foreign parents as migrants.

The report concludes that of the 4.6 million population rise between 2001 and 2012, 3.8 million is due to the biggest wave of immigration the country has faced. Not including children born in the UK meant net migration was recorded at a much lower 2.5 million.

MigrationWatch UK, the think-tank that carried out the study using official data, said it was 'undeniable' that migration had driven population growth, putting pressure on public services and depressing wages.

It shows how Labour's decision at the turn of the century to make it easier for migrants to come to Britain has changed the face of the country.

In its most recent publication, the ONS said that, on average, 57 per cent of the UK's population increase since 2001 has been due to net migration.

The statisticians, whose figures comply with international standards, attribute the remainder to the excess of births over deaths – the 'natural increase' – as people live longer.

But research by MigrationWatch UK has revealed the figure does not include children born to immigrants arriving over the last decade. When counted, the figure rises to 84 per cent.

The report criticised the ONS prediction that 60 per cent of future population growth until 2037 will be down to migration as a 'serious understatement'.

This suggested 43 per cent of the increase would be due to immigrants arriving after 2012, and 17 per cent to any children they have. But this did not take into account the future children of migrants already here, which would make the figure 'much higher', the think-tank said.

Moreover, the estimate was based on net migration of 165,000 a year, while it is currently at around 245,000.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS, POPULATION
The impact of immigration on population growth
Migrationwatch UK, 26 November 2014

New calculations by Migration Watch UK in a paper published today show that net migration has accounted for about 84% of the UK's population increase over the past decade.

The official publications of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) state that, on average, 57 per cent of UK population increase since 2001 has been due to net migration with the remainder resulting from the excess of births over deaths - the "natural increase". On the face of it, this is correct.

However, the ONS figure substantially understates the demographic power of migration. Much of that natural increase came from immigrant parents. Thus, if a couple arrived last year and then had a family, their children would not be counted as part of the immigrant contribution to population growth although they clearly are. (This calculation is, of course, about numbers, not citizenship or identity).

Migration Watch has now calculated this immigrant contribution to natural increase which, when included, brings the total contribution of migration to UK population growth over the period from 2001 to 2012 to between 83% and 85%. Thus, of the 4.7 million population increase in the period, 3.9 million was due to immigration.

For similar reasons to those outlined above, the ONS estimate of 60% of future population growth to 2037 being due to migration must be a serious under-statement, given that the migration contribution is already about 84%. Unless there are unexpected changes we would expect that, if current levels of immigration were to continue, the percentage of our future population increase due to migration would increase steadily from the 84% we have calculated for the past 12 years. ...

It is worth noting that this massive impact of net migration on the growth of the UK population is a relatively recent development. Annual net migration between 1991 and 1997 averaged about 45,000 but increased dramatically from 1998. As a result, annual net migration has now averaged nearly a quarter of a million a year for the past ten years. That, together with the natural increase from immigrants living in the UK is now the chief driver of UK population growth.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said, "This is about population growth, not about citizenship. Those born in the UK to settled immigrant parents are British citizens, irrespective of their parents' country of birth. That said, it is now undeniable that the massive scale of net migration has been the main cause of our population growth and that, in the future, our population growth is likely to be almost entirely due to migration. The conventional official statistics published in the ONS official statistics do not make this clear.

"The reality is that even if net migration is bought down to 165,000 a year, we will, in the next 25 years, have to build the equivalent of ten cities the size of Birmingham - amounting to almost twice the population of Scotland. This would place enormous stress on our already creaking infrastructure and on our environment and it would also change the nature of British society for ever. We must not sleep walk into one of the most significant changes in a thousand years of our island's history".
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Nick Clegg sets out plans to curb benefits to EU migrants
The Guardian, 26 November 2014

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, has set out proposals to curb benefits to European Union migrants without "tearing up" freedom of movement rules within the 28-member bloc.

David Cameron is due to set out his own plans to restrict EU migration in a highly anticipated speech in the coming weeks, but Clegg warned the Tories were in danger of making "irresponsible declarations" on Europe in a bid to quell unrest at the rise of Ukip.

Instead the Liberal Democrat leader insisted the UK could find allies in Europe to support efforts to tackle so-called "benefits tourism" without challenging the key principle of free movement which is regarded as non-negotiable by countries including Germany.

Clegg suggested that migrants could be prevented from claiming the new universal credit until they have "worked and contributed" to the system.

He also proposed restricting access to in-work benefits like tax credits, suggesting that migrants could be required to work the equivalent of full-time hours on the minimum wage in order to qualify. ...

Clegg said it would be possible to work with allies in Europe to secure reform within the existing freedom of movement rules. ...

"The choice is clear," he said. "We can feed people ever more irresponsible claims about immigration, raising hopes only to dash them in the end. Or - far better - we can reform the rules to address people's legitimate concerns, while safeguarding our open economy too."
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – DIVERSITY, SCHOOLS
Ofsted: rural schools 'failing to promote British values'
Graeme Paton and Melanie Hall
Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2014

Almost a dozen schools – including many in rural areas – have been criticised for failing to prepare pupils for "life in Britain" following a series of snap inspections by Ofsted.

The education regulator found 11 state schools were leaving pupils at risk of marginalisation after refusing to give them access to a "broad and balanced" curriculum.

In a series of reports, it was claimed that schools were failing to promote understanding of various faiths or "tolerance of communities different to their own".

Those criticised included schools in Wiltshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Hampshire and Kent.

The inspections were imposed in light of the "Trojan Horse" scandal in Birmingham where it was feared Muslims were attempting to impose hardline Islamic practices in a number of state schools.

But critics have warned that the move has led to schools in mainly white areas being criticised for being "too English", with few ethnic minority pupils.

A school in Wiltshire did "not go far enough in making pupils aware of the rich diversity of life in modern Britain", said Ofsted.

One in Kent with a predominately white intake was failing ensure "people's differences are sufficiently valued and respected".

On Tuesday, claims of "political correctness" were rejected by Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector, who insisted all schools had to be "realistic about the diverse society we now live in". ...

The 11 schools were made up of three faith schools – one Roman Catholic, one Anglican and one Jewish – alongside eight community schools. ...

But Sir Michael criticised those who suggested Ofsted was embarking on "political correctness".

He said: "It's nonsense, for example, to suggest we would mark down a school for being 'too white'. We simply want to ensure children are receiving a good education and are being prepared for life in modern Britain.

"This is not about political correctness. It's being realistic about the diverse society we now live in.

"Above all, it's about being fair to every school we inspect - whether it's a faith school, a secular school, or whether it's located in an inner-city or rural location."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
First big survey of undocumented migrants says there are at least 20,000 in Ireland
Paul Hosford
TheJournal.ie, 26 November 2014

A new report from the Migrants Rights Centre suggests that 20% of undocumented migrants have been in Ireland for over a decade.

The major survey of more than 500 people found that 81% are working, 44% are parents and 86.55% entered the country legally.

The research was conducted by Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) along with undocumented migrants from MRCI's Justice for the Undocumented campaign group and is the first of its kind, says MRCI's Helen Lowry.

"540 undocumented migrants responded to the survey, opening up about their jobs, their families and their lives in Ireland. We now have a picture of the undocumented population in Ireland.

"The vast majority are working – in restaurants, as cleaners, as carers and childminders – and a huge percentage have young children either here or in their country of origin." ...

The research also estimates that there are between 20,000 and 26,000 undocumented migrants in Ireland at the moment – including thousands of children, though the Department of Justice disputes this.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – HOME OFFICE
Theresa May 'buried' bad news immigration report, watchdog warns
Oliver Wright
The Independent, 26 November 2014

Theresa May has buried bad news about Britain's asylum system by delaying and manipulating the publication of independent inspection reports, the head of the Government's immigration watchdog has warned MPs.

In a damning letter to the Public Accounts Committee, seen by The Independent, John Vine reveals that the Home Secretary is currently sitting on five reports believed to be critical of the Government, one of which was completed five months ago.

Mr Vine warns the MPs that the failure to publish his reports in a "timely" manner is "reducing their impact" and has "compromised" the independence of his role. ...

Among the delayed inspectorate reports is one into a controversial operation to check the immigration status of anyone arrested in London which was given to Ms May in June. A report on visa over-stayers has also been delayed.

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, accused Ms May of undermining Mr Vine's "autonomy and therefore his credibility".

In his letter, Mr Vine says that up until this year he had complete autonomy to decide when his reports, which cover all aspect of Britain's asylum and immigration system, were published. This was the case under successive Home Secretaries since the post was established in 2008.

But Mr Vine said that in December last year he received a letter from Ms May saying that from then on, he would have to publish his reports through her department. ...

Mr Vine reveals he sought his own independent legal advice from Government solicitors, who concluded that the Home Office's interpretation of the legislation was "neither the obvious nor the only interpretation of the law".

But despite raising this with the Home Office his concerns were ignored.

Since the new system came into operation the Home Office has delayed the publication of 10 of his reports by up to four months each.

They have also "bundled" the publication of reports together which Mr Vine is understood to fear lessens their impact.

Allowing the Government to control the release date also allows ministers to release them at times when they will get little publicity – potentially burying unwelcome news. ...

A Home Office spokesman said: "Publication arrangements have been brought into line with the 2007 legislation which requires the Home Office to lay the Independent Chief Inspector's reports before Parliament. The legal advice was clear that the previous practice was not compliant with this legislation, and it is right that the department is adhering to the law and to parliamentary protocols.

"Some reports require significant consideration and the development of new guidance or processes to fully address the Chief Inspector's recommendations. This can cause unavoidable delays, but we have already published 14 reports this year, more than the number published by the Chief Inspector at this point last year."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – TAX CREDITS
Tax credits 'turned UK into a honeypot for EU immigrants': Worker on minimum wage could receive additional £330 a week
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 25 November 2014

The true scale of tax credit benefits for EU migrants to Britain is revealed today – amid warnings that it is turning this country into a 'honeypot nation'.

Figures published last night by the Open Europe think-tank make clear how taxpayers are subsidising low-wage migrant workers.

A migrant worker with two children earning the minimum wage sees their basic income of less than £200 a week propped up with an additional £330 in tax credits and other benefits.

An average worker from Spain coming to Britain will see their weekly wage go up by nearly half compared to what they would earn at home. A worker from Poland can double their basic pay and new arrivals from Bulgaria will increase their pay by 250 per cent.

Senior Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said: 'We've become a honeypot nation in the European Union, which is why we've done well controlling immigration by non-EU countries, but that has been offset by quite a dramatic increase in immigration from EU countries.

'One of the things that's keeping low pay suppressed is the endless supply of cheap labour coming in from the EU8, the Eastern European countries, the recent entrants to the European Union which has really changed the whole equation.

'And most people come to this country unaccompanied by their families, but they're able to claim benefits to support their families back home.'

Mr Jenkin said migrant numbers were 'causing real problems in hospitals, in schools, in provision of public services, shortage of housing'. ...

Yesterday, a Downing Street spokesman insisted cutting net migration to the tens of thousands remains the Prime Minister's objective – while Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the promise was 'pretty stupid'. ...

Tax credits were introduced by Gordon Brown to top up the incomes of low-earning families, particularly those with children. Families can claim up to £10,000 a year.

The most significant other benefit received by migrant workers is child benefit of £20.55 for the first child and an extra £13.55 for each additional child. EU migrant workers are also potentially entitled to housing benefit.

Overall, Britain spends £5 billion a year on tax credits for migrant workers, with 415,000 foreign nationals benefiting from the perk.
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT – NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
Would the NHS Really Collapse?
Steven Woolfe
The Huffington Post, 25 November 2014
[Steven Woolfe is UKIP migration and financial affairs spokesman & MEP for the North West]

A line often used by opponents of Ukip's policy on managed migration is that without immigrants the NHS would collapse, often welcomed with rapturous cheer from left-leaning audiences during debates. ... ...

... The NHS is more about good news for Labour than good healthcare and a toxic attitude to the professions drips from its politicians. If people genuinely believe the NHS would collapse without immigration is there not one honest person on the left that asks why? This is never said of firefighters, or solicitors or of police officers; in fact until 2001 no one could be a policeman without British citizenship.

Immigration like many things is good in moderation but the spasmodic recruitment of nurses from overseas is anything but. Instead we have a decades old culture of binge immigration, mass recruitment from the third world to make up for self-imposed shortfalls at home. ...

What is almost never discussed is the number of British nurses who leave the UK, and they leave in their thousands. The supply of nurses in developing countries is vast, and can be relied upon to manage down the expectations of nurses here. Better wages? Better training? No. You take what you're given or you go to Australia or the Middle East. A health service run on targets needs a compliant workforce: nothing makes you complaint quite like student debt and job insecurity and this threatens to undermine the professionalism we all rely on as potential patients.

The NHS is unique in Western Europe not so for having foreign nurses but for recruiting so many from poorer countries, a sort of negative foreign aid. Where Switzerland has 22% of its nurses from overseas, 85% of these are from other developed countries; in England the figure is 16% but 80% of these are from third world countries. Finland, with so few non-native Finnish speakers to choose from, yet with a similar living standard to Britain, has less than 2% of its nurses from overseas. It is similar for doctors too: 15% of Sweden's doctors are from abroad, in Finland 7%, and in the UK its closer to 50%, again most immigrant doctors are from the third world.

Whether one sees immigration as universally wonderful, sensible in moderation and quality or as something harmful the facts are undeniable: a European country can rely on foreign workers to man its health service as much or as little as it wishes to. No one seems to want to discuss the impacts of emigration on healthcare, both the loss of UK-trained nurses or the asset stripping of poorer countries as happened under Labour, leaving fewer healthcare workers in countries with greatest need.

Ukip are not anti-immigration but we are abolitionists. We want to abolish asset stripping of the third world to man our public services. We want to abolish the idea that the NHS is to be seen as a Cinderella service, important of course to the country but too often viewed as a necessary evil to be manned as cheaply as possible, to be managed like a good news plantation.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – SHARIA LAW, ISLAM
Sharia law guidelines abandoned as Law Society apologises
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 25 November 2014

The Law Society has withdrawn controversial guidelines for solicitors on how to compile "Sharia compliant" wills amid complaints that they encouraged discrimination against women and non-Muslims.

Andrew Caplen, president of the society, apologised and said the criticism had been taken on board.

It follows a storm of protest after The Telegraph disclosed in March that the society had issued a practice note to solicitors effectively enshrining aspects of Islamic law in the British legal system.

The guidelines advised High Street solicitors on how to write Islamic wills in a way that would be recognised by courts in England and Wales.

They set out principles which meant that women could be denied an equal share of inheritances while unbelievers could be excluded altogether.

The document also detailed how children born out of wedlock might not be counted as legitimate heirs.

Mr Caplen's predecessor as president, Nicholas Fluck, strongly resisted criticism of the guidelines when details were published in March.

But in a short statement the society said it now had decided to withdraw them in light of "feedback" from the public and lawyers themselves. ...

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, who campaigned for the guidelines to be withdrawn, said: "This is an important reverse for what had seemed to be the relentless march of sharia to becoming de facto British law.

"Until now, politicians and the legal establishment either encouraged this process or spinelessly recoiled from acknowledging what was happening.

"I congratulate the Law Society for heeding the objections we and others made.

"This is particularly good news for women who fare so badly under sharia law, which is non-democratically determined, non-human rights compliant and discriminatory code."
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – SUSPECTS
Only a fraction of terror suspects can be watched 24/7
Tom Whitehead and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 25 November 2014

MI5 can monitor fewer than 50 terrorist suspects around the clock, it can be disclosed, ahead of a report into the Lee Rigby murder that will highlight the limitations in watching terrorists in Britain.

Restricted resources mean only a fraction of the hundreds of suspected Islamist extremists at large can be subject to intensive 24/7 surveillance at any one time.

It comes as a parliamentary investigation ordered by David Cameron into the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby by two Islamist fanatics is expected to conclude there is little MI5 could have done to prevent his death on the day. ...

Prof Peter Neumann, an expert on terrorism from King's College, London, told Sky News that the security services had to make a judgment about who to keep under surveillance.

"If you assume that at any given point there are 500 or 600 potentially violent extremists in the country and that it takes 20, 25 people to keep somebody under surveillance 24/7, inevitably given that resources are limited you can only watch maybe 50, 60 people at any given time 24/7.

"All the others, you have to opt for lesser forms of surveillance, so constantly you have to decide who is really dangerous, who is less dangerous and who is perhaps not even dangerous at all. And inevitably mistakes are being made."

One source said the true number of those being monitored around the clock was lower than Prof Neumann's estimate.

However, many more are subject to other forms of monitoring. ...

The report is expected to say it is virtually impossible to prevent a random, "lone-wolf" killing such as that of Mr Rigby. Security officials have warned ministers that another attack by jihadists is "almost inevitable".
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Coalition abandons target to reduce migration
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2014

The target of reducing net migration to below 100,000 a year has been abandoned by the Government after Theresa May admitted that it has been "blown off course" and was now "unlikely".

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Home Secretary appeared to confirm that the Government has now abandoned a "no ifs, no buts" pledge made by David Cameron to reduce net migration to the "tens of thousands" by next year. ...

"We have been blown off course by the rise in European migration into the UK," Mrs May said. "That's partly because our economy is doing better than other economies in Europe. So it's now unlikely that we're going to meet our tens of thousands target by the end of the Parliament." ...

Mrs May is the first senior minister to admit that the Government is "unlikely" to hit its net migration target. It will come as a blow to Mr Cameron, who is facing growing pressure to toughen up his rhetoric on immigration and the European Union ahead of the general election.

However, Mrs May said that she is "positive" Britain will be able to negotiate changes to the freedom of movement rules that allow an unlimited number of migrants from other EU countries.
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM
Theresa May: Britain is facing greatest terror threat of its history
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2014

The terror threat to the UK is greater now than at any time in the country's history, Theresa May has said, as she warned that the danger posed by Isil is larger than that of any other terror organisation which has confronted Britain.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Home Secretary said the menace posed by the Islamist faction means the threat to Britain is now "greater than it has been at any time before or after 9/11". ...

Mrs May said that the only way to combat the problem is to "do more to recognise the shared values we have" and suggested that the focus on teaching British values in schools would dampen the lure of jihadist organisations.

Her comments came as she prepared to unveil the Government's Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, which will contain a series of measures designed to prevent British-born jihadists who have travelled to Iraq and Syria returning to the UK and carrying out attacks.

These will include barring jihadists from returning for at least two years, stripping teenage jihadists of their passports and preventing insurers reimbursing ransoms made to terrorists. ...

Mrs May's intervention came as Mark Rowley, Britain's counterterror chief, warned that terrorists could be plotting attacks on shopping centres, cinemas and sports stadiums across the country.

And Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said police and security services have foiled "four or five" plots this year alone.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EU IMMIGRANTS, IN-WORK BENEFITS
A just way to manage migration
Mats Persson
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2014
[Mats Persson is director of the think tank Open Europe]

An outright cap on free movement, however, would not be in the UK's best interests. In any case, even though much reform can be while achieved while Britain remains a part of Europe, this is where other leaders would most likely draw the line. And even if Britain were outside the EU, it would struggle to implement such a policy. Both Switzerland and Norway are required to accept free movement of labour as the price for trading with the EU. These two countries now take in more EU migrants per head than the UK. It is no small irony that under Ukip's flagship policy – that Britain should become more like Switzerland – we would be home to four times as many EU migrants as we are today. The answer, then, surely lies elsewhere and I think I know where. In my view, David Cameron should keep free movement along with the benefits it brings, but repatriate control over who can have access to the UK's welfare system. I'm not talking about "benefits tourists" because only 2.5 per cent of the total unemployment benefits claimants in the UK are EU migrants. For the most part, people come to Britain to work, and they generally do an excellent job.

No, the main issue is the generosity of the UK's in-work benefits. One of the key advantages of free movement on an open economy is to help keep wages and therefore production costs low, which boosts our competitiveness. However, this is exactly what many regard as being a key problem. Downward pressure on wages has a disproportionate impact on native workers at the lower end of the pay scale. Opinion polls show that this is what voters are most concerned about – a majority are in favour of "high-skilled migrants" but oppose the "low-skilled". The good news, however, is that there's a balance there to be struck.

Unlike the vast majority of EU countries, the UK makes in-work benefits – tax credits, social housing and access to the NHS – immediately available to EU migrants. In contrast to out-of-work benefits, EU migrants are marginally more likely to claim in-work benefits. EU migrants make up 5.56 per cent of the UK workforce, but families with at least one EU migrant make up 7.7 per cent of in-work tax credit claims.

The UK's in-work benefit system effectively acts as a sort of "taxpayer-backed subsidy" for European workers to perform low-paid jobs here. In some cases, take-home pay is topped up by almost two-thirds. In many cases, it pays to go from an average-paid job elsewhere in the EU to a minimum-wage job in the UK. Which is why, in a report published by Open Europe today, we propose new rules which would allow national governments to limit EU migrants' access to such benefits. This would have a radical impact. For example, it would halve the financial incentive for a single worker from Poland to come here to work on the minimum wage, while the average weekly income would drop by 8 per cent for a Spanish worker in a similar situation. A Polish single earner with two dependent children would see their average weekly income drop by 27 per cent if they were to move to Britain, while under the present rulings, it would nearly double. Taking away this in-work subsidy would be a neat way of addressing the public's most pressing concerns about EU migration, but without ending free movement.

True, such a change would require the approval of other European leaders, but unlike an outright cap it is not a full-scale treaty change.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, USA
Obama defends using executive action to tackle immigration, and insists: 'Everybody knows...that we're not going to deport 11 million people'
Francesca Chambers
Daily Mail, 24 November 2014

President Barack Obama brushed off complaints levied by the GOP that his immigration actions are illegal in an ABC News interview that aired today, saying that the U.S. has 'limited resources' and it only makes sense for the government to prioritize the removal of 'felons, criminals and recent arrivals' over longtime residents and families.

'Everybody knows, including Republicans, that we're not going to deport 11 million people,' Obama told George Stephanopolous during a Friday interview for his Sunday morning program This Week.

'The reason that we have to do prosecutorial discretion in immigration is that we know that we are not even close to being able to deal with the folks who have been here a long time,' he said. ...

Speaking about immigration, Obama again called on the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants residing in America illegally.

'Ultimately Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues, and there are some things that I can't do on my own,' Obama said.

To Republicans complaining that he shouldn't have acted unilaterally at all, including House Speaker John Boehner, Obama said his response is this: 'Go ahead and pass legislation.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ECONOMY
Strong economy will bring more EU migrants, ministers warned
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 23 November 2014

Britain is facing a rise in immigration because the economy is growing faster than many other European countries, government advisers have warned.

Most migrants come to Britain looking for work and will be attracted by Britain's reputation for a strong economic recovery and healthy job prospects, according to the Social Security Advisory Council.

The council warned of an "almost inevitable" rise in social problems such as rough sleeping, crime and costs to the NHS, as the government removes benefits from European migrants who fail to find work.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
'Britain is full - Shut the door: Meltdown at No10 summit as top Tory slapped down for declaring 'we can take no more immigrants'
Simon Walters, Glen Owen and Brendan Carlin
Mail on Sunday, 23 November 2014

David Cameron's attempt to recover from his defeat to Ukip in the Rochester by-election was hit last night by a Downing Street row over whether Britain is 'full' of immigrants.

An 'immigration summit' led to an angry clash between the PM's allies and rebels demanding a tougher response to Nigel Farage.

Former Cabinet Minister Peter Lilley is said to have claimed the UK must shut the door to EU migrants, arguing: 'Britain is full.'

He was backed by senior MPs on the Number 10 policy board, but branded 'shrill' by one of the PM's aides. Jo Johnson, brother of Boris and head of the policy unit working on the party's Election manifesto, also challenged his claim. ...

The summit was held on Tuesday to prepare for a crunch speech on immigration which Mr Cameron is expected to give within days – which MPs hope will include a vote-winning set of migration curbs.

According to one account, the row at Number 10 flared after Mr Lilley demanded a so-called 'emergency brake' on migrants from the EU.

'Most people believe Britain is full – and they are right. We are already a nation of more than 60 million. We cannot take any more and have to shut the door,' he said.

Mr Johnson appeared to suggest immigration fears are exaggerated. He reportedly said that '95 per cent of Britain is undeveloped'. One insider said: 'It sounded as though Johnson was saying there is plenty of room for more immigrants.'

Mr Lilley, who yesterday attended a conference of the Eurosceptic Bruges Group with Mr Reckless, was called 'shrill' by Mr Cameron's immigration special adviser, Daniel Korski, who once worked for the former EU High Commissioner, Labour's Baroness Cathy Ashton.

Others rallied behind Mr Lilley. Lancashire MP Jake Berry said Mr Cameron must not be 'outflanked' by Ed Miliband.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS
Why are politicians powerless to keep immigration under control?
Ben Endley and Federica Cocco
Mirror, 23 November 2014

Politicians have long promised voters they can shake up the immigration system but so far none has been able to deliver real change.

Successive British Prime Ministers have been powerless to prevent hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans moving across the continent to live and work in Britain since immigration controls were relaxed by Tony Blair in 2004.

Most recently David Cameron – under huge pressure from the rapid rise of UKIP – has promised to introduce a cap on immigrants and reform Britain's relationship with the EU, including restricting EU migration before holding an in-out referendum in 2017.

But the latest figures show net immigration is at its highest for four years.

Cameron's plan to renegotiate may have already hit the buffers anyway as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would rather see the UK leave the EU than compromise the principle of free movement entrenched in EU law.

The Coalition government has also repeatedly failed to reach a consensus on how they should approach immigration, with Lib Dems often speaking out against any cap. Vince Cable said in February: "Any target on migration is totally impractical, cannot be delivered and would do great damage to the economy."

And any promise to cut migration is doomed because, regardless of which party is in power, politicians are almost completely unable to control immigration anyway if we remain in the EU.
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – ISLAM
Muslim MP: 2,000 Britons fighting for Islamic State
Robert Mendick, Robert Verkaik and Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 23 November 2014

As many as 2,000 Britons are fighting alongside Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq, a senior Muslim MP has claimed.

Officials had suggested that the number of British jihadists within the ranks of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and other terrorist groups was about 500.

However, Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, a constituency with a significant number of Muslims, has suggested this was a fourfold underestimate of the number of British jihadists fighting in the region.

"The authorities say there are 500 British jihadists but the likely figure is at least three to four times that," he said. "I think 2,000 is a better estimate. My experience in Birmingham is it is a huge, huge problem." ...

The Government has refused to say how many Britons had been arrested at UK borders in connection with terrorism in Syria, adding to concern the figure is very small and that the borders are worryingly porous. ...

Mr Mahmood, England's first Muslim MP and a former member of the Commons home affairs committee, said: "The Government does not have significant people at border control. The fact is these jihadists are coming in and going out without almost ever being arrested. We have had hardly any arrests. We have had people coming back in after six months in Syria and they are not being picked up." ...

In the nine months between January and September this year, 104 arrests were made for Syria-related terrorist offences but this gives no indication how many were picked up at ports.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS, DESTINATIONS
Immigration map of Britain: Where do foreign migrants choose to live in the UK?
Ben Endley and Federica Cocco
Mirror, 23 November 2014

Around 13% of the current UK population was born abroad. Thirteen years ago, in 2001, it was just 9%.

Most of the foreign-born UK population was born in India, Poland, Pakistan and Ireland. The Poles are the biggest community by foreign nationality – and the second is India by country of birth.

London remains by far the most popular destination, with 2.85 million living in the nation's capital, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The South East has also proved a popular destination for foreign migrants with 1,011,000 currently calling the region home. The area with the third-highest proportion of migrants was the East with 635,000 of its 5.9 million residents (11%) born abroad.

Several immigration hotspots outside London have been identified including Luton, Peterborough and Boston in Lincolnshire, where 17% of residents were born in another EU country. ...

However, data from the last census showed the greatest change has come in Tyne and Wear in the North East where the immigrant population has more than tripled from 24,422 in 1995 to 76,583 in 2012. Huge increases in the population of non-UK born residents have also been observed in former northern industrial towns, with 479,000 non-UK born residents in Yorkshire and the Humber compared with 295,000 a decade ago. Blaenau Gwent in South Wales has one of the lowest proportions of foreign-born people, with just 1,000 people or 1.5% of its 67,000 residents non-native.

Other areas with notably low non-British-born populations include Redcar and Cleveland in North Yorkshire (3,000/135,000 – 2.2%) and Staffordshire Moorlands (2,000/ 94,000 – 2.1%).

Separate figures for National Insurance applications released by the Department for Work and Pensions also showed curious traits of migrant communities gathering in unexpected parts of the UK.

Poles, for example, settled mostly in Ealing, West London, but many others chose to reside in Northern Ireland.

The most popular destination for Iraqis moving to the UK is Hull, Herefordshire is a big draw for Bulgarians, while Zimbabweans head to Leicester.

Some 33,190 Lithuanians and 18,590 Latvians moved to Peterborough, Cambs, while many Slovaks live in Warrington, Cheshire.

Elsewhere, Birmingham was a big draw, being popular with migrants from China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the African state of Eritrea. According to the figures, migrants from China are also keen on Glasgow.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – CRIME, USA
Giuliani: 93 Percent of Blacks Are Killed by Blacks
Greg Richter
Newsmax, 23 November 2014

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says that the media focusing on the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury should spend more attention on why white police officers are in black neighborhoods to start with.

"I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks," Giuliani said Sunday on "Meet the Press."

The case of white police officers killing blacks are the exception rather that the rule, he said.

"We are talking about the significant exception," Giuliani said.

But a very heated author and professor Michael Eric Dyson said Giuliani was drawing a "false equivalency," saying that most blacks who kill other blacks go to jail and they are not sworn by the state to uphold the law.

Giuliani said 70 percent to 75 percent of crime in New York City takes place in predominantly black areas, and that's why there is a large police presence in those places.

"The white police officers wouldn't be there if you weren't killing each other," Giuliani said.

The debate was sparked by discussion of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in August. The unarmed 18-year-old was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson, sparking weeks of protests, some of which turned violent.

Giuliani says people pushing for an indictment from the grand jury probing the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Missouri are perverting the criminal justice system.

"This grand jury is under incredible pressure ... to indict. I feel sorry for these people because they know if they walk out of that grand jury room and have not indicted they may have created a massive riot in their city and maybe throughout the United States," Giuliani said.

"To me, that kind of pressure is completely inconsistent with the American criminal justice system. And the people who are putting on that pressure should be ashamed of themselves," the former mayor said.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POLITICS, USA
Morici: Whites Face a Government Working Against Their Interests and Their Children's
Peter Morici
Breitbart, 23 November 2014
[Peter Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland]

President Obama's decision to ignore the law by granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants brought to America as children and those who are parents of children with legal status was a terribly foolish act. It will only serve to exacerbate racial tensions.

Polls indicate the overwhelming majority of whites view illegal immigration as threatening. Many see immigrants as taking jobs from native-born Americans, pushing down wages and contributing to cultural decline.

While many may silently harbor racial bigotry, the adverse economic consequences for whites are real and palpable.

Illegal immigration increases the supply of low-skilled workers, and that drives down wages for less educated whites and African-Americans.

Millions of illegals will qualify for work permits and be able to take more visible, better-paying jobs. Native born Americans will face more competition for positions paying significantly above the federal minimum. For example, those paying between the averages for the hospitality and construction industries – $17 and $25 per hour, respectively.

Exacerbating racial tensions among highly skilled professionals, elite universities, reflecting years of pressure from the Department of Education, divide admissions along informal racial quotas, and that disadvantages white applicants.

A group called Students for Fair Admissions has brought suit in federal court against Harvard and the University of North Carolina charging that the practice discriminates against Asians, who tend to be the best academically qualified racial group.

If they prevail, and given the inclinations of the administration to pressure schools to admit African-Americans and Hispanics, even more white applicants would be squeezed out of top universities their antecedents founded and endowed.

Already many academically qualified children of successful white professionals are denied access to universities of the same status their parents attended, and consequently face much diminished career and lifetime earnings prospects.

The president's recent actions will increase the pools of Hispanic and Asian college immigrants and applicants and further exacerbate intergenerational downward economic mobility among whites.

Last fall, when asked if he had the authority to end the deportation of illegal aliens, Obama responded, "Actually, I don't," and he explained that he could not appease immigrant advocates by violating the law.

Many Hispanics and Asians come from countries with recent histories of authoritarian governments or governments where a single party has maintained control, and national leaders simply do what populist sentiments requires – the law be damned.

Appeasing Hispanic and Asian voters – that is exactly what president Obama did with his executive order granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

It is not difficult to see why many white Americans would perceive illegal immigration as undermining their culture and the rule of law – and see Democrats as opportunists who would trash the constitution to maintain their grasp on power. ...

Whites face a government that is explicitly working against their interests, the economic prospects of their children, and democratic processes they have spent more than 200 years defending.

If that is not a recipe for racial animus, I don't know what is.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION
The hard truths about immigration
Charles Crawford
Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2014

Every year more foreigners arrive in our country with a view to settling: in 2013/14 nearly 600,000 new people turned up.

Immigrants into the UK fall into different broad categories. Rich people buying an exclusive UK pad. Foreigners ready to invest their money to open a business here. People from EU countries looking for jobs and opportunities that don't exist where they came from: not just poorer Poles and Latvians ready to work in coffee shops, but also better-off French people fleeing France's stupid tax laws. Students from around the world who sign up for our excellent higher education system, some of whom settle here after their courses finish. Foreigners who marry Brits. International experts needed for specific skills. Foreigners who persuade the system that they deserve political asylum. ...

However, plenty of people try to enter the country outside the rules, not least poor people from developing countries desperate to smuggle themselves into the UK illegally by ship or plane. See pitched battles at Calais as crowds of Africans try to cross the Channel. A Labour MP told me how he had used video footage to try to convince the then Labour home secretary that large numbers of African immigrants were entering the UK illegally via the container port in his constituency, only to be told that this could not be happening: such ports were not places where passengers disembarked. The scale and impact of illegal immigration are by definition far harder to assess with even modest precision. ...

The hard truth of it all is that, as never before, people can move round the world in colossal numbers that can overwhelm any known practical way of coping. The boats full of Africans and Arabs crossing the Mediterranean towards Italy every day trying to force their way into Europe are part of a civilisational drama set to get more dramatic and maybe dangerous, as African/Arab populations soar in the coming decades.

What any country can do to respond to this challenge (with increasing precision thanks to new technology) is define the rights of people who arrive in it. Above all, access to any state services and voting itself can be regulated tightly according to whether a person arrived legally or illegally. This is fair. No country should be expected to lose total control of its destiny by accepting an immigration free-for-all.

This point was not lost on voters in liberal Oregon in the US elections this week, where a proposition to deny illegal immigrants the right to have driving licences was roundly endorsed: "People understand that putting a state-issued photo ID in the hands of people in our country illegally just doesn't make sense."

The common-sense proposition that anyone who enters our country illegally should not have free rider advantages at the expense of people who have followed the rules is busily denounced as "unfair" or "discriminatory" or "racist". A huge supposedly progressive push on many fronts simultaneously is presenting 'migrants' (legal or illegal) as one supremely noble category of people who a priori deserve equal rights, benefits, free housing and everything else. Rules designed to stop abuses of marriage or family requirements are under attack on specious human rights grounds.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EDUCATION, STUDENTS
Higher Education is in the rudest of health, so why suggest otherwise?
Sir Andrew Green
Conservative Home, 22 November 2014
[Sir Andrew Green is Chairman of MigrationWatch UK]

The UK is one of the most attractive countries in the world to come to study. But if you listened only to Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, you might be forgiven for being concerned about the future of British Higher Education.

Since the Government introduced their much needed reforms to the broken immigration system Mark Field has been regularly sounding his claxon ..., no doubt lobbied by big business and the Universities in his constituency, to warn of dire effects on the education and business sector. Yet his arguments just do not add up.

To begin with, let's dispel the myth that the Government has tightened up" on University students. They have done nothing of the sort. In fact, the reforms to the student visa system in 2012 were aimed at below degree level study, and Universities were left virtually untouched. So here are a few realities:

• There is no limit to the number of non-EU students that Universities can recruit.

• Non-EU students only require an offer of a full time place at a UK University and enough money to support themselves and pay for their course in order to be granted a visa.

• There is no requirement that University students meet certain English language competency thresholds since Universities are given the discretion to make these decisions themselves.

• University students can work up to 20 hours during term time and full time out of term time.

• University students can remain in the UK for an additional four months after they complete their studies in order to search for work or enjoy the rest of their summer.

• University students can switch into Tier 2 and stay in the UK for work in unlimited numbers so long as they can find a graduate level job paying a minimum of £20,500. Students are not subject to a resident labour market test and are not subject to the cap of 20,700 visas for those applying outside of the country.

This is a hugely generous offer, and explains why the UK receives more international students than any other country except the United States which is five times the size of the UK in terms of population. ...

The most recent data on global trends in international students showed that the US attracted 16.5 per cent of students, while the UK was a close second, attracting 12 per cent, followed by Germany with 6.3 per cent. ...

Since the present government was elected in 2010, the number of university student visa applications to the UK has increased by 17 per cent. There has been a fall in international students, but this has been confined to the college and Further Education sector, partly due to the closure of over 700 bogus colleges.

Field laments the fall in Indian students. Since their height in 2009, Indian student visa grants have fallen dramatically from 58,000 to 13,000 in 2013. Yet in 2009 a significant number of Indian students were completely bogus. The National Audit Office identified 50,000 bogus students in 2009 alone who may have come for work rather than study and identified India as a major source of bogus students.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – MIGRATION, EMIGRATION, HUMAN RIGHT
Why migration is a fundamental human right
Mohsin Hamid
The Guardian, 22 November 2014

I believe in a human right to migration, as fundamental as the right to freedom of expression, or freedom from discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, religion or sexuality. I have come by this belief by migrating myself. ...

I was born in Pakistan. And I live in Pakistan. But when I was three I moved with my parents to Silicon Valley in California. I returned to Pakistan when I was nine for a decade, then spent most of my 20s on America's east coast and most of my 30s in London. I possess a British passport and once possessed an American green card.

My life has come full circle, geographically speaking. Twice.

Most of my education has been in the American system. I suspect this has contributed to my discomfort with a great deal of what I see practised around me in Pakistan. I have friends who are non-Muslim; non-Muslims are legally persecuted here. I have friends who are gay; homosexuality is legally proscribed here. An African friend once told me after visiting that Pakistan was among the most blatantly racist places he had ever been. ... Yet my largely American-educated self is profoundly disappointed by America, too. ...

Migration and equality are intertwined at the heart of the US's story of itself. As the vast migration to America continued, this story goes, the equality offered by America grew. ...

And yet, in my lifetime, as someone who has often lived in America, I could see, more and more, a new category of person there, neither slave nor free. They were everywhere and they numbered in their millions: illegal immigrants. How, I wondered, was such a thing possible? Surely all Americans were immigrants. Yet legally, it now seemed, not all immigrants were Americans, and as the caste of "illegals" swelled in the closing years of the 20th century and initial years of the 21st, the overall inequality of American society began to grow, too.

If the US distances itself from the human right of migration, the tenor of the dominant story of America changes. ...

Such a revised story sits uncomfortably with those equality aspiring institutions that America already has. This has inevitably led to a crisis. And this crisis helps explain why America is flailing today: America has become incoherent. An America that denies the human right of migration can no longer be the America it imagines itself to be, because it can no longer champion equality. It can no longer claim to be exceptional. It can no longer believe in being its own best self.

America's greatest hope lies where it always has: with the homeless, tempest-tossed to that golden door.

And migration is the half-forgotten core of Britishness as well. ... ...

For Britain, too, is a land of migration, indeed of extreme migration. Without migration, the human population of these and all other islands would be zero. Without migration, the English language would not exist. ... ...

This problem must be addressed. The scale of migration we will see in the coming centuries is likely to dwarf what has come before. Climate change, disease, state failure, wars: all these will push hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, to leave one country for another.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – DEBATE
We're too frightened of appearing 'racist' to have a debate about immigration
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 22 November 2014

A rather typical 24 hours in the life of modern Britain. Everyone does another round of 'we need to be able to talk about immigration.' The main parties once again say (as though this were a great revelation to the rest of us) that it is not racist to talk about immigration. The Labour and Conservative representatives then go on the BBC's Question Time and claim that the Ukip candidate (now Ukip MP) for Rochester and Strood is a racist. And a Labour shadow minister mocks the awfulness of people who fly the national flag.

Meantime, if you scroll down the news stories you can read about the chief inspector of Ofsted's discovery that 'pupils at six small Muslim private schools in east London are at risk of extremist views and radicalisation'. As with the Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' case and similar cases elsewhere in the country, the parents and governors at the school have responded by attacking Ofsted and claiming that Muslims are being victimised.

And that's the thing, you see. We keep saying we want to 'have a debate' and 'discuss' immigration. But we don't. Not really. What we want to do is to please ourselves by saying – for instance – how wonderful the NHS is thanks to immigration and then ignore the real, long-term downsides and challenges that come along with mass immigration of the scale we have seen in recent years. We seem intent on ignoring the facts even as they keep cropping up all around us. Will the latest Ofsted inspection lead to a serious discussion of whether it is wise to keep letting large numbers of Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh into the UK? Or how on earth we plan to integrate and adapt to British values the millions who are already here? Of course it won't. To have that debate would be 'racist'. So we shouldn't kid ourselves that we're having a debate, nor have any real intention to do so.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – UK, CANADA, WHITE FLIGHT, DIVERSITY
London, Toronto, Vancouver undergoing "unconscious segregation" [part 1]
Douglas Todd
Vancouver Sun blog, 22 November 2014

While most migration topics barely register in public, media and political discussion in Canada (except temporary foreign workers), polls show immigration has for two years been the No. 1 issue in Britain.

Almost every politician in Britain – of the left, right and centre – now weighs in on migration. One reason is the astonishing rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party, which seeks stricter controls. ...

One of Britain's foremost experts on migration and ethnicity is an acclaimed Canadian scholar: Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. Kaufmann and Gareth Harris produced a 150-page report in September on immigration titled Changing Places, which was unveiled at the British Conservative Party convention.

Since Kaufmann was raised by mixed-race parents in diverse Metro Vancouver, he realizes the value of factual evidence about how countries handle influxes of migrants.

Polls show it is not only a majority of white British, but also a significant majority of second-generation Sikhs, Pakistanis, blacks and other minorities, who want immigration quotas reduced.

Exploring the complex manners in which Britain's host culture interacts with new arrivals, Kaufmann has found some "white avoidance" of diverse neighbourhoods. He's also seen "unconscious segregation" by all ethnic groups.

His aim is to pinpoint where immigration policies are failing in Britain and how they can be adjusted to aid integration. ...

Inspired by Albert Hirschman, author of Exit, Voice and Loyalty, Kaufmann finds people may respond to high immigration and ethnic change by fleeing it – moving to more homogeneous neighbourhoods (exit), expressing opposition to it through parties like UKIP (voice), or accommodating it through integration (loyalty).

The Britons most likely to accept high immigration rates, Kaufmann has found, are the highly educated, the well off, those who already live in ethnically diverse urban neighbourhoods, and people in mixed-ethnicity relationships.

It became a big story last year when the census revealed that, between 2001 and 2011, 600,000 white Britons had moved out of London. Who are they and why did they leave?

"While we find little evidence of 'white flight' in England, there are powerful unconscious forces preventing whites and minorities from becoming residentially integrated," Kaufmann says.

His team of researchers discovered "areas with higher initial white British populations tend to attract white residents, while those with significant ethnic minority shares lose them."

Putting it another way, Kaufmann says many whites, regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal, rich or poor, tend to move to relatively white areas.

Many parallels exist between London, Toronto and Metro Vancouver, which demographers refer to as "super-diverse" or "hyper-diverse" cities.

Foreign-born people make up 12 per cent of Britons compared to 21 per cent of Canadians. They concentrate in urban regions. The proportion of foreign born in London is 37 per cent, in Metro Vancouver it's 45 per cent and in Greater Toronto 49 per cent.

As Vancouver Sun data reporter Chad Skelton and I discovered by creating interactive maps of the ethnic makeup of Metro Vancouver, this city of 2.4 million, like London, is home to large ethnic enclaves.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – UK, CANADA, WHITE FLIGHT, DIVERSITY
London, Toronto, Vancouver undergoing "unconscious segregation" [part 2]
Douglas Todd
Vancouver Sun blog, 22 November 2014

Sections of North Surrey are three-quarters South Asian. Central Richmond is more than 70-per-cent ethnic Chinese. Vancouver and Burnaby also include ethnic enclaves.

On the other hand, suburbs, such as Tsawwassen, South Surrey, White Rock, Langley and the North Shore, retain white majorities. This is also true of urban areas such as Kitsilano and New Westminster.

Why is this?

Kaufmann conducted studies earlier in his career of "unconscious segregation" in Metro Vancouver and Toronto.

He found neighbourhoods in Toronto and Vancouver with the highest shares of ethnic minorities "saw quicker declines in the white population," especially white people with families.

He also noted some Canadian ethnic minorities "are leaving their own ethnic concentrations and moving into mixed-minority areas, while whites are less likely to enter such areas."

Kaufmann has discovered no major correlation between incomes and moving. Nor has he found that people who are anti-immigration are more inclined to live in more homogeneous neighbourhoods.

Instead, people make decisions about where to live in response to the loss or availability of "familiar reference points," he says. ...

In Britain, Kaufmann's work is discussed at the highest levels.

So why are such issues not more openly talked about in Canada?

Unlike in Europe and Britain, no Canadian political party is publicly critical of immigration levels, which the federal Conservatives on Nov. 2 increased to 280,000 a year, from 250,000.

Kaufmann says progressive voices in North America have linked opposition to immigration to racism in light of "a memory of recent conquest of aboriginal peoples, oppression of blacks and a history of immigration." So North Americans, unlike Europeans, rarely speak of a "host culture."

Yet, even though Britain has stronger progressive parties than Canada, almost three-quarters of the population, including Britain-born ethnic minorities, now firmly oppose the country's approach to mass immigration.

Kaufmann is among those who embrace the idea that ethnic minorities who wish to retain their "hyphenated" identity (as Pakistani-British, for instance) should be free to do so.

But many white British, he says, don't appreciate that it's "assumed the ethnic majority should relinquish its ethnic identity."

In addition, Kaufmann says most Britons have not been inspired by the financial "elites" arguments that increased immigration builds a larger economy.

Members of the lower middle-classes are especially skeptical of the idea that immigration aids their family's prosperity.

Where is successful integration occurring in Britain?

The proportion of mixed-ethnicity households doubled between 2001 and 2011, Kaufmann says. "The fastest-growing group in England are those of mixed race who share English descent with the majority."

Many second-generation immigrants are also integrating. "A significant share of the children of European immigrants and some of mixed-race background come to identify as white British, melting into the majority."

Also, opposition to immigration is lower in neighbourhoods where a large share of minorities has been present for over a decade, giving people time to habituate to each other.

It is the rapid pace of change, rather than diversity itself, Kaufman says, that is causing most Britons to want to reduce immigration levels.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, AMNESTY, USA
Barack Obama enforces US immigration overhaul
BBC, 21 November 2014

Millions of immigrants living illegally in the US will be allowed to apply for work permits under a major shake-up unveiled by President Barack Obama.

They include immigrants living in the US for five years who have children staying legally in the US.

Up to five million are expected to benefit from a reform package forced through using executive orders, which allow Mr Obama to bypass Congress.

Republicans have accused the president of an "illegal power-grab".

There are estimated to be 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.

Under Mr Obama's plan, undocumented parents of children who are US citizens or legal residents will be able to apply for work permits lasting three years.

Only parents who have lived in the US for five years will qualify - an estimated four million people.

Hundreds of thousands more will benefit from other changes, including a decision to broaden a scheme giving temporary legal status to those who arrived in the US as children.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, AMNESTY, USA
'We're not going to deport you': Obama announces amnesty for millions of 'anchor baby' parents and illegal immigrant children – as long as they've been in US for five years
David Martosko
Daily Mail, 21 November 2014

President Obama announced a plan Thursday night to mainstream millions of illegal immigrants with an executive order allowing them to stay instead of facing deportation, bringing howls from Republicans who complained about so-called 'anchor babies' helping their illegal parents remain in the U.S.

The president calmly explained in a 16-minute speech – subtitled in Spanish – the parameters of what angry Republicans are calling a lawless 'amnesty.'

'We're going to offer the following deal,' he said: 'If you've been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.'

'You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.'

'That's what this deal is. Now let's be clear about what it isn't,' the president cautioned.

'This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that.'

'All we're saying is we're not going to deport you.' ...

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, blasted the president ahead of his speech for what he said was a blatant disregard for America's separation of powers.

'Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he's acting on his own,' he said. 'That's just not how our democracy works.'

'The president has said before that "he's not king" and he's "not an emperor," but he's sure acting like one.'

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives the legislative branch of government – Congress – authority to create laws covering immigration and naturalization. ...

South Dakota Sen. John Thune seemed to agree about what Republicans expected would be the consequences of the Nov. 6 election.

'President Obama's decision to move forward unilaterally demonstrates a willful disregard of the American people,' Thune said.

'The president's policies and go-it-alone approach were soundly rejected on election night. ... He may have chosen to ignore the American people, but congressional Republicans won't. We hear their concerns, and we will take action.'

Thune also noted that Obama 'has stated more than 20 times that he lacks the authority to take this executive action.' ...

Complicating that picture is a flood of hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minor children who have cascaded into the U.S. illegally from Central American countries since 2012 when Obama first announced that he would give a reprieve to DREAMers.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – DIVERSITY, SCHOOLS
Warped values, zealots and a school that's 'too English'
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail, 21 November 2014

But, then again, teaching children to read and write comes a distant second these days to ensuring that they celebrate diversity at all times. ...

While Ofsted has a pretty relaxed approach to literacy standards, it comes down like a Stuka dive-bomber on any educational establishment which is considered to be an affront to our new, zealously enforced state religion.

In Lincolnshire, a high-performing school has been denied an 'outstanding' rating by Ofsted because it is 'too English'.

Inspectors decided Middle Rasen Primary, in Market Rasen, was failing to do enough to ensure that pupils understand the 'cultural diversity of modern British society' and experience 'first hand interaction with counterparts from different backgrounds'.

An official report said: 'The large majority of pupils are white British. Very few are from other ethnic groups and currently no pupils speak English as an additional language.'

And that's a bad thing?

Earlier this month, the head of Ofsted himself drew attention to the problems being caused by migrant children starting school without being able to speak English. ...

A church school in Reading was downgraded by Ofsted because it had failed to invite imams from a local mosque to lecture pupils.

Another rural primary, Payhembury in Devon, was also denied an 'outstanding' rating because all 68 children at the school are white.

Parents were told that they would have to pay £35 a head to send their sons and daughters on a sleep-over at a school in Isleworth, West London, where 75 per cent of pupils are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Before the usual suspects start bouncing up and down screaming 'racist', let me say that I'm all in favour of children learning about other cultures.

But I abhor the element of compulsion, the demonising of those accused of not genuflecting at the altar of diversity.

When it comes to enforcement, it's a one-way street. Can you imagine a Muslim school being punished if it didn't invite C of E vicars to lead prayers at morning assembly, or being forced to send children on a sleep-over at a Catholic boarding school?

Of course not.

We have experienced dramatic demographic upheaval in Britain as a result of Labour's cynical decision to encourage mass immigration, in the hope it would reap electoral reward by changing the face of the nation for ever.

But despite that, at least 85 per cent of those who live here can still be described as 'white British'. And, outside the big cities, that's bound to be reflected in the make-up of school classes.

Not that you'd know it from watching the BBC. Every time BBC News covers an education story, it runs footage of an inner-city classroom, where 90 per cent of children are from the ethnic minorities and almost all of the girls are wearing Muslim headscarves. ...

When I wrote about the Devon primary school being forcibly 'twinned' with one in West London, the headline read, only half in jest: So when will being 'white British' become a crime?

The idiocy and intolerance of the educational establishment is merely a symptom of the broader mentality of our rotten, perverse political class who delight in imposing their bien pensant obsessions on an unwilling public. Indoctrination always trumps education.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ECONOMY
Blair government immigration policy 'a big mistake', says Lord Lamont
European CEO, 21 November 2014

European CEO: Looking at the state of the UK at the moment, what do you think of the cost of our current outlook on migration?

Lord Lamont: We do need some immigration in this country, but I think we need specific, skilled immigrants, we occasionally need unskilled to fill vacancies that British people won't fill, but by and large I think the argument that we need immigration on the scale we've had it, that that is economically beneficial, I disagree with that.

I do not think we need immigration on the scale we had during the Blair government, I think it was a big mistake. People confuse population growth with economic growth. The fact that, I think it's since 2008, the economy is now above its peak in 2008, but if you subtract population growth, it isn't. On a per capita basis it isn't, and I don't myself see any merit in Britain having a bigger population and therefore a bigger economy than Germany. I don't think that does anyone any good.

What matters is living standards, and GDP per capita, and what each person's own personal position is.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS
The truth about East European migration: One in 30 Latvians are living in Britain, one in 60 Poles are also over here - and statistics don't even show latest influx
Jack Doyle And James Chapman
Daily Mail, 20 November 2014

The astonishing scale of Eastern European migration to Britain is revealed today in figures uncovered by the Daily Mail.

They show that 1.3 per cent of Eastern Europeans living anywhere in Europe – including in their native countries – are now in the UK.

It means one in 75 of those born in eight former communist nations that joined the EU in 2004 is resident here – and the true numbers are likely to be even greater as the figures are three years old.

For some individual countries, the proportions of their citizens living here are particularly high.

One in 30 Lithuanians in Europe now lives in Britain, as do one in 30 Latvians, one in 60 Poles and one in 200 Hungarians.

Since the statistics were recorded in 2011, Eastern European migrants have continued to flock to the UK.

Yesterday new figures also showed Britain is giving citizenship to more migrants than any other EU country – with 193,000 foreign nationals given passports in 2012. Since 2000, more than 2.1 million migrants have acquired British citizenship.

Today's figures expose the vast exodus from Eastern European nations to Britain since border controls were dropped ten years ago.

The data was compiled by the independent Migration Observatory at Oxford University and is based on census data from across the continent in 2011.

Figures released in August showed the number of migrants from the eight newly-joined Eastern European countries working in Britain rose by more than a quarter in a year.

Romanian and Bulgarian migrant numbers have also continued to increase.

The influx has placed huge pressure on public services including the NHS, schools and housing. Immigration is now among the top two biggest concerns cited by the public in opinion polls.

The figures are calculated from census data showing how many people born in each country are resident in Britain, how many are still at home and how many have moved elsewhere in Europe.

It shows there are around 654,000 Polish nationals in the UK out of 41.5 million in Europe – meaning 1.6 per cent live here.

The scale of the migration from Lithuania is even more stark. A total of 108,000 Lithuanians live in Britain, some 3.4 per cent of all those in Europe. Lithuania has a much smaller population at around three million.

A total of 61,440 Latvians live in Britain – or 3.2 per cent of the 1.9 million anywhere in Europe.

For Slovakia the figure is 1.2 per cent, for the Czech Republic 0.4 per cent, Estonia 0.7 per cent and Hungary 0.5 per cent.

Between 2004 and last year, the population of Eastern European migrants in Britain rose by 544 per cent, from around 167,000 to 1,077,000.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – DIVERSITY, SCHOOLS
Rural school is denied top grade by Ofsted inspectors because it's 'too English' and not diverse enough
Laura Clark
Daily Mail, 20 November 2014

A high-performing primary school has missed out on Ofsted's top grade after being judged too English.

Pupils at the rural primary lacked 'first-hand experience of the diverse make-up of modern British society', declared the watchdog.

However, around 97 per cent of the population in the town to which the school belongs are white.

Ofsted refused it an 'outstanding' rating and graded it 'good' instead.

It said the school was failing to do enough to ensure pupils understand the 'cultural diversity of modern British society' and experience 'first-hand interaction with counterparts from different backgrounds'.

But parents complained Middle Rasen Primary in Market Rasen was being punished for factors outside its control and had effectively been told it was 'too English'. ...

The 104-pupil Middle Rasen Primary, in the town of Market Rasen on the edge of the Lincolnshire wolds, was inspected last month.

Ofsted praised it for high standards of teaching and leadership and the courteous and enthusiastic behaviour of pupils. But the inspector said: 'The large majority of pupils are White British. Very few are from other ethnic groups, and currently no pupils speak English as an additional language.'

It said the school should 'extend pupils' understanding of the cultural diversity of modern British society by creating opportunities for them to have first-hand interaction with their counterparts from different backgrounds'. ...

Tory MP for Gainsborough Sir Edward Leigh said: 'This is political correctness gone mad.

'Middle Rasen Primary School is an outstanding school by any standards, and Melonie Brunton is a brilliant headteacher - I back the school and its head one-hundred percent.

'Just last week I wrote to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, objecting strenuously to the new so-called 'equality' regulations she is implementing in schools.

'Conservatives have always stood for freeing our schools from the deadening hand of state-enforced orthodoxy.

'Why there has been such a massive U-turn under Nicky Morgan is inexplicable to me.

'Multiculturalism is an irrelevance in Lincolnshire with its low number of ethnic minorities, who are already welcomed and well-integrated into our local communities, as they should be.'

A spokesman for Ofsted reiterated that it was not the only factor in depriving the school of its 'outstanding' rating.

He said: 'We judged this school to be good across all areas including leadership and management, teaching quality, and pupils' behaviour and safety.

'All schools must teach pupils about fundamental British values including mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

'That way they will be prepared for the future wherever they go.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – MINORITIES GROWING, USA
By 2050 there will be no such thing as 'minorities' in the US, demographer claims
Christopher Hooton
The Independent, 20 November 2014

At the current trajectory, there will soon be no clear racial majority in the United States and groups generally considered "minorities" will in fact outnumber the white population.

This will not be entirely down to new immigration though, currently a contentious topic in US politics, but a baby boom among Hispanics, Asians and multi-racial groups, demographer William Frey posits in his new book Diversity Explosion.

He claims the increase from minority populations of 110 million in 2010 to over 200 million in 2050 will be down to a large number of immigrants already in the country being at fertile age.
[Site link]

Up

CITIZENSHIP
UK grants nearly quarter of all new citizenships in EU
BBC, 19 November 2014

Britain granted nearly a quarter of all new citizenships in the EU in 2012 - more than any other member state.

A total of 193,900 migrants were issued UK passports over that year, according to records from the European Union's statistical office Eurostat.

The highest percentage of those went to people from India, followed by Pakistan, Nigeria and the Philippines. ...

Eurostat said three quarters of the 818,000 new citizenships in the EU were granted in six countries - with Britain granting 23.7% of them.

Germany granted 14%, followed by France on 11.7%, Spain on 11.5%, Italy on 8% and Sweden on 6.1%.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – WELFARE BENEFITS, LABOUR PARTY
David Lammy: 'Labour should be pro-immigration and not try to compete with Ukip'
Neela Debnath
The Independent, 19 November 2014

Labour MP David Lammy has warned that his party should not try to compete with Ukip and remain pro-immigration.

Speaking on London Live this morning, he explained his stance, "Look, I think we've got to be a pro-immigration party. I'm very clear on that, I don't think we should race to the bottom or compete with Ukip."

However, Lammy was quick to defend the plans announced by Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves yesterday that would prevent jobless EU migrants in Britain from claiming benefits for two years, rather than the current three months.

The MP for Tottenham and Labour's London Mayoral candidate said that the policy was "quite different" from being anti-immigration.

He said the proposal "really is about who is entitled to draw on the insurance scheme that is welfare and I think that there is a sense that if you pay into the system, you should be entitled to draw," Lammy said.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
Quarter of Britons say 'all immigrants should leave'
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2014

A quarter of Britons believe all immigrants should be returned to their home countries, according to a new poll by a think-tank.

A survey conducted for British Future found 25 per cent of people agreed that the government should "insist that all immigrants should return to the countries they came from, whether they're here legally or illegally".

A small majority – 52 per cent – disagreed with the statement, while the remainder neither agreed nor disagreed, in a poll of 2,000 adults by ICM. ...

The 140-page study said liberal, pro-immigration arguments could often lead people who were undecided on the issue to "harden" their attitude against immigration.

"Ukip's critics were shrill and too quick to accuse the party of being racist when most of the public did not feel it had been," said the report, discussing May's European elections in which Ukip took 24 seats and 28 per cent of the vote.

"While this reassured liberals who would never consider supporting Ukip, it carried little weight with those who were thinking about voting for them – in fact it may have increased the party's 'outsider' appeal."

Research for British Future, a non-partisan think-tank whose director was previously the head of the Fabian Society, also found nearly one in six people want a vote in an in-out referendum on the European Union.

And more than seven out of 10 people want more of a say in the way Britain's immigration policy is handled.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS
Labour had the chance to fix problems with the UK's borders
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2014
[Leading article]

The bulk of the shadow home secretary's speech was more convincing, if only marginally. She accepted that excess immigration is a subject of great concern, and offered what she called "practical answers". Britain should negotiate with Europe to ensure that new arrivals are unable to claim benefits for two years. Exit checks should be reinstated at the borders. It should be impossible to claim benefit for children living overseas while working in Britain. What you get out of the welfare system should be related to what you put in. All immigrants should learn English as a first step to integration. All public sector workers should be expected to speak it.

To which the inevitable question is: why did Labour not do any of this while in power? In the case of exit checks, it was the Blair government that abolished them in the first place. Ms Cooper did accept that Labour had "made mistakes" – but the only one she listed was the failure to introduce transitional controls on Eastern European immigration in 2004.

This is spectacularly disingenuous. While the new arrivals from the east certainly made the problem worse, the numbers arriving had already risen by roughly 200,000 a year since 1997. Equally bizarre is Ms Cooper's insistence that Labour could somehow negotiate a better deal with the EU than the Tories simply by asking nicely. We saw under Blair and Brown how well that strategy works.

We should not let the Conservatives off the hook, of course. David Cameron and Theresa May have done much to tighten up the immigration system; they might even have met their ill-conceived target to reduce net migration to the "tens of thousands" if the weakness of the European economy had not driven thousands to Britain. But under current EU rules, many of the most important levers remain outside their control. The Prime Minister has promised a major speech in which he will set out his strategy for changing this, as part of his wider EU renegotiation – but there are few signs of that cutting through on the streets of Rochester and Strood. Unless they can present a convincing plan to regain control of the borders, the Tories may well find themselves punished at the ballot box for Labour's failures.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – UKIP
UKIP: EU migrants in UK legally would be able to stay
BBC, 19 November 2014

The UKIP candidate in the Rochester and Strood by-election, Mark Reckless, has rejected claims he backs deporting existing EU migrants.

At a hustings on Tuesday Mr Reckless suggested existing EU migrants should only be allowed to remain in the UK for "a transitional period".

Asked on BBC Radio Kent if he was suggesting they should be deported, he said: "No I was not suggesting that."

Mr Reckless accused his Conservative critics of "twisting" his words.

He said EU citizens in the UK legally at the time the country left the union would be able to stay in the country.

But an "Australian-style" points system would then apply to all new migrants from both inside and outside the European Union.

He also said those EU citizens who had been legally in the UK for 10 years would be allowed to apply for citizenship.

Nigel Farage responded on Twitter to a question from the BBC's Robin Brant about Mr Reckless's comments and said: "People here lawfully, as those from EU, would have right to remain. Those here illegally would have to apply for work permits."

The original comments came when Mr Reckless was asked - at a televised hustings broadcast by ITV's Meridian - what would happen to EU migrants already living and working in Britain.

He suggested they would be looked at "sympathetically" but should only be allowed to remain in the UK for "a fixed period". ...

A UKIP spokesman said Mr Reckless had been "misunderstood", though not misquoted.

The spokesman said: "It is absolutely not our policy to round up EU migrants and put them on a boat at Dover and send them back to wherever they came from."

He added that UKIP's policy on immigration - which is to introduce a points-based system ending EU freedom of movement - would not apply retrospectively.
[Site link]

Up

ASYLUM – MIDDLE EAST, CHRISTIANS
Welby warns offering asylum to Christians could 'drain' Middle East of 2,000-year-old communities
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2014

Offering asylum in Britain to Christians fleeing the forces of the so-called Islamic State risks "draining" the Middle East of communities which have been there since the time of St Paul, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said while the UK has a "humanitarian duty of hospitality and welcome" in extreme cases, it should use its international influence to press for the creation of safe havens in the region as a priority.

He was speaking ahead of an emergency discussion of the Church of England's General Synod in London about the threat to Christians, Yazidis and Muslim minority groups in the Iraq and Syria. ...

The Synod has already heard calls for Anglican congregations to sponsor asylum applications for Christians fleeing violence and potential genocide in their homelands.

It follows cross-party calls from politicians for the UK to follow the example of France and offer refuge to persecuted Christians.

But Archbishop Welby said Britain should be wary of any action which could ultimately empty the region where Christianity was born of Christians.

"There is a huge debate going on, not least amongst the Christian communities in the Middle East, in fact principally among them, about what they actually want to happen," he said.

"We had a gathering of Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox at Lambeth [Palace] in the beginning of September, one of the bishops who had just come from a town under siege from Isis, his family were still there, said 'please, please don't offer asylum, enough of us have left already'.

"But on the other hand others say we really need it in extreme circumstances.

"I don't think there's a straightforward simple answer.

"I think there is an answer that says we need to do more where there is really no choice but we also need to be deeply committed to enabling solutions to be found enabling communities that have been there for 2,000 years to remain there.

"These are not Johnny-come-latelies, they have got more history of being there than we have, most of us, of being in this country." ...

"There are things that can be done and it is better than simply draining the entire region of Christians who have been there since the time of St Paul."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – PREJUDICE, MULTICULTURALISM
Does the UK have a problem with racism?
Sue George
The Guardian, 19 November 2014

According to the 2013 NatCen British Social Attitudes survey, almost a third of British people – 30% – report that they have some feelings of racial prejudice.

But what does this mean at a time when one in five people identify with an ethnic group other than white British, the number of people identifying as "mixed" has increased by 50% since 2001, 100 languages are spoken across Britain, and there are also high rates of inter-marriage and friendship between people of different races? ... All these issues and more were considered at a public debate, which took place at the British Library in London and was hosted by the Guardian in association with the British Academy. ...

The first presentation was from Penny Young, who shared a range of statistics from the British Social Attitudes survey. This annual survey asks 3,000 people (chosen at random and representative of the British population) their opinions about what it's like to live in Britain and how the country is run. These statistics were first collected in 1983, when the proportion of people questioned who would mind if a close friend or relative married a black person was three in five. Half would have objected if they were marrying an Asian person. These figures have now fallen to around 20%. However, in a new question, 20% said they would also object if this marriage partner was from eastern Europe. When the same question was asked about Muslim marriage partners, 44% would object.

"So where people are prejudiced it's not about colour of skin but otherness," Young said. ...

Anthony Heath countered that Britain was probably the least bad country for racism in western Europe. "I'd argue that Britain is one of the best examples, although not perfect, of multicultural society at work," he said. He presented a comparatively optimistic view of a Britain where racism was declining: "We are all living in a world of social change. The idea we can stop the clock is nonsense. All communities are changing," he said.

Heath explained that these changes had a generational basis, where people of his age – born in the 1940s and before – tended to be far more patriotic and nationalistic than those who were younger, with what he called an "ethnic conception of the nation". According to this view, to be truly British, a person had to have British ancestors and be born in Britain. Younger people tended to believe this less.

Heath also mentioned some studies looking at the impact of policies designed to foster multiculturalism. "The policies had no impact whatsoever," he said. "Just let people get on with it."

Ed Husain has been an Islamic activist and is now a strong critic of extremism. He considers there is a range of issues around race and religion that urgently need addressing.

"I went to the US to escape multiculturalism," he said. "But I missed it. I am a product of multiculturalism, I was born here and went through its good and bad phases. My main argument is: mend it, don't end it."

Husain went on to look at what he considered the more intractable problems around multiculturalism. ...

"I don't share the optimism," he said. "Some things have got better but many have got worse."

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown felt that, in terms of personal interaction, things were going well. But while people might experience love and sex with "the other" or enjoy their food, that was not enough.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Border checks spending hits 5-year low despite surge in illegal migrants
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 18 November 2014

Britain spends less on border security than it did five years ago, despite a big rise in illegal immigration.

A damning dossier obtained by this newspaper also shows that no official estimate of the number of people in the UK without permission has been made since 2007.

In 2009/10, Border Force's budget was £493 million and it undertook 451 operations. Last year it fell to £465 million and officers carried out just 396 operations.

Meanwhile Government figures show over-stretched officials seized 19,003 stowaways trying to get into Britain in the last year – 52 a day – and almost double the 11,731 caught in 2012.

Last night, Ukip MEP Steven Woolfe said: "This Government has knowingly and deliberately starved the border service of funding.

"That they haven't even bothered producing an estimate of the level of illegal immigration over the entire period of this government, a period in which immigration has become the number one public concern, just proves they are sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting, 'It's not happening.'

"This is a clear dereliction of duty. The country has the right to demand and expect better from those who pretend to govern them." ...

The Government is advised by the independent Migration Advisory Committee but, despite widespread public concern, only two estimates of the size of the UK's clandestine population have been made in the past 13 years.

In 2001 it was believed to be 430,000, a figure that jumped 43 per cent to 618,000 in 2007. Now there are thought to be as many as 1.1 million illegal migrants, many working in the black economy.

The Home Office said calculating numbers is "extremely difficult", but Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of MigrationWatch UK, said: "It seems clear the number of illegal immigrants here today is higher than ever...if we are serious about tackling this problem, we can start by increasing what we spend."
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – PUBLIC CONCERN
Finally, Labour admits you are RIGHT to have migration worries: Party set to attack 'liberal commentators' and call for frank and honest discussion on the subject
James Slack
Daily Mail, 18 November 2014

Labour will today attack 'liberal commentators' who are too quick to dismiss the public's 'genuine' concerns about mass immigration.

Ed Miliband's party has repeatedly come under fire for trying to close down debate about immigration by labelling its opponents 'bigots'. But in a speech today, the Shadow Home Secretary will say there is a need for a frank and honest discussion.

In particular, Yvette Cooper will point out that it has not been helpful for 'liberal commentators and business advocates' to say concern about immigration is 'irrational'.

She will go on to say: 'Too often the debate about immigration becomes polarised and unhealthy. On the one hand we now have an arms race of rhetoric involving the Tories and Ukip over immigration. Ukip are exploiting people's fears, fuelling anxiety and division, and David Cameron is racing to catch up.

'On the other hand some people seem to think talking about immigration at all is a problem and they dismiss people's genuine concerns.'

Mrs Cooper will also promise that, under a Labour government, 1,000 extra immigration staff would be recruited to protect Britain's porous borders.

Controversially, they would be paid for by imposing a £10 visa waiver charge on visitors from overseas. Labour said the charge would apply to people coming from countries such as the 'US, Oman and the United Arab Emirates' who are trusted to return home at the end of a holiday or a short business trip.

Last night Labour insisted the policy could work, pointing out that America imposes a $14 charge on visitors to America, including Britons. It costs the US around $4 to process each application and the additional $10 is used to fund government programmes.

A Labour spokesman said: 'This reform was not beyond the wit of the American civil service, so the Tories really need to examine their basic competence and ambitions for reform.' However Tory officials claimed the scheme would cost 'more to operate than it would recover in fees' – and said the charge would pay for only 59 extra staff.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ITALY
Italy registers surge in asylum applications
The Local [Italy], 18 November 2014

Italy received nearly as many asylum applications in the first half of this year as it did in the whole of 2013, figures published on Monday revealed.

In a reflection of the dramatic surge in the numbers of migrants reaching Italy's shores from North Africa, there were 25,401 applications for refugee status between January and June, compared with 26,520 in the previous 12 months, according to a report produced by NGOs including Caritas in collaboration with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

More than 150,000 migrants have landed in Italy this year. Many of them were rescued from the Mediterranean by the Italian navy after their own overcrowded barely seaworthy vessels got into difficulty.

And there is no sign of a let-up in an influx which is becoming an increasingly controversial issue in Italian politics. The navy reported over 2,500 new arrivals in ports in Sicily and the southern mainland over the weekend.

Aid organizations say the bulk of those arriving in Italy have a genuine claim to refuge having fled conflict or persecution in places like Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Eritrea or unbearable poverty and bonded labour in parts of Africa and South Asia.

Experts in the field say a relatively small proportion of new arrivals in Italy apply for asylum because many prefer to continue their journeys, clandestinely, to northern Europe. ...

Some 93 percent of asylum applicants are still men, despite the latest boats arriving often including higher proportions of women and children than ever seen before.

Italy ends up allowing just over 60 percent of applicants to stay in the country. Of 24,000 cases processed in 2013, only 13 percent resulted in the applicant getting full refugee status.

But 24 percent were given temporary protection and another 24 percent were granted leave to remain on humanitarian grounds.

Although nearly all migrants land in southern Italy, they are quickly redistributed around the country and municipal authorities in a number of towns and cities are beginning to say that their ability to cope has reached breaking point.

Rome, which receives about a fifth of the asylum seekers, has demanded a review of the system following violent clashes last week in which residents of a city neighbourhood housing three centres for migrants laid siege to one of them in a bid to force the removal of the inhabitants.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – WELFARE BENEFITS, LABOUR PARTY
Labour moves to the right of the Tories on benefits for EU migrants
Andrew Grice
The Independent, 18 November 2014

Labour have tried to outflank David Cameron on immigration by calling for EU migrants to be denied out-of-work benefits for two years instead of the current three-month wait.

Although Labour accused the Tories and Ukip of being in locked an "arms race" on immigration, Ed Miliband's party appeared to join it today. Labour outlined plans to curb tax credits for EU migrants working in Britain to deter employers using them in low-paid, short-term jobs, and repeated its call for an end to child benefit paid to EU migrants if their children do not live in the UK.

The tough reforms could not be implemented immediately were Labour to win power at next May's general election, because they would need the backing of the other 27 EU member states. Labour has already held talks with German and French ministers. It believes that a more constructive approach to EU negotiations than Mr Cameron would see a two-year wait for jobless benefits agreed swiftly, but accepts that curbing tax credits would take longer.

Labour insisted it was not "pandering" to Ukip amid fears that Nigel Farage's party is eating into Labour's traditional working class support. Officials said Labour had been calling for a greater element of "contribution" in the welfare system since January. However, Labour's move was seen as a preemptive strike on Mr Cameron, who will outline his plans to reduce EU migration before Christmas. ...

An estimated 20,400 EU migrants working in Britain receive child benefit for 34,268 children living in other countries, and 4,011 receive child tax credits for children living outside the UK. Ms Reeves said Labour would work with Britain's EU partners to end this "absurdity", as the Tories and Liberal Democrats have already pledged to do. "I promise that a Labour government won't give up until we have put this right," she said.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – RACISM
Yvette Cooper steals Tory immigration slogan from 2005
Steerpike
Spectator blog, 18 November 2014

At the height of the 2005 election, the then Tory leader Michael Howard (advised by one Lynton Crosby) declared:



'Let's be clear. It's not racist to talk about immigration. It's not racist to criticise the system. It's not racist to want to limit the numbers. It's just plain common sense.'



Howard was lambasted by Labour for the speech, with cabinet ministers wheeled out to slam the Conservatives for 'scurrilous, right-wing, ugly tactics'.

Fast forward nine years and Yvette Cooper's soundbite sounds a little familiar. In a speech today, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary declared:



'It isn't racist to be worried about immigration or to call for immigration reform.'


[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – SCHOOLS
Immigration is changing character of UK schools, claims Iain Duncan Smith
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 17 November 2014

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has said that non-English-speaking children are changing the character of British schools, as Ukip looks likely to gain its second MP in the Rochester and Strood byelection.

The senior Conservative said an academic report setting out the billions of pounds that EU migrants had added to the economy was "silly" because it only looks at immigration in terms of the financial benefits to the economy.

His comments represent the latest escalation in the negative rhetoric about immigration as the Tories try to stem the flow of supporters to Nigel Farage's party, which wants radically lower migration and a withdrawal from the European Union.

On BBC Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics, Duncan Smith said: "I thought there was a silly report, recently, in the last couple of weeks, that said: 'Oh look in tax terms they have contributed more.' First of all you have to take them all the way through to when they get older and they actually start taking from the state.

"You don't account for the fact that often in many communities they literally change the schooling because so many people arrive not speaking English. You have then got problems you know with local services, transport all that kind of stuff."

He went on to say that the EU's principle of free movement of people needs rebalancing and to claim the Germans have privately told him they "need to sort this problem out".
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
EU migrant curbs should be 'temporary' says Major
BBC, 17 November 2014

A "pragmatic" solution can be found in Europe to temporarily limit the number of EU migrants coming into the UK, Conservative ex-PM Sir John Major says.

He told the BBC restrictions could be introduced for a "shortish" period of time, potentially for about a year, without infringing free movement rules.

This, he said, would address a spike in migrants from southern Europe caused by the recession in much of the eurozone. ...

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps welcomed Sir John's intervention, saying free movement could not be an "open-ended deal" and Britain must have "some control" over migrant numbers. ...

Sir John, who was Conservative prime minister between 1990 and 1997, told the Andrew Marr Show the UK benefited from migration, arguing the NHS and the transport system could not continue to operate without foreign labour.

But he said the UK had a "particular problem" with numbers and this was "accelerating" due to the contrast in economic fortunes across Europe, with the UK growing strongly and much of the eurozone stagnating.

The UK's population had increased by 7% over the past decade, he said, and without any action, it was projected to rise by a further 25% over the next few decades. ...

Sir John said he believed there were some practical steps that could be taken which "did not infringe the principle (of free movement) but do meet the problem".

Any restrictions would only be "relatively short term" and could be lifted once the economic picture across the eurozone had improved.

"I see it as a shortish-term problem," he added. "Maybe not a year, maybe longer. We need a little help over that period."

But he insisted it did not mean the UK would be "closing its doors either politically or economically".
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, DRIVING LICENCES, USA
Oregon immigration vote is a warning for Obama
Jonathan J. Cooper and Nicholas Riccardi
Yahoo! News / Associated Press, 17 November 2014

The fate of a little-noticed ballot measure in strongly Democratic Oregon serves as a warning to President Barack Obama and his party about the political perils of immigration policy.

Even as Oregon voters were legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding Democratic majorities in state government, they decided by a margin of 66-34 to cancel a new state law that would have provided driver's licenses to people who are in the United States illegally.

Obama is considering acting on his own, as early as this week, to possibly shield from deportation up to 5 million immigrants now living illegally in the country. Some Republicans in Congress are threatening a government shutdown if the president follows through. ...

The state law had seemed to be popular. It easily passed last year with bipartisan support in the Democratic-controlled Legislature and was signed Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, who was re-elected Nov. 4.

Opponents barely gathered enough signatures to put the repeal question on the ballot. Immigrant rights groups outspent their opponents 10-1.

Still, the measure failed in every county but the state's most liberal one, Multnomah, home to Portland. ... ...

Immigration has been seen as a winning issue for Democrats because Hispanic and Asian populations account for an increasing share of the electorate, especially in presidential years.

Eleven other states have granted driver's licenses to people in the U.S. illegally, and 17 allow them to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POLITICS, USA
SHOCK FLASHBACK: Obama Says Illegal Immigration HURTS 'Blue-Collar Americans,' STRAINS Welfare
Neil Munro
Daily Caller, 17 November 2014

President Obama once declared that an influx of illegal immigrants will harm "the wages of blue-collar Americans" and "put strains on an already overburdened safety net."

"[T]here's no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border – a sense that what's happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before," then-Senator Obama wrote in his 2006 autobiography, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream."

"Not all these fears are irrational," he wrote.

"The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century," Obama noted. "If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole – especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan – it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net."

If these feel like the words of one of Obama's opponents, it's because they're the exact argument that the president's critics have been making as he now rushes to announce a sweeping executive order that would give work permits to millions of illegal immigrants in the country.

In the passage, Obama also reveals that he personally feels "patriotic resentment" when he sees Mexican flags at immigration rallies. ...

Obama's frank statements were written in 2006, as he was eying a run for the presidency.

Those worries are mainstream, according to recent polls. Obama now presides over a very porous southern border, and he's allowed 130,000 Central American migrants across since October 2013.

Via executive order, he is also about to provide work permits to at least 3 million illegal immigrants, allowing them to compete against the very Americans – black, white, Latino and Asian – who he once said would be harmed by such a move.

The new work permits would in addition to the 600,000 work permits given to younger illegals under the 2012 "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program. ...

Back in 2006, Obama dismissed the current guest worker programs as unfair to Americans.

A 2006 immigration bill "included a guest worker program that would allow two hundred thousand foreign workers to enter the country for temporary employment," he wrote.

"The guest worker provision of the bill troubled me," Obama wrote, "it was essentially a sop to big business, a means for them to employ immigrants without granting them citizenship rights – indeed, a means for business to gain the benefits of outsourcing without having to locate their operations overseas."

Obama is already expanding those guest worker programs by at least 100,000 jobs, and he backed the Senate's 2013 bill that would have boosted the number of guest workers above 1 million each year.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – PREJUDICE, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, EQUALITY LEGISLATION, PUBLIC OPINION
Prejudice is being privatised by equality legislation
University of Sheffield, 17 November 2014
[The study is part of a wider research programme called LIVEDIFFERENCE, funded by the European Research Council]

Prejudiced attitudes towards minorities have not gone away as a result of equality legislation they have just been privatised, new research by the University of Sheffield has revealed.

The study, which looked at attitudes towards minority groups and legislation in the UK, identified widespread hostility towards laws and regulations which were viewed as unfairly privileging minority groups.

It found that people alter how they relate to others in public, out of an obligation to comply with the law rather than because they believe in or accept the values enshrined in it.

Many of the respondents claimed their 'true' opinions about minority groups could only be freely voiced in the private setting of their home amongst people they trust where they are immune from legal constraints and the expectations of society.

The research also offers a new angle to understand the rise of populist parties like UKIP.

The majority of those asked in the study acknowledged they know little about the specifics of The Equality Act 2010 but expressed hostility to the form and content of the equality law which they dubbed 'political correctness.'

The research revealed a perception that behaviour in public is regulated and controlled by equality legislation. This was seen as restricting natural or normal ways of behaving in public space.

The workplace was named as an area where people viewed these forms of regulation as being particularly prevalent and feared expressing prejudice there because of the risk of legal sanction or disciplinary action. It was also felt these forms of legislation unduly privileged minority groups.

Author of the report, Professor Gill Valentine, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences said: "Equality legislation produces an expectation that the UK has a progressive and cosmopolitan public culture yet rather than prejudiced views disappearing, as a consequence of the obligation to comply, it is just changing its form. Blatant public expressions of intolerance are becoming less commonplace but privatised and discrete forms of prejudice persist. A privatisation of prejudice is taking place."

The research says this causes problems for both those who the legislation seeks to protect - because it makes it more difficult to expose and challenge prejudice views - and for those critical of the social expectations equality legislation creates, because it breeds a sense of anger and frustration that their views are being silenced in public by the law.

The study claims the privatisation of prejudice provides fertile ground for anti-immigration parties such as UKIP with disaffected members of society, unable to express their anxieties about minority groups in public because of what they perceive as 'political correctness,' doing so through the ballot box instead.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – PUBLIC OPINION
Immigration: electorate delivers vote of no confidence in all political leaders
Toby Helm
The Observer, 16 November 2014

Voters have a startling lack of faith in the ability of politicians to address the challenges of immigration as the issue rises to the top of the political agenda, a major study will reveal this week.

Though Thursday's crucial byelection in Rochester and Strood is expected to give the anti-Europe UK Independence party (Ukip) its second Westminster seat, the research shows that for most voters, even its leader, Nigel Farage, lacks credibility on the immigration issue.

The analysis, by the thinktank British Future, which will be released before the byelection, finds that rather than being overwhelmingly hostile to immigration and immigrants, most people appear to hold far more nuanced views. The report suggests that people distrust their politicians because they do not believe their responses are up to the complexity of the challenge.

Rather than wanting to hear political leaders announcing crackdowns on immigrants, or minimising the extent of the problem, British Future says voters want a response that ensures the benefits of immigration go on being reaped while the problems are addressed. Too often, people find politicians break the immigration promises they make.

Polling for the study found only 30% of the public saying they trusted David Cameron on immigration, against 59% who said they did not, while 27% of people trusted Ed Miliband and 59% did not. Nick Clegg fared even worse, with just 23% saying they trusted him, against 64% who did not.

Although Farage's party, which is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU partly in order to prevent the influx of EU immigrants, is riding high in the polls, Farage himself is trusted on the issue by 34% of people, while 53% mistrust him.

By contrast, 51% of voters say they would trust the views of a migrant who has been here more than 15 years, while 28% would not. Migrants who have been here 15 years and have become British citizens are trusted by 58%, and not trusted by 23%.

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future and co-author of the study, entitled "How to talk About Immigration", said: "Politicians on all sides have underestimated the British public when it comes to immigration. Most of them would probably like to see a bit less of it, but they don't want to pull up the drawbridge.

"People aren't happy with how immigration has been handled. But they blame the politicians for that, not the migrants. If politicians want to get a hearing on what is likely to be the number one issue at the general election, they need to win back people's trust.

"The last government lost trust by dismissing people's concerns. This one has lost trust too, by making promises like the net migration target, which they've failed to keep."

British Future found that most people saw pros and cons from immigration: 61% said it created pressures while also bringing benefits. The thinktank says that if politicians want to win back voters' trust, they should stop telling people to have faith in them on the issue, and instead listen more to the public's concerns and views.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DEBATE
Immigration: balanced debate and answers are possible
Rob Ford
The Observer, 16 November 2014
[Dr Rob Ford is a member of the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester]

I have bad news for those already tired of the immigration debate – it isn't going away. A number of features about migration politics have kept it near the top of the agenda for years, none of which is likely to change quickly. First, arguments about immigration reflect very deep, and growing, social divides in Britain between those who see rapid social and demographic change as an opportunity to be embraced and those who see it as a threat to be minimised. This difference in outlook splits the young from the old, university graduates from early school-leavers and middle-class professionals from manual workers.

Both sides have a strong case to make for their position. The young and the highly skilled embrace mobility across borders and Britain's diversity and dynamism is something they see as both natural and valuable. Older, low-skilled citizens grew up with a Britain where change was slower and communities more uniform and they regard the social and economic changes that have come since, which have often pushed them to the margins, as threatening and socially damaging. ...

Opinion is deeply divided on immigration, but the passion in the debate is all on one side. Voters who regard immigration as fundamentally threatening in itself, and as symbolic of broader social shifts that marginalise them, are very vocal in their opposition. ...

Those who embrace or accept migration do not do share this focus or intensity; they tend to regard immigration as a non-issue or a low priority and do not raise it at all, or do so only to point out that the political focus on cutting inflows seems misguided. This skews the politics of immigration, as angry opposition is much more likely to attract attention than quiet acceptance.

We might expect the greater attention won by immigration opponents to have resolved the argument in their favour. This has evidently not happened, which reflects a problem few in politics today are willing to admit to: it is not really possible to give immigration opponents what they want. ... ...

Instead of admitting that migration control is a complicated and difficult trade-off, our politicians have been too quick to reach for the language of total control: promising to "get a grip" and making rash, irresponsible pledges that inevitably fail, misleading voters about what can be delivered, and making them even angrier when, inevitably, the promised change does not arrive.

... Yet there are reasons for optimism. For one thing, politicians in both mainstream parties have learned the hard way the heavy electoral cost of promising the impossible on this issue. The slow grind of demographic change is also steadily changing the political calculus in favour of pragmatism, as the share of the electorate from pro-migration social groups, such as ethnic minorities and university graduates, steadily rises.

...

Voters who passively endorse the status quo may campaign more forcefully for EU membership, free movement, and human rights if they see Ukip's rise as threatening rights they have hitherto taken for granted. A Ukip breakthrough next year could perhaps have a very unexpected consequence: a more balanced debate over immigration than we have seen for years.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ASYLUM
NHS spends thousands asking asylum seekers if they ever hear voices: Anger as taxpayer money is spent investigating immigrants' psychological state
Simon Walters and Glen Owen
Mail on Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money is being spent investigating the psychological state of asylum seekers – triggering furious complaints by some mental health campaigners who have seen their own budgets stretched.

Refugees held in Dover are being asked questions such as 'do you hear voices?' by NHS staff. ...

A local MP added it was 'yet another' drain on resources caused by a malfunctioning immigration system.

The NHS staff have gone into the Dover Immigration Removal Centre, which is run by the prison service to hold failed asylum seekers while the authorities attempt to deport them back to their native countries.

The centre, which is housed on a site fortified since Roman times, holds 300 people. Most are removed after two months, but some stay for substantially longer if they mount a legal challenge to the decision. ...

Dr Al Aditya Khan, who is in charge of the project for the Oxleas NHS Trust, says the aim of the scheme is to identify occupants who 'hear voices or have abnormal beliefs', and ensure those who do have access to professional help.

But Tracy Carr, of Talk It Out, a support group in Dover, said locals with mental health problems resented the fact that more money was being ploughed into the centre while they struggled to receive the help that they needed. ...

Charlie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover, said: 'Already millions are wasted keeping asylum claimants in detention for years. This is yet another waste of taxpayers' money.

'Many asylum claimants eat their papers to hide where they are from. The cash would be better spent tracking down where people are from and speeding up the asylum claim and deportation process.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
Voters' real views on immigration would surprise all party leaders
Andrew Rawnsley
The Observer, 16 November 2014

All the traditional parties are struggling to find ways of talking to the voters about immigration that manage to stay true to their principles and faithful to Britain's national interests while also being practical, deliverable, trusted and capable of mobilising broad consent. Dismissing public anxiety as just irrational, which has been the vice of some liberals, doesn't work. Stoking public anxiety, by ramping up "tough" rhetoric and making promises that can't be kept, is even worse.

Some timely guidance on a better approach is at hand from the innovative thinktank, British Future, led by Sunder Katwala. This week, it will publish the results of a three-year investigation into public attitudes towards immigration. ...

There is what the study calls "the rejectionist minority" who "would close the borders, or even send all migrants back". But they are not representative of most of us. The "slam the door" segment of the electorate makes up around a quarter of the population, ... ...

The bad news for liberals on immigration is that they are also in a minority. There is a slice of the population that is happy with current levels of immigration, the most internationalist of whom think that a world without borders would be an attractive ideal. ... The liberals represent around a quarter of the public.

The key to winning the political debate on immigration lies with the half of the population whom the study characterises as "the anxious middle". ...

That highlights an important point about "the anxious middle": they do not have anti-migrant views per se. Most express themselves proud of Britain's tradition of offering a sanctuary to refugees from conflict and persecution. A lot of this group can appreciate the value to Britain of attracting talented people to these shores. At the same time, they express a great deal of anxiety about pressure on services. The sobering finding for liberals is that their arguments don't have much traction on these concerns. The way some liberals talk can even aggravate voters' discontent. Liberals often contend that they can win this debate if only the public are told the facts: that there are fewer migrants here than people think and those who are here are good for the economy and that they pay in more to the welfare state than they take out. The study finds that messages designed for "elite policy advocacy" don't work outside the boardroom, government department or seminar room. ...

The public does have a very poor grasp of the scale and nature of immigration. In Ipsos MORI's most recent survey on this, the average guess at the proportion of the UK population that is foreign-born was 31%. The official estimate is 13%. Yet simply telling voters they are misinformed risks hardening attitudes about immigration among the "anxious middle". People don't like to be called stupid. And they really don't like it when liberals imply that anyone who disagrees with them on immigration is either a racist or the dupes of racists.

The majority of public opinion has an attitude towards immigration that is utilitarian. Nearly two-thirds signed up for the proposition: "Immigration brings both pressures and economic benefits, so we should control it and choose the immigration that is in Britain's best economic interests."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – RACISM, USA
A new strain of racism from the newest Americans
Armstrong Williams
Washington Times, 16 November 2014

Racism in America has often been reduced to white-against-black discrimination, and understandably so. After all, it was white colonists who forcibly removed Africans from their homeland and brought them to America to serve as slaves on plantations.

Following the Civil War and the end of slavery in America, this country continued to struggle with racism. It took the dedication of Dr. Martin Luther King and a movement of civil rights activism to further ease the divisions among us. ...

But another kind of racism has emerged, unreported by the mainstream media. I'm talking about Hispanic racism against blacks.

As Latin American immigrants continue to flood the United States, both legally and illegally, discrimination against black Americans is also growing.

In 2011 a large Latino gang located in East Los Angeles was indicted for attempting to forcibly remove a neighborhood of black residents from the San Gabriel Valley. For 15 years, this gang led a campaign of attacks and firebombings on black families living in the town.

Unfortunately, incidents like this are all too common in Los Angeles and in other major U.S. cities.

In Compton, California, the Los Angeles Police Department recently expressed concern over the number of attacks on black families by Latino gangs within the past decade. ...

Many Latin American immigrants come from countries where racism has only recently been, or has yet to be, deinstitutionalized. In many countries in the region, according to Tanya Hernandez, professor of law at Fordham University, "both law and practice have discriminated against the region's 150 million Afro-descendants."

In Cuba, Afro-Cuban activists claim blacks face discrimination for certain jobs, particularly managerial positions, have poor access to health care and are relegated to poor housing.

In Colombia, 288,000 Afro-Colombians have been forcibly removed from their communities as of 2009 as civil unrest continues to plague the country.

Many countries in Latin America have only recently begun to fight back against the racism within their borders. Colombia passed a comprehensive anti-discrimination law in 2011. Brazil passed an affirmative action law only two years ago.

But as Americans know all too well, racism doesn't disappear overnight from the hearts and minds of individuals. Dismantling racism requires a generational transformation and then some.

This personal transformation has yet to happen in many Hispanic communities. A Duke University study in 2006 reported 60 percent of Hispanic respondents believed that few or almost no blacks were hard-working or could be trusted.

In light of the ongoing reality of Hispanic racism against blacks, Congress should be very careful when addressing immigration reform.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU
'Britain has to be prepared to walk away from the EU'
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2014

... the European Union is never far from Philip Hammond's thoughts. The Foreign Secretary ...

... Mr Hammond has chosen to go further than even David Cameron in warning that Britain could leave the EU if the country does not gain control over its borders. Britain must get "substantial, meaningful reform" from Brussels ahead of the in-out referendum Mr Cameron has pledged to hold in 2017, Mr Hammond says. He makes clear that the Government is now "prepared to stand up from the table and walk away".

Senior Conservatives believe that the only way to confront the "existential threat" posed by Nigel Farage and Ukip is to take an increasingly hard line on immigration and EU reform.

And Mr Hammond does just that by making clear that "we have to be prepared" to leave the EU if reforms to the immigration system are resisted. "We're in the beginning stages of a negotiation and – first of all, never, never go into any negotiation unless you're prepared to stand up from the table and walk away," he says. "We have to be prepared to. In this case it isn't even our decision because there's going to be a referendum at the end of this process.

"We have to be candid with our European Union partners as we're negotiating about what we think the verdict of the British people would be. I'd like to be telling my German counterpart honestly, if you draw the line there, I don't think we're going to get this past the British public in a referendum – but if you could move your line to there, I think we might."
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – ISLAMISATION
Is Britain the New Lebanon?
Tiffany Tryniszewski
American Thinker, 15 November 2014

You can't sign on to your social media account or open a newspaper without seeing another horrifying account of the brutality imposed by Islamic terrorist organizations like ISIS, Hamas, Hezb'allah, Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda, to name a few. ...

However, overt acts of terrorism are not the only method used by Islamists to accomplish the goal of expanding the influence of Islam throughout the world. History teaches us that Islamists are particularly adept at surreptitiously undermining Judeo-Christian values and using the liberal values of tolerance, multiculturalism, and free speech to take over democratic societies.

Lebanon is a prime example. Although currently a downtrodden state infiltrated by Hezb'allah, Lebanon was at one time a pro-Western bastion of economic prosperity. Tourism, agriculture, democracy, and education flourished in the 1960s, and Beirut was coined the "Paris of the Middle East," a reflection of Lebanon's economic success. ...

The fate of Lebanon took a drastic turn when the population balance between Maronite Christians and Sunni and Shia Muslims began to shift in the favor of the Muslims. It was a combination of heavy immigration and a high Muslim birth rate that helped make Muslims the new majority. Black September worsened the situation, when Palestinians fleeing from Jordan found refuge in Lebanon in the 1970s. (Ironically, it was not another Muslim nation, but the Christian nation of Lebanon that took in the Palestinians.)

The Lebanese Muslims and Palestinians, led by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization, joined together to accomplish their objective – to annihilate Israel and establish a caliphate. Jihad was declared, marking the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War, and countless atrocities against the Christians and Jews ensued.

The influx of Muslims in Lebanon is strikingly similar to what is happening today in the Western world, especially in Britain. In 2011, the Muslim population in the UK was 2.7 million, up from 1.6 million in 2001. Muslims now constitute nearly 5% of the general population and 10% of children under 5 years old.

Although Britain is one of the most accepting countries regarding Muslim immigration, the Muslim immigrants don't show their appreciation. ...

In pursuit of the multicultural aspirations that have dominated Western culture and media for the past several decades, the U.K. has turned a blind eye to this problem. As the Muslim population has grown, so have Muslim demands – and the tolerant and fair British have been happy to oblige.

The side-effects of this cultural invasion are alarming. A recent poll shows that one in seven young British adults has "warm feelings" toward the Islamic State. Mohammed is now the most common baby name in the U.K. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have found a safe haven in London. ...

As free societies, we allow immigrants into our countries at alarming rates; we open our borders and make concessions to accommodate the cultural demands of minority groups. But once Muslims gain the upper hand, they undermine our Judeo-Christian values, as seen in Lebanon. Could the increase in the Muslim population lead to a bigger problem for the U.K. down the road?
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, DEPORTATION, USA
How the feds are making THOUSANDS fewer requests to deport illegals arrested in the U.S. just as Obama plans to give amnesty to five million immigrants
Corey Charlton and Francesca Chambers
Daily Mail, 15 November 2014

The number of requests to hold illegal immigrants in jail ahead of deportation has dramatically reduced over the past two years, a new report claims.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests for 'detainers' - which are used to hold someone in prison while it organizes deportation proceedings - have dropped by 9,000 requests per month since 2012.

The Syracuse University report has been released just as President Barack Obama plans changes to the immigration system that would give up to five million migrants the right to remain in the U.S. ...

The overall decline of 39 per cent translates to more than 100,000 fewer requests a year across the entire U.S.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner has refused to rule out a government shutdown as a means to block President Barack Obama from halting deportations for millions of illegal immigrants. ...

He said: 'Our goal here is to stop the president from violating his own oath of office and violating the Constitution. It's not to shut down the government.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – RACISM, INDIA
Demystifying Racism in India
Dr. Saumitra Mohan
Asian Tribune, 15 November 2014

Earlier in 2012, in an attempt to prevent racial discrimination against people from North East, Indian Government had asked all the states and union territories to book anyone who commits an act of atrocity or crime against people from the region under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A predominant majority of people from the North East have the protection of this central legislation available to them by dint of their belonging to one or the other tribe as scheduled in the this Act. A person found guilty for non-bailable offences under this Act can be imprisoned for five years. ...

Many citizens from the North-East India have complained that they have been stereotyped by such characterizations as 'Chinky', 'Hakka', 'Nepali', 'Chinese' and 'Chow Mein' by people in Delhi, with reference to their facial features, particularly the appearance of their eyes. For the distinct style including sartorial and tonsorial, tradition, culture, music, dance and more distinct facial features, they are said to become easy preys to outrageous remarks and alleged racial attacks. ...

In the wake of back-to-back alleged racial attacks on people from North East in Delhi and elsewhere, the influential North East Students' Organisation (NESO) has rightly demanded the curricular changes by inclusion of the history, geography and cultures of the people of North East in our school syllabi. 'In major cities in India, people from the North East are often mistaken for foreigners by some people. They have to be educated. ...

While the alleged racial discrimination against the North Eastern Indians is a reality, the fact remains that there have been similar reports or incidents of alleged xenophobic attacks and discrimination against Indian citizens of other regions in North East. It is a common knowledge that the migrant workers from Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa or Uttar Pradesh have been subject to a growing degree of xenophobia, racial discrimination, prejudices and violence in the North East. ... ...

India is one of the top ten linguistically and culturally diverse countries. We have proudly cherished and celebrated our 'unity in diversity'. Instead of the 'Melting Pot Model' which tries to forcibly amalgamate and assimilate all cultures and sub-cultures into one overarching identity, India has consciously opted for the 'Salad Bowl Model' to ensure that all cultures retain their distinct individuality while also being an inalienable part of the larger Indian civilisational entity. ...

But, as mentioned above, we are still to build a cohesive nation-state and our nation-building process is far from complete. Indian nationalism remains a building under construction. ... ...

The alleged spurt in crimes against North East Indians has simultaneously seen a secular rise in crimes against all classes of citizens. If there has been racial stereotyping of North East Indians, there has been similar stereotyping for a person from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan or Haryana as also typified by the jokes in circulation.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
David Cameron 'can't meet his pledges on migration,' poll shows
Joe Murphy
Evening Standard (London), 14 November 2014

David Cameron's flagship pledge to slash immigration is unlikely to succeed, according to three-quarters of the British public, an exclusive poll shows today.

Barely one person in five thinks he will meet his vow to cut the number of migrants to the "tens of thousands", Ipsos MORI discovered. ...

The research also found there is deep scepticism about whether Mr Cameron can deliver on his ambition to curb the free movement of EU workers into Britain – which is a critical roadblock to migration controls.

Only 20 per cent think he can strike a deal that will allow the UK to turn some European citizens away at its borders. Of these, just two per cent feel "very confident" he can achieve it.

The overwhelming majority, 73 per cent, are doubtful. Almost four in 10 are "not at all" confident.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – WELFARE BENEFITS
Fury as immigrant says: I'll get £25k in benefits when I bring family to UK
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 14 November 2014

Britain's soft touch benefits system provoked outrage last night after a Romanian scrap yard worker said he plans to bring his family here to pocket £25,000 a year in handouts.

The move, allowed under European Union freedom of movement rules, was even denounced by a Labour MP as an "abuse".

One British worker described the handouts the Romanian can expect to get as "a disgrace".

Nicu Popescu, 30, originally from near Bucharest, came to Britain two years ago and began working in the scrap trade.

The father-of-five, who lives in Birmingham, has realised that he and his family can use the benefits system to top up his low income.

He has told wife Iuliana, 24, to come over with their children Hagi, Peter, Marta, Mica, and Rubens.

Currently sleeping in a single room where he works, Popescu hopes they will be given a three or four bedroom house and extra cash as well.

In Romania, the family would be given a total of £425 a year in handouts.

But in the UK they can expect nearly £4,000 in child benefits alone, plus income credit, housing benefit and council tax support.

The total could be at least £25,000.

The children too will have free schooling and the whole family will be able to use the NHS for nothing. ...

Birmingham Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: "I think this family's attitude just epitomises the attitude of people in Eastern European countries.

"Our system is open to abuse when it comes to this benefits issue.

"The key is to sort out the Department of Work and Pensions.

"People can abuse the system and that's why so many are coming in, so the DWP needs to set stricter guidelines."
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CATHOLICS, RELIGION
Ukip is strongest in England's Puritan heartlands, but it is growing among Catholics – how will the Church respond?
Ed West
Catholic Herald blog, 14 November 2014

In the past couple of years a number of Catholic bishops have spoken up about the benefits of immigration, among them Patrick Lynch of Southwark and Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, as well as the cardinal himself.

...

The Catholic Church in England has traditionally been the Labour Party at prayer, the religion being dominated by mostly working-class Irish immigrants. In fact the Labour party in England was almost unique in Europe in creating a socialist opposition that bridged sectarian divides.

Even today, according to polls ..., 45 per cent of UK Catholics intend to vote Labour, despite the party's current woes, although some 12.9 per cent now support Ukip; compare this to figures of 32 and 18 per cent respectively among Anglicans. Ukip also has the support of 15.9 per cent of Baptists, 10 per cent of Methodists, and is in double digits with Jews and atheists. Even among Hindus and Sikhs their support is not insignificant; only Muslims really shun the party – just 0.8 per cent say they will vote for Farage and co. ...

... Many Catholics don't share their hierarchy's enthusiasm for immigration, nor the European Union, while Ukip's opposition to gay marriage surely attracted them Christian votes from all parties and to all churches; and stories like these make even fairly liberal Christians despair of the main parties and their uniform support for state-enforced equality.

In fact when Farage retires the party may be led by a left-footer; deputy leader Paul Nuttall is a practising Catholic from Liverpool, ...
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU
David Cameron backs John Major's warning on future of UK in Europe
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 14 November 2014

David Cameron endorsed Sir John Major's warning that there is 50-50 chance the UK would leave the European Union, saying the former prime minister had been right to say the country needed concessions on immigration.

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra after addressing the Australian Parliament, Cameron said "it was very powerful that a former prime minister – a very powerful respected politician with a strong track record of negotiating with Europe – felt it necessary to make that speech in those terms so clearly".
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – CRIME, VIOLENCE, SWEDEN
Muslim Gangs Continue To Terrorize 55 Neighborhoods, Police Powerless
Matt Danielsson
Daily Caller, 14 November 2014

The situation in the gang-controlled no-go zones of Sweden is deteriorating rapidly. Following the police report conceding the areas to the primarily Muslim immigrant gangs, the Swedish ambulance union is now demanding military grade protection gear to enter the no-go zones.

There have been a number of violent incidents lately, where thugs attack ambulances responding to calls in the zones. Thugs have slashed the tires of the ambulances, smashed their windshields and hurled large rocks from overpasses, while the paramedics themselves are subjected to both armed and unarmed physical violence on a regular basis. The situation has become so dire that the ambulance union now demands dramatically improved protection for its members.

"We need the paramedics to be prepared when entering these hot zones," said union leader Henrik Johansson in an interview with Dagens Medicin magazine on Tuesday. "They need riot helmets, bulletproof vests, shin guards and holsterpacks. That's the equipment needed to work in this environment. Of course, they also [need to be] equipped with gas masks."

"So they'll look like riot police?" The reporter asked.

"No, I'd say military grade gear is called for," Johansson said.

Firefighters face a similar situation. The gangs amuse themselves by setting fire to something – a container, a car or a school – and ambush the firefighters responding to the call.

Emergency personnel now routinely request police escort before entering the no-go zones. Unfortunately, police are stretched thin and often lack the manpower to meet every request. Cars are torched practically every day in the ghettos, and Sweden holds the unflattering world record for the highest number of school fires.

Despite being a small country of less than 10 million citizens, a 2012 study showed an average of one school being burned per day in Sweden, costing tax payers upwards of half a billion SEK annually. By comparison, Greece has 11 million citizens and averages only five school fires per year.

Not even the police are safe from attacks. ...

While such brazen aggression is rare, patrol cars are frequently pelted with rocks, and the drivers are targeted with green lasers. Blinding drivers with the powerful, hand-held lasers is a growing "sport," where the goal is to make the driver crash. Buses, taxis, delivery companies and mailmen are also popular targets. ...

Ethnic Swedes are also being attacked. Local celebrity Linda Edenström's 12-year old son was savagely beaten. In October, he took the subway after school to give a birthday present to a girl in his class. He was unaware she lived in a no-go zone, and when he exited the station he was promptly stopped by seven grown immigrants. They declared that no whites were allowed and proceeded to attack him while hurling anti-white slurs.

Swedish law states that the incident is not a hate crime. The law does not apply to an immigrant targeting a native Swede, even if an immigrant does so while explicitly stating they are doing it for racial reasons. However, the reverse situation with a native Swede saying a slur that could be perceived as racist has severe civil and criminal charges.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – TAX CREDITS
Britain must now curb migrant tax credits, Iain Duncan Smith says
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2014

Britain will now focus on curbing the millions of pounds paid to migrants in tax credits following the landmark ruling on benefit tourists, Iain Duncan Smith has suggested.

The European ruling allows countries to deny benefits to those who refuse to work and do not have any money bolsters Britain's efforts to introduce better immigration controls "enormously" but "more needs to be done" to cut tax credits and protect Britain's public services, the Pensions Secretary said. ...

Mr Duncan Smith said that the ruling stopped people who plan to "plonk themselves down and say I'm here and you have to pay me" but the focus must now shift to blocking people who come with the intention to work and "then can claim full tax credits even though they have made no contribution".

He said that the Britain's negotiations on freedom of movement would also push for measures that would recognise that there are "limits that communities can absorb people and the pressure on public services and housing and stuff like that."

Figures released this summer revealed that migrant workers cost British taxpayers £5 billion a year in tax credits. Almost £100 million a week is spent on the 415,000 foreign nationals working in Britain who are benefitting from the payments, new analysis reveals.

Figures released by HM Revenue and Customs revealed that 17 per cent of the 2.45 million child tax credit claimants were foreign nationals when they were given National Insurance numbers.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – HUMAN TRAFFICKING, SHAM MARRIAGE
Police raid human trafficking ring suspected of selling pregnant women for £15,000 each and forcing them to have babies with sham marriage husbands
Thomas Burrows
Daily Mail, 13 November 2014

Human traffickers are receiving £15,000 a time for forcing women to have babies following sham marriages.

Detectives investigating an organised crime group suspected of bringing women into Greater Manchester from Eastern Europe believe the traffickers are selling them for £3,000.

But the price increases to £15,000 if they will agree to have a child with their bogus husband.

The shocking price of women emerged as officers arrested eight men and three women during raids in Rochdale, Oldham and Cheetham Hill as part of Operation Retriever. ...

The offences for which they have been arrested include trafficking people for exploitation, conspiracy to facilitate breach of immigration law, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration into a member state. Two people were arrested over being overstayers in the UK. ...

The investigation linked addresses across Greater Manchester with women being brought into the country under false pretences and promises of a new life before being forced into marriage. ...

Mr Faulkner said there are currently as many as 400 cases involving women being trafficked for sham marriages in the Manchester area.

He added: 'Each sham marriage costs the UK economy £40,000.

'That's a Rochdale figure of £15m through benefits and cost to public services. The national picture is billions.' ...

The NCA's United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) estimates that 2,744, people, including 602 children, were potential victims of trafficking for exploitation in 2013.

This represented an increase of 22 per cent on 2012.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – BOGUS UNIVERSITIES
Bogus foreign universities dupe thousands of Indian students – here's how to outsmart them
Shelly Walia
Quartz, 13 November 2014

Last week, a Chinese woman was sentenced to 16 years of federal prison for running a bogus university in San Francisco, California.

The Tri-Valley University was raided in 2011, and subsequently forced to shut down, for running an immigration scam. The perpetrator was found charging foreign students $2,700 in tuition per semester to illegally migrate and work in the US. Around 85% of them were of Indian origin – and may or not have been aware of the wrongdoing.

For almost 1,800 Indian students, job prospects were ruined. At the time, US authorities allowed only 435 students to transfer to other universities. The remaining were denied transfer, or they voluntarily chose to return to India.

The news caught media attention when US authorities required the expelled Tri-Valley students to wear radio collars to track their movements as they awaited their fate about deportation to India. That sparked protests in India.

But the Tri-Valley University was not the only diploma mill – as the unaccredited universities are sometimes called – duping mostly Indian students. ...

In 2012, US authorities denounced another university, Herguan University, in the Bay Area, for visa fraud – 94% of students were Indian.

In the UK, the problem seems even more rampant: according to a report in The Guardian, "there are more than twice as many bogus universities in the UK as genuine ones – higher than anywhere else in Europe."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – AVERSIVE RACISM, CANADA
Racism still an uncomfortable truth in Canada
Duncan McCue
CBC/Radio-Canada, 13 November 2014

It was at the Social Cognition Laboratory at York University in Toronto that I was confronted with an uncomfortable truth.

Racism can be deeply embedded in our brains, whether we're aware of it or not.

I was visiting Kerry Kawakami, an expert in the psychology of prejudice, to ask a tough question: Are Canadians racist?

"Racism is still quite prevalent in Canada," said Kawakami.

"Explicit racism and prejudice is decreasing, but if you talk to a lot of minorities – particularly black youth – racism is almost a daily occurrence."

Kawakami backs up that assertion with some hard evidence, collected from a battery of studies in which she examines prejudice. She demonstrated one test for me.

Subjects are shown a series of black faces and white faces on a computer screen. Researchers track the subject's eye movements, to measure what the subject looks at, and for how long.

More than a thousand subjects were tested. White subjects tended to look deeply into the eyes of white faces, and were less likely to look into the eyes of black faces. Instead, they were almost three times as likely to focus on the lips or noses of black faces.

"It suggests they're processing them not as individuals, but as members of a group," said Kawakami.

This split-second eye bias can have some important consequences, according to Kawakami. When we don't make eye contact with someone, we're less likely to be able to decode their emotions, and less willing to trust or remember that person. ...

Kawakami's latest work is consistent with what some psychologists call "aversive racism."

Unlike overt racism – blatant expressions of hatred and discrimination against racial minorities – aversive racism is characterized by more complex and subtle expressions of ambivalence toward members of a minority group.

"People are very careful about what they say about people from other categories. They're really egalitarian, they try to be fair, but when we measure them in more subtle ways, when they're not conscious of their responses and they're not able to control them, then we find that racism is still quite prevalent in North America," said Kawakami. ...

Look at the fast-growing numbers of mixed-race unions. Over the past few decades, the percentage of mixed-race couples in Canada has nearly doubled, from 2.6 per cent in 1991 to 4.6 per cent in 2011, data from Statistics Canada shows. When it comes to love, Vancouver is Canada's most colour-blind city, with 9.6 per cent of couples being mixed race.

But then, consider this recent poll: 81 per cent of British Columbians of Chinese and South Asian descent report they've experienced some type of discrimination as a result of their ethnicity.

That includes everything from stereotyping and verbal harassment to poor customer service and workplace unfairness.

Racial divisions also appear to be stark in the city of Winnipeg, where a poll last month suggests a deep racial gulf between aboriginal and non-aboriginal citizens. Seventy-five per cent of those surveyed agreed that racial division is a "serious issue" facing the city.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – EUROPEAN UNION, UK
Major to Europe - Cut immigration or the UK may leave
Nick Robinson
BBC, 13 November 2014

He was the man who said that Britain's place was at the heart of Europe, the man who watched his party riven by divisions over the issue and the man who says he has not "a shred of doubt that the United Kingdom is far better off inside the European Union".

All the more significant then that it is Sir John Major who is tonight telling an audience in Berlin that the UK "may be poised to leave the European Union" as "for the first time, there is a serious possibility that our electorate could vote to leave the EU... I put the chance of exit at just under 50%. But if the negotiations go badly that percentage will rise. Conversely, with genuine reform, it will fall." ...

Major, whose speech was seen and discussed inside Downing Street, argues that a brake on immigration from the EU is needed if the argument for staying in the EU is to be won. ...

The former prime minister's words give a strong clue to what David Cameron may argue for: "The UK case on free movement is as compelling as it is misunderstood. And it is misunderstood. It is a matter of numbers.

"Whereas some European populations are falling, the UK has grown by 7% in a decade.... the sheer scale of the influx has put strains on our health, welfare, housing and education services that we struggle to meet - and has held down wages for many of the poorest members of our society.

"I do recognise - reluctantly - that our small island simply cannot absorb the present and projected numbers at the current speed: it is not physically or politically possible without huge public disquiet... I hate having to make this argument. I hate it. As a boy, I was brought up among immigrants in South London. They were my friends and my neighbours... we do not seek to end free movement - far from it: but, while the pressures are uncontainable, we do seek to qualify it."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POPULATION PRESSURE, ECOLOGY, SWITZERLAND
Urban Sprawl Fueling Swiss Ballot to Limit Immigration
Carolyn Bandel
Bloomberg Businessweek, 13 November 2014

The Swiss have long stood apart – from their traditional neutrality to their refusal to join the European Union.

A growing movement is now resisting the world's rush to cities. The campaign has fused with groups opposed to immigration in the run-up to a Nov. 30 referendum that would cap the annual net influx from abroad to 0.2 percent of the population.

"The unregulated immigration has reached proportions which from an economic as well as ecological perspective are no longer justifiable," reads the initiative, which aims to keep Switzerland from being "covered in concrete."

Mountains, lakes and woods take up more than half of Switzerland. With the population almost doubling to 8.1 million since the 1950s, including about 2 million immigrants, cities have increasingly sprawled. About 74 percent of the population lives in urban areas, according to Swiss statistics. ...

Ecopop, the name of the group promoting the referendum, says it opposes xenophobia and racism. It argues that natural resources are under increasing pressure from overpopulation and that Switzerland must limit immigration to avoid excessive urbanization and to preserve agricultural land.

The initiative would cut migration to Switzerland by more than half, from the 0.5 percent rate estimated by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based research institute. ... ...

Switzerland is losing about one square meter of agricultural land per second, according to the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development. The office said agricultural land was cut 5.4 percent to 36 percent of total area between 1985 and 2009.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ROMANIANS, BULGARIANS
Romania and Bulgaria migrants reach record high
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2014

The number of Romanians and Bulgarians who have come to work in Britain has reached a new high, official statistics have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 189,000 from the two eastern European countries 'by birth' working here by the end of September, up 31,000 on the previous quarter.

The figure was 167,000 'by nationality', in other words not including those who have adopted British or other citizenship.

However, the figures showed the first fall in the number of workers from all 27 other European Union countries for more than a year.

At the end of September there were 1,817,000 from the EU as a whole by country of birth, compared with 1,847,000 at the end of the previous quarter.

Over the previous year there had been a steady climb in the number of EU workers from 1,627,000, as growing numbers escaped economic problems in countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece.

The number of workers from the eight former Communist countries which joined the EU in 2004, including Poland, fell slightly from 866,000 to 850,000 by country of birth between the end of June and the end of September. The figures were broadly the same by nationality.

It means that Romania and Bulgaria were the only group which is seeing increased levels of immigration to Britain. ...

In February a report by the University of Oxford's Migration Observatory said nearly six out of 10 Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants living in Britain last year claimed they were self-employed, allowing them full access to the welfare state.

Its analysis showed 59.1 per cent of the workers said they were freelance, compared with just 14 per cent of the native UK population.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – WELFARE BENEFITS
Prime minister warned: no need to alter EU migrant rules after verdict
Rowena Mason and Philip Oltermann
The Guardian, 12 November 2014

David Cameron has been warned there is no need for fundamental changes to EU immigration rules, after the European court of justice (ECJ) ruled that member states already had the power to stop jobless migrants claiming many benefits for up to five years.

The prime minister welcomed the "commonsense ruling" of the Luxembourg court, but the legal decision could hamper No 10's efforts to persuade other EU countries they need to change the fundamental principle of free movement.

In a case relating to a Romanian woman living in Germany, the European judgment made it clear that jobless migrants who cannot support themselves and have never worked do not have to be given some non-contributory welfare payments for up to five years after they arrive in a new country.

Cameron described the ruling as "a step in the right direction because, as I've said, the right to go and work in another European country should not be an unqualified right. There should be rules about restricting benefits and this is good news".

The European commission said it was too early to determine how the ruling would affect the UK but said it had always stressed that free movement was a qualified right and not an unconditional one. ...

Jonathan Portes, director at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said the ruling would affect only a very small number of people, but suggested it could give legal cover to the UK's existing measures to restrict benefits.

"We can say with confidence that for the most part this establishes that what we were doing anyway is legal. It may have been somewhat dubious before. It might make it easier for us to go further in denying benefits but the number of people [affected] is pretty small as we know this is pretty much a ruling about benefit tourism and that is pretty much a myth."
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – ISLAM
Anger over university's decision to cancel Islamic extremism report launch
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2014

A university has been accused of censorship after scrapping the launch of a report into alleged Islamic extremism in schools and campuses across the UK.

The University of West London was criticised following the decision to cancel the event staged by Sharia Watch UK – set up to monitor the radicalisation of young British Muslims – on safety and procedural grounds. ...

The report was due to be launched at one of West London's lecture theatres on Wednesday, detailing the number of speeches given by hard-line Islamists in schools, universities and even Scout groups.

The study highlights 15 individuals it claims hold extremist views who were permitted to give public lectures at more than 20 separate institutions over a six-month period. ...

Anne Marie Waters, the group's spokesman, said: "The lecture theatre has been booked for weeks so it is absurd to suddenly object on the basis that we didn't book the room properly. The real reason is one of censorship which is deeply ironic given that we're criticising university censorship of any form of criticism of Islam."
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
Gang rips medals from army veteran on his way to Remembrance Sunday service
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2014

An elderly former soldier had his regimental beret and medals ripped off him by a gang of youths as he walked to a cenotaph to honour his fallen comrades on Remembrance Sunday.

Police are investigating after army veteran George Gill, 70, was pounced on by thugs as he strolled through his local park in his full dress uniform.

The former sergeant with 1st Battalion Duke of Wellington Regiment was left traumatised with cuts to his lip as the Asian youths fled laughing with their 'trophies'.

He said: "I was walking to the cenotaph in the centre of town for Remembrance Sunday, the same route I have taken every year for as long as I can recall. ...

... They were laughing and joking and speaking in a foreign language, not in English, so I don't know what they were saying.

"I was shaken and couldn't understand what was happening. They had taken my beret as a trophy and they were tearing it at like a pack of dogs with a piece of meat. They thought it was funny."

Mr Gill said that the gang "ran off laughing and joking" out of the park near the bowling green, before he realised his medals were also missing.

..."
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – BENEFITS OF DIVERSITY
Time to muzzle neoliberal rhetoric and find a new language to promote immigration
Sam Bennett
New Statesman, 12 November 2014

The statistics released from UCL last week on the economic benefits of immigration seriously throw into doubt the arguments against cutting the number of migrants, especially from the EU. Any evidence that rebuts the vociferous anti-immigration language emanating from Ukip and, increasingly from Whitehall, should be seen a good thing. Sometimes, though, a victory can be a defeat.

According to Pheobe Griffith of IPPR, there are a number of aspects of immigration that get missed out when we leave the economists to make the case: "Research like this is useful in policy terms, but not in terms of actually getting the public onside. The fitting-in element is much more to do with our social reality and the fact people want to feel like they live in places that are not just economic entities".

The problem is that in challenging arguments against immigration on the basis of economic contribution to the public purse, the pro-immigration employ the same discriminatory language as the right. As Zoe Williams wrote recently in the Guardian, "bagging up foreigners and weighing them by their economic usefulness is more racist than closing the borders". It is fair to ask how this approach significantly differs from that used during the slave trade, when people were bought and sold based on their ability to pick more cotton. It is demeaning and dehumanising to reduce a person to their relative economic value and ignore the diversity advantage they might bring to their community. ...

It was New Labour, rather than John Major, that gave Thatcher's neoliberal policies a human face and, in the sphere of community cohesion, this came wrapped in the guise of integration.

However, hiding behind the rhetoric of a two-way process involving host and guest is an increasingly neo-assimilatory policy towards integration that expects migrants, especially those wanting to take British nationality, to adhere to neoliberal ideals of self-sufficiency, not being a burden on the state and being an active participant in the economy (as a worker, tax-payer, and purchaser). Even policy titles use this language, such as the 2008's Earning the Right to Stay. ...

Progressives need to be proactive and find another way to talk about immigration that includes the non-economic additive value that migrants bring to communities around the country. In not doing this, and merely reacting to the hegemony of neoliberal thought and policy, it denies them the respect and recognition they deserve.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
David Lammy Interview: Labour Should Be A Pro-Immigration Party
Mehdi Hasan
The Huffington Post, 12 November 2014

David Lammy is sitting in the corner of his parliamentary office on the ground floor of the Norman Shaw North building in Westminster. ...

Lammy, who served as a health minister under Tony Blair and a higher education minister under Gordon Brown, now wants to be mayor of London. ... ...

Isn't it a scandal that none of the major offices in the land are occupied by non-white faces? Downing Street, the Treasury, the Home Office, the Bank of England, the Church of England and, yes, City Hall too? How urgently does he, the son of Guyanese immigrants, want to see this situation change?

"Well, of course, I'd like to see a second-generation, third-generation Briton, who is born in this country, but a person of colour, emerge in politics. But in the end, and I'm conscious that I am an ethnic minority.. you're only going to do that if your policies are right, your personality is right and you transcend your ethnicity. The whole point of being an ethnic minority is that you're a minority and you need to persuade people beyond your ethnic grouping." ...

The former minister is a rare Labour politician who isn't afraid to call out Ukip for "deeply offensive" statements and challenge the anti-EU party's stance on immigration - and immigrants.

Lammy gives voice to a growing anxiety on the left that the Labour leadership has opted to appease Ukip and the anti-immigration right, rather than challenge their toxic and fact-free narrative. The MP for Tottenham doesn't pull any punches on this issue.

"I don't think that posturing and positioning each time there's a new immigration poll is right for the Labour Party."

In fact, Lammy is admirably blunt: "We are a pro-immigration party, we are a pro-European party. ..."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – BENEFIT CURBS
Benefit curbs will force Brits into jobs being filled by EU migrants, says Cameron with promise of 'proper' border controls
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 11 November 2014

Welfare and education reforms will ensure more Britons fill jobs which go to immigrants, David Cameron suggested today.

The Prime Minister said the UK needs 'proper immigration control' with both the European Union and the rest of the world, but suggested changes were needed to prepare people to take the 'jobs that we are creating in our country today'. ...

In a speech to the CBI today, Mr Cameron said that tighter immigration controls must be matched by reforms to the UK's welfare and education systems to enable British workers to fill the jobs currently done by foreigners.

Last night it emerged Greencore Group, which supplies Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda, admits it will have to recruit most of the 300 workers it needs from Hungary.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, NORTH KOREA, RUSSIA
Russia and North Korea sign agreement to deport illegal immigrants
Hamish Macdonald
The Guardian, 11 November 2014

Russia and North Korea have signed a new deportation agreement on illegal immigrants found to be living in either country.

The agreement, signed in September, states that anyone found to be without the correct documents will be detained, interviewed and, if they have entered illegally, deported within 30-days. The countries share a small land border on Russia's far-east Primorsky region.

It also covers the requirements of lawful entry, the process of investigation and the costs associated with individual cases.

The document includes provisions for each state to deny a repatriation request if it believes that the individual would be "subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the death penalty or persecution" upon their return.

Despite these assurances, previous examples of the treatment meted out to North Korean defectors raises concerns that those deported from Russia would be vulnerable to imprisonment, detention and abuse.
[Site link]

Up

EMIGRATION – LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN
Around 28.5 Million Latin American and Caribbean People Live Outside their Native Countries
ECLAC / United Nations, 11 November 2014
[Press release]

About 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean people live outside the countries where they were born, 70 % of them in the United States, while a majority of the immigrant population of 7.6 million people originated from other countries in the region, according to a new study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The document Trends and Patterns in Latin American and Caribbean Migration in 2010 and Challenges for a Regional Agenda (only available in Spanish), published today, concludes that emigration to destinations outside the region declined between 2000 and 2010 (based on census data) while intraregional migration flows have grown.

The 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean emigrants represent 4 % of the region's total population, exceeding the 26 million emigrants registered in censuses from the year 2000. With regard to their native countries, 11.8 million come from Mexico (40 % of the total), with Colombia lagging far behind with 2 million emigrants and El Salvador with 1.3 million.

In terms of destination countries, the United States ranks first as home to 20.8 million Latin American and Caribbean emigrants (70 % of the total), which includes nearly all of the 12 million Mexicans who live outside their country. Spain is the second most-common destination with 2.4 million people (8 % of the total).

Meanwhile, the immigrant population living in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at 7.6 million people, which is the equivalent of just 1.1 % of the region's total. Of those, a majority were born in other countries of the region (intraregional migration).

The study emphasizes that migratory flows within the region rose at an annual rate of nearly 3.5 % between 2000 and 2010, marking an acceleration from the previous 20 years when they grew at a pace of roughly 1%. Argentina, Venezuela, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic concentrated the greatest number of these people. ...

In light of the dynamism that continues to be seen in migration in Latin America and the Caribbean, the report signals that intergovernmental forums – both in and outside the region – are including in their agendas a common stance to defend migrants' human rights and reject the restrictive, unilateral measures used by some developed countries that are destinations for Latin American and Caribbean emigrants.

In this context, ECLAC proposes building an agenda on this issue that fully includes migration in post-2015 development strategies and drafting regional plans to take advantage of the benefits of migration.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Theresa May downgrades Cameron pledge to reduce net migration
Nicholas Watt
The Guardian, 10 November 2014

A cast-iron pledge by David Cameron to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands has been downgraded by the home secretary Theresa May to the status of a simple "comment".

As ministers admit in private that they will fail to meet the target by the time of the election, May indicated that the cause of the failure was Britain's inability to control migration from within the EU.

The home secretary was speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme before an expected Tory rebellion on Monday evening against the European arrest warrant. She made clear that the government was preparing the ground for a public admission of failure on the migration target.

Asked to explain the missed target, May said: "When we made that comment, when we said ... we would be aiming to bring the net migration down to the tens of thousands and we wanted to do that within this parliament – yes we were very clear that was what we wanted to do."

The cautious remarks by the home secretary, who stumbled slightly as she referred to the net migration target as "that comment", contrasted with the unequivocal "no if, no buts" declaration made by the prime minister in a speech on immigration in April 2011. Cameron highlighted a series of measures to control immigration, adding: "I believe that will mean net migration to this country will be in the order of tens of thousands each year, not the hundreds of thousands every year that we have seen over the last decade.

"Yes, Britain will always be open to the best and brightest from around the world and those fleeing persecution. But with us, our borders will be under control and immigration will be at levels our country can manage. No ifs. No buts. That's a promise we made to the British people, and it's a promise we are keeping." ...

"The issue is free movement within the EU," she said. "But we've been very clear that this is an issue that we wish to deal with. We think there should be changes in relation to the way free movement operates. David Cameron has been very clear about that and he has said he is going to be speaking more about this before the end of the year."

Boris Johnson said last month that the prime minister's net migration target was one of "two big deceptions" on migration, the other being the decision of Tony Blair's government to open up Britain's borders 15 years ago. The London mayor told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 that Cameron had been wrong in "saying that we could control the numbers when we couldn't".
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE
Population growth is clearly our planet's number-one problem
Alex Proud
Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2014

The bull elephant of problems was bought home to me a month ago when the WWF released its Living Planet Report which said that half the wild animals in the world (no doubt some of them elephants) had disappeared in the last 40 years. There's only one reason for this. And that is us. The world's hyper-successful, amped-up, technologically-leveraged apex predator. More of us means less of them. Sorry turtles. Sorry pandas. Sorry elephants. The world is finite and there's only so much space.

For the few last decades it's been fashionable to say that the limits of the world aren't really a problem. I can see some of this thinking. I'm no Malthusian and I believe that science can sustain population growth for quite some time. ...

But even delicious hamatoes and all the other wonders that science can deliver only delay the day of reckoning so far. So assuming we're not all about to upload to the cloud, we have to accept that there are limits to our numbers and lifestyles and that, unless things change drastically, we're pretty close to many of these limits. Given this, I find it weird that we never really talk about the end game. Discussions about a post-growth world should be mainstream, not eccentric fringe.

By growth I'm talking about the big two measures that tend to result in fewer gorillas, coral reefs, rainforests and icebergs: population and GDP. The first of these needs to stop growing (and go into reverse) and the second needs to plateau or at least stop being everyone's go-to indicator for everything; ideally, it might become irrelevant. ...

Let's take population. You don't need to be a genius or green (or even a greenius) to realise that our numbers are growing too fast for our planet. Virtually every environmental problem would be smaller if there were fewer of us. Rainforests would stay unfelled and beautiful coastlines undeveloped. The Med and the North Sea would be full of fish. China wouldn't be buying chunks of malnourished Africa to farm in place of the land it has polluted or covered in megacities. In the UK, there would be no debate about paving over the few remaining green spaces in the South East (or for that matter ineffectual hand-wringing about London property prices). ...

In the meantime, we have another, related problem. Not only are there more of us, but we're all living larger - especially in developing countries where, in the past, living large was the preserve of a tiny elite. ...

Quite what a problem this is is illustrated by the section of the Living Planet Report which calculates humanity's "ecological footprint" or the amount of planet needed to support each person. The report concludes that at today's average global rate of consumption, humanity would need 1.5 planet Earths to provide for its needs sustainably (i.e. without trashing the future). However, if we all lived like Brits, we'd need 2.5 earths and if we all lived like Americans we'd need four. It's another indicator (as if one was needed) that points to us living beyond our means. ...

So, again, why aren't we talking about this? Really, we should be talking about how to solve this – to the exclusion of virtually everything else. In the medium term, nothing is more important.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – SCANNERS
Britain has just FIVE lorry scanners to catch thousands of illegal immigrants trying to smuggle themselves into our ports
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 10 November 2014

Britain has just five scanners to detect stowaways trying to enter the country in lorries through our 29 ports, it can be revealed.

There is mounting concern about security at our borders with 2,500 illegal immigrants camped in Calais trying to reach the UK.

The UK Border Force budget fell by 20 per cent last year, raising fears about the ability to detect attempts by foreigners to smuggle themselves across the Channel in cars, trucks and trailers.

Ministers have been forced to admit that despite there being 51 points of entry into the UK at 29 ports for foreign vehicles, there are just five scanners in operation in France checking vehicles before they leave for Britain.

The so-called Passive Millimetre Wave Imaging devices scan vehicles for the presence of 'clandestines'. Each scanner costs around £800,000 to buy, and £83 to run for 24 hours.

With so few devices available, there are concerns that they are not used in some areas because they risk causing queues of lorries to build up, making it easier for stowaways to climb into the backs of lorries.

The figures were unearthed by Tory MP Steven Barclay in a series of parliamentary questions. ...

The Home Office confirmed that the five Passive Millimetre Imaging devices are 'located at the juxtaposed controls' in France and are used for 'detecting clandestines in soft sided vehicles'.

There are a further 19 body-scanners which individuals must walk through, which are used to detect drugs.

The Home Office said that last year the Border Force detected and prevented 18,000 attempts to enter the UK illegally before they left the continent, a 62 per cent rise on the previous year. ...

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Security at the UK border is our priority and Border Force employs a number of cutting-edge techniques to detect clandestines.

'These include the use of body scanners, imaging devices, sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - in addition to officers conducting visual searches.

"Last year, our officials detected and prevented 18,000 clandestines entering the UK illegally and we will continue to strengthen our border to stop those who have no right to enter the UK."
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – FOOTBALL
Black and ethnic coaches not getting top jobs, new study shows
Richard Conway
BBC, 10 November 2014

There are only 19 black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches in the 552 'top' coaching positions at professional English clubs, a report has found.

BME coaches take up 3.4% of those positions despite at least 25% of players coming from BME backgrounds.

Findings of the study, carried out by the Sports Person's Think Tank, will be revealed at Westminster on Monday but have already been seen by BBC Sport.

Sports Minister Helen Grant said the findings are "appalling and worrying".

She added: "It's going to take a concerted effort by everyone in football to get the sea change that we need."

The think tank will announce its recommendations at Monday's meeting with MPs and the sports minister in London.

The report was carried out by Dr Stephen Bradbury at Loughborough University, and examined what it took to be the top six coaching and management positions at all 92 professional football clubs in the English leagues.

The study, funded by Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare), says that "institutional discrimination" is present within the English leagues. ...

The study acknowledges that a very small number of BME coaches are also working in supporting roles, often on a part-time basis, while the research also suggests there is an over-reliance within professional clubs of "network-based" methods of recruitment.

The Football League, under the guidance of chairman Greg Clarke, is conducting a review into how it can increase the numbers of BME coaches and managers among its member clubs. ...

The Football Association has also set itself a new target to boost diversity within all levels of the game, while the Premier League recently said it wanted to see "more and better" coaches "who can progress to the highest levels of the game on merit and regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or background". ...

BBC Sport understands the FA is not aware of any complaints of discrimination and has previously stated it would encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward and report them.

FA Learning and full-time coach educators are already required to undergo equality and diversity training, as part of the FA's inclusion plan.

Additionally, the report contends that a lack of BME role models together with "conscious and unconscious racial bias" and stereotyping play a part in the low figures.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, LATVIA
LTV: illegal immigration via Latvia increasing due to Ukrainian conflict
The Baltic Course, 10 November 2014

The number of illegal immigrants in Latvia has increased due to the Ukrainian conflict, the Latvian Television show "De facto" reported yesterday, cites LETA.

Military operations in eastern Ukraine have closed one of the most prominent illegal immigration transit corridors at the Russian border, and part of it has shifted to the Baltic border.

Smugglers are gladly taking part in a new type of "business" – transportation of illegal immigrants. The economic situation in Latvia encourages people to get involved with these activities without considering the consequences.

Several groups of Vietnamese illegal immigrants were arrested during the past couple of months. Border guards have also intercepted illegal immigrants who managed to reach Lithuania and Poland.

These persons are usually sent back to Latvia, and then back to their home countries.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – DISEASE, USA
'Kissing bug' disease infects OVER 300,000 people in the US...most of whom don't know they have the parasite referred to as 'the new AIDS'
Alexandra Klausner
Daily Mail, 10 November 2014

Over 300,000 Americans have already been infected with the potentially fatal 'kissing bug disease' called Chagas but U.S. healthcare workers lack of knowledge about the illness is letting many cases of the parasite unnoticed. Some doctors are calling it the 'new AIDS' because of the way it develops.

Researchers who gathered on Tuesday at the annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans said that if caught early the disease can be cured however sometimes the disease can be asymptomatic and there is a dearth in medication for the condition. ...

The disease can develop in the body causing eventual heart failure and other deadly complications that by the time they are realized cannot be helped with medicine.

Chagas is being called the new AIDS because of its asymptomatic beginnings that can turn to a fatal end if the disease progresses. ...

The CDC has said that they believe most of the people infected with Chagas got the parasite in Mexico or South America before coming to the U.S.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – HUMAN RIGHTS, JUDGES
We can't control our borders until we control those judges
Christopher Booker
Sunday Telegraph, 9 November 2014

We may be alarmed by the thought that 13 per cent of our population are now immigrants; that last year immigration rose by 38 per cent; that more than a quarter of all babies in Britain are born to mothers from abroad; and that by 2050 it is predicted that a third of our population will be from "ethnic minorities".

But the real problem posed by loss of control over our borders stems not from the EU treaty or even laws passed by politicians. It comes from law made by judges, most notably those of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), as they have interpreted international treaties to mean something quite different from the way their framers intended.

Easily the biggest part of the problem arises from a process launched by the ECHR in 1985. In the so-called "Abdulaziz case", its judges ruled that, under Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights – upholding the right to "respect for family life" – anyone entitled to live in a country is then entitled to bring in other members of their family.

This is why we have had to admit more than one-and-a-half million of our immigrants, mostly from the Indian sub-continent, including wives, children, grandparents, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins. Up to 100 of them for one family, all then eligible for benefits.

It is also under this judge-ordained "right" that many immigrants have been allowed to enter the UK from elsewhere in the EU. The EU treaties explicitly guarantee "freedom of movement" only to "workers" – not to their families. It is true that, in 2003, the EU passed a directive allowing "family reunification". But Britain opted out of that. So the countless EU families entering Britain with only one "economically active" member do so only under the same human-rights rules.

The other conspicuous problem is that we are no longer allowed to deport most of this country's 100,000 "asylum seekers" back to where they came from. This is also under the Human Rights Act, as interpreted by our own judges in 1999, when they ruled that we could not return refugees to France, from where most arrive, because France (like Germany) was deemed not to be "safe", on the grounds that they might be at risk of racial or other persecution. ...

All this makes nonsense of claims that uncontrolled immigration could be stopped by our leaving the EU, because we would still be ruled by the ECHR. The fact is that mass migration from poorer, more dangerous countries to richer, safer countries has become a vast worldwide problem. Some people, such as the MEP Daniel Hannan, propose that Britain follows the example of Switzerland, outside the EU. But the Swiss immigrant population is 23 per cent, nearly twice as large as ours. Others, such as Ukip, say we should copy the Australian system. But this has resulted in an even higher percentage, at 27 per cent.

The truth is that immigration can bring great benefits, but also huge dangers; and our aim should be to work out how we can keep one while reducing the other. A vital precondition of that must be to identify just where the problem originates. It has, above all, been brought about not by the EU, or even by our pusillanimous politicians. The real problem is that we have allowed judges to misuse their powers to interpret the law in ways that were simply never intended.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – MORE IMMIGRATION
More immigration – but managed much better. That's what the UK needs
Ian Goldin
The Observer, 9 November 2014
[Professor Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford]

The intense debate over Britain's immigration reforms is generating more heat than light. Vital questions of migration and border management have descended to the level of partisan squabbling and short-term fixes based on arbitrary numerical targets. This is counterproductive: it will undermine the growth and dynamism of the British economy and current policies such as caps on migrants will fail both to control population dynamics and to promote British jobs and economic growth. ...

While economists are notorious for being unable to agree on most things, there is a growing consensus regarding the economic benefits of immigration. Indeed, there is no reputable evidence for the oft-cited fears that immigrants undermine job prospects or reduce wages, either for the UK or any other major economy. Studies on the short-term impact of immigration on wages tend to show it yields a positive or at worst no statistically significant impact.

For the UK, the longer-term benefits are undoubtedly even more significant than the strong revenue gains identified by Dustmann and Frattini in the UCL study, even though that was not the focus of their or other studies of immigration into the UK. The economic impact of immigration to the US has been studied in the greatest depth and shows that the dynamism provided by migrants is vital for growth and competitiveness. ... ...

The costs of migration may be immediate and local, while the benefits are often diffuse and are only fully realised in the medium and long term. Governments should focus their efforts on burden sharing and support for pressured local services. Simply limiting numbers undermines the short-term competitiveness and the long-term growth and dynamism, and also tends to result in a growing number of undocumented migrants, making everyone worse off in the longer term. ...

Properly managed immigration does not pose a threat to the UK. We could and should benefit from higher, but better managed, immigration. With businesses and universities complaining bitterly about the negative impact of current policies, a far less onerous non-EU visa regime is also required, not least for skilled workers and students, the most successful of whom should be allowed to stay after their studies, as is the case in Australia, Canada, the US and elsewhere.

What we need is an adult debate that looks at the UK and global evidence. But economic analysis is clearly not enough. Immigrants do pose a severe burden on particular communities at particular times. These communities need to be helped, with additional resources provided by central government, in the knowledge that the overall benefits to the UK outweigh the short-term and local costs to particular communities.

The debate should also include a discussion of the responsibilities that immigrants need to abide by to remain in our country, which include paying taxes, abiding by our laws and other obligations. But responsibilities come with rights, including equal treatment under the law and benefiting from the minimum wage and other employment rights.

Immigration is too important to be crushed under the weight of populist politics. For those concerned with the future of British jobs and the British economy, it is time to turn down the rhetoric and turn to what we like to think of as the British traits of fairness and reason.
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – CORRUPTION, FRAUD
The full story of the 'medieval monarch' of Tower Hamlets
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 9 November 2014

A high court recount of thousands of votes cast for the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, in May's election has uncovered "significant irregularities" that may, if reflected in the whole sample, be sufficient to overturn the result.

The official "scrutiny", in the presence of a judge, took place in strict secrecy last week as part of a legal challenge to the election, which was marred by widespread claims of intimidation and fraud.

It is the latest and potentially most serious blow to Mr Rahman, many of whose functions were last week taken over by government commissioners, after an official report found he had presided over serious abuses of public money and property.

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, described Tower Hamlets as a "rotten borough" infected by a "culture of cronyism", and said Mr Rahman was like a "medieval monarch" who had "misused" his "unchecked" personal power to favour ethnic and political allies. ...

The election petition, by a cross-party group of six Tower Hamlets voters, also alleges that some polling stations were besieged by crowds of "hostile and threatening" supporters of Mr Rahman, with Bengali voters, especially women, intercepted outside polling stations, then "accompanied" into the polling booths and "directed how to vote".

It says that some people arrived at the polling station to find that their votes had already been cast. Others who applied for postal votes never received them or had their ballot papers taken from them by Mr Rahman's supporters. Numerous "ghost voters" were registered to, and voted from, addresses where they did not live. Rahman supporters smeared Mr Biggs as a racist and told Bengali voters that anyone who voted for him was "not a good Muslim". ...

Mr Rahman was expelled from the Labour Party in 2010 after The Sunday Telegraph disclosed his close links with an Islamic extremist group, the IFE, but he won re-election this year as an independent. ... ...

The two allegations formed the centrepiece of last week's government report, commissioned by Mr Pickles, which found that hundreds of thousands of pounds had been handed out without any clear rationale or paperwork, grant-giving was skewed towards Bangladeshi organisations and officer recommendations on grants had been overruled in 81 per cent of cases. ...

Mr Rahman has also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money on promoting his re-election, with council staff employed at taxpayers' expense to run his campaign, and the chief reporter of a local Bengali television station paid more than £1,000 a week from council funds. A newspaper promoting the mayor is distributed weekly to all households in the borough, thousands of items of direct mail are sent to voters at public expense, illegal television adverts were run on local Bengali stations and large pictures of Mr Rahman were erected throughout the borough. ...

Peter Golds, the leader of the Conservative group in Tower Hamlets, said: "Lutfur Rahman has for many years used allegations of racism to avoid scrutiny. The reason affairs in Tower Hamlets have been allowed to fall into this terrible state is that until now, the authorities have displayed the same sort of reluctance to investigate wrongdoing that we saw in Rotherham [regarding grooming of girls]."
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
LORD BILIMORIA INTERVIEW: Cobra boss says he's so at home in Britain... 'but we have got it all wrong on immigration'
Vicki Owen
Mail on Sunday, 9 November 2014

Lord Bilimoria, founder of the Cobra beer business, is an icon for Britain's Asian business community and so he might be expected to be an unequivocal supporter of targets for ethnic minorities in UK boardrooms. In fact, he is wary that overeager Ministers could set the targets too high.

Business Secretary Vince Cable is set to announce a target to have 20 per cent of FTSE 100 directors from ethnic minorities – similar to the ones for women in the boardroom outlined in 2011. Lord Bilimoria, 52, is unsure for the simple reason that this is out of proportion to ethnic minorities in the population.

'I think for Vince Cable to say 20 per cent may be pushing it, because the number in ethnic minorities in this country is about 14 per cent. So 20 per cent would mean you want more than the proportion of the population. I think that's not necessary.'

But while wary of targets being set too high, Lord Bilimoria is supportive of the principle. 'The message he is sending is boards should try to attract as many ethnic minority members as they can and I agree with that.' ...

But on the subject of students Lord Bilimoria is far from happy with the Government's policies, believing that its clampdown on immigration is hitting the wrong people. 'The number of international students to Britain fell for the first time last year. And the number of students from India has collapsed by over 20 per cent. Why? Because the Government has an immigration policy that is sending out very damaging signals.

'An immigration target was one of the biggest mistakes David Cameron has made, because it's completely unattainable.

'What we've got to clamp down on is this illegal immigration. I challenge Theresa May, how many illegal immigrants are there? She hasn't got a clue. Her department hasn't got a clue, because they've lost control of illegal immigration.

'I speak out against the Government's immigration policy. It is harming our universities. There's good immigration that is of benefit to this country, but it is tarred with the same brush as illegal immigrants.

'What we should be doing is actually setting targets to increase the number of international students. Countries like France have got a target of doubling the number of Indian students by 2020. We should have a target like that.'
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, KUWAIT
Kuwait Says Stateless to be Offered Comoros Citizenship
Naharnet, 9 November 2014

Tens of thousands of stateless people in oil-rich Kuwait will be offered citizenship of the impoverished African nation of Comoros to end their decades-old problem, the government said Sunday.

The stateless people – known as bidoons – would be granted "special applications for Comoros' economic citizenship," Kuwait's interior ministry assistant undersecretary Major-General Mazen al-Jarrah told Al-Jarida daily.

Those who accept the offer would be given free residence permits in Kuwait, in addition to a series of incentives like free education and healthcare and the right to employment, Jarrah was quoted as saying.

The process would start as soon as an embassy for Comoros is opened in Kuwait in the coming months.

More than 110,000 stateless people were born and raised in Kuwait and claim the right to citizenship in the Gulf emirate.

The Kuwaiti government, which describes them as illegal residents, says only 34,000 qualify for consideration for citizenship.

The rest are considered natives of other countries who either emigrated to Kuwait after the discovery of oil five decades ago or were born to these migrants. ...

Comoros is an archipelago state located off eastern Africa and is a member of the Arab League.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS, PUBLIC OPINION
Our leaders can't keep ignoring what voters care about
Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North
Daily Mail, 8 November 2014

I stood up in the Commons and said voters in Dudley don't think people should be able to come to Britain and be unemployed. They think people should have to work and pay taxes before they can claim benefits. They certainly don't think it's fair that child benefit can be claimed in the UK for children living abroad.

Judging by the emails and letters I've received since, most people think that's plain common sense. Many said they were really pleased to hear a Labour MP saying it.

I'm afraid it didn't go down so well in Westminster.

The Prime Minister scoffed and sneered and said I shouldn't be raising the issue. The Left-leaning Guardian accused me of sticking a jackboot into immigrants. I knew some people would not agree with me, but I didn't anticipate being called a Nazi.

I ought to be used to it by now. When I told ministers in the last Labour Government they'd made mistakes – including on Eastern Europe – and immigration was too high, I was told I sounded like the BNP.

But this Government is getting it wrong too. David Cameron promised he'd get net migration down to the tens of thousands but it's actually gone up to over 240,000.

The asylum system is in chaos and foreign criminals aren't being deported. It's no wonder people in Dudley think politicians in Westminster haven't been listening.

Well, I've been listening to ordinary people in my constituency and raising their concerns since I became an MP nine years ago.

I've always said that if you want to live in Britain, you must be prepared to work hard and pay your way, obey the law and speak English. There's no other way to play a full part in British society.

Most people think that if you have the skills we need and are ready to work, you're welcome. But they also believe people shouldn't be free to come and be unemployed or claim benefits without paying in first. That's just not fair to British people working hard and paying taxes.

And they agree when I say that if jobs are available I want my constituents to get them, and that large firms and the NHS should train British youngsters instead of hiring from abroad. I've held a dozen meetings to listen to local people's ideas. These are the measures I've promised I will push for in a new Immigration Bill. ... ...

I think these changes could be introduced now and I've urged the Government and the Labour Party leadership to look at them.

People in London might not like it, but it's my job to listen to local people, go down to London and speak up for them in the Commons.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS
The elite STILL don't get it on immigration
Daily Mail, 8 November 2014
[Leading article]

In a plea for help, Britain's most senior police officer, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, says forces are 'struggling to cope' with the huge influx of immigrants, many of whom speak little or no English.

Expect his remarks to be either ignored by Westminster or condemned.

Last week, Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw said schools were under intense pressure from the unprecedented number of incomers. Days later, he was needlessly attacked for his 'unhelpful' choice of language by new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, who shows a worrying inclination towards political correctness.

Like the three brass monkeys, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and David Cameron pretend to understand concerns about the social strain caused by mass immigration, but their actions – or lack of them – give the lie to their words.

Significantly, Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg still cling to the view that EU free movement directives are sacrosanct.

Meanwhile Mr Cameron, after meeting the disapproval of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been forced back to the drawing board on his plan to limit the number of National Insurance numbers given out to EU workers.

Only the brave would gamble that – in this battle of wills – it will not be Mr Cameron who blinks first.

Worse, debate on immigration is still censored, disgracefully even by the Tories.

Witness Downing Street's knee-jerk decision to slap down both Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, when he dared to use the word 'swamped' in relation to immigration, and Nick Boles for admitting we have little hope of controlling our borders while we remain in the EU.

For their part, the BBC and Left-wing media continue to discount facts about migration they consider inconvenient.

The Corporation ignored a powerful article by former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett in the Mail defending Mr Fallon, in which he said those who claim a large influx of migrants does not create problems are living in a 'fantasy land'. ...

Nobody denies – least of all this paper – that properly controlled immigration can be of huge benefit to Britain.

But the refusal of the three main party leaders to address this issue seriously is the main reason behind a growing disenchantment with the entire Westminster political class.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – POLICING
Britain's police 'struggling to cope' with immigration, says Met chief
Joanna Walters
Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2014

Britain's police forces are "struggling to cope" because of the pace of immigration, the country's most senior officer warned last night.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, told an international terrorism conference that his officers face challenges not only because of the speed of growth but because those coming to Britain had different languages and views of authority. ...

"People arrive with different languages, different perceptions of the police so that in itself can be part of the challenge,".

Sir Bernard said that 25 percent of the population growth in the UK had arrived in London in the last 10 years.

"We have all seen growth but not at the pace we have seen more recently, so it's a simple logistical point that the more people that arrive, the more quickly they arrive, all our bureaucracies struggle to cope and the police are no different," he said.

Sir Bernard emphasised the importance of the community beat as much as high-level counter terrorism in the effort to combat the radicalisation of some of Britain's youth who become driven to plot attacks or head overseas to join the jihad of ISIS.

"As much as we are talking about very specialised areas of counter-terrorism, we are careful not to forget we have got officers on the street talking to people," he said.

But he warned: "That can be a challenge for new communities."
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – SOCIAL TENSION
Jeremy Hunt says his half-Chinese children will suffer if we don't curb immigration
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 7 November 2014

Jeremy Hunt has admitted that he fears for the future of his three children who are half Chinese – because uncontrolled immigration risks causing 'tensions' in Britain.

The Health Secretary said he was worried that mounting anger against migrants would mean his Chinese wife and their children would face hostility for using the NHS.

He warned that unless the level of immigration was brought back under control, the UK would have to face up to the sort of 'social divisions' that had tarnished other countries.

Mr Hunt said that if the NHS did not get better at tackling 'health tourism', the country may not be able to afford decent care for everyone.

At least £500 million a year is being lost because hospitals do not ask many foreigners to pay for the care they receive, he said.

There would be growing anger among voters if it looked as if they were being denied NHS care because the cost of treating migrants and overseas visitors was so high, Mr Hunt added. He made his hard-hitting warnings about immigration in a phone-in programme hosted by Iain Dale on LBC Radio.

'I'd like to make one general point about immigration,' he said. 'My wife is Chinese and she obviously lives with me in London.

'My children are half Chinese and I do not want them to grow up in a country where people look at immigrants and say it's difficult for me to access NHS services because of people like you.

'And that's why it's so important to have sensible, balanced, controlled immigration in this country. Because otherwise we'll have social divisions, we'll have tensions, which thankfully in this country we've avoided for many years unlike other countries.'
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
Mass immigration has been a total disaster for the UK
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 7 November 2014

The drive by the metropolitan elite to foist mass immigration on this country has been accompanied by a barrage of deceitful propaganda.

As we grapple with the transformation of our social fabric and the loss of our national identity, the arrogant political class continually tells us that the destruction of our borders has brought huge benefits to Britain. According to their triumphalist narrative, the vast foreign influx has enriched our culture, galvanised our economy, and boosted our public finances.

This week has brought new evidence of the determination by the pro-immigration lobby to hoodwink the British public.

These ideologues seized on a report from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London (UCL), which state that over the decade from 2001 to 2011, migrants to Britain from within the European Union made a net contribution of around £20 billion to the UK's public finances.

Of this sum, declared the UCL Centre, £5 billion came from Eastern European workers who have been allowed to settle here under the EU's free movement rules since 2004.

Predictably, the cheerleaders for mass immigration and cultural diversity could hardly contain their glee. Here, apparently, was a new vital new weapon for their arsenal of disinformation. The critics of open borders could be trounced.

But all this smugness from the progressives is misplaced, for the UCL report is certainly no vindication of their stance.

For a start, the findings about EU migration should be taken with an extremely large dose of salt.

After all, one of the lead researchers on the study was Professor Christian Dustmann, who predicted in 2003 that just 13,000 migrants would come to Britain from eastern Europe when restrictions on movement were lifted. ...

Furthermore, the report does not examine the physical strains that have EU migration has imposed on our public infrastructure, especially transport, housing, schools and the NHS.

The import of cheap labour, extolled by a bizarre alliance of left-wingers and big business, has other heavy economic costs, like exerting a constant downward pressure on living standards and forcing a vast swathe of working-class Britons onto the dole.

Low wages also impose their own burden on the public purse, since they often have to be topped up by welfare payments; no less than £5 billion a year is now paid in tax credits to migrants. So in practice, tax-payers are heavily subsidizing low pay for foreigners.

As it ends in 2011, the report does not deal with the flood of new arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania, two of the poorest countries in the EU.

Effectively, we are importing destitution on a massive scale, as reflected in the chilling fact that one third of the sellers of the Big Issue magazine for the homeless are now estimated to be Romanian.

But the progressive delusions about immigration really fall apart when the UCL report is considered in its entirety. Damningly, the researchers found that immigration from outside the EU has actually come with a colossal price tag. ...

With many Britons now feeling like aliens in their own land, the true tale of open borders is one of national destruction, not the hollow fantasy of economic progress.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Home Office needs to get tough on illegal immigrants
Daily Express, 7 November 2014
[Leading article]

The Home Office last year tracked down 30 per cent fewer illegal immigrants in the UK than it did in 2005.

This proves that not only is the Government failing to deal with the scale of illegal immigration, the situation is actually getting worse.

With the hordes gathered in Calais clamouring to come here it is clear that as Ukip migration spokesman Steven Woolfe rightly said: "The Government's approach to tackling illegal immigration is shambolic if not negligent."

Catching and promptly removing illegal immigrants is vital to deterring more from trying to come here. If, as is the situation at present, they know that there is only a slim chance of this happening they will keep coming knowing that if they can just get over the border they will be given almost free rein to stay.

And if they do get here they fuel the illegal economy. At the very least this is cash in hand work that robs the Treasury of tax revenue but it can extend to serious and organised crime.

All illegal immigrants are breaking the law. They have to be tracked down and deported.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POLYGAMY, CANADA
Canada to Ban Polygamous Immigrants to Curb 'Barbaric Practices like Honour Killing'
Ludovica Iaccino
International Business Times, 7 November 2014

The Canadian government has announced its plan to ban polygamous immigrants from entering the country.

The announcement was made by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who justified the new draft law by saying he believes polygamy leads to "barbaric practices".

"We are strengthening our laws to protect Canadians and newcomers to Canada from barbaric cultural practices," Alexander was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

"We are sending a strong message to those in Canada and those who wish to come to Canada that we will not tolerate cultural traditions in Canada that deprive individuals of their human rights."

According to Alexander, the bill follows a surge in honour killings in the country, involving Afghan men who murdered female relatives. ...

The ban, if implemented, would also forbid forced marriages and set the marriage minimum age at 16.

The draft law also includes a five-year-incarceration sentence of those who participate in the celebration of a wedding of people who have been forced to marry.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY
I want to see a British Asian Prime Minister, says David Cameron
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2014

David Cameron has said he wants to see a British Asian Prime Minister in his lifetime.

Mr Cameron made the remarks at an awards dinner in central London where Sajid Javid, the Culture secretary who is widely tipped as his successor, topped a power list of the most influential Asians in the UK.

Mr Cameron told the GG2 Leadership Awards: "Let us think big about what Britons of all backgrounds can achieve.

"When I hear 'sir', 'your honour' or 'right honourable', I want them to be followed by a British Asian name."

To cheers he added: "One day I want to hear that title 'Prime Minister' followed by a British Asian name."

Earlier Mr Cameron had described Mr Javid, who was in the audience, as "brilliant" during his 10 minute speech, which celebrates achievement among Britain's Asian community. ...

The annual power list, now in its fourth year, named Labour MPs Keith Vaz and Sadiq Khan at number three and seven respectively and Tory MPs Priti Patel and Shailesh Vara at numbers six and nine.

One Direction singer Zayn Malik, recognisable to millions of young music fans across the world, made it to number 10.

The list features 19 women, including BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty and BBC Radio One presenter Jameela Jamil as well as the director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – LEGAL PROFESSION
Diversity quotas in the law – the issues
Monidipa Fouzder
Law Society Gazette, 6 November 2014

The imbalance of ethnic minority partners needs to be addressed. But how?

Diversity in the legal profession, judging by two separate calls for quotas, is still an issue that needs to be addressed.

A report published today from Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC and Karon Monaghan QC, recommends introducing a quota system to address the under-representation of women and people from ethnic minorities in the senior judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile Cordella Bart-Stewart, a founder of the Black Solicitors Network (BSN), has called for legal regulators to consider introducing quotas, following the publication of the 2014 BSN Diversity League Table.

One notable finding was that only 5.7% of law firm partners are from an ethnic minority background. Almost half of these (3.1% overall) are from an Asian background, with the proportion of black solicitors just 0.5%.

The result was based on a sample of only 41 firms. But had each one of the top 150 UK firms and 30 leading international firms with UK bases that the BSN approached responded to the survey, would the results have been significantly different?

Bart-Stewart's comments sparked a heated debate among Gazette commenters. 'Patronising' said one, 'primitive' exclaimed another.

One commenter declared: 'I couldn't give two hoots what colour, creed, sexual bias etc my employees are, all I care about is that they work hard... .' ...

Having quotas in place is legal in the UK, whether it be for people from an ethnic minority background at partner level, for women on the management board, or for any other protected characteristic such as age, religion or sexual orientation.

The real challenge, says Karen Baxter, partner in the employment, rewards and immigration team at Lewis Silkin, is how you go about filling that quota.

'From a legal perspective, positive discrimination is not permitted under the UK's Equality Act, so firms cannot choose a candidate for a role or a promotion simply because they are a woman or from an ethnic minority background,' she says.

'To do so would give a discrimination claim to the unsuccessful candidate who was turned down because they were a man or white.'

'Positive action', Baxter says, is as far as firms are permitted to go. 'This permits a firm to take proportionate action to address specific obstacles that an under-represented protected group might encounter. For example, a law firm might offer specialist coaching to help members of an under-represented group progress through their career.'

When two equally qualified candidates are eligible for a position - a 'tie break' scenario - firms are allowed to choose a candidate from an under-represented group in preference over the other candidate – a move made possible by the Equality Act 2010.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – DEBATE
Let's have a grown-up debate on migration, not this dangerous stalemate
Michael White
The Guardian, 6 November 2014

Reading the new study on the benefits of migration into Britain I wondered what a Ukip voter, elderly or unskilled, would make of its upbeat conclusion that we've collectively benefited to the tune of a net £20bn from the arrival of so many skilled and educated people from across Europe.

"What's in it for me?" they might ask in Clacton or Rochester, even before they got to the bit – buried away in the study published by University College London (UCL), but not by Times and Daily Mail headline writers – about non-EU/EEA migrants costing us an additional £118bn in the 17 years from 1995-2011 because they weren't all so young, skilled and motivated to work hard. What the Mail et al were less explicit about was that this figure includes everyone who was not born in the UK, not just those who arrived in that period. The £118bn does not include the full tax contribution they have made during their working lives in the UK. ...

Skipping quickly through what is clearly a serious bit of research from UCL's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CREAM) my layman's superficial complaint is that it reads as if the authors are marshalling evidence to support a case they believe in: migration is an inherently good thing. Outrageous? Possibly, but the awkward £118bn figure pops up in passing only in paragraph 4.2.1 and is offset by the fact that British-born have a net cost too – £500bn over the same period.

But hang on there, we are talking about the cost of "state benefits and tax credits". Are not the authors making the same sleight of hand also deployed – for opposing reasons – by George Osborne this week when he lumped pensions under "welfare" because voters quite like pensions. Migrants tend to be younger than average and don't claim pensions.

In making these uncomfortable points again, I can turn to Wednesday's headlines for evidence of their divisive impact. The Guardian, FT and BBC all provided the positive "UK Gains £20bn from EU migrants" emphasis, as reflects their institutional bias: confident, cosmopolitan, outward-looking. The Mail majored on "Non-EU migrants take more from state than they put in", a point made more explicit by the Times: "Migrants cost £120bn but energetic young Europeans earn their keep". "Immigration from outside Europe costs £120bn" roared the Telegraph.

In addition to extensive upbeat coverage of the UCL study – produced by Professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Thomaso Frattini – the good old Guardian runs a Comment article by Paul Collier. A distinguished Oxford professor of public policy, a weighty, progressive intellectual of international repute, author of Exodus, he has thought about these things harder than most of us.

Collier's article is not quite as prominently displayed on the Comment is Free site as one might wish. But here it is. ...
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
Immigration: the real cost to Britain
Robert Colvile
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2014

It's official: immigration is great. According to a new report from University College London, those arriving on these shores between 2001 and 2011 put roughly £25 billion more into the economy than they took out, creating millions of new jobs in the process. So what's all the fuss about?

... For starters, the benefits we're talking about aren't as significant as they sound. During that decade, the immigrant population grew by more than 2.5 million, meaning (to a rough approximation) that each new arrival is chipping in less than £20 a week.

In fact, if you widen the timescale, and focus on immigrants as a whole rather than those who have arrived in the past decade or so, you can tell a rather different story. Between 1995 and 2011, those originally from Europe – whether they arrived under Heath, Thatcher, Blair or Cameron – added just £4 billion to Britain's economy. Meanwhile, those who came from further abroad – the West Indies, India, Australia etc – took out £118 billion. It's hard to call that a good deal.

The next obvious criticism is that "net fiscal benefit" is not the same thing as things getting better. Just as concreting over the green belt increases GDP, but sends voters into a rage, so immigration has costs that don't turn up on the spreadsheets – greater competition for housing, pressure on public services, lower wages for those at the bottom, changes to the character of communities. It would be a foolish politician who waved this report at the people of Rochdale or Boston, and told them not to worry.

Even the fact that the newest arrivals are putting in more than they take out shouldn't be much of a surprise. For all the furore over benefit tourism, it's long been clear that most migrants want to add to Britain's wealth, not to leach off it.

The problem is that increasing the size of Britain's economy is not the same thing as making its existing inhabitants richer. Back in 2008, Lord Lawson, the former chancellor, was part of a House of Lords committee that produced a wide-ranging study of immigration's effects. "If you take everything into account," he tells me, "there's very little evidence that it increases prosperity, in terms of GDP per head of population. In terms of what most people are worried about – their standard of living – it doesn't make any difference at all."

Moreover, while today's immigrants may be young and keen, they will soon grow out of it. "Initially, you may get some economic boost," says Lord Lawson. "But as immigrants get older they require more help from social services and so on, and as they have children, those children require education, and in the longer run you don't get that benefit." ...

What this suggests, in turn, is that we've got our perception of immigration upside-down. It's not a case of foreigners coming over here and taking our jobs. It's us creaming off the best and brightest from other countries, and bringing them here to do the jobs we can't or won't. ...

The impact of this new "brain drain", from the rest of the world to Britain, can be seen in the NHS, which is hugely dependent on immigrant labour (26 per cent of doctors are foreign nationals, compared to 15 per cent of the workforce as a whole). A study by Civitas found that after EU migration controls on Romania were lifted, it lost 30 per cent of its doctors to richer countries within two years.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
To determine the true cost of immigration, we need more accurate figures
Professor Gerry Dickinson
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – The University College, London, study on immigration was well researched (report, November 5), but it understates the true cost of immigration. Due to the limitations of data, it was not possible to measure marginal costs (or benefits) but only average costs. Marginal costs will be higher than average costs when there are bottlenecks in the supply of resources consumed.

Estimating the cost of immigration should allow for these higher values, given that, during most of the period, there were: shortages of properties for rent, especially in London; the NHS running close to capacity; and pressures on school places.

The true cost is the difference between the total costs for these resources (with immigration) and what these total costs would have been (without immigration). Hence, one cannot draw firm conclusions from the study, even for European Economic Area immigrants.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
It's simply incorrect to say migrants represent a huge cost to Britain
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 6 November 2014

For the Telegraph, the headline it extracted from the authoritative University College London report on migration was: "£120bn cost of Labour's policy on immigration" while the Daily Mail's account also accentuated the negative: "Non-EU migrants living in Britain have cost the public finances almost £120bn since 1995," it began.

So how did the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times all manage to end up with the apparently contradictory positive conclusion that "EU migrants contribute £20bn to Britain"? Were the Telegraph and Mail simply making it up?

Well, no. The study by UCL migration economists Dustmann and Frattini does indeed include two sets of calculations of the fiscal impact (that is, the amount they contribute in taxes as against the amount they receive in state benefits and public services) of immigration to the UK.

The first calculation, which led to the negative figure of £118bn was based on the population of all immigrants, ie non-UK born people, living in the UK between 1995 and 2011.

The second calculation is the estimated net contribution of all migrants who arrived in Britain between 2001 and 2011. The study concluded that, over that decade, EU migrants made a net positive contribution of £20bn. Of this £20bn, migrants from the original 15 EU western European countries contributed £15bn more to the UK economy than they took out, while those from the 10 eastern European accession states, such as Poland, made a net contribution of £5bn. On top of that, recent migrants from outside Europe have also made a net contribution of more than £5bn bringing the net benefit to Britain's finances from recent immigration to more than £25 billion over the past decade.

So which set of calculations helps to answer the question "do immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems?", which the study's authors say they set out to answer.

Dustman and Frattini say it is misleading to use the £118bn figure as the Telegraph and Mail have done. As they point out, this is based on the cost of all immigrants living in Britain between 1995 and 2011. This isn't migrants who arrived in Britain in the late 1990s and 2000s but all the non-UK born people living in Britain at that time. More than 90% of them will have arrived in Britain long before 1995, including Britain's large long-settled Asian and Caribbean communities who were born abroad.

The authors say that, for example, the calculation will include people who came to Britain in 1950 but only what they paid into the state and took out in benefits and public services after 1995.

The authors say this doesn't tell us anything about how much these people have cost Britain in net terms because it ignores their contribution during the first 45 years of their residence.

"In fact, as they are now older, they are likely to have higher rates of welfare dependency and low labour force participation that does not reflect their overall contributions," say the authors.

As 90% of these migrants will have been living in Britain for many years, possibly decades, before 1995, it is difficult to see how Labour's immigration policy in government between 1997 and 2010 can be held responsible for them.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – EMIGRATION
There's one obvious question about immigration, but nobody is asking it
Kit Wilson
Spectator blog, 6 November 2014

If you were to close your eyes at any debate on immigration, you might reasonably picture the participants standing back-to-back, shouting and gesticulating to opposite corners of the room. On such occasions, there's typically only one point on which everyone actually agrees: that very highly skilled migrants – doctors, engineers, scientists – are welcome here in Britain.

Oddly, though, nobody ever seems follow up with the obvious question: what about the countries these migrants leave behind?

Look at the four nations from which we take most foreign doctors – India, Pakistan, South Africa and Nigeria. Is it not unfair to deprive them of their brightest medical minds? South Africa has the world's largest population of people with AIDS – are its 5,000 doctors here really being put to best use?

Finding the evidence to prove the actual effects of immigration policy is, of course, tricky. Nonetheless, it's interesting to note that throughout the 90s, when we employed very few foreign doctors, India, Pakistan and Nigeria were all steadily climbing up the international life expectancy tables. The following decade – the point at which we suddenly ushered in huge numbers of their physicians – all three fell back drastically (11, 10 and 10 places respectively). The same is true for the Philippines, which, after India, provides us with the largest number of migrant nurses.

It is also far from certain, contrary to the best-of-all-worlds optimists, that these doctors and nurses will ever return to their home countries to help them develop.

True, there are all sorts of other factors that affect life expectancy rates. We'll never know quite how much these countries are held back by the 'brain drain'. But then isn't that the point? If we don't know what we're doing, shouldn't we proceed with more caution? Is it really wise, or even moral, to continue bleeding these countries of their talent, only to throw foreign aid at them when the next crisis arises?
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
The winners and losers of the UK's migration policy
Don Flynn, Director, Migrants' Rights Network
The Guardian, 6 November 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

What does Paul Collier think successive governments have been trying to do for the last decade when he blithely asserts that "The time has come to slow down immigration" (Opinion, 5 November)? Transitional controls are in place for new EU nationals, a "tough" points-based scheme operates for others, and even fee-paying international students are being hit by policies that aim to do what he claims is necessary. Yet still the trend, measured by net migration figures, remains relentlessly positive.

"Slowing down immigration", in any circumstances short of another crisis-induced deep recession, is a policy objective that is neither possible nor even desirable. Immigration at current levels, and probably higher, should be regarded as the new normal for economies as closely integrated into global markets as is the case with the UK. ...
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
The winners and losers of the UK's migration policy
Phillip Goodall
The Guardian, 6 November 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

Does your front-page lead give comfort to the left or the right in UK politics? The "centre-right" objections of Civitas's David Green should be coming, loud and clear, from the left: all the benefits are to the UK economy and business, and to the better-educated and energetic individuals who migrate; all the loss to less-wealthy nations, and to people less advantaged, less energetic, less educated, less footloose, less able to feel well-off on low wages, less confident and empowered. The majority of ordinary people, that is, who need work and housing where they live, and are not able – for so many very real reasons – to uproot and seek their fortune in this privileged and even pampered way.

Good for the economy, bad for ordinary people. Whatever else, this surely makes it plain that to favour unrestricted immigration is not the nice, safe, humane liberal-left position it might once have seemed.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, DEPORTATION, TRINIDAD
Trinidad to Step up Deportations of Migrants
ABC News, 6 November 2014

The government of Trinidad says it will crack down on the estimated 110,000 migrants living on the island illegally.

National Security Minister Gary Griffith says migrants will have until early January to get their documents in order.

He told the Newsday newspaper in a story published Thursday that authorities are planning to launch a large deportation campaign next year that would include door-to-door visits. He did not provide further details.

Griffith was quoted as saying that authorities are taking the steps to help reduce crime.

He said migrants living illegally make up more than 10 percent of Trinidad's population.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY
UK gains £20bn from European migrants, UCL economists reveal
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 5 November 2014

European migrants to the UK are not a drain on Britain's finances and pay out far more in taxes than they receive in state benefits, a new study has revealed.

The research by two leading migration economists at University College also reveals that Britain is uniquely successful, even more than Germany, in attracting the most highly skilled and highly educated migrants in Europe.

The study, the Fiscal Impact of Immigration to the UK, published in the Economic Journal, reveals that more than 60% of new migrants from western and southern Europe are now university graduates. The educational levels of east Europeans who come to Britain are also improving with 25% of recent arrivals having completed a degree compared with 24% of the UK-born workforce.

It says that European migrants made a net contribution of £20bn to UK public finances between 2000 and 2011. Those from the original 15 EU countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, contributed 64% – £15bn more in taxes than they received in welfare – while east European migrants contributed 12%, equivalent to £5bn more.

The research by UCL's centre for research and analysis of migration was undertaken to "fill the void" in the debate on immigration in which the contribution of unrestricted migration from within the EU has become the centre of intense political and public concern. ...

The report was criticised as being "shallow" by David Green of the centre-right thinktank, Civitas. He said that by focusing on taxes and benefits, the report had missed out some vital costs.

"People who migrate tend to be young, better educated and energetic. They make good employees here but they are a loss to their own country. If other European countries fail to prosper because their brightest and best have travelled to the UK, we are all worse off," he said.

Green added that the survey also disregarded the waste of human capital involved in too many university migrants working as baristas or waiters.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY, LANGUAGES, MULTICULTURALISM
Immigration from outside Europe 'cost £120 billion'
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2014

Immigrants who came to live in Britain from outside Europe cost the public purse nearly £120 billion over 17 years, a new report has shown.

The major academic study also found, however, that recent immigration from Europe – driven by the surge in arrivals from eastern European – gave the economy a £4.4 billion boost over the same period.

Experts from University College London also said native Britons made a negative contribution of £591 billion over the 17 years – because of the country's massive deficit.

The report analysed figures from 1995 to 2011, during most of which the Labour government was pursuing vigorously pro-immigration policies.

It found that migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) made a negative contribution to the public purse of £117.9 billion because they consumed more in public expenditure – including NHS costs, welfare hand-outs and education – than they contributed in taxes.

The report, to be published in the Economic Journal, said the non-EEA group – largely made up of immigration from countries such as India, Pakistan and African Commonwealth countries – contributed less because families tended to have more children and lower employment rates. ...

Immigrants from within the EEA – which is the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - took out more than they paid in during only seven of the 17 years.

It meant European migrants made an overall positive contribution to the British economy of £4.4 billion over the period.

Since 2000 European migrants were 43 per cent less likely than native Britons to receive benefits or tax credits, and 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing, the report said.

The authors – whose research has previously been criticised by the right of centre think-tank Civitas and by MigrationWatch UK, which campaigns for tighter immigration laws – emphasised their findings on the contribution of European migrants and gave less prominence to the findings on the costs of non-EEA immigration. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said the report confirmed the huge cost of immigration.

"As for recent European migrants, even on the authors' own figures - which we dispute - their contribution to the Exchequer amounts to less than £1 a week per head of population," he said. ...

Between 1995 and 2011 the foreign-born population in the UK doubled from 3.5 million to about 7 million.

The non-EEA population grew from 2.8 million to 4.6 million during the period. Of those, in 2011, just over two million were not working, either because they were unemployed or for other reasons such as retirement or childcare.

At the same time the number of European immigrants in this country grew at a far higher rate, tripling from 723,000 to 2.3 million. ...

Meanwhile a separate study published by the Office for National Statistics exposed the full extent of language ghettoes in this country.

New analysis of the 2011 Census showed that around 90 per cent of elderly Bangladeshi-born women living in the UK cannot speak English.

And almost four in 10 Chinese-born migrants who settled in the UK more than 30 years ago had no English.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY, SOCIAL COHESION
Immigration question still open
Robert Peston
BBC, 5 November 2014

The new report on the tax and spending impact of migration to the UK by Dustmann and Frattini probably settles one part of the immigration controversy. But the biggest questions remain open.

They have shown that the new migrants from Eastern Europe, the ones that are seen as largely responsible for the rise and rise of UKIP and the shaking up of the party-political status quo, have been net contributors to the public purse - after allowing for taxes, tax credits, benefits and use of public services ...

In a way that is not surprising. We have all seen - or certainly if we live in London and other major cities we have - how thousands and thousands of young Eastern Europeans, often with university degrees, have come here to work hard.

They are at that stage of their working lives, like indigenous young people, who are bound to contribute more to the state than they take out.

So what Dustmann and Frattini have exploded is the idea that the majority of them are benefit and public-service tourists, people who come to Britain to leach off the Exchequer, and our hospitals and schools.

Some may be. Most are not.

But as Migration Watch points out, Dustmann and Frattini have also shown that, over the longer term, immigrants to the UK have been a burden on the state.

They estimate that between 1995 and 2011, all immigrants to the UK - from outside the European Union and inside - were a net drain on public resources of between £114bn and £31bn, depending on whether a proportionate share of all public spending is allocated to them, or only a share of the public services whose costs increase as the population rises.

Strikingly Dustmann and Frattini show that all the net costs are generated by emigres from outside the European Union.

Again that is not surprising. The longer that immigrants stay in Britain, the more British they become, as it were. And the painful fiscal fact is that so-called native British people were a burden on the state over the same assessed period of between £591bn and £674bn.

There is an important lifecycle point here.

As most of us move from our 20's and into our 30's and become older still, for a period most of us become more productive, increasing our net contributions to the Exchequer.

But as we have children, we take more out from schools and the health service - until we retire or become infirm, at which point it is very hard for us not to be a net burden on the state.

So there are two big questions about the recent immigrants from Eastern Europe - one empirical or factual, the other cultural and social.

The empirical question is whether the Eastern European emigres will stay here or return home at the point they become a burden.

Is there anyone out there, apart from wannabe Merlins, who can answer that?

But of course there is a much bigger question, which is to do with all our happiness and what's often called social cohesion. Is a rapidly changing population mix and a population that is growing something we like and relish, or something we find unsettling or worse?
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY
European immigrants contribute £5bn to UK economy but non-EU migrants 'cost £118bn'
Lizzie Dearden
The Independent, 5 November 2014

Immigrants from Poland and the other nine countries that joined the EU in 2004 have contributed almost £5 billion more to the UK's economy than they used in benefits and public services.

Analysis by the University College London Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration found that while the fiscal contribution by European workers was overwhelmingly positive – amounting to £20 billion in a decade – the same was not true for non-EEA arrivals.

Between 1995 and 2011, immigrants from outside the EU made a negative contribution of £118 billion over 17 years, the report found, using more publicly-funded services, including the NHS, education and benefits, than they paid in tax.

But native Britons also received more than they contributed in the same 17-year period – amounting to a cost of £591 billion as the national deficit grew - and European arrivals gave a £4.4 billion boost.

The report said the gulf between arrivals from inside and outside of the EU could partly be explained by the large number of children had by non-EEA immigrants, as the cost of their education was counted but as the children were UK-born, their subsequent tax contributions were not factored into the report.

Migrants who arrived since 2000 were 43 per cent less likely than UK-born workers to receive state benefits or tax credits and 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY
Immigration cost us £118 billion in just 17 years
Rebecca Johnson
Daily Express, 5 November 2014

Immigrants from outside Europe have cost the taxpayer £118 billion since 1995, according to research published yesterday.

The University College London study revealed too that European migrants had made a net contribution of £4.4 billion during the same period.

The research also showed that native Britons had cost the country £591 billion in the 17 years to 2011.

The net cost of immigrants from outside the EU was higher due to their typically larger families and greater impact on health, education and welfare services.

However, in recent years the figures had greatly improved, said researchers at UCL.

Between 2001 and 2011 European arrivals made a positive fiscal contribution of £20 billion and those from outside Europe a positive net payment of £5 billion. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of pressure group Migration Watch, said the report confirmed that immigration as a whole had cost the country vast sums over the past 17 years.

He added: "As for recent European migrants, even on their own figures, which we dispute, their contribution to the Exchequer amounts to less than £1 per week per head of our population.

"Meanwhile, they have added one million to the number of people on this island.' Last night David Green director of independent think-tank Civitas, accused the authors of making "shallow calculations" to prove their case, while they ignored the social harms caused by mass immigration.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY
Migrants from outside the EU have taken £120 billion more from the state than they paid in taxes over 17 years
James Slack
Daily Mail, 5 November 2014

Non-European migrants living in Britain have cost the public finances almost £120 billion since 1995, according to a study.

The report by University College London found that the immigrants had cost the country more in public services and State handouts than they had paid in taxes in every single year between 1995 and 2011.

The research by Dr Tommaso Frattini and Professor Christian Dustmann – which comes at a time of huge public concern over migration policy – sought to put an overwhelmingly positive gloss on the economic impact of mass immigration.

Headline-billing was given to a claim that migrants who arrived from the European Economic Area – predominantly the EU – since 2000 made a net contribution of £20 billion.

Three-quarters of the contribution – £15 billion – was made by people born in the 15 members of the European Union prior to the 'big bang' admittance of Eastern Bloc countries in 2004. It includes huge sums paid in by the likes of French bankers and German engineers.

A further £5 billion came from the East Europeans. Recent non-European immigrants' net contribution was also said to be positive, at about £5 billion.

But buried inside the 51-page report was the calculation showing that, if the time period 1995-2011 is considered instead, non-European migrants living in Britain took out more than they put in for 17 consecutive years.

Crucially, this group includes all non-EEA migrants – not just the new arrivals since 2000, who Dustmann and Frattini focus upon. ...

Overall, the net cost to the UK of non-EEA nationals living in Britain between 1995 and 2011 was nearly £118 billion. EEA nationals contributed £4.425 billion.

Critics will say the report is backward looking – focusing on the taxes paid by the influx of Eastern Europeans when they are young, single and healthy – but not the future burden their families may place on schools, hospitals and the welfare state.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said the report had confirmed that immigration had cost the country vast sums over the past 17 years.

He added: 'As for recent European migrants, even on their own figures, which we dispute, their contribution to the Exchequer amounts to less than £1 per week per head of our population. Meanwhile, they have added one million to the number of people on this island.'

Last night, David Green, director of independent think-tank Civitas, accused the authors of making 'shallow calculations' to prove their case, while ignoring the social harms caused by mass immigration.

For example, Dustmann and Frattini say immigrants have 'endowed the UK labour market with human capital that would have cost £49 billion through the UK education system'.

However, Mr Green says the arrival of well-educated young migrants coincided with a slump in apprenticeships for UK teenagers – at great social cost.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY
EU migrants pay MORE tax to government than they receive in benefits
Jamie Grierson
The Mirror, 5 November 2014

European immigrants to the UK pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, new research suggests.

However, the University College London (UCL) study revealed immigrants from outside the EU took more from the public purse than they put back in over a 17-year-period.

European immigrants contributed £4.4 billion to the UK between 1995 and 2011, whereas immigrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) made a negative contribution of £118 billion.

In the same period, UK-born workers made a negative contribution of £591 billion.

Looking more closely at recent arrivals, between 2001 and 2011, the picture improved for both EEA and non-EEA immigrants, with European arrivals making a positive fiscal contribution of £20 billion and those from outside Europe making a positive net payment of £5 billion.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – MULTICULTURALISM
Now is the time to slow down immigration [part 1]
Paul Collier
The Guardian, 5 November 2014
[Paul Collier is professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford]

What are we to make of the surging salience of immigration and the concomitant rise in support for Ukip? Are its supporters deluded, racist and misled, as the left would have it? Or are they voicing the wisdom of crowds, in angry alienation from metropolitan elites that have abandoned national identity, as claimed by the right?

Public policy clearly needs to lower the temperature before popular discourse metastasises into something ugly. Evidently, it will need to address reasonable concerns and allay unwarranted fears. Instead, the political reaction has been predictably dysfunctional.

The right smells a chance to castigate the left by exaggerating the costs of immigration: "we're swamped", and a theatrically aggressive message – "if its boat people getting swamped then it's not our problem". The left, terrified that any acknowledgment of costs would license hostility to migrants, clings to the narrative of the open door: that immigration delivers big economic gains. The key to getting out of this dangerous situation is to recognise that there is no inconsistency in asserting that past immigration has been modestly beneficial, while accepting that there is now a good case for curtailing further immigration. Existing immigrants are welcome, but future immigrants should be discouraged.

Much of the fuss about migration has focused on its short-term economic impact: it is variously alleged to be crowding the low-skilled out of jobs (Ukip) or to be essential for growth or short-term fiscal receipts (the left and big business). In fact, the evidence is that these effects are minimal. A careful new study across Europe by Frédéric Doquier of the University of Louvain finds that the cumulative impact of a decade of immigration has changed wages by between 0% and 0.5%, depending on the country.

The important effects of immigration are social and long term, not economic and short term. The key long-term social effects are probably on the overall size of the population and its diversity. As to population size, Britain is already one of the most crowded countries in Europe, and there is a sound environmental argument for protecting quality of life by discouraging further substantial increases. As to diversity, it involves a trade-off: as it increases, variety is enhanced but cohesion reduced. Variety is good but, unfortunately, as cohesion erodes voters become less willing to support generous welfare programmes.

There is a universal psychological tendency for inconvenient truths to be denigrated, and this is certainly inconvenient for the left. But it is not speculation: I describe some of the supporting research in my book Exodus, and rigorous new experimental research by the Oxford political scientists Sergi Pardos and Jordi Muñoz finds that immigration has just this effect, especially on benefits that are targeted at the poor.

This answers the question I started with. The trade-off between variety and cohesion affects social groups differently. The young, affluent middle classes are the big beneficiaries of variety. In contrast, those people on benefits, whether because they are unemployed or pensioners, are the most vulnerable to the weakening of cohesion. ...
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – MULTICULTURALISM
Now is the time to slow down immigration [part 2]
Paul Collier
The Guardian, 5 November 2014

There is no way of establishing whether further increases in diversity in England would be a net gain or a net cost. However, the rate at which migrants are assimilating appears to be slower than had been expected. Immigrants have tended to cluster, and this reduces social interaction outside the group. Hence, after the surge in immigration since 1997, it may be sensible to have a temporary phase of slower immigration while we take stock of its social consequences. The economic consequences of a pause would be negligible as long as students were exempted.

It would be salutary for business to find that it had to train the existing workforce rather than poach trained workers from poorer countries: what is good for business is not necessarily good for the rest of us. Far from a pause licensing hostility to existing migrants, it may be necessary to avert hostility. While Ukip supporters should rationally fear continued rapid increases in diversity, they should welcome the integration of existing immigrants.

The true focus of policy should be on what, realistically, can be done to implement a pause. For non-EU immigration we retain considerable policy freedom, but within the EU we have to get smart. We need to ask ourselves why so many would-be immigrants crowd at Calais: after all, their alternative to England is not their country of origin, but France and the entire open-access Schengen area, including prosperous Germany and generous Scandinavia.

Perhaps it is that, unlike in the rest of Europe, access to our welfare system is not determined by past contributions. We could change that without EU permission. Or maybe it is that, owing to theatrical Tory opposition to identity cards, and the absence of a system of residence registers as exists in much of Europe, we are a paradise for illegality. We could change that too. Or perhaps it is that London is booming.

If this is the real issue, then we have a reasonable basis for negotiation with the European commission. The right to impose temporary controls triggered by out-of-phase economic cycles, which could be invoked by any country that met the eligibility criteria, would not challenge the existential symbolism that many continental politicians attach to the principle of free movement.

Ukip is on to the perfect issue: majority opposition to continued rapid immigration can be linked to the need to recover policy freedom from the European commission. The attempt to counter it with the message that continued immigration and EU membership are economically necessary is ineffective because it is seen by many ordinary people as a self-serving elite narrative that conceals contempt for their concerns.

Breaking out of this is essential and feasible, but the left must take the lead. Two generations ago the US opened to China because Richard Nixon saw that only the right could free Americans from the myth of the "yellow peril". In Britain now, only the left can free us from the myth of the open door.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
We have not been able to 'really deliver' immigration cuts because of the Lib Dems, claims Cameron
Tom McTague
Daily Mail, 5 November 2014

The Liberal Democrats have stopped the Government from 'really delivering' on immigration reform, David Cameron claimed today.

The Prime Minister said he needed a Tory majority after the next election because he had not been able to 'go ahead with all the things we wanted to do'.

Mr Cameron's remarks come after he pledged to make reform of European freedom of movement rules the centrepiece of his Brussels renegotiation if he wins the next election.

The PM claimed he had already restricted the benefits migrants could claim – but admitted further reform would be 'tough'.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM
Shouting about the economic benefits of immigration isn't the way to persuade people
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2014

I'm pretty relaxed about immigration, especially from the European Union. The arrival in this country of lots of people from elsewhere on the continent causes me little worry and in some cases strikes me as a positive boon.

So when another hefty economic study says that the arrival of those Europeans has been a net positive to the public finances, it would be easy for me to write another piece lauding the study as another triumph of reason over prejudice, proof positive that a free market for labour is a good thing just as it is for goods and services. In other words, to say I told you so.

But frankly, who wants to read that? Another faintly patronising article by a London-based journalist telling people elsewhere in the country that, actually, you're wrong because some numbers compiled by some experts say so. It might get the blood up, stir up a bit of anger and fill the comments section below this piece. But what would it add to the debate? Would it change anyone's mind? I doubt it.

So I'm going to try to do something else. As a believer in the benefits of immigration, I'm going to try to understand why no amount of economic studies, no matter how convincing or credible, will shift public opinion on European immigration.

First, there's a question about distribution. Yes, European immigrants are paying more to the British state in taxes than they take from it in services and welfare. But where does that fiscal windfall go? Because we have a remarkably centralised state, the money goes to the centre. It does not, on the whole, go to the communities where European immigrants actually live and consume services – or if it does, it does so painfully slowly, the sort of bureaucratic time lag that leaves councils struggling to provide school places for the children of industrious European parents whose labours help fill Treasury coffers in far-off London. ...

But is that an argument against European immigration per se? Surely it's more of an argument for a more responsive and localised system of fiscal transfers. It's not the strangers from foreign countries who are the problem here. ...

Still, this isn't just about public services and public money. Some people who are unhappy about immigration argue eloquently that this is about something more important than money. It's about society. Simply, they feel unhappy about the social consequences of immigration. The arrival of large numbers of people from other countries who speak other languages and have (subtly) different cultural practices makes them feel uncomfortable. ...

What's the answer to that? I'd suggest integration, and a bit more understanding – on both sides. Really, we have much more in common with our new neighbours than many of us – and them – sometimes believe. ... ...

It is a logical fallacy to conclude that because some people feel uncomfortable with the social consequences of European immigration, the only way to address that discomfort it to expel or ban European immigrants. But it is also mistaken to think that shouting louder about abstract concepts like the public finances people like me can ever persuade our country to relax about immigration. Economics isn't everything.
[Site link]

Up

BIAS – BENEFITS AND COSTS
Snapshot: New Immigration Report Is Written By 'Expert' Who Predicted 2004 Influx Would Be 'Relatively Small'
Alex Wickham
Breitbart, 5 November 2014

Read the Guardian this morning and you will discover a new study by economists at University College London claims that European migrants give Britain a £20 billion net gain, paying far more in tax than they take in benefits.

Read the Telegraph, however, and their write up of the very same report says the very same experts found that immigration from outside of Europe cost Britain £120 billion. Lots for proponents and opponents of immigration to argue over today.

Cynics might be interested to note the identity of the lead author of today's report. Christian Dustmann also wrote the ill-judged 2003 Home Office report that played down the numbers of EU migrants that would arrive in the country. Back then the study predicted net immigration following the 2004 EU enlargement "will be relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010". As UKIP and the Tories love to tell us, we now know that net migration from these countries was over 80,000 per year.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – LABOUR TRAFFICKING, USA
Labour trafficking in US widespread but often ignored - report
Stella Dawson
Trust.org / Thomson Reuters Foundation, 5 November 2014

"Labour trafficking is hidden in plain sight in this country," Meredith Dank, co-author of the report, said in an interview.

Researchers at the Urban Institute and Northeastern University examined 122 cases of labour trafficking in the United States and interviewed 28 survivors, as well as legal advocates, social workers and law enforcement officers.

Their study released last week shows how the underground economy of slave labour operates in America and how official efforts to combat it are falling short.

The recruitment pattern they found is one seen worldwide.

Unscrupulous labour brokers in the victims' home countries, often introduced by friends and family members, lure ambitious people of all educational levels with promises of well-paid jobs in domestic labour, agriculture, the leisure industry and construction.

Most get official guest worker visas to enter the United States, but upon arrival are trafficked into below-minimum wage jobs and forced to work gruelling hours under abusive conditions that amount to modern-day slavery, the study found.

The victims fall under the radar because they arrive legally and are well coached on how to pass immigration, while authorities are not trained to look for them or provide appropriate help if they declare themselves, it said.

When survivors do escape, they are doubly victimised because their visas usually have expired, so they are treated as illegal immigrants, even though they are legally eligible for temporary work visas, the researchers said.

The study, called "Hidden in Plain Sight", found that victims came from all over the world - 31 percent from Latin America, 26 percent from Southeast Asia and 13 percent from South Asia - and 71 percent arrived by air, holding official guest worker visas.

Thirty-seven percent worked as domestic help, 19 percent as agricultural workers and 14 percent in restaurants.

They paid labour brokers on average $6,150 in recruitment fees and one paid as much as $25,000. Traffickers used lies and intimidation to keep workers on the job after their visas expired. ...

John Picarelli, director of crime and victim research at the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice, said last week at a panel discussion on the report that labour trafficking is more widespread in the United States than commonly thought.

He cited a 2012 study that found 38,458 trafficked workers in San Diego county, California, and estimated there were 2.47 million trafficked Mexicans working in the United States.

Laura Fortman, deputy administrator for wages and hours at the U.S. Department of Labor, said her agency has trained its investigators to spot labour trafficking, but has only 1,000 investigators to monitor 7.1 million employers and 137 million workers in the United States.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EUROPEAN UNION, PUBLIC OPINION
Immigration is key to Britons' growing hostility to Europe
Peter Kellner
The Guardian, 4 November 2014

Three particular issues have been causing concern at Westminster. ... ...

Third, immigration. Nigel Farage is well ahead when people are asked which party leader they trust most to make the right decisions on this fraught issue, although almost four in 10 voters don't choose any of the four leaders (Farage 28%, David Cameron 16%, Ed Miliband 12%, Nick Clegg 5%, none/don't know 39%).

Views about immigration are linked to people's understanding of what is currently happening. We asked three knowledge questions:

• Number of migrants coming to UK each year. Only 15% have the figure in the right range (200,000-300,000), with 40% overstating the true figure.

• Number of migrants from EU: 14% in the right range (100,000-200,000), with 41% overstating it and 22% understating it

• The number of migrants from the EU claiming jobseeker's allowance. The true figure is around 60,000, or 3%; the median answer is 300,000, or five times the true figure. Among Ukip supporters, the median is 500,000.

In other words, many people hold views that are rooted either in an exaggerated view of what is happening today – or, perhaps, a refusal to believe the government's statistics.

Bearing that in mind, we find that 50% think Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, was right to say that some communities are being "swamped" by migrants (he subsequently withdrew the word). A further 28% think what he said was true but the word was unwise. Just 13% think what he said was untrue.

As for the issue of free movement, one person in three opposes action to reduce the number of migrants settling in Britain from the EU: 23% want to keep free movement in principle, while 10% want a limit set at 200,000 a year or more – that is, more than come today; 43% want a cut that would bite – 50,000 or less.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – NORTHERN IRELAND
Immigration benefits Northern Ireland, says report
BBC, 4 November 2014

Immigration provides substantial economic and social benefits to Northern Ireland, a report has said.

The report, written by two academics from Queen's University, said about 4% of the Northern Ireland workforce is made up of migrant workers.

Commissioned by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, it suggested migrants contribute more in tax than they use in services.

It claimed migrants contributed £1.2bn to the economy from 2004 to 2008.

The report was written by Professor Peter Shirlow and Dr Richard Montague at Queen's University Belfast, and its findings claim to challenge commonly held misconceptions about migrants.

It examined a number of areas like population, employment, housing, benefits, economy, healthcare, education, crime and social cohesion.

The report said migration contributed to sustaining economic growth, filling labour shortages, bringing much needed skills and enriching society through cultural diversity.

Its key findings were:

• Migrant workers contributed about £1.2bn to the economy from 2004 to 2008

• 4% of the Northern Ireland workforce is made up of migrant workers

• 3% of the total number of pupils attending school in Northern Ireland are ethnic minorities

• 81.5% of migrants in the UK are employed

• Less than 5% of EU migrants claim Jobseekers Allowance

• The cost of temporary migrants using the health service amounted to about £12m of the £109bn NHS budget
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – BEGGARS
Why the hell are we importing beggars?
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail, 4 November 2014

In Manchester, a 14-year-old girl begging on the street is rewarded with a few coins from Ed Miliband. ...

Rebeca State, seen rattling her cup at the Labour leader, hails from Romania. ...

Rebeca lives with her aunt, mother-of-nine Livia Stoica, in the Levenshulme area of Manchester. She doesn't attend school. A visibly embarrassed Miliband dropped '60p or 70p' into her cup, but couldn't look her in the eye.

No wonder. The story behind this photograph sums up the grotesque farce which underpins modern Britain's welfare and immigration policies, foisted upon us by bien pensant politicians like Miliband. ...

There is no need for anyone to beg in Britain in 2014. Yet our city centres teem with beggars, many of them seemingly from Eastern Europe. It is a direct consequence of Labour opening our borders to millions of migrants from former Communist states.

While most people come here to work in low-paid jobs, there is also a hard-core criminal element.

Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May told EU ministers that migrants were travelling to Britain to 'beg and steal' on the streets.

Her words, not mine.

Roma gypsies are the worst offenders. Begging is what they do for a living. Who says beggars can't be choosers?

We've seen them in Central London, camped out in shop doorways and using Hyde Park as a latrine. It's their culture, innit. All part of celebrating diversity.

Manchester has been plagued by Romanian beggars for years. Some of them don't even bother with a begging bowl, they simply invite passers-by to throw money into a suitcase.

Point this out, however, and you'll be howled down as a 'racist' by assorted Guardianistas and their allies at the BBC. They simply refuse to face up to the disastrous consequences of their devotion to welfarism and mass immigration.

Sealed away in their cosy metropolitan bubble, they rarely, if ever, come into contact with reality. That's why Miliband was so uncomfortable.

He looked as if he wanted the pavement to open up and swallow him.

You could almost hear the cogs in his head revolving in competing directions at breakneck speed. What should he do?

Begging is a criminal offence. But if he didn't give this poor girl some money, he could appear heartless. And as she was so obviously a member of a 'vulnerable' ethnic minority he couldn't ignore her.

I don't suppose it occurred to him for a moment to wonder what she was doing there in the first place. ...

Fortunately, journalists aren't quite so cowed. Awkward questions are what we ask for a living.

As a result we know that Rebeca says she doesn't go to school because her parents don't have a fixed address in Britain. Yet she lives with an aunt who sells the Big Issue and receives £550 a week in welfare benefits. ...

Politicians from the three main parties have lied and dissembled about immigration for years. ... ...

Miliband isn't the only politician who should hang his head in shame.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – ECONOMY
European Union migrants add £20bn to the British economy – in just a decade
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 4 November 2014

Highly skilled migrant workers from the European Union have provided a £20bn boost to Britain's finances over a decade by paying far more in taxes than they claim in benefits, fresh research discloses today. ...

It found that EU migrants who arrived since 2000, including citizens from new member states such as Poland, had contributed more than £20bn between 2001 and 2011. Migrant workers from the EU15 countries, which include Germany and France, paid 64 per cent more in tax than they received in benefits. New arrivals from Central and Eastern European "accession" countries contributed 12 per cent more than they took out.

Immigrants who arrived since 2000 were 43 per cent less likely than UK-born workers to receive state benefits or tax credits and 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing.

The UCL's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration found the EU migrant workers were strikingly better educated than British nationals and brought "human capital" equivalent to spending £6.8bn on education.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – EUROPEAN UNION
EU migrants: Merkel v Cameron
BBC, 3 November 2014

The suggestion that Angela Merkel would rather see Britain leave the EU than accede to changes to the EU's freedom of movement principle has raised political temperatures in the UK.

Firstly, within the political establishment in Berlin there is increasing frustration with the UK. They do not know what David Cameron wants and are increasingly sensitive to demands that appear to be endlessly changing.

In particular the Germans are alarmed by the suggestion of "caps" or "quotas" or "emergency brakes" on the numbers of EU migrants arriving in Britain. They believe that would undermine freedom of movement, a core EU principle. ...

So the message sent to London was clear: there is room for manoeuvre when it comes to tackling "abuses" but there is deep-rooted opposition to any attempt to weaken the principle of free movement itself. ...

The German magazine Der Spiegel has gone further and suggested that Angela Merkel warned David Cameron that his attempts to limit migration risked pushing Britain towards leaving the EU. ...

So in Downing Street the search may be on to find a formula that appears to make it harder for EU migrants to stay in Britain but does not undermine the principle of free movement.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – DOVER, CALAIS
Immigration shambles: France considers scrapping border treaty which could see illegal incomers QUADRUPLE
David Collins and Euan Stretch
Mirror, 3 November 2014

The number of illegal immigrants entering Britain could quadruple because a vital agreement with France is under threat.

A government whistleblower here has revealed that "furious" French chiefs are thinking about scrapping the Le Touquet Treaty which effectively moved the UK border across the Channel.

The deal, signed in 2003, allows British border officials to be stationed at ferry terminals in France.

But there has been a breakdown in relations between the Home Office and counterparts in France's Interior Ministry, the source has revealed.

French officials are angry that the treaty has turned Calais into a dumping ground for migrants.

It is feared that abolishing the agreement could result in the notorious migrant camps that have blighted the French town being set up in Dover.

The highly-placed whistleblower said: "If this deal is scrapped it would be a complete disaster for our border control."

Our relationship with French officials has hit rock bottom since under fire Home Secretary Theresa May scrapped the UK Border Agency last year, the source added. ...

Around 2,500 refugees are living rough in Calais and many risk their lives on a daily basis in their bid to get to England by smuggling themselves into trucks or cars bound for the ferry port. ...

The source added: "The Interior Ministry is carrying out a private review to explore the option of removing all UK border officials out of northern France.

"Our border, which is effectively at Calais at the moment, would then become Dover.

"The advantage of having border staff at Calais and Dunkirk is that illegal immigrants can be turned back before they can reach the UK.

"But as soon as an illegal reaches UK soil they can then claim asylum in this country, which would be an enormous problem if the frontier is moved back to Dover."

The insider added that the treaty led to the number of asylum seekers falling from around 80,000 in 2003 to roughly 18,000 by 2007.

"It has now crept back up to around 25,000, and it is thought this number would quadruple should border officials be removed from Calais and Dunkirk," the source said. ...

Labour MP Mr Blunkett said today: "The treaty and subsequent agreement to place intelligence and security staff with immigration officers on French soil was vital to stemming the flood of clandestine entry into Britain.

"If we did not have UK officials on French soil there would be nothing to stop people making their way to Britain and then seeking refuge or disappearing into the sub-economy." ...

Meanwhile fears over an increased influx of asylum-seekers into the UK via Calais were further heightened today with news that the port is set to open a new "welcome centre" for them within days.

The French government is today due to sign a contract with a charity to open the Jules Ferry centre, two miles north of Calais, to offer "food, warmth and healthcare" to migrants.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – BUSINESS
Ethnic boards target 'too ambitious'
Roland Gribben
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2014

Vince Cable is expected to be told by business leaders that he is being too ambitious in launching a campaign to give ethnic minorities one in five boardroom places in Britain's top 100 companies.

The Business Secretary is finalising proposals aiming for 20pc of directors on the boards of FTSE 100 companies to be drawn from ethic minorities by 2020.

The campaign, coming hard on the heels of the drive to increase the number of women in boardrooms, poses awkward questions for business leaders.

There is no concerted opposition to diversifying board representation but many believe Mr Cable is going too far too fast and ignoring the principle of directors being appointed on ability.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Boris Johnson wants immigrants - just not from Europe
Adam Gale
Management Today, 3 November 2014

One could be excused for detecting a certain Jekyll and Hyde quality to Boris Johnson's pronouncements on immigration. On the one hand, the London Mayor wrote the foreword to a report published today by the Commonwealth Exchange saying that 'we should welcome the brightest and the best from a wider range of countries', and last week described himself on Question Time as the only politician 'actually willing to stand up and say he's pro-immigration'.

And yet, on the other hand, Johnson wrote an article in the Telegraph a few weeks earlier calling for the Tories to tighten border controls to prevent the UK being the 'America of the EU; the place people want to come; the magnet for the hordes at Calais'.

The reason for the superficial discrepancy is, of course, those two innocuous letters in the last sentence, E and U. Johnson is certainly pro-immigration in general, writing in the Telegraph that 'it would be madness to close our borders to talent'.

It would be madness, too, for the mayor of a city whose population is one quarter foreign-born and whose businesses depend on foreign trade, talent, tourism and investment, to go all little England on us, which probably explains his vigour on the subject.

So why has Johnson got a downer on Europeans? Four more letters: U, K, I and P. While Johnson would clearly prefer not to offend the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens living and working in London, he is acutely aware of the threat to the Conservatives from UKIP voters, whom he nicknames 'kippers'.

These kippers, he believes, are primarily motivated by frustration about the EU's freedom of movement, and would return to their natural political waters once Britain either exited or renegotiated its position in the EU. And, of course, if a certain fair-mopped Mayor were indeed to return to Parliament and run at some point for Tory leader, it wouldn't hurt to have appeased the party faithful.

Would the Commonwealth provide a talent pool for British businesses as deep as the EU's? Johnson seems to think so, pointing to the much larger and younger population of the ex-Empire, and decrying the fact that migration from the old dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa declined by 50% between 2001 and 2011.

But that decline doesn't necessarily have to be the result of strict British immigration policies. Perhaps Kiwis, for instance, just don't want to come to the UK as much as they used to.

We probably won't be able to tell what would happen without actually implementing freer movement within the 2.4 billion strong Commonwealth. It's hard to see how that would be anything other than out of the frying pan and into the fire for all those kippers.
[Site link]

Up

EMIGRATION – CLIMATE CHANGE
If you're worried about immigration, then you should be terrified about climate change
Assaad W Razzouk
The Independent, 3 November 2014

On Sunday, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, reiterating, for those who haven't yet noticed, that we are on the brink of epochal changes driven by climate change, and that we must act now to avoid the worst impacts.

The IPCC report is a welcome distraction from the recent hysterical series of immigration-related news headlines. However, the reality is that both climate change and immigration are inextricably linked.

The truth is that if you are worried about migration then you ought to be terrified of what is happening to the global climate. In addition to increasing the devastation caused by extreme weather events including storms, floods, droughts and fires, climate change will affect water supplies, crops and livestock, ultimately affecting food security. For many, the only solution is to move.

Pentagon and NATO military analysts identify climate change as a "threat multiplier" that increases the chances of conflict and will result in large-scale migration. Just how many climate refugees will be banging on the doors of Europe and the United States is difficult to calculate although estimates range from 25 million to 1 billion by 2050. ...

... Unless urgent action is taken now our world is heading for a global average temperature increase over pre-industrial level of up to 4 or 5 degrees centigrade. As climate change bites even harder, the tide of refugees will swell inexorably as heat waves and droughts, sea level rise and food shortages get worse. This will drive more and worse conflict and fragile economies will collapse under the weight of having to cope with more severe weather events. ...

We need to invest ten times more money worldwide, in clean decentralised energy systems, in adaptable or climate-smart agriculture, and in resilient infrastructure and in education. ...

There is no alternative unless Europeans and Americans want to welcome potentially hundreds of millions of climate refugees to a home near them.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – GERMANY
Germany struggles to adapt to immigrant influx
Jenny Hill
BBC, 3 November 2014

The faces around the table are young, the accents mainly European. They tell a story about how the demography of this country is changing fast.

Germany is now the world's second most popular destination - after the US - for immigrants. And they are arriving in the hundreds of thousands.

Net migration to Germany has not been this high for 20 years, and even the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) describes it as a boom. In 2012, 400,000 so-called "permanent migrants" arrived here.

They are people who have the right to stay for more than a year. That represents an increase of 38% on the year before.

They are coming from Eastern Europe, but also from the countries of the southern Eurozone, lured by Germany's stronger economy and jobs market.

And they are being welcomed with open arms - by the government at least - because Germany has a significant skills gap, and a worryingly low birth rate. ...

Last year the mayors of 16 large German cities wrote to the government asking for help with unemployed migrants flooding into their regions from Eastern Europe. Places like Cologne, Dortmund and Hanover have struggled to cope. ...

... More than 7.6 million foreigners are registered as living in Germany. It is the highest number since records began in 1967.

In the words of President Joachim Gauck: "A look at our country shows how bizarre it is that some people cling to the idea that there could be such a thing as a homogenous, closed single-coloured Germany.

"It's not easy to grasp what it is to be German - and it keeps changing."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – USA
Stateside: American poor pay the price for increased immigration
Vanessa Drucker
Fundweb, November 2014

Immigration is an emotionally charged subject. The debate has been politicised, and so-called immigration 'reform', a misnomer, actually means amnesty initiatives for undocumented aliens. Although the topic is sometimes characterised as a right-wing/left-wing division, it more accurately expresses a rich/poor divide.

Basically, the suppression of wage competition for the least skilled workers undermines the indigent, "those with less education, lower cognitive abilities, the uninsured, recovering addicts, or anyone marginal to the labour market," notes Mark Krikorian, executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Higher population obviously enlarges aggregate GDP and increases the size of the economy. Yet what do Americans, who live inside the economy, get out of it? Since 1972, when the native fertility rate fell below 2.1 per cent, all population growth has derived entirely from immigrants. While more jobs have been created, fewer native-born citizens are working. ...

"The 40-year mass immigration programme has been fuelling instability for decades, reflected in growing income and asset disparity," says Roy Beck, founder of NumbersUSA.

For instance, an overwhelming majority of the uninsured come from abroad, as part of a wholesale importation of poverty. The overflow manifests itself in the healthcare insurance crisis, in social disruptions like Occupy Wall Street, and in economic fragility, since businesses abhor uncertainty. Businesses may believe containing wages is a shorter-term benefit, but in the long run it contributes to destabilising forces.

The most damaging cost of immigration – both legal and illegal – is not additional social service costs. The chief harm is lost wages, specifically for those who lack university education. Notwithstanding, in relatively modest-income communities, higher local taxes are also a burden, along with deteriorating quality of services.

Academic studies often distort the negative impact by addressing only federal rather than local taxes, and by using a 10-year time frame, which shows immigrants paying into social security pensions but not withdrawing funds later.

Moreover, Beck adds, "it's hard to track, because when jobs situations get worse, existing residents may move, taking the actual effect elsewhere."

Increased immigration, perceived to be Democrat-driven, relies on a partnership with a Republican business lobby. The coalition comprises several factions. The left-leaning coastal elite are now aligned with labour unions, which flipped their position to support immigration after 2000. The volte face mainly served to increase membership and dues, to support their own dwindling ranks. ...

Legal immigrants averaged about 250,000 a year from 1790-1970, according to NumbersUSA, rising to a million today, and another 300,000 illegal entrants.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – COMMONWEALTH
London mayor Boris Johnson backs UK migration report
BBC, 3 November 2014

London's mayor has backed calls for Australians and New Zealanders to be given special status to live and work in the UK without restriction.

Boris Johnson leant his support to a new report criticising the "sorry state of affairs" with the Commonwealth.

It calls for bilateral mobility zones with Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Mr Johnson backed such a move in 2013 after he said an Australian teacher was "effectively kicked out of Britain" because she was not an EU citizen.

The report by the Commonwealth Exchange group was released on Monday.

In it, the think-tank says the state of Commonwealth migration in the UK is in a "parlous state" and is affecting the UK "economically, socially, and culturally".

It says immigration from many Commonwealth nations has collapsed in the last decade, while immigration from the EU has more than doubled. ...

The report says the bilateral agreements should be modelled on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA) between Australia and New Zealand.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – CALAIS, FRANCE
Delyn MP David Hanson: Stop migrants reaching Calais
BBC, 2 November 2014

The French authorities should be doing more to stop migrants heading for the UK after reaching Calais, a senior Welsh MP has said.

Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson, MP for Delyn, said he had seen "bedspreads in bus shelters" and "tents on roundabouts" in the port.

He said migrants should be stopped from entering France in the first place.

Mr Hanson called for Europe-wide action to stop illegal immigrants travelling unimpeded across EU member states.

"What I saw was quite disturbing," he said of his visit to the French port.

"There are many people who are poor, who are dispossessed, who've made tremendous journeys to get to Calais.

"But there's a lack of action I think in terms of both protection of the border and removal by the French authorities.

"We need to have an international European response to make sure we stop people getting to France in the first place."
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Labour 'must apologise' says former aide to Gordon Brown
James Kirkup
Sunday Telegraph, 2 November 2014

Labour should apologise for the mistake of allowing eastern European immigrants to enter Britain freely, a former aide to Gordon Brown has said.

Ian Austin, a minister in Mr Brown's administration said Labour should "be honest" and "say sorry" for opening the borders to Eastern Europeans in 2004.

He also demanded a much tougher approach to migrants' rights and duties, saying foreigners should be banned from claiming any benefits until they had worked and paid UK taxes. Immigrants should also be required to speak English, he added.

His comments follow a Commons clash between David Cameron and Ed Miliband in which the Prime Minister challenged the Labour leader to apologise for the 2004 decision. The Labour leader has previously said it was an error, but stopped short of saying sorry.

Mr Austin however, had no such reservations, saying: "If you make a mistake, you should say sorry. Let's be honest about it." ...

Mr Austin was part of Mr Brown's inner circle during the years of tension with Tony Blair. He became an MP in his home town in 2005 but remained close to Mr Brown.

As a Treasury adviser, he was present when the Blair government made the decision to allow people from new members of the European Union to enter Britain freely.

"It was a mistake. I said so at the time. I did not think it was the right thing to do," he added. "What we have to do now is understand people's concerns and come up with ideas that will address that."
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT – POLITICS
Cheap immigrant labour has cost blue-collar Britain dear
Simon Danczuk, MP
Sunday Telegraph, 2 November 2014

Many labourers complain to me about how Eastern European workers have driven down their wages to the point where they haven't had a pay rise in over 10 years. And if you go into a city bar, more often than not your order will be taken by foreign accents.

Is this a bad thing? Or merely a sign that Britain's a modern country with a flexible labour market that's open to the world? Most of the political classes would argue the latter, but I'm not so sure.

Blue collar Britain is a powerful engine of prosperity that builds communities everywhere. It's also a strong force of social mobility and many working class people who learn the value of work early on and put in the hours are able to get on and climb the career ladder as a result of hard graft. But this world is under threat now in many parts of the country like never before as a key rung of the labour ladder has been removed.

That many of these job opportunities have all but disappeared to some working class Britons in parts of the country worries me greatly. As a Labour MP, I strongly believe my party should be forever beating a loud drum about the value of work, about instilling a strong work ethic into people and about how character and achievement comes from hard work. My fear is that an increased reliance on cheap migrant labour to drive some sectors in our economy is chipping away at a bedrock of working class pride, allowing a once strong work ethic to drain away and it's being done with a comfortable and badly misinformed political consensus.

There's been a cosy agreement among the main political parties around immigration and Britain's labour market for too long. The thinking is that we cannot survive without a record injection of cheap migrant labour. You hear it everywhere. Shirley Williams says we need immigrants to do bar jobs because British workers won't do them. Boris Johnson is constantly talking up the benefits of immigration and even wanted a one-off amnesty for illegal immigrants, which let's not forget includes violent criminals. And even though it's seven years since he left office now, Tony Blair is still making headlines religiously championing the immigrant.

We all know the benefits of immigration. Our country has been enriched greatly by migrants. But there's been far too little said about the consequences that uncontrolled immigration has on poorer, working class communities. And when a note of caution is heard, a near evangelical chorus that believes nothing bad ever comes from record immigration always drowns it out. ...

On both sides of the political spectrum there's a dogmatic belief that the free movement of cheap migrant labour can only bring bountiful returns. The right is in thrall to big business and slavishly continues to feed its addiction to cheap migrant labour. While the left constantly argue that without record immigration the National Health Service would collapse. Both arguments are bogus and demonstrate a classic Metropolitan tin ear for the mood of insecurity and fear sweeping across the country.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POPULATION
Even migrants agree we ARE swamped
James Fielding
Sunday Express, 2 November 2014

When Michael Fallon suggested parts of Britain were being "swamped" by immigration, he was made to retract his words after furious complaints from the Left.

Yet as our investigation shows, mass immigration has radically changed the face of one of Britain's most historic cathedral cities, with even migrants agreeing: "The influx of people is too much."

The 2011 census revealed that Peterborough in Cambridgeshire had a population of 184,500, of which 40 per cent, 73,000, were from an ethnic minority but it is believed that figure is probably higher.

Our investigation found:

* Nearly 40 per cent of pupils do not speak English as a first language with £210 million spent over five years to create 5,000 more classroom places.

* Migrants are pouring into the city, many illegally, to take advantage of the NHS, leaving GP surgeries at breaking point.

* Employment agencies report that up to 75 per cent of job seekers are now foreign, mostly from Eastern Europe, with the Amazon distribution centre staffed almost exclusively by Poles and Lithuanians. ...

Nowhere in Peterborough is the effect of large-scale immigration more evident than on the Lincoln Road, to the north of the city centre. Along a half a mile stretch, Portuguese and Turkish cafes neighbour Polish supermarkets, Asian-owned grocery stores and an Irish bookmakers. ...

Every Tuesday and Thursday between 2pm and 4pm, Asma Khan provides legal advice to recent migrants. The service, called the Immigration Clinic, has been running since June.

Ms Khan, of Bal Dhaliwal Solicitors, in Peterborough, said: "We see about eight to 10 people a week, on average, but that is really only the very tip of the iceberg.

"They come to us for a variety of reasons, 50 per cent are here to find work, 20 per cent are to claim asylum and the other 30 per cent are here because of benefits and the NHS.

"I've heard that sick migrants have actually left their countries and set up home here because they want to use the NHS."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – EDUCATION
Model pupils from state schools refused student loans
BBC, 1 November 2014

Bright students from state schools are at risk of missing out on university because of their uncertain immigration status, Newsnight has learned.

At least 120,000 school children in the UK do not have the legal right to live in the country, even though many of them were born in Britain.

For those with good grades and ambition, their uncertain status has a big implication for their future because they cannot receive student loans.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ITALY
The law of unintended consequences affects refugees, drugs – even badgers
Michael White
The Guardian, 31 October 2014

On refugee policy, then on drugs policy, MPs grappled on Thursday with one of their favourite bits of legislation: the law of unintended consequences. Rescue African asylum seekers from drowning in the Mediterranean? It only encourages more to risk death, ministers insisted. Oh dear. Prosecute recreational drug users? It drives them into the clutches of ruthless cartels, countered backbench MPs. Oh dear again. ...

What was missing, as so often, was what Andrew George, one of the saner Lib Dems, later called evidence-based policymaking, as distinct from swivel-eyed prejudice. The problem kept recurring, so that when the immigration minister, James Brokenshire, gently suggested that Italy's gallant search and rescue policy might be a perverse incentive to people-traffickers and their customers, all hell broke loose.

Italians rescuing 150,000 people from the Med this year was OK, but at least 3,000 unlucky migrants have drowned. Labour, Lib Dems and SNP MPs seemed convinced that Brokenshire had personally pushed their heads under water, whereas what he was trying to say was that all 28 EU member states (the EU occasionally comes in handy for Tory ministers) had agreed to an inshore policy which keeps wannabe refugees safe on North African dry land.

It triggered a frenzy of moralising indignation. "Barbaric," "shameful", "repugnant" "a new low" and "deeply unethical" were just a few of the adjectives hurled Brokenshire's way. He was denounced as Pontius Brokenshire, a man whose policy was "let them drown". It was ridiculous, worse even than the Tory-to-Ukip hooligans who argued criminalising illegal immigration in London would be the answer in Lampedusa.

Where rival outrage found a small patch of common ground was on the easy bit: attacking the people traffickers, then the drug traffickers.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – PUBLIC OPINION
Leaving the EU wouldn't solve our immigration problem
Fraser Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2014

How do you define a great country? Tony Blair once offered a decent test: ask if people are trying to get into it, or leave it. On this basis, David Cameron's government has been a roaring success – people have been settling in Britain at the rate of 1,200 a day since he took office. ...

... For those who do make the crossing to Britain, there is little realistic chance of deportation. ...

At the Tory party conference last year, "immigration down" was listed as one of the Government's main achievements. But when the jobs recovery started, the Italians, Portuguese and Spanish came in their thousands, and progress was wiped out. Realistically, there was nothing Mrs May could do if the unemployed of Milan knew that a well-paying job was just a £35 easyJet ticket away. ...

At last month's Tory conference, the Home Secretary's boast had been changed: "immigration down (since its peak under Labour)". It was a less embarrassing way of admitting: "immigration up". But the part she actually controls – that from outside the EU – has fallen to lows not seen for 15 years, which is an extraordinary achievement. And it would have been recognised as such, had the Prime Minister restricted himself to promises he was actually able to keep. His "tens of thousands" pledge was a sign of how little thought had gone into the politics of immigration – from all the main parties.

Ipsos Mori this week released its annual "Index of Ignorance," ... The answers are usually wrong, because normal people don't think in statistics. Brits guessed that 24 per cent of the population are foreign-born; the correct answer is 13 per cent.

But the ignorance that we should be worried about is among politicians, who are paid to know the answers. When John Hutton was Labour's business secretary, he once insisted to me that just 2.5 per cent of British employees were immigrants. The real figure was 12 per cent, yet this otherwise intelligent Cabinet minister had no idea. Now and again, conspiracy theorists suggest that Labour plotted to fill Britain with immigrants. The truth is far less edifying: they genuinely didn't know what was going on.

The same, alas, was true for the opposition. During the televised leadership debates in the 2010 election campaign, Nick Clegg challenged David Cameron to say whether he was "right or wrong that 80 per cent of people who come here come from the European Union". The Lib Dem leader was wrong, laughably so: the real figure was 35 per cent (as anyone who had vaguely studied the subject would know). But worse, neither Cameron nor Gordon Brown were able to correct him. This short exchange summed up the situation perfectly: Britain's immigration policy was set by a party that knew little, fighting rivals who knew less.

You can blame Enoch Powell. Since his "Rivers of Blood" speech 46 years ago, it has become almost impossible to debate immigration sensibly in Britain. Even now, the debate is polarised – those in favour of it will not accept that there are any drawbacks, and those against will not admit to any advantages. ... ...

If there were people lined up at Dover, desperate to get to Calais, it would be time to panic – our problems are, in no small part, the problems of success. Leaving the EU will not make these problems go away. And if Cameron wants to start beating Ukip, he should be brave enough to say so.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
If David Cameron doesn't take immigration seriously, he'll lose the election
Stewart Jackson
Spectator blog, 31 October 2014
[Stewart Jackson MP is Member of Parliament for Peterborough]

Why has the Conservative Party allowed UKIP to appropriate – even own – this issue? It ought not to have worked out like this. In 2012, I brought forward a 10 Minute Rule Bill called the EU Free Movement Directive (Disapplication) Bill, which sought to nuance and finesse the Directive and toughen up areas like access to welfare benefits, healthcare and housing, criminal records checks, the administration of EU migrants documentation and looked to take the best practice of other EU countries like Spain and Germany which took a more robust approach to protecting their public services, national security and labour markets.

The Government resolutely ignored me save for a few cursory meetings and it was only the Eastleigh by-election 4 months later in early 2013 and the rise of UKIP, that disabused Downing Street and Ministers of the notion that they could wrap EU migration in a pretty box and hope the voters wouldn't notice its impact if we (correctly) shouted a lot about our economic record.

The irony is that the Government does have a pretty good story to tell on non-EU migration (generally) given Labour's poisonous legacy but the electors are not stupid and as Boris Johnson so astutely observed recently, it's a sense of nonchalance and insouciance and let's be blunt, impotence which irritates voters and drives them into Farage's arms. They don't want to be told there's a problem (cue Nick Boles), they want to be told what's the solution (not unreasonably).

Yes we've heard tough words from Iain Duncan Smith and Eric Pickles and Theresa May but voters are asking: 'Do the Tories really mean it?' ...

However, few people know that in 1979, net migration was in the thousands and astonishingly in 1980-1982, net migration to the UK was minus 50,000 people! Yes – 'swamped' was considered an appropriate term for this situation.

And today? In 2013, 201,000 people arrived from the European Union alone, total immigration to our country was 526,000 people and net migration last year stood at 212,000, up 20 per cent on the previous year. And swamped is considered to be an inappropriate word to use by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the bien pensant classes and Government spokesmen? ...

However, I am also a constituency MP for Peterborough. A city (of about 156,000 people in 2006) which saw the issue of 31,000 National Insurance numbers to migrants from Accession 8 countries between 2004 and 2013. A constituency where two primary schools have not a single pupil who speaks English as their first language, a local education authority where the number of school pupils without English as their first language has risen from 14 per cent to 38 per cent in 12 years. Where our acute hospital trust has a structural deficit of £40 million and we have nearly 3,000 people on our housing waiting lists and where whole neighbourhoods have been ghettoised by houses in multiple occupation to benefit rapacious slum landlords and millions are spent annually on translation and interpretation. ... ...

A confrontation with the European Union regarding the Free Movement Directive is all but inevitable now. The Prime Minister must not just understand and empathise but he must act because if he doesn't, he won't be Prime Minister after May 8th 2015.

It's that simple.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – FREE SPEECH
No Offense: The New Threats to Free Speech
John O'Sullivan
Wall Street Journal, 31 October 2014

In 2006, Tony Blair's government passed the Racial and Religious Hatred Act – a kind of "blasphemy lite" law – ostensibly designed to protect all religions against threatening expression but generally understood as intended to limit hostile criticism of Islam. ... ...

... Preventing open debate means that all believers, including atheists, remain in the prison of unconsidered opinion. The right to be offended, which is the other side of free speech, is therefore a genuine right. True belief and honest doubt are both impossible without it.

It isn't just some Muslims who want the false comfort of censoring disagreeable opinions. Far from it. Gays, Christians, feminists, patriots, foreign despots, ethnic activists – or organizations claiming to speak for them – are among the many groups seeking relief from the criticism of others through the courts, the legislatures and the public square. ...

This slow erosion of freedom of expression has come about in ways both social and legal. ... Freedom of political speech, however, was regarded as sacrosanct by all. As legal restraints on obscenity fell away, however, freedom of political speech began to come under attack from a different kind of censor – college administrators, ethnic-grievance groups, gay and feminist advocates.

The new censors advanced such arguments as that "free speech can never be an excuse for racism." These arguments are essentially exercises both in begging the question and in confusing it. While the principle of free speech cannot justify racism any more than it can disprove racism, it is the only principle that can allow us to judge whether or not particular speech is racist. Thus the censor's argument should be reversed: "Accusations of racism can never be an excuse for prohibiting free speech."

Meanwhile, the narrowly legal grounds for restricting speech changed, too. Since the 18th century, the basic legal justifications for restricting political speech and publication were direct incitement to harm, national security, maintaining public order, libel, etc. Content wasn't supposed to be considered (though it was sometimes smuggled in under other headings).

Today, content is increasingly the explicit justification for restricting speech. The argument used, especially in colleges, is that "words hurt." Thus, universities, parliaments, courts and various international bodies intervene promiscuously to restrict hurtful or offensive speech – with the results described above. In the new climate, hurtful speech is much more likely to be political speech than obscene speech. ...

Some years ago, the liberal writer Michael Kinsley described the different attitudes to free speech in the U.K. and the U.S. as follows: "In a country like Great Britain, the legal protections for speech are weaker than ours, but the social protections are stronger. They lack a First Amendment, but they have thicker skin and a greater acceptance of eccentricity of all sorts."

Today, both sorts of protection for speech – legal and social – are weaker than before in both countries. ...

... In short, a public culture that used to be liberal is now "progressive" – which is something like liberalism minus its commitment to freedom.

The U.S. and Britain have long thought of themselves as, above all, free countries. If that identity continues to atrophy, free speech will be the first victim. But it will not be the last.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – SHAM WEDDINGS
Sham wedding shocker: 10,000 illegal immigrant marriages take place in Britain EVERY year
Laura Mitchell
Daily Star, 30 October 2014
[The Sham Wedding Crashers will be shown on Channel 5 tonight (October 30) at 9pm]

Walking down the aisle in their finest wedding attire they look like any other nervous couple about to say their 'I dos'. ...

By setting up a scam marriage journalist Harriet Morter, who played the blushing bride, and investigative reporter Paul Connolly reveal how easy it is for immigrants to marry Europeans for UK visas.

"It was remarkably simple to do it," said Paul. "If you have the reason, the drive and the means to actually go through with it it's easy."

"All you have to do it go to a registry office and sign an intent to marry," he added.

The journalist found the unsuspecting groom, Ali, through a sham wedding fixer called Elizabeth.

Ali paid £5,000 to marry his British bride, while the fixer was given a further £400. The Indian groom even offered Harriet an extra £10,000 to have a baby with him. ...

He even revealed that he had been living on a student visa, despite the fact he never attended classes in over two years, and admitted to doing illegal 'cash in hand' work.

"He is in this country and fair enough if he wants to work but he hasn't got the correct visa and he's not paying his tax," said Harriet. ...

This story might seem shocking but it is becoming worryingly common in parts of Britain.

And earlier this year the Home Office released a statement saying sham marriages are 'spiralling out of control' in the UK.

In fact, there are as many as 10,000 fake weddings carried out each year.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – SCHOOLS
Teachers are struggling to cope with 'influx' of migrant children, warns Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw
Tom McTague and Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 30 October 2014

Schools are struggling to cope with an influx of migrant pupils, the head of Ofsted said yesterday.

Sir Michael Wilshaw warned that schools needed more help to deal with growing numbers of foreign-language children. He said it was now a 'big issue'.

'When they're faced with an influx of children from other countries, they need the resources and capacity to deal with it and if those resources aren't there, that's a big issue for government,' he said. 'We'll be producing reports on this quite soon.'

The comments from the chief inspector of schools highlight a critical shortage of places at primaries – at which one in five pupils now speak English as a second language ...

According to official figures, the number of schoolchildren speaking English as a second language has soared by a third in five years – to nearly one in five.

Earlier this year the number of pupils who speak another language in the home exceeded 1.1 million for the first time.

In some parts of London, children with English as a second language now make up as much as three-quarters of the school roll. The figure is around half in places including Slough, Luton and Leicester.

This term more than half of local councils across the country laid on extra 'bulge' reception classes as part of emergency measures to tackle a growing influx of reception-aged children.

A report commissioned by the Government has said that high levels of immigration have put huge pressures on public services.

The Migration Advisory Committee said it had caused the 'composition of many local area populations to alter rapidly' and such rapid change could lead to friction.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Tony Blair warns: curbing immigration would be 'disaster' for Britain
The Guardian, 30 October 2014

Tony Blair has warned Ed Miliband not to chase Ukip to win over voters and insisted that curbing immigration would be a "disaster" for Britain.

The former prime minister said Labour must be "really careful" of saying things that suggested Nigel Farage's party was justified in its policies.

Miliband last week announced that a Labour government would immediately bring in an immigration bill and said the EU needed "to change if we are to deal with the problems of immigration".
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS
Political class is responsible for Britain's immigration crisis
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 30 October 2014

Mass immigration represents a colossal betrayal of our nation.

No foreign power could have inflicted more damage on Britain than our treacherous political class has done through its wilful demolition of our borders and its aggressive imposition of the dogma of diversity.

Contrary to all the deceitful propaganda about cultural enrichment and economic growth, mass immigration has brought endless abuse scandals, overstretched public services, home-grown extremism, gang violence, falling living standards, racial divisions and ballot box fraud.

We are living through the most profound social revolution in our history.

With more than 550,000 foreigners settling here every year, many Britons now feel like aliens in their own land while the traditional concept of Britishness is rapidly losing its meaning.

One in four babies born in Britain has at least one foreign parent. A child born in Birmingham today is more likely to be a Muslim than a Christian and Mohammed is now the most popular name for newborn boys.

Yesterday Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw warned that because of the growing number of pupils who do not speak English as a first language schools will have to be given "extra support".

The British public never asked for this dramatic change. It was inflicted on us without any vote by a progressive metropolitan elite that is fixated by the ideologies of multiculturalism, globalisation and European integration.

That is why it is so absurd of politicians from the main parties to squawk in phoney outrage over the worsening chaos. They are the ones who made the mess through their own deliberate strategy. ...

If our politicians had wanted to tackle immigration they could have done so years ago through measures such as a temporary freeze on new arrivals, a withdrawal from EU agreements on free movement or restrictions on social security for migrants. But they took none of those steps. Instead they encouraged a destructive free-for-all. ...

The last Labour government were the worst culprits. They aimed to use mass immigration to alter the very fabric of Britain, partly out of political cynicism, since more than 70 per cent of migrants vote Labour and partly because of their loathing for Britain's traditional heritage. Work permits, visas and British passports were dished out like confetti.

But the Tories have done nothing to reverse these trends. All we have had is empty words and bureaucratic tinkering as when Theresa May last year abolished the Border Agency and placed its functions directly within the Home Office. But this move only worsened the problem. Net immigration is up 38 per cent this year to 243,000 and the numbers arriving from outside the EU has increased to 265,000.

The Home Office should be the institution that upholds our national integrity but it shows no desire to do so. The obsession with diversity has been pursued with such ferocious determination that around a quarter of all Home Office staff are ethnic minorities, a far higher proportion than in the adult British population as a whole. The imbalance is even more stark at Lunar House in Croydon, South London, where most immigration and asylum claims are handled. Here ethnic minority employees make up 60 per cent of the workforce.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – CRIMINALS SENTENCED
Trafficking gang offered 'a la carte' routes to UK
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2014

A gang of human traffickers offered "à la carte services" for thousands of illegal migrants to travel to Britain from Calais.

The foreigners could choose from a "classic package", travelling in the back of a lorry for up to £2,000, or a "guaranteed VIP route" in which migrants crossed in a car with a complicit driver for about £4,000.

The nine traffickers – eight Egyptians and a Tunisian – smuggled as many as 2,500 migrants into Britain from Calais over eight months last year.

The details emerged as a court in Boulogne-sur-Mer sentenced the men to between 10 months and six years in prison after an eight-month investigation.

The trial has lifted the lid on the murky world of human trafficking and the different types of "services" offered for migrants trying to reach Britain. ...

The men, in their 20s and 30s, were all referred to during the trial by their nicknames – Saad, Ahmad, Awad, Tamer, Sayed, Rafik, About Walid, Escandria and Guisa.

Maurice Marlière, the judge, said: "Their identities are multiple and not credible." Several have received previous sentences under various names and places of birth. ...

However, investigators privately said that since it was dismantled in December, the "Egyptian" network has already been replaced by an Albanian one operating in broad daylight in the same area.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ASYLUM, CHAOS
Britain's immigration system in chaos, MPs' report reveals
Rajeev Syal and Alan Travis
The Guardian, 29 October 2014

Evidence of waste and poor management within Britain's immigration system has been laid bare by a parliamentary report which reveals that failed IT systems are to cost up to £1bn while officials cannot find 50,000 rejected asylum seekers.

The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) also discloses that 11,000 asylum seekers in the UK have been waiting for at least seven years to hear whether they can stay and that officials have still not resolved 29,000 asylum applications dating back to at least 2007. ...

Commenting on the report, Margaret Hodge, the chair of the committee, said MPs have found that the Home Office is struggling to contain major problems across the entire immigration system.

"The Home Office must put in place skilled, incentivised staff and sort out its data so it can crack the backlog and move people through the system," she said.

"The pressure is on, and the Home Office must take urgent steps to sort out this immigration mess."

The Home Office scrapped the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in March 2013 in part because its performance in dealing with backlog cases was not good enough. Operations were passed on to three directorates – UK Visas and Immigration, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force – which were due to spend £1.8bn a year, the PAC report says.

The failure of two major IT projects, the Immigration Case Work programme and the e-Borders IT programme, has hampered the Home Office's ability to track people through the immigration system. Costs could grow to £1bn, the committee warns.

MPs also examined the government's 2012 decision to set up an Older Live Cases Unit to deal with 400,000 asylum and migration claims dating back to before March 2007. The report says the number of unresolved cases now stands at 29,000 with a "worrying" backlog of 11,000 where no initial decision has been reached.

Turning to this year, the committee found that officials were struggling with fresh asylum claims, which is creating a new backlog of cases.

The number of claims awaiting an initial decision increased by 70% to 16,273 in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year.

This is partly as a result of a "botched" attempt by the UK Borders Agency to downgrade staff that resulted in 120 experienced caseworkers leaving, the report says, as asylum caseworkers were in effect demoted from higher executive officers to executive officers, which led to the mass exodus.

The report also addresses the "migration refusal pool" – where people are recorded as having no permission to be in the UK, but officials do not know if they have left or have stayed without authorisation, which has just over 175,000 people awaiting removal from the UK, it says.

But Capita, the private company contracted by the Home Office, found that 50,000 people who had not been given permission to stay could not be contacted, the MPs found.

"The department [the Home Office] admitted that they did not know where these 50,000 people were," the report says.

Home Office officials said the report is wrong to say there are 11,000 historical cases still awaiting an initial decision, because many of these cases have been assessed but await further submissions.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Tory Minister Nick Boles Says UK Can Not Control Immigration
Ned Simons
The Huffington Post, 29 October 2014

Britain does not have control over immigration into the country and voters have to accept that as a member of the European Union that will always be the case, a senior Conservative minister has said.

Skills minister Nick Boles, who is on the liberal wing of the party and seen as close to David Cameron, also admitted the prime minister's pledge to crack down on inward migration was partially driven by the fear that Ukip might win the upcoming Rochester by-election.

In an interview with Total Politics magazine, published on Tuesday evening, Boles said the UK would always need a "reasonable level of immigration" for cultural, economic, justice and equality reasons.

He said he believed that was also the British people would share that view if they felt they had control over immigration. "You can win that argument but only if people know that they, through their Parliament, are in control. The difficulty that has arisen is this sense that we don't have that control – and, bluntly, they're right. It's true," he said.

"We may never be able to control it entirely, because it's a fundamental principle of the EU, but it will be very hard for the British people to accept that, for as long as Britain remains the most dynamic economy in the EU, we're going to be the net recipient of a very large amount of immigration every year."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ECONOMY, PUBLIC OPINION
It's about time we talked about immigration . . .
Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2014
[Sir Andrew Green is a former diplomat and the founder of MigrationWatch. He was appointed a life peer on October 21]

Although the business lobby and academia focus on the economic benefits of immigration, the reality is that their case is surprisingly weak, particularly at the current massive levels.

The most thorough economic analysis was conducted by the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs in 2008. The panel included two former chancellors of the Exchequer, a former governor of the Bank of England, an eminent labour market economist and a former head of the Financial Services Authority. You would think that, between them, they might know a thing or two. They concluded, evidently somewhat to their surprise, that "we have found no evidence for the argument, made by the government, business and many others, that net migration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population".

When the government's Migration Advisory Committee came to look at the report, it did not seriously challenge the conclusions; it simply noted that much of the benefit went to the immigrants themselves. Nevertheless, the immigration lobby has remained in denial.

Of course, there are a number of economic benefits that do not lend themselves to calculation – for example, the benefit to Britain of new ideas, new energy and the development of worldwide links. Indeed, nobody disputes the importance of immigration in an open economy and society. The issue is entirely one of scale, and that is where any sensible debate must lie.

Since the previous government took power in 1997, nearly five million migrants have entered Britain. The proportion of our population who are foreign-born has almost doubled since 1991, to more than 13 per cent. And if immigration is allowed to continue at present levels, the population will increase by 12 million in the next 20 years. This will have huge practical and social consequences, which must be openly discussed.

Sadly, the BBC – the main and most influential source of news for the British public – has consistently failed in its duty to inform the public about immigration, in terms of both the immediate as well as the long-term impacts. ... But never in the 13 years since MigrationWatch was founded have I heard a radio programme set out the case against mass immigration. Instead, the process of selection, whether conscious or otherwise, has ensured that the case in favour of immigration permeates the BBC's output.

...

... It is sometimes implied that the voters are really rather foolish on this issue, and that opposition to the present scale of immigration is less among those who have actual experience of it. But an opinion poll that MigrationWatch recently conducted found this to be quite wrong – only 11 per cent of the public thought that immigration had improved their local community. In fact, three times as many felt that immigration had changed their community for the worse.

... Similarly, more people in London felt that immigration had changed their community than anywhere else. But the numbers saying their area had changed for the worse outnumbered those who felt it had changed it for the better by more than 2 to 1. The balance of opinion was similarly negative in every other region apart from Scotland. And it's not just one poll: similar results were found by Searchlight, an organisation that describes itself as "anti-fascist", in its own survey three years ago.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS
Yes, specific parts of Britain ARE being 'swamped' by migrants - and we politicians must dare to tell the truth [part 1]
David Blunkett
Daily Mail, 28 October 2014

As concern over immigration mounts, public debate on the subject becomes ever more sensitive and controversial. Passions are inflamed, positions entrenched, tensions are palpable.

So whenever politicians speak out on this issue, they are treading in a minefield.

That is certainly what the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon found when he said in a television interview over the weekend that some towns in the East of England now feel 'swamped' and 'under siege' because of continuing high levels of immigration.

Inevitably, his remarks provoked a political outcry. ...

So explosive was the row that Fallon was even pressurised by Downing Street into issuing a retraction.

This storm echoed the experience I went through 12 years ago when I, too, used the word 'swamped' to describe the anxious feelings of people who were facing the dispersal of large numbers of asylum seekers into their own hard-pressed Northern communities.

Such fears were being fuelled at the time by the tremendous strain put on vital public services such as GPs' practices, local schools and social housing.

Just as today, my use of the word 'swamped' caused a bitter controversy. In contrast to Michael Fallon's case, I was not told by Downing Street to use different words – but the then PM Tony Blair's office did distance itself from my language.

Moreover, I was subjected to a barrage of criticism from right across the political spectrum. ...

Yet for all such condemnation, I believe that both Michael Fallon and I were right to speak out on this issue and to voice the concerns of ordinary voters.

Just because immigration is deeply controversial, that cannot mean that we should avoid talking about it.

There are constant complaints today that politicians are 'out of touch', that they refuse to listen to the electorate.

There has been, mistakenly in my view, a perception that mainstream politicians have engaged in a conspiracy of silence on the immigration issue.

Whatever my critics argued in 2002, I was not being remotely prejudiced or incendiary in highlighting some of the problems in Northern constituencies in the face of far-reaching social change.

Nor do I believe such a charge could be levelled against Michael Fallon, albeit that we are talking about very small, specific areas and communities – not large swathes of our country.

In facing up to the problems of particular neighbourhoods where a large number of new arrivals from overseas not only puts severe pressure on the civic infrastructure, but also challenges the ability of the local community to absorb newcomers – who often have different languages, social skills and cultures – we avoid living in a fantasy land where none of these difficulties exist.

As politicians, we have a duty to address them. Our task is to find solutions, not peddle illusions.

It is interesting that in both cases, our critics focused largely on the language we used – not on the points we made.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS
Yes, specific parts of Britain ARE being 'swamped' by migrants - and we politicians must dare to tell the truth [part 2]
David Blunkett
Daily Mail, 28 October 2014

If we had deployed the word 'overwhelmed', which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means almost exactly the same as swamped, it is unlikely that there would have been so many protests. ...

Words are important, but so is political courage. What we need from all politicians is honesty and openness, not a desire for political point-scoring or displays of self-righteous importance.

That's why I was so angered by the audacious piece of hypocrisy from the Ukip leadership. Claiming they would never use the word 'swamped', they had the cheek to describe Michael Fallon's language – and, by extension, my own in 2002 – as 'inflammatory'.

The hypocrisy would be laughable if it were not so offensive. Ukip's entire political stance is inflammatory, since it is based on stoking up divisions. They are the masters of scare-mongering and scapegoating. ...

But any attempt to turn immigration into a taboo subject just plays into Ukip's hands. The greatest antidote to the party's bluster is frank, rational discussion, where voters are treated with maturity.

After all, the British people have proved to be remarkably tolerant about the changes brought about by mass immigration over recent decades.

They understand that the vast majority of migrants come here to work and have not only contributed heavily to our economy, but enriched our society in every field, from the arts and sport to food and fashion.

Yet it is foolish to deny some of the problems associated with immigration, as I have seen in certain parts of my own Sheffield Brightside constituency.

As a result of a substantial recent influx of incomers from Eastern Europe, there has been a host of difficulties, such as a lack of interpretation services, exploitation of migrants by rogue landlords, the stress on normal waste collection because of multiple occupation of terrace housing and the gathering of large groups in the streets.

But these issues will not be resolved by attacking foreigners and creating a climate of fear, as Ukip tries to do.

What we need is, first, an honest, calm reflection on how people feel about their neighbourhoods, and then a search for practical solutions.

That means, for instance, enforcing norms of behaviour, introducing an expectation that all citizens should speak the English language, strengthening borders through agreement with other European nations and stipulating that people can claim benefits only on the basis of the contributions they have made to Britain.

That last point was, after all, one of the reasons I proposed what became known as the ID card: a verifiable register of who was in the country, who was entitled to be here, and who had the right to work and to draw on essential services.

Those who have not found work should return to their countries of origin – a requirement that is perfectly applicable within current EU rules.

In simple terms, if you come here to work, you should work, and there should be no access to social security or state housing without having built up an entitlement.

Such measures would help to lance the boil of immigration concerns and thereby restore faith in our democracy.

What will not work is shouting down any politician who dares to engage with the British public's concerns. The issue is far too serious for such posturing.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – BENEFITS
UK benefits a magnet to migrants, says Calais mayor
BBC, 28 October 2014

Illegal migrants see the UK as a "soft touch" and its benefits system acts as a "magnet" to them, the mayor of the French city of Calais has told MPs.

Natacha Bouchart added that the fences placed around UK border controls set up in the city "make everybody laugh".

"These people are ready and prepared to die to come to England," she told the Home Affairs Committee.

Calais has struggled in recent months with increasing numbers of migrants arriving and trying to get to the UK. ...

Ms Bouchart estimated that 2,500 illegal immigrants were now living in Calais and that most were Eritrean, Ethiopian, Sudanese, Syrian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Iranian and Iraqi.

Calais was suffering problems from "a lot of mafia and traffickers in this population", Ms Bouchart said.

She added: "There hasn't been a message from the British government or anywhere else that it's not El Dorado." ...

Ms Bouchart said the "real magnet is the benefits that are perceived in Great Britain".
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – BORDER SECURITY
Judge attacks blundering Border Agency over 'catastrophic' failures that allowed 170 bogus workers to illegally move to Britain
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 28 October 2014

Border chiefs have been blasted for 'catastrophic' failures over a £500,000 scam that allowed more than 170 bogus Pakistani workers and their relatives to illegally enter Britain.

A senior judge branded it a 'scandal' that the discredited UK Border Agency had handed out so many work permits to a company which even its own inspector warned was a front for a massive immigration racket.

The firm, Techsense UK, claimed it had lucrative IT contracts with private and public sector giants including Microsoft, BT and the NHS – even though a single phone call would have exposed this as a fraud.

Bosses told officials that they needed staff from their sister firm in Islamabad, Pakistan, to work in highly-skilled £40,000-a-year jobs at their plant in Milton Keynes.

But many of those who travelled to the UK on false pretences actually got jobs in fast food restaurants and stacking shelves in supermarkets.

In a highly unusual move, the judge hauled a senior border official into court to explain the scandal and accused the Home Office of attempting to cover up the fiasco to 'spare their blushes'. ...

Furious Judge Peter Ross said the agency was guilty of a 'catastrophic failure to check the material provided' by Techsense UK. ...

Techsense UK was set up by Pakistani nationals Rashid Ghauri, 42, and Ali Junejo, 35, both of Milton Keynes, supposedly to contract IT work for other firms, Oxford Crown Court was told.

The pair submitted letters and emails to the Home Office claiming 'partnerships' with organisations including the NHS, Microsoft and IBM.

In fact, this so-called proof was actually welcome messages they had received for signing up to services on those companies' websites and the contracts did not exist.

Despite this, the company was classified as 'low-risk' by the Home Office and awarded a licence to grant certificates of sponsorship – a significant step in someone being awarded a work permit.

Between 2009 and 2012, the UKBA handed out 117 certificates to Techsense UK. This led to 55 three-year visas being issued to people travelling from Pakistan supposedly to work for the loss-making company.

Prosecutors estimated that more than 120 family members were also granted visas to join them – making a total of at least 175 Pakistani nationals brought here illegally. ...

The UK Border Agency, which was axed last year after a series of scandals and replaced with UK Visas And Immigration and Immigration Enforcement. The UK Border Force was created after being hived off from the agency in 2012.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – CHURCHES, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM
Border controls are a basic human right – is it un-Christian to oppose mass immigration?
Ed West
Spectator blog, 28 October 2014

Is it sinful to be not so keen on the whole immigration thing? I suppose Justin Welby thinks so, according to his recent comments. ...

... Our tradition of tolerance stems from the fact that, as an island and a fairly homogenous one at that, we were secure and stable and therefore able to develop liberal institutions.

From 1997 to 2004 almost no one dared say anything about this influx for fear of being shot down; on the BBC archives you can see how even very modest criticism by the Tories – comments that would be pretty vanilla by today's standards – were presented by the BBC as 'racism rows', while government claims about the need for opening the borders were presented as unarguable economic facts. Most people opposed this change, and yet during that period not a single bishop, Anglican or Catholic, had anything to say about this situation, which rather reduces the impact their words might have today.

The Church hierarchy are so pro-immigration partly because the open-borders diversity cult is a Christian heresy. As I wrote in The Diversity Illusion (now in second edition):



'The moralisation of diversity is reflected in the fact that almost across the board churches in the West are pro-immigration, even though their congregations are not (in the US self-described Christians are more hostile to immigration than non-believers). In a sense secular universalism has grown on and replaced Christianity, which is also universalist and stresses sacrifice for the sake of humanity, although in Christianity altruism is voluntary, and comes with heavenly rewards (and religions have their own out-groups, of non-believers). Because diversity is framed in such morally polar ways, it is very hard to argue against it from a Christian standpoint, and few do. While churches have often spoken on behalf of individual asylum seekers, they have gone further in promoting the diversity agenda. The Catholic Church in England has even put its weight behind asylum amnesties that would have resulted in half a million people being legalised, even though similar schemes in Spain have encouraged further illegal immigration (and resulted in many deaths, of Africans drowned trying to reach Europe).'



It's easy to quote scripture to support secular universalism; but Christian leaders could also argue that open borders strip the developing world of its brightest (including medical staff), that it widens social inequality, that – contrary to the libertarian argument – people are not simply numbers that can be moved around to increase temporary efficiency, that we have the needs of community and family. Most of all, that there is nothing unchristian or immoral about wanting to live in a neighbourhood that it isn't totally alien, and to not have one's labour undercut by the exploitation of desperately poor immigrants. Border controls are a basic human right. ...

The one exception to this secularisation is Islam, a religion that acts as an anchor of identity and which in the second and third generations remains strong, and often stronger, than in the first. Church leaders promoting an immigration policy that strengthens the power of Islam in their country is not Christianity, it's pathological altruism.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ITALY
UK opposes future migrant rescues in Mediterranean
BBC, 28 October 2014

The UK would not support future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, the Foreign Office has said.

Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay has said such operations can encourage more people to attempt to make the dangerous sea crossing to enter Europe.

An Italian mission is being wound down and an EU force will carry out a more limited border security operation.

The UK has offered support to the new enterprise, the Home Office said.

Italy has been running a major search and rescue operation called Mare Nostrum off the Libyan coast for a year, the operation being triggered by a boat disaster off the island of Lampedusa in which more than 300 migrants drowned.

Operation Triton, run by EU border agency Frontex, will be launched on Saturday.

It will not only be different in nature to Mare Nostrum, as it does not have a search and rescue function, but will also have only a third of the budget of the Italian mission. ...

A Home Office spokesman said the UK had offered "initial support" to Triton, in the form of finance and expertise, and is "considering a further contribution".

He added: "Ministers across Europe have expressed concerns that search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean have acted as a pull factor for illegal migration, encouraging people to make dangerous crossings in the expectation of rescue.

"This has led to more deaths as traffickers have exploited the situation using boats that are unfit to make the crossing." ...

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said: "The stark question now being asked is this - do extensive search and rescue operations make a horrendous situation worse, by tempting more people to try to reach the European Union?

"Ministers from across the EU have concluded the answer to this is yes."
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION – WORLD
Global overpopulation would 'withstand war, disasters and disease'
Mark Tran
The Guardian, 28 October 2014

The pace of population growth is so quick that even draconian restrictions of childbirth, pandemics or a third world war would still leave the world with too many people for the planet to sustain, according to a study.

Rather than reducing the number of people, cutting the consumption of natural resources and enhanced recycling would have a better chance of achieving effective sustainability gains in the next 85 years, said the report published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We were surprised that a five-year WW3 scenario, mimicking the same proportion of people killed in the first and second world wars combined, barely registered a blip on the human population trajectory this century," said Prof Barry Brook, who co-led the study at the University of Adelaide, in Australia.

The second world war claimed between 50 million and 85 million military and civilian lives, according to different estimates, making it the most lethal conflict, by absolute numbers, in human history. More than 37 million people are thought to have died in the first world war.

Using a computer model based on demographic data from the World Health Organisation and the US Census Bureau, the researchers investigated different population reduction scenarios. They found that under current conditions of fertility, mortality and mother's average age at first childbirth, global population was likely to grow from 7 billion in 2013 to 10.4 billion by 2100.

Climate change, war, reduced mortality and fertility, and increased maternal age altered this prediction only slightly. ...

"Global population has risen so fast over the past century that roughly 14% of all the human beings that have ever existed are still alive today. That's a sobering statistic. This is considered unsustainable for a range of reasons, not least being able to feed everyone as well as the impact on the climate and environment," said co-author Prof Corey Bradshaw, also from the University of Adelaide.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ITALY
Italy 'to continue migrant rescues in Mediterranean'
BBC, 28 October 2014

The Italian navy says it will continue search and rescue missions for migrants in the Mediterranean in parallel with an EU operation starting on Saturday.

The navy has been picking up migrants in an operation called Mare Nostrum off the Libyan coast for a year.

But this year has seen a surge of migrant boats heading for Europe and at least 3,000 migrants have drowned.

A new EU's operation, Triton, will have only a third of Mare Nostrum's budget, raising concern about future rescues.

Triton will focus on border control - tasks such as vetting asylum seekers once they are ashore, and coastal patrols - rather than search and rescue in international waters.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
We're swamped my migrants: Fallon's forthright language lands him in trouble with No 10 but fellow MPs insist he's just telling it like it is
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 27 October 2014

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon provoked a furious row yesterday after warning that communities were being 'swamped' by European immigrants.

Last night he was reprimanded by No 10 for his use of the word and rival politicians lined up to criticise what they called his 'excessive language'.

Tory backbenchers, however, said it was appalling that a minister had been told to retract comments when all he had done was speak out frankly on immigration.

During a TV interview, Mr Fallon said some towns were 'under siege' from 'huge numbers' of migrants and that action was needed to tackle free movement rules.

He spoke of trying to 'prevent whole towns and communities being swamped by huge numbers of migrant workers'.

He was responding to a question about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that she would not back the UK's bid to change the rules – a major blow to David Cameron.

But his use of the word 'swamped' in relation to immigration and asylum – which has long been toxic in British politics, provoked fierce criticism.

Even Ukip's immigration spokesman branded his words 'excessive'. Last night a government source said Mr Fallon had admitted he had made a mistake, and should have used the less emotive term 'under pressure'. ...

In an embarrassing mark of Coalition disarray, another Cabinet minister said Britain actually needed EU migrants to fill unskilled jobs in the agricultural sector in the very same areas Mr Fallon was referring to.

Asked if she agreed that migrants were needed, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss told the BBC's Sunday Politics: 'I accept we do, yes.'

'I'm an MP in Norfolk, and there is an element of migrant work force, that's very true,' she said. ...

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, said: 'What the Old Etonian praetorian guard around the Prime Minister have done shows how out of touch they are, and how in touch Michael Fallon is.

'Margaret Thatcher used the word "swamped", and she was in touch with public opinion. Michael Fallon was speaking up for millions up and down the country.'

Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, said: 'Number 10 and Mr Fallon are saying the same thing, but he is reflecting more the words you hear on the doorstep.'
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – NEOLIBERALISM
Immigration is vital to neoliberalism – but no politician will admit it
Deborah Orr
The Guardian, 27 October 2014

The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, is under siege. He is being swamped with criticism. He has used the language of plague and war to describe how the residents of British towns feel about immigrants, even though this is broadly considered to be an unhelpful and cheap, populist way of discussing profound demographic change in the UK. Downing Street has been quick to disassociate itself from such intemperate language. Ukip, universally viewed as the political force that is persuading Conservatives to ramp up their anti-immigration hyperbole, has been quick to point out that their political opponents would be very annoyed if their own campaigners started using words like "swamped" and "siege".

Yet, such language attracts votes. It must be annoying, seeing your power base slip away, simply because your bosses don't want you articulating how you reckon your constituents feel. Fallon, no doubt, is annoyed. Why shouldn't he be allowed to express thoughts that chime with those of potential voters? Well, first, such words are divisive. And, second, they are hypocritical.

Politicians have had decades to explain that high levels of immigration are part and parcel of neoliberalism, because they offer speedy, few-questions-asked economic growth. For some reason, however, both Labour and the Conservatives have shied away from explaining to "ordinary people" that immigrants provide a steady supply of labour, stopping "ordinary" wages and expectations from getting out of hand. It's a strategy that has placed Britain in the extraordinary position whereby it now has a record number of people in low-paid jobs amid historically low levels of wage inflation. That's a hard "achievement" for any political party to sell. So they simply don't try. Labour and the Conservatives just carry on blaming each other, while at the same time quietly getting on with the real business of nicking each other's policies.

Ukip, however, has been happy to step into the empty space the mainstream has created, merrily stirring up resentment by linking low wages and immigration, as if this is the personal fault of immigrants, rather than an inevitable aspect of globalisation. Of course, Ukip would come unstuck if they achieved power and revealed themselves as every bit as neoliberal as all the others. But that's not something Ukip needs to worry about too much yet. Their power to set the agenda comes without responsibility. That's what makes them so dangerous.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
Oh, the irony... For years I was accused of being racist - just for warning about immigration. Now I'm being made a Lord: The expert who told the truth about migrants can, at last, have his say [part 1]
Andrew Green
Mail on Sunday, 26 October 2014

When I co-founded MigrationWatch with Professor David Coleman in 2001, nobody wanted to touch the subject. There was a widespread fear of being accused of racism that the Left were only too willing to exploit, and still are. ...

Now things are rather different. Immigration is right up there as an issue. The public are demanding action and they will not be fobbed off. I have long felt that this was a hugely important issue for our country and one that really needed to be addressed. The people who suffered the effects of mass immigration were not the chattering classes who mainly benefit from it but working class people who had no voice, especially as the trades unions were struck dumb.

So, when I retired as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, I set about establishing a small think-tank, mainly of volunteers, to make the facts better known and the impacts on ordinary people better understood.

We make it our business to examine official figures as impartially as we can, and then publish our findings.

... Elsewhere, however, the so-called sensitivity was such that the BBC would not even use the word immigration. They called it 'in-migration'. And for years any BBC interview on the subject began with the question: 'Is it racist to discuss immigration?' with the clear implication that the questioner thought that it was.

This went on long after the Prime Minister at the time, the Home Secretary, and even Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission on Racial Equality, declared that it was not. This was not enough to stop some newspapers accusing us of racism. ...

Our first real breakthrough came in August 2002 when we published our estimate that immigration in the following decade would reach two million. That got them going.

The Independent described us as 'a nasty little group that deserves to fail'. The Guardian described our report as 'a swamp of muddled thinking'. Ten years later, when the census was published, it turned out that our prediction was actually an underestimate.

Something similar happened in 2003 when the Government commissioned an academic report that claimed migration from Eastern Europe would be no more than 13,000 a year. We said at the time that this report was 'almost worthless' and that a more realistic calculation suggested 40,000 a year.

We didn't know how right we were. It turned out to be about twice that.

Believe it or not, but the same thing happened again last year. We published an estimate that Romanians and Bulgarians would add 50,000 a year to our population. Yet again we were rubbished, yet again the numbers are pointing in that direction.

To come to the present, we find that the figures from the Office for National Statistics show that net migration has been running at an average of nearly a quarter of a million a year for ten years.

If this is allowed to continue it will have a huge impact on our population and, indeed, on the whole nature of our society. Taking also into account the growth of our existing population, it will add 12 million in the next 20 years. That is huge. It is one and a half times the population of London and 12 times the population of our second city, Birmingham.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – PUBLIC OPINION
Oh, the irony... For years I was accused of being racist - just for warning about immigration. Now I'm being made a Lord: The expert who told the truth about migrants can, at last, have his say [part 2]
Andrew Green
Mail on Sunday, 26 October 2014

The consequences are already being felt. Maternity services are coming under increasing pressure. Primary schools are having to put up Portakabins to handle the extra children and, in some schools, classes are above their legal limit.

Housing is another massive issue. Not many people realise that one third of the demand for new housing is as a result of immigration. Indeed, we will need to build a house every seven minutes for the next 20 years or so just to accommodate new immigrants and their families. ...

The impact on social housing has also been severe. ... Half of all tenancies in inner London are now held by foreign-born tenants. The impact on Londoners has been staggering.

How on earth did it come to this? I cannot avoid the conclusion that it was no accident. Shortly after Labour took over in 1997, net migration quadrupled and remained very high thereafter. The Left like to talk about 'globalisation' but it is absurd to suggest it began with a bang in 1998. As it happens, there is clear evidence that Labour's expansion of immigration was deliberate policy.

One of their party officials, Andrew Neather, who had been a speech writer to Tony Blair and later an aide to the Immigration Minister, Barbara Roche, let the cat out of the bag in an article in the Evening Standard in 2009.

It bears repeating because he was not just speculating; he was at the heart of the whole operation and subsequently came clean. Here is what he said: 'It didn't just happen; the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000 until at least February 2008 was to open up the UK to mass migration.'

He even admitted that earlier drafts of the keynote speech had included 'a driving political purpose' – that mass immigration was the way that the Labour government was going to make the UK truly multi-cultural. ...

So what can now be done to get immigration under control? ...

We believe that the gaping hole in the system is the huge number of foreign students who come to Britain and the much smaller number who, it seems, actually go home. That is where future efforts need to be concentrated. Welcome though genuine students are, the number of those who stay on illegally is something that really must be tackled.

But the issue that has finally thrown the Government off course is the rapid increase in migration from the European Union. It has almost doubled in two years.

This is partly because East Europeans are continuing to come and join more than a million who are now working here.

In addition to that, quite large numbers are coming from southern Europe where the economies have been hit by the eurozone crisis. ...

It is quite clear that Labour will do nothing significant. They have 'apologised' for their mistakes, which led to the arrival of so many migrants from Eastern Europe but they have said nothing about twice that number who they admitted from the rest of the world.

Sure enough, Ed Miliband's speech in Rochester on Thursday was no more than a rehash of sensible but minor steps that will make virtually no difference to the numbers. ...

In my view, continuing mass immigration would have an unacceptable impact on our country.

It would place huge strains on our housing, our transport, and our environment. It would also change the whole nature of our country against the expressed wishes of a large majority of the population.

The stakes could hardly be higher.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Where does Ed stand on immigration? Depends who he is talking to: Labour leader accused of 'total cynicism' after giving two sharply contrasting speeches in just seven hours
Simon Walters
Mail on Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ed Miliband was accused of 'total cynicism' last night after he made two sharply contrasting speeches on immigration and race equality in just seven hours.

During a visit to Rochester on Thursday, where Ukip is tipped for a by-election victory next month on an anti-immigration platform, the Labour leader pledged to crack down on immigration if he wins power next year.

But at a meeting with ethnic minority activists in Croydon, South London, a few hours later, he pledged a crackdown on race inequality and consider 'all-black shortlists' to recruit more ethnic Labour MPs.

In Rochester he made no mention of race equality; in Croydon he made no mention of curbing immigration. ... ...

Mr Miliband used his trip to Rochester to unveil a tough new stance on immigration, saying: 'If I become Prime Minister I will bring in clear, credible and concrete measures to count all people going in and out of the UK.'

He would stop child benefit and tax credits being paid for children who live abroad, curb immigrants' benefits, ban bosses using immigrant labour to undercut British workers and make sure more public sector workers can speak English.'

But he did not mention immigration when he addressed the Black and Ethnic Minority Forum meeting in Croydon which included many Labour supporters.

He said if he became PM, one of his first acts would be to introduce new laws to promote racial equality.

I'm committing today, in front of you as my witnesses, to saying that if a Labour government is elected to power we will deliver a race equality strategy across every government department within a year.

'We would tackle police stop and search, which is disproportionately used on black people... and tackle the under-representation of black people in the judiciary and in public sector board rooms.'

He said Labour wanted more ethnic minority Whitehall mandarins, judges and company directors and would 'guarantee' jobs for unemployed black youngsters in London.

'It is shocking that 44 per cent of black young people in London are without a job. We are going to guarantee them a job... You can hold me to that promise, after the General Election, unlike other politicians.'

Pressed by activists at the meeting to back 'all-black shortlists' to recruit more ethnic Labour MPs modelled on 'all-women shortlists', he said Labour 'should debate the issue'.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – SCOTLAND
Scotland full of eastern European criminals!
Paula Murray
Sunday Express, 26 October 2014

Scotland has so many eastern European criminal suspects that the Polish military has been called in to fly them home, the Sunday Express has learned.

Hundreds of overseas fugitives are being caught here and sent home every year with majority coming from Poland, South Africa and the USA.

Earlier this year, there were close to 400 live cases involving 62 different countries - either Scots who had fled abroad or foreign nationals wanted for often serious crimes. ...

A Scottish Government report on international criminals, seen by the Sunday Express, states: "To facilitate the increasing number of extraditions to Poland and to reduce costs involved, arrangements have been made for Polish military flights to land at Edinburgh airport."

Following the introduction of the European Arrest Warrant in 2004, thousands of foreign suspects are being caught and sent home from Britain every year.

Four years ago, the Polish authorities also introduced regular military flights from Biggin Hill airport in Kent to cope with a peak in demand.

An 80-seater Polish military twin-propeller aircraft was sometimes making two flights a week to Warsaw, extraditing suspects in crimes ranging from murder to theft of a chicken. Many of those extradited were returning to Britain within days.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Some towns 'swamped by migrants'
Yahoo! News, 26 October 2014

A Cabinet minister has ramped up Tory rhetoric on immigration by warning that British communities are being "swamped" by incomers from the EU.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon dismissed German opposition to changing free movement rules within the union, complaining that some towns are "under siege". ...

Amid Conservative fears about the rising popularity of Ukip, the Prime Minister has pledged to make clawing back control over immigration a "red line" in renegotiating UK membership terms, ahead of a mooted in-out referendum if he is still in power in 2017.

But his prospects of success have suffered a blow after German chancellor Angela Merkel flatly rejected the prospect of radical change.

"Germany will not tamper with the fundamental principles of free movement in the EU," Mrs Merkel told the Sunday Times.

Speaking on Sky News' Murnaghan programme, Mr Fallon insisted negotiations had not even started yet.

"The Germans haven't seen our proposal yet, and we haven't seen our proposal yet," he said.

"That is still being worked on at the moment to see what we can do to prevent whole towns and communities being swamped by huge numbers of migrant workers.

"In some areas, particularly on the east coast, yes, towns do feel under siege from large numbers of migrant workers and people claiming benefits. It is quite right that we look at that.

"The original treaty when it was drawn up 50 years ago did not envisage these vast movements of people, and we are perfectly entitled to say this needs to be looked at again.

"We will put our proposal forward and we will look for support from other member states as well, including Germany."
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS
Border staff 'turn away 500 migrants a week'
Matthew Davis
Sunday Express, 26 October 2014

Migrants without any right to be in the UK are being turned away at ports and airports at a rate of almost 500 every week, new figures have shown.

More than 30,500 foreigners were stopped at passport control last year by suspicious immigration officials checking into their backgrounds.

Only one in five was allowed in, with 23,811 sent packing.

The total number detained by border officials in 2013 is a rise of 20 per cent on the previous year while the numbers being sent straight home rose 13 per cent. ...

The figures, released by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act, support claims by Home Secretary Theresa May that her department is cracking down on illegal immigration.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – DEPORTATION
Thousands of illegal immigrants escaping deportation because bungling officials are failing to act on public tip-offs
Tom McTague
Daily Mail, 24 October 2014

Thousands of illegal immigrants could be escaping deportation from the UK because officials are failing to act on tips-offs from the public, an inspector has warned.

Four in 10 illegal immigrant tip offs are not acted on by the Home Office quickly enough, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine found.

In one case sampled by the inspector, the Home Office was told an illegal immigrant was moving house in three days' time but staff failed to assess the claim for two weeks.

In another example, an allegation was made concerning the credibility of an appellant in an immigration appeal set to take place in three days - but the case was not looked at for five days and the individual was granted a five-year residence permit.

Mr Vine was inspecting the Intelligence Management System, a Home Office database used for recording and processing allegations concerning immigration or customs offences received from the public, police or Crimestoppers.

In 2013, more than 75,000 allegations were added to this system, which by the end of February 2014 had resulted in over 4,000 arrests and almost 1,000 removals. Nearly three-quarters of all allegations received by the system in the period were made directly by members of the public. ...

Of the 100 allegations sampled by Mr Vine that had been added to the database in September 2013, more than a third - 39 per cent - had not been assessed within the two-day target while one allegation was not assessed for 73 days.

Of the 25 allegations added in January this year, performance was worse, with more than half - 52% - taking three working days or longer before being assessed. The longest delay before assessment was 15 days.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, CRIME, USA
Revealed: Illegal immigrant murderers, drug traffickers and sex attackers among 2,200 released from holding centers despite Obama administration's claim they were 'low-risk offenders'
Francesca Chambers
Daily Mail, 24 October 2014

Murderers, kidnappers, drug traffickers and sex offenders were among the illegal immigrants released last year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, new data shows, contradicting claims by the Obama administration that it did not release detainees with 'serious criminal histories.'

Documents obtained by USA Today and published yesterday evening supplement an audit of the agency released in August that found that ICE released approximately 2,200 illegal aliens before the sequestration went into effect last year in an attempt to reduce costs.

The inspector general report noted that at least 600 of the immigrants who were released were criminals, but it did not detail their convictions.

The year-long investigation also concluded that ICE 'did not release aliens they considered a danger to the community.'

However, because ICE's 'detention population included few detainees whose detention was not mandatory and who did not have criminal convictions,' the IG audit found that many criminals were included in the mass release.

ICE is required to hold a minimum of 34,000 illegal immigrants a day. The agency says it costs an average of $122 a day to hold a single detainee. Assuming ICE maintains the required immigrant population, it's operating costs are roughly $4.15 million a day.

Faced with at $90 million budgetary shortfall and spending cuts imposed by sequestration, the immigration agency released thousands of immigrants in February of 2013.

The inspector general investigation found that in a single day that month, ICE let 1,450 aliens loose.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – VOTES OF NON-CITIZENS, USA
Could non-citizens decide the November election?
Jesse Richman and David Earnest
Washington Post, 24 October 2014

Could control of the Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? Some argue that incidents of voting by non-citizens are so rare as to be inconsequential, with efforts to block fraud a screen for an agenda to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising the franchise, while others define such incidents as a threat to democracy itself. Both sides depend more heavily on anecdotes than data.

In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races. ...

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. ...

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted. ...

Our research cannot answer whether the United States should move to legalize some electoral participation by non-citizens as many other countries do, and as some U.S. states did for more than 100 years, or find policies that more effectively restrict it. But this research should move that debate a step closer to a common set of facts.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME
More than 700 foreign criminals caught in just two days: Fugitive wanted for 23 offences and man suspected of £11,500 fraud among those held in crackdown
Rebecca Camber and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 23 October 2014

The extraordinary number of foreign criminals hiding in Britain was dramatically revealed yesterday after police arrested more than 700 suspects travelling on our roads in just 48 hours.

As a row raged over a report which showed the £1 billion-a-year failure of successive governments to guard Britain's borders, police launched the biggest-ever blitz on overseas offenders, rounding up 1,687 suspects in two days.

Using number plate recognition technology to spot foreign-registered vehicles potentially associated with criminal activity, police stopped 2,304 cars, arresting 729 immigrants.

They include gangsters and thugs wanted in their own countries for crimes such as human trafficking, robbery, fraud, drug smuggling, assault and domestic abuse.

One 28-year-old Czech fugitive wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for 23 offences, including robbery, was spotted in Birmingham city centre.

... The week-long crackdown – involving 43 forces in England and Wales – has seen raids carried out targeting foreign criminals across the UK.

Police also handed out 958 fines and cautions to overseas motorists for driving without a licence, insurance or tax and using rebated fuel, known as red diesel.

West Midlands Police, which is co-ordinating Operation Trivium, gathered intelligence from 14 countries on their most wanted offenders in Britain. A list of 3,500 number plates associated with crime was distributed to traffic officers, who were instructed to pull over any matching vehicles. Meanwhile, 30 police officers from 14 European countries ran checks on the drivers on their own databases at a Birmingham control centre. ...

The crackdown came as ministers refused to name dozens of high-risk foreign criminals on the run for more than five years. ...

But yesterday David Cameron stressed that 22,000 foreign national offenders had been removed from Britain since he entered Downing Street, adding: 'We're making progress, the buck does stop with me but I wouldn't mind a bit of cross-party support for the actions we need to take.'
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Ed Miliband promises concrete immigration reform
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 23 October 2014

Ed Miliband has promised he will introduce an immigration reform bill within a month of winning the next election that offers "clear, credible and concrete" measures to deal with the concerns of voters.

Reminding people that he is the son of immigrants, the Labour leader said he would not offer policies that endanger the economy – like the Conservatives and Ukip, threatening to leave the EU.

Labour would not make false promises about immigration like David Cameron, who has failed to hit his targets on reducing net migration, he said.

Miliband said Labour's policy would involve five key measures that he outlined at the party's conference last year. These would be contained in an immigration bill brought forward in the first Queen's speech of the parliament. The measures include:

• Strong borders to make sure migrants are counted in and out of the country.

• A specific criminal offence of exploiting workers by bringing people into the country to undercut wages.

• Measures to stop recruitment agencies hiring only from abroad.

• Requiring large employers who hire skilled workers from abroad to train local apprentices.

• And making sure all public sector workers in public-facing roles have minimum standards of English.

Miliband also promised to press for reforms in Europe, including longer restrictions on immigrants from new EU countries, stopping child benefit and tax credits being paid for children who live abroad, and doubling the period before new arrivals would be entitled to benefits. ...

The Labour leader spoke in front of supporters in Chatham, Kent, where the party's candidate, Naushabah Khan, is trailing in third place in the polls following the defection of Tory MP Mark Reckless to Ukip, which triggered a byelection in Rochester and Strood. ...

His speech signalled Labour will unveil more policies on immigration in the coming months as the party seeks to get ahead of the Conservatives on the issue. The prime minister is expected to respond to the threat of Ukip by unveiling a fresh crackdown on EU immigration before Christmas. ...

In an interview with DJ Nihal on the BBC's Asian Network, Cameron said: "I don't think we should be adopting anybody else's tone about things.

"I think what the British public want to see, and many British Asians that I meet want to see, is they want to see a continuation of this country being open, tolerant, compassionate and welcoming to new arrivals, which is absolutely what we are.

"They want us to continue to be a successful multi-racial country that celebrates the diversity that we have here in the United Kingdom, but at the same time they want to see fair and controlled immigration.

"I think people's frustration, and I hear this a lot from British Asians, is that the system hasn't been as controlled as they would like. That means controlling immigration from outside the European Union, making sure it's fair, making sure there are clear rules and those rules are applied and within the European Union also making sure that we have a better grip of the situation there."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – PUBLIC OPINION
Don't dismiss public fears about migration as mere bigotry
John Harris
The Guardian, 23 October 2014

There is plenty of sense in the idea that an ageing UK population will increasingly need the help of migrant labour, that whole swathes of the economy would shrivel without their contribution, and that the tensions surrounding EU migration may well subside over time. The point is: before anyone joins this increasingly testy and often ugly debate, the least they should do is admit that this is very difficult stuff to deal with. ...

The University of Oxford's Migration Laboratory estimates that between 1991 and 2003 about 61,000 migrants from the wider EU came to the UK each year. Between 2004 and 2012, by contrast, that number almost tripled, to 170,000 annually. The 2011 census put the number of UK residents from Poland alone at 654,000. ...

This year I visited Wisbech – where a third of the 30,000 population is now estimated to be from overseas – and what was happening there spoke loud truths about why free movement has become so politicised. For all that recently arrived families have started to settle, and their children are acquiring new, hybrid identities, there are still glaring problems. Young men from eastern Europe often live four or five to a room, and work impossibly long hours; with echoes of Europe's macroeconomic asymmetries, the local labour market is divided between insufficient jobs that be can be done by people with families and mortgages, and a surfeit of opportunities for those who will work whenever they are required for a relative pittance.

This creates endless tension. There have also been inevitable problems surrounding how far schools and doctors' surgeries have been stretched. Is anyone surprised? Moreover, even if such places represent socioeconomic extremes, similar problems surface whenever large-scale migration fuses with the more precarious parts of the economy. In modern Britain, this obviously happens often, and the under-reported consequences of austerity have hardly helped.

What passes for the modern left tends to be far too blase about all this. Perhaps those who reduce people's worries and fears to mere bigotry should go back to first principles, and consider whether, in such laissez-faire conditions, free movement has been of most benefit to capital or labour. They might also think about the dread spectacle of people from upscale London postcodes passing judgment on people who experience large-scale migration as something real. ...

There again, do the shrill voices accusing them of pandering to prejudice have any convincing stance of their own? Or is the fashionable metropolitan option still to cast aspersions on millions of people, and then look the other way?
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
It's not just Ukip that's changing Cameron's mind about immigration
James Forsyth
The Spectator, 25 October 2014

... In 2006, before everything went wrong, fewer than 10,000 Spaniards were issued with UK National Insurance numbers. Last year it was more than 50,000. You can see the same trend in terms of immigration from Portugal – from under 10,000 NI numbers issued to more than 30,000 – and Italy, which has gone from just over 11,000 to 44,000 on the same measure. That's more than 120,000 immigrants to Britain last year from just three long-established EU member states. Such figures make a mockery of Cameron's aim to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. They also put in question any policy proposal based on the idea that the problem is just immigration from new member states. Longer 'transitional controls' – tougher immigration conditions for those who have recently joined the EU – would not address the eurozone factor.

No. 10 is shifting position on the freedom of movement question not only to dish Ukip, but because it fears that the return of the eurozone crisis will lead to a further increase in continental migration to Britain. Now that so many Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese citizens are in the UK already, government sources argue, the next wave of migration from these countries will be even bigger. There's a simple reason why these ambitious people are moving here: Britain is where the jobs are. Since 2010, our economy has created more jobs overall than the rest of the European Union put together.

One can make a strong argument that Britain should welcome these migrants. These are people who have shown the get-up-and-go to move countries in search of a job. Public opinion, however, does not seem particularly receptive to this case. More than three-quarters of those polled want immigration reduced and a majority believe that the costs of EU migration to Britain outweigh the benefits.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – GERMANY
Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
The Local [Germany], 23 October 2014

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy.

EU-wide, more than 2.3 million first residence permits were handed to non-EU citizens in 2013, statistics released on Wednesday by Eurostat showed.

Of these, almost 200,000 were issued by Germany, putting it way behind leaders UK and Poland, which granted 724,000 and 273,000 permits.

Germany granted the fifth largest number of permits overall, but its rate was also disproportionately low in relation to its large population.

Only 2.5 new permits were issued per 1000 citizens, falling well under the EU average of 4.7. ...

Germany also mainly issued permits to people for family reasons (41 percent of total) rather than for employment purposes (13.9 percent).

In contrast to Germany, Poland issued 51 percent to people for employment purposes, compared to just one percent for family reasons and eight percent for education.

The prevalence of new family-related German permits reflects the country's large immigrant population. ...

"The OSCE [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] has said that Germany has the least stringent immigration rules among the EU member states but this has not led to more work migration," migration expert Dr Steffen Angenendt at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) told The Local.

The reason was that liberalized regulations that took effect last year had not been sufficiently advertised by the government, either to immigrants or to potential employers in Germany, he said.

"The government did not advertise the fact that there is a new immigration policy very much abroad or internally. Maybe the topic was too sensitive." ...

However, Dr Angenendt points out that "Germany is still the country with the most migration" when intra-EU movements are taken into account.

Around 300,000 people migrated to Germany in 2013 from the rest of the union, many of them part of large-scale "crisis immigration" from economically troubled members like Spain, Italy and Greece.

Germany comfortably exceeded the EU average for first residency permits issued for education, tying in with its tendency to grant them to people already residing in the country, often on educational programmes. ...

The tendency was also supported by a survey published last week by the Migration and Refugees Ministry which showed that almost three-quarters of non-EU immigrants with a degree wanted to remain in Germany for at least ten years after studying here. These are often prioritized in the issuance of residence permits.

Under the EU's "Blue Card" residency permit programme, of 11,000 cards allocated in Germany in 2013 around 7,000 went to migrants already resident in the country.

As a result, little actual immigration happens, Green Party politician Volker Beck said last week, adding that "Germany's economy can't afford that any longer".
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – CALAIS
France sends more cops to quell migrant unrest
The Local [France], 23 October 2014

After more violence at camps filled with UK-bound migrants around the French Port of Calais, France's top cop is sending more police to try to quell the desperate and tense situation there.

France's interior minister said Thursday he had dispatched 100 extra police to the port of Calais –bring the total to 450 – where an influx of illegal migrants trying to get to Britain is causing more and more havoc. ...

And this week, violent fights between migrants in an industrial district where many have taken refuge, saw police fire tear gas and seal off the area to try and restore calm.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – NUMBERS
Britain admits nearly three times more migrants from outside the EU than any other member state, statistics show
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 23 October 2014

Britain admits almost three times more migrants from outside the European Union than any other member state, it has emerged.

The disclosure will raise fresh questions over David Cameron's much-repeated pledge to bring annual net migration down to tens of thousands. The latest official estimate is 243,000 in the 12 months to March, up from 175,000 during the previous year.

Eurostat, the European Commission's statistical body, said nearly 2.4m resident permits were issued by EU countries last year, 30.7 per cent of them to people heading for Britain.

A total of 724,200 people from outside the EU were given permission to remain in the UK, a 15 per cent rise on the previous year.

It was nearly three times as many as the 279,300 admitted to Poland, which was the second most popular destination. Italy accepted 244,000, France 212,100 and Germany 199,900 and Spain 196,200.

The figures include anyone issued with visas for three months or more, and a large number of the new arrivals in Britain came for short spells to study, work or visit relatives.

The largest numbers of visas were issued to Indians (460,000), Americans (105,000) and Filipinos (87,000).

About one-quarter were coming to study, while just over 100,000 were taking up jobs in Britain.

The Tories cite an influx from struggling eurozone countries such as Spain and Italy when they explain why they have failed to hit their target. But their critics will seize on the latest figures to suggest migration from outside the EU is rising as well.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Immigration is the issue many in Labour fear most
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 23 October 2014

For some Labour MPs, the biggest single mistake of Tony Blair's premiership wasn't going to war in Iraq or allowing the national deficit to escalate.

Instead they look back with a shiver to the decision to open Britain's borders in 2004 following the admission of Poland and seven other former Iron Curtain countries to the European Union.

The influx of hundreds of thousands of eastern European workers helped to boost the economy, but also significantly altered the composition of some parts of Britain.

Labour received few bouquets for the former, but plenty of brickbats for the latter – symbolised by Gordon Brown's confrontation with "that bigoted woman" Gillian Duffy during the last election.

Throughout the Blair and Brown years, the party leadership had been reluctant to speak about immigration. That reticence has now been replaced by apologies for the past and a toughening in Labour's language, culminating in Ed Miliband's call for "stronger controls on people coming here".
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – ISLAMOPHOBIA, ISLAM
Anti-Semitism Denial
Richard L. Cravatts
FrontPage Mag, 23 October 2014

Just this month, in a breathtaking act of moral incoherence, Britain's National Union of Students (NUS) voted against condemning ISIS after the Black Students Officer, Malia Bouattia, opposed the motion, not because students did not have sincere concern for Syrians and Kurds being slaughtered, but because "condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for . . . blatant Islamophobia."
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – DEPORTATION
Failure to check foreign criminals 'costing millions'
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2014

Police are failing to check whether seven out of 10 foreign suspects have criminal records in their native countries.

The full extent of the problem, which experts said was a major blind spot in the criminal justice system, was revealed in a report disclosing a catalogue of "appalling" errors in the Home Office's handling of foreign criminals.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report also revealed that at least 58 serious foreign criminals who pose a high risk to the public have absconded in Britain after being released from prison to await deportation.

In all 760 foreign offenders living in the community have gone on the run and of those 395 have been fugitives for at least four years.

The spending watchdogs said that when proper criminal records checks are carried out, one in three foreign suspects is found to have offended at home, meaning police could be failing to discover information on hundreds of offenders a year. ...

The NAO also found:

• Dealing with foreign criminals in Britain costs the taxpayer up to £1 billion a year, including £81 million in legal aid, £148 million in policing and £401 million in prison costs.

• Measures to keep foreign criminals out of Britain by turning them away at the border – even if they are European Union citizens – are not being used.

• Each foreign criminal costs the taxpayer £70,000 a year in criminal justice and other admin costs.

• Home Office investment on foreign criminal cases has increased 10-fold since 2006 but the number of overseas prisoners and the numbers deported has remained stagnant.

• Systems to track down and remove foreign criminals rely on slow, out-of-date technology such as fax machines and other paper-based processes. ...

The auditors also questioned figures which have been provided by the Home Office to the Commons' home affairs select committee on the number of prisoners released without being considered for deportation.

Home Office officials have told MPs that 151 offenders fell into that category – which led to the sacking of former home secretary Charles Clarke in 2006.

But the NAO spokesman said: "We have been unable to reconcile that figure."
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – ISLAM
Five Britons A WEEK are flying out to join jihadis, says Met chief Bernard Hogan-Howe - and true figure may be higher as officers cannot keep watch on all routes
Rebecca Camber and Larisa Brown
Daily Mail, 22 October 2014

At least five Britons a week are heading to Syria to fight for Islamic State terrorists, Britain's top policeman has warned.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the true figure was likely to be far higher as officers cannot keep watch on all routes to the war zone.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner admitted that the return of militarised jihadis to the streets of the UK posed a threat. More than 500 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria to fight, half of whom may have returned.

But police believe that number will leap by 50 per cent within a year, despite the deaths of up to 30 British jihadis in the fighting and outrage at IS's beheading of British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines.

Sir Bernard told the National Security Summit in London: 'Five a week doesn't sound much but when you realise there are 50-odd weeks in a year, 250 more would be 50 per cent more than we think have gone already.

'Those numbers are a minimum. There may be many more who set out to travel to another country and meandered over to Syria and Iraq in a way that is not always possible to spot when you have failed states and leaky borders.'
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Former Labour minister Frank Field hits out at Ed Miliband for being soft on immigration
Andrew Grice
The Independent, 22 October 2014

A senior Labour MP has warned that the party is losing its working class supporters to Ukip because it is run by an out-of-touch "elite" that does not understand them.

Frank Field, the former Welfare Reform Minister, accused Ed Miliband of making the same mistake as Tony Blair by taking the party's traditional voters for granted on the grounds that they had "nowhere else to go." He said many of the 5m supporters Labour has lost since 1997 have now moved from being non-voting and "politically homeless" to backing Ukip.

In a strong criticism of Mr Miliband, Mr Field says: "A sizeable part of ex-Labour voters have been repelled by the policies promoted by a largely non-working class party elite with whom these ex-voters find it difficult to sympathise and vice-versa." ...

Mr Field writes that the decline in the Labour vote - from 13.5m in 1997 to 8.6m in 2010 - has not been driven solely by "economic alienation" but by "cultural and ethical" forces. He believes Labour has lost touch with the values of its core vote.

He calls on Labour to outflank David Cameron by committing itself to ending the free movement of Labour within the EU, which he believes would galvanise the party's lost voters as it would fit with their idea of a "good society".

He warns: "Without a fundamental control of the borders there is nothing to prevent another 7m immigrants coming to Britain during the next decade and a half, to match the 7m who have entered the country since 1997."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – POLITICS, PUBLIC OPINION
Immigration in the open thanks to Sir Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2014
[Leading article]

It is a measure of how irrational the political debate around immigration once was that to try to uncover accurate statistics was to risk denunciation as an extremist. Sir Andrew Green, a former ambassador for the UK, discovered this not long after he established the MigrationWatch UK think tank more than 10 years ago. Not-so-subtle efforts were made by Left-leaning media organisations, and even the Home Office, to suggest that there was a racist subtext to this venture. Indeed, Sir Andrew – whose elevation to the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer was announced yesterday – made no secret of his view that the levels of immigration were not sustainable.

The problem was that back in 2001, no one would even admit that immigration was running at record levels. Finding any statistics, let alone accurate ones, was almost impossible. Ever since the late Sixties, the subject had been viewed as toxic by politicians, and therefore off-limits. During the 2001 general election, party leaders even found themselves under pressure to sign a pledge not to "play the race card", which meant not to talk about immigration.

Of course, migration is a subject that needs to be dealt with carefully, given the sensitivities involved, and the need to avoid giving succour to extremists. But the failure of the mainstream parties to discuss it, despite its impact on communities up and down the land, only increased support for fringe groups and public alienation with politics. As Sir Andrew said at the time his think tank was launched: "Suppressing the facts is much more helpful to extremist parties than bringing them out for proper debate." Almost single-handedly, he managed to bring this issue into the political mainstream. His peerage is a well-deserved accolade for an individual who dared to raise a subject no one else wanted to talk about.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – DISCRIMINATION
Rochdale taxi firm admits providing white drivers on request
Rajeev Syal and Alexandra Topping
The Guardian, 22 October 2014

Customers ordering minicabs in the town at the centre of Britain's biggest grooming scandal are being offered white drivers on request.

Residents in Heywood in the Greater Manchester borough of Rochdale have been offered the service after two local drivers of Pakistani origin were jailed for their part in the rape and trafficking of young white girls.

Stephen Campbell, the manager of Car 2000, which took over Eagle Taxis, a firm that employed drivers at the heart of the scandal, said that a consequence of the affair was that many white customers ask for white drivers – or "local" drivers, as they usually describe them. ...

Around two thirds of drivers are of Asian origin, but more white drivers work during the day. Campbell said they receive up to 60 calls a week requesting a white driver. ...

But the "white drivers on request" policy does not run contrary to the conditions of the minicab firm's licence and can continue, a spokesman for the council said. Mark Widdup, the director of economy and environment at Rochdale borough council, said: "This is first the council has heard of this company's policy. However, this appears to be a decision made by the company and there is currently nothing in the conditions of their licence which state that they cannot operate such a policy, just as some firms choose to offer customers only female drivers."
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT
EU migrants registering to work in Britain soared by 55% since 2010 but Cameron is warned imposing a cap is 'illegal'
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 21 October 2014

The number of EU migrants registering to work in Britain has soared by 55 per cent since 2010, but David Cameron has been warned a plan to cap the numbers would be illegal.

In the last year, National Insurance numbers (NINOs) have been handed out to more than 420,000 people from the EU, up from 285,000 in the year before the coalition was formed. ...

Latest figures show that since 2010 the number of EU workers registering for a National Insurance number (NINO) has risen by 55 per cent, while for those outside the EU the figure has fallen by 48 per cent to 420,000.

The biggest increases in the last four years are from Romania (up 272 per cent), Greece (244 per cent), Spain (172 per cent), Italy (151 per cent), Portugal (137 per cent) and Cyprus (112 per cent).
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – CALAIS
Migrants storm UK-bound lorries at Calais
David Chazan
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2014

About 300 migrants tried to force their way into lorries queuing outside the port of Calais to board ferries for England on Monday, police said.

"The migrants tried to storm a long line of lorries backed up on the motorway outside Calais," said a police union spokesman, Gilles Debove.

"Police fired tear gas to deter them, but some still managed to climb into the lorries," Mr Debove said. "The officers on duty were overwhelmed and called in reinforcements from Boulogne." ...

Calais has received a huge influx of migrants in the past six months as Eritreans, Sudanese, Afghans and others have converged on Calais to attempt to cross to Britain. ...

Mr Debove said: "With the reinforcements, there were about 60 or 70 officers and they managed to bring the situation under control relatively quickly, but it's another example of how difficult it is for the Calais police to keep order with so many migrants here." ...

He said some migrants had certainly managed to get aboard the lorries yesterday and while they would probably be detected by scanners and checks in the port, there was always a chance that some would get through.

"We know some get across every day but we can't tell how many," Mr Debove said.

The deputy mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonnet, estimates that about 40 migrants a day reach Britain, equivalent to more than 14,000 a year.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EU, WORLD
Britain has every right to challenge the EU's rules
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2014

Furthermore, it was envisaged that free movement should benefit the nationals of EU member states. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of people from outside Europe who have used its flexible migration controls and generous citizenship rules to settle in Britain. For instance, many of the Somalis who live here came from Holland and Denmark where they were first granted EU status on compassionate grounds. Nigerians have arrived through Germany, Russians through the Baltic states, South Americans through Spain and Portugal. A few years ago, Oxford University's Migration Observatory found that 141,000 people who came to the UK under EU rules were born outside the continent. Between a third and a half of the entire Dutch Somali community has moved to the UK. There are an estimated 600,000 Russian speakers in Britain, many of whom will be from the Baltic states but also from Russia, which the last time I looked was not in the EU.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia to Deport One Million People in Anti-Immigration Crackdown
Ludovica Iaccino
International Business Times, 21 October 2014

Saudi Arabia is to deport more than one million people who live and work illegally in the kingdom.

The Interior Ministry made the announcement after police arrested more than 99,000 illegal residents in the port city of Jazan in the past three months.

Among those arrested were people wanted for criminal cases, such as armed robberies and liquor distribution.

The head of Jazan Police, General Nasser Bin Saleh, said the arrests focused on areas where a large number of illegals were believed to be concentrated.

The mass arrest is part of a crackdown that the country is carrying out to curb illegal immigration.

The kingdom announced on March 2014 that it had deported over 370,000 foreign workers in the previous five months. Of these, thousands were Ethiopians, accused of having illegally crossed the country's border through Yemen.

The majority of migrants in Saudi Arabia - which amount to approximately 9 million - come from Asia (particularly from India), Middle Eastern and African countries.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – EXTREMISM, SCHOOLS
Christian school 'downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly'
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2014

A successful Christian school has been warned it is to be downgraded by inspectors and could even face closure after failing to invite a leader from another religion, such as an imam, to lead assemblies, it is claimed.

The small independent school in the Home Counties was told it is in breach of new rules intended to promote "British values" such as individual liberty and tolerance in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, involving infiltration by hard-line Muslim groups in Birmingham.

Details of the case are disclosed in a letter to the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, from the Christian Institute, which is providing legal support to the school.

The group warned that the new rules intended to combat extremism are already having "disturbing consequences" for religious schools and forcing Ofsted inspectors to act in a way which undermines their ethos.

It follows complaints from orthodox Jewish schools about recent inspections in which girls from strict traditional backgrounds were allegedly asked whether they were being taught enough about lesbianism, whether they had boyfriends and if they knew where babies came from.

In the latest case inspectors are understood to have warned the head that the school, which was previously rated as "good" that it would be downgraded to "adequate" for failing to meet standards requiring it to "actively promote" harmony between different faiths because it had failed to bring in representatives from other religions.

They warned that unless the school could demonstrate how it was going to meet the new requirements there would be a further full inspection which could ultimately lead to it being closed.

A Government consultation paper published in June, explaining the new rules, makes clear that even taking children on trips to different places of worship would not be enough to be judged compliant.

The Institute, which is already planning a legal challenge to the consultation, arguing that it was rushed through during the school holidays, fears that the new guidelines could be used to clamp down on the teaching of anything deemed politically incorrect on issues such as marriage.

"Worryingly, evidence is already emerging of how the new regulations are requiring Ofsted inspection teams to behave in ways which do not respect the religious ethos of faith schools," Simon Calvert, deputy director of the Christian Institute, told Mrs Morgan.

"The new requirements are infringing the rights of children, parents, teachers and schools to hold and practise their religious beliefs."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS
What Bradford's 'dark satanic mills' tell us about immigration
Andrew Critchlow
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2014

Few cities in Britain demonstrate the complexities for the business community of immigration more than Bradford. ...

Two damaging riots during the past 20 years have arguably marked the city out as being on the front line of the debate about the benefits and risks of apparently uncontrolled immigration for the British economy and society. During this time, business investment in Bradford suffered and the city almost became a no-go zone for investors.

The lesson from Bradford is that as long as the economy and business can create opportunities for foreign workers and existing citizens then the model of opening Britain's borders has generally worked well.

Widening the pool of labour can have profound benefits for business in terms of helping to meet skills gaps and boosting productivity. In the case of Bradford and many other industrial towns these migrants have stayed on and enriched their local communities and economies.

However, this model has increasingly been challenged by the uncontrolled influx of migrant workers entering the UK via the EU. According to official figures there were more than 4.5m foreign workers recorded in Britain in the first quarter of whom around 1.7m had come from EU Treaty nations.

Although there are 1.97m unemployed people in the UK, more migrants continue to come to the country under the terms of the EU's freedom of movement rules in search of work in the region's fastest growing economy. These migrants often fill low-paid jobs that many businesses claim existing British citizens either refuse to take, or are unqualified for.

However, the concern is that these migrants are also creating an unsustainable draw on vital services such as schools and health care, while putting little back into the economy longer term. ...

Business groups have wasted little time in dismissing the idea of restricting the flow of foreign workers into the UK as being potentially dangerous for the economy.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION
Bill Oddie calls for Chinese-style quota on baby numbers rather than curbs on immigration
Jaya Narain
Daily Mail, 20 October 2014

Britain should impose a Chinese-style quota on the number of babies people can have rather than curb immigration, Bill Oddie has suggested.

The wildlife expert and TV presenter said he was delighted to have foreign neighbours and wanted a mixed country.

During a TV debate on immigration yesterday, he added: 'There should just as likely be a restriction on the number of children that British people have because over-population is what you are talking about here – the big problem.' ...

Alp Mehmet, of MigrationWatch UK, said: 'I'm surprised someone as wise and decent as Bill Oddie is coming up with that sort of nonsense. What he is saying is absurd.

'He's right – population levels are increasing – but that is largely driven by immigration, not large British families. ..."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – ANTI-RACISM
Are we too militant in campaigning against racism?
Hugh Muir
The Guardian, 20 October 2014

... I think we have fairly mature debates about society's progress in terms of diversity. But through the letterbox this week dropped a new book, That's Racist. The author Adrian Hart swings with the libertarian crowd that is the Manifesto Club and he says we are obsessed with finding racism where it doesn't exist. In recent years, he says, "playgrounds and classrooms have endured unprecedented interference in the form of official racist-incident reporting, training on the importance of racial etiquette, and reinforcement of racial identities". Just as bad are work and other institutions where "self-styled 'anti-racist' campaigns seize on bad jokes, playground insults, and clumsy behaviours as evidence that racism is on the rise, and that more rules are needed to control people's attitudes and behaviours". There is a reality gap, he says, "between the genuine diversity of everyday life and the racialised assumptions that drive 'anti-racist' policy".

I'm not for howling him down, even though I'm there in the index and get a bit of a scuffing in his text. For debate is just that. Opinions differ. Maybe he's right and there has been a kind of anti-racist mission creep. On the other hand, virtually every social advance – think race, gender equality, disability rights, gay and lesbian rights – involved vigilance, obstinacy and a degree of militancy. Pendulum swing is a worry. He is worried. But social ills never fixed themselves.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – BORDER CONTROLS, BENEFITS AND COSTS
Regaining control of our borders is key to our future, says Leo McKinstry
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 20 October 2014

In a concerted attempt to display robust ministerial determination, Cameron was backed up by the Home Secretary Theresa May, who declared that the Government is considering how to restrict the access of immigrants to tax credits.

She is absolutely right to address this problem, for migrants' tax credits cost the taxpayer no less than £5 billion-a-year.

This colossal bill not only means that the British public is effectively subsidising the import of cheap labour at the expense of our own workers, but it also makes a mockery of the propaganda from the pro-immigration brigade that the vast influx of foreigners is not a burden on the state.

But this pose of resolution is unconvincing.

For a start, as so often in modern politics, all we have so far is talk rather than action.

The Westminster landscape is littered with corpses of official "crackdowns" that were never implemented. ...

Nor can the Conservatives' past handling of immigration give much confidence for the future.

In the 2010 General Election, the party pledged to reduce net migration "to tens of thousands" but has failed dismally in that goal.

Running at over 500,000 new arrivals every year, immigration has not fallen at all since Labour left office. ...

The EU, wanting Britain to be reduced to status of a province within its empire, is determined to deny us the fundamental right of deciding who can live in our own country.

We are paying a terrible price for this ideology, as our infrastructure buckles under the strain of mass immigration, our public services are hopelessly overstretched, our living standards continue to fall, our social solidarity is undermined and the bill for the welfare system becomes unaffordable.

It is not just direct immigration by EU citizens that worsens these problems.

Our membership of the EU also means that we struggle to deport illegal immigrants, foreign criminals and bogus asylum seekers from outside the continent, not only because the European Human Rights regime which inhibits deportations but also because economic migrants from Asia and Africa exploit free movement rules to try and reach Britain once they land in Europe.

That can be seen all too clearly in the present violent chaos at the northern French port of Calais precipitated by a 2000-strong army of Africans bent on coming here, many of them eager to exploit our absurdly lax benefits system.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – FRANCE
France proposes to bar 'undesirable' EU migrants on terror grounds
David Chazan
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2014

France is debating plans to bar the entry of EU migrants if they are considered a threat to public order or security, despite the European Commission warning Britain that a cap on migrants from Europe would be illegal.

The French parliament is considering two bills on immigration and terrorism that would allow France to refuse to admit undesirable citizens of other EU countries. ...

The Immigrants' Information and Support Group, a Paris-based non-governmental organisation, said it was concerned that the "vaguely-worded" proposals would be used to restrict the number of migrants entering France "under cover of protecting the country from terrorism".

"We are particularly worried about the possible use of this measure against Roma from Romania and Bulgaria," said Claudia Charles, a representative of the group.

A clause of an anti-terrorism bill approved by the Senate last week states: ""Any national of an EU member-state ... or any member of the family of such an individual may be banned from entering French territory if their presence would constitute a real, current and sufficiently serious threat to a fundamental interest of society, in terms of public order or security, because of their personal behaviour."

An immigration bill also before parliament contains a similar clause. "The wording is almost identical," Ms Charles said. "The government is trying to make sure that the measure passes even if one of these two bills is rejected."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – USA, HONG KONG
Hong Kong's Birthright Citizenship Problem
Ian Smith
FrontPage Mag, 20 October 2014

This past month's media coverage of the protests in Hong Kong omits an important source of tension between the miniscule territory and its huge northern neighbor: Birthright Citizenship. Like the US, Hong Kong is one of the few areas of the world that has some form of this rather nonsensical practice. ...

Under current law, any mainland Chinese can secure permanent residence for their children in Hong Kong if they simply cross the border and give birth within the territory. As a result, those from the mainland, but born in Hong Kong, become entitled to receive generous future welfare benefits, attend superior local schools and travel internationally with much greater ease. ...

"Birth tourism" from the mainland took off following a decision from Hong Kong's highest court in 2002 that interpreted the "right to abode"-clause in the territory's constitution to award permanent residency status to Hong Kong-born children of non-resident mainland Chinese. Soon after the decision, Hong Kong's hospitals (some of the best in the world) became flooded with "birth tourists" from the mainland. By 2012, one in every three births in the territory was going to mainland Chinese parents ...

The practice was finally curbed (but not completely halted) when Hong Kong hospitals became so stretched that doctors, medical staff and taxpayers organized in the streets and forced the government to make mainland mothers prove they were married to Hong Kong men. That Hong Kong's top-notch schools and nearly free medical care could end up being handed over to foreign "locusts" who contributed nothing to the system was too much to bear for the hardworking local citizens.

The tiny 7-million-person territory still deals with problems from Chinese birthright citizenship today. The presence of such a large neighbor across their borders – Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, alone has a population of almost 100 million people – ensures that pressure will stay constant. That the generally apolitical Hong Kong people took to the streets and continue to do so in order to push for social reforms and greater independence from China should provide a warning to our own politicians. In California, the state hardest hit by the effects of birthright citizenship and illegal immigration in general, costs related to unpaid medical bills from illegals is around $1.25 billion a year. Many hospitals there have been forced to cut and delay services and dozens have simply closed. ...

Now, illegal alien activists are agitating for Obamacare, which if (or when) granted could cover up to 1.8 million people; people who not only broke into our sovereign nation, but have done huge damage to our social security system and cultural fabric. Considering Mexico is one of the least healthy countries in the world, extending medical benefits to the (mostly Mexican) 1.8 million DACA recipients (not to mention the additional 8 million Obama has post-election plans for) will dramatically increase the costs of an already budget-breaking program. ...

Like the people of Hong Kong, the large majority of US citizens are against giving foreign people access to their welfare system. US politicians should beware: Take away the public assets from a nation's rightful owners and you will get a mass reaction.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – LONDON
Factcheck: One million more migrants expected to come to London by 2030
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 20 October 2014

"British politicians need to be bolder in confronting some of the myths about immigration". So said the Times last week in a leader article calling for politicians to confront 'populist' denials of the benefits of immigration.

Unfortunately the article itself wasn't entirely on the right side of the facts:



"When people hear predictions, exaggerated though they no doubt are, of one million extra migrants in London by 2030, as Migration Watch is claiming, they feel fearful."



Whether or not people feel fearful, it's not because of an 'exaggeration' as the Times claims, and the figures don't come from Migration Watch. Projections about migrants coming to London or to the rest of the UK actually come from the Office for National Statistics.

The figures are an honest attempt to measure something very difficult to predict. Bearing in mind the considerable uncertainty, the ONS expects London's population to grow by about 1.6 million between now and 2030, almost hitting 10.7 million in total that year.

Within that 1.6 million change, a lot is going on. According to the forecasts, 1.1 million more migrants from abroad are expected to enter London than leave. Meanwhile about 1.5 million more people will be in London as a result of natural change (births minus deaths) – some of the births will be to migrant parents as well. But at the same time, 1.05 million more people will move out of London to the rest of the UK than do the reverse.

It's important to note that these projections don't themselves prove there may be 1.1 million extra migrants in London by 2030 anyway. Some of those migrants may move out of London to the rest of the UK – indeed they may be among the 1.05 million projected to do so. The ONS told Full Fact however that there isn't readily available data to suggest how many might take this path.
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – POLITICS, DEPORTATIONS
Coalition sees drop in number of foreigners removed after border stops
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 19 October 2014

The number of foreigners who are removed from Britain after being stopped at the border has plummeted under the Coalition, according to figures obtained by the Opposition.

Labour said data from the House of Commons library showed the number removed after being "refused entry at port" – which includes airports – was 14,473 last year.

In 2009-10, the last full year before the Coalition came to power, the figure was 26,378, meaning there has been a 45 per cent fall.

Foreigners can be stopped at the border for reasons including being on a criminal "watch list", failure to have the correct visa or forgetting their passport.

Other new figures showed the number of foreign national criminals deported last year rose to 5,097, up from 4,722 in 2012-13.

However, the figure was still significantly lower than the 5,471 deported under the Labour government in 2009-10.

Labour claimed the figures showed the Coalition had "done too little to protect our borders".

But immigration sources told The Telegraph that Labour were at least partly to blame for declining stops at the border because of the "points- based" immigration system the party brought in from the end of 2008.

The controversial system allowed larger numbers of foreigners to arrive with visas which are more difficult for border guards to challenge if they have suspicions about the traveller, the source said.

Austerity measures under the Coalition had also made a major impact, he added.

Falling staff levels meant hard-pressed staff at the border had less time to interview suspect travellers and many inexperienced staff had not received training in spotting forged passports and visas, the source claimed.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: "These figures expose the gaping holes in the Government's immigration policy.

"Fewer foreign criminals are being deported and fewer people are being stopped from entering and sent back.

"The Home Secretary has focused entirely on her failed net migration target and has done too little to protect our borders and tackle illegal immigration."

Miss Cooper, who obtained the new figures, said: "Labour has been clear that we need stronger border controls, including fingerprinting in Calais to stop people trying multiple times to enter the country and proper exit checks, which the Coalition promised but failed to deliver.

"We need to know who is entering and leaving the country so visas can be enforced.

"But we also need a clear plan for tackling exploitation in the workplace, including much larger fines for businesses employing people illegally."
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
David Cameron's EU Immigration Cap Proposal Shot Down Pretty Quickly
The Huffington Post, 19 October 2014

The outgoing EU president Jose Manuel Barroso has shot down David Cameron's rumoured proposal to cap the number of EU immigrants coming into Britain, just hours after it was reported.

The Prime Minister could use a cap on the number of national insurance numbers issued to low-skilled migrants from European Union countries, ...

But Jose Manuel Barroso said he believed any arbitrary cap would be incompatible with EU rules and stressed the importance of the freedom of movement principle.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
David Cameron to 'propose cap on number of low-skilled European workers in the UK as part of negotiation talks with Brussels'
Jennifer Smith
Mail on Sunday, 19 October 2014

David Cameron is to unveil plans for a cap on the number of European migrants joining Britain's workforce every year as part of negotiations with Brussels, it has emerged.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce his 'red line' plans for immigration in a speech designed to win back voters from Ukip as pressure mounts on the Government to reconsider Britain's position in the EU.

As part of the measures, a cap would be placed on the number of National Insurance numbers given out to foreigners coming to work in the UK.

Any that are given out will be monitored and given a time limit, the Sunday Times reports.

The plans will form part of the Government's negotiation strategy for Britain's future in the EU ahead of a 2017 referendum, sources said.
[Site link]

Up

ASYLUM
Home Office 'chaos' over asylum appeals
Jamie Doward
The Observer, 19 October 2014

Thousands of decisions by the Home Office to refuse asylum seekers and migrants permission to remain in the UK have been withdrawn before a series of appeals.

A letter to Labour MP Paul Blomfield from Home Office minister James Brokenshire, filed in the parliamentary library, highlights official figures showing that on more than 3,000 occasions in the year to 12 December 2013, the home secretary, Theresa May, withdrew her department's decision about an applicant's immigration status as appeals were put in place. More than 200 of these were asylum claims, while over 2,000 related to "temporary migrants" – chiefly people who have come to the UK for a short period.

Critics say the Home Office's actions have left the immigration status of some claimants unclear, contributing to a backlog of cases that have yet to be decided. "It's another example of chaos within the Home Office," Blomfield said. "There are victims at the centre of it all who have bona fide applications and are being left in legal limbo." ...

In March it emerged that 19,685 applications for asylum received since 2006 were still awaiting a decision.
[Site link]

Up

DIVERSITY – MULTICULTURALISM
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Jane Merrick
The Independent on Sunday, 19 October 2014

Councils should offer their local residents cash to hold street parties with their new immigrant neighbours to foster friendship and integration, a new report will propose this week.

Money collected from citizenship fees should also be diverted to local authorities facing the greatest pressure from immigration to ease tension between communities and respond to increasingly heated rhetoric from Ukip on the issue.

The report by the IPPR think tank suggests that the £906 citizenship fee could be halved for migrants who carry out voluntary work in their new community. It also calls on councils to copy Newham in east London, which has responded to high levels of immigration by offering £200 to local people to hold street parties with their new neighbours. The report says councils should be given more powers to create "shared ground" within communities.

Citizenship fees paid by migrants could put into a new £400m Settlement Support Fund, boosted by an increased levy of £75 on visa fees, where there is a high degree of population churn. Immigrants who have carried out voluntary work could see their £906 citizenship application fee cut to £406.

IPPR argues that people seeking British citizenship should be given a strong incentive to share in, and make a contribution to, their neighbourhood. In 2012, 194,344 foreign citizens naturalised as British citizens, up from 177,878 in 2011 and from a five-year average of 169,373 from 2006-10. The Settlement Support Fund would be managed by central government but passed on to the local areas affected the most by immigration.

The report says that the Government, besides introducing tough measures to reduce the number of migrants to the UK, needs to adapt to high immigration by devolving power to local authorities.

In a further measure, local authorities should have the power to collect data on British citizens and migrants through council tax forms, which would make town halls better prepared for population churn. ...

Alice Sachrajda, senior research fellow at IPPR, said: "Overcrowded houses, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour are scourges in some local communities, and can often arise as a result of high immigration. Ukip's prominent interventions in public debates offer a simple solution: fewer migrants equals fewer problems of this sort. This facile response resonates with the many people who are concerned about immigration (the second most important issue after the NHS, according to a recent ICM poll). But, given that we have already had high inflows of immigration into the UK, this empty promise speaks of locking the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted."
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – POLYGAMY
David Cameron mustn't take extra wives. Britain isn't ready for a polygamous PM
Nigel Nelson
Mirror, 19 October 2014

Any man eager to acquire more than one wife faces seven years behind bars to deter him.

But where's there's a will, guys, there's a way.

Just get married in one of 48 countries which allow a chap to collect spouses like stamps and then bring your harem home.

That's because bigamy is illegal in the UK, but polygamy isn't if weddings took place where it's recognised. Afghanistan, say, or Iran, Iraq, Libya, and the Yemen.

You can even bag an extra wife or three in less disagreeable haunts like the Maldives, Morocco or Malaysia.

Your wives will also be able to claim benefits once they're here.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman last week asked Home Secretary Theresa May how many such harems there are in Britain.

She passed the buck to National Statistics boss Glen Watson who also couldn't tell him.

This seems odd, unless they don't want to look too closely in case the race relations applecart is upset.

Or maybe they fear if Nigel Farage finds out he'll have a vote-winning Ukip policy by demonising it.

So polygamy becomes another immigration issue politicians would rather avoid.
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – ISLAM
Downing Street set to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood
Robert Mendick and Robert Verkaik
Sunday Telegraph, 19 October 2014

Downing Street is to order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and a network of Islamist groups accused of fuelling extremism in Britain and across the Arab world. ...

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who is an adviser to the review, is reported to have described it as "at heart a terrorist organisation". The Brotherhood insists it is non-violent and seeks to impose Islamic rule only through democratic change. It has condemned Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda.

A senior source close to the inquiry said its report – compiled but not yet published – had identified "an incredibly complex web" of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny.

The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases – London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar. ...

Dr Lorenzo Vidino, who is understood to have worked on the Cabinet Office report, presided over by Sir John Jenkins, Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: "It is clear that the Brotherhood has many dark spots, ranging from its ambiguous relationship with violence to its questionable impact on social cohesion in Britain." ...

The source said: "We cannot ban the organisation, but that was never the intention of the review. We can go after single individuals, not for terrorist-related activity, but through the Al Capone method of law-enforcement. We cannot get them for terrorism but I bet you they don't pay their taxes.

"One of the big things is piling pressure on the charitable missions. Until now it has been very hard to monitor all the groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, CHINESE, ITALY
Fire exposes illegal Chinese factories in Italy
Erika Kinetz
Yahoo! News, 19 October 2014

The fire that destroyed the Teresa Moda factory on Dec. 1, 2013, was the deadliest in living memory in Prato. It exposed the true cost of cheap clothes, laying bare the consequences of years of failed law enforcement and the pursuit of profit over safety.

Prato is the epicenter of a thriving, illicit Chinese economy that has grown in the wake of Chinese immigration. More than 40,000 Chinese live in the city – some 15,000 of them illegally. Many migrants have replicated the habits of home and created a kind of outsourcing. Merchandise isn't exported; China itself is.

Thousands of people have been smuggled into Italy, finding work at factories that ignore basic safety standards, while billions of euros are smuggled back to China, police investigations show. The savings on tax and labor costs have given businesses that don't follow the law a crushing competitive advantage.

Many say illegal factories such as Teresa Moda are part of larger criminal networks in China and Italy. Police and prosecutors said they lack the tools to fully tackle the flow of migrants and money that fuel Prato's black economy. The two countries do not cooperate closely in criminal investigations. ...

Despite the global financial crisis, the number of individually-owned Chinese businesses in Prato grew 35 percent from 2008 to 2013, while the number of European ones shrank, according to the Italian Chambers of Commerce.

Critics say that growth was possible because migrants brought a cultural disregard for regulations that do not maximize profit. Prato authorities have raided over 1,900 Chinese factories in the past 6 1/2 years, closing 909 for gross safety and labor violations, and seized 33,427 sewing machines that were not up to code.

Authorities spent months trying to prove that a woman named Lin You Lan was in charge of Teresa Moda and that the legal owner was a front. Chinese companies often open and close quickly to avoid tax and regulatory scrutiny, according to officials, ... ...

Authorities have tried for years to wipe out Prato's shadow economy, but their efforts have been thwarted by unscrupulous entrepreneurs and formidable cultural barriers. ...

Prato's police have raided and closed hundreds of illegal Chinese factories. But factory owners rarely bother to fix safety and labor violations, said Flora Leoni, a municipal police captain. Instead, many open a new business, often in a relative's name, she said.

Police have marched scores of immigrants with no papers back to headquarters, where they are photographed, fingerprinted and ordered to leave Italy within five days. Then they are free to go.

It's been even easier for migrants to slip away since a 2011 directive that barred jailing people during deportation proceedings, Leoni said.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION – MULTICULTURALISM, CHAUVINISM
Bill Oddie suggests that large British families should be 'contained'
Ella Alexander
The Independent on Sunday, 19 October 2014

Bill Oddie has devised a controversial means of dealing with immigration; controlling the size of British families.

The presenter, 73, offered his view on BBC1's Sunday Morning Live during a debate entitled "Is the UK too hostile to immigration?"

"There should just as likely be a restriction on the number of children that British people have because over-population is what you are talking about here, the big problem," he said.

"So you say these perfectly well-qualified people can't come in, but the woman down the road has just had her tenth baby.

"Well I'm sorry, but they are the people that really should be contained. It would make a difference." ...

Oddie – who is known as a conservationist and a wildlife television presenter – also said he was "ashamed" to be British and described the nation as a "terrible race".

"Historically, we seem to have built up this ridiculous idea that: 'Oh, we are British, this is our island and we don't want anybody else in it'.

"I personally loathe that kind of chauvinism and I'm happy to say I'm not proud to be British. In fact, I'm very often ashamed to be British," he said.

"We are a terrible race, all the hooliganism and God knows what..." ...

"I love the fact that I walk down the road in north London and down here's an Indian shop and there's another Indian stationers there and this one is run by someone from Iran and there's a West Indian guy who runs that bit and we've got the Romanian builders next door who don't play the radio as loud as English builders," he said.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, EXTREMISM, NETHERLANDS
Dutch battle surge of desperate, violent Muslim refugees
Gordon Darroch
Washington Times, 19 October 2014

The Dutch Refugee Council estimates that 100,000 people live illegally in the Netherlands. Many are asylum seekers who are supposed to leave the country within 24 hours after the government rejects their requests to remain. Instead, they take over abandoned buildings as squatters or set up makeshift shelters.

The problem is expected to grow. A record 137,000 people moved to the Netherlands from other countries in 2013, though most were legal immigrants in a country that hosts many European headquarters of multinational corporations.

Since 2008, the Dutch government has taken an increasingly hard line on immigration as officials try to allay public concerns about overcrowding in Europe's most densely populated nation.

Right-wing populist leader Geert Wilders has played an outsized role in the debate.

Mr. Wilders' anti-immigrant Freedom Party has been the third-largest group in the past two Dutch elections, in 2010 and 2012. He has used that position to pressure the government to "de-Islamize" the Netherlands, where Muslims make up about 5 percent of the population of 16.8 million. ...

The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service estimates that 140 Dutch Muslims have gone to Syria to fight in the civil war. The agency's head of counterterrorism, Dick Schoof, said the 30 combatants who have returned pose a "substantial" risk to the country.

Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk warned recently that 1,000 jihadist sympathizers were concentrated in 10 neighborhoods across the country.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – UKIP
One million MORE migrants will flood Britain before EU vote, warns Farage
Owen Bennett
Daily Express, 18 October 2014

A million more immigrants are to flood into Britain before the proposed referendum on EU membership, Nigel Farage claimed yesterday.

The Ukip leader said that further turmoil in the eurozone will only increase the numbers of people from poorer European nations coming to Britain – raising net migration from its current level of 243,000 a year. ...

Speaking to the Daily Express in Ukip's campaign headquarters in Rochester ahead of next month's by-election, Mr Farage said the EU Referendum Bill discussed in the Commons yesterday and put forward by Tory MP Bob Neill "simply isn't good enough". ...

When challenged as to where he got the figure of a million migrants, Mr Farage said: "At the moment it's a quarter of a million people a year.

"The referendum is in three years time, and the eurozone is going down the pan as we speak, so the numbers coming can only increase.

"The situation in Greece today, in Italy, is very very serious, so up to a million more will come before that referendum takes place.

"So given that the argument is about wage compression, lack of primary school places and health care provision and this process will last several years, it simply isn't good enough."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – TAX CREDITS, WELFARE BENEFITS
Tories vow to slash £100m a week migrant tax credits: New pledge as Cameron says it's time to give EU one last go
Jason Groves, James Slack and Tamara Cohen
Daily Mail, 17 October 2014

Migrant workers could be stripped of up to £100 million a week in tax credits under Tory plans to seize the initiative from Ukip on immigration.

Home Secretary Theresa May has told the Daily Mail that the Treasury is conducting detailed work on ways to restrict access to tax credits, which are seen as a major 'pull factor' for migrants to the UK.

'The tax credits issue is something the Treasury has looked at and the Treasury is continuing to look at it,' she said.

Britain spends £5 billion a year on tax credits to migrants – from both inside and outside the EU.

The subsidies – which are available upon arrival and top up lower-paid jobs – can treble the take-home pay of a worker with a family on minimum wage.

Any attempt to restrict the right of EU nationals to in-work benefits will spark a ferocious row with Brussels. ...

Ministers are pushing for a so-called 'emergency brake' on arrivals from EU states if numbers exceed expectations. ...

Ministers have already acted to restrict access to out-of-work benefits for migrants in and outside the EU. But many experts believe the lure of in-work benefits is far greater.

According to the Government's Migration Advisory Committee, 415,000 foreign nationals are benefiting from the perk – worth the equivalent of almost £100 million a week.

The MigrationWatch campaign group found a migrant with no dependants earning the minimum wage has their net income of about £184 a week boosted to £254 by tax credits and housing benefit.

If they have a partner and two children, it rockets from £184 to £543. The benefit increases depending on the size of a family. State handouts can constitute 66 per cent of a total annual income of £28,241.

Compared with back home, a family from Romania and Bulgaria could multiply their take-home pay by eight.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – SCHOOLS
Migrants lie about their age to get into Brit schools
Daily Express, 17 October 2014

A child safety alert was sparked last night after headteachers revealed that adult asylum seekers are being sent to British schools.

Some migrants are knocking years off their real age in a bid to be placed with foster carers rather than be put in shared accommodation.

Others arrive with so little information that immigration staff have to guess their age.

One headteacher said he was sent a pupil said to be 15 or 16, only to discover he was actually 20 or 21.

The claims emerged in Kent, where Michael Waters, head of St Anselm's Secondary School in Canterbury, said: "We are being asked to admit pupils with very little information about them."

Nicki Martin, head of Spires Academy near Canterbury, said: "We have to be increasingly vigilant. Safeguarding our pupils is paramount."
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – EU, HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Trafficking harms 30,000 in EU - most in sex trade
BBC, 17 October 2014

The EU says 30,146 people were registered as victims of human trafficking across the 28-nation EU in the three years to 2013.

The European Commission report says 80% of the victims were women and 69% of all those trafficked were victims of sexual exploitation.

More than 1,000 child victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Two-thirds of the victims were EU citizens. Nigeria and China were the main non-EU countries of origin.

The EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstroem, said EU countries had achieved much in combating "this slave trade of our time".

But "we do not claim to have measured the full extent of trafficking", she added, and "we must continue our work tirelessly, in Europe and beyond our borders".

In 2010-2012, EU states prosecuted 8,551 people for human trafficking, the report said. There were 3,786 convictions.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – EU, NON-EU MIGRANTS, POLITICS
Cameron is focusing so hard on EU migrants he is missing the bigger picture
Mary Dejevsky
The Guardian, 16 October 2014

David Cameron is trying to keep the Conservative Ukip tendency at bay by dangling the prospect of new migration curbs from the EU. ...

..., the political appeal of such measures to ministers is clear. The rational, and the practical effects, however, need to be challenged, for several reasons.

First, the large number of arrivals from east and central Europe after the EU expansion of 2004 need not have happened had the then Labour government either delayed free movement – as it was free to do, and Germany and others did. That error – if it was an error – was compounded by the then government's huge underestimation of the number who would come. A more accurate appraisal might have encouraged better preparation and maybe lessened some of the public hostility. There were measures that could have been taken. Instead, the impression was created of over-generosity laced with incompetence. This is how EU migration became the bogey that it remains, for many, to this day.

Second, while the government is right that EU arrivals cannot really be controlled so long as freedom of movement remains a sacrosanct principle, EU citizens do not present the biggest economic or social challenge as far as migration is concerned. It may suit Cameron to play to his own Eurosceptic gallery by accepting Ukip's terms, but non-EU migration remains almost as high as EU migration (though it is slowing) and this is something the government can do something about.

Indeed, if looked at from the perspective of cost, as a BBC magazine feature (More or less: calculating how much migrants cost or benefit a nation, Jan 2014) has done, it is not EU migration, but non-EU migration that needs addressing. This is because a greater proportion of non-EU migrants arrive under family reunion provisions and tend to be older, less educated and do not contribute, or contribute less, to the economy. The UK's family reunion provisions are generous compared with those of many EU countries.

Something similar applies to non-EU student visas. Although the procedures are more rigorous than they were and many so-called "bogus" colleges have been closed, the testing system – as several exposes have shown – is compromised, and lax border controls make it hard to ensure that students leave when their studies are complete. The government has also encouraged a model of higher education that makes universities and colleges unduly dependent on overseas student fees. Higher education is a powerful lobby arguing against tougher non-EU visa curbs.

Third, it is time to drop the – deliberately? – misleading way of compiling the figures according to "net" migration. It is widely understood that those leaving and those arriving are for the most part different categories of people – those leaving are more likely to be older, often retirees or international professionals, while those arriving are often young and looking for an education or job, or are family dependents. The reluctance of successive governments to produce figures, and a breakdown, for arrivals suggests fear of the public reaction if the gross figures were made known.

It is hard to avoid the impression that ministers have chosen to demonise EU migration because it plays to anti-EU sentiment, but also because it avoids fanning the social tensions that might result from a more frank discussion about the issue.
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – WOMEN, ISLAM
Female British Muslims as vulnerable to radicalisation as men, study shows
Karen McVeigh
The Guardian, 16 October 2014

British Muslim women and girls are just as vulnerable to becoming radicalised as their male peers, according to the author of a study into the early stages of the process.

The news comes amid reports of girls as young as 14 travelling to Syria from the west, to marry Islamist fighters, bear their children and join their communities.

A study from the Queen Mary University of London has found that suffering from depression, being financially comfortable, well-educated and socially isolated were common factors among those sympathetic to acts of terrorism, identified by researchers as the first of two stages of early radicalisation. The second, it said, was contact with radical, unorthodox beliefs.

Those whose families had lived in the UK for generations were more vulnerable than migrants, the report found.

As many as 500 British fighters have travelled to Syria and Iraq, it has emerged, while academics say as many as 10% of them could be women.

Professor Kamaldeep Bhui, professor of cultural psychology and epidemiology at Queen Mary University, said that gender did not play a significant role in the risk of radicalisation: "Women are no less likely in our analysis to have sympathies" with terrorism, Bhui said. If anything, they were more likely to show such sympathy, but "not significantly so" he said. "There is an increasing epidemic of girls" he added.

Academics said as many as 60 British females have fled to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis), mainly between the ages of 16 and 24. ... ...

Interestingly, Bhui said that migrants were less likely to become radicalised because they are poorer, busier with the need to earn money and they remembered the problems of their homeland. "Those who are having a hard life, who are migrants, are too busy to have fantastic thoughts about attacks," he said.

The numbers of those who had sympathy with terrorism were small, he said, with 2.5% showing sympathy and 1.5% having sympathy for the most extreme acts of violence and terrorism.
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – ISLAMOPHOBIA
'Islamophobia' strikes again – national students' union refuses to condemn Isis
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 16 October 2014

In a world often devoid of good news, there has been a fine development on the farthest-flung shores of insanity. The British National Union of Students aspires to represent students, though traditionally tends only to represent those students who are politically ambitious and possess left wing views. In any case, its latest idiocy is that it has tied itself in knots over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – Isis.

A condemnation of the ebullient Islamic group was tabled by a student of Kurdish descent. The Kurds, some people will recall, have not been treated well by Isis of late. Of course such a motion would be fairly pointless. It is unlikely that even one Isis fighter will be persuaded to put down their meat-cleaver because the British NUS has passed a motion against them, however strongly-worded.

But sometimes the symbolism of things matters. It would have been nice if the NUS – which has done so much in recent years to smear and otherwise attack the critics of Islamic extremism – could have found it within itself to condemn Isis. But they didn't manage it. Specifically, they didn't manage it because, as student officer reported on his blog, the Black Students officer Malia Bouattia declared that the condemnation of Isis consisted of 'blatant Islamophobia', and was a shill for 'pro USA intervention' to boot.

In fact the motion – which you can read in full here – is absurdly weakly worded, and rather typically over-heavy on its anti-Americanism. But not enough so for Ms Bouattia and the Black Students section of the NUS, who have now succeeded in stopping any condemnation of the most racist, sectarian group of our time.

As I have often said, the word and charge of 'Islamophobia' really is deadly. Today it is deadliest of all for the Kurds, the Christians, the Shia and the Yazidis of Iraq and Syria.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
David Cameron promises 'one last go' at EU migration curbs
BBC, 16 October 2014

David Cameron has said action is needed to curb EU immigration and pledged to have "one last go" at negotiating a better deal for the UK in Europe.

Speaking in Kent, where there is a by-election next month, he said: "We need further action to make sure we have more effective control of migration." ...

According to The Times the prime minister has promised backbench Conservative MPs a "game-changing" announcement on immigration, which would "almost certainly" come before Christmas. ...

Among the "radical" options being considered by the government is an "emergency brake" on immigration from some EU countries, according to the Times.

The Sun newspaper goes further, saying Mr Cameron will "demand the right to limit European immigration" as the "price of staying in the EU".

But it says details of the proposed restrictions - which could involve caps on arrivals from certain countries or an "Australian-style" points system operating within the EU - have yet to be finalised.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Vince Cable: immigration targets 'unobtainable and largely meaningless'
Hamish Macdonell
The Guardian, 16 October 2014

Vince Cable was clear, dismissive and forthright: the immigration policies being pursued by the government, of which he is a prominent member, are "stupid" and "ludicrous".

The business secretary has never been one to stay silent on policies that he believes are wrong – even if they are the policies of the government he represents.

So it proved at a roundtable event at the Liberal Democrat annual conference in Glasgow earlier this month, sponsored by the British Academy.

Cable used the Guardian-hosted event, which looked at the issues surrounding immigration, to tear into policies which, he claimed, had been imposed on his government by his Conservative coalition partners.

The business secretary derided the government's immigration target as "basically very stupid", warning that it was meaningless, impossible to enforce and "ludicrous". Theresa May, Conservative home secretary, wants to keep the net number of migrants coming to the UK to 100,000 or fewer. However, ever since the coalition government took office four and a half years ago, this target has proved impossible to keep and May admitted earlier this year that it was proving harder and harder to aim for. ...

Cable said the target was wrong because ministers had no control over it. He pointed out that net immigration was rising because fewer people were emigrating and because of the free movement of people across the EU.

"And unless we join Ukip there's nothing we can do about," he said. ...

"Next to the economy, everything tells us that this is the issue people care most about," said Cable. "There are points to be scored and votes to be won so people will use it, and there is no point being under any illusions about that.

"There is absolutely no merit in us pandering to it, we are struggling anyway and there is a core constituency of people who will defend and support an intelligent and liberal approach to these things, which is the position we have to take. There is no advantage in trying to fudge that."

All the experts on the panel agreed that one of the most important aspects of the debate was how to change the perception of immigration so more people could be won over to a more liberal immigration policy. ...

Mike Murphy, professor of demography at the London School of Economics, told the panel that net migration to the UK was running at about 200,000 a year, a similar figure to other main European nations – and twice the level of the government's target.

He warned that numbers would increase substantially over the next 10 years and would become a more heated political and social issue. However, Murphy stressed that immigration was only a live issue in areas which had limited immigration. "The more mixed an area, the more positive people are about cohesion," he said.

Murphy said one belief among working class whites was that wages were being driven down by immigrants. He said that while this was true, to a limited extent, it was not as widespread a problem, nor as stark, as many people believed.

Liberal Democrat peer Brian Paddick said that perceptions were important because they were hard to shift. "There is a feeling that [Britain] is a small island and there are too many people on it already. You can't really get away from that. But whether that is a perception or whether that is reality is a key issue. There is plenty of space."
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – PREJUDICE
Britain's pro-migrant majority can be unlocked if we allow an open debate
Sunder Katwala
The Guardian, 16 October 2014

Is there a direct line between concern about immigration and what we might call "popular racism"? The idea drives much of the public debate around the subject. But the evidence on public attitudes doesn't support it. ...

As British Future's pamphlet How to Talk About Immigration, to be published next month, sets out, there is certainly a toxic anti-migrant minority of the public – a sizeable and noisy segment of up to one in four people who hold strong anti-immigration and anti-migrant views. It also finds strong evidence that most of those who are worried about immigration are not anti-migrant. These distinctions should inform effective strategies for challenging and tackling prejudice.

Rob Ford of the University of Manchester, who has led the British Social Attitudes survey research modules on immigration, told us: "There is some racism and prejudice in the immigration debate. But it simply does not fit the evidence to claim that most concern about immigration is rooted in prejudice."

Most people are not impressed by the record of governments on handling immigration, whether it was the Labour government's surprise at the levels of European migration after 2004, or the current government's inability to keep the promises it made before it was elected.

But that is not the same as being anti-migrant. Ask people about the Polish migrants who have come here since 2004 and a clear majority say that they have "made a positive contribution to Britain", while a surly 20% disagree. That's a funny kind of xenophobia. ...

Engage with anxieties constructively about how we make migration work fairly, for citizens and migrants alike, and there is a pro-migrant majority to be unlocked.

Those who regard all concern about immigration as racist are also often allergic to even the most inclusive versions of national identity. But with his celebrated opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympics, Danny Boyle spoke for most people, even if even he couldn't quite reach everyone. While the idea of an inclusive Britishness is generally popular, it has been consistently shown that this is more highly valued by non-white Britons than white Britons. Leftwing white graduates are less keen, but that's a different story.

What we see is a notable generational shift. Age, rather than class, is now the strongest predictor of attitudes. Younger generations are mostly pretty comfortable with Britain's diversity. They grew up with it, so it is normal to them.

Their grandparents are considerably more unsettled by the pace with which they have seen Britain change. ...

There is clear evidence that there is an anti-racist majority in Britain, not just an embattled "anti-racist minority".

Of course, it isn't racist to talk about immigration – as long you do so without being racist.

That's the debate people want. Anti-racists would have much to gain from that, if they stopped shouting almost as shrilly as the populist xenophobes – which only closes down the conversation that Britain's moderate majority would like.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – POLITICS, FRANCE
Geographer's 'forgotten French' shakes up political class
Nicholas Vinocur
Reuters, 16 October 2014

When France's left-leaning daily Liberation newspaper devoted a cover and two full pages last month to a book on geography, author Christophe Guilluy understood that his message was reaching a wider audience than his peers in the field.

The book, a geographical study entitled "The Peripheral France", has set off a heated debate in the media and in the hallways of French power about a country beset by high unemployment and facing the rapid rise of Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front party.

Guilluy's argument is simple, yet provocative: an ostensibly unified country is, in fact, split in two, between rich, globalized, culturally vibrant cities like Paris and Lyon, and a depressed "periphery" being left behind.

The latter, which he says covers most of the population, never caught up with big cities plugged into a global market for jobs and investment. Instead, the largely white, working class inhabitants – former mine and factory workers many of them – of small- and mid-sized towns, suburbs and rural areas have seen their jobs and livelihoods steadily eroded, to the point where they no longer share political ideas with their big city peers.

Guilluy argues the inhabitants of this "peripheral France" could be worse off than people living in the immigrant-heavy "banlieues" (city suburbs), that have loomed large in public debate, because they are more isolated from economic centers.

As a result of the split, Guilluy says most of the country has lost faith in the mainstream center-right and center-left political parties, which tend to concentrate on the big cities, and are turning toward the far-right National Front party.

Guilluy's analysis is catching on, and not just in France, where his book sold 13,000 copies in two weeks, nearly five times the average for a geography book, publisher Flammarion said.

The geographer has briefed advisers to President Francois Hollande and given talks to European ambassadors about his findings. Their response to his grim view of French society? "The split exists in our countries, too." ...

Q: Your book drew a lot of criticism from left-wing commentators and academics. Why?

A: I learned that the experts who had criticized the book (in Liberation) had not, in fact, read it. There is also a question of academic bastions. I am not part of the academic establishment, I don't belong to a political party, and I've had media attention, which is unbearable.

Q: Have you caught the attention of France's leaders?

A: I've spoken to advisers of (Socialist President) Hollande who had read the book. What they said was that if we don't start to move in your direction, to deal with these issues politically, then the left is going to die. The problem is: how does the left talk to the working class? When I talk to people in peripheral France about their problems, they talk about employment, Europe, Brussels, globalization, immigration. But those who guard the temple doors on the left don't want to talk about immigration...

However, if they don't find a way to talk about it, there is going to be a real implosion of the Socialist party, probably starting with the base.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
FactCheck: can Cameron put the brakes on immigration?
Patrick Worrall
Channel 4, 16 October 2014

David Cameron reportedly told Conservative backbenchers to expect what was described as a "big bang" policy announcement on immigration this week.

This has led to speculation that the prime minister might try to change the EU rules on freedom of movement to restrict the numbers of migrant workers coming to Britain from other member states.

Mr Cameron has said he will try to renegotiate the terms of Britain's membership of the EU if the Conservatives win a majority at the next election.
... ...

The Conservatives have said they want to see net migration fall to the "tens of thousands". But the latest estimate from the Office for National Statistics put long-term net migration to the UK at 243,000 in the year ending March 2014, up from 175,000 in the previous 12 months.

The government introduced restrictions on non-EU immigration in 2012, and the influx of people from outside Europe did fall for three years, before increasing again in the latest figures.

Net migration of EU citizens, which the government is basically powerless to control, has increased.

Immigration from within the EU remains high in Britain, hovering around the 2.5 million mark, with most people in work. Only Germany attracts more EU migrants. ...

But countries have an "emergency brake" which they can use to avoid passing laws that affected fundamental aspects of their social security system or legal system.

The "brake" isn't a straight opt-out. It means the new law is put on ice while the European Council discusses it, but the mechanism at least lets governments kick unpopular legislation into the long grass.

EU law experts we have spoken to are sceptical about how the "emergency brake" could be used in respect of putting a limit on immigration, which would mean changing the fundamental principle of the free movement of workers.

Professor Damian Chalmers from the London School of Economics told us: "This is not used as a threshold for levels of migration. If we wanted to put a quota on migration and stop movement when we hit 2.5 million EU nationals in the UK, that would clearly violate the EU treaty and they would have to renegotiate it."

Professor Jo Shaw from Edinburgh University told us: "In my judgment, Cameron is not likely to be able to achieve the 'emergency brake' referred to in press reports in conjunction with the other EU member states.

"To do so would be to invite the complete unravelling of the system of the free movement of persons, and I don't sense any particular appetite on the part of the member states to step on this road.

"I think that's a reasonable judgment for member states to make, because in truth free movement of persons is a foundational issue for the EU, even more so than the euro.

"To unravel that means the end of the EU as we know it – and I'm sure Cameron, who is perfectly capable of working these things out, can see that and knows that he won't get very far."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, DEPORTATION, USA
95 percent of deported illegals were criminals
Stephen Dinan
Washington Times, 16 October 2014

President Obama has generally kept true to his vow to deport only criminals and repeat immigration violators, according to a new report Thursday from the Migration Policy Institute that undercuts many of the fears immigrant rights advocates have about the severity of his policies.

MPI said that 95 percent of the immigrants deported from 2009 to 2013 met Mr. Obama's stated national security priorities for deportations, meaning only about 77,000 of the 1.6 million illegal immigrants removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the last five years were rank-and-file border-crossers with clean records. ...

But the report also said it is unfair to describe it as a major shift, since even under President George W. Bush, 91 percent of deportations were of criminals, repeat-immigration violators or recent border crossers. Under Mr. Obama, that's risen to 95 percent.

The MPI researchers said Mr. Obama has arguably added to the illegal immigrant population by nearly eliminating the risk that most illegal immigrants will be deported. The researchers said, however, that Mr. Obama's policies could be deemed more "humane." ...

While Mr. Obama has mostly kept his vow to only deport "priority" immigrants with criminal records, he has fallen short in overall deportations, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which said in fiscal year 2014 ICE was projected to only deport about 312,000 immigrants. ...

The Center for Immigration Studies report also concluded that in fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30, ICE agents encountered 585,000 potentially deportable immigrants, but released 442,000 of them without ever bothering to even try to deport them.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – HOUSING, LONDON
Immigration is Driving Londoners Out of Their Capital
Migrationwatch UK, 15 October 2014

Over the next 15 years more than half a million new homes will have to be built in London as the capital's immigrant population is expected to soar by over a million. Even this massive building project is based on the assumption that one million Londoners will leave for other parts of Britain during that period.

That is the conclusion of research published today by Migrationwatch UK.

The report points out that the city's Housing Strategy entirely misrepresents the reason for London's population growth, claiming that it is down "primarily to the natural growth that results from London's relatively youthful population."

'That is sheer nonsense,' said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK, 'London's huge population increase in the last two decades has been driven solely by immigration and the same will apply to the next 15 years.'

Between 1991 and 2011 the UK born population in London was static at 5.2 million while the foreign born doubled to three million. This increase has put huge pressures on the capital's housing stock. Partly as a result, the social housing waiting list has doubled, the number of households in the private renting sector has also doubled and the ratio of London house prices to earnings has more than doubled.

All this has happened despite a substantial outflow of Londoners to other parts of the UK. Between 2001 and 2011 there was a net loss of 680,000 residents from London to elsewhere in the UK.

At local authority level in London there is a clear correlation between the net inflow of international migrants and the net outflow of residents. Overall it is clear that the outflow from London as a whole has reflected changes in international migration. Clearly, the availability and cost of housing is a key factor in decisions to leave London.

Looking ahead, 1.1 million immigrants are projected to come to London in the next 15 years so London's population will be driven by international migration and births due to the current and future immigrant population. This does not of course make any allowance for the presence of a substantial illegal migrant population in the capital.

Meanwhile the Mayor's ambitious plans to double house building to 42,000 homes a year over the next 15 years assume that mass immigration will be offset by one million Londoners leaving the capital.

Said Sir Andrew: 'City Hall has been less than frank about what is going on. The general public have no idea of the extent to which immigration is driving the city's housing crisis and causing Londoners to leave.

'The business lobby seem to have a lofty disregard for the lives of ordinary Londoners. It is ludicrous for them to suggest that London needs immigrants on anything like the present scale. The inevitable effect is massive pressure on schools and hospitals and, especially, on housing. London needs skilled migration, not mass migration.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, LABOUR PARTY
Ed Balls: EU treaties on freedom of movement may have to change
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 15 October 2014

The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, has said Labour should not rule out demanding changes to the European treaties necessary to bring about reforms in EU rules on the free movement of labour.

His remarks go further than most members of the shadow cabinet in saying Labour must be willing to negotiate changes from Brussels to secure what he describes as the fair movement of workers within the European Union.

Speaking at a Progress meeting at Westminster on Tuesday, he said: "Sometimes people talk as if free movement is a pillar of the 1957 treaty and therefore that cannot be debated and discussed, but it cannot be a free-for-all."

He stressed he thought some reforms could be achieved without treaty change but added: "In order to raise the qualification period for unemployment benefit above six months, something people feel strongly about, in order to stop people sending child benefit back to families overseas while living in our country you might need to have treaty change. I do not think we should say anything that requires treaty change should be off the agenda." ...

He said he sensed the immigration debate – an issue of "huge concern" in his Morley and Outwood constituency – had shifted from ethnicity to economics. He said: "For people of working age it is about terms and conditions and for some people who tend to be a little older, it is about what is happening to society around them and the pace of change.

"People want to know that when people come they will contribute and they will pay taxes. They are worried about the undercutting of wages, they are worried about the pressure on services. They think it is really important skilled workers come or people come to universities but they want the rules to be tough and fair. If people come to study they have to show they can pay for their courses, borders have got to be policed, we have got to check people in and out, the minimum wage must not be undercut, agency workers rules must not be abused.

"I don't think they want to leave the EU or to shut the borders at all, they don't want a free-for-all. They want it to be fair and controlled. "We can win the argument on migration, but not if you won't talk about it. If you say: 'There are some issues too difficult and we are not going to talk about it. We don't know the answers,' then other people that peddle sophistry and simple answers have a clear field."

Although his willingness to countenance treaty change on the free movement of labour is new, his remarks would only take him beyond existing party policy if he started to talk about limits on unskilled labour from the EU, something Ed Miliband has not yet countenanced.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Miliband in denial: Our immigration policy is right Labour leader tells MPs as poll shows just 13% agree
Tom McTague
Daily Mail, 15 October 2014

Ed Miliband has urged Labour MPs not to panic about public concern over immigration – despite polls showing the party's reputation on the issue slumping to a six year low amid a surge in support for Ukip.

The embattled Labour leader told a private meeting of MPs that the party could not 'out-Ukip Ukip'. He insisted Labour had the right policies on immigration and told MPs they needed to just 'keep going on at it', a source told MailOnline.

But Mr Miliband risks accusations of being in denial over the scale of the party's problem on immigration in the wake of last week's shock by-election in Heywood and Middleton, which saw Ukip fall just 600 votes short of beating Labour in its Greater Manchester heartland.

A damning YouGov survey released today reveals Labour's poll rating on immigration has fallen to its lowest since September 2008 – despite Mr Miliband unveiling the party's set-piece pledges on the issue over the weekend.

On Sunday, Mr Miliband announced that migrants would have to 'earn the right' to claim benefits and face English language tests before taking up jobs.

Stronger border controls and laws to stop 'exploitation that has undermined wages of local workers' will also be introduced, he said.

Despite the pledges, just 13 per cent of the public back Labour's policies on immigration, according to YouGov. ...

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has also admitted that the issue is a problem. She said: 'We should talk more about immigration and the things people are worried about.'

But Mr Miliband, speaking to a meeting of the Labour Parliament Party in the Commons last night, dismissed calls for Labour to take a tougher line on immigration.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Miliband's stance on immigration is a threat to Labour, says ex-minister
Nicholas Watt
The Guardian, 15 October 2014

Ed Miliband's failure to acknowledge deep-seated concerns about immigration presents a threat to Labour on the same scale as the attempted infiltration by Militant in the 1980s and the divisive tactics of the late Tony Benn, the former minister Frank Field has said.

In the most hard-hitting attack on the Labour leader by any of his MPs since Ukip squeezed the party's vote in the Heywood and Middleton byelection, Field accused Miliband of "pissing while Rome burns".

Field, who was appointed as welfare reform minister in 1997 by Tony Blair, said he had decided to speak out after claiming that Miliband had shown no interest in radical action at a meeting of the parliamentary Labour party (PLP) on Monday night. ...

Field, who was first elected as the Labour MP for Birkenhead in 1979, accused Miliband of failing to understand how Ukip is attracting natural Labour voters who are concerned about the high levels of immigration from new EU member states in eastern Europe over the past decade.

The former minister said that an article by Miliband in the Observer at the weekend, in which the Labour leader responded to the strong Ukip showing in the Heywood and Middleton byelection by pledging to toughen benefit rules, did not go far enough.

Field, who challenged Miliband at Monday's meeting of the PLP, said: "I am so dispirited by the response from the PLP who have banged and screamed about how we all want unity and we shouldn't have people making disloyal statements. This is a signing off interview to put on the record that there seems to be no appetite in the PLP to engage with our voters and where our voters are. The programme we now have [on immigration] might have been adequate in 1997. But the whole nature of England has changed, with wages and living standards forced down. It is pissing while Roman burns."

The former minister says that Labour should go further than the prime minister and impose work restrictions on citizens on the 10 new EU member states from eastern Europe until their economies grow closer to the size of the UK. No restrictions would be imposed on east European already in the UK. ...

Field said of his own intervention at the PLP: "I made the point that it wasn't an act of God that Ukip has arisen. It has arisen directly as a result of the failure of the Tory and Labour parties to address the immigration issues and to attempt to control our borders. They didn't come down Mount Sinai. We created them. While we dismiss this as anti-political it seems to me that the voters are being highly political. They are actually backing somebody who will register their deep disquiet about immigration."
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU
Any politician who promises to cut immigration is a liar - unless they're also ready to quit the EU
Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP For South East England
Daily Mail, 14 October 2014

Some restrictions will, I'm sure, be placed on the migration rights of future EU members, such as Montenegro and Macedonia. There will also, almost certainly, be some tightening of the rules on benefits claims. But the basic principle that any EU citizen may live and work in any EU state is, everyone agrees, off-limits.

When I say 'everyone', I mean all the Eurocrats and all the UK political leaders.

Everyone, in other words, except the general population.

The country at large has never accepted the principle of unrestricted settlement rights.

It is EU immigration, above all, that has fuelled the rise of Ukip, as much in Labour as Conservative areas – witness how close Nigel Farage's party came to winning the by-election in Heywood and Middleton, a solid Labour seat since its creation.

People feel let down and lied to on the issue of immigration, and they have a point.

When the UK opened its borders to the ten new states that joined the EU in 2004, the Home Office predicted that around 15,000 migrants would come each year. In fact, over the next two years, 447,000 arrived.

That statistic alone should put to shame those who claim that the public is ignorant and that we should trust the experts. It's the 'experts' who got us into this mess.

Over 13 years of the last Labour government, the number of settlers who came to the UK was close to four million.

A quarter of all babies in England and Wales are now born to foreign mothers. No country can absorb such numbers without pressure on infrastructure and societal tensions.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – CALAIS, FRANCE
Calais migrants: 'We're not wanted in France'
The Local [France], 14 October 2014

Thousands of migrants are camped out in the French port of Calais from where they will risk their lives to try to get to the UK. But why don't they want to stay in France? The Local went to Calais to find out why.

'El Dorado' is frequently used by the French press to describe the lure the UK holds for the migrants waiting in the northern French port city of Calais for their illicit and dangerous chance to cross the English Channel.

The name implies an illusion and false hope and raises the question of why the migrants don't just apply for asylum in France, which in theory would give them access to healthcare, financial aid, accommodation and possibly legal assistance for their application.

The Local talked to dozens of migrants living in the camps in search of answers.

It appears many of the some 2,000 migrants living in filthy squats and squalid camps in Calais desperately hoping to get to the UK, have reached the same conclusion: they feel they are not welcome in France.

They point to racism from locals, the months-long wait for government papers, the harsh existence in muddy, medieval camps and living off one meal handout per day.

"They don't want us to stay. France doesn't like immigrants," Nebi Kifrom, 22, of Eritrea told The Local. "If you ask for asylum they will say to us come back in three, four months. What am I supposed to do until then?"

Another question is where will they live.

Matthieu Tardis, from France Terre D'Asile, a charity which provides "legal and social services" to asylum seekers and refugees in France told The Local recently that France has accommodation to cater for 22,000 asylum seekers, but they had 65,000 applicants last year.

"The problem is becoming more and more serious," he said.

Because most of the migrants in Calais are without money or much hope of outside help, they want to find work immediately. It's one of the primary factors propelling them out of France.

They are aware of France's record unemployment numbers (the 6.2 percent rate in the UK is four percentage points less than in France) and poor economic prospects. ...

The language and perceptions about working papers are the next most important obstacles in the minds of migrants.

As the migrants come from Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, if they speak a western language it's most likely to be English and not French. They know their prospects of finding work - or even managing daily life – are poor without basic French. ...

Also the migrants need papers to allow them to legally stay and work in France. But it can take months to get a preliminary appointment to apply for asylum.

The famously difficult bureaucracy in France, which even the French admit is unwieldly and needs reform, is no kinder to desperate migrants than it is to anyone else. ...

Even though Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has vowed to send workers out into the field to try to convince migrants to build a life in France, most migrants told The Local they'd never seen anybody from the government.

While migrants wait an average of two years for a decision they are not legally permitted to work most of that time. Instead they are reliant on a €336 per month allowance from the French government, which may not seem much, but is significantly more than the €185.90 monthly payment in the UK.
[Site link]

Up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – EUROPEAN UNION
Europe launches operation to track migrants without papers
EUbusiness, 14 October 2014

A crackdown by European countries to track migrants without papers or official documentation got under way Monday amid a surge in refugees from Syria and the Middle East, officials and rights groups said.

The two-week operation will "apprehend irregular migrants" and is aimed at "weakening the capacity of organised crime groups to facilitate illegal immigration to the EU", according to a European Union document.

Migrants found without papers will be sent back to their country of origin if it has signed a repatriation agreement with the EU, be placed in a detention centre or released with an expulsion warning.

All 26 countries in Europe's visa-free Schengen area – which groups 22 EU members as well as Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland – were invited to take part, with only one declining, a European source said, declining to name the country.

The operation is dubbed "Mos Maiorum" – the Latin for "laws of the elders", or the ancestral customs of the ancient Romans – and is the latest in a series of such exercises held every six months.

Rights groups criticised the launch of the operation, which comes as Europe faces a rise in the number of migrants fleeing troublespots in the Middle East and North Africa.

Campaign group Frontexit said it was "yet another battle in the war the EU has waged against an imaginary enemy."

A record figure of more than 3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year, the International Organisation for Migration said Monday, while Amnesty International last month said a "Fortress Europe" mentality was fuelling the business of smugglers and putting lives at risk.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – POLITICS, LONDON
Ukip's rise is a warning for the capital's future
Simon Jenkins
Evening Standard (London), 14 October 2014

... London is different, and gets more so every year. It is different in precisely the way Farage deplores. To him London is hardly England at all. It is cosmopolis, a tax haven for rich refugees, a money-laundering bolt hole, a gilded beach onto which is washed up the flotsam of Europe and the world. Is this the England you want, asks Farage, as he slams his pint down on the bar and looks in vain for someone to whom he can speak English.

London votes Ukip in single figures, barely a third of its support elsewhere. ...

Forty per cent of Londoners were not born in Britain. A third of them are non-white. Take a weekend walk through Regent's Park or Hyde Park, or a stroll up Edgware Road or through Knightsbridge and you might indeed wonder where you are. Kensington and Chelsea is now depopulating at such a rate that it is losing English people faster than it's gaining foreigners. ...

... The Mayor, Boris Johnson, once a valiant defender of London's newcomers, is now blatantly switching as his parliamentary career beckons. He suggested to the BBC at the weekend that it was "a mistake to take the brakes off" immigration. He called border control "the number one thing that we need". But even he knows that London's success depends on defying what Farage espouses. It is the diversity capital of Europe.

London feasts on a population influx that Ukip claims is rotting England's cultural core. It welcomes the rest of the world – including the rest of Britain – with open arms. In return the world contributes its wealth, its talent, its vitality and its youth. English may be the first language of ever fewer citizens but it is the second language of all. London is a free market in humanity. ...

One day Ukip may wane but the "case against London" will not. The capital has been the chief winner from a centralised UK. It grabs the lion's share of capital spending, from Crossrail and the Olympics to HS2, the arts and university research. ... ...

Ukip's lack of appeal in London may comfort metro-liberals but it is a warning. What appeals to Farage also appeals to millions of provincial voters. One day London may need the rest of Britain. It should not forget it.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – HOSTILITY, BRITISHNESS
Why is there so much hostility to immigrants in the UK?
Richard Seymour
The Guardian, 14 October 2014

"It is not prejudiced to worry about immigration," Ed Miliband suggests. Possibly. But no one is worried about immigration. Yes, 77% of people in the UK want immigration reduced, and 56% want it "reduced a lot" – but this is not worry or concern, rather a hardening anti-immigrant consensus. As to whether this is prejudiced, the evidence is clear: polling shows that most people have a negative opinion of immigration, despite them not having any negative experience of it. In fact, people in areas with most immigrants are least likely to express anti-immigrant sentiment.

Popular hostility toward immigrants is determined by the perceived big picture, which polling data also shows most people get badly wrong. These errors are not neutral. The fact that people greatly overestimate the proportion of immigrants who are asylum seekers, for instance, matters largely because of the culture of suspicion and disbelief about refugees.

It is hard to see how this could not be prejudiced.

Among defenders of immigration, whether liberal or left, there is a reluctance to confront the prospect of mass, popular racism. For example, John Harris is not untypical in arguing that anxiety over immigration is not racist but a response to desperate day to day experience produced by mass migration. Experience has little to do with it. Most Britons have been hostile to immigration for decades, long before the waves of EU migration in the last decade. What has changed now is the political salience of this hostility.

Another tendency is to acknowledge racism only to treat it as the result of elite or rightwing misdirection exploiting people's real concerns. If this was the case, it would be enough to expose "Ukip lies" as Nick Clegg attempted to do in debating Farage. But he was mauled. That's because the dodgy "facts" were mere supports for a wider morality fable according to which Brits are cheated by mass immigration. People believe the fable, so they accept the facts.

People aren't merely dupes. They take an active role in the construction of their beliefs. They are invested in them, finding enjoyment and solace in them. To explain popular racism we have to stop explaining it away, and look at the conditions that make sense of it.

The dominant sentiment of this racism is resentment. People are convinced that immigrants have taken something from them. Social resentment of this kind is integral to the competitive ethos of neoliberalism: given a vicious struggle for scarce resources, there is tremendous paranoia about "undeserving" people getting things unfairly.

Moreover, the development of neoliberalism in the UK is inextricable from the politics of Britishness. ...

In this context, the fantasy of a restored Britishness offers consolation. The assertion of belligerent anti-immigrant ideas, meanwhile, appears as a defiant reclamation of lost enjoyment in the face of tyrannical "political correctness".

To suggest that most people may be racist about immigration is not a counsel of despair. There are differing levels of commitment to racist beliefs. For example, there is evidence that a margin of people who are hostile to immigration would be much less so if they were apprised of the facts. Further, of the remainder who would remain anti-immigrant, those who would put it ahead of everything else in order to vote for a party like Ukip are a minority.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – BRAZIL
Brazil: The 'El Dorado' for international migrants
Wyre Davies
BBC, 14 October 2014

The jungle state of Acre is a long way from anywhere. Tucked into the north-western corner of Brazil, it is closer to the big towns of eastern Bolivia and southern Peru than it is to the industrial heartland of southern Brazil.

Yet it is through here that many migrants looking for a better life or escaping persecution in their own countries choose to enter Brazil. ...

For the time being, this is quite possibly one of the most welcoming places on the planet for a migrant or refugee to arrive.

The people arriving here at the state migration centre in the town of Rio Branco are mainly from Haiti, Central America, Senegal and beyond.

While many will claim asylum as refugees they are nearly all economic migrants and are recognised as such.

It started as an informal, bilateral understanding between Brazil and Haiti - after Brazil's commitment to Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.

Since then word spread and now many more of the people arriving here are coming from as far afield as West Africa. ... ...

More than 100 people a day are arriving at this holding centre just a couple of hours drive from the Bolivian border.

Spanish, French, Patois - the languages and dialects are sometimes difficult to pick out. Everyone is processed, fed and given a mattress to sleep on. ...

Brazil's policy so far has been to allow most if not all of the migrants and refugees in - partly because the borders here are so porous and there is a demand for migrant labour as the economy has boomed in recent years.

Some residents and officials in the state of Acre are concerned that the constant influx of refuges will eventually reach unsustainable levels. Some even describe it as a "crisis".

However, the Brazilian government does not generally talk about a refugee "problem", even though in recent years more than 20,000 migrants from Haiti alone have come here.

According to official figures less than 1% of the population is made up of migrants.

Waldeci Nicacio de Lima works as a human rights co-ordinator here in Acre.

"There's always been work for them because they'll accept the jobs Brazilians don't want," says the official. "Word has spread and for the migrants it's like a kind of 'El Dorado'." ...

Less than two weeks after arriving many of these migrants now have extensive rights to live and work in Brazil, having secured temporary visas for a year. ...

Although the work is invariably poorly paid and unstable, many of the people leaving here already have friends and family members in the south.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Boris Johnson calls for quotas on EU migrants
Steven Swinford and Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2014

Quotas for European immigrants must be considered to help win back Conservative voters who have turned to Ukip, Boris Johnson says.

The Mayor of London says in an article for The Telegraph that people are "furious" because the immigration system is "out of control" and has become a "magnet for the hordes at Calais".

Mr Johnson says most UK Independence Party voters, or "kippers", aren't "wicked" or racist but simply want to end the "madness" of Britain's lack of border controls. ... ...

Mr Johnson's intervention is the first stage in a tough new message from the Conservatives on Europe and immigration designed to stop Ukip stealing more of their support base.

The proposals are likely to be at the heart of the Conservatives' plans to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the European Union ahead of a proposed in-out referendum in 2017. Mr Johnson says that under current laws Britain is powerless to prevent large numbers of people from all over the EU coming to Britain. He says: "The voters aren't fools. They have spotted the incoherence – and what they object to is not so much the immigrants themselves; what makes people angry is the sense that the whole thing is out of control.

"Britain is now the America of the EU; the place people want to come; the magnet for the hordes at Calais.

"It is only reasonable for us to have some kind of further protections – involving points or even quotas, agreed with business – so we can manage that pressure.

"It would be madness to close our borders to talent; but it is also madness to continue with a system that means we have no idea how many are coming or what burdens they place on the state." ... ...

He says that the concern of Ukip voters is not about immigrants who "come here, work hard, learn to speak English and make their lives in this country".

However, they are concerned about the "speed of change" and politicians who "keep dissembling".

He says Tony Blair is the "first and biggest culprit" for failing to implement border controls when eastern European countries joined the EU in 2004.

"The surge of energy and talent was, of course, a boon to British business and industry but it was a direct attack on Labour's core vote," he says.

"Workers found their wages suppressed and were accused of bigotry if they complained."

In an interview on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC 1, Mr Johnson suggested that Mr Cameron had committed a "deception" by claiming he could reduce net migration to "hundreds of thousands" of people a year.

The Mayor of London said it was "critical" that the Prime Minister made ending free movement from the Continent "number one" in his renegotiation of EU membership.

He said the Prime Minister should win an opt-out on free movement and introduce an Australian-style points system for immigrants.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – POLITICS, UKIP, PUBLIC OPINION
Ukip understands public despair at mass immigration
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 13 October 2014

An air of bewilderment and panic now grips the two main parties. But the explanation for Ukip's rise could hardly be simpler.

It lies in the issue of immigration. Ukip has tapped into the growing despair of the public at the relentless transformation of our country.

Voters are increasingly angry at a social revolution imposed without any mandate and are making their feelings clear at the ballot box.

As the independently minded Labour MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk said: "Wherever I went in this campaign people brought up immigration. I heard it on the doorstep all the time."

The established parties are paying the price for treating the electorate so contemptuously. The decline in their vote share is a direct reaction to their obsessions with mass immigration, multiculturalism and surrender to Brussels, which has meant the loss of any effective border controls.

Mainstream politicians love to blather about Ukip indulging in "the politics of fear". But fear about the survival of our British heritage, culture and social fabric is all too justified.

We now live in a land where, even on official figures, more than 500,000 foreigners are settling here every single year, where Mohammed is now the most popular boy's name and where white British people are significantly in a minority in urban conurbations such as Leicester and London.

For years the establishment tried to silence any opposition to mass immigration through a mix of bullying and censorship. The aggressive imposition of cultural diversity became the central guiding principle of the public sector. Any challenge to this orthodoxy was denounced as racism or xenophobia. Finally Ukip has given the public a political voice on this issue. ...

Voters know from their own experience it is a fashionable myth all newcomers arrive here to work. In fact people from migrant communities are more likely to be unemployed, on benefits and in social housing.

The public also sees our social cohesion being torn apart by the scale of demographic and cultural change. A few decades ago before the era of mass immigration it would have been unthinkable that our society could be scarred by sharia law, female genital mutilation, eastern European criminality, African witchcraft and Islamic jihadism.

Thanks to the collapse of our borders we live permanently under the menace of Muslim extremism, while the Rotherham abuse scandal, where more than 1,400 vulnerable white girls were targeted by Pakistani sex gangs without any action by the authorities, is a harrowing symbol of how the state's morality has been utterly perverted by the doctrine of political correctness.

Even our democracy has been subverted by immigration, whether it be through the postal voting fraud organised by "community leaders" or in the insidious growth of racial identity politics.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Harriet Harman on Labour's 'new immigration approach'
BBC, 13 October 2014

Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman has been outlining the party's "new approach" to immigration, after it only just beat UKIP to the previously safe seat of Heywood and Middleton.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Ms Harman said Labour shared people's concerns over wages being suppressed by cheaper, foreign workers.

She said policies included preventing criminals from living in the UK and preventing parents from claiming child benefit if their offspring were living abroad.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ITALY
Mediterranean migrant surge stretches Italy's resources
Emma Jane Kirby
BBC, 13 October 2014

More than 140,000 migrants have arrived on Italy's shores so far this year and Sicily is handling the bulk of them. ...

Most of the migrants are African - Nigerian, Sudanese or Eritrean.

At the migrant programme's co-ordination centre there a giant electronic map is marked with green dots, indicating interceptions.

The incidents are now so frequent that off the coast of Libya there is barely a chink of blue sea visible; the Mediterranean has been permanently stained emerald.

In the Sicilian coastal town of Siracusa the local mayor has just been informed of the 200 new arrivals on the cargo ship.

"It's like a tap that you can't turn off - every day there are more," he tells me, shaking his head wearily.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ASIANS, NEW ZEALAND
Growing number of Asians migrating to NZ
Jonathan Pearlman
Asia News Network / The Straits Times, 13 October 2014

The nation of 4.5 million people has experienced an Asian boom, with the country's growing economy and strong job market leading to a mass influx in recent years. ...

Since 2001, Asian-born citizens have leapt from 7 per cent of the population to 12 per cent, or about half a million people.

Within the decade, Asians are expected to overtake the 600,000-strong Maoris as the nation's main ethnic minority.

The Asian influx has led to occasional racial tensions and calls for immigration curbs, but for the most part there has been acceptance of the country's changing face over the past decade.

But a survey released in March by the Asia New Zealand Foundation found there was growing resentment among Maoris.

While 27 per cent of New Zealanders believed attitudes towards Asians had cooled in the past year, 44 per cent of Maoris did so.

An expert on race relations, Prof Paul Spoonley from Massey University, said the Maoris are worried about losing jobs and the threat to their status in New Zealand society.

In the past 40 years, the government has moved towards a "bicultural" society that promotes Maori language, heritage and culture. ...

According to the nation's 2013 census, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos and Koreans have been the largest Asian migrant groups.

The largest city, Auckland, with almost 1.4 million people, has the biggest proportion of Asian residents, with more than 23 per cent of the city's total; Wellington is second, with 11 per cent. ...

The immigration intake is at an all-time high, with government figures last month showing 103,900 arrivals - including students - in the year to August. A third of the arrivals were from Asia.
[Site link]

Up

EXTREMISM – SCHOOLS, INFILTRATION, ISLAM
Trojan Horse 'just the tip of the iceberg'
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 12 October 2014

The "Trojan Horse" affair in Birmingham was merely the "tip of the iceberg" of Islamist infiltration in British schools, according to the man appointed by the Government to investigate the scandal.

Peter Clarke spoke amid indications that the plot, where hard-line Muslims hounded out secular head teachers in order to "Islamise" state schools. is flaring up again and broadening its reach.

Mr Clarke, a former police counterterror chief, said that parts of Whitehall attempted to "intimidate" him out of taking on the inquiry but succeeded only in convincing him that there must be something worth investigating. ...

"What I put in my report was the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge amount of material which I didn't put in. I deliberately focused on what appeared to be the epicentre. ...

"You've got to look at the roles of Birmingham city council and the unions and you've got to see where else Tahir Alam [the alleged ringleader] had influence."

Mr Clarke described the council's behaviour as "extraordinary". He disclosed that even after his inquiry was set up, officials and senior politicians had denied all knowledge of the plot, both in public, and to their own investigator, Ian Kershaw. "Then, very late in my inquiry, my team found an email buried in a mass of documentation submitted by the council which showed that they had known about it all along.

"Despite all the interviews that both I and Ian Kershaw had with officials, none of them at any time made reference to that earlier correspondence," he said. ...

Meanwhile, some head teachers and officials in neighbouring Dudley fear they have become the next target of a Birmingham-style Trojan Horse plot. Heads and school improvement officers in the town met last week to discuss the problem. ... ...

The two key teachers in the plot, Mohammed "Mozz" Hussain, head of Park View school, and Razwan Faraz, deputy head at Nansen, have been suspended. But many other extremist teachers remain in their posts. ...

... Mr Clarke's report, commissioned in April and delivered in July, found clear evidence of "coordinated" action by Islamist hard-liners to impose an "intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos" on pupils.

"What I hope the report has achieved is that it is no longer possible, if anyone raises serious questions about what's happening, to immediately accuse them of being Islamophobic and racist," Mr Clarke said. "But there needs to be follow-up. You can't just draw a line after a very brief investigation and say it's job done. The proof will be in what action is taken."
[Newspaper link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Ed Miliband: we will introduce tougher rules on benefits for new migrants
Toby Helm
The Observer, 12 October 2014

Ed Miliband has moved to contain rising panic over Ukip's growing threat to Labour by pledging a raft of hard-headed measures to ensure that migrants "earn the right" to state benefits and face stiff English language tests before taking up jobs. ...

In his first detailed response since Ukip's byelection surges, Miliband insists that while he will never seek to imitate Farage's party, Labour has to do more and comprehend why people feel so abandoned that they are turning to Ukip in anger. ... ...

Making clear Labour will announce tough new immigration policies in coming weeks, Miliband says that rules limiting access to benefits until migrants have contributed to the state will be based on the principles of "contribution, responsibility, fairness". As well as stronger border controls and laws to stop "exploitation that has undermined wages of local workers", Labour will commit to "reforms to ensure those who come here speak English and earn the right to any benefit entitlements". ...

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper added her voice to those calling for Labour to do more to tackle Ukip: "We should talk more about immigration and the things people are worried about," she said.
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – EXTREMISTS
Security services monitoring 'thousands' of terrorism suspects in London, says Boris Johnson
Gordon Rayner and Gaby Wood
Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2014

The security services are monitoring "thousands" of terrorist suspects in London, Boris Johnson has disclosed, suggesting the threat from Islamist extremists may be far greater than has previously been admitted.

Until now, it was thought that the main danger came from around 500 jihadis who have travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK to join Isil or al-Qaeda fighters, around half of whom have returned to Britain.

But the Mayor of London suggested the threat from home-grown terrorist plots was far more widespread than the relatively small numbers of extremists who have gone abroad to fight.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: "In London we're very very vigilant and very very concerned. Every day – as you saw recently, we had to raise the threat level – every day the security services are involved in thousands of operations.

"There are probably in the low thousands of people that we are monitoring in London."
[Site link]

Up

DISEASE – HIV
Immigrants, HIV and the true cost to the NHS: Should the 'International Health Service' be treating patients who come here with the killer disease, asks SUE REID
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 11 October 2014

At St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, the HIV-testing clinic is always busy and a cacophony of foreign voices sounds out from the waiting room. ...

The remarkably swift and efficient NHS service at this world-famous hospital – and other HIV testing clinics across the country – is free to anyone, wherever they come from in the world.

Those who test positive join the estimated 7,000 or so people in the UK who are newly diagnosed every year as suffering from HIV.

Several hundred are British-born, but more than 60 per cent are migrants from Africa where, tragically, the disease is running rife.

Each HIV patient from overseas – whether here legally or illegally, whether a failed asylum seeker or student on a temporary visa – is entitled to free treatment on the NHS.

This is the result of a decision by the Coalition in 2012 to make HIV treatment free to all non-British visitors after lobbying by Left-leaning politicians and campaign groups. The aim was to stop the spread of the virus.

However, many believe that this change has led to an increase in so-called health tourism as foreigners deliberately come to this country to access free NHS treatment.

The process is simple: Foreigners can get a unique and permanent NHS number, which they are then usually able to use to get free hospital care. They can also book an appointment online or just walk in without a doctor's referral.

Of course, that treatment is not actually free – it's paid for by British taxpayers. The 2012 change in rules means that HIV sufferers can receive £20,000 of antiretroviral drugs every year.

Once HIV treatment is started, patients will probably need to take the medication for the rest of their lives. In total, the cost to the NHS will be up to £1 million per patient if they survive into old age.

Not surprisingly, the policy of treating migrants with HIV has always been highly controversial. A new row was sparked on Thursday when Nigel Farage said that migrants with HIV should not be allowed to enter Britain without private medical insurance.

Although denounced by many, he won the support of Digby Jones, the former trade minister.

Lord Jones, an ex-head of the CBI who served in Gordon Brown's government, said Mr Farage was 'tapping into something important that people are beginning to say throughout Britain'.

'We should be saying, "I don't want you to come into this country with a communicable disease".

But the row threatened to embarrass Douglas Carswell, Ukip's new MP, whose father Wilson, an eminent doctor, helped diagnose some of the first cases of HIV in Uganda in the 1980s.

Earlier this year, 20 Tory backbenchers unsuccessfully tried to amend the Government's Immigration Bill to make it law that before new immigrants enter the country, they must prove they are not HIV-positive and not suffering Hepatitis B – an equally devastating illness that is costly to treat. ...

Britain's open-door, free-treatment policy is very different to that operated by many other countries. According to the United Nations, almost 60 countries refuse entry to people who are HIV-positive.
[Site link]

Up

DISEASE – HIV, TB, CANCER
Are foreign patients really to blame for NHS squeeze?
Denis Campbell
The Guardian, 11 October 2014

The NHS is certainly a service under serious pressure – on its finances and on its ability to meet waiting time targets as it grapples with the growing burden of illness caused by an ageing and growing population increasingly displaying lifestyle-related illness.

But is it under pressure because of foreign-born patients with life-threatening illnesses such as TB, cancer and HIV/Aids, as Nigel Farage claims? Do senior doctors see this as a big burden on the NHS, as the Ukip leader says they do?

Firstly, there are no hard patient or cost numbers to back up Farage's claim that "tuberculosis [and] many, many diseases" are causing "the pressure [being] put on the National Health Service by foreign patients".

While the NHS collects vast amounts of data, it does not know exactly which people – British-born, or living here, or on a visa, or a visitor – receive which treatment for which illness. Dr Sarah Steele, a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, said: "It's really, really hard to quantify any of the costs to the NHS of treating 'life-threatening diseases' because we don't require everyone to show ID when they use hospital or other services. So to get any [reliable] figures on this is near impossible." ...

Secondly, it's unclear exactly who Farage means by "foreign patients". Everyone not born in the UK? Legal or illegal? Including or excluding those from European Economic Area countries, with which the UK has reciprocal agreements to charge or recover the costs of each other's nationals' healthcare? Those on visas? Or just health tourists, those deliberately abusing NHS services?

The available evidence suggests that non-permanent residents and visitors to England consumed just under £2bn of NHS services in 2012-13, or about 1.8% of its budget of which £328m was recoverable. However, the authors of the Department of Health-funded study that produced those figures urged caution about their own findings as they were based on incomplete data and assumptions.

Prof John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund thinktank, said the same research concluded that "deliberate health tourism accounts for just £60m to £80m, and what the research terms 'taking advantage' (eg overseas relatives of British citizens using mainly primary care while visiting) could amount to between £50m and £200m". Taken together, these are far smaller amounts – £280m at the most – than the almost £2bn figure. Given the Department of Health's (DH) budget this year is £113bn, even recovering all £280m would not pay for many more nurses, scanners or appointments.

One big health charity said the DH's own estimate of the annual cost of "people who are deliberately misusing the NHS or taking advantage of the relatively easy access" – between £100m and £300m, or 0.09-0.27% of NHS net expenditure in England in 2013/14 – suggested that the sort of scenarios that so rankle Farage were not very common.

However, those figures did not include migrants settled in the UK or non-permanent residents eligible for free healthcare – EEA nationals residing to work, refugees and asylum seekers – so Ukip's leader may argue that much larger sums could be stopped or raised.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
Ukip's ascent has sharpened Labour's immigration divide
George Eaton
New Statesman, 11 October 2014

The clash between those who want a tougher stance, and those who want to maintain a liberal approach, is intensifying.

The Tories lost a seat last night and Labour held one, but, to the ire of the opposition, much of the media scrutiny is falling on it today. ...

By contrast, no one anticipated just how close the Heywood and Middleton race would be. Even last night, Labour was briefing that it had held the seat by around 2,000 votes. It ended up just 617 ahead. This near-death experience has chastened a party already morose after losing the conference season. ...

The likely consequence of Ukip's surge will be to sharpen the divide within Labour over how to handle the radioactive issue of immigration. For some, the rise of the Farageists is proof of the need for the party to dramatically rethink its stance. MP and former minister Frank Field told me earlier: "They don't believe our main campaign about living standards because immigration is pushing down wages and they cannot believe that our leadership cannot make the link between the two." Field was one of seven working class Labour MPs to sign a recent letter urging Miliband to commit a future government to seeking to restrict migration from poorer EU member states.

But for others, the continued growth of Ukip is a symptom of the political class's failure to challenge the party head on. London-based MPs, in particular, argue that Labour cannot afford to meet Farage "in the middle", and must unambiguously reject what they regard as his xenophobic and even racist agenda. ...

What all agree on is that the current strategy has to change. To maintain the confidence of his party, Miliband will need to demonstrate that he grasps as much.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LABOUR PARTY
My party's too scared to talk about migration
Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale
Daily Mail, 11 October 2014

The one resounding lesson from the fact that Ukip came within a whisker of winning the constituency of Heywood and Middleton is that Labour can no longer ignore immigration.

Over the past few weeks on the campaign trail in Heywood and Middleton I've had a terrible sense of déjà vu.

Gordon Brown famously refused to debate immigration with the pensioner Gillian Duffy in my own constituency of Rochdale in 2010, dismissing her as 'a bigoted woman'.

Now Ed Miliband has similarly failed to address the issue with voters a few miles down the road in Heywood and Middleton.

Wherever I went in this campaign, people brought up immigration. I heard it on the doorstep all the time. Even Helen Pidd, the Left-leaning Guardian's reporter covering the by-election, acknowledged that the 'one thing every single voter has raised with me unprompted was immigration'.

The fact is that too many people in the Labour Party think we should never raise the subject of immigration. It's way outside Labour's comfort zone.

'The only people who talk about immigration are Tories', is a view I've heard too often.

The Heywood and Middleton result explodes that myth. Immigration is a major issue for Labour voters. That's why some of our lifelong voters have turned to Ukip.

Immigration is a concern on the factory floor, in pubs and at the bus stop. And it troubles me that we in the Labour Party are not part of that conversation.

When I raise this with some in the party they frequently look at the floor, suck their teeth and say it's too divisive an issue to campaign on.

It's as though we can only talk about the positive impact of immigration, but are too frightened to address some of the more challenging issues that come with it.

As a Labour MP with the biggest immigration caseload in the North West I certainly know about the benefits of immigration, about how it has enriched our country.

But I also know far too much about the downside of mass immigration. ...

Then there's illegal immigration, which is causing all sorts of social tensions, particularly where crime is concerned.

It certainly doesn't help that Greater Manchester Police have been accused by their own police officers of shying away from tackling grooming gangs who sexually abuse underage girls because of 'cultural sensitivities'.

This generates widespread anger and a sense that the police are blinded by political correctness where some crimes are concerned.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, the fact is there are too many voters who feel we are no longer able to get rid of those people in Britain who should not be here – and who think we do not control our borders any more.

To say some of the immigration issues I'm presented with are challenging is a massive understatement. ... ...

One thing is certain. These are incendiary issues and unless they are tackled head on by the Labour Party they'll soon be viciously exploited by the likes of Ukip. ...

Ed Miliband may feel uncomfortable at talking about immigration because he's the son of immigrants.

Well, I'm sorry, but he has no choice but to grasp the nettle.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – CUBANS, USA
Cuban migrants flood to US by taking advantage of lax passport rules
The Guardian, 11 October 2014

The number of Cubans heading to the United States has soared since the island lifted travel restrictions last year, and instead of making the risky journey by raft across the Florida straits, most are now passing through Mexico or flying straight to the US.

US Customs and Border Patrol figures show that more than 22,000 Cubans arrived at the US borders with Mexico and Canada in the fiscal year that ended last month. That was nearly double the number in 2012, the year before restrictions were lifted.

The changes in Cuban law eliminate a costly exit visa and make it easier for Cubans to both leave and return to the island legally. Reform of property laws now allows Cubans to sell homes and vehicles, helping would-be emigrants pull together the cash needed to buy airline tickets. With greater access to cash and legal travel documents, the historic pattern of Cuban migration is shifting from daring dangerous voyages at sea to making the journey by air and then land. ...

US officials say that before the recent surge, more than 20,000 Cubans formally migrated to the US every year using visas issued by the US government, while several thousand more entered on tourist visas and stayed. Adding in migrants who entered informally, US officials believe more than 50,000 Cubans were moving to the US every year, leaving behind their homeland of 11 million people.

Many Cubans are using an opportunity offered by Spain in 2008 when it allowed descendants of those exiled during the Spanish civil war to reclaim Spanish citizenship. A Spanish passport allows visa-free travel to the US, Europe and Latin America.

The number of Cubans holding a Spanish passport tripled between 2009 and 2011, when it hit 108,000. Many of those Cubans fly to Mexico or the US on their Spanish passports, then present their Cuban passports to US officials.

Thousands of other travelers make their first stop in Ecuador, which dropped a visa requirement for all tourists in 2008. The number of Cubans heading to Ecuador hit 18,078 a year by 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available. From there, many hopscotch north by plane, train, boat or bus through Colombia, Central America and Mexico.

The government last year extended the length of time Cubans can be gone without losing residency rights from one year to two. That means migrants now can obtain US residency and still return to Cuba for extended periods, receive government benefits and even invest money earned in the US. ...

Cubans arriving at a US border or airport automatically receive permission to stay in the United States under the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows them to apply for permanent residency after a year, almost always successfully.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION – ECONOMY
Low birth rate 'will make Britain better off'
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2014

Fears that an ageing population and low birth rates could virtually bankrupt countries such as Britain and the USA are misplaced, a study by economists says.

Far from impoverishing the country by placing an unsustainable burden on the NHS and welfare state, as is often feared, the population structure will spell higher living standards overall, they argue.

Their report lists the UK among nine developed countries where the current "moderately low" fertility rates are close to ideal from an economic point of view.

However, major economies including Germany and Japan, which have even lower birth rates, would benefit from families having more children, it says.

The study, published in the journal Science, challenges the idea that increasing life expectancy and declining fertility spell economic ruin and argues that attempts by some governments to encourage people to have more children are misjudged. Such an approach, it says, ignores the cost of having children. It also finds that encouraging mass immigration to rebalance the population is destined to fail.
[Newspaper link]

Up

POLITICS – CONSERVATIVE PARTY
David Cameron to unveil EU immigration crackdown following Ukip victory
Peter Dominiczak, Matthew Holehouse and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2014

David Cameron will unveil tough plans to restrict immigration from the European Union within weeks to stop another Ukip MP being elected following Thursday night's by-election.

Douglas Carswell, a former Conservative, yesterday became the first MP elected to Parliament for Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party following a huge swing in support. ...

Brandon Lewis, a communities minister, said that the Tories will put immigration "at the heart" of the renegotiation with the EU to be held before an in-out referendum scheduled for 2017.
[Site link]

Up

TERRORISM – ASYLUM, EU
Europe at risk of 'huge number' of returning jihadist fighters
Nikolaj Nielsen
EUobserver, 10 October 2014

The EU is planning to step up border checks and passport controls to counter the threat of returning jihadist fighters.

"We may be faced soon with returns, huge returns from Syria and Iraq," the EU's counter-terrorism co-ordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, told reporters in Luxembourg on Thursday (9 October). ...

Kerchove, EU interior ministers and home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom met in Luxembourg to address the emerging security threat.

Speaking alongside Kerchove, Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano said: "The key issue is that we really need to step up border controls at our external borders."

Initiatives include getting a controversial EU PNR (Passenger Name Records) bill in place before the end of the year.

The European Commission's proposal for surveillance of internal EU flights has been stuck in the European Parliament for the past two years due to privacy issues.

Ministers are also interested in systematic electronic checks of documents - instead of the more standard visual checks - of EU citizens leaving and entering the passport-free Schengen zone.

The checks would link up national police databases, the Schengen Information System (an EU-wide criminal database), and Interpol resources.

Kerchove noted that some EU member states, including France, Germany, and the UK, are also drawing up legislation to confiscate returning fighters' passports.

The border control plans are not limited to stopping the movement of fighters between the EU, Iraq, and Syria.

Irregular immigration is also part of the extra security mix, with Italy's Alfano announcing the imminent end of Italy's naval search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum.

The Mediterranean Sea operation is credited with saving almost 100,000 boat migrants' lives since the beginning of the year.

But it will be phased out entirely as the EU's smaller Triton mission gets ready to start in November.

"We always said we would close down Mare Nostrum once Europe did its share. We now can feel Europe is doing its share," Alfano said.

Meanwhile, an internal EU document, which outlines the ministerial conclusions to be published on Friday, urges member states to make sure irregular migrants' fingerprints "are taken on land, immediately upon apprehension". ...

Closer to home, member states are being asked to make better use of a policy that requires point-of-entry member states to take charge of asylum requests.

Those who are processed either remain in the member state of arrival or are resettled internally. Around 75 percent of all asylum seekers end up either in Italy, Sweden, Germany, UK, or France.

"There are many countries in the European Union today who receive basically no refugees or asylum seekers," said EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom.

The EU document notes that use of relocation should remain voluntary.

But the lack of solidarity from other member states has caused annoyance, with some calling upon a system of quotas.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – OVER-POPULATION, SWITZERLAND
Immigration caps to reduce ecological footprint
Urs Geiser
swissinfo.ch, 10 October 2014

A controversial approach to reduce population growth in Switzerland will be decided by voters on November 30. The Ecopop initiative wants to curb immigration and promote birth control in developing countries.

Under the plan by the group of ecologists behind Ecopop, net immigration - the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants – shouldn't exceed 0.2% of the population over a three year average.

Ecopop also wants at least 10% of the government's development aid spent on voluntary family planning.

The initiative garnered about 119,000 signatures from citizens in less than 18 months – more than enough required for a nationwide ballot on the constitutional amendment.

"Ecopop wants not only to contribute to a sustainable quality of life in Switzerland. We also want to reduce the inconceivable misery of people in disadvantaged regions of this world," says Alec Gagneux.

He is a leading member of the campaign committee without any party affiliation and an trained engineer.

Calling for a smaller ecological footprint of mankind on the planet, the group says voluntary family planning is a basic human right declared by the United Nations in 1968. ...

There is strong opposition to the initiative, including the government and all the main political parties, the business community, trade unions, churches and most charities.

The consensus was that the initiative is too strict, damaging for Switzerland, its economic prosperity and its humanitarian tradition. ...

The Ecopop group was founded in the early 1970s by a group of activists led by university scientists seeking to raise public awareness of the impact of population growth on the environment.

Inspired by a report of the international Club of Rome think tank, the Swiss lobby group campaigned both against government plans to boost the number of immigrants and also against proposals by a far-right political National Action Party to curb immigration in the 1980s and 1990s.

The latter is explained by Ecopop's stated position rejecting xenophobic or racist views. Its aim is to stabilise the number of residents in Switzerland. With its just under 8.2 million inhabitants Switzerland is now one of the most densely populated countries in Europe the campaigners argue.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
More than 6,000 children across England are deemed at risk of sexual exploitation in past 18 months
Emma Glanfield
Daily Mail, 9 October 2014

More than 6,000 children across England have been reported as at risk of sexual exploitation in the past 18 months, according to new figures.

The data, collected by Channel 4, shows that 6,300 children aged under 16 have been flagged up to social services for being vulnerable to exploitation since January last year.

The figures, which were obtained from 88 councils across the country, have been disclosed following the Rotherham sex abuse scandal where more than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16-year period.

According to the new information, social services were aware of 3,202 children at risk in 2013 and a total of 3,009 children were referred to social services, or known to them already, in the first six months of 2014. ...

Children were found to be most at risk in northern regions, with 452 deemed at risk in Manchester, 407 in Derbyshire, 363 in Sheffield and 311 in Blackburn and Darwen.

However, the problem is not just confined to the north, as the data shows that children are at risk nationwide – including 256 in the London borough of Havering, 230 in Northamptonshire, 196 in Hampshire and 140 in Southampton.

Of those reported at risk, the majority were girls but 523 cases involved young boys.

Ann Coffey, the Labour MP for Stockport who is chairing an inquiry into child exploitation, said agencies were being more pro-active in tackling exploitation nowadays. ...

The issue of 'victim blaming' by the agencies and authorities who were tasked to support the children had been 'a real problem for victims' in the past, but Ms Coffey said this situation was now changing.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – WITCHCRAFT CHILD ABUSE
Witchcraft Child Abuse Cases On The Rise In The UK
Zoe Mintz
International Business Times, 9 October 2014

A rise in the number of child abuse cases linked to supposed witchcraft has been reported in the U.K., London's Metropolitan Police said Wednesday. ...

In the past year, 27 allegations of child abuse have been reported. The year before, the figure was 24, the BBC reports. ...

In one person's view, the spike in the number of cases can be attributed to "mass migration and globalization." Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe, of the Metropolitan Police's sexual offenses, exploitation and child abuse command, said in the report that he believes an increase has coincided with an influx of immigrants from varied backgrounds. "People bring their cultures and beliefs with them," he told the BBC.

The number of people seeking U.K. citizenship in the past four years has been on the rise. In 2013 there were more than 152,000 "grants of settlement" to non-European migrants – an 18 percent increase from the year before. ... ...

According to Shape, exorcisms and isolation are frequently seen when a child is suspected of being possessed by an evil spirit. "A child is starved, or put in a cage, so that they can't pass the spirit on to other children," Sharpe told the BBC. "If someone is branded a witch, the violence can escalate quite quickly. They are no longer seen as a child but someone that can inflict harm on others. The parent will no longer see that child as theirs any more but an evil spirit that needs to be released."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – ITALIANS
Young Italians abandon la dolce vita to move to Britain
Nick Squires
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2014

Britain is the main destination of choice for Italians seeking a new life abroad, as tens of thousands flee the sclerotic economy, dismal growth predictions and lack of meritocracy of the Beautiful Country.

The UK has overtaken Germany as the most favoured country for emigration, with nearly 13,000 Italians arriving last year in search of jobs and fresh opportunities. ...

Many are dismayed by the slow pace of change in the country, rising unemployment and the difficulty of finding well-paid, full-time work. ...

Among Italians moving abroad there was "a sense of anger, a lack of faith in a country which in many cases they have not left voluntarily or happily, but out of necessity or as a rebellion against a system that offers no hope," said Prof Tinagli.

The survey by Coldiretti found that young Italians regard their country as incapable of making major reforms.

They pointed to high taxes and a chronic "lack of meritocracy" as reasons to pack their bags and leave.

Men were more likely to consider emigration than women, and graduates were more open to a change of country than those with less education. ...

The registered population of Italians living in London is 220,000, but officials believe the true figure may be closer to half a million.

Italians make up the fourth largest European community in the capital, after Poles, Irish and French.
[Site link]

Up

ASYLUM – MIDDLESBROUGH
Middlesbrough at breaking point over asylum seeker numbers
Paul Jeeves
Daily Express, 9 October 2014

A town flooded by a sudden surge of asylum seekers can no longer cope, angry locals claimed yesterday.

New figures revealed Middlesbrough has topped England's asylum seeker league with the town becoming the first in the country to breach Government accommodation guidelines.

The amount of cheap housing in the Teesside town means it has become a magnet for penniless arrivals seeking sanctuary in the UK.

The Government insists no local authority area should need to house more than one asylum seeker per 200 of population.

But a Middlesbrough Council report has revealed almost 1,000 asylum seekers are currently being housed in the town, which has a population estimated at 138,400 - putting it almost one-and-a-half times the Government limit.

Asylum seekers are generally housed at taxpayers' expense homes while the Home Office decides whether to grant them asylum.

The process can take up to a year and a total of 982 asylum seekers are currently housed in paid-for accommodation in Middlesbrough.

In the report to be discussed by the Labour-run authority next week, Richard Horniman, economic development manager at Middlesbrough Council says the town has seen a rise in the number of asylum seekers through Government-funded regional contracts.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – DISEASE, USA
'It's literally, "Katie bar the door"': Marine Corps four-star general warns of 'mass migration into the US' if Ebola epidemic hits Central America
David Martosko
Daily Mail, 9 October 2014

The Marine Corps general who leads America's Southern Command warned Tuesday that the U.S. could face an unprecedented flood of immigrants from the south if the Ebola virus epidemic hits Central America.

'If it breaks out, it's literally, "Katie bar the door",' Gen John Kelly said during a public discussion at the National Defense University. 'And there will be mass migration into the United States.'

'They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.' ...

'By the end of the year, there's supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the CDC,' he said.

'That's horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.' ...

The Weekly Standard noted Wednesday that Gen. Kelly warned this year about the dangers associated with a loose American border to the south.

Budgets cuts, he said in a spring congressional hearing, are 'severely degrading' his Pentagon task force's ability to stem the flow of illegal immigration.

Nearly 75 per cent of traffickers, he said, are left unchallenged.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – GREECE
UNCHR sounds alarm as migrant sea influx triples
ekathimerini.com, 9 October 2014

The Greek office of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday appealed to the European Union to boost support for Greece and other southern European countries struggling with a growing influx of would-be immigrants, reporting that arrivals on islands in the Aegean have tripled over the past year. ...

A total of 22,089 migrants entered Greece by sea in the first eight months of the year, up from 6,834 in the same period in 2013.

Of the migrants arriving in Greece, 65 percent were from Syria, with many of the others coming from Somalia, Eritrea and Afghanistan.

The pressure is even greater on Italy, which saw the arrival on its shores of some 140,000 would-be migrants in the first nine months of this year.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ASYLUM, DENMARK
Government to limit family reunification for refugees
Christian Wenande
Copenhagen Post, 9 October 2014

The record influx of asylum-seekers arriving to Denmark has prompted the government to propose more stringent legislation surrounding family reunification for refugees.

In future, refugees and asylum-seekers with temporary residence will only be able to obtain family reunification if their residence permits are extended in Denmark after one year.

"There are great consequences and costs associated with moving an entire family to Denmark, so therefore it should only occur if there is a view to residency in Denmark of a certain duration," the justice minister, Karen Hækkerup, said in a press release.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION – BIRTH RATE
Soaring immigration sparks British baby boom as London becomes the birth-rate capital of Europe
Tom McTague
Daily Mail, 8 October 2014

Soaring immigration has sparked a baby boom in Britain outstripping almost every other country in Europe, official figures have revealed.

Across the EU, the number of babies being born has dropped since the financial crash – sparking falls in population in some countries.

But the UK has bucked the trend, with soaring birth rates in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds contributing to a boom in the number babies being born.

British women are having two babies each on average – higher than anywhere else in Europe, apart from France and Ireland.

Overall, London is now seeing more babies born per 1,000 of the population anywhere in Europe, according to the EU's official statistics body.

Across the EU, there were 10.4 babies born per 1,000 people. But in the capital, the birth rate has hit 17.7.

At least 14 births per 1,000 population were recorded in the west Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire as well – a rate only matched in Brussels and Paris.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – DOCTORS
European doctors three times more likely to be struck off: GMC
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2014

European doctors are three times more likely to be struck off by the GMC than British-trained doctors, a report has found, as one in three medics working in the UK has trained abroad.

Out of 13,150 new doctors joining the register in 2013, 3,123 of them were from within the European Economic Union, 2,496 were from outside Europe along with 7531 from the UK.

Doctors who qualified from overseas are more likely to have a complaint made about them to the GMC and are more likely to be suspended or struck off, a report said.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – DIVERSITY
Banksy in Clacton
Michael Blackburn
Fortnightly Review, 8 October 2014

When the ubiquitously absent graffiti artist Banksy left one of his statements on the wall of a building in Clacton-on-Sea the other day I don't suppose he was expecting the local council to scrub it off – because someone complained that it was racist.

The work depicts a group of pigeons holding banners saying "Migrants Not Welcome," "Go Back To Africa," and "Keep Off Our Worms" to a suitably lonely but colourful swallow. It's not clear from the council's statement whether the complainant was someone suffering from an irony deficiency who took the picture at face value or whether it was a local citizen sick of being branded racist by the liberal establishment and portrayed as a dull and ugly pigeon.

This "clever and succinct piece of satire" as Jonathan Jones of the Guardian calls it is as subtle as a spike in the eye. ... ...

... The little Lenins of the metropolitan establishment love this down-with-the-people, street art stuff. It combines the pretentiousness of the cultural world with a yearning for the authenticity of working class experience, of "real people".

Real people for the little Lenins vote Labour and welcome mass immigration because it means their dull, pigeon-like existence gets to be enriched by the multitudinous, colourful swallows of diversity. Real people are not susceptible to the "swirling currents of prejudice" sluicing modern Britain. Real people put up with the overcrowded schools, hospitals and surgeries with big, happy smiles because they've now got lots of neighbours with brightly coloured clothes, a Babel of tongues and the exotic attraction of foreign cuisines.
[Site link]

Up

MULTICULTURALISM – DIVERSITY
How will 'super diversity' affect the future of British politics?
Rebecca Ratcliffe
The Guardian, 8 October 2014

Whether it's Trojan horses in Birmingham schools or Tory MPs defecting to Ukip, immigration dominates political discourse. Since 1997, the number of people moving to Britain has soared, transforming its towns and cities. But while policymakers talk about the economic benefits of immigration, many voters remain unconvinced. ...

Immigration and its social impact was the subject of a recent Guardian roundtable, in association with the British Academy. The discussion brought together politicians, leading academics and policy experts to debate the effect Britain's changing ethnic diversity is having on national identity and cohesion.

Immigration isn't a new phenomenon, the panel heard, but the scale and variety of countries from which people are moving is greater than ever. Parveen Akhtar, lecturer in sociology at the University of Bradford, said that Britain's ethnic makeup no longer showed "diversity": instead, it is characterised by "super diversity". ...

The sheer numbers of people moving to the UK is also striking, added David Goodhart, chair of thinktank Demos' advisory group. "We've had minority pockets in big cities for years – Jewish, Irish, and Bangladeshis in cities such as Cardiff, Liverpool and so on." But since then, immigration has increased vastly. "In the early 1990s the ethnic minority populations accounted for 6-7% of residents in England and Wales," he said. That figure is now 14%, according to the 2011 Census.

How well this eclectic mix of communities integrate can have a profound impact on both domestic and foreign policy, said professor Chris Hill, Sir Patrick Sheehy professor of international relations at the University of Cambridge.

"Anyone who has been thinking about Isil and Syria won't need convincing that there's a link between international politics and what goes on at home." It is important that UK residents have a "shared destiny", he added.

The pace at which immigration occurs is crucial, said Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. ... ...

Although Kaufmann's research looked specifically at the experience of the white British majority population, they're not the only section of society that can feel uncomfortable about immigration. Settled ethnic minorities are also often concerned by the arrival of newcomers, said Emma Stone, director of policy and research at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a development and social research charity. ... ...

On top of the diversity within minority groups, many communities have more than one "identity", added Jocelyn Wyburd, chair of the University Council of Modern Languages: "But what may be threatening to some groups is having that single identity, yet being surrounded by all this pluralism." ...

While Grieve pointed out that the arrival of immigrants to the Thames valley had provided an injection of enterprise to the region, David Kirkby, a researcher for the conservative thinktank Bright Blue, said such economic arguments will not win over voters. "If, as many contributors have said, people's concerns around immigration centre upon pace of change or loss of familiar reference points, you can see how emphasising the way in which immigrants have contributed to growth does not feed into the worries that people have."
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – UK, EUROPEAN UNION
EU is too busy for Cameron's reforms, says French PM: Socialist believes union is more occupied with tackling weak growth and unemployment
Daniel Martin and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 7 October 2014

The EU is too busy tackling eurozone economies to help David Cameron claw back powers from Brussels, the French premier said last night.

Mr Cameron has promised tough negotiations to bring about an overhaul of EU rules on free movement, which he says allow thousands of migrants to come here to claim benefits.

But Manuel Valls, the socialist prime minister of France, said in London that the union is too preoccupied with tackling weak growth and high unemployment to overhaul its treaties and change the terms of Britain's EU membership.

After talks with Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, he said that opening up the EU treaties would be 'perilous' and unpicking the right of free movement of people would be 'to call into question the very basis of the EU'.

Mr Cameron has pledged to change the rules on free movement ahead of an in/out referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.

Only last week he told the Conservative party conference: 'I know you want this sorted so I will go to Brussels. I will not take "no" for an answer when it comes to free movement – I will get what Britain needs.'

Mr Valls, a former interior minister, suggested he was prepared to discuss the conditions for migrants settling in other countries and reducing red tape.

But, speaking to journalists after meeting financiers in the City of London, he added: 'I don't think the EU at the moment is ready for a shake-up of its treaties and institutions. The priority is jobs and growth.'

In comments reported in the Financial Times, Mr Valls said unpicking the principle of free movement of people and workers would be 'to call into question the very basis of the EU'.

He said that in any case, member states from eastern European Europe would oppose it.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
The Guardian view on Vince Cable's defence of immigration
The Guardian, 7 October 2014
[Leading article]

In his speech on Monday Vince Cable spoke about immigration in terms that many politicians secretly agree with but are too cautious to echo. When voters feel squeezed, the business secretary said, they put pressure on their politicians to turn inward. The results could be seen in the debates around Scottish independence, membership of the EU and, above all, immigration. He might have added that Labour's immigration debate at Manchester, while containing some practical ideas about attacking low pay for migrants, fitted that pattern too. The Lib Dems, Mr Cable was clear, must stand up against these pressures.

His conference speech offered a reasoned breath of sanity about a subject on which pessimism abounds. The Tories talked about winning the global race and Britain being open for business, he said, but at the same time "they try to close the borders to skills and talent that Britain needs". Of course immigration had to be controlled at ports of entry and exit, Mr Cable continued. But it was the Lib Dems' responsibility to tell an "uncomfortable truth". Migrants from inside and outside the EU alike brought economic benefit, skills and cultural strengths. Any crackdown should not be "at the expense of the EU single market and its free movement of workers".
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – PEOPLE TRAFFICKING, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Smuggling of migrants tops agenda at opening of conference on organized crime
Irish Sun, 7 October 2014

The two main routes of smuggling of migrants to Europe and North America generate nearly $7 billion a year to the smuggling networks, according to an estimate today released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"Terrible tragedies are occurring daily as vulnerable women, children and men, place their trust in criminals to smuggle them across national borders," UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov said in Vienna at a conference focusing on the cooperation needed to confront criminals.

He was addressing the opening of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
[Site link]

Up

EMPLOYMENT – LONDON
London beats New York as most popular destination for workers: survey
Kate Holton
Yahoo / Reuters, 6 October 2014

London is the most popular city in the world to work in, an international survey of more than 200,000 people found, with nearly one in six of those questioned wanting to move to the British capital to secure employment.

The study by The Boston Consulting Group and totaljobs.com found respondents from 189 countries ranked London above New York and Paris, while Britain was second behind the United States as the most appealing country for international jobseekers.

While the survey - described by its compilers as the most expansive study conducted on worker mobility - found that almost two thirds of jobseekers were willing to move abroad to work, within Britain only 44 percent of people want to move overseas for work.

"This report cements London's reputation as a truly global city," said Mike Booker, of totaljobs.com. "Not only does it offer a wealth of job opportunities in a range of industries, but it boasts some of the world's top cultural attractions, so it's no surprise that people across the globe want to come and work here."
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – LEBANESE, ISLAM, EXTREMISM, CRIME, AUSTRALIA
Insight - Crime and gangs: the path to battle for Australia's Islamist radicals
Matt Siegel
Reuters, 6 October 2014

The children of refugees who fled Lebanon's civil war for peaceful Australia in the 1970s form a majority of Australian militants fighting in the Middle East, according to about a dozen counter-terrorism officials, security experts and Muslim community members.

Of the 160 or so Australian jihadists believed to be in Iraq or Syria, several are in senior leadership positions, they say.

But unlike fighters from Britain, France or Germany, who experts say are mostly jobless and alienated, a number of the Australian fighters grew up in a tight-knit criminal gang culture, dominated by men with family ties to the region around the Lebanese city of Tripoli, near the border with Syria.

Not every gang member becomes an Islamic radical and the vast majority of Lebanese Australians are not involved in crime or in radicalism of any sort. ...

Still, there is a clear nexus between criminals and radicals within the immigrant Lebanese Muslim community, New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas told Reuters.

"It is good training," said Kaldas, himself an immigrant from Egypt and a native Arabic speaker.

The ease with which some hardened criminals from within the community have taken to militant extremism, and the prospect of what they will do when they return home from the Middle East battle-trained, is a major worry for authorities, he said. ...

Only about half a million people out of Australia's 23.5 million are Muslims, making them a tiny fraction in a country where the final vestiges of the "White Australia" policy were only abolished in 1973, allowing large scale non-European migration. ...

"It's a troubled community as a group," said Greg Barton, director of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University. "So they're over-represented in petty crime, in organised crime, in religious extremism." ...

Both police and academics, however, struggle to explain what would draw second-generation Australians back to the violence which their parents had fled.
[Site link]

Up

EMIGRATION – SCOTLAND
Ten of thousands will still leave Scotland forever
Jock Morrison
Herald Scotland, 6 October 2014

It's estimated that the number of people of Scottish descent living outside Scotland - the 'ancestral diaspora' - is between 25 and 40 millions.

Seven million Americans self-identify as having solely Scottish ancestry, another 21 million as having Scottish ancestry in combination with another nationality. Nearer home, there are 800,000 Scots-born people living in England. London, they say, is the third biggest Scottish city in the world.

The skills, hard work and ingenuity of these Scots have been a tremendous boon to the USA, England and all the other places they have gone to. But at what cost to Scotland? So much talent lost. So many ties broken.

The figures themselves are scary.

In the 19th century, Scotland lost to emigration between 10% and 50% of its natural population increase every decade. The drain of humanity diminished Scotland's standing in the Union. In 1801, the Scottish population made up one in six of the UK population. Today, it's one in twelve. ...

During the age of mass emigration, 1841-1931, over two million Scots emigrated abroad and another 750,000 moved to other parts of the UK. Even as late as the 1960s, 300 Scots emigrated every day.

Things seem to improve in the final decades of the last century. Much has been made of the fact that Scotland's population reached a historic peak of 5,295,000 in 2011. But let's not get too carried away.

Between 1960 and 2011, Scotland's population increased by just 2.6%. ... Tellingly, Scotland's slightly improved demographic position this century has only been achieved through immigration.

In 2010-11 alone, about 42,300 people came to Scotland from overseas. Around 16,900 Scots left to go overseas, giving a net migration gain from overseas of around 25,400. Over the decade 2001-11, Scotland's foreign-born population almost doubled, from 191,600 to 369,300. There are now more native speakers of Polish in Scotland than Gaelic. ...

While these young immigrants arrive in Scotland, it's estimated that 30,000 young Scots leave every year for England or abroad. ...

Most of the 30,000 probably intend to return to Scotland. Few of them will.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – MULTICULTURALISM, LANGUAGE, USA
One in five in the U.S. don't speak English at home, immigration report says
Stephen Dinan
Washington Times, 6 October 2014

One-fifth of people in the U.S. speak a foreign language at home, according to a report being released Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which found Arabic and Urdu – the national language of Pakistan – among the fastest-growing.

The report found that nearly half of all California school-age children speak a language other than English at home, as do a third of Texans and Nevadans, according to the report, which is based on Census Bureau numbers.

Three decades ago, 10 percent of residents spoke a foreign language at home, but a surge of immigration and changing cultural patterns have sent the percentage skyrocketing. More than 40 percent of those who spoke a foreign language at home said they speak English less than proficiently.

Steven Camarota, co-author of the report, said the increase in foreign language speakers isn't an accident, but rather the result of policy decisions that could be reversed by Congress.

"Allowing in over one million new legal immigrants a year and to a lesser extent tolerating illegal immigration has important implications for preserving a common language," Mr. Camarota said. "For too long, we have given little consideration to whether continuing this level of immigration, mostly legal, hinders the assimilation of immigrants and their children."

Spanish speakers dominate, with 38.4 million U.S. residents – roughly 12 percent of the total population – speaking Spanish at home.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Iain Duncan Smith: cut migration or Britain could quit EU
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 5 October 2014

Britain must be given the power to limit the number of migrants it admits as the price for staying in the European Union, Iain Duncan Smith says.

The Work and Pensions Secretary warns that unchecked migration fuels tensions within communities that have to cope with large numbers of non-English speakers and can lead to "resentment" and "civil unrest".

In an interview with The Telegraph, he calls for individual EU countries to be able to impose "general limitations, so you could fix the number of people you want to come in".

Mr Duncan Smith says David Cameron indicated he would demand such limits when he told the Conservative conference he would "get what Britain needs" and "not take 'no' for an answer" from Brussels.

"You have just had the first flush of the bottom line," Mr Duncan Smith says. ...

Mr Duncan Smith hints that he would be ready to vote to leave if there is no reform of EU "free movement" rules. "Control needs to be in the hands of individual nations if they remain in Europe," he says.

Pan-European migration works when the countries involved have economies that "are about the same size" but it falls down as a concept when people living in poor countries are given a free ticket to travel to richer member states.

"On a large scale that can cause unrest - civil unrest. It can also cause problems with regard to employment and it can lead to tensions," Mr Duncan Smith warns.
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – CHILD BENEFIT
£600,000 a week paid out in child benefit to parents overseas
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2014

Foreign children living overseas are receiving £600,000 in British child benefit every week, it has emerged.

Figures show that £31 million was paid to families of children living overseas last year. In all 20,400 Child Benefit claims were made, covering 34,268 children – two thirds of whom are living in Poland.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has said that he wants to address the issue of benefits being sent abroad when he begins renegotiating Britain's relationship with the European Union after the next election. ...

The UK, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands allow child benefit to be paid for children who live elsewhere in the EU.

Child benefit in the UK is worth £81.20 a month for the first child and £53.60 for the second and subsequent children, roughly four times higher than Polish rates.

Labour said the figures showed the Coalition "seems to have given up any effort to end the scandal of millions of pounds of child benefit being sent abroad every year".
[Site link]

Up

BORDER CONTROLS – UK, FRANCE, ITALY
Migrants under camper-vans and the crisis of Britain's porous borders
Simon Heffer
Daily Mail, 4 October 2014

... the influx of illegal immigrants able to slip into Britain is becoming ever greater, thanks to the shameful porosity of our borders.

This week the man who runs the port of Calais told a French newspaper the place was in 'chaos' and the security staff in a 'state of panic' because of a siege by an estimated 3,000 illegal immigrants. The newspaper said the immigrants, many of them Eritrean, were waiting to get to 'the English El Dorado'.

There have been violent brawls in the streets between rival bands of immigrants, and far-right French groups have raised tensions further by protesting there. The suggestion is that if many more migrants arrive in Calais, they may overrun the town, and lorry drivers are already threatening a boycott of it and other French ports.

The story raises several urgent questions. If Calais is in chaos and the system is breaking down, how many of these people are going to find their way to Britain? It won't be the odd one or two, but a large number.

Why are the French so ready to let these people into France? Most of them come up through Italy – which is only too delighted to send them on their way north – and enter France at the Riviera town of Menton, where it has been reported border guards wave them on knowing they will eventually become Britain's problem.

And why is Britain such an El Dorado? That is not hard to work out. Many of the migrants who smuggled themselves across the Channel are now accommodated in south coast hotels while awaiting allocation of their council housing, living on welfare benefits and using up the scarce resources of the NHS – to which they have not, of course, contributed a penny.

Disturbingly, it has now emerged that Calais is not the only pressure-point along the northern French coast. Officials in Dunkerque, Cherbourg and Le Havre have reported groups of illegal immigrants touring those ports, looking for weak links in the chain of French border security, and trying to get aboard on lorries or into vans headed for Britain.

And, of course, around all these ports there are people traffickers ready to exploit this particular brand of human misery and grow rich at the expense of those so desperate to get into Britain by any means possible.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, had talks last month to deal with the problem. This ended with Britain agreeing to pay £4 million a year over the next three years for better security in Calais, and to help fund new technology to spot illegal immigrants concealed in vehicles. ...

Italy, though, is at the root of the problem, in allowing so many to land and pass largely unmolested through that country on their way north, without either making them claim asylum or sending them back to north Africa.

If France and Britain are serious about this problem – and the public expects them to be – then both countries should send those who are judged to be economic migrants and not genuine asylum seekers straight back to the port where they entered the EU, which will normally be in Italy.

This would mean the French implementing more serious border controls on their frontier with Italy. And it might force the Italians to take more responsibility for immigrants, rather than just hurrying them northwards to become somebody else's problem.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – REWRITING HISTORY
Tom and Jerry racist? No, the real bigots are those who want to rewrite history
Professor Frank Furedi
Daily Mail, 4 October 2014

For more than 70 years, their cat-and-mouse capers have enthralled young people across the globe. ...

This week, however, they fell foul of the censors at Amazon, which seems to have taken its lead from Cromwell's Puritans. The company says Tom and Jerry cartoons must carry a warning that 'they contain some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society'. ...

More importantly, however, this is a worrying new example of the way history is being re-written by politically-correct know-alls who are so blinkered that they can only see things from their own perspective – which is, of course, a modern-day perspective. It is as if they are writing history back-to-front, imposing their own moral views on the past.

These people pose as the champions of children, arguing that by issuing their warnings of racism, they are offering them protection from encountering it. But it's hard not to believe that their real motive is to parade their own piety.

What is worse, is that in order to do this they are airbrushing history, which sets a very dangerous precedent – for it is only by acknowledging the truth about the past that we can progress to a better future.

And yet the warnings on Tom and Jerry are far from the only example of this trend – the moralisers have indulged in an extraordinary range of denunciations in recent years. ...

Those in the politically correct brigade are not interested in encouraging tolerance, as they pretend, or in promoting knowledge and open inquiry. Instead, like all hard-liners throughout history, they want to impose their own ideological values on impressionable minds.

To them, history is not merely a process of study to illuminate the past of mankind. It is also a tool of propaganda, an instrument with which to enforce correct thinking.

In this regard, the ideologues have a similar outlook to the party bosses in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, in which the Ministry of Truth constantly rewrites history in books and newspapers to ensure that the citizens of the socialist state have the right political outlook.

'Who controls the past controls the future,' is one of the party's slogans.

...

That is why this doctrinaire censoring of the past is highly dangerous. It creates a climate of hysteria, where wild accusations of racism or bigotry are hurled about, and where rational debate becomes impossible. ...

... The sanctimonious censors might like to think that we live in more advanced times.

But their own intolerant, aggressive attitude is all too reminiscent of the witchfinders of the past, fixated with rooting out supposed evil, desperate to enforce their own creed, contemptuous of both the past and freedom.

In their crusade against bigotry, they are guilty of the most flagrant double standards, sometimes descending to exactly the same kind of racism that they so fiercely condemn in others.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION ABROAD – ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, EU, POLAND
Illegal immigrants on the rise
New Poland Express, 4 October 2014

The number of illegal immigrants entering Poland is continuing to grow a new report shows.

The study, carried out by the Ministry of Interior (MSW), revealed that during the whole of 2013, more than 3,700 people were stopped at the country's border control, compared to 3,000 the year previous - an increase of approximately 16 percent.

The ministry states that illegal immigration has, for years, been the biggest problem for border guards. "Migrants are constantly looking at ways to gain asylum or improve their economic situation by finding a job in the EU, as well as trying to gain access to the Schengen Area. This makes Poland a particularly interesting location for criminal groups and third-world nations," it claims. "In this day and age, Poland is treated as a transit country - a route to other nations in Western Europe and North America," it adds.

Last year, a total of 3,795 people were arrested in total at the border. The largest number hailed from Ukraine (1,444 people), then Russia (944), Belarus (224) and Georgia (186), writes Gazeta Wyborcza.

The report also noted a significant increase in the number of people illegally claiming asylum or refugee status. "This phenomenon mainly involved Russian citizens of Chechen nationality," said the ministry.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – HOUSING
Market towns may be forced to treble in size
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 3 October 2014

Market towns could be forced to treble in size with "huge slabs of identikit" housing developments after the election in the "biggest and most worrying threat" of our time, the chief executive of a English Heritage has warned.

Simon Thurley said historic towns and cities will soon be put under "huge pressure" to build "exponentially" to fulfil a perceived housing need.

Saying the next election would see whichever party is in power "put its foot on the accelerator", he warned more "draconian measure" are likely to be introduced to ensure market towns are expanded. ...

"This expansion is happening without due thought and attention being given to things like traffic, schools, the health service, hospitals, all those other things." ...

Speaking of the consequences of building, he concluded: "I think in the next five or ten years, we risk losing something that has been protected for many centuries.

"When that happens, my kids will weep because they will have lost something very precious."
[Site link]

Up

ENVIRONMENT
Residents' anger after group of immigrants build 'filthy shanty town' in north London park
Anna Dubuis
Evening Standard (London), 2 October 2014

East European immigrants facing eviction from a "shanty town" on the banks of a canal in north London today said: "We've got to live somewhere."

The group of around 50 men, mostly from Romania, have been served with a possession order by landowners TFL which will be heard at the High Court on Friday.

If approved, police will have powers to move the group - who have been accused by locals of turning the leafy stretch of the Lee Valley Park in Edmonton into a "filthy slum" - off the land. ...

Most of the men are unemployed and spend their days waiting at a nearby retail park in the hope of being picked up for construction work before returning to cook on open fires and share a bare mattress with up to six other men. ...

Police have visited the camp regularly in the past few weeks, serving Asbos on some of the men, and the High Court documents allege that stolen car number plates and beer kegs have been found at the site. ...

Enfield Police Detective Chief Inspector Paul Healy said anti-social behaviour was a "significant and persistent problem" on the site.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM
Council scrubs out Banksy - after just one complaint that mural was racist
Alexandra Rucki
Evening Standard (London), 2 October 2014

A new Banksy mural depicting a group of pigeons holding anti-immigration placards has been destroyed by a council after a complaint it was "racist".

The mural appeared on a seafront building in Clacton-on-Sea this week following the defection of local MP Douglas Carswell to Ukip.

The messages "Go back to Africa" and "Migrants not welcome" are written on banners held up by four pigeons to a more exotic looking bird.

Tendring Council removed the work, with an estimated value of £400,000, after a visit by officials who deemed the art could be seen as offensive.

Banksy posted images of the mural on his website confirming it was his creation, but the council had already removed it.

According to the BBC, the council was unaware it was a Banksy before officials moved in to remove the artwork.
[Site link]

Up

RACISM – DIVERSITY, PREJUDICE
Banksy wanted Clacton-on-Sea to confront racism – instead it confronted him
Jonathan Jones
The Guardian, 2 October 2014

It must say something about the swirling currents of prejudice, fear and anger in modern Britain that even Banksy cannot predict their next bizarre lurch. ...

It comes as a genuine shock, then, that a council has removed one of his paintings instead of calling in the valuers. Tendring district council says it destroyed the new painting that materialised in Clacton-on-Sea – where Tory defector Douglas Carswell is about to fight a byelection for his new party Ukip – after getting a complaint that it was "offensive and racist". Was it?

Not in a million years. This is the best Banksy I have never seen: a clever and succinct satire on some currents of feeling in contemporary Britain, terrified of "migrants", menaced by otherness. Far from being by any stretch of the imagination "racist", it is – was – a witty putdown of the drab, dour vision of Britain touted by those who would push down diversity and hold back the tide of modern human movement.

A grumpy gang of grey pigeons aim their outrage at a beautiful green migratory swallow. "Migrants not welcome", say their placards: "Go back to Africa"; "Keep off our worms."

Did a member of the public really see these banners and take offence? If so, they misunderstood what is quite plainly an eloquent attack on racism.

The contrast between the ugly pigeons and the pretty swallow could hardly be starker or more telling. Plainly, we're meant to be on the side of the swallow. Banksy has cleverly exploited two contrasting wall textures to put the pigeons and the swallow in contrasting worlds: the place where the pigeons are is not very attractive and yet they defend it brutally, to the last worm.

Clearly, the African swallow is not a threat but an enriching presence. It's the "locals" who are grim. And the joke goes deeper. Banksy is pointing out that migration is not just a good thing – it is a natural fact. Migratory birds have been part of our landscape for a very long time. The little Britain defended by those who fear outsiders is an illusion – even the birds in our trees are citizens of the world.

This satire is in the tradition of Aesop's fables or St. Francis of Assisi when he preached to the birds – it's a lovely little vignette. For birds do not, of course, wave racist placards. Only humans do.

But only part of the content of an image is determined by the artist. The rest is born in the mind of the person looking. What you see is not what you get – it is what you bring. Banksy is in the eye of the beholder.

... If this picture scared anyone it must be because the pigeons' views are just too close to real opinions in the air – the satire is so accurate that it can be mistaken for reality. ...

Then again, the council's story is at best incomplete – it did not have to instantly act on the reported complaint. Some will suspect its claim of racism is an excuse for removing a work it knows to be precisely the opposite. How convenient to use the language of political correctness to censor an anti-racist artwork.

I know one thing. Banksy suddenly matters again. He has created a powerful image of our prejudiced times. Far from a stupid mistake by a confused council, its destruction is a real and vicious act of censorship. Banksy has not been banned from Clacton-on-Sea because he is a racist. He has been suppressed because he exposed the truth.
[Site link]

Up

CRIME – FAKE DOCUMENTS
Romanian gang who moved to UK after borders were opened jailed for selling fake IDs to illegal immigrants so they can claim benefits
Julian Robinson
Daily Mail, 1 October 2014

Three Romanians are behind bars today for running a fake ID racket in Britain which could have entitled illegal immigrants to millions of pounds in state hand outs and free healthcare.

Crime boss Vasile Gheorghe and two accomplices Valentin Babtan and Andreea Necula exploited EU laws on border controls to offer forged Romanian and Italian identity cards and driving licences for up to £2,000 each to migrants hiding out in the UK.

Each fake ID would carry an image of the illegal immigrant, usually with the name and details of unsuspecting Romanian nationals living in Bucharest who would have been legally allowed to move to the UK under the EU's Free Movement of workers programme.

The EU ID cards entitling holders to UK benefits and free NHS treatment were sold mainly to illegal Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians who were smuggled into the UK after fleeing their homelands. ...

The scam began after border restrictions on Romania and Bulgaria were lifted on January 1, allowing nationals of those EU member states full access to the UK jobs market and limited access to welfare benefits in the UK.

Gheorghe, Babtan and Necula used the laws to settle legally in the UK but then began dealing fake ID cards on the black market so illegal immigrants could cash in on the UK welfare system and get access to the NHS.

Their racket was exposed during an investigation by a Sunday newspaper after investigators posing as unscrupulous businessmen held meetings with gang members based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – MULTICULTURALISM
Lynton Crosby Admits The Tories Must 'Do More' To Win Ethnic Minority Votes
Ned Simons
The Huffington Post, 1 October 2014

The lack of support for the Conservative Party among ethnic minorities is in part down to an historical failure to engage with non-white voters, David Cameron's top election strategist has acknowledged.

In a rare public speaking appearance, Lynton Crosby also admitted the party needed to "do more" to attract votes from the BME community. ...

The Australian Tory strategist was speaking at an event organised to examine how the Conservative Party could convince more Muslims, who overwhelmingly voted Labour in 2010, to vote Tory.
[Site link]

Up

POLITICS – EU, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Tory scheme to slam 'emergency brakes' on EU migration: Senior ministers back plan to block incomers if too many are coming from a particular county
James Chapman, Tamara Cohen and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 1 October 2014

Britain is to propose an 'emergency brake' that could be applied to prevent large numbers of immigrants arriving from Europe.

A system that would allow the UK to impose a block on incomers from particular countries if numbers become too big is being backed by senior ministers.

Initial negotiations are already under way over what would be a fundamental reform of the EU's founding principle of free movement of people between countries, Government sources say.

The idea is winning support in Germany and France, which have also seen large influxes of migrant workers from poorer states that have joined the EU. ...

The proposal will be a central demand of David Cameron's plan to renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU if he wins next year's general election. It would allow the UK or other countries to bar any further arrivals for a fixed period.
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DIVERSITY
Immigration and diversity: Britain must integrate to accumulate [part 1]
Becky Slack
The Guardian, 1 October 2014

A subject that always provokes heated debate, immigration divides people into those who think immigrants create a richer society, both culturally and financially and those who think they are a drain on public funds and a source of tension and mistrust.

The real and imagined challenges of an ethnically diverse Britain were the focus of a recent roundtable, hosted by the Guardian and the British Academy at this autumn's Labour party conference. The aim was to discuss whether greater levels of ethnic diversity resulted in more or less social trust and community spirit, particularly at a time when immigration is constantly in the headlines.

The volume of immigrants arriving on our shores is increasing – a total of 560,000 arrived in the year to March 2014 – a rise of 68,000, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. ...

The social impacts of this population movement are wide and varied. Figures from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) suggest that immigrants from the European Economic Area (EEA) between 2001 and 2011 contributed 34% more to our financial system than they took out, while non-EEA immigrants paid in 2% more. Overall, the net fiscal balance of overall immigration to the UK amounts to a positive contribution of roughly £25bn between 2001 and 2011.

Immigration also allows for the creation of a much more culturally diverse society: there are more than 300 languages spoken on a daily basis; ...

Yet, despite the benefits, immigration creates challenges, not least for our public services, which are creaking under the weight of the additional demand: many schools are unprepared to accommodate children for whom English is their second language; hospitals are full of foreign patients who have failed to register with their local GP; and social housing lists grow ever longer.

In some regards it is not just the increased numbers but the changing nature of immigration that has created these impacts, said Sunder Katwala, director of British Future. He highlighted how, whereas migrants used to be keen to settle in a major city, today they are much more willing to disperse around the country – meaning places such as Boston in Lincolnshire and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales are having to cope with higher levels of migration than ever experienced before. Equally, there is a higher rate of "churn" – immigrants staying here on a temporary basis - that is also changing the dynamic of the way they relate to their communities.

"People want to be fair to citizens and migrants, but we find it easier to tell you what the fair deal is for the new citizen than it is for the temporary resident. We've got more work to do on how to deal with people whose intention is to come and go," he said.

Phillip Blond, director of Respublica, believes our failure to create cultural cohesion needs to be addressed. Multiculturalism has allowed minorities to integrate, he said, but "hasn't created the strong binding narrative that all nations need. ...

So what are the potential solutions to these challenges? One option is for Britain to renegotiate the terms of the European single market – something David Cameron has stated he will do. However, as EU Commissioner Andor pointed out, the British prime minister will need to come to an agreement with 27 other countries to achieve this. ...
[Site link]

Up

IMMIGRATION – DIVERSITY
Immigration and diversity: Britain must integrate to accumulate [part 2]
Becky Slack
The Guardian, 1 October 2014

Several panellists believed education provides a more achievable solution.

"This government has not done a great deal to encourage an outward-looking attitude among young people," said Sue Mendus FBA, Morrell professor emerita of political philosophy at the University of York, who highlighted that more and better teaching of history, culture and language skills could do much to change attitudes. Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said much of the power lies in the hands of primary school teachers, whom she described as "a hugely untapped resource".

"My experience is that a primary school teacher in a highly mixed school will do an incredibly good cohesion job," she said.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, expanded on this theme, adding that longer-term, strategic thinking within education was vital.

"We've known about the scale of this change for a long time, but really it has not been planned for. ...

Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary, concurred that better planning was essential, but added that for this to be successful, good quality data was required to allocate funds appropriately. Devolving powers away from Westminster towards cities and regions could be one way of addressing this, he suggested.

Much of the challenge around the immigration debate is that views tend to be polarised, and are all too often associated with racism, explained Amina Lone, director of the Social Action and Research Foundation. Many working-class people in particular struggle with this, she added, and feel that if they do talk about immigration, they are accused of being racist. A more open and honest conversation needs to take place that allows everyone to participate.

This is not going to be easy. Ghose reflected on a project that attempted to shift the focus from words such as "asylum" towards more positive terms such as "sanctuary", concluding: "It is impossible with a topic such as immigration to change the narrative overnight."

For John Denham MP, the conversation must start on the doorstep and acknowledge individual perceptions of immigration, even if they are not statistically accurate. "Too often people on the liberal left don't even allow the conversation to happen – when actually, most people just want to be heard. We need to listen, acknowledge the unfairness and give people a voice. The worse thing we can do is show them the data and tell them they shouldn't be worried." ...

Ethnic diversity does not come without its challenges, but there is also much to celebrate. One only needs to look to London to see the kind of impact immigration can have, socially and economically. As Prof Shamit Saggar of Essex University said: "London is an exceptional city. Permanent and temporary influences and identities are all represented there. It doesn't take a huge amount of vision to say that the country as a whole has that kind of future ahead of it."
[Site link]

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS – HOUSING
House price boom helps migrant workers - Willetts
Brian Wheeler
BBC, 1 October 2014

Migrants gain an advantage over British workers in the jobs market because they are willing to share accommodation, a former business minister has said.

David Willetts said high house prices in London and the South-East should "superficially" act as a deterrent to migrant labour.

But, he suggested at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference, the opposite was true.

House prices rose 9.4% in the year to September, according to the Nationwide.

The Conservative MP said: "The paradox is that a lot of migrant workers are coming into areas with very high house prices. It is, superficially, a rather peculiar phenomenon."

But he added: "The willingness, especially of single migrants, to share accommodation, including quite extraordinary arrangements, where you have one room and one has it for 12 hours and another has it for the other 12 hours... gives you a heck of an advantage, which increases the higher house prices go." ...

Mr Willetts was speaking at a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) debate on why British employers seem to prefer foreign labour and what can be done about it.
[Site link]

Up

POPULATION PRESSURE – HEALTH
Living Near a Highway May Be Bad for Your Blood Pressure
Steven Reinberg
Pollen.com, 1 October 2014

Living close to a major highway may raise your risk for high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

Among more than 5,000 postmenopausal women, those who lived within 10