IMMIGRATION CONCERN

NEWS AND VIEWS - BY SUBJECT
2007 and earlier

Quotations of news and views by subject



At the end of this page there is a list of subjects, with links to the relevant sections

Within each section of this page the more recent items are shown first. However, 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.



ASYLUM

Asylum – deportation
Smith admits asylum error
Daily Telegraph, 24 December 2007

The Home Secretary has admitted that the number of failed asylum seekers whose deportation flights are postponed because of their disruptive behaviour is almost double the figure previously released.

Jacqui Smith has apologised after stating that there had been 1,173 such cases over two years when the real figure is nearly twice as high.

In a letter to David Davis, the shadow home secretary, Ms Smith wrote: "It has now come to light that some of this information was incorrect and the figure is in fact 2,079.

"Please accept my sincere apologies for the error."

A Home Office spokesman said the mistake was down to an administrative error.
[Newspaper link]

 

Asylum – repatriation
Asylum returners take cash and stay
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 23 December 2007

Failed asylum seekers are drawing benefits to which they are not entitled by claiming that they are about to return home – only to continue to live in Britain for years.

The scam, which may have cost taxpayers millions of pounds, has come to light with the cases of four migrants who signed up for the Home Office's voluntary repatriation programme and who then went on to live off state handouts worth tens of thousands of pounds.

They took advantage of a scheme that offers asylum seekers £4,000 to go home and set up in business. Last week The Sunday Telegraph revealed that £36 million of taxpayers' money had been spent helping 23,000 asylum seekers to start enterprises including an ostrich farm in Iran and a vineyard in Albania.

However, millions more has been spent on supporting those who have signed up for the scheme but are still in the UK, some with no intention of returning home.

Asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected, and whose appeal rights have been used up, are given 21 days' grace before being stripped of benefit entitlements and told to leave the country.

However, if they agree to go home via the Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP), they become eligible for "Section Four support", an emergency handout consisting of free food vouchers worth £35 a week, plus free accommodation, with council tax and utility bills paid, worth about £100 a week.

Most receive the benefit for two or three weeks until flights home have been arranged by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the agency that runs the assisted return scheme on behalf of the Home Office. ...

The IOM said it always passed on to the Home Office the names of applicants who failed to leave the UK.

The Home Office could not say why it had failed to stop payments in the four cases. It was also unable to say how many more migrants might be in similar positions or how much it spends on Section Four support.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Asylum – deportation
Had a bad day? Take it out on an asylum-seeker
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 23 December 2007

... the Home Office's Border and Immigration Agency (BIA). They arrived at four in the morning at the foster home of a 15-year-old Iraqi asylum claimant in order to bundle him onto a plane out of Britain. ...

... It is an example of the bungling inefficiency that too often characterises the BIA. Its officials had known of J's arrival in the UK since April, and had tried to visit him in May, but J had not been at his address when they called. They then seem to have forgotten about him for nearly seven months, so that by the time they went back at 4am on November 8, the six-month time limit on removals in such cases had expired. That fact alone, said the judge, made the removal of the boy unlawful.

The BIA's outrageous behaviour was wholly, and foreseeably, counter-productive: J will now have to be brought back to the UK, and will probably end up having his claim for asylum here approved. ...

... More than 20,000 children under 18 have arrived in Britain to claim asylum over the past few years: the Home Office won't say how many of those claims have been refused, still less how many children have been deported. Other agencies such as social and health services often refuse to co- operate with the BIA's attempt to identify and remove failed child asylum seekers. It makes the job of enforcing the law doubly difficult, and they mostly fail.

There is a backlog of at least 200,000 people whose claims for asylum have been investigated and found to be without merit, but who have not left Britain. Many of them will not only never be removed: they will get their families into Britain, under the "right to family" reunion enshrined in the Human Rights Act. In asylum law, two wrongs make a right: if you can get here and stay here, you get the right to bring your family here. ...

We need a tough asylum policy: one that makes sure that the law is enforced fairly and effectively. But this should not be confused with a brutal, inhumane 0one enforced by officials who behave in outrageous fashion. At the moment, however, we are getting the worst of both worlds: a feeble, ineffective policy, coupled with occasional bouts of outrageous behaviour from the officials charged with enforcing it.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – deportation
Immigration 'amnesty' for 160,000
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2007

More than 160,000 illegal immigrants due for deportation may be given asylum and allowed to stay in Britain amid claims that the Government has embarked on a secret "stealth amnesty".

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, disclosed last night that more than a third of the backlog of illegal immigrants reconsidered for deportation had actually been granted leave to remain since 2006.

Over the past 18 months, the Government has reassessed only the cases of 52,000 illegal immigrants out of a backlog of 450,000. Of that 52,000, 19,000 have been allowed to stay – sparking fears that asylum could finally be granted to 164,000 previously due to be deported if the present rate of "amnesty" continues.

The Conservatives said that despite previous Government plans to deport those here illegally, only 16,000 had so far been sent home – three per cent of the total backlog.

Miss Smith disclosed the damning figures in a letter to the Commons home affairs committee, sent on the eve of MPs' Christmas recess. ...

Many records covered people who had already left the UK, had died or were EU citizens with a right to reside here. Miss Smith said 900 caseworkers had been appointed to deal with the backlog.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Asylum – deportation
We can't buy our way out of asylum failure
Sunday Telegraph, 16 December 2007
[Leading article]

So since 1999 the Home Office has operated a scheme which today hands failed asylum seekers £1,000 to leave Britain, and then gives them a further £3,000 towards setting up a business in their own country. The Government may have been proud of the programme, but it evidently did not feel proud enough to inform the public of its workings: today, we report the details of some of the scheme's beneficiaries, and what they did with their money, for the first time. ...

The principal problem with any such scheme is that it rewards, and therefore provides an incentive for, bogus asylum claims – precisely the behaviour that it was meant to diminish. ...

The reward scheme itself has not worked and should be abandoned, not least because it would send a strong signal that law-breaking will not be tolerated. The money should be used to deport failed asylum seekers, not to reward them. Only a small fraction of those whose asylum claims have been refused since 1997 have actually left the country. Although the Government deports about 1,000 failed asylum-seekers every month, there is still a backlog of 240,000 people whose claims for asylum have been rejected. Because around 1,000 additional claimants are added to the "rejected" list every month, the Government's deportations have made no impact on the huge backlog.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – politics
'Cover-up' over £35m asylum centres that were never built
Robert Watts
Sunday Telegraph, 4 November 2007

Botched plans to detain thousands of asylum seekers in the depths of the countryside have wasted £35 million of taxpayers' money.

Officials at the Home Office have also been accused of a cover-up after scores of documents about the proposed centre disappeared.

Labour ministers originally planned to build four holding centres in rural areas five years ago. But the plans were shelved three years later after opposition from the Refugee Council, the Red Cross and thousands of local residents.

A report this week by the National Audit Office, the public spending watchdog, will for the first time lay bare the full cost to taxpayers of the ditched policy. It will announce on Thursday that ministers spent around £35 million on a proposed asylum centre in Oxfordshire alone - £10 million more than initially thought.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
Asylum crisis getting worse say officials
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 14 October 2007

The asylum system is in turmoil, and claimants could now be offered a backdoor amnesty to remain in Britain, a leaked Home Office memo has revealed.

The document raises fears that a government target to speed up the processing of new claims could lead to existing cases being given "lower priority", potentially allowing thousands of claimants to stay in the country indefinitely.

The memo, seen by this newspaper, says unrest is spreading in detention centres, a growing number of claimants are going missing before cases are decided and the number of failed asylum seekers being deported is declining.

The concerns are highlighted in a "performance report" to ministers from the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), which enforces the asylum system. ...

Home Office figures show that only 23,610 people claimed asylum last year, the lowest annual total since 1993. However, the Government missed its deportation target with only 6,780 failed asylum seekers removed in the first half of this year, down from 10,345 in the same period last year.

With fewer than 3,000 places in immigration detention centres, most asylum seekers are given free housing while their claims are processed, making it easy for them to abscond.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2007

Britain is the top European destination for asylum seekers, according to figures released by the EU yesterday. In 2006, Britain received 27,850 applications for asylum, more than France (26,300), Sweden (24,300) and Germany (21,000).

Britain received 3,000 fewer applications than in 2005. The greatest number of asylum applicants came from Eritrea, with 2,725 applying to stay, followed by Iran (2,675) and Afghanistan (2,650).
[Newspaper link]

Up

Asylum – immigration
Asylum backlog won't be cleared until 2011
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2007

In the second quarter of this year, the number of asylum applicants removed because they were not considered legitimate refugees fell by more than a third to 3,280, compared to the same period last year when 5,260 were deported.

This means that the Government's "priority" target to remove more failed asylum seekers than there are new applicants has been missed.

... Ministers said they will clear the backlog of 450,000 cases by 2011. But at current rates, it would take 30 years.

Separate figures published yesterday showed that the number of eastern Europeans who have registered to work in Britain since May 2004 is close to 700,000. More than 50,000 arrived in the three months to June this year, mainly from Poland. The figures do not include the self-employed or the families of workers, so the true total could be much higher.

In addition, 9,335 people arrived in the second quarter of the year from Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the European Union on January 1. Another 3,980 came under the agricultural workers scheme.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
£10m of Diana fund to help asylum seekers
Caroline Davies
Daily Telegraph, 20 August 2007

The Diana Memorial Fund is marking the 10th anniversary of the Princess's death by earmarking up to £10 million of its remaining £25 million funds on promoting the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

The money, to be spent over the next five years, will help fund organisations that support the plight of young asylum seekers in particular, and will lobby for the rights of those under 25.

... "We have been supporting the cause of refugees and asylum seekers right from the very start," said Paul Hensby, the fund's campaign manager. ...

The fund, which received up to £20 million in donations in the immediate aftermath of the princess's death, has sponsored Refugee Week for the past three years and intends to do so next year. ...

Fifty unaccompanied children seeking asylum arrive every week. ...

Critics of the scheme include Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative cabinet minister, who said: "We spend vast sums already on asylum seekers and Government figures show that 90 per cent are not genuine cases. ..."
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – amnesty
Amnesty plan for asylum seekers
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 5 August 2007

Hundreds of thousands of failed asylum seekers may be allowed to settle permanently in Britain under a "back-door amnesty" scheme.

The Government wants to clear a backlog of 450,000 "legacy" cases of immigrants turned down for refugee status but never expelled.

A 1,000-strong Home Office team has been set up to examine cases, giving priority to those who may now qualify for UK residency because such a long time has passed since their initial rejection.

The first 6,000 families on the list were sent questionnaires last month asking about their current circumstances. Insiders close to the scheme said those who gave the "right" answers would be granted "leave to remain".

Asylum seekers who cannot be traced are expected to be simply struck off the "legacy" list, giving the impression that officials have made progress in tackling the backlog. They would no longer be sought actively for removal, even though they would remain illegal migrants - liable for deportation if caught. ...

The Borders and Immigration Agency (BIA), a branch of the Home Office, aims to consider all "legacy" cases by 2011. It will not say how many it expects to be allowed to remain. Those granted leave-to-remain status will be able to live and work freely in the UK, and claim benefits. After five years they can apply for a British passport. ...

Liam Clifford, a former immigration officer and head of the consultancy globalvisas.com, said: "While the Home Office talks tough, it is preparing for one of the biggest mass grants of residency rights to asylum seekers in history. The word is out at street level that completing the questionnaire will result in the right to stay in the UK. The BIA simply does not have the resources to investigate each case properly, so it will grant all the applications it can in order to clear the backlog."

Ministers insist the scheme does not amount to an amnesty because decisions are being taken on a case-by-case basis.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Asylum
450,000 Asylum Seekers to be Allowed to Remain in UK
Press Dispensary, 30 July 2007
[Press release]

It has come to the attention of leading immigration consultancy www.globalvisas.com that the Home Office is preparing to grant over 450,000 asylum seekers 'Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR)'.

All cases that were pending in the system before the Immigration and Nationality Directorate obtained agency status in April 2007 are to be considered for ILR to clear the backlog. The Home Office will begin with families, many of whom have had children since arriving in the UK, increasing the exact numbers to an unknown figure.

Director Liam Clifford, says: "The Borders and Immigration Agency or BIA simply does not have the resources to tackle the problem and cannot investigate each case properly so it is going to grant all the applications it can in order to clear the backlog.

"In another admission of its inability to cope, the Home Office has given current instructions to prosecute anyone claiming NAS (National Asylum Support) benefits and working illegally earning over £4,000. However, this cannot be achieved because of a lack of resources. In our experience, and from what we are being told, officers now only deal with cases where people are illegally earning in excess of £20,000 p.a. Even in these cases, the Home Office and Department of Work and Pensions can only afford to slap the person on the wrist as no other options are available to them.

"While the UK Home Office talks tough and claims that biometrics and joint agency co-operation will reduce immigration of low skilled migrants and terrorists, they are preparing for one of the UK's biggest mass grants of Leave to Remain for asylum seekers in history. The Home Office has said that this will not be called an amnesty as it may create the wrong impression. However, the word is out at street level that completing the questionnaire which the Home Office is about to send out to 450,000 people and families will result in the right to stay in the UK.

"With a record number of people emigrating overseas and UK PLC unable to attract the right skills it desperately requires, why does the government continue to present barriers for highly skilled people to come here, while being lenient on those immigrants who are of no benefit to our economy, and may actually burden the public purse and local council resources?

"In recent years, many of our corporate clients have been finding it more difficult to deal with the immigration process for highly skilled workers and work permits, which is about to get worse with commercial partnerships, biometrics, compliance audits and off-shore visa processing. In spite of this asylum seekers can arrive with no checks or controls and receive benefits and Leave to Remain."
[Site link]

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Asylum – deportation
Big fall in number of deportations
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2007

The number of failed asylum seekers removed from the country has fallen by a third in a year - despite a promise from Tony Blair to speed up deportations, official figures showed yesterday.

In September 2004 he pledged to accelerate the removal of an estimated 250,000 asylum seekers who had exhausted all legal processes.

There was a surge in deportations after John Reid took over as home secretary and demanded better enforcement of the law.

But in the first quarter of this year, 3,370 asylum applicants were removed - 34 per cent fewer than in the same period last year.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – Australia, USA
US to swap asylum seekers with Australia
Nick Squires
Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2007

Australia and the United States will swap asylum seekers under a contentious scheme to deter migrants from seeking asylum in either country.

Under the exchange scheme, asylum seekers will lose the chance of choosing their destination. The boat people held by Australia on the remote Pacific island of Nauru will be sent to the US, while Cuban and Haitian refugees held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba will be sent to Australia. ...

Under the agreement, the two countries would swap 400 asylum seekers - 200 from each country - this year and in 2008. The policy will be reviewed in 2009.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – immigration
200,000 'lost' asylum seekers may be allowed indefinite stay
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 2 April 2007

More than 200,000 failed asylum seekers may stay in Britain indefinitely because they cannot be traced.

Officials have conceded that nearly half of the 450,000 "legacy cases" in which the applicants are left in limbo may never be cleared.

Ministers have flatly ruled out an amnesty and have pledged to remove everyone not entitled to be here within five years.

Some "legacy" cases date back 15 years and experts believe the Government will not be able to fulfil its pledge to clear the backlog by July 2011. Officials attending a recent meeting to discuss the legacy policy were told that half of the 450,000 are "untraceable".

They were also told that 18,000 foreign nationals who have committed crimes in Britain were earmarked for deportation, the first time an official figure has been given.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
Failed asylum seekers allowed to reapply
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 19 January 2007

Hundreds of failed asylum seekers who have exhausted all avenues of appeal have been allowed to reapply, new figures show.

They include 80 repeat applications from Afghanistan and 30 from Turkey.

A Commons written answer disclosed that in the past two years, 520 applications had been received from people who had previously been rejected both in the initial stage and at appeal.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, conceded that the figures were not normally published and were based on "internal management information".

Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, signatory countries are obliged to consider the asylum application of anyone to assess whether they have a "well-founded fear of being persecuted", even if the individual had previously been turned down. ...

According to the National Audit office, in 2003 the average cost of processing an initial asylum application was just over £3,000. An appeal costs another £4,500.

This includes support and accommodation costs of around £147 for each week an application is in process, or more if the applicant has dependants. The annual cost of running the asylum system is more than £1.5 billion.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – Irish Republic
Ireland bars Romanians, other EU nationals from claiming asylum
Associated Press, 18 January 2007

Ireland will no longer process asylum applications from citizens of Romania or other European Union members, the government announced Thursday in a further tightening of the country's immigration laws.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell said he had decided to end Ireland's practice of permitting citizens of other EU states to access Ireland's support system for asylum-seekers because his department received 220 applications from Romanians over the past week.

He said the Romanian asylum-seekers were all deemed to have been trying to settle in Ireland in hopes of finding jobs, medical care and housing, not to escape persecution.

"I am taking this firm action now in order to prevent the institution of asylum and our asylum determination process being resorted to for purposes other than those for which they are intended," he said.

The decision means that asylum-seekers who are citizens of the other 26 EU nations will be refused permission to stay in state accommodation for asylum seekers. They also will not receive welfare payments specified for asylum-seekers.

Until now, asylum-seekers from other EU states often were permitted to receive benefits until their claim could be considered – and in almost all cases rejected – by the government-appointed Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner. ...

Ireland used to grant citizenship to any child born in Ireland – a policy similar to United States citizenship law but at odds with the European norm. Irish voters tightened the right to citizenship in a 2004 referendum, permitting Irish-born children the right to an Irish passport only if at least one of their parents has been resident here for a minimum of two years.

Up

Asylum – cost
£40m annual bill for keeping failed asylum seekers here
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2006

Taxpayers are footing a £40 million-a-year bill to house and feed almost 6,000 asylum seekers the courts have ruled should not be allowed to stay in this country, Government figures show.

The admission by ministers that so many are receiving state help has led to claims that John Reid has failed to bring the asylum system under control - having promised to get tough on immigration when he became Home Secretary in the spring.

In a written parliamentary answer to Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, the Home Office admitted it cost £129 a week to keep each of 5,980 asylum seekers whose applications were rejected by the courts but who had subsequently asked for help.

Of these, 2,375 are from Iraq, which Tony Blair and ministers insist is now largely safe.

Last night the Home Office said those allowed to stay with state support were either "destitute" or had some other legitimate reason preventing them returning home. ...

The 5,980 receiving state help form only a small part of an estimated 280,000 failed asylum seekers in this country. The vast majority are not in touch with the authorities.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – Switzerland
Swiss vote to bring in tougher asylum law
Kate Connolly
Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2006

Swiss voters overwhelmingly backed a law yesterday that will introduce some of the toughest restrictions of any European country on asylum seekers.

Under new regulations the home of the Red Cross and many international welfare agencies will severely curtail access for non-European refugees and migrants. ...

Two thirds of Swiss voters supported the law change which, among other things, requires all those seeking refugee status to present a passport to authorities within two days, ...

Workers from outside the European Union and the European Free Trade association will only be accepted if they have special skills.

Asylum applications in Switzerland have fallen sharply over the past few years, dropping by more than 50 per cent over the past two years to 10,000.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
A fifth more children in care pushes annual cost to £1.65bn
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 10 September 2006

The number of children being taken into care has risen by 20 per cent in the past decade while the cost of dealing with youngsters removed from their natural parents has soared to £1.65 billion a year. ...

The findings were disclosed in a report commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, and released on its website this month with no other publicity. ...

Among those in care are 2,900 asylum-seeker children who have been abandoned.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – amnesty
Up to 80,000 bogus asylum seekers granted 'amnesty'
James Slack
Daily Mail, 8 September 2006
[In the first sentence, 'it has emerged night' was probably intended to be 'it has emerged' or 'it emerged last night']

Up to 80,000 bogus asylum seekers have been granted an 'amnesty' to live in Britain, it has emerged night.

They have been in the UK for so long the Government has decided not to even bother considering their claims.

It is the last shocking indictment of Home Office incompetence.

Officials had lost track of up to 30,000 of the claimants, or did not even know they were here in the first place.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "This amounts to an amnesty by default.

"It is Home Office inefficiency that has led to these claims being granted."

The shambles dates back to 2003, when then Home Secretary David Blunkett announced a desperate plan to clear the spiralling asylum backlog.

He said families which had applied for refugee status before October 2000 and had been in the UK for four years could stay and be given full rights to work.

Mr Blunkett asked his officials to trawl for who might be eligible and made a prediction that 15,000 families, or 50,000 people, would benefit.

But the Daily Mail can reveal that the exercise, which is now on the verge of being completed, has already led to 24,030 families being given indefinite leave to remain.

It is the equivalent of almost 80,000 people, with another 500 family cases still to be considered.

Most of the clams are likely to have been bogus - Government statistics show fewer than one in ten applicants whose claims are actually processed is granted asylum.

But, simply by staying in the country for long enough without having their claims considered, they will now be allowed to stay.

Equally alarming is the Government's woeful underestimate of who may be eligible. It follows revelations of up to 450,000 asylum claims sitting in boxes, waiting to be dealt with.

Almost 10,000 of the families granted an amnesty, or 30,000 people, were either not known to officials or had had their paperwork lost. ...

The amnesty, known as the Family Indefinite Leave to Remain exercise, will be an acute embarrassment to the Home Office.

Up

Asylum – fraud
Inquiry into 'cash for asylum' claims
Nicole Martin
Daily Telegraph, 28 July 2006

The Home Office is to investigate allegations that an immigration officer helped bogus asylum seekers to enter Britain in return for cash.

Joseph Dzumbira, 35, who works for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, allegedly told an undercover newspaper reporter that he received up to £2,000 for providing fake documents to foreigners wanting to be granted refugee status. ...

Mr Dzumbira, 31, allegedly told The Sun: "I know Nigerians are claiming to be Zimbabweans. No one checks." ...

Lin Homer, director-general of the IND, said: "The Home Office will not tolerate fraud and corruption from its staff. We take these allegations very seriously and will investigate immediately."

Keith Best, the director of the Immigration Advisory Service, a charity helping refugees, said: "The system is set up in a way which allows corruption to take place."
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – deportation
Removal papers
Nicky Charles
Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

John Reid tells us that the asylum backlog will be cleared in five short years. Among his proposals are uniforms for border guards and additional staff recruitment (report, July 24).

That's all well and good, but until he tackles the issue of removability, all his bluster will come to naught. To a greater or lesser extent, Immigration and Nationality Directorate staff shy away from dealing with removals to China, Iran, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Jamaica, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Turkey and Nigeria.

This is not because they feel insecure without a nice shiny uniform, but because the authorities of those countries refuse to accept their nationals back without a travel document - which their British representatives won't issue within an acceptable time scale. Until he resolves this issue, then his promised revolution will go unnoticed by the public at large.

I write as a serving chief immigration officer.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
Who is Mr Reid trying to hoodwink over asylum?
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2006
[Leading article]

For John Reid, the Home Secretary, to predict that the backlog of asylum-seekers in this country will be cleared "within five years and hopefully sooner" suggests he has either lost his grip on reality or that he is being profoundly cynical. We tend towards the latter. Only a politician prepared to take the British public for fools could make such a preposterous promise. Ever since Labour came to office, its handling of asylum has been negligent in the extreme. At current rates, it would take more than 40 years to clear the backlog. Nothing that has come out of Mr Reid's welter of announcements this week instils any confidence that this rate will improve.

Admittedly New Labour inherited a fast-growing problem in 1997. The previous Tory government had been forced to declare an amnesty for 30,000 asylum-seekers because of its inability to process their claims. But instead of tackling the crisis with rigour, the incoming Labour Government reacted with torpor. By the end of its first term in power, the battle was lost. Public disquiet led Labour to promise, in its 2001 manifesto, to deport 30,000 failed asylum-seekers a year - a promise it was forced to abandon the following year, by which time 100,000 applications were being received annually. An analysis by the National Audit Office found that in the decade to May 2004, 363,000 applications for asylum were turned down, but just 79,500 failed applicants were deported - that is, barely one in five. ...

Labour seeks to mitigate its shameful record of failure to control the nation's borders by claiming that it is now removing more failed asylum-seekers than ever before. Not true. Last year, the figure was 15,055 removals - two years earlier, it was 17,895.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
Reid faces dangers in Home Office shake-up
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 20 July 2006

After less than three months on the bridge of the Home Office, John Reid yesterday tried to steer his rusting ship of state off the rocks on which it spectacularly foundered a few months ago. ...

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate is to be hived off to become a quasi-independent agency where long queues, backlogs and piles of uncompleted case documents will no longer be tolerated.

As an example of where the IND has lost its way, the Home Office let it be known that it had "seriously underestimated" the number of failed asylum applicants still in the country.

It now concedes that there are 450,000 outstanding files whereas in the past it had acknowledged half that. Mr Reid said this backlog would be dealt with in five years, although that did not mean that those who were turned down would be removed.

Indeed, no amount of technical restructuring will enable the Home Office to deport such a large number of people.

Yet after floating the idea of an amnesty for all illegal overstayers a few weeks ago, that option was firmly shut off yesterday.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – fraud
Huge rise in student visas raises fear of asylum fraud
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2006

Labour's immigration policy was under fresh attack last night after the Government admitted that it had no firm data on how many foreign students left the UK after the completion of their courses.

The admission came after Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Harwich, discovered a huge increase in the number of student visas issued to people from just five countries.

Separately, the Foreign Office disclosed yesterday that as many as 180,000 people living in Pakistan and Bangladesh could be holding British passports and be able to live here - 135,000 more than official estimates.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum – repatriation
Asylum cheats get £3,000 to go home
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 6 June 2006

Thousands of failed asylum seekers are being paid millions of pounds to return to their home countries because it is cheaper than trying to deport them.

An offer under which rejected applicants, or those who agree to withdraw their asylum request, are paid £2,000 in cash and £1,000 "benefits in kind" was taken up by almost 2,000 people in the first four months of the year.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said yesterday that the scheme had been so successful that it would be extended for another six months. The £2,000 cash payment was introduced in January as an addition to a £1,000 resettlement grant in an effort to encourage more would-be refugees to abandon their attempts to stay in the country. As a result, the uptake more than doubled.

The £3,000 bill compares with the £11,000 average cost of a forced deportation.

Only those who applied for asylum before Jan 1 this year are eligible for the enhanced package and they must leave the country between July 1 and the end of the year.
[Newspaper link]

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Asylum
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2006

The reality is that things are worse than they were under the Tories, not because they were any better at managing matters but because the numbers involved are so much higher than 10 years ago.

The surge in what became known as "bogus" asylum seeking and illegal immigration began in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall made it easier to travel to Western Europe through the former Eastern Bloc countries.

What had been a manageable trickle of arrivals became a cascade that the system struggled to deal with. In 1988, there were 4,200 applications; in 1995, there were 44,000. Rapidly, the backlog of asylum applications awaiting to be processed shot up to more than 60,000.

The Tories got into such a pickle that they even introduced an amnesty allowing 30,000 people who had been in the country a long time to stay even if they were not bona fide political refugees because it had taken so long to process their claims.

By 2002, the annual number of applications had risen to more than 100,000. Tough measures have reduced this figure to below where it was in 1997. ... ...

The Tories also abolished embarkation controls - the paper check on people leaving the country to go to other European Union states from sea ports and small airports.

When Labour took office, the remaining controls to the rest of the world, about 60 per cent of the total, were also scrapped. Since them it has no longer been an absolute requirement to show a passport or other travel document to immigration authorities on leaving. ...

The Government says it is removing more people than ever before. That is just not true. In 2005, the figure was 15,055 whereas in 2003 it was 17,895. The main reason for this was the expansion of the EU. However, the current figure is a lower proportion of the number who are here who should not be than in 1997.
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Asylum
Revealed: How asylum seekers use your taxes to smuggle in relatives
Nick Fagge
Daily Express, 17 May 2006

Taxpayers are unwittingly funding an illegal people-trafficking scam, allowing waves of immigrants into Britain, a Daily Express investigation can reveal.

Benefits paid to immigrants in the UK are being sent to France, where friends and relatives use the cash to pay to be smuggled on board ships and lorries bound for Britain. ...

Sir Andrew Green, of Migration Watch, said: "Asylum seekers in Calais are already in a safe country and should stay there.

"The only reason they press to come to Britain is because we are a soft touch. It's time that changed." ...

The problem has also been highlighted by a five-year inquiry by the French Security Services (DST) into financial transfer fraud.

DST agents have found that migrants are increasingly appealing to their British "sponsors" for help after they become stranded on the streets of Calais.

British-based immigrants then send money to them to allow the next new wave of migrants to complete their journey to the UK. ...

Immigrants in the UK are entitled to £40 a week from the publicly funded National Asylum Support Service while their applications to stay are being processed.

Migrants are also provided with a flat, a room in a shared house or bedsit - at an average cost of £95 a week. If they are granted refugee status the payout increases to £60 a week as income support. This is apart from other Government hand-outs, such as child benefits, housing benefit, council tax rebate and free school meals as they become entitled to all the trappings of the welfare state. ...

Charity workers in Calais told of a logjam of migrants currently trying to smuggle themselves into Britain.

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Asylum
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2006

Since Labour took office in 1997 Britain has received applications for asylum from more than 500,000 people. The numbers have fallen in the last three years from a record of more than 100,000 in 2002. ...

The number of illegal immigrants cannot be quantified but the Government recently estimated that as many as 280,000 failed asylum seekers may be in the country who should not be. ...

The removal of unsuccessful applicants is in decline, from 17,800, including dependants, in 2003-4, to 14,250 last year.
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Asylum
How one-tenth of all asylum seekers find a home in Britain
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 19 April 2006

Britain took in almost one in ten of the world's asylum seekers last year, a United Nations report said yesterday.

Over the past five years it has admitted nearly a third of a million - the highest total in Europe. ...

'Despite a sharp fall, the UK remained the third largest asylum-seeker receiving country in 2005, accounting for 9 per cent of all requests lodged in the industrialised world,' the analysis found.

Researchers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said over the past five years only America has taken more asylum seekers. ...

Although Britain tops the European toll over the last five years, Britain slipped into second place behind France last year. ...

But, the report by UN High Commissioner Antonio Guterres says refugee numbers have been dropping worldwide and that numbers applying for asylum in EU countries have fallen by almost 50 per cent over the past five years. ...

The UN figures show that Britain has accepted more than 325,000 asylum seekers since 2001.

Mr Guterres acknowledged the claims for help of genuine refugees around the world had been harmed by abuse of liberal asylum rules by those trying to migrate for economic reasons.

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Asylum
Bungled asylum policy could take 18 years to sort out
Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2006

More than 400 freed criminals are among thousands of failed asylum seekers whose whereabouts are unknown to the Government.

A report from a parliamentary watchdog published today says the Home Office has so bungled the removal of would-be political refugees who have had their applications turned down that it could take 18 years to clear the backlog.

The department keeps no figures on how many failed applicants are still in the country. Its best estimate is between 155,000 and 283,500. They include 403 foreign nationals released from prison in the past five years without deportation proceedings being completed. ...

"As time elapsed, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) found it harder to locate and remove failed asylum seekers," says the report.

"Many applicants evaded removal action or moved on without informing the directorate of their new address and hence it knew the addresses of only some 25 per cent of failed asylum applicants." ...

The committee suggests taking a leaf out of Holland's book by encouraging voluntary resettlement and adopting a tougher line on deportations. But the policy has caused huge controversy in the Netherlands which the Government would be reluctant to provoke here.
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Asylum
Drive to clear asylum backlog 'in chaos'
Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2006

Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, admitted last night that he had abandoned a drive to recruit 100 much-needed asylum judges after a series of errors by Government officials. The judges were being taken on to deal with a backlog of appeals by asylum-seekers. ...

He told the Commons constitutional affairs select committee that he ordered officials to abandon the programme begun at the end of last year after inconsistencies emerged in the way applicants had been treated. ...

Figures published yesterday confirmed a continuing fall in applications for political asylum, which are now at their lowest level for 10 years. There were 25,720 applications in 2005, not including dependants, a fall of 24 per cent on the previous year.
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Asylum
Judges scathing of efforts to streamline immigration
Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2006

The Government's efforts to get to grips with the immigration system were criticised by two leading judges yesterday.

His Honour Henry Hodge, the chairman of the immigration and asylum tribunal, told MPs that it was often pointless to order the return of people whose appeals were rejected because nothing then happened. ...

Addressing the Commons home affairs select committee, Judge Hodge acknowledged the difficulties that officials faced in trying to arrange repatriation, especially as many of the migrants' home countries refused to take them back. ...
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Asylum
Asylum seekers offered £2,000 to return home
Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2006

Thousands of asylum seekers are to be offered millions of pounds in cash to return to their home countries under a scheme announced yesterday by the Home Office.

The Government expects to spend about £6 million over six months encouraging around 3,000 refugees, who have been refused permission to stay or are awaiting decisions, to return home.

As an incentive, they will be offered up to £2,000 cash and a further £1,000 worth of help "in kind" for reintegration, to fund education or training. A pilot scheme will make the cash available to those who agree to leave in the six months between this month and June.

The Home Office is advertising the scheme to 54,000 people receiving benefits and accommodation from the National Asylum Support Service and will publicise it in asylum detention and reporting centres.

Tony McNulty, the immigration minister, said in a written statement to the Commons ...

"It is anticipated that such an offer could increase the number of predicted returns from about 1,950 to over 3,000 for the six-month period."

Mr McNulty added that the £3,000 cost per person was "good value for money" compared with the £11,000 average cost of a forced deportation.
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Asylum
Fast-track deportees 'free to abscond'
Sunday Telegraph, 8 January 2006

Thousands of asylum seekers on the brink of deportation are to be sent to Liverpool under a secret Home Office scheme.

They include illegal workers caught in swoops, people who claimed asylum after overstaying visitor visas, and applicants from "safe" countries with good human rights records.

Their cases will be fast-tracked for a decision within two weeks, after which many will be sent straight back to their homelands.

Yet despite the incentive to abscond, they will not be kept in detention centres but will live rent-free in flats or hotels, coming and going as they please.

The only curb on their movement will be a request to report regularly to a local immigration office. ...

The Home Office claimed that the initiative appeared to be working but officials could not say how many people had been deported, granted asylum, or had simply disappeared.
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Asylum
Asylum case backlog costs taxpayer £500m
Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2005

The taxpayer could have saved £500 million if the Home Office had put proper procedures in place to speed up asylum applications, a Commons committee says today.

A surge in applications in 1999 and 2000 overwhelmed the staff and infrastructure at the immigration and nationality department, allowing huge backlogs to build up. ...

In recent years the number of asylum applications has fluctuated from a peak of 84,130 applications in 2002 - not including dependants - to just under 50,000 in 2003.

In 2002/3 the cost of running the system was £1.86 billion, half of which was spent on supporting applicants.
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Asylum
Sandy Bruce-Lockhart
Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2005

The rising number of asylum seekers in Kent ... In 1996 ... we had just 50 asylum seekers a year arriving. By 2000, this had escalated to 15,000 a year coming into Kent alone.

Our council's budget on asylum - covering everything from housing to education - was less than £250,000 in 1996, and rose last year to £53 million. ...

Over the past five years, we have also seen an unprecedented increase in children arriving into Kent without their parents, entirely on their own, either as asylum seekers or as potentially illegal immigrants. The first thing that these bemused children do, when arriving in Kent County Council's children's reception centres, is to phone home so that the second half of the fee owed to traffickers for their passage can be released ... A few years ago, we were receiving just three or four a year of these unaccompanied children, typically aged between 12 and 17, but last year the figure rose to about 100 a month.
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Asylum
Brussels: We'll halt Howard's curb on migrants
Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2005

The European Commission threatened last night to block Michael Howard's programme of tough immigration controls if the Tories win the election.

These would include setting an annual limit on the number of asylum seekers. ...

Europe's intervention on what has become a major issue in the election campaign took Westminster aback. MPs and officials were unaware of how much national sovereignty on immigration and asylum had been transferred to Brussels. ...

A rolling wave of protocols and directives - one in force, one coming next month, a third next year and a fourth in 2007 - have overridden national laws on where governments keep asylum seekers, how they treat them, and how many appeals they are allowed.

If a future British government were to enact laws that contravened EU regulations, the commission would begin "infringement proceedings". These would be followed, if resistance continued, by legal action in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
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Asylum
Sunday Telegraph, 15 August 2004

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is spending £10,000 offering advice on how to claim asylum. The leaflets are in Welsh. - Daily Express
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Asylum – fraud
Alleged asylum fraud linked to Mugabe regime
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2004

Police and immigration officers are investigating an organisation, set up with National Lottery money to help immigrants, after claims that it forged documents and provided false life histories for 1,000 Zimbabwean asylum seekers. ...

Among those who have abandoned Zimbabwe is Stalin Mau Mau, once a Zanu-PF parliamentary candidate, and the leader of a gang accused of forcing white farmers off their land.

He says he entered Britain legally, but his status is now being investigated by the Home Office, as are his businesses, which include a supermarket in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

... Like most Zanu-PF candidates, he roused his supporters at campaign rallies with one consistent chant: "Down with the whites!"

... About 1.1 million Zimbabweans live in Britain, according to an official estimate from the Harare regime.
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Asylum – legal aid
Solicitors hand out gifts to grab lucrative asylum jobs
Sunday Telegraph, 6 July 2003

Solicitors and immigration advisers are offering newly arrived asylum seekers free gifts, including video recorders and mobile telephones, as an inducement to sign up with them.

The gifts - which are against the law - are being handed out because of the intense competition between lawyers to secure the extremely lucrative work. Last year, more than £175 million of taxpayers' money was spent on legal aid for asylum seekers, with most of it going to solicitors.

The practice has been uncovered by John Scampion, the official Immigration Service Commissioner, ... ...

Each asylum seeker is entitled to full free legal aid throughout the asylum process, which can drag on for years through countless hearings and appeals.
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Asylum
Lawyers accused of 'milking asylum law'
Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2003

Human rights lawyers are "cynically milking" the legal aid system to fight hopeless cases on behalf of asylum seekers, a judge said yesterday.

They have been running up thousands of pounds in court costs, paid by the taxpayer, said Mr Justice Maurice Kay, despite having no chance of success.
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Asylum
We're a job centre, not a safe haven
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 1 December 2002

Only about one in eight of those whose claims for asylum are rejected by the courts are actually deported. The message has gone out that if you can get to Britain, you can stay here. The Lords Committee that reported on the issue last week concluded that there was "no prospect" of reducing, or even controlling, illegal immigration without a radical re-think of asylum policy. ...

Even though illegal immigrants are not officially allowed to work, they do so.
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Asylum
Asylum seekers reach record 100,000 a year
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2002

Record numbers of asylum seekers are arriving in Britain despite intensified ministerial efforts to stop them. ...

When dependants are added, there were nearly 30,000 applications between July and September. The total for the year, including children, seems certain to pass 100,000 for the first time - easily the highest in the EU. ...

Beverley Hughes, the immigration minister, said the system known as exceptional leave to remain, which allows people to stay even when they are not judged to be genuine refugees, was being scrapped. It will be replaced by "humanitarian protection" to be granted only in cases of genuine hardship.
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Asylum – finance
Asylum seekers' group will get lottery cash
Sunday Telegraph, 20 October 2002

A controversial grant of £340,000 from the National Lottery for a group campaigning against the deportation of asylum seekers will be given the go- ahead this week despite fierce public protests.

The Community Fund has been told that there are no legal grounds for rescinding the grant to the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns.
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Asylum
42,000 asylum seekers win right to stay
The Times, 1 August 2002

Record numbers of asylum-seekers are being allowed to stay in the UK ...

The number of refugees remaining legally in the country increased to a record 42,000 last year. The new figures reveal that thousands are successfully appealing against the initial rejection of their claims for asylum. ...

Mr Blunkett ... His department is facing an overspend on the asylum system of almost £600 million, bringing the total annual bill for dealing with asylum to more than £1 billion. ...

Mr Blunkett has already abandoned a pledge to remove 30,000 failed asylum- seekers and their dependents from the country after being told by officials that the figure was unrealistic.

He dropped the target, set by his predecessor Jack Straw before the last general election, after the Home Office admitted it had been able to remove only 1,000 failed applicants a month. ...

The figures show that 92,000 asylum-seekers and their dependents arrived in the UK compared with 88,300 in Germany, the second most popular destination. The UK figure was a drop of 7,000 on the previous year. ...

The overall proportion of applications resulting in an asylum-seeker being allowed to stay in the country legally reached 42 per cent compared with 33 per cent a year earlier.

Up

BENEFITS AND COSTS

Benefits and costs – NHS
Immigrants 'stretching the NHS'
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2007

The Health Service is being pushed to breaking point by Eastern European immigrants, an NHS source claimed in a Sunday newspaper yesterday.

The Department of Health is said to have expected to treat an extra 150,000 patients since eight countries joined the EU in 2004. But hospitals and GPs have reportedly dealt with that number every year since Britain opened its doors.

... The Government insisted services were not being stretched. A Health Department spokesman added: We are talking about people who are legally entitled to live in this country and access the NHS."
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Benefits and costs
Politicians aren't making economic sense
Irwin Stelzer
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2007

Immigration is another area of muddle. There are 600,000 known job vacancies, while millions of sensible potential British workers, the very ones for whom the Prime Minister wants to create British jobs, have become layabouts. Or, to use the technical jargon, economically inactive. Some are physically unable to work. But for millions who have joined the lists of the disabled during this era of increasing health and longevity, and many of those of the dole, it would be irrational to work when the pay for staying home is better. ...

So the first step in forging a sensible immigration policy is to reduce the demand for immigrant labour by increasing the supply of British workers.

...

The second step would be to meet the legitimate complaints of the native population that is bearing the high social costs of immigration - crowded schools, overloaded health facilities and the like. Employers are getting a free ride: they have the benefit of often-cheaper foreign labour and pass on the social costs. Solution: employers to pay a fee equal to those costs for every immigrant hired, the proceeds to go to the affected community. Supplement that by raising the cost of employing illegal immigrants further - by jailing employers who knowingly hire them - and economic reason will have replaced some of the populist posturing that dominates debate about immigration policy.
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Benefits and costs
Immigration officials got £7m bonus despite errors
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2007

Immigration officials involved in a string of fiascos have been paid £7 million in bonuses, it emerged yesterday.

Staff at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office got nearly £2 million in bonuses last year alone.

In that year, the division was described as "not fit for purpose" by John Reid, then Home Secretary, after a series of blunders including the failure to deport hundreds of foreign prisoners held in UK jails.

Flawed data from the IND, now the Border and Immigration Agency, were blamed for the Government omitting 300,000 foreign-born workers from immigration figures given to Parliament last month. ...

In 2005-06, IND staff were paid £1,951,276 on top of their salaries. The previous year, the total was £1,967,989. In 2003-04, it was £1,650,451. And in 2002-03, officials got £1,334,164. ...

The figures were released in response to Parliamentary questions from Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on work and pensions, who said the situation "defies common sense".
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Benefits and costs – public opinion
Restrictions call
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2007

Eighty-one per cent of the public believe immigration in Britain should be cut substantially, according to a poll today, while 54 per cent dispute the Government's assertion that those coming into the country have helped the economy.

The research, carried out by YouGov for pressure group Migrationwatch, found 85 per cent of people thought that immigration was putting too much pressure on public services.
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Benefits and costs – housing
Inquiry launched into migrant council housing
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 2 November 2007

A major independent inquiry to determine whether immigrants are given unfair access to council housing was announced yesterday by Britain's race watchdog and local authority leaders.

Trevor Phillips, the head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said there was a "widespread public perception" that new migrants had "unfair advantages to which they are not entitled".

He announced that his commission and the Local Government Association (LGA) would launch a study to determine whether the perception was correct, and would stop any abuse it uncovered. ...

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "Trevor Phillips said ... he has never seen 'any reliable evidence' to back up claims that councils are unfairly allocating housing. While local government has always maintained they have operated allocations fairly, we agree it is important to deal with perception."
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Benefits and costs
Migrants may push up council tax
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 1 November 2007

Millions of homeowners face higher council tax bills next year because of the Government's failure to keep track of the number of immigrants in Britain, local authorities warned yesterday.

Schools, hospitals and other services are struggling to cope with rapid and uncontrolled influxes of migrants, the Local Government Association (LGA) claimed. It says that because money allocated to local authorities is calculated by population figures, the government's inability to accurately assess migrant numbers means councils are receiving inadequate funding.

A spokesman for the LGA said that in areas where numbers had risen but statistics had not reflected the increase, councils would have two options: to put up council tax next year, or cut services.
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Benefits and costs
No jobs for 4,000 UK junior doctors
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 1 November 2007

Almost 4,000 UK medics have not got training posts in the disastrous junior doctors recruitment system, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

A second round of recruitment ended yesterday and of the 13,624 UK graduates, who cost the taxpayer £250,000 each to put through medical school, 3,687 have not been awarded posts to allow them to train towards becoming a consultant or GP.

Some may yet be allocated a post in one of the less popular specialties such as trauma, orthopaedics or psychiatry, and an extra 1,050 short-term posts that have not yet been allocated. But most face a choice between taking a non-training job, leaving medicine or practising abroad. ...

Officials have said that without the thousands of applicants from outside Europe, most of which were from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, there would not have been such oversubscription for training places.
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Benefits and costs
We need an honest immigration debate
Bob Rowthorn, professor of economics at Cambridge University
Daily Telegraph website, 21 October 2007

Immigration is a contentious topic. But there is widespread agreement in official circles to one proposition: immigrants contribute enormously to increasing the prosperity of the British people. The consensus that immigration has economically beneficial effects was on display last week, when the Government released a report by its own experts. "Migrants contribute £6 billion to the GDP" was the headline in many newspapers. And the report indeed confirmed the orthodoxy that "the Exchequer is better off with immigration than without it" - as Liam Byrne, the Home Office Minister, has insisted.

Such claims are profoundly misleading. What matters to the existing population is not how migration affects the "economy" as a whole, but how it affects them individually. Migration may increase the size of the national cake, but it also increases the number of people who are entitled to a slice of this cake.

There is a whole section of the report devoted to the contribution of migrants to GDP per capita. It claims that, since 1998, immigrants have added 3.1 per cent to Britain's GDP. That is true. But there is another, critical fact: during the same period, immigrants have added 3.8 per cent to the total British population. Put those two together and you get the result that the additional amount produced by immigrants has been smaller than the number of people they have added to the population.

The conclusion is inescapable: the result of immigration since 1998 has been to lower per capita GDP, or output per individual worker, not to increase it. The effect is very small, and within the margin of statistical error. But if you are willing to rely on the figures, the one thing you cannot conclude is that immigration has increased per capita GDP.

Yet this is precisely what is often meant by those who insist that "immigration has been enormously beneficial to the economy". Putting the GDP and population figures together is not complicated economics. But somehow the report never manages to do it, and so never manages to reach the obvious conclusion. I don't know whether that failure is deliberate or not - but it is certainly misleading. ...

Immigration, if it continues at the present rate of a net inflow of around 200,000 people a year, is going to add around 20 million to Britain's population over the next 50 years. Official press releases from the Office of National Statistics do not accurately report that fact, because they do not take account of the children that immigrants will have. It is not easy to see how the South East - which is where most immigrants settle, because that is where the jobs are - will be able to cope with so large an additional population. ...

But let's have an honest debate about the effects and consequences of immigration, not one based on misleading statistics or evasion of the truth. At the moment, the Government seems to want to conduct the discussion on the basis that it is better that people should not know what the truth is. I cannot believe that ignorance is a rational or ethical basis for making a decision on so important a topic. If we do not debate the effects of immigration honestly and truthfully, we will all come to regret it.
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Benefits and costs
Migrant workers earn more than British
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2007

Immigrant workers are both higher paid and more reliable than their British counterparts and contributed £6 billion to economic growth last year, a Government study said yesterday.

Migrants earn £424 a week on average, compared with £395 for UK workers, and paid more in tax than they consumed in services.

However, a separate paper issued together with the study by the Home Office admitted there were complaints about the impact of immigration on housing and other public services. Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said the research showed that "in the long run, our country and Exchequer are better off with immigration rather than without it".

The report found that in 2006, record immigration pushed the number of foreign workers up to 12.5 per cent - or one eighth - of the labour force, compared to 7.4 per cent a decade ago.

Since average output growth over this period was 2.7 per cent a year and migration contributed an estimated 15 to 20 per cent of this, the study estimated a contribution of £6 billion from foreign workers - or £700,000 a day.

However, the figure does not take account of the costs of a growing population, for instance the impact on public services such as health, education and transport. But the overwhelmingly positive findings were last night challenged by academics.

Robert Rowthorn, an emeritus professor at Cambridge University, warned that as well as putting pressure on services, large-scale migration would "undermine the labour market position of the most vulnerable sections of the local workforce". The study, the first official attempt to establish the economic and fiscal impact of the record levels of immigration seen in recent years, states that "in the long run, it is likely that the net fiscal contribution of an immigrant will be greater than that of a non-immigrant".

It also claims there is no evidence of foreign workers pushing British people out of jobs, although it presents no firm evidence for this.
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Benefits and costs – housing
Public 'link immigrants to soaring house prices'
Andrew Porter
Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2007

Immigrants are being blamed for driving up house prices, according to a new survey.

The Conservatives immediately seized on the evidence to push their policy of putting annual limits on immigration. One in five people said controls on the number of foreigners coming to Britain was the best way to slowing demand and halting soaring property prices, the survey for propertyfinder.com found.

... New arrivals from abroad came second only to property investors as being responsible for fuelling the market.
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Benefits and costs
Migrants 'reliant' on benefits
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 1 October 2007

The degree to which new immigrants rely on benefits and council housing has been revealed by a survey that looks at how much foreigners contribute to the economy.

The league tables have been compiled by the Left-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research on behalf of Dispatches, to be shown on Channel 4 tonight. The figures come from the census and the quarterly Labour Force Survey.

Somalians rely heavily on benefits, according to the statistics - 80 per cent live in social housing and 39 per cent claim income support.

Nearly half of newly-arrived Turks - 49 per cent - rely on social housing and 39 per cent claim income support. However, 35 per cent are self-employed.

Other nationalities rely on sickness benefit - 10 per cent of those newly arrived from Pakistan claim it, along with nine per cent from Cyprus, and eight per cent from Kenya, Ireland and Jamaica.

Poles work longer hours for less pay and are paid less sickness benefit than almost any other group.

Nigerians are among the best educated, most likely to be working in the public sector and least likely to claim sickness benefit.

British-born workers score below average in most of the tables - they claim more sickness benefit and council housing and work shorter hours.
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Benefits and costs
Migrants are a drain on Britain, says Left think-tank
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 30 September 2007

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are a drain on Britain and its economy, says a Left-leaning think-tank.

Migrants from many developing nations fail to pay their way, while those from wealthy countries, such as the United States and Australia, provide a boost for the economy.

The report, published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), sets out to reveal which nationalities are "a debit on Britain's balance sheet".

It found that fewer than half of Britain's 650,000 Somalis, Bangladeshis, Turks and Pakistanis, have jobs and the four communities have the highest levels of benefit dependency.

Britain's fastest-growing migrant group, the Poles, score above-average for employment, but have the lowest hourly pay and make a below-average tax contribution.

Channel 4 commissioned the report for a Dispatches documentary, Immigrants: the Inconvenient Truth, to be shown tomorrow night.
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Benefits and costs
Immigrants 'fuel rise in crashes'
Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2007

Immigrants motorists' attitudes to drink-driving and speeding is fuelling a surge in road crashes, a police chief warned yesterday.

Eastern European drivers struggling to understand signs is also thought to be a factor in the number of accidents.

Chief Insp Rick Dowell, the head of Dorset Police's traffic unit, said there had been an increase in the number of foreign nationals arrested for drink-driving and speeding.

"The number of fatal or serious injury collisions involving foreign nationals is also increasing," he said.
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Benefits and costs – public services
Migrants 'should pay for our services'
Bonnie Malkin
Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2007

Economic migrants could be forced to make a bigger contribution to the cost of public services, under plans outlined by the head of Britain's new equality watchdog.

Trevor Phillips, who launches the Commission for Equality and Human Rights this week, said that some migrants who stay in the UK only for a short time should pay more for the use of schools and hospitals.

He said the current immigration system was not built to deal with "shuttle migrants", described as people who "virtually commute from Warsaw or Slovenia", and recommended a "two-track immigration system" instead.

He said: "It's not that we don't want them to come here. But they put a stress on infrastructure.

"You might say they are people who are basically here for work ... they and their employers might have to make a contribution, for social insurance for example." ...

Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, said yesterday that the suggestions would be taken seriously.
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Benefits and costs – multiculturalism
Police face growing bill for interpreters
Aislinn Simpson and Alison Stacey
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2007

Police forces are spending millions of pounds on interpreters to meet the demands posed by immigrant workers. ...

... Thames Valley Police - which covers Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire - said it was spending £1 million a year on interpreters. Ten years ago the bill was about £80,000. ...

In London, the Metropolitan Police spent £9.9 million on interpreters last year - up almost £3 million in the past three years.
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Benefits and costs – employment
One in four Britons is out of work
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 16 August 2007

Nearly 10 million adults in Britain are currently out of work, one in four of the working population, the Government admitted yesterday.

Official figures showed there are 1.65 million people who are unemployed, with a further 7.9 million defined as "economically inactive".

The latter group includes more than two million people who are on long-term sickness benefits as well as students, people who have taken time off work to look after their family and those who have taken early retirement. ...

The scale of the figures overshadowed the fact that the official unemployment figure had dropped by 45,000 over the past three months to 1.65 million, the lowest figure for more than a year.

At the same time, the number of people in work rose by 93,000 to 29.07 million, the second highest figure on record.
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Benefits and costs – housing
Immigrants given 4 in 10 new homes
Tom Savage
Daily Star, 16 August 2007

Immigrants have taken 40% of all homes built in the UK in the past 10 years.

The number of properties available for Brits has been squeezed because of the record number of foreigners coming to live here, according to official figures released yesterday.

Nearly 600,000 properties have been needed to house immigrants since 1997 - three times the amount required under the last Tory Government. On average, 19,000 new homes were needed for migrants each year from 1992 to 1997.

But after Labour came to power, that figure rocketed to an average of 66,000 each year from 1997 to 2005 - the latest year figures are available for - making a total of 592,000 homes.

And experts say the figure is likely to have continued rising due to East European immigration since 2005.

Tory MP James Clappison, who requested the figures, said the extra homes also damage the countryside. ...

The Brown Government plans to build 3 million new houses in the UK by 2020, many tailored for firsttime buyers.

But projected levels of immigration suggest that 1.2m - or 40% - will be needed for migrants, though the Government claims the figure is 33%.
[Site link]

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Benefits and costs
Counting the cost of immigration
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2007

Immigration is, then, a numbers issue after all. Even the BBC now agrees. Last week, after studiously ignoring the subject for years, or finding it somewhat distasteful, the Beeb screened a Panorama programme entitled "How We Lost Count", which it advertised as though this were some sort of scoop.

These are facts that many of us have known for years, but it has been an uphill battle to get them seriously debated. The fact that they are now being discussed is largely due to the efforts of a small, independent research outfit called Migrationwatch, which came on to the scene exactly five years ago this week. It issued a report that was denounced as alarmist, scaremongering, even racist.

It was a prediction that Britain could expect to receive more than two million immigrants every 10 years for the foreseeable future unless curbs were introduced. It was absolutely spot on, but few thanked Sir Andrew Green, the retired diplomat who founded Migrationwatch, for pointing it out. More than that, efforts were made - including official ones - to traduce his motives and to trash his group's research.

You may or may not agree with Sir Andrew's view, which he articulated five years ago, that "the scale of inward migration is now so great as to be contrary to the best interests of every section of our community". But you can no longer ignore that scale nor its consequences. The big question now is what do we do about it?

In a recent parliamentary debate, important speeches on this subject were made by Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP for mid-Sussex, and Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead. Mr Soames proposed moving to zero net immigration from outside the EU; Mr Field, if anything, was more radical in his prescription. He also said: "The debate is of course about numbers, but it is also about what it means to create and maintain a community. If the Government do not change track very smartly on this issue, the sense of national identity might be lost, and then we are in totally new territory."
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Benefits and costs – employment
Rural migrant workers 'drive out young'
Graham Tibbetts
Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2007

Migrant workers from Eastern Europe are flooding the rural labour market and forcing young people to leave the countryside in search of work, a Government advisory body warns today.

The number of migrants working in the countryside has increased by 200 per cent in three years, with many seeking employment in agriculture, manufacturing, hotels and retail, according to a major report by the Commission for Rural Communities. This comes amid a long-term decline in the number of young people living in rural areas. ...

The report, entitled State of the Countryside 2007, found much to commend country life over urban life including full employment, less pollution, better diet and fewer cases of stress and mental illness.

But the researchers raised concerns that the influx of foreign workers, following the accession of eight former Soviet-bloc countries to the European Union, was placing a great strain on local schools and transport and posing problems for young country people.

About 120,000 migrant workers registered to work in rural areas between May 2004 and Sept 2006. ...

The commission said the money the Government gave town halls for supporting immigrants was based on statistics that were several years out of date.
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Benefits and costs – education
Britain's universities 'could lose world position within 10 years'
Caroline Davies
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2007

Britain's reputation as a world leader for university education could be lost within 10 years, the vice-chancellor of Cambridge warned yesterday.

Standards will plummet unless universities resist the temptation to take on poor-quality students in an attempt to plug funding gaps, Professor Alison Richard told MPs. ...

Prof Richard told the education select committee that standards could be seriously compromised by the Government's drive to increase student numbers.

In particular, the trend to recruit foreign students for their higher fees could lead to "a downward spiral", she said.
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Benefits and costs – housing
200,000 'social homes' were given to immigrants last year
Gary Cleland
Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2007

Five times more immigrants are given social housing than previously claimed, the Government has admitted.

Just weeks ago ministers insisted that only one per cent of social housing is given to immigrants, in an attempt to quell widespread fears that they are treated better by local authorities than people born in Britain.

But after an investigation by ITV's Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme, the Government has admitted that 200,000 of Britain's social homes - five per cent of the total - were given to immigrants last year.

There is a waiting list of 1.5 million for the four million social houses in Britain.
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Benefits and costs
Shortage of £50 notes blamed on immigrants
Daily Telegraph, 29 June 2007

The Bank of England has revealed that a shortage of £50 notes is the result of so many eastern European immigrants sending them back home.

Poles in Britain sent home almost £1 billion in the first three months of this year. Polish officials say two thirds of the Poles who have left the country are working in Britain and more than three quarters of the money flooding back to boost the Polish economy has been sent from this country.
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Benefits and costs – housing
Open borders demand open debate
Sunday Telegraph, 27 May 2007
[Leading article]

Margaret Hodge, the Minister of Industry and the Regions, and MP for Barking in London, was therefore doing little more than stating the obvious when she noted that the basis on which the state allocates the scarce resource of council housing "needs to be transparent and it needs to be perceived as fair". She also said that it was not perceived as fair, particularly since there was a widespread perception that a recently-arrived family with children would get priority over people who had lived and paid taxes for most of the lives in Britain. Such a perception exists, as the polls show: around 70 per cent believe that long-term tax-paying Britons should have priority over just-arrived immigrants in the queue for social housing.

Yet the reaction of Margaret Hodge's Labour colleagues to her statement was hysterical. She was accused of "allowing the BNP to dictate Labour Party policies", of advocating changes which would have "catastrophic consequences for community relations", and advocating "discriminatory" housing policies. The tactic is only too familiar, because it is what Labour has done whenever any issue relating to immigration has come up for discussion: it has tried to close down debate by suggesting that even to talk about the topic is to be "racist" and to have views indistinguishable from the BNP. ...

Myths and outright falsehoods are quickly accepted as true when public discussion is suppressed. For instance: it is not generally true that immigrant families are given automatic preference over native-born Britons when it comes to allocating housing. But the refusal of the Government to allow an open and honest discussion of the subject means that many Britons waiting for council houses believe it. ...

We badly need and honest and open public debate about the costs and benefits of immigration to Britain, and on the extent and limits of our obligations to poor or destitute people who arrive in Britain in search of a better life. ...

There was not a word on the topic in any of Labour's election manifestos. Conservative attempts to put the issue on the agenda have been smeared and denigrated in exactly the same way as Margaret Hodge was last week.
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Benefits and costs – housing
Lady Hodge's days must be numbered
Simon Heffer
Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2007

It is hard to believe that one person who will not be sacked - and for whom it would be hard to find as appalling a replacement - will be the industry minister, Margaret Hodge. Mrs Hodge - or Lady Hodge, as she should more correctly be known, her husband being a knight - came out this week with the amazing statement that our indigenous population should be given preferential treatment in housing allocations to recent immigrants. I happen to agree with her, but it is only because the BNP threatens to unseat her in her constituency because of this issue that she has come out so cynically in favour of the policy. I won't ask what took her so long, just why even now she is still allowed to hold office.
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Benefits and costs – housing
Johnson accuses Hodge of using 'language of BNP'
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 25 May 2007

Labour's immigration row deepened last night after the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, accused a fellow minister of language worthy of the British National Party.

Mr Johnson, one of the frontrunners to be Labour's deputy leader, condemned the industry minister, Margaret Hodge, for claiming that existing British families should have more right than immigrants to social housing.

Speaking on BBC's Question Time, Mr Johnson said: "The problem with that is that's the kind of language of the BNP.

"And it's grist to the mill of the BNP, particularly as there is no evidence that there's any problem in social housing - none whatsoever." ...

Earlier this week, Mrs Hodge was rebuked by two other contenders for the deputy leadership - Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, and backbencher Jon Cruddas. ...

However, Mrs Hodge, who was born in Egypt, won some support from Hazel Blears, Labour's party chairman and also a deputy leadership candidate. She said that "you have got to look at allocations policies to show that they are fair".
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Benefits and costs – housing
Shame on you, Margaret Hodge
Andrew O'Hagan
Daily Telegraph, 22 May 2007

Are modern politicians generally more disgusting than they used to be? I feel it is worth pondering the question as you go about trying to understand the latest statement by Margaret Hodge on the question of immigrants and public housing. ...

It was nauseatingly worded, in an article for the Observer, so as to seem fair to all parties, but nobody is fooled: Mrs Hodge wants to stop foreigners from taking our houses.

She hasn't the courage to present the matter so frankly, but this is what she means, and her idea is completely divisive. ...

Why do you think she did it? I'll give you three clues. One: she represents Barking. Two: her constituency used to be very white and now it's very mixed. And three: the BNP gained 11 seats on the local council last year. So there you have it, the simple moral arithmetic of modern British politics. Mrs Hodge is wooing those of her constituents who have lately found their concerns being represented most nakedly by the British National Party, and their sitting MP is keen enough to see that she'd better say something to appease their growing anger.

Shame on her. And shame on them. The notion that immigrants are hoisted on to the housing lists at the expense of true blue working-class English folk is a complete fallacy. It's more than a fallacy: it's a stupid, jingoistic fallacy, propagated by people who have their own reasons for feeling aggrieved at their lot in life.
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Benefits and costs – housing
A message to my fellow immigrants
Margaret Hodge, Industry Minister
The Observer, 20 May 2007

In our open, tolerant country, there are, thankfully, few issues that remain taboo. But, motivated by the fear of both legitimising racism and encouraging the extreme right, migration is one. Yet for many voters, it continues to be a top issue.

My constituency of Barking in east London has experienced rapid change, moving from predominantly white neighbourhoods to many multiracial neighbourhoods. ... ...

Unless we listen, we shall be unable to convince people that we are on their side as they learn to live with new neighbours in the tolerant and strong multiracial society we on the liberal left desire. This stifled debate means we have missed the opportunity to articulate more clearly the huge benefits to our economy, our culture and the evolving nature of our Britishness that migration brings. ...

We need just immigration policies that are fairly and efficiently administered. But we also need to acknowledge that population change is a feature of the modern world, of our globalisation. Yet the period of transition can be disturbing and painful. We all find change difficult and new neighbours, new shops and new habits in our street or on our estate do demand adjustment. As ever, the people who face the greatest changes tend to be those who live in the poorest communities where migrants can afford to settle.

So while we need strong leadership to promote the rewards migration offers, it is only fair to hear the resentments and fears it can arouse. Only by listening to those fears can we demonstrate understanding for the difficulties settled communities experience in adjusting and move beyond the fears to secure tolerance and harmony. ...

We prioritise the needs of an individual migrant family over the entitlement others feel they have. So a recently arrived family with four or five children living in a damp and overcrowded, privately rented flat with the children suffering from asthma will usually get priority over a family with less housing need who have lived in the area for three generations and are stuck at home with the grandparents.

We should look at policies where the legitimate sense of entitlement felt by the indigenous family overrides the legitimate need demonstrated by the new migrants.

We should also look at drawing up different rules based on, for instance, length of residence, citizenship or national insurance contributions which carry more weight in a transparent points system used to decide who is entitled to access social housing. There are a small number of confirmed refugees who, of course, would receive the same entitlements as British citizens. However, most new migrant families are economic migrants who choose to come to live and work here. If you choose to come to Britain, should you presume the right to access social housing? ...

As an immigrant myself, although I am white and middle class, I know how difficult it is to adapt in a new country. ... I know that striking the best balance in our approach to migration is fraught with huge difficulties. But if we don't dare to talk about it, we'll never get it right.

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Benefits and costs – statistics
Whitehall immigration figures are too low, say councils
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 15 May 2007

The Government was accused yesterday of exaggerating the economic benefits of immigration as council leaders complained that official data about migrant numbers were flawed.

Liam Byrne, the Home Office minister, said immigrants were contributing half a billion pounds every working day to the economy, a figure later repeated by Downing Street.

This would amount to £125 billion a year - equivalent to 10 per cent of total GDP.

But critics said it did not take into account the fact that immigrants also added to the population, which meant that on a per head basis the addition was negligible.

Mr Byrne was responding to criticism from town hall bosses that official statistics underestimated the number of migrants in their areas.

This affects the grants they receive from Whitehall, which are based on population numbers. ...

Councils receive around £600 for every person in the borough from central government. ...

Sir Simon Milton, the leader of Westminster City Council, said 2,000 migrants were coming through Victorian coach station every week.
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Benefits and costs – assessment
Forum to assess impact of record immigration
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 29 March 2007

Ministers are to set up a forum to assess the impact of immigration on communities, the Home Office announced yesterday.

The new body, which follows 10 years of record immigration under Labour, will consider evidence that schools, hospitals, housing and transport infrastructure are all feeling the strain of a growing population. ...

The creation of the Migration Impacts Forum (MIF), alongside another body advising on skills shortages that immigrants might be able to fill, marks a significant change of approach by Labour, which has justified the four-fold increase in immigration since 1997 almost entirely on economic grounds. ...

Yesterday's announcement was part of a package of measures that included the prospect of a £1,000 fine on families whose relatives failed to go home when their visas expired. It is already an offence punishable by a £5,000 fine to retain a nanny who has overstayed.

It also envisaged further curbs on forced marriage by raising the minimum age for bringing a spouse into the country from 18 to 21. It will be a requirement for spouses to learn English before they can join they wife or husband. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "It is high time that the wider picture was considered, including the widespread public concern that we are losing our own culture.

"But this forum will be useless if it includes only the usual suspects from the immigration industry and employers who stand to gain from immigration."
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Benefits and costs – asylum
Taxpayers get bill for asylum seekers
Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2007

Taxpayers will have to pick up the bill for looking after failed asylum seekers after a council lost a legal test case yesterday.

Hillingdon borough in west London is adding £10 to its average tax bill to cover the cost because the Government refuses to provide the funds.

The Tory-run council, which covers Heathrow, spends £1 million a year looking after people who arrive as unaccompanied children and remains legally responsible for them until they are 21.
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Benefits and costs – jobs
'Learn English or lose benefits'
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2007

Unemployed immigrants will have to show they are learning English or risk losing benefits from April, Jim Murphy, the welfare minister, announced yesterday.

About 40,000 jobless people from ethnic minorities say their poor English is a barrier to finding employment - and £4.5m is spent on translators in job centres.

The Government believes that this money would be better spent on teaching them English so they could get jobs rather than claim benefit. Mr Murphy told a Work Foundation seminar that it was "unacceptable" that ethnic minorities in Britain earned on average a third less than their white counterparts.

While 15 per cent of members of ethnic minorities cited language difficulties as a barrier to work, not enough of the language-learning opportunities at job centres were being taken up.
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Benefits and costs
Migrants 'add 4p a week' to your pocket
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 3 January 2007

The alleged economic benefit to Britain of record levels of immigration are a myth, new figures suggest.

They show a "very slight" gain of around 4p a week for each member of the native population - not enough to buy a Mars bar a month.

An analysis carried out by Migrationwatch UK used the Government's own claim that immigrants contribute a net £4 billion a year to Britain's gross domestic product.

The study said this amounted to £2.10 a year for each of Britain's 60 million inhabitants.

It concluded: "The much vaunted contribution of immigrants to the economy is very slight indeed." ...

Migrationwatch examined a range of British and international studies on the economic value of mass immigration, all of which indicate that, on a per capita basis, the financial benefits are minimal.

In addition, high levels of immigration place huge pressure on housing, health and schools and have an increasing impact on employment.
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Benefits and costs
Little to show from tide of migrants
Sir Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 3 January 2007

It is amazing what the Government's spin doctors have been getting away with. For years they have trumpeted the economic benefits of immigration but now we find that they are, in fact, very small.

The Government recently put a figure on it for the first time. Ministers told Parliament that immigrants add "at least £4 billion to production". What they did not say is that they also add almost exactly the equivalent percentage to our population, so the extra wealth per head is barely positive. We calculate it is 4p per week per head. Another claim - that immigrants contribute 10-15 per cent of trend growth - gives a slightly better result of 12p a week. Both are trivial.

We shouldn't be surprised. Major studies in America, Canada and Australia found similarly small benefit - typically a tenth of one per cent of GDP. ...

But the key issue is scale. We need to balance any economic benefit against the social cost of immigration ...
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Benefits and costs
£100m translation bill for migrants who can't or won't speak English
Amy Iggulden
Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2006

Public spending on interpreters and translation for immigrants is to be reviewed after figures revealed the yearly bill is more than £100 million.

Police forces, councils and hospitals are each spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on translating services that include recycling and anti-smoking advice, it emerged yesterday. ...

The Government yesterday ordered a review after figures showed that NHS trusts spend at least £55 million a year on translating and interpretation, the courts and police spend £31.3 million and local authorities spend £25 million a year.

The costs, obtained by the BBC, are likely to be an underestimate because not all public bodies are taken into account.

The details show how the Metropolitan Police spends £8.4 million a year, Barts and the London NHS Trust spends £1 million a year, and the Department of Work and Pensions spends £3 million on a telephone interpreting service.

Overall, the interpretation market for business and the public sector is thought to be worth about £400 million and growing to reflect the increasingly diverse population, according to the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

The increase in the courts service bill alone - now £10 million a year - has trebled over five years. ...

Phil Woolas, the local government minister, admitted that the situation needed to be examined. He said that more than £1 billion is already being spent on teaching English.
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Benefits and costs – multiculturalism
Winning Muslim hearts and minds
Michael Burleigh, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2006

We are entitled to have accurate information about immigration, with open discussion of its cultural, as well as economic, merits and demerits. Clear lines need to be established about what the majority of people here are prepared to tolerate, for toleration is not some open-ended, one-way arrangement. It's all very well to say you are against the formation of inner-city ghettos potentially subtracted from common law, but how, precisely, do Conservatives imagine dispersing them or preventing their formation?
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Benefits and costs
'Feckless' Poles aim for Britain
Daily Telegraph, 8 November 2006

"Feckless" Poles have turned Britain into their number one destination, the Polish president declared yesterday during a press conference with Tony Blair in Number 10.

Lech Kaczynski said Britain had become the "destination of choice" for homeless and jobless Poles and complained that many of his countrymen were still claiming benefits in Poland despite holding down jobs in Britain.
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Benefits and costs – drug addicts
Doctor's diary
Dr James Lefanu
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2006

Back in the mid-1990s, ...

At the same time, when sentencing an Italian drug addict convicted of theft, a judge remarked how those coming before the bench were frequently from other countries in the European Union who appeared to have moved to Britain to take advantage of the generous attitude of the welfare system to those in their situation. A decade on, it's hard to imagine anything more in need of reform.
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Benefits and costs
Why is the white working class so roundly despised?
Andrew Gimson
Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2006

The Government has encouraged mass migration, a change of which I happen to be in favour, for I believe these newcomers are an asset to our country and will rapidly become British. But no heed has been paid to those members of the indigenous working class who have found their wages undercut by cheap foreign competition, and have difficulty getting council housing.
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Benefits and costs – education
Months after they turned children away, 'full' schools open to migrants
Julie Henry
Sunday Telegraph, 8 October 2006

Schools that are officially full have been forced to find places for eastern European children who turn up at their gates after term has started.

Secondary schools across the east of England have suspended admission rules that dictate how many children they can accommodate each year, in order to take dozens more pupils, mostly from the EU accession states of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
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Benefits and costs
Life in Britain 'declining'
Laura Clout
Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2006

Britain is a worse place to live now than it was 20 years ago, according to almost half of respondents to a nationwide poll.

Lack of respect and crime were given as the main reasons for the decline by the 47 per cent who felt that British life had deteriorated since 1986. Less than a quarter believed that it had improved.

Almost half of those who felt the country had gone downhill cited a lack of respect and crime, while 31 per cent mentioned the cost of living. Terrorism and immigration were each blamed by 28 per cent of respondents to the poll, conducted for BBC1's Six O'Clock News.
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Benefits and costs
Immigrants 'should be set £27,000 wage target'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 29 August 2006

Immigrants unable to earn more than £27,000 a year should not be allowed to settle in Britain because they do not make "a positive contribution", a report says today.

The Migrationwatch think-tank suggests that the figure could be used to set an optimum level of immigration along the lines recently suggested by John Reid, the Home Secretary. ...

The report says that immigration is of long-term benefit to the economy only if it raises productivity. Otherwise, it simply adds to the pressure on infrastructure and public services.

The paper adds that less skilled migrants can make a contribution by filling gaps while British workers are trained but should not be allowed to settle permanently. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "The social costs of the present massive levels of immigration far outweigh any possible benefit."
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Benefits and costs
The cry has gone up 'Enoch was right'. Tosh. Immigration is good for Britain
Magnus Linklater
The Times, 23 August 2006

"If Enoch Powell were alive today, what would he have to say about the current security situation?" It was a typical Any Questions debating point - the equivalent of rolling a grenade into a crowded pub, then standing back to see what would happen. Within minutes, the discussion on Radio 4 had become a full-scale argument about Islamic terrorism, multiculturalism, free trade and Polish plumbers. From this week, it is also about Romanians and Bulgarians, rampant Aids and the white slave traffic. The debate about immigration is as inflammatory today as it was when Powell articulated it in 1968. It is also as dangerously confused.

The answer Powell himself would undoubtedly have given is: "I told you so." He would have claimed prescience about the numbers flooding into Britain from abroad, he would say that multiculturalism (which he referred to it in those days as "communalism") had demonstrably failed, and he would have argued that the growth of immigrant communities had undermined the security of the State. He said as much in his infamous "rivers of blood" speech, when he spoke of "dangerous and divisive elements" within the immigrant community, who would use Britain's well-intentioned race relations laws "to organise and consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow-citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest".

It was a blatantly racist speech, playing to the most basic fears of the white population at the time about the growth of immigration from the Commonwealth. It was also wrong. Powell presumed that the majority of immigrants would become increasingly alienated from society and that, as their numbers increased, they would seek to assert their domination over the native British. He thought that the sheer weight of numbers would simply overwhelm white communities, who would become, to quote him, "strangers in their own country". He predicted intolerable tensions as a result, with a system of "one-way privilege" operating in favour of immigrants. That has not happened. There have been flashpoints along the way - race riots in Brixton, Bristol and the North of England, racist attacks and murders, and the worrying alienation of Muslim minorities. But the breakdown that he predicted has not happened; Powell's nightmare vision has not materialised.

It has not, however, gone away. In different forms, it is summoned up to warn us of the threat from Islamic extremists, from asylum-seekers, and now the influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe. ... ...

As so often, there is a grain of truth in some of these arguments - but collectively, they amount to a lie. Immigration has, by and large, been of enormous benefit to Britain. It has helped to transform our economy, enrich our cultural life, support our public services and improve our image abroad. It would be inconceivable to imagine our health or transport systems functioning without it. It fills a skills gap among doctors and teachers. It allows the nation's corner shops to survive. Toynbee's argument about cheap labour could have been deployed at any time over the past 50 years, and would have prevented buses and trains from functioning, hospitals being cleaned, schools being staffed and maintained.

I have no doubt that mass immigration needs to be controlled, but rather than new restrictions the current rules should be managed more effectively and with greater humanity. This is too important an issue to be hijacked by prejudice disguising itself as rational debate. Unless we distinguish carefully between its differing strands, we might just as well give in to racism and say that Enoch was right all along.

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Benefits and costs
Keith Vaz MP (Lab), Chair, Labour Party Ethnic Minority Taskforce
Daily Telegraph, 10 August 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

It is ... regrettable that some commentators have already jumped to the conclusion that immigration acts as a drain on the national exchequer.

As a recent report by the Ernst & Young Item Club concluded, immigration from other EU countries has helped to keep inflation under control, boost economic output and in fact raised tax revenue by £300 million in 2006.
[Newspaper link]

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Benefits and costs
Legal aid for asylum seekers tops £1bn
Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Sunday Telegraph, 6 August 2006

More than a billion pounds of taxpayers' money has been spent on legal aid in immigration and asylum cases in the past decade, according to Government figures.

In that period, the amount provided by the Department for Constitutional Affairs for the cases has nearly quadrupled - from £29 million in 1996-7 to £107.3 million in 2005-6.
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Benefits and costs – population
Blair admits he has no policy on population
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2006

The Government has no policy for controlling the size of Britain's population, Tony Blair admitted yesterday. ...

Tony Wright, the Labour MP for Cannock Chase, told Mr Blair that Britain's population had topped 60 million for the first time last year and was expected to rise 12 per cent over the next generation. The rises were equivalent to having a new Oxford, a new Middlesbrough and a new Ipswich every year, and migration was the main driver of the rise. ...

Mr Wright urged Mr Blair to set up a commission to give a cost and benefit analysis about different levels of population. ...

Asked if the Government had a population policy, Mr Blair replied: "No, but we do have a migration policy obviously."

He agreed with an MP's suggestion that the issue was "political dynamite". He said it was difficult to give objective facts on the benefits and "disbenefits" of migration.

Migration on the whole was positive and with benefit to countries but it needed to be controlled. Asked if thousands of people could be deported, even if they had been in Britain for several years, he said there was "no easy way" of dealing with the issue.

But allowing all illegal migrants to stay would encourage many more to come, he said. ...

Gwyneth Dunwoody, the Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich, told Mr Blair that a large influx of migrants from the new EU states was putting schools and housing under strain in some areas.
[Newspaper link]

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Benefits and costs
Never have we seen immigration on this scale: we just can't cope
Robert Rowthorn, professor of economics at King's College, Cambridge
Sunday Telegraph, 2 July 2006

As an academic economist, I have examined many serious studies that have analysed the economic effects of immigration. There is no evidence from any of them that large-scale immigration generates large-scale economic benefits for the existing population as a whole. On the contrary, all the research suggests that the benefits are either close to zero, or negative.

Immigration can't solve the pensions crisis, nor solve the problem of an ageing population, as its advocates so often claim. It can, at most, delay the day of reckoning, because, of course, immigrants themselves grow old, and they need pensions. The injection of large numbers of unskilled workers into the economy does not benefit the bulk of the population to any great extent. It benefits the nanny- and house-cleaner-using classes; it benefits employers who want to pay low wages; but it does not benefit indigenous, unskilled Britons, who have to compete with immigrants willing to work hard for very low wages in unpleasant working conditions.

For low-skilled Britons, the result is that there are only two options: very low pay or unemployment. ...

It is bizarre that the Labour Party, which still continues to insist that it is the party of the poor and vulnerable, should endorse a policy the purpose of which is the creation of what Marx called "a reserve army of labour": a pool of workers whose presence ensures that rates of pay for cleaners and ancillary staff in the NHS can be kept as low as possible. ...

Unskilled migrants and their families often are net consumers of taxes: their children are educated in state schools, they are looked after when they have medical problems by the NHS, and they are eligible for state benefits if they are unable to find work. The new arrivals place a significant strain on the housing stock and delivery of public services in the neighbourhoods where new immigrants live: schools, hospitals and GP surgeries become more crowded, and state-subsidised housing gets more difficult to obtain. ...

At the present rate of 223,000 additional immigrants every year, though, and adding the children that they will produce, the population of Britain will grow by more than 12 million to reach 73.2 million by 2046. There is no parallel for such a huge influx over a mere 40 years in our recorded history.

Most of the immigrants will settle in London and the South-East, because that is where the jobs are. There is already a chronic housing shortage in that part of England, a large portion of which is due to immigration. ... Exacerbating the housing shortage and increasing the amount and density of built-on land, however, is only one of a series of transformations that will be triggered by the constant arrival of immigrants. They will inevitably completely change the culture and complexion of many cities.

I am not suggesting that all those changes will be bad, because I am sure that not all of them will be. While the immigration lobby tries to smear anyone who questions the benefits of large-scale immigration as "racist", the real issue is not whether you like or dislike the social changes that the colossal influx of immigrants will bring. It is rather that the Government has embarked on a policy that will totally change the nature of many of the communities in which we live without consulting any of us.

... There was nothing about increasing immigration in Labour's manifesto of 1997, or of 2001, or of 2005.

... We desperately need an honest debate on the issue. But if the Government's record is anything to go by, it will do everything it can to prevent one.
[Newspaper link]

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Benefits and costs
Ten million immigrants 'could help crisis'
Edmund Conway
Daily Telegraph, 24 June 2006

The pensions crisis could be solved by allowing an extra 10 million migrants into the UK in the next 20 years, leading economists have suggested.

Experts from the Royal Economic Society said that the population in the UK was ageing so fast that the workforce - as it currently stands - would not be able to afford to pay the pensions bill for their elders.

Professors David Blake and Les Mayhew have produced a study which also concludes that the government should raise the pension age to 70, and must lift it beyond 65 sooner than it already plans. ...

Prof Blake said: "From a wider perspective, all these things may need to occur - working longer, increases in migration and increases in contribution levels. ..."
[Newspaper link]

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Benefits and costs – multiculturalism
£700,000 bill for rural police interpreters
David Sapsted
Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2006

A rural police force had to spend more than £700,000 last year employing interpreters to interview suspects, victims and witnesses.

The money - the equivalent of a year's pay for 35 beat bobbies - was spent by the Cambridgeshire police in the year ending March 31.

Not only are the Fens a magnet for migrant workers and Cambridge a centre for tourists, but Peterborough is a "cluster" area for immigrants coming into East Anglia.

However, the police authority said yesterday that some of the people the police had to deal with were second or even third generation Britons who did not speak English.
[Newspaper link]

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Benefits and costs
Government 'has hidden £200m cost of migrants'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 25 April 2006

Immigrants are a net cost on the economy and not a benefit as the Government has claimed, a report says today.

The study by Migrationwatch UK challenges official figures suggesting that immigrants annually contribute £2.5 billion more to the economy in taxes than they receive in benefits and state services.

It accuses Whitehall of using "entirely false" methodology to back up its claims by failing to take full account of the children of immigrants. ...

The report says the original research, widely and regularly quoted by ministers, chose the only assumption that could deliver the "positive" result they were seeking. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "Our research completely demolishes the Government's last remaining excuse for the highest levels of immigration in our history by exposing a serious error in their methodology. The Government has used this statistic on every possible occasion but now it has been shown up as entirely worthless."

The Home Office research paper, published in 2002, said that although immigrants cost £28.8 billion in welfare benefits and state services that year, they contributed £31.2 billion in taxes.
[Newspaper link]

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Benefits and costs
Of course the wealthy want an immigration free-for-all
Polly Toynbee
The Guardian, 11 October 2005

Here is a sign of how fast some Tories are on the move. Tory modernising MP John Bercow has written a pamphlet slashing and burning his party's election policy on asylum and immigration. Bercow is one of those who got his U-turn in early, his career a template for how far the modernisers in the party are travelling. Once a Thatcherite Tory boy of the far right, then on the move with Portillo, now he is where his party needs to be - not racist or Daily Mailist but pragmatic. ...

Praise of immigration is the main thrust of Bercow's pamphlet. His argument for an open immigration policy is liberal in the free-market sense. A call for free movement of (cheaper) labour across the globe is, after all, the CBI's one and only "liberal" policy.

Bercow, like Labour, says that in a global economy the UK needs migrants to fill jobs the British are "unable or unwilling to do". Migrant workers put in more than they take out, making a net contribution of £2.5bn. The Home Office says a 1% increase in immigration yields up to a 1.5% increase in GDP. Of the entire working population, 10% are now born abroad. The government agrees with Bercow and is setting up a new skills advisory body to let in migrants according to business demand.

Bercow and Labour hotly assert that migrants don't take jobs from British workers nor depress wages. But there is no evidence for this assertion. It is impossible to know what level wages might be at or how many unemployed might have been tugged into jobs at higher pay rates had Britain kept its doors shut to new EU citizens until their countries had caught up economically.

Blair and Brown embrace the inevitability of globalisation, but make a deliberately class-blind analysis. Migrants do bring GDP growth, but remember the Gate Gourmet workers fired to make way for cheaper newly arrived workers. Migrants add to the profits of the company and thus to GDP. They keep down the cost of flying for people wealthy enough to fly. They also hold down the pay rate for all other low-paid workers, keeping wage inflation remarkably low and the Bank of England very happy. ...

Try this thought experiment: 43.5% of nurses recruited by the NHS since 1999 come from outside the UK. What if that were banned? The NHS in London would find clever ways to recruit from the city's mass of underqualified boys and girls, single mothers and other non-workers. Recruiters might set up special classes for 14-year-olds interested in nursing, promising work as nursing assistants while they trained, places to live in attractive nurses' homes, starter homes for key-worker families, status and good pay. The offer would be irresistible, and yes, taxes would be higher. ...

[Incoming Assets: Why Tories should change policy on immigration and asylum, by John Bercow MP, is published by the Social Market Foundation.]

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Benefits and costs
Taboo topic [1]
Thomas Sowell
The Social Contract, Fall 2005

Immigration has joined the long list of subjects on which it is taboo to talk sense in plain English. At the heart of much confusion about immigration is the notion that we "need" immigrants - legal or illegal - to do work that Americans won't do.

What we "need" depends on what it costs and what we are willing to pay. If I were a billionaire, I might "need" my own private jet. But I can remember a time when my family didn't even "need" electricity.

Leaving prices out of the picture is probably the source of more fallacies in economics than any other single misconception. At current wages for low-level jobs and current levels of welfare, there are indeed many jobs that Americans will not take.

The fact that immigrants - and especially illegal immigrants - will take those jobs is the very reason the wage levels will not rise enough to attract Americans.

This is not rocket science. It is elementary supply and demand. Yet we continue to hear about the "need" for immigrants to do jobs that Americans will not do - even though these are all jobs that Americans have done for generations before mass illegal immigration became a way of life.

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Benefits and costs
Taboo topic [2]
Thomas Sowell
The Social Contract, Fall 2005

Europeans and Americans have for decades been playing Russian roulette with their loose immigration policies. The intelligentsia have told us that it would be wrong, and even racist, to set limits based on where the immigrants come from. ...

In that rhetoric, all differences between peoples are magically transformed into mere "stereotypes" and "perceptions."

This blithely ignores hard data showing, for example, that people who come here from some countries are ten times more likely to go on welfare as people from some other countries.

The media and the intelligentsia love to say that most immigrants, from whatever group, are good people. But what "most" people from a given country are like is irrelevant.

If 85 per cent of group A are fine people and 95 per cent of group B are fine people, that means you are going to be importing three times as many undesirables when you let in people from group A. ...

In the current climate of political correctness it is taboo even to mention facts that go against the rosy picture of immigrants - for example, the fact that Russia and Nigeria are always listed among the most corrupt countries on earth, and that Russian and Nigerian immigrants in the United States have already established patterns of crime well known to law enforcement but kept from the public by the mainstream media.

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Benefits and costs – myths
Large-scale immigration has prompted a flood of shoddy economic thinking
Ruth Lea
Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2004

In November 2003, David Blunkett, defending the Government's immigration policy, asserted that "legal migrants brought economic benefits" and there was "no obvious limit" to the number of immigrants who could settle in the UK. In other words, the quite unprecedented large-scale immigration of a net 200,000 to 250,000 a year into Britain was not just perfectly acceptable, but there was no obvious reason why it should not be higher.

... ... ...

Finally, I would like to dispel a couple of myths about immigration. The first is that large-scale immigration is necessary for buoyant economic growth. But this was most emphatically not the case in post-war Japan. The second is that the native-born British "will not do certain jobs". But they do these jobs in parts of the country where there are very few immigrants.

Clearly, immigration does bring economic benefits but there are, equally clearly, costs as well. The Government should really be prepared to give us the whole picture.
[Newspaper link]

Up

BIAS

Bias
Mirror pays out over lobby group slur
Stephen Brook
The Guardian, 26 November 2007

The Daily Mirror has agreed to pay costs and damages to Migrationwatch UK, after star columnist Brian Reade compared the lobby group to the Nazi party and the Ku Klux Klan.

In today's paper the Mirror apologised to the organisation's head, Sir Andrew Green, and said it had agreed to pay damages after Reade's column on September 13. ...

"We accept that the allegations were untrue," the paper said in an apology on page 18 today.
[Site link]

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Bias – BBC
BBC viewers angered by its 'innate liberal bias'
Nicole Martin
Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2007

The BBC is operating in a "leftleaning comfort zone" and has an "innate liberal bias" according to a report commissioned by the corporation.

The report, From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel, said that the BBC's drift towards a liberal-minded approach to programmes risked stifling originality and angering viewers.

Mark Byford, the BBC's deputy director-general, said: "Impartiality is a core value for the BBC, which is non-negotiable and central to its relationship with licence-fee payers.

"As audience behaviours change and the media landscape develops rapidly, the BBC has to keep asking itself how best to safeguard impartiality in this digital age."

Andrew Marr, the BBC's former political editor, said at a seminar last year that the BBC is "a publicly funded urban organisation with an abnormally large proportion of younger people, of people in ethnic minorities and almost certainly of gay people compared with the population at large." ...

A survey of viewers found that the corporation was generally seen as impartial.

However, some respondents felt it had gone "too far" in its representation of racial minorities and was too politically correct. ...

Most respondents outside south-east England believed that they were under-represented.
[Newspaper link]

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Bias – BBC
The BBC can't kick its addiction to bias
Damian Thompson
Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2007

Yesterday the BBC Trust published From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel, an 81-page report with the subtitle "Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century". That's a bit like the late Boris Yeltsin talking about safeguarding his sobriety. It is, however, the first time the corporation has attempted to address the question, so we should read the report carefully.

The first reaction is to sigh with relief. The report acknowledges that "mainstream opinion" was wrong to attack monetarism, to belittle Euro-sceptics as small-minded and blinkered, and to assume that multi-culturalism would solve the problems of immigration. ...

This report is a step in the right direction. But, as anyone who has ever dealt with an alcoholic will confirm, it is best not to get your hopes up. Nothing will happen without a desire to change; and I don't think Auntie is ready to come off the sauce.
[Newspaper link]

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Bias – adoptions
The improved lot of Romanian orphans
Lady Nicholson of Winterbourne, MEP
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2006

There have been protests about Romania's decision to ban international adoptions, coming from individual politicians in France and America, but these are the result of the multi-million-dollar lobby for international adoptions - a lobby that represents a shadowy, unaccountable and deeply unethical industry.
[Newspaper link]

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Bias – BBC
The BBC's commitment to bias is no laughing matter
Tom Leonard
Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2006

But no matter how much BBC bosses swear blind there is no problem, the issue refuses to go away. Why? Because for many licence-payers, the BBC's skewed assumptions about what the world is about and how its inhabitants should think is the most annoying thing about it - more annoying than dumbing down, than the universal licence fee, than Jonathan Ross's £18 million pay packet. More annoying even than Natasha Kaplinsky. And particularly infuriating when the BBC denies it outright, as did Michael Grade, the BBC chairman, in an article published a few days before a governors' impartiality summit a month ago.

... Anyway, embarrassingly it emerged ... that even some of his most senior journalists disagreed. Andrew Marr, hardly one of the BBC's token Right- wingers, declared that the BBC "is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people". It has, he added, "a liberal bias, not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias."
[Newspaper link]

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Bias – BBC, multiculturalism
We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News
Simon Walters
Mail on Sunday, 21 October 2006

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.

A leaked account of an 'impartiality summit' called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror.

It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC's 'diversity tsar', wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air.

At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

One veteran BBC executive said: 'There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

'Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.' ...

The full account of the meeting shows how senior BBC figures queued up to lambast their employer.

Political pundit Andrew Marr said: 'The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.'

Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to 'correct', it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it 'no moral weight'.

Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a 'very senior news executive', about the BBC's pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply: 'The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.' ...

There was another heated debate when the summit discussed whether the BBC was too sensitive about criticising black families for failing to take responsibility for their children.

Head of news Helen Boaden disclosed that a Radio 4 programme which blamed black youths at a young offenders' institution for bullying white inmates faced the axe until she stepped in.

But Ms Fitzpatrick, who has said that the BBC should not use white reporters in non-white countries, argued it had a duty to 'contextualise' why black youngsters behaved in such a way.

Andrew Marr told The Mail on Sunday last night: 'The BBC must always try to reflect Britain, which is mostly a provincial, middle-of-the-road country. Britain is not a mirror image of the BBC or the people who work for it.'

Up

BORDER CONTROLS

Border controls – Europe
Police warning as politicians hail end to borders
Harry de Quetteville
Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2007

European leaders will take down border posts across the continent today, as the passport-free Schengen zone is extended to nine former Eastern bloc countries.

But while politicians have begun three days of celebrations, police forces have given warning that the move will hamper the fight against terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration. ...

The prospect has caused uproar among German police on their country's border with Poland at Frankfurt Oder, which until now has marked the outer limit of the Schengen zone.

They fear that Poland's security forces will be overwhelmed by the new arrangement.

"The Poles are doing their best, but the task is impossible," said Lars Wendland, a spokesman for a union of border police at Frankfurt Oder. ...

The joint concerns of the German and Polish police forces are reinforced by worries over the Schengen II computer system, which is intended to provide detailed information on those crossing the border to member police forces.

"We were promised by the EU that we would only open borders if the Schengen II database had been established," said Mr Wendland. "But it's not running yet."
[Newspaper link]

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Border controls – Europe
On EU's new border, illegal immigrants 'are coming and coming and coming'
Gethin Chamberlain
Sunday Telegraph, 16 December 2007

Just one porous border will stand between most of Europe and tens of thousands of illegal immigrants under changes that take effect on Friday.

Hungary and Poland are among nine recent additions to the European Union who will join most other members in throwing open their EU frontiers to travel without a passport. ...

Border officials have already reported an upsurge in people trying to cross the EU's new outer frontier. Britain has not signed up to the Schengen zone, but many of those heading for the eastern frontier say they want to cross the Channel. ...

On its visit to the border between Hungary and the Ukraine, The Sunday Telegraph found evidence of serious weaknesses in controls over immigrants from outside the EU. Officials said that they caught fewer than a third of those attempting to cross illegally.




The intention is to make it easier for European citizens to move around, but word has spread quickly to those dreaming of a new life in the West. Somalis, Afghans, Iraqis, Mongolians, Georgians and Kosovan Serbs and Albanians are beating a path to the border, eager to try their luck.
[Newspaper link]

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Border controls – terrorism
Too many loopholes in Britain's border security for terrorists
Steve Farrow
Daily Telegraph, 12 July 2007
[Letter to the Editor]

As an ex-entry clearance officer who worked in the High Commission's visa section in Islamabad for two years, I worked closely with representatives from bona fide colleges and universities from Britain. Most of them complained of the large numbers of overseas students, particularly from Pakistan, who failed to show up for their courses.

The Home Office proposal of closing one loophole by demanding that foreign students have a "sponsor" is risible. The majority of student visa applications that we processed in Islamabad had some form of bogus documentation supporting the application, much of which we were unable to verify due to work constraints. This "loophole closure" will not in any way stop the abuse.

The 379 Pakistani students who failed to show up at Portsmouth University is only the tip of the iceberg and we are now beginning to pay the price for the Government's immigration policy.
[Newspaper link]

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Border controls
Uniforms for passport teams 'will deter illegals'
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2006

Uniformed border control officers are to be introduced at ports and airports, John Reid, the Home Secretary, announced yesterday.

In addition, the budget for immigration enforcement will double to £280 million by the end of 2010 to try to clamp down on illegal immigrants.
[Newspaper link]

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Border controls – asylum
A return to the days of tougher border controls
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 20 July 2006

People leaving the country are to be counted out at the borders for the first time since embarkation controls were abolished in 1998. ...

Further details will be announced within days.

The move comes after the Home Office acknowledged that it had up to 450,000 outstanding case files for asylum seekers.

While some of these may be for people who are now EU citizens, or who have died or returned home, it represents far more than an estimate of 283,000 produced by the National Audit Office last year, which ministers insisted at the time was 50,000 too high.

In his reform package yesterday, John Reid, the Home Secretary, said this backlog would be sorted out "within five years". However, he admitted this was not a guarantee that everyone turned down for asylum would be removed from the country.

Port controls started to be dismantled under the Tories in 1994. The remaining checks were removed under Labour in 1997.

Since then, it has no longer been a requirement to show a passport on leaving the country, though selective checks still occur and airlines carry out their own.

The loosening of border controls, which saved an estimated £3 million a year, cut off a valuable source of intelligence for police and the security services in the investigation of terrorism.
[Newspaper link]

Up

CRIME

Crime – visas
Jail relatives of visa cheats, say Tories
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2007

Foreign visitors could land their relatives in jail if they over-stay their visas, under plans unveiled by the Conservatives today.

The requirement for a visitor to have a sponsor before being allowed into Britain is among proposals that follow an 18-month consultation with Britain's minority communities in attempts to make the immigration system "fairer and more effective". The sponsor – a friend or member of the family already resident in the UK – would be liable to prosecution if the visitor did not return home at the end of their stay.

The proposals also include the setting up of a border police force that would take over responsibility for tracking down employers who hired illegal workers.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – deportation
EU prisoners 'will avoid deportation'
Robert Winnett and Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2007

Thousands of prisoners from European countries, including those convicted of violent offences, will not even be considered for deportation unless they spend more than two years in prison, the Home Office admitted last night.

The policy means that violent foreign criminals may be released back on to Britain's streets despite the Prime Minister pledging a crackdown on law-breaking foreigners.

Yesterday, an internal Prison Service memo was disclosed which said the Border and Immigration Agency had "no interest" in deporting foreign prisoners serving less than a year in jail.

But it has emerged that the policy is even more lax for prisoners from 30 European countries who can spend up to two years in prison before being considered for deportation. There are about 2,500 European prisoners in Britain's jails.

Criminals not facing deportation under the 12-month exemption included burglars, drug dealers and sex offenders. However, the higher 24-month exemption for Europeans also includes those of violent offenders.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – deportation
Thousands of foreign offenders allowed to stay in UK
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2007

Thousands of foreign drug dealers, sex offenders and burglars will be allowed to stay in Britain every year despite Gordon Brown's pledge to deport them, it became clear last night.

In his first conference speech as Prime Minister, Mr Brown drew loud applause by declaring a crackdown on offenders from abroad.

But the Border and Immigration Agency, an executive agency of the Home Office, has ignored the Prime Minister's edict and told prison chiefs it has "no interest" in deporting foreign national prisoners serving less than a year. ...

And in a newspaper interview, Mr Brown promised to strengthen measures to deport foreign national criminals.

"I want a message to go out. If you come here you work and you learn our language. If you commit a crime you will be deported from our country. You play by the rules or you face the consequences." ...

The Border and Immigration Agency is understood to have taken the decision because of the amount of time and money it has to spend processing the cases.

In addition, it faces serious legal difficulties deporting prisoners back to countries where their human rights are judged to be in danger.

The Ministry of Justice says it is deporting record numbers of foreign prisoners but is giving more priority to the removal of more serious criminals.

The money and staff involved has been increased significantly and this year it intends to deport 4,000.

Lower legal offenders are encouraged by a "bribe" of £1,500 to go home voluntarily. ...

There are 7,500 foreign national prisoners in England and Wales, of whom 1,000 are serving less than 12 months.

Two jails – Bullwood Hall and Canterbury – are reserved exclusively for foreigners.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Compensation for smuggled women
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2007

Women smuggled into Britain and forced into prostitution could receive millions of pounds after a Government decision to compensate victims of people trafficking.

Last week four women received payouts totalling £140,000 for their "pain and trauma" after suffering a "sustained period of sexual abuse" – the first payments of their kind.

It is estimated that 10,000 women have been smuggled into Britain, all of whom now could be eligible for money from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The authority told the women's lawyers that it agreed to payments for "false imprisonment and forced prostitution during the time of imprisonment", which have never existed as official categories for compensation.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Why it would cheaper to send jailed foreigners on a world cruise - than keep them in a UK prison at £43,000 a year
Evening Standard (London), 6 December 2007

Locking up foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers who should have been deported costs £43,435 a year for each one – making it cheaper to send them on a luxury world cruise.

The bill for holding the 2,550 foreign nationals in immigration centres while they fight their removal is £110million.

The taxpayer would save £9,125 a year for each of them if they were sent on a 21-country cruise on the P&O liner Oriana.

The £119-a-day cost of holding a detainee emerged in a written reply to Tory MP Damian Green. It compares to £90 for a prison cell or £97 a day to sail around the world on the Oriana.

Removal centres cost so much to run because they must follow rules to protect the 'dignity' of failed asylum seekers.

But the network of centres is increasingly used to house foreign criminals who have been freed but are fighting removal.

The centres must provide the detainees with activities and TVs and healthcare provision should be 'at least' NHS standard. Some are also often visited by dentists.

Immigration spokesman Mr Green said: 'This is one more price we pay for the chaos and delays in the immigration system.

Thousands of people locked up for months in detention centres, including foreign prisoners the Government can't deport, are costing the taxpayer more than £100million.

'For each of them it would be as cheap to send them on a round-the-world cruise. How can the Government justify this expenditure when we are leaving ports unmanned by immigration officers?

'Eighteen months after John Reid told us the Home Office was not fit for purpose, nothing much has changed.'

Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'It's astonishing. The Home Office must get their act together to remove these people swiftly. Taxpayers can't afford world cruises, with interest rates soaring and the tax burden increasing.

'Now we know where our money is being frittered away.' Between 1,200 and 1,500 foreign criminals are being held in removal centres in the wake of last year's mistaken release scandal, in which 1,000 were allowed to go free without being considered for deportation.

Now, despite finishing their sentences, they are detained alongside failed asylum seekers while cases are processed, often for more than a year.

One foreigner at Colnbrook Removal Centre, near Heathrow, has been detained for almost three years, a report by prisons' inspector Anne Owers says.

The bill for this individual alone would be £130,000. By contrast the Oriana cruise liner, which departs from Southampton in January next year, costs £7,899 for an 82-day trip, or £97 a day.
[Site link]

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Crime
Migrants and the murder rate
Sean O'Neill
The Times, 1 December 2007

Most murders in London this year were committed by foreigners, according to Scotland Yard figures obtained by The Times.

Of 47 killings between April and September where the nationality of the accused is known, 26 of the suspects – 55 per cent – are not Britons. In 19 cases the killer is believed to be British. In a further 23 cases the nationality of the killer has not been determined. At least 23 of the victims were foreign, including Somali, Brazilian, Irish and Vietnamese citizens.

The killings over the six months are under investigation by Scotland Yard's Homicide Command and are subject to change as more cases are solved. But the raw data represents a stark illustration of the problems facing forces nationwide as communities change rapidly because of large-scale immigration.

The accused in the London sample hail from all corners of the world: Peru, China, Albania, Romania, Lithuania, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

All murder and manslaughter cases involving foreigners – as either victims or perpetrators – present detectives with difficulties in understanding motives and overcoming language barriers. Deep-rooted cultural differences also need to be resolved, involving, for example, "honour killings" and revenge murders stemming from Albanian village rivalries.

Increasingly, police have to travel overseas to trace suspects, liaise with foreign forces and speak to the families of people killed in Britain. The result is that murder cases are becoming more complicated for investigators, more expensive for police forces and more time-consuming for the courts. ...

The figures obtained by The Times relate only to Greater London. Other forces contacted said that they did not compile such data or would release figures only through the freedom of information process. But there is growing evidence that new immigrants to Britain are killing and being killed. ...

There is evidence in police budgets of the increased workload of dealing with crimes committed by foreigners. Chief constables are having to pay more for the services of interpreters and translators. With spending at £9.7 million, Scotland Yard is £1 million over budget for interpreters.

The figures from Scotland Yard cannot be presented with scientific certainty as proof of a definite trend. They exclude killings being investigated by the Metropolitan Police's Child Abuse Investigation Command and by the Operation Trident team which handles gun crime in the black community. Nor do the figures suggest any migrant-fuelled wave of killings.
[Site link]

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Crime – employment
Illegal immigrants still in security posts
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2007

Illegal immigrants are not having their licences for security jobs withdrawn even after they have been identified, figures suggested yesterday.

Hundreds of known illegal workers have not yet been suspended or removed from the Security Industry Authority's [SIA] register. ...

On Nov 13 the Home Secretary said a review had identified 1,380 individuals who did not appear to have the right to work. However, updated figures released by the SIA on its website this week show that it has only revoked or suspended some 700 licences since it began operating in 2004.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – employment
'10,000 working illegally' in security
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2007

Up to 10,000 foreign nationals could be working illegally in the security industry, the Home Secretary indicated yesterday. The figure is double the previous estimate.

Jacqui Smith told MPs that officials were still trying to find out the scale of the fiasco but, despite accusations from the Conservatives of "blunder, panic and cover-up", she denied trying to conceal the problem.

The latest controversy to hit the Home Office centres on the disclosure that sensitive security installations were being guarded by illegal immigrants. They were licensed to work by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), a government agency that checks whether they have a criminal record.

Miss Smith said that 40,000 non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals had been licensed since the SIA started work four years ago. Many work as doormen, bouncers and private security guards but some were even employed by contractors providing guards for the Metropolitan Police. So far, 6,000 have been checked and 77 per cent were entitled to work in Britain. ...

The SIA became aware of the problem in April when it found that 44 foreign nationals, including 12 guarding Metropolitan Police sites, were working illegally. ...

Further checks found more illegal workers and by July, Miss Smith was informed of the problem by officials. Instead of telling MPs, she called for further research and agreed to keep the matter under wraps.
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Crime – employment
Scandal rooted in the failure of border controls
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2007

Labour, wittingly or not, lost control of the borders in 1997 and allowed hundreds of thousands of people into the country with no obvious right to be here. Many claimed asylum but at least 400,000 who were turned down are still here. There could be a similar number of illegals who arrived in the backs of lorries but nobody knows.

It is up to employers, not the SIA, whose sole job is to check criminal records, to discover a prospective employee's immigration status. If they give work to an illegal immigrant, it is then up to the Government to prosecute them.

But few cases are brought and ministerial promises to get on top of the problem are just so much bluster.
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Crime – employment
Smith 'kept migrants blunder a secret'
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2007

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, was last night accused of trying to conceal the fact that thousands of illegal immigrants had been authorised to work in sensitive government security posts.

Leaked emails showed that Ms Smith was told about the latest immigration fiasco as long ago as July. ...

Instead of informing MPs or the public about the potential security risk caused by her department, Ms Smith chose to keep the situation quiet, apparently planning to admit the embarrassing events only after an internal inquiry.

She acted after being advised by Home Office media officials that disclosing the problem would bring "significant criticism".
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Crime – employment
Security failure as illegal immigrants given guard jobs
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2007

A new immigration fiasco hit the Government yesterday after it emerged that thousands of security guards have been working illegally in Britain, including one allegedly guarding the Prime Minister's car.

The Security Industry Authority, set up by the Home Office to vet doormen and security personnel, has failed to include a check on whether applicants were entitled to work in Britain.

The checks meant that an estimated 5,000 illegal immigrants have been employed on nightclub doors and in sensitive security posts, including six people who were working for the Metropolitan Police. ...

Set up three years ago, the SIA has issued around 250,000 licences, for workers whose responsibilities include guarding Whitehall offices, ports and airports.

Yesterday, the Home Office said it had asked for a review of all the licences issued before the problem came to light in July.
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Crime
Hundreds of victims of knife crimes each week
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 28 October 2007

The full extent of stabbings and robberies at knifepoint is made clear in the country's first census of knife crime.

Police recorded 5,023 serious knife crimes in England and Wales in the first three months after they began to count the offences as a separate crime category last spring. It is equivalent to about 400 offences per week.

The highest rate is in London, where every resident has a one-in-1,100 chance of falling victim over the course of a year.

Londoners stand more chance of being stabbed or robbed at knifepoint than of being killed or seriously injured in a road accident.

Manchester and Birmingham are near the top of the league with shire counties having much lower rates of knife crime. However, Bedfordshire, a predominantly rural county, reports the third-worst rate. ...

The new figures were obtained from 37 of the 43 forces in England and Wales under the Freedom of Information Act. The remaining six, mostly smaller forces, said they were unable to provide data. ...

Police in Bedfordshire said the figures were high because crime levels in Luton, the biggest town, were on a par with parts of London. Luton has the fourth-highest immigration rate of any town outside London, and a senior police officer claimed that the trend was fuelling crime.
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Crime
Black police leader criticised after urging greater use of stop-and-search
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2007

A black police leader has reignited controversy in one of policing's most sensitive areas by suggesting that more black youths must be stopped and searched to tackle gun and knife crime.

Keith Jarrett, the president of the National Black Police Association (NBPA), will call on the Government and Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, to consider the move in a speech this week.

The NBPA has long raised questions about the disproportionately high number of black people who are stopped and searched. However, Mr Jarrett said he was not signalling a change in policy but reflecting views put to him by the black community. "A lot of black people want to stop these killings, these knife crimes," he said. "And, if it means their sons and daughters are going to be inconvenienced by being stopped by the police, so be it.

"I am hoping we go down that road. It's not going to go down very well with my audience - many of whom are going to be black." ...

Keith Vaz, the former minister and chairman of Labour's ethnic minority task force and the Commons home affairs committee, said Mr Jarrett's comments were unhelpful.
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Crime
Foreign criminal gangs 'moving to rural areas'
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2007

Foreign criminals are moving out of big cities and infiltrating rural towns and villages.

The gangs include Jamaican "Yardies" selling crack in Hereford and Cambridgeshire, Chinese criminals called "Snakeheads" in Lancashire and Norfolk, Albanians running prostitution rings in Hampshire and Colombian cocaine networks in Chelmsford, Essex, a new television series claims.

The disclosures are featured in Crime Invasion - Britain's New Underworld, a new series for the Virgin 1 satellite channel, presented by Rageh Omaar, a journalist who has worked for the BBC. ...

Police chiefs have estimated there may be about 1,500 crime gangs in Britain but that as few as six per cent are being tackled at any time.
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Crime
Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2007

A BBC investigation found last night that some Polish migrant workers are illegally claiming child benefit in Britain and Poland. Officials in six Polish regions believe at least a third of the child benefit applications are fraudulent.
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Crime – fraud
Fines cancelled to boost figures
John Steele
Sunday Telegraph, 23 September 2007

Millions of pounds in court fines are being written off by the Government each year to make the figures look better.

Around £50 million of unpaid fines are simply being cancelled or discontinued, according to an analysis of official figures.

The practice has allowed ministers to claim a dramatic rise in the rate at which fines are being paid.

Where criminals give false names or disappear off the radar without paying anything for a year, the fine is "administratively cancelled" by civil servants without courts being consulted. Other fines are "legally discontinued" when the offender goes to jail for another crime. In both cases, the fines cease to be included in the total owed. As a result, the official proportion of "paid" fines has shot up from around 60 per cent a few years ago to 98 per cent now.
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Crime
Foreigners commit one crime in every five in London, says the Met
Tom Harper and Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 23 September 2007

More than one crime in five in London is now committed by a foreign national, raising fresh fears over the impact of immigration.

Around a third of all sex offences and a half of all frauds in the capital are carried out by non-British citizens. ...

Criticism of the Government's immigration policy intensified last week when Julie Spence, the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, revealed how the steady flow of Eastern European migrants with "different standards" was placing a huge strain on her rural police force. ...

Last year, a leaked memo from the then Home Office minister Joan Ryan warned that an estimated 45,000 potential criminals from Romania and Bulgaria - which joined the EU in January this year - would travel to Britain.

Last night, Mrs Spence's comments drew support from officers across the country, suggesting that a link between immigration and crime is being made nationally.
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Crime
Prosperous Romanians deny they are exporting criminals
Bojan Pancevski
Sunday Telegraph, 23 September 2007

Halfway between Bucharest and the Black Sea coast, the impoverished rural town of Tandarei is experiencing a startling renaissance. ...

The transformation comes just a year after Romania joined the European Union, transforming the fortunes of the town's 14,000 citizens.

But Tandarei's good fortune comes at the expense of Britain. Vast numbers of Romanians have moved to western Europe, including tens of thousands to the UK, and are now sending money home, a worrying percentage of which is earned from criminal activities in Britain and its neighbours. ...

But despite the evident need for international co-operation in cross-border crime, the mayor of Tandorei, Mr Vasile Sava, rejects the notion that his town has become an exporter of crime to countries such as Britain.

"We are certainly not exporting criminals," he said. "Lots of skilled workers from all professions have left to work abroad, and they are sending money back home. If a few among them are criminals, it doesn't mean that we can brand all of them as such."

Mr Sava admits that many offenders derive from the numerous Roma minority, but claims integration measures put in place by his administration are about to overcome the problem.

An estimated 1.5 million of Romania's 22 million inhabitants are Roma, most of them living in secluded and underprivileged communities.

Most in the Roma-populated outskirts of Tandarei have relatives living in the UK. Shellsuits and jewellery and gold teeth are the order of the day. They gave a friendly welcome. Then some of them admit to stealing and living off benefits.
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Crime
Brown 'failing trafficked children'
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2007

Gordon Brown is not doing enough to protect children smuggled into the country to work in the sex industry or as slave labour, two rights groups said in a report yesterday.

David Bull, one of the co-authors and the executive director of Unicef UK, said 1.2 million children fall victim to trafficking every year and that Britain was slow in stamping out the crime. He said: "They are secretly transported across borders and sold like commodities or trafficked within countries for the sole purpose of exploitation."

The report claimed that of 330 victims identified over 18 months by the Government, 183 went missing from social services care. It called for trafficked children to be given renewable residence permits so that they can stay in Britain to recover from abuses.
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Crime
Migrant workers importing crime, says police chief
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2007

Immigrant workers are importing their national feuds and criminal behaviour to rural England, a police chief said yesterday.

Julie Spence, the chief constable of Cambridgeshire, said they were arriving with "different standards" from the native population.

Some carried knives for personal protection and others did not have such strict views on drink-driving.

In the past year, drink-drive figures showed a 17-fold rise in arrests of foreigners.

Since 2004, 83,000 east Europeans have registered to work in Cambridgeshire and neighbouring counties. Many more have arrived to join large groups of already-established workers from western EU countries, such as Portugal.

Mrs Spence said: "When they arrive they think they can do the same thing as in the country they have come from. ..." ...

She said Home Office grants to support manning levels had failed to keep pace with the rising population. ...

Mrs Spence said it could take three times longer to deal with a crime involving an offender, witness or victim who did not speak English.

It was more expensive because of the need for interpreters, with up to 90 languages being spoken. ...

"The profile of the county has changed dramatically and this simply isn't taken into account when Government allocates funding. ..."

Cambridgeshire Police has produced a guide to behaving in Britain that is available in 15 languages. It warns immigrants not to touch or fondle people without their permission; not to urinate or spit in public; and that people may find it intimidating to be stared at.

Mrs Spence's concerns are shared by neighbouring constabularies and also by local government leaders who say the whole public sector in the South and East is under strain. Their principal complaint is that official population figures substantially underestimate the number of immigrants.
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Crime
Gangs from Romania in crime spree
Daily Telegraph, 19 September 2007

Crimes committed by Romanians in Britain have increased eight-fold since the nation joined the EU at the start of this year, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Between January and the end of June last year 135 crimes were committed in Britain by known Romanians.

However in the same period this year the total was 1,080 crimes, according to research by More 4 News. Romanian police are now working in Britain to tackle the gangs.
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Crime – amnesty
Plans for illegal immigrant amnesty approved despite fears it will cost £1bn
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 19 September 2007

Plans for an amnesty for thousands of illegal immigrants were approved yesterday by the Liberal Democrats despite fears it will cost taxpayers almost £1 billion a year.

The move came after Nick Clegg, the home affairs spokesman, insisted that immigration into Britain was "not too high" and urged delegates to accept the amnesty plan.

He outlined plans for some of the estimated 600,000 illegal immigrants to stay if they had been here for 10 years and had no criminal convictions. ...

Asked whether there was too much immigration into Britain, Mr Clegg said yesterday: "In our view, it's not too high.

"If you have an immigration system where you have large numbers of people coming in to this country and you don't plan for the consequences, and you don't work to integrate people, then of course the numbers can seem too high."

He outlined plans for an amnesty for some of the illegal immigrants, starting with a 10-year qualifying period but indicating that that time frame should come down. ...

He also claimed that a selective amnesty would generate billions of pounds for the Treasury while Tory and Labour pledges to deport all illegal immigrants would cost billions of pounds.

Migrationwatch UK, citing research by the left-leaning Institute of Public Policy Research, claimed there would actually be £1.8 billion of additional costs.

That would include £220 million on housing and council tax benefit, £200 million in extra child support payments and £820 million in additional healthcare and education costs.

In other words, once the additional £1 billion of tax revenue was taken into account, the Lib Dem amnesty plans would cost about £800 million.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "This is an absurd proposal.

"Claims that it will produce £1 billion of revenue completely ignores the extra costs from bringing low-paid workers and their families into the welfare state."
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Crime – political correctness
When Bobbies are beating it, we're in trouble
PC David Copperfield, the nom de plume of Stuart Davidson
Daily Telegraph, 18 September 2007

Policing in Britain is about recording and risk assessing. Thousands of front-line officers are fighting a battle simply to get out of the office, before they even think about dealing with criminals.

Our police service is a means of social engineering, not a crime-fighting organisation. Consequently, the entry tests consist of little more than checking for a pulse, asking if the applicant is a racist and getting them to spell "diversity" correctly. ...

... Hundreds of British police officers are applying to join forces in Canada, Australia, New Zealand... just about anywhere that will have them. One Australian force is about to recruit 600 foreign officers, the vast majority British. ...

I think the Government needs to ponder this question very seriously: when even the police start leaving the country, is it time to admit we have problems?
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Crime – drugs
Reclassification of cannabis 'fuels youth crime wave'
Nina Lakhani
The Independent, 16 September 2007

Cannabis use among Britain's young offenders is "out of control", up by 75 per cent in some areas and fuelling a crime epidemic, with youngsters stealing to fund their addictions, according to two studies.

A national survey of Youth Offending Teams indicates that two-thirds of them have seen an increase in cannabis use of between 25 per cent and 75 per cent since David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary, downgraded the drug to class C in 2004. Some 90 per cent of all young offenders are using cannabis in some areas, a far greater proportion than the general youth population.

Research carried out by King's College London has indicated that 25 per cent of young offenders in Sheffield have turned to crime to fund their habit. This contrasts with previous government research which said that "cannabis use was unlikely to motivate crime".

A rise in young people smoking cannabis openly has led to a rise in the fear of crime in the community, leading Sheffield's police chief to warn of the threat that cannabis poses to the "fabric of society". ...

A detailed review in The Lancet concluded that the drug increases the risk of psychosis by 40 per cent – and younger users are most at risk. But Mr Blunkett's decision to reclassify the drug three years ago has had another, more sinister impact, with organised crime taking a much more active role in the production and distribution of cannabis.

Detectives say that the changing nature of cannabis – as imported cannabis gives way to the much more damaging skunk variety, grown in this country – has also played into the hands of criminals. Drugs experts and police also say that Britain for the first time is an exporter of the drug. ...

The number of cannabis factories closed down by the Metropolitan Police has more than doubled in the past two years as organised gangs invest more in cannabis production. In March, the charity DrugScope revealed that, on average, UK police were raiding three cannabis farms a day with 400 plants regularly recovered at raids. Around two-thirds to three-quarters of UK cannabis farms are now run by Vietnamese criminal gangs.
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Crime – multiculturalism
Who really knows how much crime goes on at the Notting Hill Carnival?
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 1 September 2007

It is Britain's most iconic festival, immediately signified by a number of iconic, not to say stereotypical, images: uncomfortable honky police officer, his hat slightly askew, held in the lascivious embrace of a fat black mama who is clearly intent on 'getting jiggy'. Leader of the Conservative opposition dressed like a moron pretending that hangin' with the brothers is how he really likes to spend his weekends. Senior copper from the Met, yellow braid on shoulders, telling the media that this year's carnival was extremely peaceable and that most people had a really lovely time. Asian stallholder with his right arm blown off by an Uzi, etc, etc.

Every carnival is slightly more peaceable than the one which preceded it, any problems simply a result of unforeseen troublemakers gatecrashing the event. That, at least, is what the authorities tell us, without fail, year after year. ... ...

You can never believe the figures they tell you, still less the spin and the gloss they put on them. Arrests down this year? Fewer crimes reported? ... In 1999, some 70 carnival attendees were arrested – the following year this had leapt to 129. So, when the Old Bill tells you that arrests were down this year to the minuscule figure of 206, that's the context in which you have to put such statistics: it is almost double the previous worst year in carnival history. ...

Back in 2000, the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) was forced, by public demand, to carry out a lengthy inquiry into the carnival. It accepted that the carnival was 'the scene of extreme and unacceptable levels of crime and violence and unacceptable disruption to the life of the local community'. That was the year, remember, when only 129 people were arrested, rather than the 206 who had their collars felt this year. ...

But, as I say, it is difficult to have much faith in any of the figures or the official pronouncements. The then boss of the Police Federation, the excellent Glen Smyth, said at the time: 'The level of reported crime is far below that which really happens'. He added that the police were instructed to ignore non-violent crimes. So who really knows how bad this year's carnival was? One of the truly iconic things about the Notting Hill Carnival is the level of chicanery adopted by the police and local politicians: you never get a straight answer to any question. The carnival organisers tell you that the whole event 'always embodied peace and harmony' and this patently stupid platitude is dutifully trotted out by the authorities, year after year. ...

Seven years ago, the police reported that the carnival had cost a total of £3 million. I don't know how much it cost this year. Last year the carnival utilised a total of 11,000 police shifts. It was presumably about the same this year, if not more. You, meanwhile, are paying for it – even if you didn't take up the opportunity to groove some bangin' choons and stab a couple of Asians, just for a laugh, afterwards. There is no other event in Britain which causes such mayhem and violence and which is waved through, on the nod, every year, with the taxpayer expected to pick up the tab. Nobody has been killed as a result of football hooliganism in Britain for a good few years, thank the Lord – but the football clubs nonetheless pay for every penny incurred through the cost of policing ...

Up

Crime
Gang culture blamed as knife crime doubles
Brendan Carlin and David Sapsted
Daily Telegraph, 20 August 2007

Knife crime has more than doubled in the past two years across England and Wales, a damning report revealed yesterday.

The number of muggings involving knives soared from 25,500 in 2005 to 64,000 in the year up to April 2007, according to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS) of King's College, London.

Last year there were an average of 175 knife-point robberies a day - up from 110 in 2005/6 and 69 the year before, the CCJS disclosed. Knives are now used in one in five muggings, twice the frequency of two years ago. ...

The survey forced the Government to concede yesterday that it had not done enough to tackle the "gang culture" of young people carrying knives.

John Denham, the Innovation, Universities and Skills Secretary, said he could not vouch for the accuracy of the CCJS's figures but added he could not deny there was a "serious problem". ...

The Home Office said crime and violent crime had both fallen by a third in the past ten years, while knife killings were "broadly stable".




Black military officers are to be called on to work with teenagers in a bid to stem the flow of violence in inner cities, it emerged last night.
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Crime
Black army officers recruited to help stop gang violence
Hugh Muir
The Guardian, 20 August 2007

Black military officers are to be drafted in to work with youths at risk of being sucked into inner city teenage violence, the Guardian has learned.

Senior figures, including Air Commodore David Case, the highest ranking black officer in the forces, have been approached as part of a drive to tackle the gang problem. The initiative will also involve senior police officers, such as Tarique Ghaffur, the Met assistant commissioner and highest-ranked minority officer at Scotland Yard.

Their main role will be to identify more junior colleagues in the armed forces and police who can act as mentors, and to give the scheme credibility with donors.

The hope is that the experiences of those who have carved out successful careers in the "uniformed services" will impress young men whose horizons are often severely limited.

The approach comes amid growing concern about teenage gang violence. This year there has been an unprecedented wave of teenage killings, with 17 gang-related murders in London alone. Two weeks ago, a government-sponsored report urged the promotion of a wider variety of black role models. ...

Briefing papers suggest the effort is being backed by senior figures in and outside the government. Strategy discussions have involved Lady Amos, the former leader of the House of Commons who is now EU representative to the African Union, Lady Scotland, the attorney general, the culture minister David Lammy and the peer Lord Alli.
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Crime
Revealed: 170 gangs on streets of London
Andrew Alderson
Sunday Telegraph, 12 August 2007

Scotland Yard has just completed the task of counting how many street gangs there are in London. The results are staggering: there are more than 170, some of them up to 100-strong. It means on any given night, several thousand gang members are roaming the capital, many of them thirsting for violence. In other British cities, notably Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham, there is a frighteningly similar picture. ...

On Wednesday, a year-long government study concluded that black teenagers urgently needed role models to divert them from the world of gangs and criminality. ...

Firearm discharges in Greater Manchester are running at a record 120 a year, with nearly a third of them gang-related. A recent Home Office study of south Manchester revealed that in 150 separate shooting incidents over a three-year period, only one witness came forward to testify. ...

The 9mm pistol, glamorised by American rappers and easy to conceal, has become the handgun of choice among gang members. Police say many of the weapons are smuggled in from Lithuania.

John Pitts, a professor of socio-legal studies at the University of Bedfordshire and the author of a report into gang culture called Reluctant Gangsters, warned that violence was spreading from the cities and gang members are getting younger, some even of primary school age.

"When the police launch campaigns to take out the drug dealers, people emigrate to places like Reading, Northampton, Peterborough and Preston," he said. "What you're seeing is a dispersal of this kind of activity and when drug territories move, violence goes with them."
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Crime
Thefts from fisheries blamed on immigrants
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2007

Fisheries across the country are being threatened by immigrants from eastern Europe who are stealing thousands of freshwater fish to eat.

While British anglers throw coarse fish back, they are part of the staple diet in some areas of Europe. ...

Of the 60 fisheries in England and Wales questioned, 34 said they were regular victims of thefts and the problem had become worse in the past two years.
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Crime – racism
TV appeal over rapist cancelled after fears of racism
Patrick Phelvin
Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2007

A police force withdrew plans for a televised appeal to help catch an Afghan suspected of sexually assaulting women after a race watchdog warned that it might spark a violent backlash.

Detectives were due to appear on an episode of ITV's Manhunt to ask for help finding Noorullah Seddiqi, 34.

The Afghan had absconded from bail after being arrested in connection with the rape of one woman and the sexual assault of three others.

Officers working on the case believed the appeal, due to be shown in May, could have proved vital in the search for Seddiqi. They thought he might be working as an unlicensed taxi driver in the south of England.

But the Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall force, Stephen Otter, told officers not to go ahead with the programme after the Devon Racial Equality Council, funded by and affiliated to the Commission for Racial Equality, said the appeal could lead to a racist backlash.

Detectives had at first refused to pull the plug on the appeal but were overruled by Mr Otter. ...

The decision to cancel the appeal was criticised by victim support organisations. Yvonne Traynor, of the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, said the case set a dangerous precedent.

"I think that everybody is so afraid of being labelled a racist that no one's taking into consideration the crimes that have allegedly been committed here," she said.

"The fact that this man was originally from Afghanistan is beside the point. The police obviously need to be sensitive to issues of race, but they also need to be able to get on with their jobs." ...

Devon and Cornwall police confirmed that they were still searching for Seddiqi but declined to comment further.
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Crime – immigration
Ministers urged to give 500,000 illegals amnesty
Robert Watts and Tom Harper
Sunday Telegraph, 15 July 2007

Half a million immigrants working illegally in Britain should be allowed to stay, according to a thinktank with close links to Downing Street.

A report published today by the influential Institute for Public Policy Research argues that finding and forcibly deporting all Britain's illegal workers would cost £4.7 billion and take 30 years. The study says if these migrants were allowed to stay they would pay £1 billion a year in tax to the Treasury. ...

The IPPR's report threatens to divide ministers. Last week, Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, repeated earlier Government pledges not to allow an amnesty for illegal migrants, but some Cabinet ministers back the idea.

Danny Sriskandarajah, the IPPR's head of migration and equalities, called on Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to support it. ...

The amnesty call comes as Home Office sources reveal that since the introduction of a sophisticated fingerprinting system last September more than 4,000 deported foreigners have been caught trying to re-enter Britain illegally.

Officials are "astonished" by the number of failed asylum seekers and bogus work permit applicants caught using the "biometric" visas system.
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Crime
UK 'fails to check immigrants on Interpol's list of suspects'
Tom Harper and Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 8 July 2007

Britain is failing to check would-be immigrants against a global database of suspected terrorists, the head of Interpol has revealed.

Ronald K Noble, the secretary general of the policing organisation, accused the Government of "putting UK citizens at risk" through the lapse.

At the same time, the Foreign Office came under fire from travel industry insiders for contracting-out vital security checks on immigrants to a private company based in India. ...

Mr Noble ... said: "We have the passport numbers, fingerprints and photos of more than 11,000 suspected terrorists on our database. But the UK does not check it against immigrants coming into the country or foreign nationals it has arrested.

"The guys detained last week could be wanted, arrested or convicted anywhere in the world and the UK would not know." He said that "the UK Government really needs to catch up and realise that unless it consults global databases for passports, names and photographs then it risks letting dangerous people roam free".

Mr Noble, in charge of the US secret service from 1993 to 1996, cited the recent case of Mohan Singh, an Indian national, who applied for a US visa in New Delhi last year. American authorities checked Mr Singh's fingerprints with Interpol and found that he was wanted for murder in Germany in 1995. The visa was refused and he was taken into custody. ...

In a little-noticed move this year, the Foreign Office transferred responsibility for security checks on immigrants from countries including India and Pakistan to VFS Global, a company based in India.

The business, which employs local staff, even carries out the critical task of taking applicants' fingerprints and storing them electronically.
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Crime – marriage
Marriage rate hit by crackdown on immigrants
Jonathan Petre
Daily Telegraph, 29 June 2007

The number of Britons choosing to marry has fallen to its lowest level since records began after a government crackdown on bogus weddings.

The marriage rate fell by 10 per cent to 244,710 in 2005, down nearly 30,000 from the previous year, according to figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics. ...

The drop in the marriage rate was a return to the trend of long-term decline that had been interrupted by rises between 2002 and 2004.

It coincided with a Home Office initiative to halt sham marriages in which foreign nationals attempted to avoid immigration controls by gaining instant British citizenship.
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Crime
The four factors in a life of crime
Gary Cleland
Daily Telegraph, 18 June 2007

Children with black mothers are more likely to be involved in crime than their friends who have white or Asian mothers, the Government will claim today.

An investigation into "families at risk" concludes that problem children are most likely to come from single parent households, live on a council estate and be raised by a mother whose first language is not English.

They are more likely to get into trouble if their mother is black than if she is white or Asian. Hilary Armstrong, the Minister for Social Exclusion, will today publish the report, called Reaching Out: Think Family, which admits that the Government has failed to help the 140,000 most "at risk" families.

It suggests that the children of those families, who are more likely to get expelled from school, develop a drink problem and get in trouble with the police, have often experienced some or all of eight factors.

The top four factors, in order, are living in council accommodation, a lack of English in the home, being born to a single mother and being born in a home where "the mother's ethnicity is black".
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Crime – deportation
Foreign criminals stay put
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2007

Just one fifth of the foreign national prisoners who were released without being considered for deportation have been thrown out of the country, new figures show.

More than a year after the Government was rocked by a crisis that cost Charles Clarke his job as Home Secretary, only 214 of the 1,013 offenders have been deported or removed.

More than 300 have been told they can stay in the UK.

A further 263 cases are still going through the deportation system, while others are in jail or on bail awaiting decisions.

There are 149 offenders unaccounted for, including some who committed serious offences. Many of these are thought to have gone home voluntarily. ...

The team dealing with overseas prisoners is now 20 times the size it was four years ago and the budget is £10 million compared to the £2 million required previously.
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Crime
Broken families 'fuelling black crime'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2007

Black boys in lone parent families develop a "father hunger" that can tip them into crime, MPs say today.

Six in 10 black Caribbean youngsters live in single parent households, invariably with their mothers, and this is three times the proportion in the white population.

The absence of a male role model is seen as a key factor in the "over-representation" of young black men in the criminal justice system.

A report from the Commons home affairs committee says they are far more likely to be stopped by police, arrested and convicted than their white counterparts. ...

Figures cited by the committee indicate that 59 per cent of black Caribbean children and 54 per cent of mixed race youngsters are looked after by a lone parent. In the white British population, the figure is 22 per cent. ...

Another problem is the high proportion of black children thrown out of school.
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Crime
Ministers 'bury bad news' of foreign prisoners report
Tom Harper
Sunday Telegraph, 13 May 2007

Ministers have been accused of trying to "bury" a report into the foreign prisoners scandal that led to the dismissal of Charles Clarke as home secretary last year.

The internal inquiry into the failure to deport more than 1,000 prisoners at the end of their sentences was completed four months ago, but has not yet been published. ...

Critics suspect that the report was delayed to prevent it from affecting the local elections earlier this month.
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Crime
Foreign prisoners clogging jails cost UK £400m a year
Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2007

Foreign prisoners now make up almost one in six of Britain's jail population and are costing the taxpayer almost £400 million a year to keep, new figures show.

The explosion in the number of overseas inmates has been the main driver behind the overcrowding crisis that has pushed the total above 80,000.

Figures published by the Home Office in a parliamentary written answer show there are now 12,122 foreign prisoners compared to around 10,000 just a year ago.

The prison population is now made up of people from 164 different countries, with the largest number from Jamaica (1,490), followed by Nigeria (1,070). ...

The Government's latest figures show that the annual cost per prisoner place was £32,888 in 2005-06.
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Crime
Violent immigrants fuelling crime
BBC, 1 May 2007

Young immigrants from violent and war-torn countries are fuelling mayhem and murder on London's streets, according to a new report.

Research from Scotland Yard says increasing numbers of youths with significant post-traumatic stress are having a negative impact in the city.

There are currently 171 street gangs operating in London says the report. ...

Some 43% of gangs are estimated to have more than 20 members, while 18% have more than 50 members.

Although 90% of gang participants are male, there are believed to be three female gangs operating in London, and women are often used "to mind weapons" for brothers and partners.

The document states that half of gangs identified by police intelligence are based in the African-Caribbean community.

The report also warns more needs to be done to encourage gang members to leave their violent lifestyle behind.
[Site link]

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Crime – USA
America's least wanted
Immigration's Human Cost, May 2007
[The date given here is nominal]

We often hear that "immigrants only come here to work" but that sentimental fluff ignores the obvious truth - that to a crime-minded foreigner, America is the full refrigerator of his dreams. The material riches, combined with many Americans' naivete when it comes to crime, make this nation easy pickings for the lowlifes of the world.

Making alien crime even easier is the refusal of some Americans to recognize national break-in as a problem worth pursuing. Some cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have even given illegal immigration semi-legitimacy under the policy of sanctuary, under which police are not permitted to ask about a person's immigration status. Such foolishness hobbles normal police activity and ignores how serious criminals are sometimes found through traffic checks and other routine acts of everyday law enforcement.
[Site link]

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Crime
40 immigrant gangs taking over UK's crime
Michael Knapp
Sunday Express, 22 April 2007

British security services are covertly tailing more than 40 criminal cells run by recent immigrants from eastern Europe.

The gangs, operating across the country, are understood to be involved in people trafficking, prostitution, money-laundering, extortion and drugs.

A well-placed Home Office source told the Sunday Express that the cells have thrived since Christmas when the UK opened its borders to EU newcomers Bulgaria and Romania.

The Government was repeatedly warned of a likely influx of criminals - particularly from Bulgaria, renowned as the most lawless nation on the continent.

The Home Office source said: 'The biggest thing I am seeing at the moment is the new Eastern Bloc citizens who are a criminal element. Currently, the main security services are tailing over 40 cells of criminals. Many of the ringleaders are making themselves rich on the back of this - and our hospitality.

'Many of the criminal elements are now teaming up with their fellow countrymen who have been here for a couple of years.

'Many of the previous asylum seekers under suspicion, or those who have been convicted of crimes already, are now in cahoots with much bigger fish.'

In 2003 Scotland Yard launched Operation Maxim to fight immigration crime and last month it set up a human trafficking team to fight gangs who bring women to the UK to be sold as sex slaves.

been expressed for many months. ...

Steve Moxon, a Home Office whistleblower and author of the book The Great Immigration Scandal, said: 'The big problem of organised crime from Romania and Bulgaria was a key issue at the beginning of the unravelling of the immigration fiasco some three years ago.

'The then Immigration Minister, Beverley Hughes, had to resign after conveniently "forgetting" she had been repeatedly warned about proven criminals from these two countries and sent reply letters on the issue, yet still allowed the literal "rubber stamping" of all visa applications.

'I know, because I was one of the very officials forced to grant tens of thousands of obviously bogus visa forms without looking at them.

'The Home Office, of course, will not have the vaguest clue where all the Romanian and Bulgarian criminals are.

'We know they don't keep track of known illegal migrants including failed asylum seekers, let alone dodgy builders, and, now, legal fellow EU citizens.'

But the Home Office source revealed that a further 4,700 failed asylum seekers went 'missing' in the last six months.

The total now stands at around 180,000 - a figure that even Government ministers are unaware of.
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Crime – culture
More guns need not mean more murders
Dale McIntyre
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2007
[Letter to the Editor]

Ukraine has almost total gun control, but the murder rate there is twice that of America. Mexico has more restrictive gun laws than the United States, but its murder rate is nearly three times as high. Switzerland, where every household has an army rifle, has a murder rate one third lower than that of Britain.

The seventh United Nations survey of crime trends puts the world population-weighted murder rate at 100 per million, making America and Britain well below average.

Murder rates are cultural. America's murder rate is higher than Britain's because, despite recent immigration into Britain, it has many more diverse sub-cultures, including some that accept and even glorify violence. Southern "death before dishonour" boys and urban drug cultures are two examples, with homicide rates resembling war zones.

By contrast, the New England descendants of English emigrants, whose culture is closest to the mother country, settle their differences at law and have homicide rates quite similar to those seen in Britain.
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Crime – USA
No policy can outwit the Grim Reaper
David Frum
Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2007

Aliens increasingly drive the US crime problem: about one third of California's prison population is first- or second-generation immigrant, as is 29 per cent of the federal prison population. Salvadoran and other Central American gangs commit the worst violence in many American cities.
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Crime
Black community must take on the gangs, says Blair
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 12 April 2007

Black communities must speak out against the gang culture that leads to gun and knife crime "killing black kids", Tone Blair said yesterday, as he promised toughened laws to tackle the ringleaders of the violence. ...

Mr Blair's assertion that the problem is primarily within the black communities in London and other cities accords with the view of senior police officers but is in sharp contrast to one of his own Home Office ministers, Lady Scotland.

She recently told the home affairs select committee: "We accept there is an increasing problem of the use of guns and we are trying to address it. We have not had any evidence that this issue is solely or disproportionately an issue for black young men."
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Crime – knife crime, political correctness
Blair blames spate of murders on black culture
Patrick Wintour and Vikram Dodd
The Guardian, 12 April 2007

Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. ... ...

Black community leaders reacted after Mr Blair said the recent violence should not be treated as part of a general crime wave, but as specific to black youth. He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it".

It needed to be addressed by a tailored counter-attack in the same way as football hooliganism was reined in by producing measures aimed at the specific problem, rather than general lawlessness. ...

Giving the Callaghan lecture in Cardiff, the prime minister admitted he had been "lurching into total frankness" in the final weeks of his premiership. He called on black people to lead the fight against knife crime. He said that "the black community - the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law abiding people horrified at what is happening - need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids".

Mr Blair said he had been moved to make his controversial remarks after speaking to a black pastor of a London church at a Downing Street knife crime summit, who said: "When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it?" Mr Blair said there needed to be an "intense police focus" on the minority of young black Britons behind the gun and knife attacks. The laws on knife and gun gangs needed to be toughened and the ringleaders "taken out of circulation".

Last night, British African-Caribbean figures leading the fight against gang culture condemned Mr Blair's speech. The Rev Nims Obunge, chief executive of the Peace Alliance, one of the main organisations working against gang crime, denounced the prime minister.

Mr Obunge, who attended the Downing Street summit chaired by Mr Blair in February, said he had been cited by the prime minister: "He makes it look like I said it's the black community doing it. What I said is it's making the black community more vulnerable and they need more support and funding for the work they're doing. ... He has taken what I said out of context. We came for support and he has failed and has come back with more police powers to use against our black children." ...

Answering questions later Mr Blair said: "Economic inequality is a factor and we should deal with that, but I don't think it's the thing that is producing the most violent expression of this social alienation.

"I think that is to do with the fact that particular youngsters are being brought up in a setting that has no rules, no discipline, no proper framework around them."

Some people working with children knew at the age of five whether they were going to be in "real trouble" later, he said. ...

He said: "We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong - it has not - but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold."
[Site link]

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Crime – knife crime, political correctness
Face the facts on knife crime, Blair tells black families
Kristy Walker
Daily Mail, 12 April 2007

Tony Blair has urged the black community to 'stop pretending' and act against the knife crime epidemic.

The Prime Minister called on community leaders to take a tougher public stance following the recent wave of fatal stabbings and gun violence.

He said: "We won't stop this by pretending it isn't young black kids doing it." ...

Senior politicians have been reluctant to lay the blame at the door of black youngsters for fear of a backlash from race campaigners.

Mr Blair insisted, however, that the recent wave of "severe disorder" was caused by individuals who needed to be "taken out of circulation".

The Prime Minister said during a speech in Cardiff: "The black community - the vast majority of whom are decent, law-abiding people horrified at what is happening - need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids.

"But we won't stop this by pretending it isn't young black kids doing it."

His comments put him at odds with black cabinet minister Baroness Scotland who last month insisted there was no evidence to suggest that young black men were more responsible for gun crime than white youths in deprived areas.

Mr Blair added that tougher laws and intensive police work were needed to crack down on the perpetrators of violence.

"The ringleaders need to be identified and taken out of circulation -if very young, as some are, put in secure accommodation," he said.

"Economic inequality is a factor but I don't think it's the thing that is producing the most violent expression of this social alienation.

"That is to do with the fact that particular youngsters are being brought up in a setting that has no rules, no discipline, no proper framework around them."

Liberal Democrat President Simon Hughes said: "The Prime Minister is just plain wrong and over simplistic. Some of us live in the sorts of places where these attacks happen and we know that the picture is much more complicated.

"It is absolutely not limited to black youngsters. Many young people now getting caught up in gangs and violence on our streets are white, mixed race and Asian as well."

Mr Blair's comments were backed by the Commission for Racial Equality. A spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is right - this is a serious problem and it isn't going away. We shouldn't be afraid to talk about this issue for fear of sounding prejudiced.

"Action needs to be taken now to prevent the needless deaths of more young black boys on Britain's streets.

"It comes as no surprise some young black men are becoming involved in gang cultures and criminal activities.

"They do so because they feel that they have no choice and no future. As a society we are failing young black kids. We mustn't place blame but ask why black children are more likely to live in poverty, be excluded from school and be stopped and searched by the police."

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "We welcome the Prime Minister's sentiment that gang leaders need to be targeted but after ten years in power, the public will wonder why it has taken so long for him to speak up.

"The Prime Minister needs to recognise that it is his Government's failing policies that are responsible for soaring violent crime. He talked about tackling the causes of crime and then utterly failed to do so."
[Site link]

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Crime
Black fathers urged to be 'better role models'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2007

Black fathers must take greater responsibility for their children's education to stop teenage boys turning to gun crime and gang culture, according to Britain's biggest teaching union.

The National Union of Teachers said parents in Afro-Caribbean communities, particularly fathers, must become better role models to stop their children being "engulfed" by damaging influences.

The warning is contained in a report to be launched today at the union's annual conference in Harrogate. One of the report's authors described the poor academic performance of black boys as "nothing short of a national scandal".

Today's report, Born to be Great, comes amid escalating fears over the extent of gun crime in Britain's inner-cities. In the report, the NUT warns that the poor academic performance of Afro-Caribbean boys at school is pushing hundreds towards a life of crime.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Blaming black youths for gun crime is a mistake, says Lady Scotland
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2007

Blaming young black men for rising gun crime would be a "profound mistake", a Home Office minister said yesterday.

Lady Scotland clashed with the Commons home affairs committee over its inquiry into the treatment of Afro-Caribbean youths by the criminal justice system.

The MPs have heard evidence from police and community leaders of a crime "crisis" among young black people.

Recent shootings in London, in which black teenagers have been killed, led to further concern.

But Lady Scotland said while she accepted there was a problem with gun crime, there was no evidence that it was specifically a black issue. ...

John Denham, the committee chairman, said while it was accepted that people did not offend because of the colour of their skin, there was evidence of a particular problem of violent crime within the black community.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Growing problem of cannabis farms
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 13 March 2007

Cannabis cultivation is booming behind the closed doors of suburban Britain, a study published today has found.

Police are raiding three indoor production sites a day and have closed down 1,500 cannabis farms in London alone since 2005, a threefold increase over the previous two years.

But their success in the capital means quiet residential streets elsewhere in the country now harbour foreign drugs gangs making hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

Research by the charity DrugScope suggests that nearly two thirds of the cannabis sold in the UK is now grown here compared to just 10 per cent a decade ago. ...

Drugscope's analysis of nationwide police raids shows that up to three-quarters of the farms were run by Vietnamese criminal gangs, and they are no longer confined to Greater London. In the past year, Vietnamese-run farms have been found in south Wales, Birmingham, East Anglia, Yorkshire and the North-East.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Crime chiefs told of eight-year-olds left minding guns for the gangsters
John Steele and George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 23 February 2007

Children as young as eight are being used to "mind" guns for gangsters, it was claimed yesterday.

Peter Herbert, a London barrister, told a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority that the problem of young children and guns was "significantly worse" than even the darkest picture painted by the media.

As a member of the Operation Trident Independent Advisory Group that works with Scotland Yard to tackle gun crime in the black community, Mr Herbert said he had heard from police of primary school age children carrying weapons. ...

Mr Herbert's worries about the involvement of youngsters were underlined at the summit by Michael Todd, the Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable. He said: "We have got 14- and 15-year-olds walking around with body armour. And we have 13-year-olds arrested for minor offences, where we do house searches we find illegal firearms in their houses because they are being used to hold them."
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Crime
£55,000 for foreign criminals in Home Office blunder
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2007

Nine criminals facing deportation have been paid £55,500 in compensation because Home Office officials bungled the legal process in detaining them.

It was also disclosed yesterday that nearly 30 dangerous foreign prisoners are still missing, 10 months after the Home Office admitted that more than 1,000 foreign nationals had been released from jail without being considered for deportation.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – racism
BBC and John Simpson are racist, say ANC
Stephen Bevan
Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2007

South Africa's ruling party yesterday likened the BBC to "the most die-hard racists in our country" after a television report exposed the escalating crime problem.

The African National Congress responded to John Simpson, the BBC World Affairs Editor, who painted a damning picture of a country struggling to tackle violent crime.

Simpson went to Johannesburg's crime-ridden suburbs, where many of the 50 murders committed each day in South Africa occur.

The ANC statement said the SABC, South Africa's equivalent of the BBC, "would have absolutely no difficulty in focusing on particular areas of London, such as Brixton, to communicate the message that the UK is sinking under the weight of crime."
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
It is time for politicians to be honest about black crime
Janet Daley
Daily Telegraph, 19 February 2007

Mr Blair is clearly correct when he says that most teenagers are not members of armed gangs, and that the majority of young people in Britain are not even involved in low-level anti-social behaviour. The problem of gun crime is, as he says, almost entirely limited to what he calls a specific small sub-culture. ...

The sub-culture to which Mr Blair alludes in his coded way is that of black delinquency (the mores of which have drawn in quite a few non-black participants).

That neither he nor Mr Cameron will say precisely this (although they both go so far as to refer to the influence of rap music) is central to our failure to cope with it. Just as using the word "black" in this context is to lay oneself open to the smear of racism, any perceptible targeting of black youths for particular attention by the police lays officers open to career-ending disciplinary procedures. The "sus" laws, which allowed officers to stop and search people on suspicion of carrying weapons or drugs, were scrapped because they were said to be a form of racial harassment.

That was the beginning of what became a systematic programme of denial, the ultimate consequence of which was that blameless black people were left unprotected in effectively unpoliced neighbourhoods, and that many black mothers were left to grieve for their sons.
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Crime – deportation
Judge is powerless to deport teenage double killer
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 15 February 2007

A judge said yesterday he was powerless to deport a youth who shot dead a woman at a christening party and stabbed to death a pastor's daughter while he was on the run.

Robert Malasi was only 16 when he shot Zainab Kolokoh in the head as she cradled her baby niece. He and three other teenagers, who are all illegal immigrants, went into the Wood Dene Community Centre in Peckham to rob guests at the christening.

Just 15 days later Malasi dragged Ruth Okechukwu from a car in nearby Walworth and knifed her in the heart for "disrespecting" him, the Old Bailey heard.

Nigerian brothers Timy and Diamond Babamuboni, 14 and 16 respectively at the time, along with Jude Odigie, then 15, were all convicted of manslaughter. Malasi was found guilty of murder.

Mr Justice Gross recommended that Diamond Babamuboni be deported, ...

The judge was not allowed to recommend the deportation of the other three killers as Malasi was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and Odigie and Timy Babamuboni are too young. ...

The Babamuboni brothers say they are now 15 and 17 but police believe they may be lying about their ages to avoid longer sentences. Their Nigerian birth certificates are crude forgeries and the authorities have been unable to force the brothers to undergo dental tests to prove their ages.

Malasi is the son of an illegal immigrant from Angola who had an asylum application rejected but was allowed to stay in the UK after appealing.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Four arrested in citizenship test sale inquiry
Paul Stokes
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2007

Detectives are examining up to 1,000 cases where immigrants may have "bought" tests results to give them British citizenship.

Four men have been arrested after a raid on a community training centre in South Yorkshire which conducts the Life In the UK tests which are a legal requirement for applicants. ...

It is believed that test passes may have been offered for sale from the City Wide Learning Centre in Broomhall Street, Sheffield.

The centre has arranged for more than 4,000 of the online tests to be taken at its offices since the system was introduced by the Government in November 2005.

Monitoring revealed that applications to take the test in Sheffield were being received from across the country and that around 1,000 have been taken since the autumn. ...

The centre has been closed indefinitely.
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Crime – race relations
Police state? More like a criminals' paradise
Simon Heffer
Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2007

As we reported yesterday, the police - and, indeed, every other public service - are legally obliged to promote good race relations. This is not a recent insanity. It was written into our law in the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, in that gentler age before fanatics started flying airliners into skyscrapers, and blowing up people on the London transport system. Understandably, we are now worried about such things, and therefore like our police to keep an eye on anyone who looks as if he might want to repeat the trick.

This leads to accusations, such as those made by a man arrested in Birmingham last week, that Muslims in Britain live in "a police state". But, far worse than that, it also leads to an intolerable amount of pressure being put on the police - for if a case can be made that a specific "community" is being "targeted", then the cry can go up that the police are failing in their duty (since 2000, their legal duty, of course) to promote good race relations.

Just as for years it was compulsory to pretend that certain self-evident facts about our society were not facts at all - such as multiculturalism being a failure - so it is unacceptable to talk about the "profiling" that the police engage in when it comes to tracking certain sorts of criminal. It has generally been true (as any policeman will tell you, privately and off the record for fear of losing his job) that if you fall victim to a burglary or an armed robbery, the culprit is likely to be from the white underclass. If you are mugged, the man responsible is more likely to be from the black equivalent. And empirical evidence has shown that if you are blown to bits on a Tube train, the suicide bomber is, on balance, likely to be a Muslim.

... ...

All most of us want, whatever our religion or race, is to live peacefully under the law. A strong and fair police force is essential to that. But if it is to be brainwashed that its main job is not to prevent crime, but to see that there is racial harmony, then a golden age for terrorists and criminals is only just beginning.
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Crime
Car vandals let off because they are foreign and jobless
David Sapsted
Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2007

Motorists whose parked cars were vandalised by two drunks have been told that the culprits will not be prosecuted because they are foreign and unemployed.

The decision only to caution the two immigrants, aged 19 and 29, has appalled the five Norwich car owners whose wing mirrors were smashed. ...

The two men had been arrested minutes after their rampage was recorded on CCTV cameras and later admitted causing hundreds of pounds of damage. ...

Norman Brennan, the director and founder of the Victims of Crime Trust, said: "There are a huge number of foreign nationals who commit crimes and seem to get away with it.

"It is only right and proper that anyone who carries out any type of anti- social behaviour should face court."

Dr Ian Gibson, the Labour MP for Norwich North, said: "There is no excuse for any kind of vandalism, whether committed by a foreign national or anyone else. [CCTV] footage helps get people convicted. To ignore it will make people cynical."
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Immigration fury over killer gangs
Philip Johnston and Sally Pook
Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2006

The argument over immigration controls deepened last night after teenage robbers who were in the country illegally were convicted of killing a woman as she held a six-month-old baby at a christening party.

It was the second time this week that immigrants who had been allowed to remain in Britain despite committing a string of offences were found guilty of a killing. ...

At the Old Bailey yesterday, Diamond Babamuboni, 17, his brother Timy, 15, and Jude Odigie, 16, all from Nigeria, were convicted of the manslaughter of Zainab Kalokoh, 31, a mother of two from war-ravaged Sierra Leone.

A fourth, who cannot be named, was found guilty of her murder at the party at Peckham, south London, in August last year.

The Babamuboni brothers - whose mother had been refused leave to remain in the country - were in Britain illegally. Odigie had also been told he could not stay. Yet despite this, they carried on a life of crime with apparent impunity other than occasional court appearances. ...

Sir Andrew Green, of Migrationwatch, said the Government was either not deporting those it could or was unable to remove them because of human rights laws.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – faith-hate crime
Jews far more likely to be victims of faith hatred than Muslims
Tom Harper and Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 17 December 2006

Jewish people are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than Muslims, according to figures compiled by the police.

One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are likely to be victims of "faith hate" attacks every year. The figure is based on data collected over three months in police areas accounting for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at places of worship.

Police forces started recording the religion of faith-hate crime victims only this year. ...

... Those figures include any crime that is reported to police which the victim believes is motivated by hatred of his or her religion.

... The figures do not record the faith of the offenders.
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Crime
Man guilty of trying to kill Pc
Nick Britten
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2006

An illegal immigrant who shot a probationary policewoman while trying to evade arrest was convicted yesterday of attempted murder. Trevon Thomas, 24, who should have been deported six years ago, shot Rachael Bown in the stomach from three yards after her partner had sprayed CS gas in his face as they tried to arrest him. ...

Thomas arrived in Britain from Trinidad in February 2000 on a six-month visitor's visa. After it expired he resisted attempts by the courts to have him deported by refusing to sign the relevant papers. He settled in Bilbrough, Nottingham.
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Crime – racism
Race crime charges in England rise by 28%
BBC, 4 December 2006

The number of people charged by police with racially aggravated offences rose by 28% last year, figures have shown.

Out of a total of 7,430 cases, 6,123 defendants were taken to court between April 2005 and April 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Statistics also showed 43 people were charged with religiously-aggravated offences, a rise of almost 27%.

Ken Macdonald QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said fears of a backlash after the London bombs were unfounded.

He said: "After the 7 July bombings it was feared that there would be a significant backlash against the Muslim community and that we would see a large rise in religiously-aggravated offences.

"The fears of a large rise in offences appear to be unfounded." ...

The figures showed that the actual or perceived religion of the victim was known in 22 out of 43 religiously-motivated offences.

Of those, 18 were identified as Muslim, three as Christian and one as Sikh.

In race offences, the number of defendants pleading guilty rose by 2% to 71%. Overall 87% of race cases resulted in a conviction, while for religiously-aggravated charges, 98% of defendants were convicted.
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Crime
Exposé of fake EU passports delivered within 24 hours
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 1 December 2006

Fake European Union passports are now so easy to obtain in Europe that an investigator was able to buy false passports for 20 EU countries and twice enter Britain with a bogus document, the BBC's Panorama programme will claim next week.

An undercover reporter for the programme will say that the dealers in false documents with whom she dealt were all confident about the quality of the passports and predicted that they would get her into Britain.

One dealer, when asked if other clients had got into the UK successfully, said: "There were no failures."

The dealer was so confident that he did not want to be paid until the reporter was in Britain. Another dealer said that if the passport failed, "the next one is on us".

A fake EU passport is valuable, as it not only ensures entry to Britain but also access to benefits, banks accounts and health care.

Panorama will say that counterfeit passports were delivered within 24 hours. The reporter was offered stolen passports with her photograph inserted and genuine passports applied for by women who resembled her and used pictures of her.

The programme will claim that security is so lax in some nations that "look-alikes" applying for passports with other people's pictures did not even have to sign the document.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – racism
MP denies black crime remarks were 'racist'
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2006

A Conservative MP yesterday denied he was racist for highlighting statistics showing that a high proportion of young criminals were black.

Bob Spink, MP for Castle Point, became embroiled in a race row after email exchanges with an Essex constituent were leaked. ...

According to the Daily Mirror, which published details of the exchanges,

...

Mr Spink said yesterday that the way the comments had been portrayed was "disingenuous" and "politically mischievous" and said he was simply repeating answers from the Home Secretary. "I asked a range of questions of the Home Secretary to establish the facts about crime. He told the House of Commons that, pro rata, many more young black men are known to the criminal justice system than young white men."
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – France
Youths challenge the French state
David Rennie
Daily Telegraph, 2 November 2006

Symbols of the French state, including policemen, firemen and postmen, are under intensified attack from disaffected youths as the country faces the worst race relations crisis in its history.

Hardly a night passes without gangs - many of them from immigrant families - attacking police cars, buses and emergency rescue teams.

Yesterday, the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur published a confidential report drawn up by a public service trade union, the CGT, containing scores of eye-witness accounts of brutal attacks on public servants who work in the worst suburbs, or "banlieues", from gas board workers to staff from the electricity company. ...

The CGT report painted a graphic picture of violence: blocks of cement dropped on paramedic crews; washing machines pushed off balconies on to fire engines; electricity company agents too scared to cut off customers who have not paid bills, after being attacked with knives, guns and fists. ...

Many workers from the gas board, electricity or telephone companies reported being attacked after witnessing drug deals, or stumbling on caches of drugs or weapons belonging to criminal gangs.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – identity, prejudice
Man cleared as 'all Chinese look the same'
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2006

A student from Beijing was cleared of driving without insurance after a court ruled that "all Chinese people can look the same".

Hui Yu, 23, who claimed that he was eating noodles at the time of the incident, was given the benefit of the doubt by Sheriff Margaret Gimblett in Greenock who said it wasn't easy to recognise foreign faces. Scots politicians and race relations experts said her comments smacked of prejudice.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – repatriation
Reid pays £2,500 'bribe' for foreign prisoners to leave
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2006

Foreign prisoners are to be offered up to £2,500 to go home and serve their sentences there, John Reid, the Home Secretary, said yesterday. The move was immediately denounced by opposition MPs as a bribe. ...

There are nearly 11,000 foreign prisoners in Britain's jails, double the number five years ago. Although Britain has swap deals with dozens of countries, the inmate has to agree to go home and many refuse to do so.

Mr Reid said his incentive scheme aimed "to persuade prisoners to return voluntarily". It will be available to people from non-European Economic Area countries. EEA nationals - those from the EU and several other states such as Norway - are excluded from such a scheme by statute. About 1,000 British nationals are in foreign jails.

The Home Office said the scheme, which will be available on a case-by-case basis, would be worth between £500 and £2,500. Prisoners would not be paid cash but offered help in kind in the form of "reintegration support" such as education, accommodation, medical care, training, or help with starting a business.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – immigration
ID cards are key to catching illegal immigrants, ministers will insist
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 8 October 2006

Identity cards are to be presented as a crucial weapon in the fight against illegal immigrants in a significant change of tack by ministers. ...

However, John Reid, the Home Secretary, has insisted on a fresh approach in a bid to demonstrate that the Government is tough on immigration and to outflank the Tories, who oppose the cards.

The change of direction will be mapped out in a major speech in London tomorrow by Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – prisons
Reid seeks EU swap to ease prison crisis
Philip Johnston and David Rennie
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2006

John Reid will seek today to persuade his EU counterparts to remove their nationals from Britain's overcrowded prisons and jail them in their own countries instead.

The Home Secretary's move is part of a package of emergency measures to relieve pressure on the system, which governors say is "at bursting point".

Mr Reid held emergency talks with prison officials yesterday about ways of relieving the crisis as the population in England and Wales came perilously close to maximum capacity of around 80,000. ...

There are more than 2,000 EU nationals in British prisons and about 800 British nationals in EU jails, so a reciprocal agreement could theoretically release some 1,200 places.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Driver took L-tests for 200 Somalis
Stewart Payne
Daily Telegraph, 26 September 2006

A Somalian working as a London bus driver sat the written stages of up to 200 driving tests for his fellow countrymen, a court was told yesterday.

Deeg Mohammed, 27, charged as much as £500 for each examination then handed over pass certificates to allow the people whose identities he had assumed to take the practical test.

He was jailed for a year at Guildford Crown Court, Surrey. Recorder Paul Clements told him that his offences could have killed others. ...

He presented photographic identification for each test, provided by the man he was impersonating. Test centre staff failed to notice that he was not the person in the photograph.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Police tackle the cannabis factories of suburbia
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 26 September 2006

A nationwide crackdown on cannabis "factories" in suburban homes has been launched by police alarmed by the growing trade in high-strength "skunk". ...

The number of small-scale factories in residential homes, in which hundreds of cannabis plants are grown under intense light powered by illegally diverted electricity, has boomed in recent years.

This "suburban" production is dominated by Vietnamese producers, frequently using illegal immigrant workers. Police identified at least 700 cannabis factories in London alone last year.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Foreign prisoners squad is disbanded
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 24 September 2006

The hunt for more than 1,000 foreign prisoners who were freed without being considered for deportation has been quietly wound down, even though hundreds are still on the run.

The team of 60 police and probation and immigration officers who were spearheading the hunt have been disbanded. Officers have returned to normal duties and the police station they were using has been vacated.

At the last count, more than 400 of the prisoners had not been traced. They included 74 violent and sexual offenders, seven of them guilty of murder, manslaughter, rape of sexual offences against children.

The Home Office conceded yesterday that the manhunt was no longer a "priority", despite so many offenders remaining at large.

John Reid, soon after his appointment as Home Secretary, said he would "move heaven and earth" to find the prisoners, and critics yesterday accused the Government of reneging on that pledge. Mr Reid visited the police operation, in Fratton, Portsmouth, in May, the day after being appointed in place of Charles Clarke.

Asked whether he could guarantee that all 1,023 would be found, Mr Reid said he regarded it as "my highest priority".

Yet, in contrast to the high-profile visit, the team was disbanded over the summer without fanfare.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Arrests of foreigners leap by 18pc
Jane Merrick
Daily Mail, 18 September 2006

New figures have revealed high levels of crime committed by foreign nationals.

The number of foreigners arrested in the UK has risen by nearly 20 per cent in a year, new figures revealed last night.

Nearly one in ten of people held by police last year was from outside the UK despite accounting for less than 5 per cent of the population. ...

In 2004-05, around 121,000 of the 1.6 million people arrested were foreigners. But by this year the number rose to 143,796 of a total of 1.5 million, a staggering 18 per cent increase.

The figures cover the whole spectrum of crimes, from shoplifting, burglary and robbery to rape and murder.

And the figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, could be a conservative estimate because statistics from the Metropolitan Police and Birmingham forces - where arrests are likely to be higher than the national average - were unavailable.

Incredibly, the research shows that nearly half of police forces do not record whether an individual is a foreign national - fuelling concerns that the Government is not keeping track of immigrants.

The Home Office leaves it to individual police forces to record a person's nationality.

The figures apply to those arrested for an offence - and not those charged or convicted of crimes. ...

The figures also cover those on tourist, work and student visas and illegal immigrants.

But they are mirrored by the number of foreigners in jails in England and Wales, where one in every seven inmates is a foreign national.

And the rise in numbers coincided with the massive increase in immigrants from Eastern Europe - which is now expected to top 1.5 million. ...

Of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, 23 responded to questions under the Freedom of Information Act.

Of 23, 10 forces said they did not record whether the person was a British or foreign national.

The 13 forces who did respond said they had arrested 43,139 foreigners between them in 2005-06. If this was applied to all 43 forces, the total would be 143,796.

Police forces who said they did not record nationality were: Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Kent, Staffordshire, Northumbria, Durham, Cheshire, Essex and Leicestershire. ...

Figures published last month revealed that the number of foreign prisoners in the country's jails is rising four times faster than those born in the UK.

One in every seven inmates is a foreign national, compared with one in ten six years ago.

Up

Crime
Foreign prisoner numbers soaring
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 19 August 2006

The number of foreign prisoners in jails in England and Wales is rising four times faster than home-grown inmates, new figures show.

Dramatic increases over the past six years have piled fresh pressure on already overcrowded prisons. One in every seven inmates is now a foreign national. The prison system currently houses criminals from 168 countries.

Since 2001, the number of foreign nationals has risen from 6,926 to 10,834, an increase of more than 50 per cent. Over the same period, the number of British prisoners has risen by 12 per cent to around 66,000. ...

Prison officers' leaders said last night that the huge number of foreign inmates, many of whom did not speak English, was making the policing of prisons more and more difficult.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – Italy
Drugs wall turns Padua 'into Beirut'
Daily Telegraph, 11 August 2006

Padua, one of Italy's oldest university cities, has built a steel wall over three yards high around a housing estate to "seal in" drug dealers and immigrants blamed for a wave of crime.

The 92-yard-long barrier surrounds six apartment blocks housing 1,500 people. Police checkpoints have been set up at the gates. The decision to build the wall, which was completed on Wednesday, was taken in July after a street battle erupted between Nigerian and Moroccan gangs.

Opponents of the wall have described it as a "great shame", saying it has turned the city "into Beirut". The city's mayor, Fabio Zanonato, replied: "You say this wall makes me like Ariel Sharon but do you think it is easy to deal with problems like this?"
[Newspaper link]

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Crime – New Zealand
Violence is blamed on 'warrior gene' in the Maoris
Paul Chapman
Daily Telegraph, 10 August 2006

Maori leaders reacted furiously yesterday after a scientist said their race carried a "warrior gene" that predisposed them to violence and criminal behaviour.

Dr Rod Lea, a genetic epidemiologist, told the International Conference of Human Genetics in Brisbane that Maori men were twice as likely as Europeans to bear monoamine oxidase, a gene that is also connected with risk-taking behaviour such as smoking and gambling.

He was reported as saying the discovery went "a long way to explaining some of the problems" Maoris had in New Zealand. ...

Dr Lea said lifestyle and upbringing were also "relevant" to whether violent traits developed. ...

In wider statistics, Maoris are convicted of more than 65 per cent of all offences despite making up only 15 per cent of the population.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – deportation
Deportation to be 'the norm' after law change
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 20 July 2006

Deportation will soon be "the norm" for foreign prisoners, the Government has said.

In a written statement, the immigration minister Liam Byrne said current legislation did not go far enough to ensure that criminal activity led to deportation. ...

Convicted foreign prisoners, he added, "should face deportation, and deportation should happen as early as possible in their sentence."

Of more than 1,000 foreign prisoners released without proper consideration of deportation since 1999 only 46 have left the country.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Illegal immigrant stole £1m from hard-up council
Nick Britten
Daily Telegraph, 10 June 2006

An immigrant who landed a senior finance job at England's second largest council after outstaying his visa is facing jail after filtering more than £1 million into his bank account. ...

Kaduwanema, 27, arrived from Uganda on a student visa. After he dropped out of university and his visa expired he remained in Britain.

He found a job at Birmingham city council five years ago through an employment agency.

... Between May last year and February he diverted funds set aside for paying the VAT on care homes to his own account, stealing £1,033,595. ...

Kaduwanema was remanded in custody to be sentenced this month. The Home Office refused to discuss his immigration status.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – police
Secret report brands Muslim police corrupt
Sandra Laville And Hugh Muir
The Guardian, 10 June 2006

A secret high-level Metropolitan police report has concluded that Muslim officers are more likely to become corrupt than white officers because of their cultural and family backgrounds.

The document, which has been seen by the Guardian, has caused outrage among ethnic minorities within the force, who have labelled it racist and proof that there is a gulf in understanding between the police force and the wider Muslim community. The document was written as an attempt to investigate why complaints of misconduct and corruption against Asian officers are 10 times higher than against their white colleagues.

The main conclusions of the study, commissioned by the Directorate of Professional Standards and written by an Asian detective chief inspector, stated: "Asian officers and in particular Pakistani Muslim officers are under greater pressure from the family, the extended family ... and their community against that of their white colleagues to engage in activity that might lead to misconduct or criminality."

It recommended that Asian officers needed special anti-corruption training and is now being considered by a working party of senior staff. ...

The first version was considered so inflammatory when it was shown to representatives from the staff associations for black, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim officers, that it had to be toned down. There are 31,000 officers in the Met - 7%, or 2,170, are black and minority ethnic; among these an estimated 300 are Muslim.

Up

Crime – deportation
Blair's tough talk ignored as criminals stay in Britain
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2006

Hundreds of freed foreign criminals who were never considered for deportation are likely to remain in Britain after all - despite Tony Blair's insistence that the removal of most should be "automatic".

Lin Homer, the head of the Home Office's immigration and nationality directorate (IND), told MPs yesterday that initial decisions against deportation had been taken in "a couple of hundred cases" out of more than 1,000 released inmates.

She disclosed that four in every 10 foreign prisoners - all theoretically facing removal from the country at the end of their sentences - were usually allowed to remain. ...

... Miss Homer said deportation was sought only in about 60 per cent of cases considered by the IND.

She also conceded that the whereabouts of many of the released prisoners, including eight of the most serious offenders, was still unknown some two months after the scandal broke.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – child labour
Hundreds of child slaves sold into UK every year
David Harrison
Sunday Telegraph, 4 June 2006

Children as young as six are being brought to Britain in their hundreds every year to be used as "slave labour" in sweatshops, private homes and cannabis factories.

The children are transported from all over Africa, Asia and eastern Europe by ruthless and highly organised gangs of traffickers.

Many are taken with the unwitting consent of their parents, who pay up to £3,000, believing the traffickers' claims that their children are going to a better life - and will be able to send money home.

The victims are smuggled into Britain or brought in on false passports by adults posing as relatives. They are put to work immediately, live in appalling conditions and are subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

The scale of the crisis, which has spread from London to Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, is revealed in a consultation paper presented to the Home Office by a coalition of nine charities including Unicef, Save the Children and the NSPCC. ...

Christine Beddoe, the director of the coalition ... said: "This is modern child slavery." ... ...

Children from China, Vietnam and Malaysia have been found in sweatshops, restaurants and suburban cannabis factories. African children are often put into domestic servitude, working long hours for little or no reward.

Eastern European children tend to be used to beg and steal - many more are likely to arrive next year when Romania and Bulgaria are expected to join the European Union. ...

Miss Beddoe estimated that "hundreds" of children were trafficked to Britain each year but said last night the true figure could be much higher.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Police seal off open prison as foreign inmates flee
David Sapsted and John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2006

The Home Office had to send in hundreds of prison officers and police to seal off an open prison yesterday to thwart a feared exodus of more than 100 foreign inmates.

In the latest Home Office debacle, officials acted after 11 foreign prisoners - including a leading Jamaican drugs dealer facing deportation - simply walked away from Ford open prison in West Sussex. Apparently they wanted to avoid being sent home at the end of their sentences. ...

Hundreds of mentally-ill foreign offenders have been released from secure hospitals without being considered for deportation ... ...

Last night the Home Office said that a taskforce has been set up to track down up to 500 foreign-born offenders who had been held in mental hospitals such as Broadmoor, Rampton and Ashworth.

A spokesman said: "Any of these individuals identified as foreign nationals will be considered for deportation as soon as possible."
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
85 foreign 'serious offenders' still at large
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2006

Eighty-five foreign criminals convicted of serious sexual and violent offences are still free despite attempts to track down more than 1,000 prisoners released without proper consideration of deportation, it emerged yesterday.

More than 500 foreign prisoners that the Home Office has now decided it should have deported cannot be found.

The latest information, was released yesterday by John Reid, the Home Secretary, in a statement and answers by him and his senior managers to the Home Affairs select committee.

The information shows that only a fraction of the criminals - 37 out of a new revised total of 1,019 overseas convicts - have been deported or removed from the UK.

Mr Reid and his officials also disclosed that around a fifth of the 1,019 prisoners had committed further crimes after their bungled release, including sex attacks and violence.

... Mr Reid's statement disclosed that, prior to 2004, officials only considered deportation in cases where judges recommended it.

Since then it should be considered in all sentences of 12 months or more, irrespective of the view of the judge.
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Up

Crime – asylum
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 22 May 2006

It was also disclosed that 232 foreign nationals arrested in counter terrorism operations were allowed to stay as asylum seekers - including 18 who applied for refugee status only after their arrest. ...

The Home Office also revealed that the Immigration and Nationality Directorate spent £21 million on "consultancy support" in 2005-06.

The figure was disclosed after the IND, with the help of a firm of consultants, produced a bizarre report containing cartoons, graffiti and meaningless squiggles.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
We have lost 446 foreign criminals, says Home Office
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2006

The Government has lost more than 400 foreign prisoners it now wants to deport after they were released from prison without being considered for removal. ...

It emerged yesterday that the missing 446 are among 649 out of the original 1,023 foreign convicts whom the Home Office has decided to throw out of the country if it can find them. ...

So far, the Home Office has only managed to deport seven convicts out of the 1,023. ...

The question of how many of the 1,023 are out of the country or locked up is far from clear.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Human rights fears rule out posters of ex-convicts
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 14 May 2006

The "human rights" of foreign ex-prisoners on the run from police are being put before public safety. Detectives across the country are refusing to issue "wanted" posters for the missing criminals because they do not want to breach human rights laws.

Forces said that the offenders had a right to privacy and might sue for defamation if their names and photographs were released. ...

The Met, Britain's largest force, said: "They are not criminals; it is an immigration offence. We will use all the tools in our box to try to find them without printing their identity - that's the last recourse."
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Cameras set racial poser on car crime
Dipesh Gadher, Transport Correspondent
Sunday Times, 14 May 2006

Britain's most senior policeman Sir Ian Blair is facing a race relations dilemma after the release of figures that reveal almost half the number of people arrested in relation to car crime in London are black. Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, has signed off a report by his force's traffic unit which shows that black people account for 46% of all arrests generated by new automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The technology allows car registration plates to be scanned and automatically run through databases to determine whether a vehicle is stolen, uninsured or has not had its road tax paid.

Each numberplate is also checked with the police national computer, where vehicles suspected of links to crimes such as robberies are flagged up.

The Met has deployed six mobile ANPR camera units in the capital, primarily in areas with high levels of street crime. When a suspect vehicle is identified, police officers are sent to intercept the driver.

Although ANPR technology is impartial, the disproportionate number of blacks being arrested has prompted the Met to investigate.

The arrests have been broken down by ethnicity in a report sent last month to the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), to which the force is accountable.

It reveals that between April 2005 and January this year the units generated 2,023 arrests. Of these 923 were black suspects, while 738 (36%) came from white backgrounds. Asians accounted for just over 9% of arrests.

The report tacitly appears to address concerns among ethnic minority communities who believe they are unfairly targeted by the police through stop and search powers. Black people are up to six times more likely to be stopped than whites.

The report says: "It is worth stating that out of all our activities, this is the one area where the officer has minimal discretion as they respond to an electronic matching process."

Last week the Met attempted to explain the high number of arrests among blacks by the fact that they make up a higher proportion of the population in areas such as Southwark and Lewisham in south London, where the ANPR units operate.

However, statistics from the 2001 census show that the highest black population in any borough is no greater than about 25%. The proportion of black people across the capital as a whole is about 11%. ...

It is more than a decade ago that Lord Condon, the former Met commissioner, caused controversy when he suggested that young black men were likely to be responsible for most muggings.

Up

Crime
'Lost' criminals did not include armed robbers
John Steele and George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 9 May 2006

Almost twice as many serious and dangerous foreign prisoners as at first thought were released from prison without being considered for deportation, John Reid, the new Home Secretary, admitted yesterday.

He said that at least 150 of the "most serious" were freed without being assessed for potential removal and the figure could be hundreds.

Charles Clarke, Mr Reid's predecessor who was sacked by Tony Blair last week, had suggested the figure was about 90.

Mr Reid ...

He said: "The number of released prisoners who fall into the category of having committed the most serious offences is not 90; it could be as high as 150 and, indeed, depending on what definition you use, if you were to include in that armed robbery, it could be several hundred.

"The numbers who have committed the most and more serious offences has increased as we have studied the cases. But we are also detaining and discovering more and more." ...

Mr Blair said during his monthly media briefing that new laws may be necessary to override the human rights of dangerous foreigners so they can be deported automatically, regardless of difficulties faced in their homeland.

"If somebody commits a serious enough criminal offence to go to jail in this country and they are not a British citizen, I think it is perfectly reasonable for the country to say at the conclusion of that sentence, you leave the country."

Although Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, has cast doubts on whether all foreign prisoners could be deported automatically, Mr Blair said he was "absolutely sure we can deliver on this".

The threat to the life of terrorists being sent home should not be a bar to deportation, he said. It was "absurd" that their civil liberties were absolute and overrode the security of this country.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Falconer casts doubt on PM's 'automatic deportation' vow
Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2006

Tony Blair's pledge to deport all foreign prisoners was dismissed as "spin and bluster" after Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, conceded yesterday that the plan might not be workable.

... His remarks were at odds with Mr Blair's promise to MPs at the height of the row over the failure to deport foreign prisoners, that "it is now time that anybody who is convicted of an imprisonable offence and who is a foreign national is deported".

Asked if deportation would proceed in all cases, Lord Falconer, the Constitutional Affairs Secretary, told ITV1's Dimbleby programme: "What we need to do is consult fully in relation to that. We need to identify what are the circumstances in which there is deportation."

Imprisonable offences include having a dangerous dog and dodging a train fare. "There are obviously offences where it is imprisonable but a very, very minor offence is committed which would not remotely justify deportation in every circumstance," Lord Falconer said.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
Now foreign rapists and murderers are even issued with UK passports
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 7 May 2006

Foreign ex-convicts can acquire British citizenship - even if they have served time for rape or murder, Government documents reveal.

No offence, however grave, is an automatic barrier to obtaining a British passport. But despite this, the Home Office has no idea how many former prisoners have gone on to become British citizens.

Nor can it say how many of the 1,023 foreign prisoners freed without being considered for deportation ... have since received UK passports. ...

While those who have been freed from jail cannot be granted citizenship immediately, the rulebook says they "may be invited to re-apply after a suitable interval", typically five years after release for serious offenders.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – deportation, EU directive
Clarke loses half of most dangerous criminals
George Jones and David Rennie
Daily Telegraph, 4 May 2006

More than half of the most dangerous offenders released in the foreign prisoner scandal cannot be found, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, admitted yesterday.

Eight days after the Home Office disclosed that more than 1,000 foreign criminals, including killers, rapists and child abusers, had been released into the community, Mr Clarke told MPs that hundreds were still at large, including 49 of the most serious cases.

Tony Blair promised "automatic deportation" in future for jailed foreigners. But the Prime Minister's "get tough" pledge fell apart when it emerged that he was talking about "a presumption" that foreign prisoners would be deported, rather than a guarantee that it would happen in every case. ...

The deportation pledge was immediately challenged by European Union officials in Brussels. They said that any automatic system of expulsions would contravene a new EU directive that specifically bans national governments from seeking to expel an EU citizen solely on the basis of criminal convictions. ...

A European Commission official, dismissing blanket deportation, said Britain was firmly bound by this week's "Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states".
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
If Labour had any honour, Clarke would go
Michael Howard
Sunday Telegraph, 30 April 2006

In her annual report for 2002/03, the Chief Inspector of Prisons pointed out that: "The Immigration Service... was not monitoring those liable to deportation, and making arrangements for this to take place."

In her report for 2003/04 she said: "In spite of the growing number of foreign national prisoners, there is still no national strategy."

In May 2004 the Prison Reform Trust said: "The Prison Service should notify the Immigration Service about all foreign national prisoners... There is a lack of accurate data on the exact numbers as the Prison Service does not record this information."

In July 2005 the National Audit Office warned: "Action on criminal cases was not being initiated until a late stage, allowing insufficient time to make preparations for removal before the end of sentence."

Yet Charles Clarke maintains that it was not until the autumn of last year that he became aware of the problem.
[Newspaper link]

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Crime
What Mr Clarke did not tell us: he has allowed 2,500 foreign criminals to stay here
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 30 April 2006

A further 2,500 foreign prisoners, who could have been deported from Britain after their release from jail, have been allowed to stay, the Home Office admitted last night. ...

As the scandal erupted last week, Mr Clarke tried to defend himself by pointing out that 3,000 foreign criminals have been deported successfully in the past two years. But it has emerged that, over the same period, almost as many have been officially assessed and allowed to remain in the country, despite meeting the criteria for deportation. ...

Some were recommended by the Immigration Service for deportation at the end of their sentences, only for the decision to be overturned on appeal. Others were not deemed sufficiently undesirable to expel. The Home Office would not say how many fell into each category.

But it was clear that all 2,500 met the basic criteria for deportation: they were released in 2004 or 2005 having served a sentence of at least two years for European Union nationals, or one year for non-EU nationals; or else were recommended for deportation by their trial judge.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Hunt for 900 dangerous criminals freed in error
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2006

More than 1,000 convicted foreign criminals, including killers, rapists and child abusers, have been freed from prison without being considered for deportation and hundreds are missing, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, admitted yesterday.

All of the prisoners had committed crimes that should have triggered automatic assessment for removal from the country and the majority should have expected to be expelled.

About 160 were released without being considered for removal despite explicit recommendations by judges that they should be deported at the end of their sentences. ...

Only 107 of the 1,023 have been found and considered for deportation, leaving 916 outstanding, although Home Office sources claimed that they knew where some of them were. Twenty of the 107 have been deported. The Home Office has refused to identify any of the criminals. ...

Mr Clarke suggested that the problem had arisen because the Home Office, the Prison Service and Immigrant and Nationality Directorate had failed to cope with a huge growth in foreign prisoners in England and Wales: from 4,259 in June 1996 to 10,265 at the end of February this year. ...

Home Office data showed that 237 of the foreign criminals were failed asylum seekers and 54 were still having applications considered. ...

... The prisoners come from 103 nations, Jamaica accounts for 175 and there are 59 Nigerians, 58 Iraqis and 50 from Ireland.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
London's criminal families replaced by ethnic gangs
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 23 April 2006

The extent of the shift from family crime gangs modelled on the Krays to international networks rooted in ethnic minorities has been uncovered in a police intelligence report.

Scotland Yard has identified 180 crime gangs, speaking 24 languages, who are thought to be responsible for a third of murders in London.

Almost half, 47 per cent, are classed as "cultural networks" whose members are bound by a common language or homeland. ...

By contrast, only nine per cent of the gangs are centred on one family. Most of the rest, 42 per cent, are neighbourhood-based or headed by gangsters who met in jail. ...

Two thirds of the 180 gangs are involved in Britain's £7 billion-a-year drugs trade, while half operate across borders.

The intelligence document, drafted by Scotland Yard's strategy adviser, Anna Aquilina, and presented to the Metropolitan Police Authority, says: "Changes in technology, travel and the diversity of London's communities are reflected in the growing complexity and presence of criminal networks."
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime – trafficking people
Gangs earn £1bn a year from trafficking people
Ben Leapman and David Harrison
Sunday Telegraph, 2 April 2006

Criminal gangs in Britain are making £1 billion a year from people trafficking, according to the head of a new Government force dedicated to fighting organised crime. ...

The figure was disclosed by Bill Hughes, the director-general of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), which will be launched by Tony Blair tomorrow. People trafficking will be a priority, along with the drugs trade, which Mr Hughes estimates is worth £7 billion a year in Britain.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Stop and search file 'an insult to police'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 31 March 2006

Police anger over being made to record the identity of everyone they stop boiled over in a study published by the Home Office yesterday.

Officers called the requirement - a recommendation made by the Macpherson inquiry into alleged police racism - a "public relations stunt" that pandered to "ivory tower" politicians and bureaucrats. ...

Since last year, all police officers in England and Wales have been required to complete a detailed form whenever they stop a suspect on the street. ...

The report said the police saw themselves as "the real victims - the victims of a system that has gone mad, where criminals are allowed to make false accusations and pull the 'race card', where officers have become scared to stop black people because they are afraid of being accused of racism and where they have to protect themselves against mischievous allegations of wrong-doing that are given credence by a system that has become preoccupied with political correctness".

Figures for last year showed that the number of stop and searches went up by 14 per cent and that black suspects were six times more likely than whites to be stopped and Asian people twice as likely.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Crime
Gangsters arrive on Eurostar
Andrea Perry
Sunday Express, 19 March 2006

Britain's lax immigration laws are helping foreign criminal gangs carry out murder, armed robbery and kidnap in the UK.

Scotland Yard says that powerful foreign-based criminals are plotting their illegal activities abroad and then slipping into Britain to carry them out.

They are raking in millions of pounds every year from trading in drugs, human trafficking, illegal immigration, fraud and money laundering.

Many arrive here from Europe on the Eurostar rail service. ... ...

Many of the foreign suspects claim they have no identity papers. And if the police cannot prove their identity they have to release them without charge. ...

And the activities are not just confined to European criminals. American nationals have come here specifically to carry out kidnaps - in the five months to January there were 24 kidnaps in London involving 23 nationalities.

About 70 per cent of serious and organised crime in Britain originates from London-based gangs and 56 per cent use serious violence. ...

Met Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur's research revealed 24 nationalities in London's worst gangs.

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Crime – drugs
The pot plants that are worth millions
Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2006

A network of cannabis factories run by Vietnamese gangsters and producing tens of millions of pounds' worth of drugs a year has been uncovered by police.

The high-strength skunk cannabis is cultivated in hundreds of houses in London, with power diverted from the mains to heat and light the plants. Young Vietnamese men, smuggled into Britain as economic immigrants, are used as "gardeners".

Scotland Yard regards the Vietnamese gangs as the latest illustration of the way criminals are moving into Britain among communities of economic migrants and looking around for ways of making illicit money. ...

In yesterday's raid, about 600 cannabis plants were spread across four floors of the house in Woolwich and seven people were arrested.

Police have found a network of similar factories operating across London, each capable of producing hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of cannabis a year.

In the 12 months from June 2004 a total of 255 were identified and closed down but officers fear that many more are still operating.

Det Sgt David Galbraith said: "These gangs accept us closing the factories down as an occupational hazard because the people who run them have five, six, or seven on the go at the same time and there is so much profit in those."
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Crime – USA
Gang killings put LA on course as murder capital
Daily Telegraph, 26 January 2006

Killings in Compton, the hub of gangland activity in Los Angeles, have risen to the highest levels in 10 years.

... Nearly 70 people were killed in Compton city itself while at least 10 more were murdered near the area's boundaries.

The once-affluent city is known for brutality and guns ... ... Compton, a 10-square mile low-rise inner city area south of Los Angeles with a population of just under 97,000. ...

Nearly all the murders, police believe, are linked to the city's estimated 57 active street gangs, which are now Hispanic as well as black.
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Crime
Refugees ran £1bn cocaine network from the suburbs
Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2006

Two Colombian refugees who ran Britain's biggest drugs ring have been jailed for 19 and 17 years after smuggling in more than £1 billion worth of cocaine over the past decade.

Jesus Anibal Ruiz-Henao, 45, and his brother-in-law Mario Tascon, 32, who had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the country, commanded a network in Britain and abroad and flooded the market with drugs from their homeland.

Hundreds of people were employed to launder the vast amounts of cash it generated. So big was the ring that the price of cocaine rocketed on the streets after it was dismantled. ...

When detectives ... raided their suburban homes in Hendon, north-west London, they seized more than £2.5 million in cash and recovered tons of cocaine and cannabis valued at £100 million. ...

In all, the courts have sentenced 34 people in Britain for drugs and money laundering offences.
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Crime
Zero tolerance urged on foreign criminals
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2006

Serious criminal behaviour by foreign nationals should be met with zero tolerance, a report says today. It calls for a presumption that deportation will be recommended for any offence that brings a 12-month jail sentence.

One in eight prisoners - about 10,000 - is a foreign national and the increase in overseas inmates has taken up 3,500 more spaces in the past five years than had been expected. Every year the courts recommend deportation in only about 600 cases but no statistics are kept to show whether these are actually carried out.
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Crime – USA
The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants in the United States
Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., Violent Crimes Institute, Atlanta, Georgia
Violent Crimes Institute, 2006

Introduction: After conducting a 12 month in-depth study of illegal immigrants who committed sex crimes and murders for the time period of January 1999 through April 2006, it is clear that the U.S. public faces a dangerous threat from sex predators who cross the U.S. borders illegally. ...

Based on population numbers of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants and the fact that young males make up more of this population than the general U.S. population, sex offenders in the illegal immigrant group make up a higher percentage. When examining ICE reports and public records, it is consistent to find sex offenders comprising 2% of illegals apprehended. Based on this 2% figure, which is conservative, there are approximately 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States.

This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day. The 1500 offenders in this study had a total of 5,999 victims. Each sex offender averaged 4 victims. This places the estimate for victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months examined in this study. ...

Conclusions: Illegal immigrants who commit sex crimes first cross the U.S. border illegally. Then they gradually commit worse crimes and are continually released back into society or deported. Those who were deported simply returned illegally again. Only 2% of the offenders in this study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally. There is a clear pattern of criminal escalation. From misdemeanors such as assault or DUI, to drug offenses, illegal immigrants who commit sex crimes break U.S. laws repeatedly. They are highly mobile, work in low skilled jobs with their hands, use drugs and alcohol, are generally promiscuous, have little family stability, and choose victims who are easy to attack. Their attacks are particularly brutal, and they use a hands-on method of controlling and/or killing their victims.

Note: Nearly 30% of the victims were illegal immigrants themselves. The remainder were U.S. citizens.
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Crime
Postman ran £20m credit card and cheque fraud
Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2005

An asylum seeker who masterminded a £20 million stolen cheque and credit card fraud while working as a postman was facing a lengthy jail sentence yesterday.

Dido Mayue-Belezika, 34, intercepted the chequebooks and credit cards at the north London sorting office where he worked, passing them on to his brother-in-law who directed a gang of 220 people to steal millions from unsuspecting account holders across Britain. ...

The Congolese national masterminded the racket from his council home ...
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Crime
Attention focuses on Somali community
Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2005

The disclosure that four of the men arrested for the murder of WPc Beshenivsky are Somalis has inevitably focused attention on their community.

Each new immigrant community entering Britain brings its particular cultural mores and networks. Unfortunately, police have found each attracts and provides a convenient cover for its own criminal fringe. ...

... Scotland Yard sources who have monitored the influx of new-generation Somalis in recent years say that Somali gangs are "an acknowledged criminal presence". ...

But the Somalis are not regarded as on the same level, for example, as some of the brutal Albanian gangs who have moved across Europe.
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Crime – South Africa
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2005

... at Johannesburg Hospital. Here, a surgeon will cope with five or six gunshot victims each shift, more on Fridays.

South Africa recorded 19,824 murders last year, the world's second highest rate.
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Crime – France
A French underclass familiar to the U.S.
New York Times International Weekly, 10 November 2005

Already, French-Arabs and French-Africans make up the majority of inmates in France's prisons, just as minorities make up a vastly disproportionate part of the American prison population.

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Crime
Foreign criminals 'flooding jails'
Daily Telegraph, 26 October 2005

Britain's prison population crisis is being fuelled by a big increase in foreign criminals, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said yesterday.

Mr Clarke told MPs that overseas nationals now made up about one in eight inmates - almost 10,000 out of a record 78,000. ...

According to Home Office figures, in 2000 there were 5,586 foreign prisoners.

Today there are almost 10,000. There are around 165 nationalities in custody at a cost of more than £300 million a year.
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Crime – Brazil
Gun-loving Brazilians reject arms sales ban
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2005

Brazilian voters overwhelmingly rejected a ban on the sale of firearms yesterday.

Despite evidence that showed fewer guns sales meant fewer killings almost two-thirds of voters said no to a ban, in effect choosing to maintain their right to defend themselves against armed criminals.

More than 36,000 people were shot dead last year, confirming the country as one of the world's most violent. According to the United Nations, its murder rate is second only to that of Venezuela. ...

Those supporting a ban were ahead for weeks before a late surge by opponents who argued persuasively that civilians would be left defenceless against armed criminals.

... the murder rate still stands at 21.7 per 100,000, 74 times the figure in Britain.
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Crime
Gun crime is spreading from city to suburb, says police chief
Sunday Telegraph, 23 October 2005

Gun crime is spreading rapidly from city to suburb, one of Britain's most senior policemen warned yesterday.

Tarique Ghaffur, the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said ...

Mr Ghaffur believes there is "an arms race going on", as ethnic groups copy the gun-use of Afro-Caribbean gangs. ...

They start shoplifting at the age of ten, graduate to street robbery and drug dealing in their teens, and use guns for extortion and getting rid of rival drug dealers in their early twenties. ...

Mr Ghaffur and his team have been investigating the links between firearms offences, benefit fraud, extortion and drug dealing. In one case, the investigation led to one man, who for legal reasons cannot be named.

"This guy is personally responsible for a crime wave," he said. "He's been involved in extreme violence. And he has 37 children by 19 different women. His children are excluded from school and involved in crime."
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Crime
Foreigners in majority at British jail
Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2003

A women's prison has become the first jail in the country to hold more foreign nationals than British citizens, the Home Office said last night.

Recent figures show that 65 per cent of the 350-strong population at Morton Hall women's prison at Swinderby, Lincs, are foreigners.

The majority of the inmates are Jamaican, the spokesman said. ...

Britain's overcrowded prisons currently contain foreign citizens from 160 countries. ...

One in seven of the 74,000 jail population is now a foreign national.
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Crime
Immigrants bring increased crime, says police chief
Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2003

An influx of refugees has generated significant increases in crime and the potential for unrest on the streets, the leader of police chiefs said yesterday. ... Chris Fox, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), warned that many criminals were slipping untracked into Britain amid genuine refugees in the largest flows of immigration for 40 years.

Gangsters from the Balkans, eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa have, according to Mr Fox, generated increased levels of drug dealing, prostitution, kidnapping, extortion and fraud. ...

He added: "If you go to any force in the country, you will find an increase in crime involving what I would call the new communities. It's not just a London, Birmingham, Manchester problem." ...

Mr Fox said the increase in the movement of people over the past four years had been "dramatic".
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Crime – racism
New unit to 'root our police racism'
Daily Telegraph, 8 November 2002

A new anti-racism unit is to be set up at the Home Office in response to figures showing that black people are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than whites.

Police will be required to record the ethnic details of everyone they stop amid suspicions among ministers that attempts to reduce alleged discrimination in the criminal justice system have been unsuccessful. ...

Black people were eight times - and Asian people three times - more likely to be stopped than a white person last year. Black people were also four times more likely to be arrested than whites or other ethnic minority groups. ...

Some officers blame the explosion in street crime on the earlier fall in stop and searches caused by the post-Macpherson backlash. Police, especially in London, also maintain that most of the street crime is committed by young black men.

Earlier this month, Ian Blair, deputy commissioner of the Met, said nearly two thirds of muggings were carried out by those described by victims as Afro-Caribbean. "We have to be honest about this," he said.
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Crime
Why Asians have adopted this culture of violence
Theodore Dalrymple
Daily Telegraph, 17 April 2001

Sunday night's riot in Bradford ... Asian youths clashed with white youths, and shops and cars were damaged or destroyed. ... the riots demonstrate that Asian youth is becoming more anglicised, in the worst possible sense. They now belong to the primitive "who you looking at?" culture of the young natives, a culture in which egos are as prickly as consciences are weak. ...

In the past 10 years, however, I have noticed a startling shift. Asian convicts now abound, all young men, and they have committed just the same kind of crimes as their white and black equivalents. They wield machetes in places where there is hardly a blade of grass to be seen; they carry baseball bats but do not even know what a baseball looks like. They have become violent, aggressive, drunken and drug-addicted. As one might expect, their educational standards are falling: they are now almost as ignorant and uncultured as their white neighbours. ...

There is another striking fact about this development: it has gone far further among the Muslims than among the Sikhs and the Hindus. For example, the overwhelming majority of Asian prisoners - much in excess of their proportion in the Asian population as a whole - is Muslim. It is they who take heroin, form gangs and commit most of the violence.

Why should this be? The Muslim parents are themselves law-abiding. They give their children no encouragement, quite the contrary, to participate in British popular youth culture, which they rightly fear and despise. ...

The answer, I think, is that their code is much more rigid than that of the Sikhs and the Hindus. ...

When a rigid code of conduct breaks down, it breaks down completely, and results in total demoralisation. That is what has happened to the British working class, much of which struggled for so many years for respectability in the face of enormously difficult circumstances. Liberated from social pressure to conform to certain standards, ... it was left completely without cultural or moral bearings.

The young Muslims are experiencing the same disorientation, a few years later. This does not mean that they will get on well with their similarly demoralised white neighbours and peers: on the contrary, race hate will give both groups the semblance of a raison d'être.

... At the root of the clashes in Bradford is modern popular youth culture, which is itself the product of 1960s "liberation".
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Crime – USA
THE NEGRO CRIME RATE: A FAILURE IN INTEGRATION
Time, 21 April 1958

They are afraid to say so in public, but many of the North's big-city mayors groan in private that their biggest and most worrisome problem is the crime rate among Negroes.

In 1,551 U.S. cities, according to the FBI tally for 1956, Negroes, making up 10% of the U.S. population, accounted for about 30% of all arrests, and 60% of the arrests for crimes involving violence or threat of bodily harm – murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In one city after another, the figures – where they are not hidden or suppressed by politicians – reveal a shocking pattern. Items:

New York (14% Negro). Of the prisoners confined in houses of detention last year to await court disposition of their cases, 44% of the males and 65% of the females were Negroes.

Chicago (15% Negro). In 1956 twice as many Negroes as whites – 1,366 to 679 – were arrested on charges of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape and robbery.

Detroit (25% Negro). Two out of three prisoners held in the Wayne County jail are Negroes. Last month 62% of the defendants presented for trial in Recorder's Court were Negroes. Of last year's 25,216 arrests resulting in prosecution, excluding traffic cases, Negroes accounted for 12,919.

Los Angeles (13% Negro). In 1956 Negroes accounted for 28% of all arrests, and 48% of the arrests for homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny and auto theft.

San Francisco (7% Negro). The victims in 896 of last year's 1,564 recorded robbery cases reported that the assailants were Negroes.

Negro leaders sometimes argue passionately that arrest statistics wildly distort the comparative incidence of crime among Negroes and whites because cops are more likely to arrest Negroes for petty crimes or on mere suspicion. Protests Executive Editor Charles Wartman of Detroit's Michigan Chronicle, a Negro weekly: "The number of Negroes booked is at least partially indicative of subconscious if not conscious racial persecution on the part of police officers."

But inequality of treatment by the police may actually tend to shrink rather than inflate the statistics of Negro crime. Says Newsman Wartman in the next breath: "When Negroes violate social morals – sex, drinking, gambling – white cops bypass this as 'typically Negro.' " Many Negro leaders protest that the police are far from diligent enough in dealing with crimes committed against Negroes – and Negroes are the victims in the great majority of Negro crimes of violence. Since Negroes, even when they are victims or innocent bystanders, are often wary of calling the police, many offenses of disorder and assault go unreported when committed by Negroes in the depths of a ghetto.

Whether the statistics of Negro crime overstate or understate the reality, they are shrouded from public attention by what a Chicago judge last week called a "conspiracy of concealment." In many cities, Negro leaders and organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People put pressure on politicians, city officials and newspapers to play down the subject. Fearing loss of Negro votes, few elected officials dare to resist the pressures.

Abetting the concealment campaign is the feeling shared by many whites that it is unfair, inflammatory and even un-American to talk about Negro crime. This feeling is reflected in the widespread newspaper practice of not mentioning a criminal's race unless he is at large and the fact would help in identifying him.
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DISEASE

Disease
Aids was brought to the West in 1969, study claims
Roger Highfield
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2007

A key theory of how Aids arrived in the West is overturned today by a study which found the epidemic was born two decades earlier than had been thought. Gaëtan Dugas, a gay Canadian flight attendant who died in 1984, was said to be the "Patient Zero" who spread HIV from Africa to his partners in the West.

But a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the virus entered Haiti first, and then was transmitted to the US in or around 1969.

It circulated in the US for years before the formal recognition of Aids by doctors in 1981. "[Patient Zero] was certainly an early victim, and one linked to many other early cases," said senior author Michael Worobey, of the University of Arizona.

... Scientists based their conclusion on analysis of blood from five of the first Aids patients identified in the US, all of whom were recent immigrants from Haiti, and evidence from another 117 patients worldwide.
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Disease
World health experts warn of epidemics
Daily Telegraph, 24 August 2007

Infectious diseases are spreading faster and becoming harder to treat, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

With billions of people moving around the planet every year, the UN agency said: "An epidemic in one part of the world is only hours away from becoming an imminent threat somewhere else."

It warned there was a strong possibility of a future scourge like Aids, Sars or Ebola fever with the potential to kill millions.
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Disease
7 out of 10 new cases of TB, Aids and malaria are migrants
Daily Telegraph, 16 November 2006

Almost three quarters of new cases of major infectious diseases occur in migrants, watchdogs said yesterday. About seven out of 10 diagnoses of tuberculosis, HIV and malaria in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2004 occurred in immigrants.

... The Health Protection Agency said there was little risk of the UK-born population catching infectious diseases from new arrivals but suggested that GPs could provide extra screening for those arriving from high-risk countries.

Dr Jane Jones, one of the authors of the HPA's first report on migrant health, said: "Many migrants come from countries with no higher risk of infectious diseases than in the UK but some do and they will have additional health needs.

"The majority of cases of TB, HIV and malaria are in people who were no born here, but it is important that this be seen in context. Most migrants do not have infectious diseases."
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Disease
Ethnic communities are worst hit by 11pc rise in tuberculosis
Nic Fleming
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2006

Cases of tuberculosis have increased by almost 11 per cent in a year, mainly among immigrant communities.

Figures yesterday from the Health Protection Agency showed that there were 8,113 TB cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2005, up from 7,321 cases in 2004.

The largest increase was in patients born outside the UK - from 4,696 in 2004 to 5310 in 2005. ...

TB is caught from an infected person who coughs or sneezes or from saliva.
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Disease
Ministers could force NHS to tackle spread of drug-resistant TB
Beezy Marsh
Sunday Telegraph, 10 September 2006

The Health Protection Agency, which advises the Government, believes the policy of X-raying immigrants from high-risk countries has been ineffective because the majority of sufferers, from places such as sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, have latent TB which activates only when they are in the community - up to two years after they arrive in Britain.

Last week, experts from the World Health Organisation issued a warning about XDR-TB, a deadly new strain of TB which has extreme drug resistance and is virtually impossible to treat. ...

Treating XDR-TB costs around £100,000 per patient, compared with about £4,000 for "standard" TB.
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Disease
How Aids let tuberculosis flourish again
James Le Fanu, a practising GP
Daily Telegraph, 7 September 2006

Twenty-five years ago, it seemed that most fearful of all infectious illnesses - tuberculosis - was in terminal decline. "The Captain of the armies of death" that in late-Victorian England was responsible for one death in four had itself fallen victim to the combination of social progress, better housing and nutrition and a clutch of potent drugs that virtually guaranteed a cure. Now we learn The Captain is back with a vengeance in the new, more virulent form of extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). "It raises the spectre," comments Paul Nunn of the World Health Organisation, "of something we have feared for a decade - the possibility of virtually untreatable TB."

And while the spectre remains for the moment confined to the marginalised and impoverished in eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, those drug- resistant bacteria can now traverse the globe in a few hours to infect anyone anywhere. Those with unidentified active tuberculosis, it is estimated, will infect on average 10-15 people a year. ... ...

But the prospect of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis from inadequate treatment became a certainty with the advent of Aids, whose victims are particularly vulnerable to the infection and, with their compromised immune systems, required much longer schedules of treatment. ... ...

This does, however, raise some rather sensitive policy issues that first became apparent when the scale of the Aids epidemic in Africa began to be appreciated in the late 1980s. Then, despite official denials, it emerged that migrants and refugees were a major source of the rise in new cases, with considerable implications for health services, particularly in inner cities.

The situation is rather more serious, for the obvious reasons that tuberculosis is more infectious being transmitted by inhalation - and thus the possibility of its spread beyond the recognised at-risk groups is much higher.
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Disease
NHS 'in illegal immigrants mess'
Nick Triggle
BBC, 22 August 2006

The system to ensure illegal immigrants do not receive free NHS care is unworkable, doctors and lawyers say.

The government says failed asylum seekers or others without permission to be in the UK should only get limited free care, including emergency aid.

But GPs and primary care trusts said there was no way of ensuring illegal immigrants did not get free care.

David Lock, of law firm Mills and Reeve, which is advising some of the trusts, said the system was in a mess.

Mr Lock, a former Labour MP, said his firm represented scores of NHS primary care trusts and he was frequently being asked for advice.

He said he was telling them to carry on treating illegal immigrants who were already on GP lists as there was no practical way of removing them from the NHS register.

"The system is a complete mess. There is conflicting advice out there and NHS trusts do not know where they stand.

"If it is the case that illegal immigrants should not be getting free care, how is that to be enforced?

"It is a very complex situation, but the government needs to clarify its position. Trusts are quite rightly considering what their obligations are at a time when there are financial pressures in the NHS."

There are estimated to be about 400,000 illegal immigrants in the country.

Asylum-seekers are entitled to NHS care while their application is being processed.

But, if their claim is rejected, the government says they should not get the care free.

The same rules apply for people who have overstayed their visa or entered the country illegally.

There are a few exemptions for both GPs and hospitals relating to emergency care and immediate necessary care - to stop a condition becoming life-threatening. ...

Sheila Webb, director of public health in Bradford, said any checks that are made by GPs are limited.

"Patients would be asked for an address, but no checks are made to verify this. There is a confidential relationship that exists between a GP and their patients."

Doctors said illegal immigrants who were referred to hospital for treatment were sometimes spotted. In hospitals, a dedicated manager should assess someone's status and decide if they should go on a waiting list for an operation.

GPs said it was not their role to police the system and it was probable that illegal immigrants were being treated.

Dr Fay Wilson, a Birmingham GP and member of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, said: "In reality, the system is not working.

"NHS trusts have started asking us to carry out more checks, but GPs are not going to do it.

"The most sensible approach would be to bring back some form of national medical entitlement card. Then people could easily be checked."

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Disease
200,000 migrants not checked for TB
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2006

Immigration services are failing to check nearly 200,000 migrants a year for tuberculosis when they arrive in this country, a report reveals. The Health Protection Agency found that just over a quarter of arrivals from high-risk countries were X-rayed in accordance with government policy.

There has been a steep rise in the number of cases of TB in this country, most of them among immigrant communities from Africa, Pakistan and India.

The HPA found that only 68 per cent of the 270,000 arrivals from high-risk countries planning to stay more than six months were referred for further checks.

Of those only 40 per cent, or 73,000, were X-rayed at the port of entry.

... ...

But since many immigrants develop TB several years after arriving in Britain "a one-off approach to TB in the foreign born has very limited value", it concluded.

A system of follow-ups, where the Immigration Service is supposed to pass information to local health services for screening, is "inefficient and ineffective", partly because new arrivals often gave the wrong address.
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Disease – overpopulation
Modern life causes rise in infections spread by animals
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2006

Infectious diseases are jumping the species barrier from animals to humans at an unprecedented rate because of changes in modern life, scientists said yesterday.

New species of pathogens - micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause disease - are emerging at a rate of one to two per year. HIV, Creutzfeldt Jakob disease and Sars are all thought to have been caused by pathogens that originated in animals. In the past 25 years, 38 previously unknown pathogens associated with human infectious disease have been identified.

Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said that developments such as climate change, deforestation, intensive agriculture and livestock farming, keeping exotic pets, urbanisation and the increase in global travel were driving the rapid emergence of infectious diseases originating in animals.
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Disease
HIV checks urged for foreign doctors
Daily Telegraph, 17 January 2005

Medical staff coming to work in Britain should be screened for HIV and hepatitis before being granted visas, a report says today. ...

Thousands of overseas doctors and nurses have been recruited to the NHS in recent years from countries in Africa where Aids in particular is rife. ...

Britain is unusual in not having compulsory health checks for overseas medical staff. Nearly 50 countries worldwide, including America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, test for HIV before recruitment.
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Disease
Britain's Aids epidemic is avoidable
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2004

Looking at the figures published last week by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), ... ..., the estimated number of people with HIV stands at 53,000. During 2003 a further 7,000 people became infected, compared with an annual figure of 2,800 new diagnoses just six years ago. Of the new cases, 58 per cent were among heterosexuals, compared with 31 per cent 10 years ago and virtually none 20 years ago. ...

The truth is that the vast majority of new cases have not been contracted in Britain but are the result of people migrating from countries with the biggest HIV problem, especially Africa. ...

After the HPA's report, the Government said it would spend another £300 million on sexual health programmes, ... But no amount of campaigning or more sex lessons in schools will make a scrap of difference to the phenomenon of imported infection. The only thing that will is the one that the Government appears unwilling to countenance, and that is the mandatory screening of people coming to this country from high-risk areas. ...

The difficulty that arises with screening, of course, is whether those diagnosed not just with HIV, but with TB and hepatitis B and C, should then be turned back at the borders. The current policy is to allow entry, offer voluntary screening and then provide care and treatment, though the expense is considerable - anything up to £1 million a patient for an Aids victim.
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Disease
Migration 'threatens Europe with huge HIV crisis'
Sunday Telegraph, 4 July 2004

Europe is facing a bigger Aids crisis than had previously been thought, the World Bank and leading medical charities warn.

A huge leap in the number of new cases, mostly in eastern Europe, threatens to put a severe strain on the health services of the continent, including the Western European countries which are the preferred destination for economic migrants within the EU.
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Disease
'Two thirds of our new HIV patients are from abroad. We're shelling out huge amounts of money ... it's why your granny may not get her hip replacement'
Sunday Telegraph, 15 June 2003

Hospital consultants reveal today that the NHS is being overwhelmed by hundreds of Aids sufferers from abroad, who account for up to two thirds of all new HIV patients in Britain. Doctors across the country said that they felt compelled to speak out because their departments were at crisis point.

The cost of treating infected foreigners - about £15,000 a year each - is putting hospitals into debt and threatening to halt routine operations for other patients, they said.

... A Commons health select committee report last week estimated that the figures for new HIV cases last year would more than double at 6,500. It also revealed that the rates of infection for other sexually transmitted diseases had spiralled out of control, with cases of syphilis up 500 per cent in six years. ...

Human rights legislation means that HIV positive visitors to Britain from third world countries are entitled to stay indefinitely while they receive NHS care. The cost could ultimately reach £1 million per person over a lifetime. ...

Trevor Phillips, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, said: "Every patient should be treated equally. ...

"If there are budget constraints then a case needs to be made for more resources."
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Disease
How the Government endangers British lives [3]
Anthony Browne
The Spectator, 25 January 2003

Similarly, the level of TB, an often curable but sometimes lethal disease, is at its highest since the 1980s, with 7,300 cases last year, two thirds of them imported from overseas. The London Borough of Brent now has higher rates of TB than China, and twice the rate of Brazil.

The PHLS has estimated that 6,300 hepatitis B infections were imported in each of the last four years, compared with under 300 domestically acquired cases - in other words, a staggering 95 per cent of cases of this incurable liver disease, one of the world's worst killers, are imported. A study soon to be published will show that in east London one in 50 people is now infected with hepatitis B, the same rate as Nepal and Ecuador. Liver doctors are warning that it is inevitable that this imported epidemic will start spreading to the host population.

In this age of mass transport, all developed countries are touched by the globalisation of disease, but Labour, with its policy of encouraging mass Third World immigration while refusing health tests, is ensuring that Britain is far more seriously affected than most. In the face of such a public-health disaster, a vaguely sane government would try to tackle it. But this is Labour, whose intellectual faculties are so crippled by political correctness that not offending would-be immigrants has become more important than saving the lives of British people.

Doctors who have inquired whether they should be draining their HIV budgets by treating illegal immigrants have been ordered by senior officials to stop causing trouble. The PHLS's press releases have seriously misled the British media about what is happening.

When I wrote in the Times demanding Canadian-style health tests, government officials denounced me as a fascist, and David Blunkett echoed that view in the House of Commons. But one of the government's own advisers rang me up and said, 'It is far bigger than BSE, claiming far more lives than BSE, and it's being covered up.' One worried health official told me, 'It's just a matter of basic honesty with the British public, but ministers are worried about racism.'

So, instead, the government has launched a public campaign not to curb the influx of HIV immigrants, but to tell teenagers to wear condoms. Rather than stem the deluge of imported hepatitis B infections, the government is planning to vaccinate every child in Britain to protect them from it.

A few weeks ago, the crescendo of warnings from doctors was such that the government launched a review of its life-threatening policies. But don't hold your breath. Alarmed at the number of HIV-positive nurses it was recruiting, the NHS recently held a review of HIV tests for medical staff. All staff must now have HIV tests, but they won't be used to stop infected nurses coming to Britain, claiming free lifelong treatment and spreading the disease. Instead, they will be used to decide which hospital department infected nurses should work in. Make no mistake. These are serious epidemics. And they are all Labour's fault.

Up

Disease
How the Government endangers British lives [1]
Anthony Browne
The Spectator, 25 January 2003

We live in fear of foreigners bringing death to our own land. Tony Blair said on Tuesday that it was 'inevitable' that al-Qa'eda would try to launch a terrorist attack on the United Kingdom; but immigrant terrorists are by no means the most potent threat to British lives. It is not through letting in terrorists that the government's policy of mass immigration - especially from the Third World - will claim the most lives. It is through letting in too many germs.

From exotic cuisines to driving entrepreneurialism, Third World immigration brings many good things to this country. But it also brings the epidemics that blight the poorer countries: HIV infection, tuberculosis and hepatitis. And the diseases that mass immigration is bringing to Britain will probably claim more British lives in the long run than terrorism. The thousands of infected immigrants who are arriving in Britain each year are doubling the rate of HIV, trebling the rate of TB, and increasing twentyfold the rate of hepatitis B. All of these are life-threatening diseases which could be, and in some cases have been, passed on to the host community. Between them they claim six million lives a year worldwide. TB can be cured, but HIV infection and hepatitis B can only be treated - at huge expense to the NHS. Even if victims survive for many years, HIV and hepatitis B are incurable.

Britain's new epidemics are the direct result of Labour policy. The government is not only importing epidemics, but is also failing to tackle them and indeed is trying hide what is happening from the British public. Obviously the government has no desire to spread disease, but its fear of being branded racist means that this is precisely what it is doing. The government is culpable. These are Blair's epidemics - and to think I voted for the man. ...

The government has made much noise about cutting back on abuse of the asylum system - which is, of course, used as a means of immigration - but, through fear of the refugee lobby, it has done virtually nothing. While almost every other European country has managed to slash the number of asylum-seekers, the numbers coming to Britain grows rapidly. Last year they swept past 100,000 - a dramatic increase on the 40,000 in 1996.

On top of this, the government has said that it wants immigration at a rate of at least 150,000 settlers a year. It has increased more than fourfold the number of work permits, most of which can lead to a passport, from 41,000 in 1996 to a target of 175,000 this year, with people from the Third World making up almost all the increase. In addition, it increased the number of student visas to more than 339,000 last year, with two thirds coming from the Third World or Eastern Europe.

David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has said that he wants fewer holiday workers from Australia and New Zealand (which have good public health) and more from Africa and Asia (which are blighted by epidemics). The government has tripled net immigration - the numbers arriving, less those leaving - from the Third World and Eastern Europe from almost 70,000 in 1996 to almost 200,000 last year. And it is promising more - it is passing legislation this year that will make Britain the only major Western European nation to give 73 million Eastern Europeans, who also suffer high disease rates, the right to immigrate and be given free medical treatment.

Britain has no health tests for immigrants, either as a condition of entry or in the form of compulsory screening after they arrive.

...

Up

Disease
How the Government endangers British lives [2]
Anthony Browne
The Spectator, 25 January 2003

Professor Lord Turnberg, the former chairman of the Public Health Laboratory Service, has said that Britain must protect the public and the NHS by introducing immigrant health tests. But the government has dismissed as 'fascist' any criticism of its policy that an immigrant cannot be prevented from coming to Britain and getting free healthcare just because they carry a lethal contagious disease that threatens the lives of British people and requires expensive lifelong treatment. The government, clearly, is determined that the immigration system must be run in the interests of immigrants, not the British.

New Labour has made it official policy that carrying a lethal contagious disease is grounds for immigrants being allowed to remain in Britain once they are through immigration. By applying its beloved Human Rights Act to everyone who sets foot in Britain, the Labour government has decided that if treatment is unavailable in their home country, anyone with a life-threatening condition, such as HIV infection, hepatitis B or TB, has a right to stay in the UK and be treated on the NHS - even if they are here on a tourist visa, or illegally. In fact, all the 28 million HIV-positive people in Africa have to do to save their lives is get into Britain. We are now witnessing significant health migration, with seriously sick people coming to Britain on tourist and student visas and then using legal-aid- funded immigration lawyers to apply under the Human Rights Act to get lifelong treatment in Britain. HIV charities even have immigration departments to help them do it. You cannot blame them; you and I would do exactly the same in their situation.

The government is further accelerating the epidemic by going on a massive recruitment drive for nurses from sub-Saharan Africa, where as many as one in three adults is HIV positive. As a result, 700 HIV-positive nurses are entering the country each year. Each of them is allowed to bring in an HIV-positive spouse, and both will receive NHS treatment costing GBP 11,000 a year for the rest of their lives, a potential total cost to the NHS of GBP 1 million. One HIV doctor told me that some hospitals are spending their entire HIV budgets treating their imported nurses.

Since the government insists that it is unfair to deny people the right to come to Britain to work or study just because they carry lethal diseases, the outcome of its mass-immigration programme from the world's most diseased countries is inevitable.

Britain is, in some respects, rapidly becoming one of the world's most diseased countries. Last year, African immigration overtook gay sex as the main cause of HIV in Britain, and a quarter of all those being treated by the NHS for HIV are now African immigrants. Government figures show that more than 2,000 HIV infections were imported last year, which could cost the NHS GBP 1 billion. The fact that those lives will be saved is wonderful, but the government's policy of tackling the African Aids holocaust by giving NHS treatment to those who can afford the plane ticket to Britain is totally irrational. Spending these vast sums in Africa itself would save millions of lives, not just thousands.

Effective HIV policies kept the number of new HIV cases in Britain steady at about 2,600 a year before Labour was elected in 1997, but the government has succeeded in doubling it to about 5,000 last year. HIV - which still kills about 400 people a year in Britain - is now spreading to the resident population, so that contracting HIV from heterosexual sex with infected immigrants has overtaken both injecting drugs and mother-to-baby transfer as a source of infection. About 200 people acquired HIV from immigrants last year, the same number as were killed in the Bali bombings.

Up

Disease
TB in parts of London worse than Third World
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2002

Rates of tuberculosis in some areas of London are higher than in parts of the developing world and the disease in Britain is running ahead of efforts to contain it, campaigners said yesterday. ...

Paul Sommerfeld, chairman of TB Alert, ... told a briefing in the House of Commons ... that rates in Britain were at a 10-year high. Rates in London had doubled in 15 years, ...

Sixty per cent of cases were acquired abroad and a pilot study has shown that 17 per cent of cases are among asylum seekers.
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DIVERSITY

Diversity
Councils urged to move groups of ethnic families into all-white estates
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 4 November 2007

Ethnic minority families will be moved in large groups on to "unwelcoming" all-white council estates under controversial guidelines from a Government agency.

The Housing Corporation claims that Asian or black tenants may be less likely to face racism if they are transferred in numbers.

The recommendation is included in a book of guidelines for councils and housing associations on how to create racial harmony. ...

The Housing Corporation, which hands out £2 billion a year of public money for the construction of new social housing, endorses the "group lettings" policy in a book of guidelines published this month, Community cohesion and housing - a good practice guide.

The book, published with the Chartered Institute for Housing, says that such measures may be needed "when a 'white' estate is unwelcoming to newcomers but has larger properties that should be accessible to all those in need".

The solution, it suggests, is to make an exception to the normal rules in order to ensure that "households from a particular minority move to the same area at about the same time".

The recommendation comes despite an admission by the book's authors, John Perry and Bob Blackaby, that white people already feel that housing allocation is biased against them.
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EGALITARIANISM

Egalitarianism – housing, USA
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Steven A. Holmes
New York Times, 30 September 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets – including the New York metropolitan region – will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates – anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans. ...

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's. ...

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.
[Site link]

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EMIGRATION

Emigration
Britons leave in record numbers
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2007

More people are leaving Britain than at any time for a generation, official figures showed yesterday.

The number emigrating in the 12 months to July 2006 reached 385,000, the highest since present counting methods were introduced in 1991. ...

Almost 200,000 of those leaving for a year or more were British citizens and the rest were foreign nationals returning home or going elsewhere. ...

David Nicholson-Lord, of the Optimum Population Trust, said: "Evidence strongly suggests emigration is driven by a perceived decline in UK quality of life, with congestion, queues, overcrowding and general 'lack of space' a key element."
[Newspaper link]

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Emigration – Slovakia
Slovakia runs out of workers as they are lured by West
Harry de Quetteville
Daily Telegraph, 23 July 2007

Maria Hirschnerova, who runs an employment agency in Slovakia, has a problem: she is running out of people to employ. ...

According to Miss Hirschnerova, the problem is not a dearth of qualified Slovaks. On the contrary. The trouble is that they are not in Slovakia. Instead they have chased the comparative financial rewards that even menial jobs can bring in cities such as London and Dublin.

Some 75,000 Slovaks are thought to live in Britain. This emigration has caused an employment problem across Slovakia, with its population of 5.5 million, which is echoed across central Europe. ...

Today, worker drought is a real headache for new investors in Slovakia, lured to a region whose strategic central European position and good transport infrastructure once came with a plentiful supply of cheap, well- trained labour. ...

A new report from the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies found that so many skilled workers have left central Europe for "old" EU members states that labour shortages are blighting the region. ...

Poland and the Czech Republic have introduced new "qualified workers from abroad" schemes to attract labour - sometimes from as far afield as India or Tajikistan - in exchange for permanent residency permits.
[Newspaper link]

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Emigration
Migration tally reveals British brain drain
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 8 April 2007

International migration is eroding Britain's skills base, with an exodus of professionals matching the arrival of low-skilled foreign migrants, the Government is to be warned.

The number of Britons emigrating has jumped in recent years, with a growing proportion leaving professional or managerial jobs to work overseas.

Meanwhile, the number of immigrant workers - many of them manual labourers - has risen sharply.

The extent of the problem will be revealed in the annual report on international migration from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to be published this summer.

The section on Britain has been written by John Salt of University College London, an expert on migration and an adviser to the OECD and the European Union.

In it, he says: "The evidence suggests that migration flows are tending towards a de-skilling of the UK labour market, which is gaining manual and clerical workers but losing professionals and managers." ...

Prof Salt's report is also critical of the new points-based system for assessing the skills of would-be migrant workers, due to be launched by the Home Office later this year. ...

Until recently, business leaders were broadly supportive of the Government's position on migration.

However, a report last month by the British Chambers of Commerce revealed that seven out of 10 of its members are now opposed to unchecked immigration. ...

Between 2000 and 2005, a net total of 272,000 Britons emigrated, while a net total of 639,000 non-Britons moved to the UK.
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Emigration
Bored and bitchy – the Brits who settle for Costa living
Neil Tweedie
Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2006

There is a certain irony to the lifestyle of many British people in Spain. While many cite excessive immigration and a refusal of Muslims and others to integrate into British society as reasons for quitting the UK, they are often no better when it comes to their host nation.

The self-sustaining scale of the British community, combined with ready access to British television via cable or satellite, means that life can be lived largely in isolation from Spanish culture.

Joan Critchley helps to run a newcomers' organisation on the Costa Blanca. "A lot of people come over here and try to turn it into England in the sun. The British can be very hypocritical about integrating," she said.
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Emigration
One in 10 Britons is now living abroad
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2006

One in 10 British nationals now lives abroad, with Australia and Spain the two favourite destinations, a study has found. Last year, nearly 200,000 moved overseas to settle - the equivalent of one every three minutes - bringing the total number to more than 5.5 million.

Another one million are set to pack their bags for good over the next five years and a further 500,000 live abroad for part of the year - either because they work in other countries or have second homes.

The research form the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that the British are the most footloose people in the world. Not only do more British live abroad than any other nationality, they are also more spread out.

There are 41 countries with more than 10,000 British living there and another 71 countries with more than 1,000. ...

The latest research shows that far from being pensioners looking for a retirement in the sun, many leaving today are young and highly skilled.

Four in 10 emigrating in 2004 were in managerial or professional occupations. ...

Around the world, the number of people who claim British ancestry or ethnicity total 58 million. ...

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah and Catherine Drew, the authors of the IPPR report, said the strong economy in Britain was one of the drivers of emigration. ...

Top destinations

1 Australia 1.3 million

2 Spain 760,000

3 USA 680,000

4 Canada 600,000

5 Ireland 290,000

6 New Zealand 215,000

7 South Africa 212,000

8 France 200,000

9 Germany 115,000

10 Cyprus 59,000
[Newspaper link]

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Emigration
Why three million will flee Britain to retire abroad
Karyn Miller
Sunday Telegraph, 10 December 2006

... more than three million British pensioners will have left the UK and be living abroad by the year 2050, according to a study.

The number of expatriate pensioners is expected to soar to one in five in a phenomenon researchers have named "silver flight".

In 1981, just a quarter of a million pensioners lived overseas. Their number had swollen to more than one million by last year.

Sunshine was found to be the biggest lure, with a third of interviewees giving it as their reason for leaving. However, the researchers have also cited other reasons, including a "new notion" of retirement as a beginning in life, rather than an end.

Australia is the most popular country among expatriate pensioners, with 245,000 - nearly one in four - living there. Other popular destinations are North America, with 190,000 expatriates of pension age; Ireland, with 105,000; and Spain, with 75,000.

The report, Brits Abroad, is published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
[Newspaper link]

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Emigration – Netherlands
Dutch desert their changing country
Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2004

Last year more people left the Netherlands than arrived as migrants or asylum seekers, ... ...

The new wave of "middle-class flight" has quickened this year following rising ethnic violence and crime committed by and against immigrants, and in response to fears that social order is breaking down. ...

An all-party report by the Dutch parliament this year concluded that the country's immigration policy had been a failure, leading to sink schools and ethnic ghettoes.

The Netherlands has been transformed in barely 30 years from a tight-knit Christian society into a polyethnic state, with three million people of immigrant background.
[Newspaper link]

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EMPLOYMENT

Employment – education
Employers 'prefer migrants to poor quality British graduates'
Caroline Gammell
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2007

Labour's drive to boost the number of people going to university has produced a generation of poor quality graduates who are being outclassed by migrants, business leaders warned yesterday.

More British students are gaining degrees but they are still struggling with basic English and maths, leaving employers more inclined to recruit people from Poland and central Europe, it was claimed. ...

Richard Lambert, the director general of the CBI, said many bosses believed standards had fallen with the rapid rise in student numbers.

In a speech to university vice-chancellors, he warned: "If businesses can't find the skills or work attitudes that they need in the national workplace, they can perfectly well recruit them elsewhere."
[Newspaper link]

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Employment
Britons lose jobs to EU newcomers
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2007

The number of Britons in jobs has fallen by half a million since the UK opened its labour market to eastern European workers, official figures have revealed.

The disclosure has prompted criticism of Gordon Brown's pledge to provide "British jobs for British workers."

In 2003, there were 24,473,000 British-born UK residents in recognised employment. In 2004, Britain granted unlimited access to workers from 10 new European Union states. Employment registration data shows that more than 600,000 new Europeans have found work here since. During 2007, the number of British-born people in work was 23,948,000 – down 525,000.

The House of Commons Library compiled the data from the Government's Labour Force Survey for James Clappison, a Tory member of the Commons Home Affairs Committee.
[Newspaper link]

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Employment – armed forces
One in 10 soldiers is not British
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2007

Almost one in 10 soldiers in the British army is from an overseas country, provisional figures show.

Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers make up 6,780 of the Army's total strength of 100,000, a figure that rises by 3,000 when Gurkhas from Nepal are counted.

The overseas troops, including those in the Royal Navy (570) and the Royal Air Force (50), come from more than 40 countries.

The number of soldiers recruited from abroad rose from 300 in 1998 to 6,460 in 2005, excluding the Gurkhas.
[Newspaper link]

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Employment – doctors and nurses
Health chiefs are bleeding Africa dry, say MPs
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2007

The scale of the influx of foreign doctors and nurses into the British health service is disclosed today as figures show nearly 190,000 doctors and nurses have come to the country from outside the EU in just eight years.

MPs said that Government figures showed health service chiefs were "bleeding" African countries dry of their medical professionals.

Nearly 16,000 nurses from Zimbabwe were given permits to work in the past eight years, including 1,600 last year.

Yet since 2005, Zimbabwe and other developing countries have been on a list of countries from which health chiefs are not allowed to recruit.

The figures obtained by James Clappison, the Conservative MP for Hertsmere, showed that the Home Office gave work permits to 22,080 doctors and 165,780 nurses from non-EU countries between 1999 and 2006. ...

Of the non-EU figure, at least 64,000 doctors and nurses came from African countries, increasing from 2,600 in 1999 to 17,620 last year. ...

The DoH said that while NHS trusts are banned from actively trying to enlist from Africa, there is little to stop doctors and nurses applying for work permits to come to Britain.
[Newspaper link]

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Employment – doctors
20 doctors apply for every surgery post
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2007

Junior doctors hoping to become surgeons will face competition from at least 19 other candidates for every post next year, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Doctors have been warned that competition for training posts will be even tougher after judges ruled that British graduates cannot be given priority over candidates from outside Europe.

In next year's recruitment process there are expected to be three candidates for every post but the situation will be worse in surgery.

For the most popular specialities, there will be at least 20 applicants for each place – double the number this year. ...

This year there were 15,600 training places available and about 29,000 applicants. Next year there will be about 9,000 posts with the same number of candidates.
[Newspaper link]

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Employment
100,000 lose out to migrants in hunt for work
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2007

More than 100,000 young Britons may have been pushed into unemployment by the new wave of Eastern European immigrants, an economic analysis of the impact of migration reveals today.

The study, by the influential Ernst & Young ITEM Club, found that although the recent influx has boosted Britain's economy and kept inflation low, it may have increased unemployment for younger Britons and reduced pay increases for all. ...

Since 2004, the number of unemployed British 18 to 24 year olds has increased by 100,000, according to the study. "There is some evidence that the growth of immigrant employment seen in the last few years may have come at the expense of the domestic workforce," the report concludes. ...

Peter Spencer, the chief economic adviser to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club, said: "We have seen big increases in industrial costs and food prices which have not led to significantly higher wages.

"One of the main reasons for this is that workers have been in a very weak position with overseas workers in a position to take their jobs.

"Immigration has been unequivocally good economically in terms of the benefits for lower inflation and interest rates. However, the fact is that wage increases have been held down."
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Employment
11,000 migrants working illegally as security guards
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2007

As many as 11,000 foreign nationals could be working illegally in the security industry, the Home Secretary told MPs yesterday.

The figure is more than twice that admitted to by the Government previously. It also represents one in four of all the non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals licensed to work as guards.

Jacqui Smith said checks had found that nearly 40,000 non-EEA citizens had been given licences by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the government agency that checks whether employees have a criminal record.

Of these, 6,653 did not have a right to work in Britain and a further 4,447 had been unable to show that they were entitled to work.

Miss Smith said the licences of those who had no right to work would be revoked and their names would be handed over to the immigration authorities. Further checks were being made on those unable to show entitlement.

Some had subsequently produced documents showing they had rights to work, she said.

So far, 409 licences have been revoked and 10,000 letters have gone out threatening to withdraw licences.

The individuals had 42 days to appeal against revocation. ...

Miss Smith said it was for employers, and not the SIA, to check whether someone has a right to work in Britain. ...

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, said it was extraordinary that the application form for a security licence did not ask whether the would-be guard was entitled to work in the country.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman and leadership contender, said: "This latest belated revelation of Keystone Cops incompetence truly takes the breath away."
[Newspaper link]

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Employment
80pc of Labour's new jobs 'have gone to foreigners'
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2007

More than 80 per cent of new jobs created by Labour over the last decade have gone to foreign-born workers, a new analysis of official figures claimed last night.

The Statistics Commission found in a study that 1.4 million of the 1.7 million jobs created since 1997 had been filled by those born overseas. ...

The Statistics Commission was asked to study the proportion of foreign workers filling new jobs in Britain following confusion over Government statistics released in the autumn.

After publishing incorrect data, ministers said that 2.1 million jobs had been created in the past decade – 54 per cent of which, or 1.1 million, had gone to foreign workers.

However, the Statistics Commission said the proportion of new jobs going to foreigners was as high as 81 per cent.

Firstly, it used a lower estimate – 1.7 million – for the number of new jobs created since Labour came to power. This figure is lower because it excludes jobs taken by people over pensionable age.

It also used a higher estimate of 1.4 million for the number of foreign workers who have taken these jobs. This includes the 1.1 million in the Government figures, plus an additional 300,000 workers who were born abroad but have British citizenship.

By using these estimates, it came up with the higher proportion of 81 per cent.

The Commission says that Government departments are discussing which one should become the standard measure. ... ...

Last night, the Department of Work and Pensions defended its use of the lowest figure.
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Employment
NEW MIGRANT JOBS MADNESS
Tom Whitehead
Sunday Express, 23 November 2007

Employers will break race relations laws if they refuse to consider foreigners for jobs, even if the candidates do not speak English, the Home Office warned yesterday.

And any job applicant, including British candidates, will be treated as a potential illegal immigrant and have to prove they have a right to work in the UK.

The warnings came as ministers announced that employers who hire illegal immigrants will face £10,000 fines for every unauthorised worker.

Critics fear that the penalties will hit small firms and families who employ nannies and do not have the experience to spot fake documents.

The warnings were contained in race relations guidance issued yesterday alongside the Government's new offensive to tackle illegal workers.

It comes two weeks after it emerged that 5,000 illegal migrants had been cleared to work as security guards.

The Home Office document said: "Indirect discrimination means imposing a condition or requirement which applies equally to everyone, but is harder for people from particular racial groups to satisfy and which cannot be justified.

"For example, it would be discriminatory to ask for a very high standard of English when the job does not require this, or to reject an applicant who has an unfamiliar accent."

Shane Brennan, spokesman for the Association of Convenience Stores, said: "Being able to communicate with customers in English is a vitally important requirement in business."

The document also suggested the safest way to avoid discrimination when checking if an applicant is an illegal immigrant is to check everyone.

It means British applicants will have to prove who they are by showing a passport or birth certificate.
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Employment
Mass migration 'forcing Britons to take less secure jobs'
Lewis Carter
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2007

British workers are being forced to take less secure jobs because of mass migration, an influential economist has said.

An influx of foreign workers has damaged job security by increasing the number of temporary and short-term posts, said Professor David Blanchflower, a member of the interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee. He said the trend was leading to stagnation in long-term growth, with employers using migrants to avoid permanent contract costs such as pension contributions.

Shops, pubs, restaurants and other parts of the service sector are now almost entirely staffed by migrant workers, Prof Blanchflower claimed. ...

Employment figures reported yesterday show that the number of temporary workers in the UK has risen by 12 per cent in the past year, from 355,000 to 400,000. The number of permanent jobs created over the same period is a little over 1,000. The professor's concerns came to light as unemployment continues to rise, with official figures showing that the number of unemployed people increased by 6,000 between July and September to 1.67 million.
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Employment
Minister admits 'British' plan for job training is open to all
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2007

Gordon Brown's pledge of "British jobs for British workers" appeared to be unravelling last night after a minister admitted that new training places intended to help the home-grown workforce will go to foreigners.

John Denham, the Skills Secretary, indicated that foreign workers would be eligible for schemes that had been publicised as a way to ensure British workers could compete better against immigrants.

Some of the seven and a half million training places - announced last Friday - would go to foreign nationals, Mr Denham conceded. ...

Mr Denham's admission came after the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills confirmed that many training places would be equally open to foreigners.

European Union citizens are entitled to take up Modern Apprenticeships, courses at further education colleges and a range of skills-based courses. Asylum seekers and those granted leave to remain are also able to take up Entry to Employment courses.
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Employment
Immigrants push workers to record
Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2007

The number of people in work has risen to the highest level on record, due largely to the influx of immigrants.

Official figures showed total employment rose 69,000 over the quarter to September, to 29.2m, while the claimant count of unemployment fell 9,900 in October to 824,800.

But in a sign the labour market is expanding fast due to immigration, the number of unemployed also rose by 6,000 to 1.67m.
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Employment – medicine
Priority for UK medics is unlawful
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2007

British-trained doctors cannot be given priority for training posts in the NHS over foreign medics, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

It means junior doctors, who each cost the British taxpayer £250,000 to put through medical school, could miss out on training posts to doctors from overseas.

The court said guidance from the Department of Health that junior doctor training posts should be offered to overseas applicants only if no UK or European doctor was suitable was unlawful.

British junior doctors will now face even tougher competition for posts next year, with three candidates expected for every job.
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Employment
Foreigners fill half new jobs
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2007

More than half of all new jobs created under Labour have gone to foreigners, the Government was forced to admit last night.

The revelation was the second embarrassment over immigration figures for ministers in the space of 24 hours. ...

However, in interviews yesterday morning, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, insisted the majority of jobs created since 1997 had gone to British workers. Government officials briefed that immigrants had taken just 40.7 per cent. But last night it emerged that the 1.1 million migrant workers constituted 52 per cent of the 2.1 million new jobs created under Labour. ...

There was further speculation last night that the figure was higher still, after the Government admitted that it did not include immigrants in temporary accommodation.

Frank Field, a former cabinet minister, claimed the figure should be 1.6 million as the new estimate was based on figures from 2003, before the European Union was enlarged.
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Employment
No clue on migrants in UK
Graeme Wilson
The Sun, 31 October 2007

Labour were accused of being CLUELESS over immigration last night.

The charge was made as ministers admitted 1.5 million foreign workers have surged into Britain since 1997.

That's nearly DOUBLE their original estimate. And the figure - changed from 800,000 to 1.1 million on Monday night - was revised heavily upwards for the second time in 24 hours.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was sent reeling by the shambles as it emerged the true total may be even HIGHER as it does not include migrants who live in hostels, boarding houses, caravan parks or hotels.

Ex-Labour minister Frank Field - whose questions exposed the errors - warned it could be 1.6 million. ...

The mayhem dates back to October 8, when Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain told the Commons 800,000 foreigners had taken jobs here over the last ten years.

On Monday he admitted the figure was 1.1million - and issued a formal apology.

Then yesterday it emerged that Britain's national statistician Karen Dunnell sent a letter to ministers in July revealing the total was 1.5 million. As the row exploded, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was forced to say sorry. ...

It was also disclosed yesterday that ministers were told they had underestimated the influx a YEAR ago.

Last October, the independent National Institute of Economic and Social Research put it at 1.2 million.

Yet despite this, the Government stuck to its original estimate of 800,000.

Institute director Martin Weale said: "Given the sensitivity of these figures, I would have hoped they would have checked them more thoroughly."

If Mr Field's 1.6 million figure is correct, it would mean only 1.1 million of the 2.7 million new jobs created in Labour's reign have gone to Brits - despite the PM's pledge to generate British work for British people.

Mr Field said: "There has been an explosion of people moving to this country to find work." ...

Whitehall's confusion grew last night as Department for Work and Pensions officials said 1.1 million foreigners had taken newly-created jobs since 1997.

They added that a further 400,000 from overseas had filled existing vacancies, bringing the total to 1.5 million.

But in yet another about-turn hours later, the same officials said the 400,000 were actually "UK citizens" who were born abroad.

As the furore deepened, the Government tried to regain lost ground by announcing that restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian workers WILL remain in force until the end of next year.
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Employment
300,000 migrants left out of figures
James Kirkup and Gary Cleland
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2007

The Government was last night forced to apologise after admitting that false information about the number of immigrant workers was given to the Commons.

Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary, admitted that 300,000 foreign citizens working in Britain were left out of official statistics. Some 1.1 million people from abroad had taken jobs in Britain since 1997, the Government said. The previous figure was 800,000. The misleading figures had been given to MPs in written parliamentary answers.

This means foreign nationals have taken 40.7 per cent of the 2.7 million jobs created over the period and now account for about eight per cent of the 29.1 million people in work in the UK.

The DWP insisted that ministers had used the earlier estimate "in good faith" and attributed the rise to more detailed analysis of data.

"I apologise for having to make this revision. I am sure you will understand these calculations are not straightforward," Mr Hain wrote in a letter to the Speaker and the opposition parties.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, admitted that officials still did not know where the foreign workers had come from. He told Channel 4 News: "It's one of the reasons why we are introducing systems to count people in and out."
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Employment
Brown's 'British jobs for Britons' vow could break EU discrimination laws
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2007

Gordon Brown's high-profile pledge to find "an extra 500,000 British jobs for British workers" is likely to be illegal under European law, according to a parliamentary study released today.

The promise was a key plank of the Prime Minister's "vision" to win over delegates at the Labour conference and Trades Union Congress.

However, a report by the impartial House of Commons library says that European law stipulates that workers from EU member countries must "enjoy equal treatment" when applying for jobs under European treaties signed by Labour.

"Both direct and indirect discrimination against migrant workers from the EU is prohibited," it adds.

The study, requested by the Conservatives, ...

The Government is intending to deliver on Mr Brown's pledge by allocating the extra jobs to British workers who are currently claiming benefits and are on state-sponsored schemes to gain employment. ...

Yesterday, a Downing Street source insisted that Mr Brown would be delivering on the pledge, which has formed the centrepiece of speeches over the past month designed to appeal to Conservative voters.

"I think they are misunderstanding how we are intending to deliver these jobs for people who are claiming jobseekers' allowance," he said.

"It is slightly ludicrous to say that anything we deliver to people on benefits might be a breach of EU law. There has been no suggestion from any other European countries or the Commission that it is remotely problematic."
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Employment
Immigrants better workers, says Sainsbury's
Gary Cleland
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2007

Immigrant workers have a "superior" work ethic to British employees, according to the supermarket giant Sainsbury's.

The company said it found immigrants to be more flexible and happier with their terms and conditions in employment.

It added that employing migrant workers in its stores often had a positive impact on the domestic staff. Sainsbury's was giving evidence to a House of Lords inquiry into the impact of immigration.

In a written submission, it said that it had greatly increased the number of immigrants it employed over the past two years and would likely continue to do so in future. ...

The company, which employs 150,000 people, said it did not specifically recruit migrant workers and looked for the "highest calibre recruit" for any vacancy. ...

Prof David Blanchflower, who sits on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, told the peers that immigration had increased "fear of unemployment" in the UK and that increased competition for jobs was likely to "have a downward impact on pay". ...

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said that 382,000 eastern Europeans had moved to the UK since their countries joined the EU in 2004.
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Employment
Half of new jobs go to foreigners
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2007

More than half of all new jobs have gone to foreigners since Labour came to power, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

The statistics put Britain at the bottom of a European league of countries for getting jobs for its own citizens.

The figures, compiled by the House of Commons library using data from the European Labour Force Survey, showed that, between 1997 and 2006, 54 per cent of all new jobs in Britain - 862,000 jobs - were taken by foreigners, compared to 731,000 jobs for Britons.

Over the same period, the number of British nationals in the workforce went up by 2.8 per cent, compared to a 90 per cent increase in the number of foreigners.
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Employment – multiculturalism
Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson
Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2007
[Interview]

... Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary. ...

His other priority is getting people off benefit and into work - to "think the unthinkable on welfare", as Tony Blair promised to do in 1997. "I have been travelling around the country and I am convinced that there are hundreds of thousands more people who are on incapacity benefits or income support - lone parents and older workers - who with personal help could move off benefits and into jobs." One problem, according to the minister, is that British workers are too choosy. "There are some jobs that British workers don't want to do such as picking fruit and vegetables and the farmers have to fill the gaps in the Labour market with migrants."

Mr Hain said that the recruitment drive is, "explicitly a British jobs for British people campaign". Although he insists that he is proud of Britain's "multicultural society", he says: "If there were two people identically qualified, socially skilled and personable, one British and one not, of course it's better to recruit a British person. It's better for employees and employers - they're more likely to get loyalty and a long term relationship."

Mr Hain, who was brought up in South Africa and spent his teens fighting against apartheid, says: "I'm a passionate anti-racist and everybody knows that. This is about priorities and my priorities are to get British people into jobs." Immigration is the one area in which Labour is behind the Tories in private polling presented to the Cabinet this week. Mr Hain is determined to address that before the General Election.
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Employment – sport
End of a schoolboy dream as foreign talent dominates football youth schemes
David Harrison
Sunday Telegraph, 22 July 2007

For thousands of schoolboy footballers, the goal has long been to rise through the junior ranks of the big clubs.

But their hopes of following players such as David Beckham and Steven Gerrard, who joined clubs as children, are turning into little more than dreams.

A new wave of foreign footballers are being recruited from the age of 16 as potential future stars, making it impossible for most English youngsters to make the grade.

Leading figures fear potentially catastrophic consequences for the English national team and grassroots sport.

Howard Wilkinson, the chairman of the League Managers Association, said foreign dominance will damage English football and jeopardise the national side's chances of winning, or even qualifying for, big tournaments.

He said that there is expected to be "a knock-on effect at grassroots level where young players would have even fewer role models".

One manager with 10 years' experience in youth football said it was "the end of the dream" for thousands of English boys who play football in the park and join amateur teams, desperate to become professional footballers.

A few years ago there was only a handful of foreign players in English youth academies. But at present almost half the academy "scholars" at some clubs are foreign and more than a third at others. ...

Some clubs are already setting up "feeder" academies in countries as far away as China and Nigeria to discover young talent. ...

Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's head of youth development, who came through the junior ranks at West Ham and went on to play for England, said the crisis was "a serious concern". "Even a few years ago nobody foresaw this explosion of young foreign imports," he said.
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Employment
Surprise surge appears to be a Polish phenomenon
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2007

Barbara Tuge-Erecinska, Poland's ambassador to London, estimated last month that there are 600,000 Poles in the UK. There are only four cities in Poland - Warsaw, Lodz, Cracow and Wroclaw - with a bigger population.

The Government and employers have hailed this influx as a godsend for a runaway economy crying out for labour. ...

Research carried out by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research concluded that between 60,000 and 90,000 of the rise in joblessness since 2004 can be directly attributed to competition for jobs from foreigners.

Unemployment is rising faster in Britain than at any time in the past 15 years, with nearly 1.7 million out of work.
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Employment
New immigrants' wages falling behind
Caroline Muspratt
Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2006

A wage gap is emerging between new immigrants and UK-born workers, according to the Bank of England's latest quarterly report.

Immigrants who have entered the country in the past two years appear to be more educated than both workers who were born in the UK and previous waves of overseas workers, according to the report. ...

The report said that 17pc of the UK-born population has a degree compared with 45pc of new immigrants. According to the Labour Force Survey, around 10pc of all managers in the UK last year were foreign born.
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Employment
Four years after Sangatte, most of the rescued migrants are out of work
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 10 December 2006

Most of the 1,000 immigrants allowed into Britain from the Sangatte Red Cross centre are now jobless, an investigation has found.

Four-fifths have claimed Job Seekers' allowance at some time since entering the UK in December 2002 as part of a deal with France to shut the hostel. A third has never been in work.

The group, mainly young men from northern Iraq and Afghanistan, were invited to Britain by David Blunkett when he was home secretary. He promised they would work and pay taxes.

"We will ensure that those who might have reached Britain clandestinely will not be subject to continuing support from the British taxpayer," he said, announcing the Sangatte deal to MPs. The men were treated as economic migrants rather than refugees and were granted free accommodation, English lessons, training and help with finding employment.

Yet according to figures obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions, only 42 per cent were known to be in work at the most recent count, in April. Up to 25 per cent were on benefits. The rest had disappeared.

... Last week the men's four-year permits to live here expired, although most are expected to get extensions. None is likely to be sent home.
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Employment – nurses
Nurses from overseas face the axe
Robert Colvile and Amy Iggulden
Daily Telegraph, 14 August 2006

New rules designed to safeguard jobs for British trainee nurses could mean that thousands of foreign nurses already employed here are forced out of work.

With as many as 80 per cent of nursing graduates unable to find work, the Government has - with effect from today - removed nursing from its list of professions that bypass immigration rules.

This means that overseas nurses will be given a job only if no suitable applicants come forward from Britain or Europe. But the change also applies to existing nurses from overseas once they reach the end of their contracts. ...

Those who failed to find new jobs would face losing their leave to remain in the country if they could not find a new employer willing to sponsor their work permit. However, nurses who have been here for five years could apply for settlement.
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Employment
Migrants 'are threat to low pay action'
Richard Tyler
Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2006

The growing use of migrant labour is a "major challenge" to the effective working of the national minimum wage, a member of the Low Pay Commission has warned.

The threat has prompted the commission to focus its research on the impact of migrant labour and the implications for enforcement. ...

One of the three independent commissioners, William Brown, professor of industrial relations at Cambridge University, ... ...

Official figures released last week showed that, while the total labour market is increasing, so is unemployment and the rise in part-time work has levelled off. Prof Brown said that migrant labour sought out full-time jobs, even if they paid less. "It's a sign that to some extent migrant labour has replaced native labour," he said of the statistics.
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Employment – illegal workers
Directors may pay for giving jobs to illegal immigrants
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2006

The Home Office is looking at the possibility that company directors who employ illegal immigrants could be disqualified, Tone McNulty, the immigration minister, confirmed yesterday.

But he said no decisions had yet been taken and the proposal was "highly speculative". ...

Richard Lambert, the director general of the CBI, said: "Any new initiative to crack down on illegal workers must be carefully considered.

"Responsible companies already make checks to ensure that they do not employ illegal workers, but lax Government policies in this area and the existence of hard-to-detect fake documents make this task difficult."
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Employment – unemployment
Unemployment reaches highest level for six years
Daily Telegraph, 13 July 2006

The number of people out of work has risen to its highest level for six years, official figures revealed yesterday.

There were 1.65 million people classed as unemployed in the three months to May, an increase of 90,000 over the quarter, and the worst since the spring of 2000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance increased by 5,900 last month to 956,600.

The so-called claimant count has now risen for 15 of the past 16 months and is 93,000 higher than a year ago. ...

The number of people in work increased by 59,000 in the latest quarter to reach 28.9 million, one of the highest on record. ...

Jim Murphy, the employment minister, said the figures showed that employment was up by more than 200,000 in the past year and was close to the highest it had ever been.
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Employment – Army recruits
One in 10 soldiers is recruited overseas
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 13 April 2006

Ten per cent of soldiers in the Army are foreign nationals, new Government figures show. ...

By the end of last year there were 6,460 foreign nationals in the Army, compared with under 300 eight years ago. The new foreign legion is drawn from 54 countries, mainly in the Commonwealth.

The Army has a further 3,000 Gurkhas recruited in Nepal, bringing the total number of foreigners to almost 10,000. That represents almost 10 per cent of its strength, which stood at 101,140 in January. ...

Fiji is the single biggest source of overseas troops, with 1,965 Fijians currently serving. ...

Jamaica is the second biggest supplier, with 975 troops serving, followed by South Africa with 650.
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Employment – education
Skills that have fallen into neglect
John Clare
Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2006

Indeed, there is a growing consensus that what employers are looking for in an increasingly service-oriented economy, and what most schools are not cultivating, are the so-called "soft" skills - qualities such as confidence, self-discipline, persistence and reliability, all of which used to be seen as aspects of character. Their outward signs include appearance, good manners and oral communication skills, all now much discounted. As Geoff Mulgan, formerly the head of Tony Blair's policy unit, put it recently: "Tens of thousands of young people are leaving school each year unprepared for the labour market and without the mix of inner discipline and outer engagement that most modern jobs demand." The consequences, he said, could be seen in "every hotel or restaurant in London, Glasgow or Birmingham where the jobs are filled by Estonians, Australians and Poles rather than unemployed locals, who employers see as ill-suited to service work". Yobs, in other words, don't get jobs.
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Employment
Indian workers 'slash IT wages'
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2005

Indian technology workers are flooding the UK on temporary permits, undercutting local wages and raising the prospect of a homegrown skills shortage, an IT association claimed. ...

Home Office immigration figures show that 21,448 foreign IT workers have been issued work permits this year, a 15pc increase on 2004 and almost double the level five years ago. Of those, 85pc now come from India. ...

Ms Swain warned that the trend, known as "onshore offshoring", could lead to a damaging skills shortage.
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Employment – discrimination
Give me a job - or I'll sue
Sunday Telegraph, 8 June 2003

Omorotu Francis Ayovuare, a Nigerian-born surveyor, may not have held a steady job for five years: he has, however, earned a certain celebrity in the world of industrial relations after launching 72 employment tribunal cases alleging racial discrimination.

At a conservative estimate, Mr Ayovuare has cost those he has accused - and they include businesses, hospitals, local authorities and the police - £500,000 in legal costs.

He has secured just two victories, both on the lesser offence of "victimisation". Yet he so frequently launches cases that tribunals have heard that he now has a template form for all his allegations: he simply fills in the name of the company and the date of the "discrimination". ...

His tally dwarfs that of Tahir Hussain, one of his closest known rivals, who has made 28 race discrimination claims. ...

New measures will be introduced in Parliament on Wednesday to reverse the burden of proof in race relations employment tribunal cases. Instead of an employee having to prove that he or she was treated in a racist manner, employers will in future have to prove that they did not act in such a way.

The move, bringing Britain into line with European Union regulations, is likely to increase the number of successful tribunals brought on the grounds of racism from 70,000 a year to more than 100,000.

Instead of allowing MPs a debate on the matter, however, ministers are putting the regulations onto the law books by using a statutory instrument - a procedural device which requires no debate.
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Employment
Fast-track visas for IT migrants 'hit British jobs'
Daily Telegraph, 12 May 2003

An estimated 100,000 British IT specialists were looking for work last year. At the same time the Home Office issued a record number of work permits in the sector.

It is issuing between 1,500 and 2,000 a month and there are thought to be 50,000 overseas IT workers in the country.

The work permit system has expanded rapidly from 30,000 in the early 1990s to about 130,000 in 2002.

This year David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has set a target of 175,000 permits. The scheme has become a key part of the Government's programme for curbing asylum seekers through a policy of managed migration. ...

Under the fast-track system, companies in sectors with a skills shortage can bring in foreign employees without checking whether British workers are available.
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ENVIRONMENT

Environment
Green Belt disappearing under bricks and mortar
Patrick Sawer
Sunday Telegraph, 25 November 2007

An area of Green Belt land the size of central London has been concreted over the past 10 years.

Now major companies and institutions are lobbying for thousands more acres of countryside to be turned over to housing. ...

The Government has backed many of the proposals, to the alarm of rural campaigners.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said the new figures, which are much higher than previously thought, revealed that the health of the Green Belt was under serious threat in some of the most congested parts of the country.

The data from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), show that four square miles of Green Belt has been lost to development each year since 1997. ...

South Bedfordshire District Council has been told by ministers to find space for 26,000 new homes in the Luton area by 2021 and a further 15,700 by 2031. About 75 per cent of these would need to be built on the Green Belt.
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Environment
Trust challenges Green Belt plans
Charles Clover
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2007

Britain faces an "irrevocable" loss of countryside and green spaces unless the pace of development is challenged, the Chairman of the National Trust will say today.

Sir William Proby will tell the annual meeting of trust members that protecting open spaces - not country houses - is now a "top priority". ...

Sir William will call on the Trust's 3.5 million members to submit their views on how to reconcile the need for three million new homes with the irreversible loss of open space. ...

"The statistics are terrifying - inch by inch, year by year, the redeeming, restorative qualities of our countryside and open spaces are being eroded."
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Environment – population
Country chief seeks review of green belt
Charles Clover
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2007

The head of the official body set up to protect the English countryside will call for a review of laws protecting the green belt today, amid accusations from conservationists that he has been "toothless" in facing up to the Government's housing plans.

Sir Martin Doughty, the chairman of Natural England, will say in a speech to mark the body's first anniversary that the Government's determination to build three million new homes by 2020 means that "the sanctity of green belt land should be questioned".

He will say that the green belt was mapped out 70 years ago as a solution to development pressures of the time and "was certainly not intended to deal with the complex environmental challenges that face us today".

"Nobody could deny that the green belt has achieved its primary purpose in constraining urban sprawl," Sir Martin will say. "But the consequence of this is that development tends to leapfrog over the green belt and land in much more vulnerable parts of the natural environment. We must therefore review the green belt."

Sir Martin wants environmentally friendly developments to be allowed on the 4.2 million acres of green belt designed to prevent urban sprawl, so the more remote countryside can be protected.

However, conservationists accuse Natural England of failing to fulfil its remit as an "independent and powerful guardian of our natural landscape" by accepting Government projections that three million homes are needed and by going along with the proposed speeding up of the planning system. In a report, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) accuses Natural England of failing to recognise the outstanding quality of much green belt land - in the Chilterns and Surrey Hills, Delamere Forest in Cheshire or in parts of the Pennines.
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Environment – population
Primates face extinction threat
Nic Fleming
Daily Telegraph, 26 October 2007

Almost one in three of all non-human primates - including apes and monkeys - are in danger of extinction, according to a report to be published today.

The report from the World Conservation Union (IUCN) states that 114 of the world's 394 species could be lost because of the destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade, climate change and bushmeat hunting.
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Environment – population
Green belt comes under renewed pressure
Charles Clover
Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2007

The prospect of widespread construction on green belt land was raised last night as the Government said building more affordable homes was now the "priority".

Environmentalists were warned by Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, to prepare for a showdown on the issue. ...

Miss Blears refused to rule out redrawing green belt boundaries, which are designed to stop urban sprawl. She said solving the crisis in affordable housing had to be the Government's "priority" and it would move fast. ...

"I think we are going to have a tussle," she told the Commons communities and local government committee. "But I think the priority has to be to build those homes."
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Environment – population
Michael Gove MP, Shadow Housing Minister
Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2005

The last recorded official government estimate, made in November 2004, calculated that immigration would be responsible for only about one third of new household growth.

A much bigger factor in the pressure on housing is increased longevity and the shift towards single-adult households. Managed migration makes a significant contribution to economic growth and cultural richness.
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Environment – population
Prescott 'threatens Thames heritage'
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2005
[See report of 13 December 2004 for the Government's estimate that immigration will increase the need for new homes by 50 per cent]

More than 100 historic towns and villages have their identities threatened by plans to turn the banks of the Thames estuary into a city the size of Manchester, English Heritage said yesterday.

Simon Thurley, the chief executive of the Government's conservation advisers, told a conference that building homes on the green fields between historic settlements along the Thames would destroy the soul of the area.

The Thames Gateway, stretching from the Isle of Dogs in east London to Southend, Essex, is one of the growth areas for housing where John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, wants to build 100,000 more homes that are needed locally over the next decade.
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EXTREMISM

Extremism
Fundamentalism from every angle
A.N. Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2007

You can probably imagine what Melanie Phillips's Londonistan (Gibson Square, £8.99) is like. She belongs to the Fanny Squeers school ("I am screaming out loud all the time I write"). But she has done her homework, and it is a rip-roaring bit of polemic.

The retiring head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, estimated that 100,000 of our fellow citizens approved of the London bombings in July 2005, and there are more than 1,600 known terrorists at work in Britain at the moment.

Melanie sees it all as a sign of our terrible decadence as a society, etc, etc, that this has been allowed to happen. Even if you think she plugs this (and the Zionist) line a bit too loudly, it is a good book.

Then you need to read Ed Husain's The Islamist (Penguin, £8.99), which is an absolutely stunning account of a young man, brought up by religious Muslims in the East End, educated at a very good liberal primary school, and then – during his teenage years – radicalised, much to his good parents' horror, by Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is the inside story of what these fanatics are like. ...

Finally – and it deserves much more than a mention, Michael Burleigh's Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda (Harper Perennial, £9.99) is a superbly sweeping read, very sane on Ireland, and excellent on the present set of horrors.

Do any of these books offer a solution? No, but having read them, I feel slightly better informed when I listen to yet more lunacy on the news.
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Extremism – Islam
A heavy cross to bear
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 9 December 2007

Most leading Muslims in Britain are unequivocal in their denunciation of British Muslim parents who threaten to kill their children for leaving Islam. Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), says that it is "absolutely disgraceful behaviour... In Britain, no Muslim has the right to harm one hair of someone who decides to leave Islam." Inayat Bunglawala, also a spokesman for the MCB, insists that such behaviour in Britain is "awful and quite wrong. The police should crack down on it."

And yet a significant portion of British Muslims think that such behaviour is not merely right, but a religious obligation: a survey by the think-tank Policy Exchange, for instance, revealed that 36 per cent of young Muslims believe that those who leave Islam should be killed. ...

Patrick Sookhdeo was born a Muslim, but later converted to Christianity. He is now international director of the Barnabas Fund, an organisation that aims to research and to ameliorate the conditions of Christians living in countries hostile to their religion. He notes that "all four schools of Sunni law, as well as the Shia variety, call for the death penalty for apostates. Most Muslim scholars say that Muslim religious law – sharia – requires the death penalty for apostasy.

"In 2004, Prince Charles called a meeting of leading Muslims to discuss the issue," adds Dr Sookhdeo. "I was there. All the Muslim leaders at that meeting agreed that the penalty in sharia is death. The hope was that they would issue a public declaration repudiating that doctrine, but not one of them did."
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Extremism
Warning of college extremism
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2007

Universities are in danger of becoming "breeding grounds for violent extremism" unless academics challenge hard-line views among students, the Government warned last night.

Students should be encouraged to debate controversial topics, such as the motives behind suicide bombers, to stop those with radical beliefs disappearing underground, said Bill Rammell, the higher education minister.

He also suggested that in the interests of free speech radical lecturers should be allowed to argue that suicide bombers are "justified".

Addressing the Fabian Society in London, he denied that dons were being asked to "spy" on Muslim students. But he claimed that universities which failed to confront extremism were effectively tolerating "those who incite or carry out violence in the name of abhorrent views".
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Extremism – multiculturalism
An attack that displays a crucial lack of political skill
Damian Thompson
Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2007

One wonders what the millions of Christians persecuted by Islamic terrorists and governments will make of the Archbishop of Canterbury's interview with a Muslim lifestyle magazine. If they are looking for a condemnation of Islamic violence, they will be disappointed.

Dr Rowan Williams is "surprised" by the way Pakistani Muslims perceive local Christians as "deeply threatening". He feels that the Muslim world should be ready to acknowledge that "their present political solutions aren't always very impressive" and that they should consider learning from "classical liberal democracy". And that's it.

The rest of the interview is given over to attacking the United States and "Christian Zionists" - hardly a bold stance in a Muslim magazine. ...

If the Archbishop feels that America has lost the moral high ground since September 11, then he is entitled to say so; many churchgoers will agree, and warmly endorse his suggestion that the United States should recover that ground by launching "a generous and intelligent programme of aid". ...

What this interview also displays, however, is a much more worrying confusion about the nature of radical Islam. Christians in Indonesia, Africa and the Middle East are being beaten, imprisoned, tortured and killed in the name of Allah. Moderate Muslims in Britain desperately need to be made aware of this situation.

And what has the Archbishop of Canterbury given them? Yet another sermon on the evils of Yankee imperialism.
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Up

Extremism – Islam
Many mosques 'continuing to spread messages of hate'
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2007

Extremist literature that encourages hatred of gays, Christians and Jews can be easily found at many of Britain's mosques, according to a new survey.

Researchers from the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claims it found the literature in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited. Many of the publications allegedly called on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and for unbelievers to be treated as second-class citizens wherever possible.

The literature also allegedly contained repeated calls for gays to be thrown from mountains and tall buildings and for women to be subjugated. ...

Many of the institutions were among the best funded and most active of Britain's 1,500 or so Islamic establishments. In several cases they had received official visits from politicians and even members of the royal family.
[Newspaper link]

Up

FRAUD AND CORRUPTION

Fraud and corruption – marriage
Rules to stop 'sham' marriages declared unlawful
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2007

Tough rules to stop illegal immigrants using sham marriages to get in to the country were declared unlawful by the Appeal Court yesterday.

Judges said regulations brought in two years ago to block thousands of alleged "marriages of convenience" breached human rights laws. ...

One Whitehall estimate suggested 10,000 marriages a year were bogus. The official figure was around 3,700 in 2004.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said he was considering an appeal. "Since we introduced these checks the number of suspicious marriage reports has collapsed from 3,740 to less than 300 by the end of May 2005," he said.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Fraud fear as millions of NI numbers are missing
Miles Goslett
Sunday Telegraph, 29 April 2007

Millions of National Insurance numbers have been "lost", the Government has admitted, raising fears that they are being misused by fraudsters and illegal immigrants.

The nine million numbers were issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and are registered on its database, but officials do not know if they are held legitimately.

National Insurance (NI) numbers can be used to claim benefits and tax credits, and are sometimes accepted by employers to prove the right to work legally in the UK. ...

The Government admitted in a recent parliamentary answer that there are now 76.7 million numbers on the database, well in excess of Britain's adult population of 49 million.

Some of the surplus numbers are legitimate. The DWP estimates that 16.5 million are registered in the names of dead people whose surviving spouses can lawfully claim a pension against their late spouse's NI contributions. Another 1.5 million are thought to belong to pensioners living abroad who can claim UK benefits.

However, a spokesman for the DWP said the remaining nine million had yet to be categorised. ...

It has also emerged that the Government only began recording the nationality of those issued an NI number on March 26 this year.

Last year, three fraudsters were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud HM Revenue and Customs after stealing dozens of numbers and attempting to obtain £357,000 in tax credits.

Adesola Adelana, Stephen Ayankoya and Adetutu Olowe stole 37 numbers in total and used them to help open 11 bank accounts, obtain eight forged driving licences and access nine credit cards. They were sentenced to between 30 months and four years.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption – marriage
Church acts to stem rise of 'sham marriages'
Jonathan Petre
Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2007

New marriage guidelines are being drawn up by the Church of England amid fears that its clergy may be unwittingly conducting bogus weddings.

Officials have noticed a sharp rise in the number of migrants seeking church weddings since the Government imposed a crackdown on marriages of convenience at register offices.

The Government acted in 2005 to weed out sham marriages involving foreign nationals attempting to avoid immigration controls by gaining instant British citizenship.

All non-British or European Union citizens are now required to obtain a Home Office certificate of approval to marry - a lengthy and costly process.

However, Church of England marriages are exempt from this process, and the number of applications for "common licences" - a legal preliminary for church weddings - have shot up, particularly in London. ...

The Home Office has rejected suggestions that churches could be used for sham marriages, saying that clergy would get to know couples too well.

Yet clergy, who are required to marry almost anyone in their parish regardless of their background or religion, admit that it can be difficult to discern the motives of couples who approach them.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Mystery of asylum charity's missing Lottery fund grants
Ben Leapman and Tom Harper
Sunday Telegraph, 18 March 2007

A charity was unable to account for more than £100,000 of National Lottery money, according to a damning report by the Charity Commission.

The Detainee Support and Help Unit (DSHU), run by Comfort Afolabi, received £390,000 in grants over a five-year period.

Yet an inquiry found it had suffered from "serious mismanagement" and appeared to do little charitable work.

The Community Fund, a lottery funding body, failed to detect any problems and continued to dole out cash to the charity between 1999 and 2004.

Payments were only frozen after an investigation by BBC Radio Five Live in 2005 accused Mrs Afolabi, the charity's co-ordinator, of offering to help an undercover reporter to buy a fake passport - a charge she strenuously denies.

Watchdogs launched a two-year investigation of the charity's finances. Mrs Afolabi was arrested on suspicion of fraud last May, but three months later the Metropolitan Police called off the investigation after taking informal advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. Now it is unlikely that the money will ever be recovered, or accounted for, or that anyone will be brought to justice over the affair.

The Charity Commission inquiry found that some of the grant was used to pay rent, council tax and credit card bills for Mrs Afolabi and her family. ...

The report reveals an extraordinary situation where Mrs Afolabi, the paid co-ordinator, took over control from the charity's trustees and ran the finances. Records were in disarray and bore little relationship to the actual movement of money. ...

Every month, more money left the charity's bank account than was explained by invoices. In 2002/3, the total unaccounted for was £103,984.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Taxpayers' cash funding fight to sack academic
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2007

Taxpayers are helping to fund the national body of a student organisation trying to get an academic sacked because of his links to an immigration think-tank.

Student Action for Refugees (Star) has been granted more than £150,000 over three years through the Department for Education's national voluntary youth organisation programme. It was also given a grant of £428,000 last year from the Big Lottery Fund. The Oxford branch of Star has circulated a petition seeking the removal of Prof David Coleman, a demographer and a co-founder of Migrationwatch UK. The students say Prof Coleman is lending academic credibility to an organisation that has a racist agenda. He has denounced their action as an attack "on academic independence and freedom of speech".
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
The censors of Oxford
Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2007
[Leading article]

David Coleman is a professor of demography at the University of Oxford and a highly regarded one at that. He also happens to be a co-founder of the pressure group MigrationWatch, which monitors immigration statistics with the intention of informing public debate on the issue. Should the latter disqualify him from the former? For the self-appointed thought police of Oxford Student Action for Refugees (Star), it should. They have urged Oxford's vice-chancellor, Dr John Hood, to "consider the suitability of Coleman's continued tenure as professor of the university". In other words, they want him out.

The reason given for the witch-hunt is that MigrationWatch "stirs up hostility" towards immigrants. In fact, MigrationWatch has been punctilious in the way it has carried out its remit, in the process uncovering invaluable information about the true scale of immigration to this country. These sinister busybodies evidently regard the disclosure of such inconvenient facts as dangerously subversive. ...

What gives this worrying affair an added piquancy is the fact that Star receives generous public funding. ... If these young zealots are determined to make life unpleasant for Prof Coleman, nothing, we suspect, is going to stop them. What is not acceptable is that the public should be funding their intolerance. Both the Big Lottery Fund and the DfES should make clear that, when they hand over these large sums of money, the recipients have certain responsibilities - such as respecting the opinions of others, no matter how much they may disagree with them.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption – crime
For £470, forged diplomas to help win a job in Britain
Ben Leapman and Olga Craig
Sunday Telegraph, 31 December 2006

Counterfeit work documents and qualifications are being traded on the black market in eastern Europe in an illegal scam for new immigrants to get jobs in the UK.

As Bulgaria and Romania prepare to join the European Union tomorrow, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found fake certificates and paperwork readily available for a range of jobs, including nurses, engineers and HGV drivers. For just £470, Bulgarians in the country's crime-hit capital Sofia can buy bogus degree and language qualification certificates needed to set them on the road to a work permit and a nursing job with the NHS. ...

A report from America's Central Intelligence Agency has revealed that both Bulgaria and Romania have failed to crack down on corruption and organised crime, and remain staging posts for gangs smuggling heroin and cocaine into western Europe. ...

One senior British law enforcement source said that foreign criminals were now expected to transfer their illegal operations to the UK.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
'Health tourists' leave tens of millions in NHS bills unpaid
Beezy Marsh
Sunday Telegraph, 1 October 2006

More than a third of the money spent by the NHS on treating "health tourists" last year has not been repaid.

Tens of millions of pounds are outstanding because patients from outside the European Union, who are ineligible for free treatment, have not settled bills. The problem persists, despite an attempt to crack down on it by the Department of Health in 2004.

A survey of 106 hospitals, ranging from large trusts in cities to smaller district general hospitals, revealed that treatment valued at £27 million was given to ineligible patients last year. Of that, more than £10 million has not been repaid.

If, as is likely, the trend is repeated across more than 200 NHS hospital trusts in Britain, the cost would exceed £50 million and the value of the unpaid bills would be more than £20 million. There are fears that the true cost may be higher. Previous estimates have suggested that "health tourism" costs the taxpayer as much as £200 million a year. ...

A Department of Health spokesman said that the unpaid money had not been written off. "It can take some time to receive the money from the patient's home country, so processes could still be ongoing," he said.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Home Office unveils penalties for the employers of illegal immigrants
Richard Tyler
Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2006

Business groups have criticised the Government for threatening the country's economic prosperity by penalising companies for unwittingly employing illegal immigrants.

The Home Office yesterday set out tough penalties for those firms that intentionally flout the law, including new powers to seize assets, two-year jail sentences and the ability to ban bosses from holding directorships.

John Reid, the Home Secretary, also pushed ahead with plans to fine employers £2,000 for each employee found to be an illegal immigrant even if they had provided forged documents.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Corruption rife among officials at Immigration
Ben Leapman and Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 23 July 2006

Hundreds of corruption allegations have been levelled at Home Office immigration staff in only one year.

The scale of the illegality inside the beleaguered Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) emerges today in a damning report by MPs.

Its findings come months after Tony McNulty, the former immigration minister, dismissed earlier corruption cases as "isolated incidents". ...

The MPs' report, by the Labour-dominated Commons home affairs select committee, reveals that 703 allegations were referred to the IND security and anti-corruption unit in 2004/5, of which 409 were investigated. Another 168 cases went to the Immigration Service operational integrity unit, with 120 pursued.

So far, 31 employees have been referred for prosecution and 79 for disciplinary action, but hundreds of cases are still under investigation.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Tax credits 'used by foreigners to buy homes abroad'
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2006

East European fraudsters are targeting Gordon Brown's tax credit system to raise money to buy houses in their home countries, it was claimed last night.

Whitehall's spending watchdog was urged to launch an investigation after whistleblowers revealed that workers from some of the European Union's newest members are travelling to Britain, taking low-paid jobs and then applying for tax credits.

In some cases it is believed that the claimants - who come from countries such as Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania - falsely claim that their children are living with them in Britain in order to qualify for higher payments.

Once the claim has been set up, the fraudsters return to their home country but the tax credit payments continue to be paid into their bank accounts. In some cases, fraudsters manage to make several thousand pounds in a few months. They then use the money to buy property in eastern Europe.

The scam has been revealed in a dossier sent to Richard Bacon, a Conservative MP on the Commons public accounts committee, by a Revenue and Customs official. ...

One memo from a tax official warned that the tax credit system was so vulnerable to abuse that fraud could be costing the taxpayer several billion pounds a year.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Patients put at risk as foreign nurses cheat on English tests
Lynne Wallis
Daily Telegraph, 1 July 2006

Foreign nurses are using falsely obtained English qualifications to come to Britain to work in the National Health Service, the nurses' regulatory body said yesterday.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has found that non English-speaking candidates, primarily from China and Pakistan, are claiming to have passed the required language exams in their homelands before emigrating to Britain. It has detected 12 cheats so far and is concerned that the fraud is compromising patient safety. ...

The findings come after a survey published on Thursday by the Council of Deans, the body which represents university nursing courses, found that an estimated 80 per cent of student nurses due to graduate this year have been unable to find jobs.

It is unknown how many cheats slipped through the net prior to the NMC starting its follow-up checks last September through the British Council,

... ...

The NMC is frustrated that, while it can test for English language skills outside the European Union, it is not allowed to test within the EU under EU regulations. ...

Jonathan Asbridge, the president of the NMC, told its council meeting this month: "Under this EU directive a nurse from England can practise in Greece without a word of Greek, and be deemed safe. I do not think so."
[Newspaper link]

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Fraud and corruption
'Simpler' student visa checks raise fears of more scams
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2006

The Government is risking more bogus visa applications from foreign students by lowering controls against forgery and fraud, it was claimed yesterday.

The concerns, from members of the Commons home affairs committee, came amid fears that "visa scam" foreign students are targeting universities, not just private sector language colleges, to enter Britain.

MPs have been told that applications from Nigeria for one course at Leeds University rose from about 350 in 2004 to 2,474 in 2005. But while Leeds University said most had "apparently genuine qualifications", only four began the course.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the number of student visas granted to people from just five countries had soared from 17,723 in 2000 to more than 40,000 in 2004-05.

James Clappison, a Conservative member of the committee, said the problem could get worse under a scheme to "simplify" student visa checks in which colleges will assume a greater role in validating foreign student visa applications. Mr Clappison, MP for Hertsmere, said any attempt to downgrade the ability of entry clearance officers to prevent fraudulent applications could be disastrous.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Fraud and corruption
Migrants 'wrongly paid tax credits'
Hélène Mulholland and agencies
The Guardian, 13 June 2006

Tax credits which could total millions of pounds were paid to immigrants who were not entitled to receive them, it was reported today.

An Inland Revenue document obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act suggested that some 2,700 migrants were wrongly paid the credits because officials were told to overlook irregularities in their claims.

Between April 2003 and December 2004, officials at the Inland Revenue were instructed not to investigate cases of migrant claimants who had failed an important UK residency rule, reported the Radio 4 Today programme.

According to unconfirmed BBC calculations, the total cost of the decision could amount to around £2.7m a year.

The officials were told to process the claims so long as they came with a National Insurance number, the programme said.

The Treasury is the latest department to be hit by claims of maladministration.

The government has already announced measures to close a loophole after it emerged earlier this month that national insurance numbers were being routinely issued by the Department of Work and Pensions to applicants without verifying documentation.

This enabled illegal immigrants to receive a national insurance number used by benefit claimants.

The Liberal Democrats accused ministers of sanctioning the practice to make sure that a flagship scheme of chancellor Gordon Brown was seen to be succeeding.

The party's work and pensions spokesman, David Laws, said he was "shocked" by the revelations and would table questions in parliament to find out who made the decision to order officials to process the claims.

Mr Laws said that it was "incumbent on the government" to reveal how much the wrongful payments cost. The payments may have brought the total fraud and error for the tax credit system to more than half a billion pounds a year, he suggested.

"My fear is... that ministers were so desperate that this system should succeed - this was a flagship project for the government and Gordon Brown - that they appear to have designed into the system very few of the checks and balances that the DWP usually has before it pays out benefits," said Mr Laws.

"I fear that this decision to ease the rules in April 2003 may have been taken in order to increase the take-up of tax credits and make it look as if the system was working well.

"If so, then that decision and others have been an utter disaster and have helped to discredit one of the government's own flagship schemes."

But the Treasury today denied that money had been wrongly given to ineligible claimants.

A Revenue & Customs spokesman said: "This is an inaccurate version of an old story that was widely reported last November.

"Officials were never instructed to 'overlook irregularities' where claimants had 'failed' a UK residency rule. Neither is there any new loss of money."

Up

Fraud and corruption – national insurance
Working the system: how even a fake visa will do at the Jobcentre
Richard Ford, Home Correspondent
The Times, 1 June 2006

Thousands of illegal immigrants are being issued with national insurance numbers every year even though officials know that they have suspect immigration documents.

Staff in Jobcentres have been told that they have a duty to issue an NI number even if they realise that the applicant has forged documents and no legal right to work, official papers seen by The Times reveal.

The NI number, which employers regard as a prerequisite to work, can also be used to claim various benefits.

When Jobcentre staff have evidence or suspicions that an applicant has no right to work in Britain, they pass information to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to consider prosecution. Last year, the details of 3,300 immigrants granted NI numbers on the basis of suspect documents were passed on, but the Home Office admitted yesterday that it had no figures for prosecutions. A spokesman said: "We would not have a number for prosecutions of people who falsified immigration documents in order to get a national insurance number".

Lord Grabiner, QC, who called for reform of the system in a report to ministers six years ago, last night called the situation a scandal. He said: "One of my key concerns was that if you got hold of an NI number then it gave you access to all kinds of benefits - everything that was going. It was a fundamental part of the story." ...

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "Failing to check the immigration status of individuals seeking NI numbers is one thing but deliberately issuing those numbers even when the Department for Work and Pensions suspects, and in some cases knows, the document to be forged is a travesty of the system in place".

Up

IMMIGRATION

Immigration
Cardinal calls on Britons to show more goodwill to immigrants
Jonathan Petre
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2007

Britain's most senior Roman Catholic leader, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, appealed to the nation yesterday to be more welcoming to immigrants. ...

He said: "Most immigrants come to our country because they wish to have a better life and work so as to provide for their families.

"What concerns me at the moment is our attitude as a nation to these many immigrants. Many of these people are trying, for perfectly good reasons, to enter Britain and they need to be welcomed.

"I understand that immigration needs to be controlled. However, sometimes they must feel like Joseph when he returned to Bethlehem after exile in Egypt, simply excluded because they are outsiders."

The cardinal asked: "Do we perceive them as a threat to our well-being or to our way of life, or are we able to welcome people who need that welcome? Is there any room at our inn?"
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Immigration
Brown fights dire opinion polls with border controls crackdown
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 16 December 2007

Plans for a crackdown on foreign visitors to Britain are to be unveiled this week in a fresh attempt to tighten the country's borders.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, will propose restrictions on millions of people, including those who take advantage of a system of "sponsored family visits".

Families who "sponsor" visits, on temporary visas, from relatives abroad may have to put up a cash bond – possibly of £1,000 – before their visitors are allowed in.

The move is also set to see the ordinary tourist visa having its limit halved from six months to three. ...

The crackdown comes as Gordon Brown's Government seeks to regain the political initiative, following a series of crises over the past few months which have seen Labour's support plunge in the opinion polls. ...

The Prime Minister and senior ministers intend to use immigration and plans for stronger borders as part of a New Year initiative to outflank the Tories, who they claim are weak on the issue. ...

Earlier this year, Mr Byrne announced plans to streamline the system of allowing foreign visitors into Britain from outside the EU into just four categories of visas: tourist, business, student and sponsored family visit. Only the new student category has come into force. ...

Mr Byrne is now tightening the sponsored family visit option, proposing it should be available only to British citizens who have full residency in the UK. The sponsor would in effect be fined the amount of the bond, should family visitors overstay their time in Britain or breach the terms of their visas. Ministers originally proposed such a system in March but it was rejected after strong protests from immigration rights groups.

The Government is now proposing bringing the bond measure back as part of the wide-ranging consultation exercise Mr Byrne will unveil this week. ...

Home Office figures show some 12.9 million people came into Britain temporarily last year, up more than 2.5 million over 10 years.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – population
Migrant mothers fuel baby boom
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2007

More than one in five births in Britain last year was to a woman from overseas, the first official analysis of the impact of immigration on fertility showed yesterday.

Immigrant mothers are having far more children than their British counterparts – fuelling the biggest rise in population since the 1960s baby boom.

The proportion of births to foreign mothers is up by a third since 2001 and by almost half since Labour came to power.

Fertility rates are at levels not seen for 25 years, with the highest found among Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi-born mothers. Those nationalities alone accounted for five per cent of all British babies last year.

A further four per cent were born to mothers from EU countries outside Britain and Ireland, with a growing number from eastern Europe – mainly Poland.

The Pakistani rate of 4.7 children per mother is almost three times the British-born rate of 1.7.

The study, by the Office for National Statistics, is the latest to chart the impact of record levels of immigration, which took off when Labour came to power in 1997.

It showed that 154,000 of the 749,000 births in 2006 – 21 per cent – were to immigrants. This compared to 12 per cent in 1996 and 15 per cent in 2001.

The study predicted that almost 70 per cent of the 10 million rise in population over the next 25 years would be down to immigration – either directly or via higher birth rates. ...

Karen Dunnell, the National Statistician, said that while an average of 1.7 children are born to UK mothers, among immigrant mothers the number averages 2.5.

However, while the birth rate is highest among immigrant mothers, it is also rising among British mothers, for the first time in years. ...

Sir Andrew Green, of Migrationwatch, said the figures showed how immigration was changing Britain against the wishes of the majority.

"It is time the Government took actual measures to address these concerns rather than pointing to new systems which will have very little effect on the numbers. Immigration is absolutely not the answer to an ageing population.

"They themselves would grow old and need even more immigrants to rebalance the numbers."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
New points scheme for migrants to fast track high-fliers
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2007

Young entrepreneurs, doctors and financial high-fliers will get a fast track into the UK under a new points-based immigration system that starts next year.

Minister will today set out in detail how the scheme will apply to the workers Britain is most keen to attract.

The announcement will herald a gradual introduction of the new five-tier scheme for non-EU migrants from the New Year.

Highly skilled workers with fluent English and top-drawer qualifications will be given priority. They will also be able to bring their families and to settle permanently within five years.

But the unskilled and low skilled will find it harder to obtain work and will have no rights to stay on or apply for citizenship. ...

Ministers hope the new system will restore public confidence in immigration policy, which polls show is one of the biggest concerns for voters.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – population
Waking up to the reality of migration
Daily Mail, 27 November 2007

In 2004, when the EU was enlarged to include Poland, the Baltic states and six other countries, the Government gave a glib assurance that no more than 13,000 immigrants would settle in Britain each year.

They said the effect on our public services would be negligible.

Today new research obtained by the Daily Mail demonstrates what an absurd and smug underestimate it really was.

The Office for National Statistics estimates 13,000 as the number of babies born in UK hospitals this year to Polish mothers alone.

Figures compiled for the Institute for Public Policy Research show 240,000 Polish, Czech, Slovak and Lithuanian children have been registered at British schools since EU enlargement.

The total of Eastern European migrants who have settled here since enlargement is now put at between 700,000 and a million. It is not just schools but also housing, health and transport services which are creaking under the strain.

November has been a baleful month for the Government. The Northern Rock fiasco, followed by the news that Customs and Revenue had mislaid the personal details of 25 million people, has badly jolted Gordon Brown's reputation as a competent manager.

But Labour's failure to predict the dramatic population increase has not been due to incompetence. It has been due to a combination of complacency and reckless irresponsibility.

Britain could have delayed the rights of citizens from the Eastern Bloc to work in this country for up to seven years. Most other EU countries took this sensible measure to allow their labour markets and infrastructure time to adjust to the influx.

But Labour made a political decision to allow unhindered employment and settlement rights from the start.

The decision was rooted in a muddleheaded desire to avoid being seen as racist and a belief that the economy would benefit from an injection of new workers.

The Government is gradually realising the enormity of that error and has restricted the working rights of people from the two new EU accession countries - Romania and Bulgaria - until 2009.

While this is a welcome step, it does nothing to address the pressures being created by the immigrants already here.

It is time for the Government to stop hoping the problem will simply go away and start addressing it with honesty and urgency. They must first stop branding as racist anyone who debates the issue.

The East Europeans who have come here are overwhelmingly decent and hard- working but a population increase of a million in such a short time demands attention and planning.

Without it, health and education services in large areas of the country may soon find themselves at breaking point.
[Site link]

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Immigration – population
The Polish baby boom: Fears for NHS and schools as 1,000 Polish children are born EVERY month
James Slack
Daily Mail, 26 November 2007

Hospitals and schools are struggling to cope with a huge influx of Eastern European children, new figures show.

The number of Polish babies born in UK hospitals has almost quadrupled since the 2004 EU expansion.

On current trends, there will be more than 13,000 such births this year, costing the NHS more than £20million.

In addition, more than 240,000 Eastern European children have arrived in Britain's schools - with head teachers warning that some are now close to breaking point. ...

Figures compiled by the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank show there are some 170,000 children from Poland, 30,400 from Lithuania, 28,700 from Slovakia and 12,900 from the Czech Republic.

The total is six times the Government's best estimate, which is based on the number of Eastern Europeans who arrive in the UK with dependent children.

But experts say parents who arrive alone are sending for their children once they are settled and see that free schooling is available.

The problem is being compounded by the surge in the number of Polish babies.

It is an inevitable consequence of the influx of up to a million Poles - the vast majority of them Roman Catholics in their 20s - since their former Soviet Bloc country joined the EU.

By living and working in the UK, they are fully entitled to free healthcare and an NHS birth.

Figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics reveal there were 1,392 births to Polish mothers in 2003, the year before EU expansion.

This rose to 1,830 the following year. It almost doubled to 3,403 in 2005 and jumped again to 6,620 in 2006. If the trend continues, the number of babies born this year will be around 13,000.

At an average cost per birth of £1,578, the bill to taxpayers will top £20million. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: 'This is proof of the extent of the pressure of immigration on our maternity wards.

"The Government keeps insisting Poles are young, healthy and single, but obviously that is not going to continue for ever, as these figures indicate."

The rising number of births to Eastern European migrants, not just Poles, compounds existing pressures on NHS maternity care.

A group of senior doctors warned last month that mothers and babies are dying as a direct result of staff shortages.

They called for the urgent appointment of thousands more midwives and consultants.
[Site link]

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Immigration
500,000: Record number of foreigners who settled here last year. 200,000: The number of Britons who decided to quit the country
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 16 November 2007

Britain is experiencing unprecedented levels of immigration with more than half a million foreigners arriving to live here in a single year, figures showed yesterday.

Last year, 510,000 foreign migrants came to the UK to stay for at least 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics. At the same time 400,000 people, more than half of whom were British, emigrated.

An exodus on this scale - amounting to one British citizen leaving the country every three minutes - has not been seen in the UK for almost 50 years.

Overall in 2006, there were a record 591,000 new arrivals. Only 14 per cent of these were Britons coming home.

It is the first time the number of foreign migrants has topped half a million and the statistics do not include hundreds of thousands of east Europeans who have arrived to work in Britain in the past two years. This is because most say they are coming for less than 12 months and do not show up as long-term immigrants. The figures suggest that only one sixth of the long term immigrants were from the states which joined the EU in 2004.

The biggest influx was from the New Commonwealth - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - with more than 200,000 migrants.

Since Labour came to power in 1997, nearly four million foreign nationals have come to Britain and 1.6 million have left. Over the same period, 1.8 million Britons have left, but only 979,000 have returned. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the pressure group Migrationwatch, said: "Two thirds of yet another record level of arrivals come from outside the EU.

"They could and should be subject to much tighter controls." ...

The difference of around three million between the emigration of British nationals and immigration of foreigners represents a five per cent turnover of the population in 10 years.

Previous immigrations did not exceed one per cent over 50 years.

This significant turnaround in population has inevitably changed its ethnic composition.

Over the past 20 years, the white British population has decreased slightly while the number of ethnic-minority Britons has doubled.
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Immigration – employment
The right to sell labour: There can be a coherent strategy for immigration [1]
Peter Wilby
New Statesman, 15 November 2007

There is no longer, I think it is fair to say, a coherent left position on immigration. In principle, the left ought to favour it. Millions of people across the world - in Africa, eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent - own nothing of marketable value except their labour. Why should they be prohibited from selling it freely?

No matter how much we give to Oxfam, the most effective way of helping poor people in developing countries is to welcome them here. The life expectancy of a Ugandan baby who moves to London rises instantly by some 45 years. Remittances from migrant workers are worth far more to many developing countries than foreign aid or investment, with the bonus that the money reaches ordinary families rather than corrupt rulers. In Moldova, remittances account for 38 per cent of the economy.

But what of social justice in our own country? Employers demanding cheap and pliable labour are the biggest beneficiaries of inward migration. As the Labour MP and former Blair aide Jon Cruddas puts it, migration has become "a key driver in tacitly de-regulating the labour market" and creating a "flexible", low-wage economy. It's poor Britons who have to adjust to migrants, facing not only competition for jobs and houses but also pressure on public services, such as state schools, which are vital to disadvantaged families. All this has led to liberal fears, most cogently expressed by David Goodhart, editor of Prospect, that migration will damage the social solidarity and cohesion on which support for the welfare state depends.

The left pressure group Compass, with Migrants' Rights Network, has just published an attempt to grapple with these dilemmas (Towards a Progressive Immigration Policy, edited by Don Flynn and Zoe Williams). The contributors reach two broad conclusions. First, most attempts to restrict immigration lead only to further injustices. Second, most "problems" attributed to immigration are created by an anxious, insecure, unequal society. As Neal Lawson, the Compass chair, puts it, they will be cured "when we replace the market state with the social state".
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Immigration – employment
The right to sell labour: There can be a coherent strategy for immigration [2]
Peter Wilby
New Statesman, 15 November 2007

The second point perhaps appears utopian; Cruddas's Dagenham constituents might observe they're not going to be living in a social state any time soon. The first point, however, is crucial. What no politician admits is that, in the 21st century, migration is nigh impossible to stop. It was difficult 20 years ago when east European states had armed guards and barbed wire to stop people leaving - and the west joyously welcomed asylum seekers as vindication for its way of life. Now there is too much legitimate movement of people and goods across borders for any state to have much hope of restricting what is deemed to be illegitimate. Poor people want work, rich employers want labour. One finds its way to the other as surely as the river finds its way to the sea. And if our welfare is the draw, why does America find it so hard to keep out Mexicans?

So trying to control borders leads to more illegal or undocumented migrants. They are unlikely to contact the authorities to complain about wages below the minimum, illegal working conditions, arbitrary dismissal or any of the things British workers wouldn't tolerate. They become a labour reserve that undercuts indigenous labour. Nor are they likely to pay taxes.

Controls and other measures to discourage immigration, far from protecting UK workers, compound the injustices done to them as well as to migrants themselves. As Bernard Ryan, a law lecturer at Kent University and a contributor to the Compass publication, points out, work permits inhibit a migrant's right to resign and seek alternative jobs while restrictions on access to social benefits leave migrants facing destitution if they don't accept whatever work is offered. No wonder employers prefer migrants to British workers.

Most proposals for controlling immigration are based on keeping out the riff-raff, but exempting those with valuable skills in, say, medicine. This leaves poorer countries with the expense of educating professionals but none of the benefits. According to the World Bank, Grenada has to train 22 doctors to keep just one. This policy, if successful, would trap the global poor in countries that would become more economically and socially impoverished than ever.

Regulated immigration - which nearly all politicians say they favour -is fine, as long as it doesn't mean heavily restricted immigration, which simply leads to more unregulated immigration. The best place for regulation is in the workplace. Migrants would not be so attractive to employers if minimum wages and conditions were enforced. Nor would migrants be so keen to come here if working conditions in their countries, often determined by multinationals and their suppliers, were improved. It is on those principles that the left should make its stand.
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Immigration – politics
They made me an offer I had to refuse
Nigel Hastilow
Nigel Hastilow's blog, 6 November 2007

Amazing how powerful some names can be. Last Friday I mentioned Enoch Powell and suddenly all hell broke loose.

In an article supporting Tory leader David Cameron's remarks on how uncontrolled immigration would change the country, I mentioned that many people say "Enoch was right". ...

A Sunday newspaper put it on the front page and said I was an embarrassment to Cameron. It quoted various people calling for me to be sacked as Conservative parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

The story was duly followed up by the BBC on Sunday. ...

Then the Conservative Party press office came on to me, closely followed by Caroline Spelman herself.

Caroline, the Chairman of the party, didn't mince her words. She was not happy. My political career was on the line. ...

I had made no mention of race. I said Powell was right to warn that unlimited immigration would change the country dramatically.

But "The Observer" injected race into the article in such a way as to imply that I was a racist who endorsed Enoch Powell's racism.

Not true but, as some journalists say, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. ...

I explained I had not written about race but about numbers. That immigration was a problem because Britain could not accommodate more and more people from overseas.

Then she cut to the chase. My political career would survive if I signed a press release drawn up by the party's chief spin doctor, Andy Coulson.

It included this sentence: "Although I did not - and do not - support Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' comments, I accept that some of the wording of my column was incredibly stupid."

It went on to talk about the importance of choosing one's language with care and apologising for any upset.

I was also required to submit any future articles for the Express & Star (or anywhere else) to the Conservative campaign headquarters before submitting them to the editor.

It was this, even more than the "incredibly stupid" line, that I couldn't stomach. If I'd agreed to this I could have stayed on as the candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

I was sorely tempted. You don't lightly throw away all those years working for the party and an opportunity to become an MP.

But I felt that if I were to agree to these demands I would lose not just my honour and integrity but my credibility as both a journalist and politician.

That's why I resigned. We agreed the licence I have as a journalist to speak freely is not compatible with a politician's responsibility to stay "on message". ...

What has kept me going, though, and gratified me is the enormous number of messages of support I have received from the constituency, the Black Country, Britain and, indeed, from around the world.
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Immigration – racism
Tory candidate quits amid 'racism' storm
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2007

A race row broke out yesterday between Labour and the Conservatives after a Tory candidate endorsed Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" warning on immigration.

Nigel Hastilow, a candidate in a West Midlands seat, quit last night after senior party figures distanced themselves from his comments.

But Cabinet ministers seized on the remarks as a way of denting the Tory offensive on immigration. ...

Mr Hastilow, who was standing in Halesowen and Rowley Regis, resigned after an hour-long meeting with Caroline Spelman, the Tory party chairman.

He wrote in a local newspaper article that he agreed with former Tory MP Enoch Powell's warning in 1968 that uncontrolled immigration "would change our country irrevocably". "He was right. It has changed dramatically," he wrote.
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Immigration – border security
Controlling immigration is no longer in our power
Christopher Booker
Sunday Telegraph, 4 November 2007

Under EU law, we can do little to restrict the right of residence of anyone from the other 26 member states. We also have no power to restrict the entry of asylum seekers, since this too is an EU competence.

In short, we no longer have any control over easily the greatest number of would-be immigrants. But, Mr Cameron claimed, at least a Conservative government would insist that spouses of British residents coming from non-EU countries would have to be 21 and able to speak basic English. Even this, however - as he would realise if he studied EU directive 2004/38 - would be illegal discrimination.

So there is really very little Mr Cameron can honestly promise in the way of controlling immigration. He might also bear in mind Article 62 of the new EU treaty. This proposes to abolish any remaining controls "on persons, whatever their nationality, when crossing internal borders." In other words, once someone had got into any part of the EU, from Africa, Asia or anywhere else, we would have no way to stop them coming to Britain. When it comes to immigration control, I am afraid Mr Cameron will have to accept that it is game, set and match to our real government - the one which now rules us from Brussels.
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Immigration
Networks help Romanians dodge immigration controls
Gethin Chamberlain
Sunday Telegraph, 4 November 2007

A network of fixers is helping thousands of Romanians get into Britain, and avoid immigration restrictions, to work across the land.

Agencies in the capital Bucharest have disclosed how measures introduced by the Government to prevent Britain being invaded by workers from Romania, and neighbouring Bulgaria, are failing.

One British employment agent based in Bucharest told The Sunday Telegraph that the Government had no way of controlling migrant workers from the two new EU states, nor any way of knowing how many migrant workers were entering Britain from these countries.

Dominic Ryan, who runs the Premier Global agency and is also a director of the Romanian-British chamber of commerce, said: "Realistically, it is a nonsense. There are no restrictions on me sending anyone anywhere. I don't see how you can tell who is coming in. My understanding is that the facility does not exist to monitor or implement it."

The disclosure undermines government claims that only 8,945 people have entered Britain from Romania and Bulgaria since they joined the EU at the start of the year.

According to Romanians who have worked in Britain, many who exercise their rights as EU citizens to enter the country simply disappear into the black economy. ... ...

Websites for Romanians in Britain advertise a range of vacancies for unskilled workers, along with offers of assistance in circumventing the rules.
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Immigration
Hold back the immigrant flood [1]
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK
Sunday Times, 4 November 2007

Just occasionally a series of events crystallises public opinion and transforms the political landscape. That is what has happened with immigration in the past fortnight. Three events stand out.

The crucial wake-up call was publication of the government's latest population forecasts. They were truly shocking. They showed that, if immigration continues at the level the government now assumes, the population of the UK will grow by more than 10m in the next 25 years - that is equivalent to 10 cities the size of Birmingham; 70% of the increase will be due to immigration.

The public were taken aback by these numbers. They are now beginning to realise that we face the most critical decision for a generation. Not since the referendum on the Common Market in the 1970s have we confronted a decision that will so greatly affect the lives of our children and grandchildren. Do we set about a massive building programme, constructing a virtual Birmingham every 2½ years and do we accept the fundamental changes to our society that will flow from immigration on this scale? Or do we take action now to cut immigration sharply?

Next was David Cameron's decision to speak about immigration for the first time in two years. His speech on Monday called for a "grown-up" debate, set out the dilemma in measured terms and outlined Conservative proposals for both an annual limit to immigration and, importantly, a substantial reduction in numbers.

He clearly struck a chord. It was not long before we had Labour and Conservatives competing to sound tough on immigration - an extraordinary transformation from the days when people hardly dared mention the topic for fear of being accused of racism.

The third event - if such it be - was the farcical episode when the government's count of the new jobs taken by foreigners changed three times in a day, ending up roughly double where it began. The outcome was another blow to confidence in the government's ability to manage immigration.

The genie is now well and truly out of the bottle. Public opinion is extremely strong - 80% disbelieve the government's honesty and competence; 75% want to see an annual limit; two-thirds fear that our culture is under threat. Only one in three believe that immigration brings economic benefit to Britain.

The immigration lobby claims there is little that the government can do. It is all down to some mysterious force called "globalisation". They are wrong. In fact, immigration to the UK took off in 1997. The prime cause was a series of policy errors by the present government. First, it abolished such border controls as it inherited. Then it trebled the number of work permits to 150,000 a year, plus dependants. Finally, it hopelessly miscalculated the inflow of east Europeans.

These policies can and should be reversed. The government could use its much-vaunted "points-based system" to throttle back sharply on work permits. The Australians, who have such a system, set a ceiling on immigration. So should we.
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Immigration
Hold back the immigrant flood [2]
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK
Sunday Times, 4 November 2007

A ceiling would not apply to European Union citizens, but that is not a long-term problem. Before the recent enlargement, migration to and from the EU was roughly in balance and arrivals from the new east European members are now fairly steady at about 200,000 a year. The net inflow will decline as other EU members open their labour markets. Holland and half a dozen others have done so. The key countries, Austria, Germany and France, have kept their markets closed but restrictions have to be lifted in May 2011.

Added to that, as the economic level of east European countries approaches ours, there will be much less incentive to migrate. There was a blip for a few years when Spain, Portugal and Greece joined the EU but the net level of immigration has now fallen back.

Furthermore, those here will be more likely to go home. Many intend to spend several years here, save some money and then return to their families. As they do so, their numbers will counterbalance those still arriving so net immigration will fall.

Meanwhile, the pool of young people in eastern Europe will grow only slowly. The population of 18-year-olds in the two most populous countries, Poland and Romania, is projected to fall by about 30% in the next 10 years.

What this adds up to is that, over a decade or so, net east European immigration to the UK is likely to decline substantially. The real long-term problem is immigration from outside the EU. Here populations are growing rapidly and huge numbers of young people are without work and prospects. It is vital that our immigration system should be a barrier to such people.

Failure to act now will mean that our society will be changed beyond recognition - and especially our cities. London is one-third immigrant and half of all babies born there have a foreign parent. Other large cities will follow. According to one academic study, the ethnic community in Britain will grow from 9% to 29% by mid-century.

There is every reason for concern. The Commission for Racial Equality's final report spoke frankly about growing segregation and of our society "fracturing", with bonds of solidarity across different groups weakening, and tensions between people increasing. These are serious warnings. The CRE was in denial about the role of mass immigration in all this but the rest of us can see it clearly.

We can now at last speak about the elephant in the room. But when will our political leaders respond to the deep anxieties that so many of us feel? And will they get down to some serious action before it is, indeed, too late?
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Immigration – numbers
Migrants: the missing 500,000
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2007

Fresh doubts over the Government's immigration figures emerged last night after new statistics showed that almost one million people from outside Europe have been given the right to work in Britain over the past three years.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained figures indicating that 896,000 non-EU citizens were allocated National Insurance numbers between Jan 1, 2004 and April 5 this year.

There is a vast discrepancy between this figure and the other principal method for measuring the number of immigrants with the right to work in Britain - the permits issued by the Home Office. Over the same period only 406,000 permits were issued to non-Europeans. ...

The Home Office attempted to explain the disparity by claiming that not every foreign worker needed a permit. A spokesman said some dependants, students, highly skilled migrants, graduates and working holidaymakers could be allocated an insurance number without a permit.

Chris Grayling, the Tory work and pensions spokesman, said this explanation was extraordinary. "It is more likely people are coming to Britain without permits."
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Immigration
Britain seen as a 'soft touch'
Nigel Hastilow
Express & Star, 2 November 2007

When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most people say immigration. Many insist: "Enoch Powell was right".

Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 "rivers of blood" speech warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably.

He was right. It has changed dramatically. But his speech was political suicide. Enoch's successors in Parliament are desperate to avoid ever mentioning the issue.

It's too controversial and far too dangerous. Nobody wants to be labelled a racist. Immigration is the issue that dare not speak its name in public. ...

It's claimed we couldn't survive without immigrants to work in our hotels, pubs and restaurants, to pick our fruit and clean our hospitals.

But that's because we make life too easy for the five million or more people who could be working but enjoy life too much living off the state.

Why are 1.65 million people unemployed when it seems as if there's a job for more or less anyone who wants one? Why are 2.4 million people claiming incapacity benefit when society is getting healthier? ...

This is not about race; it's about numbers. I have been lectured on this, on separate occasions, by several Asian Britons. They argue that their families came to this country to work hard, get on, pay their taxes, earn a living.

Today, far too many immigrants - they tell me - wheedle their way into Britain in order to benefit from the generosity of our welfare state.

Asian Britons resent this as much as anyone.

And no wonder. Does anybody in the country really want to see our population grow by almost half a million every 12 months so that in 24 years' time it will have increased by almost 11 million?

Do we really want to see the country devastated by another three million houses or more over the next 12 years? Up to two thirds of these houses are only needed to cater for immigrants.

How on earth can we afford to meet other costs - council housing, roads, hospitals and schools - linked to this staggering increase in the population?

Do we really want increased taxes to meet the increased costs of an increasing population?

We must police our borders. Deport without debate bogus asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants. Abandon the "human rights" merry-go-round.

Tell the EU we won't take anyone from Bulgaria or Romania or any other country which wants to "join Europe". And get rid of the 11,000 foreigners in our jails.

Alas, the Government hasn't got a clue how many people it has let in already. ...

First we're told immigrants took 30 per cent of the 2.7 million jobs created in the past decade. Then the official figure was increased to 40 per cent. Now it's 52 per cent - making Gordon Brown's promise of "British jobs for British workers" look pretty silly.

It's all guesswork, and the Government has even less of a clue how many illegal immigrants there are.

Of course it's right that we share the international burden of caring for genuine refugees fleeing persecution and death. But we're being exploited. Britain is seen around the world as a soft touch.
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Immigration – employment
Immigration, Home Office statistics and a catastrophic cover-up of 300,000 foreign workers
Anthony Browne, director of Policy Exchange
Daily Mail, 31 October 2007

How do you accidentally lose a city the size of Nottingham? Or three cities the size of Cambridge? You might think it would be impossible to misplace 300,000 people; ...

But not if you are the Home Office, the guardian of our country's borders, whose institutional incompetence makes anything possible. ...

Just a few weeks ago, the Government said there were 800,000 more foreign workers in the UK than when Labour came to power in 1997. But yesterday it admitted there were actually 1.1 million and former Labour minister Frank Field claimed that the true figure was actually 1.6 million. ...

It is already widely believed that the Government has lost control of the immigration system - although in fact it never had any control to lose.

If the Government can't even count something as basic as the number of people it is letting in to work, what chance is there that anything else it says on immigration has more than a passing resemblance to reality?

What about far more complicated issues - such as the economic contribution of the 800,000 (whoops, 1.1 million) foreign workers it has let in?

A few weeks ago, the Home Office produced a paper claiming that immigrant workers contribute £6bn a year to the economy. This was widely reported as fact by those in many parts of the media who wished it to be true, despite the figure being as full of holes as Britain's borders. ...

This fits another pattern - the Government has consistently underestimated the scale of immigration, while downplaying its drawbacks and hyping its benefits.

A few years ago, I was accused on Newsnight of scaremongering when I said that at current rates of immigration Britain's population would swell from 60 million to 68 million.

Last week, the government statistical agency predicted immigration would swell the population to more than 70 million - ten new cities the size of Manchester to shoehorn into this island.

And yes, given past form, even that is likely to be an underestimate. ...

The Government's claim that immigrant workers are adding £6bn a year to the economy is an attempt to reassure the public that, while it may have lost control, there is nothing to worry about: it is all for the general good.

The report declared, to universal acclamation in the liberal media, that immigration has 'clear economic benefits' for Britain. But that study has the same credibility as all the other Home Office studies. Or indeed the Beano comic.

Read past the glowing summaries and in fact it is noticeable that the report fails to produce any evidence of the "clear economic benefits" of immigration.

Ministers have repeatedly said that we need young immigrants to do the work to pay the pensions of our ageing society, but the study concludes: "There are no published estimates of the direct impact of immigration on the shortfall in pension funding in the UK.'"

The report says immigration boosts economic growth by 0.5 per cent a year, which is where it gets the £6bn figure from. But it also admits that immigration is boosting the population by about 0.5 per cent a year. That means that GDP per capita - the measure of wealth that really matters - is pretty much unaffected by immigration.

Immigrants produce more, and they consume more, but the native population, on average, sees little overall benefit. The report coyly admits 'there is no quantitative evidence available of the impact of immigration on GDP per head'.
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Immigration
Cameron wants immigration cut
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2007

Immigration is too high and must be reduced, David Cameron will say today.

In his first major speech on the issue, the Tory leader will challenge Gordon Brown to a "grown-up" debate.

Effectively tackling Mr Brown on his slogan "British jobs for British workers", he will suggest that, if more British citizens work instead of claiming benefits, there will be fewer vacancies to attract immigrants. ...

"We must recognise that in an advanced, open economy there will be high levels of emigration and immigration," he will say.

"But what matters is the net figure, which I believe is currently too high. So we need policy to reduce the level of net immigration."

The speech effectively ends Mr Cameron's near silence on the issue since becoming leader in 2005. Aides say this was a vital part of shedding the Tory brand's negative image among centrist voters. ...

Mr Cameron will not offer new policies on immigration.

Instead he will explain the three "vital components" that will inform his approach. "First, a sober and forensic understanding of the facts: the scale and nature of this challenge. Second, action to ensure our population grows at a sustainable rate. Third, action to prepare properly for that sustainable level of growth." ...

Tories yesterday also accused Labour of failing to get to grips with the number of people claiming benefits.

More than 2.4 million people have been claiming benefits for more than five years - 600,000 higher than in 1999, figures for 2006 reveal.
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Immigration
A country wrecked by unlimited immigration
Simon Heffer
Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2007

For decades, bare-faced lies have been told by our rulers about immigration. When Enoch Powell was vilified in the late 1960s for drawing attention to the problem, the then social services secretary, Dick Crossman, ordered officials to conceal what he and they knew to be the true figures. Is this deceit still going on?

Perhaps. But - and this may be ever worse - the difference between the statistics and reality may be down to sheer incompetence. The truth is that we have no idea how many people are in this country. That is a scandal. We have no idea because this Government decided, when it came to power in 1997, that it would be a good idea to stop proper enforcement of border controls. Jack Straw, our smug so-called Justice Secretary, was home secretary at the time, and was responsible for this. His successor, David Blunkett, boasted continually about getting tough on illegal immigrants, promising roundups and deportations of those with no right to be here. It never happened.

The result is that parts of the country, notably in and around London, are suffering from terrible overcrowding.
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Immigration
Population to hit 70 million
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2007

Record immigration is fuelling the biggest rise in the population for almost 50 years, official figures showed yesterday.

Ten years from now, there will be 65 million people in the UK - an increase of five million - and by 2031, the population will be over 70 million, the Office for National Statistics said.

Within a generation, immigration will add the equivalent of a city the size of London to the population.

This is the fastest growth rate since the post-war baby boom - and is far more rapid than the Government forecast three years ago. ...

Statisticians said that at least 70 per cent of the population rise over the next 20 years would be attributable directly to immigration. The rest will be babies born to British mothers - many of whom are second-generation immigrants. ...

In the current financial year, officials expect net migration - the difference between those arriving and leaving - to be 240,000. Next year, projected net immigration is 230,000 - and not until 2012 does this figure fall to the long-term "assumption" of 190,000 a year. ...

Guy Goodwin, the ONS director of demography, said the country faced a combination of high immigration, rising fertility and better life expectancy that was "unique" in the nation's history. ...

Looking even further ahead, the projections suggest that by 2051 the population will be 77 million and will exceed 85 million by 2081. ...

Rosamund McDougall, of the Optimum Population Trust, which campaigns for a lower population, said: "There is no parallel in our history for population growth of this magnitude. The UK is sleep-walking into a population and environmental nightmare.

"The Government has already presided over the fastest growth in UK population since the baby-boom years of the mid-twentieth century.

"If it continues to countenance population increases on this scale, it will be embarking on a vast unplanned experiment with Britain's well-being."
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Immigration
The rising wave that we were too afraid to discuss
Sir Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2007

These population projections mark a turning point in the national dialogue. The public has at last become aware of the enormous impact of present levels of immigration on the future of our society.

Official figures now indicate that England's population will increase by nearly 16 million by mid century - that is twice the population of Greater London.

This increase will be 90 per cent due to immigration. These numbers are, frankly, alarming. Our schools and hospitals are already struggling and we have a major housing crisis.

The new projections imply that we will have to build 260 houses every day of the week for the next 20 years just to house new immigrants.

Put another way, of Gordon Brown's much vaunted three million new houses by 2020, one and a quarter million will be needed for new immigrants.

It is not only a matter of bricks and mortar.

The very glue of our society is being weakened under the impact of rapidly growing communities of very diverse cultures - some of whom have very little intention of integrating with us. ...

... Hard as it is to believe, we have stumbled into this situation.

It was completely unplanned - indeed, hardly discussed for fear of accusations of racism. It is, without doubt, the result of the Government losing control of our borders.
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Immigration – employment
Almost one worker in four is a migrant
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 14 October 2007
[The title is incorrect - see the first paragraph]

Britain has become a magnet for workers from almost every continent, with migrants now making up one in four of the workforce in parts of the country.

The impact of these new communities is measured for the first time today by figures showing the favoured destinations for each nationality, from Brazilians in Bournemouth to Nigerians in Aberdeen. ...

The new findings, based on National Insurance registrations since 2004, show that London is the biggest draw, attracting 650,000 migrants in three years. Across a swathe of the capital, at least one in six of the workforce is a recent immigrant. ... ...

According to the National Insurance data, 4.7 per cent of the workforce is now made up of migrants who have arrived since 2004. Children and non-working partners were not counted, and some of the new arrivals may have gone home.

Karen Dunnell, the chief statistician, told a House of Lords committee last week that an net rise of 1.4 million in the immigrant population over five years was balanced, in part, by emigration among Britons, giving a net population rise of 900,000 since 2001.

James Pleskitt, a junior work and pensions minister, told MPs that foreign workers now numbered 1.9 million, including those who had entered Britain before 2004, up 70 per cent since Labour took power in 1997.
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Immigration – employment
Immigrant workers in UK up by 70pc under Labour
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2007

The number of immigrant workers in Britain has increased by 70 per cent since Labour came to power in 1997, and there are now 1.9 million overseas employees, according to figures released yesterday.

The rise has been attributed to the Government's "open door" policy to migrants from the European Union, which means skilled workers from countries such as Poland can work in Britain.

The figures were released as part of a written Commons reply by James Plaskitt, a junior minister at the Department for Work and Pensions.

In a statement read out to Parliament, Mr Pleskitt said the total of 1.9 million was a rise of 800,000 since 1997.

A separate set of figures released yesterday showed that migrant workers from eastern Europe have settled around the whole country and not just in London and the South East.

More than 700,000 have registered to work from the eight countries which joined the EU in 2004.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that they are more broadly spread across Britain than traditional migrant groups. ...

The study, published in Population Trends, showed a fairly even spread between London, the East and West Midlands, the East of England and Northern Ireland.
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Immigration
Half a million Poles 'could stay in UK'
Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2007

Nearly half a million Polish immigrants could be planning a permanent new life in Britain, according to new research published yesterday.

A Polish study has found that 15 per cent or 150,000 of the estimated million Poles living and working in Britain do not want to return to Poland. Another 300,000 who came to the UK after the European Union's expansion in Eastern Europe three years ago, have not yet made up their minds.
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Immigration
2.2m immigrants arrive in five years
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2007

More than 2.2 million immigrants arrived in the UK between 2001 and 2005, figures showed yesterday.

Over the same period 870,000 foreign-born people left the country, which meant that the foreign-born resident population grew by 1.4 million in a five-year period - by far the fastest rate of growth in history.

At the same time, the UK-born resident population fell by half a million, with 897,000 leaving the country for a year or more and 394,000 returning. One in 10 of the population was now foreign-born, compared to eight per cent in 2001.

The figures were published by the Office for National Statistics in a report to a House of Lords inquiry into the accuracy of migration data. They showed that migrants added 939,000 to the UK's population in the five years to last summer - an extra 515 people every day.

The overseas-born population of working age increased by 26 per cent to 947,000, while the British-born working population fell by 44,000.

About 40 per cent of long-term migrants to the UK in 2005 were aged 15 to 24, compared to 13 per cent for the UK population as a whole.

The ONS recently revised upwards by one third its assumptions for future immigration from 145,000 to 190,000 a year.
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Immigration – employment
Immigrants head for the countryside
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 7 October 2007

Immigrants from eastern Europe have spread across rural England to make up as much as one in eight of the workforce, research shows.

The findings give the clearest picture yet of "hotspots" where the largest numbers of migrants choose to live and work. The research was conducted for town hall chiefs, who are preparing to launch a campaign for millions in extra funds to help them cope with the influx.

Almost 700,000 eastern Europeans, two-thirds from Poland, have moved to the United Kingdom since their countries joined the European Union in 2004, equivalent to 1.8 per cent of the UK working-age population. However, in some areas their concentration is much higher.

Unlike previous generations of immigrants, many have avoided big cities and industrial regions in favour of country towns. ...

In all, there are 18 council areas where east Europeans make up five per cent or more of the workforce. ...

... The figures are based on eastern European citizens who registered for national insurance numbers between April 2004 and March this year. Some may have returned home, but there is no record of how many.

The Local Government Association (LGA) commissioned research from the Institute for Community Cohesion amid concerns that official statistics were inadequate.
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Immigration
Ukip urges freeze on immigration
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2007

All immigration to the UK should be halted for five years, the UK Independence Party (Ukip) said yesterday. It wants the freeze to remain until "proper controls" are put in place.

It also wants migrants to be fluent in English, have educational qualifications, demonstrate loyalty to the UK and be able to support themselves without recourse to state funds.

Party leader Nigel Farage said the Government's handling of immigration from the EU had been a "shambles" and claimed "millions" of migrants had come into Britain.
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Immigration
Immigration estimates out by 45,000 a year and 5m more are on the way
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2007

Immigration will add almost five million people to the population over the next 25 years, according to official estimates published yesterday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revised its long-term assumptions upwards by a third.

For the past few years, it assumed that they net migration figure - the difference between those leaving and arriving - would be 145,000 a year over the next two decades.

But the assumption now is for an annual addition to the population of 190,000 through direct immigration every year until 2031.

This means that the calculations on which recent public policy has been based have been out by 45,000 a year.

Next month, the ONS will revise the annual migration totals it has already published to take account of the increase.

The recalculation led to an admission from the Government that it had failed to control immigration.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said: "This report shows what could happen unless we take action now.

"Frankly, it underlines the need for swift and sweeping changes to the immigration system in the next 12 months." ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said the impact of immigration on the population was even greater if children of new arrivals are included in the calculations.

He said: "Housing demands simply for new immigrants will increase from 200 a day to 260 a day throughout the next 20 years.

"Continued immigration on this scale is completely unacceptable to the vast majority of the public."
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Immigration – doctors
Overseas doctors 'led to job shortage'
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2007

The Government's "muddled" immigration policy is to blame for the junior doctors recruitment fiasco which will see hundreds of British medics without a training post this year, it was claimed today.

Nearly a quarter of those given training jobs in England this year had qualified from medical schools outside Europe, while a half of all applicants considered for posts were from overseas.

This is why the medical training application service (MTAS) was so heavily oversubscribed, making disappointment inevitable, says Graham Winyard, a retired postgraduate dean in today's British Medical Journal.

Mr Winyard said Britain currently has the "worst of all worlds" and the issue of medical immigration had become "the elephant in the room".
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Immigration – education
Unequal exchanges of knowledge
Liam Halligan, Economics Editor
Sunday Telegraph, 16 September 2007

During a recent visit to one of our leading universities, a notice board caught my eye. Pinned on it was the student list for "Advanced Quantitative Techniques for Finance". Every single name was Chinese.

"Oh great," I said to the professor hosting me. "An exchange programme. How many British youngsters have gone to Beijing University in return?"

My academic friend gave me a grave, almost sorrowful look. "Oh no," he said. "It's no exchange. Only Asian students apply for that course. British students say it's too hard".

Last week, an official study found that fewer than one in three postgraduates studying "strategic" subjects in the UK are actually British.

No less than 71 per cent of those pursuing such advanced degrees in British universities - in areas like engineering, chemistry and computer sciences - are from overseas.
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Immigration
Visitor surge, but will they leave?
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 15 September 2007

The number of Bulgarians and Romanians visiting Britain has soared by 77 per cent in only a year, and ministers have no idea how many of them will return home.

The big rise will fuel suspicions that many of the visitors are choosing to stay in Britain and work in the illegal economy even though working visas are strictly limited to a few thousand by the Government.

Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union on Jan 1, and figures from the Office for National Statistics showed yesterday that 200,000 people from Bulgaria and Romania visited Britain in the year to the end of July. That compares with 113,000 visitors in the previous 12 months.
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Immigration – Europe
EU unveils plan to attract 20 million economic migrants
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 14 September 2007

A huge increase in economic migration into the EU is being proposed by the European Commission. It wants to relax controls and open the borders to an extra 20 million workers from Asia and Africa over the next two decades.

That would more than double the present non-EU resident population now living in the 27 member states. It now stands at about 18 million out of a total of around 490 million.

The Commission is drawing up a new "blue card" scheme - modelled on the American "green card" work permit - allowing qualified migrants the right to live, work and travel in the EU.

The plan marks a renewed push to convince member states to adopt a single fast-track immigration policy.

Despite greater harmonisation in recent years, EU countries still operate their own programmes and quotas.

Britain is not signed up to common EU borders - but would still be affected in the plans went ahead.

Under the commission's proposals, once overseas migrants had been in an EU state for five consecutive years they would be free to travel where they wished. ...

The new EU policy was outlined by Franco Frattini, the EU justice commissioner, at a conference of immigration ministers in Portugal yesterday.

He said Europe needed labour, both skilled and unskilled, because of a fall in the population of working age. America was also attracting more qualified workers than were coming to the EU, Mr Frattini added.

He said that while illegal immigration had to be curtailed, skilled migrants should be "actively encouraged".

"We have to look at immigration as an enrichment and as an inescapable phenomenon of today's world, not as a threat.

We should take more account of what statistics tell us: 85 per cent of unskilled labour goes to the EU and only five per cent to the USA, whereas 55 per cent of skilled labour goes to the USA and only five per cent to the EU. We have to reverse these figures with a new vision." ...

He said that immigration was still a far too negatively-loaded term in Europe, and that had to change. ...

Jose Socrates, the prime minister of Portugal, which currently holds the EU presidency, urged support for the proposal. He said it was crucial to meet labour shortages and curb illegal immigration and people trafficking.
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Immigration – education
Number of Chinese students in UK soars
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2007

The number of students from China studying in Britain has soared in the past decade, figures show.

Almost 51,000 are taking courses at universities in Britain - accounting for almost one in six of overseas students.

According to the study published today, the number of students from outside the European Union has more than doubled in the past decade. ...

According to the figures, 330,080 foreign students study in Britain.
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Immigration – multiculturalism
'Limit migrants, don't force them to learn English'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 10 September 2007

Plans to make skilled migrant workers learn English before arriving in Britain were denounced last night as ineffective.

Conservatives said the proposal, to be announced by Gordon Brown at the Trades Union Congress today, was pointless without a limit on overall immigration.

Business leaders were also concerned that much-needed specialists will go elsewhere. They said the rules were unfair because overseas football stars will be exempt.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said the measure - revealed yesterday by The Sunday Telegraph - would help migrants to integrate and benefit Britain.

Interviewed on the BBC, she was unable to say whether the condition would have an impact on numbers. It already applies to highly-skilled entrants such as doctors and academics. ...

There were nearly 100,000 workers from outside the European Union admitted under skilled workers programmes last year.

One estimate suggested 35,000 immigrants a year might be turned back because of the language requirement. However, with net immigration running close to 200,000 a year, this will have a limited impact. ...

Mr Brown's proposed new rules would only affect workers from outside the EU seeking to settle permanently in this country.
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Immigration
The 'lurch to the Right' is for losers and Cameron wants to win
Matthew d'Ancona
Sunday Telegraph, 9 September 2007

So has the Tory leader "lurched"? In my view, he did indeed goof by saying on Newsnight 11 days ago that immigration has been "too high", as if there was an acceptable quantum of immigrants (he should have confined himself to a statesmanlike attack on the Government's management of migration policy in the past decade, which has been shambolic).
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Immigration
Door opens for migration debate
Sunday Telegraph, 9 September 2007
[Leading article]

The refusal of an honest and open debate has, up until now, been the hallmark of Labour policy. There was next to nothing on the topic in the party's last two manifestos. Labour has followed a policy of encouraging immigration to Britain from countries outside the EU, but has rarely, if ever, owned up to that fact. The result - a net inflow of around 200,000 people into Britain every year - means that the British electorate are the subject of a massive social experiment. Neither its advocates nor anyone else knows what the consequences of that experiment will be. British voters, however, have never been given any opportunity to register their endorsement or dissent from it.

Mr Brown's decision to introduce a policy with the explicit intent of restricting the flow of immigrants should change that, and we welcome it.

A national debate on the issue poses a problem for David Cameron and the Conservative Party. Mr Cameron has been so eager to distance himself and the Conservatives from accusations of being fixated on an outdated vision of Britain that he has been very reluctant to make clear statements about immigration. It is notable that in his article "What makes me a Conservative", in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, there was nothing about immigration - a topic near the top of voters' concerns.
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Immigration – multiculturalism
Migrants will be forced to learn English
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 9 September 2007

Tens of thousands more immigrant workers will be forced to learn English before they are allowed into the country, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The controversial crackdown, which is expected to reduce the number of people entering Britain by at least 35,000-a-year, will be unveiled by Gordon Brown in a speech to the Trades Union Congress in Brighton tomorrow.

The rules will affect those seeking to work and settle permanently in Britain from countries outside the European Union. ...

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said: "Those who we welcome into the UK to work and settle here need to understand our traditions and feel that they are part of our shared national culture. They need to integrate into our country, learn English and use our language. Under the government's new "points" system, there are three main categories of immigrants coming to Britain from outside the EU to work: highly skilled, skilled and low-skilled workers. The first two groups can eventually settle permanently in Britain; the third cannot.

Highly skilled migrants have been forced to learn English as a condition of entry since last December. However, Mr Brown and Ms Smith will announce this week that the condition will be extended to all skilled migrants, who numbered 96,000 last year. According to government source, about 35,000 of them would not have passed an English-speaking test.
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Immigration – border security
Cherbourg calls for migrants action
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2007

Up to 160 migrants a night are attempting to jump on British-bound lorries in Cherbourg, it emerged yesterday.

The figures were revealed by the management of the northern French ferry port, who say urgent action is needed. ...

Although police guarding the port area are stretched to the limit, almost 300 people are still arrested each week. ... ...

Didier Omont, of the chamber of trade in Cherbourg, said about £1 million was needed for surveillance cameras and increased patrols to make the port secure.
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Immigration – border security
Migrant centre plan stirs fears of another Sangatte
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 5 September 2007

A reception centre similar to the notorious Sangatte camp could be built on the northern coast of France, after the mayor of Cherbourg called for a "welcome" facility for immigrants.

Bernard Cazeneuve yesterday urged the French government to build an official centre to replace a shanty town that has become home to a growing number of migrants, despite repeated attempts to deport or relocate them.

Many living in the makeshift camp in the centre of Cherbourg have attempted illegal trips to Britain, boarding lorries and ferry services bound for the south coast.

Mr Cazeneuve told the regional daily Ouest France that the camp should be torn down, saying that it "generates violence around the port and creates a situation which we are not able to control". The new centre should be "away from the port area, a long way from the ferries", he added. ...

Migrants regularly cut or pull down fences surrounding the port to try to jump onto ferries, while others try to board lorries secretly as they slow down on arrival at the port.

The 65 French frontier police currently guarding the port are hard-pushed to catch stowaways.
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Immigration – multiculturalism
Enoch was guilty of understatement
Simon Heffer
Daily Telegraph, 1 September 2007

A survey by academics predicts that, by 2027, the ethnic minority in Birmingham will be the English. This need not matter provided everybody is happy with that, all are getting on well and the local economy is booming. Sadly, it is not likely to be so simple. The cultural changes this is likely to inflict on the city may be hard for many there to swallow: nobody likes to be marginalised in his or her own ancestral home. The projection brings two other things to mind. It was in that same city almost 40 years ago that Enoch Powell made his so-called "rivers of blood" speech, in which he predicted a boom in the ethnic minority population that erred in its accuracy only by being understated: he was execrated for saying such things. Also, the recent immigration figures showed a white flight not just from cities, but from the country, of the sort of people on whose efforts the nation depends. It should make us wonder not just what Birmingham will be like in 20 years, but how everywhere else will be, too.
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Immigration – multiculturalism
White people in Birmingham 'a minority by 2027'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2007

White people living in the UK's second biggest city are likely to find themselves in a minority in 20 years' time, according to researchers.

A team of demographers from Manchester University has claimed that the number of white people living in Birmingham will be overtaken by the number of those with other ethnic origins by 2027.

The news came as it emerged that 35 towns and cities in Britain have at least one ward which is "minority white".

And experts have already forecast that Leicester could become the first city in which white people are a minority in four years' time.

Ludi Simpson, a social statistician at Manchester University, said the Pakistani population in Birmingham was likely to double by 2026, but with two-thirds of this increase due to the relatively younger age profile of Pakistanis, rather than increased immigration.

Dr Simpson said: "The overall picture is one of rapid natural growth plus some immigration, mainly of young spouses.

"Birmingham is likely to become a minority white city in 2027, but a diverse one in which the white population remains more than twice the size of the Pakistani population which is predicted to become one fifth of the district's population by then."

But hopes that different ethnic groups could assimilate into a "common identity" in towns and cities were dismissed by Dr Sullivan as "utopian in quite a dangerous way" and "completely unrealistic".

He added that the suburbs, rather than town and city centres were the "sites of real tension".

"Lack of affordable housing, poor environments and anti-social behaviour are the issues, not ethnic composition nor segregation itself," he said.

Nissa Finney, also from Manchester University, told the Royal Geographical Society's annual conference that 35 towns and cities in Britain had at least one ward which was "minority white". These included Birmingham, Burnley, Slough, Peterborough, Bolton and Derby, as well as Brent, Tower Hamlets, Ealing and Newham within London.

Miss Finney said the increasing population of non-whites in these wards was more linked with "natural population dynamics" like moving areas to be nearer family or friends, than with immigration.

She told the conference: "Clustering is the result of benign and natural population dynamics. There is no evidence of self-segregation or exceptional 'white flight'."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Tories plan new curbs on migrants
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2007

David Cameron set out a tough new stance on immigration yesterday, promising curbs to limit the number of people coming in as a way of easing pressure on schools, hospitals and housing.

Swinging his party back on to more traditional Conservative territory, the Tory leader said the number of people arriving in Britain over a decade of Labour government had been "too high".

The "huge numbers" had placed "too great a burden" on public services, which were creaking under the pressure.

"There are benefits from immigration and I want Britain to capture the benefits from that immigration," he said on BBC2's Newsnight.

"But I think the levels of migration we've seen ... have put too great a burden on public services. It needs to be better controlled."

Mr Cameron made clear that he was not talking about sending immigrants home or unpicking existing accession agreements with European countries, such as Poland, that recently entered the EU.

... A Conservative government would push for "transitional periods" before people from future EU entrant nations could come and live and work in Britain.

As for those from outside the EU, a calculation should be made each year of what skills the country needed, the benefits migrants bring to Britain, and "the costs of pressures on public services".

After these calculations had been done, a Tory government would place a limit on the overall number of migrants from non-EU countries.
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Immigration – population
Immigration divides England into two zones
Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2007

News today that one in four children born in Britain has a foreign parent is the clearest possible evidence of the effect of mass immigration on our society. ...

But the real reason is deliberate, if largely camouflaged, government policy.

Labour's 1997 manifesto said only that "every country must have firm control over immigration and Britain is no exception". The first hint, no more, came in the 2001 manifesto, which said: "As our economy changes and expands, so our rules on immigration need to reflect the need to meet skills shortages."

This turned out to be the trigger for a massive increase in work permits which have trebled under this government - a policy supported by the extreme Left for ideological reasons, by trades unions for politically correct reasons, and by employers for reasons of self-interest.

In 2004, the same forces argued for opening our borders to the east Europeans with results at least 10 times larger than the Government had foreseen.

This mass immigration is dividing England into two zones. In the countryside, life continues much as usual. In the cities, multi-culturalism is rapidly taking over. In London, one third of the population are immigrants and half of all children are born to foreign mothers.

In many city schools immigrant children can find little British culture to adhere to, even if they wished to do so. ... ...

The situation is now very serious but not hopeless. The first requirement is to get the numbers under control.
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Immigration – population
One in four babies is born to a foreign parent
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2007

One in four babies born in the UK has a foreign mother or father, official figures showed yesterday.

Population data for the year to July 2006 showed the proportion of babies born to a foreign parent had risen to 25 per cent compared tom 20 per cent just six years ago.

The startling statistic reflected the impact of record levels of immigration on the population.

A spokesman for the Office for National Statistics said: "That reflects the cumulative effect of immigration over the last 40 years."

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said over the next 20 years one in three new households would be a result of immigration.
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Immigration
Let in the best, but keep out the rest
David Davis
Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2007

Yesterday, the Government published its annual immigration report, the Control of Immigration Statistics 2006, but the key figure for net migration was "unavailable". Labour claims it is controlling migration - but if you can't count it, you can't control it. ... In truth, the "open doors" approach to immigration was pioneered by Gordon Brown as Chancellor. He is directly culpable for the chaos he inherits as Prime Minister.

... Some immigration has benefited the economy, but Labour's handling has made it more painful than it should have been. There has been a catalogue of slip-ups. ... Non-EU immigration has doubled over a decade, to an annual figure of 300,000.

The Conservatives realise that immigration attracts some of the best people to this country - bringing expertise, economic dynamism and adding to the rich diversity of Britain. But we will not pretend there are no downsides.

...

A Conservative government would set criteria to ensure that we attract only those benefiting the economy, mindful of the social impact. Even then, a points system without an overall limit is useless. So, unlike Labour, we would set an annual cap on the numbers arriving.
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Immigration
Huge rise in visitors from East Europe
Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2007

More than 8,000 Eastern Europeans a day visited Britain in the past year.

Official figures showed a 25 per cent increase in tourists from the 12 accession countries within the European Union. No figures are kept as to how many later returned home.
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Immigration
How to stop Britons feeling like strangers in their own land
Irwin Stelzer
Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2007

Housing shortages, pressure on the social services, queues at the hospitals, terrorist infiltration, a feeling by too many Britons that they are strangers in a strange land. Different problems, with a common cause: an unprecedented wave of immigration.

Gordon Brown is reluctant to interfere with the influx that has already brought the total of immigrants working in Britain to more than 1.5 million. After all, these workers help to paper over the skills shortages resulting from the under-performing education system and labour shortages created by a benefits system that makes work unattractive compared with the dole and other benefits, contribute to reducing wage pressures that might trigger inflation, and add to the ranks of potential Labour Party voters.

Nor does he have much to fear from the Tories, who rather wish the entire issue would go away. ... ...

Any sensible policy, whether it is to control pollution, traffic or immigration, must make those who create costs for society bear those costs. In the case of immigration, employers - what the Home Office identifies as "those who benefit from immigration" - should be required to reimburse society for the costs their decisions impose on it. That can be accomplished as part of a broader plan that will limit immigration to economically desirable levels without damaging the economy, and separate those who want to come to Britain to work from those attracted by its generous social benefits.
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Immigration – rules, deportation
Immigration points rules 'are unfair'
George Jones
Daily Telegraph, 9 August 2007

Immigration rules must be changed urgently to remove the threat that thousands of highly skilled migrant workers could face deportation, a parliamentary committee said yesterday.

More than 49,000 people came to this country under the Government's Highly Skilled Migrants Programme, which was introduced in 2002 to encourage immigrants to fill skills gaps.

The programme offered them the prospect of the right to permanent residence.

However, a report yesterday from the joint Commons and Lords Human Rights Committee said that after the rules were tightened last year, many would no longer qualify for permanent residency.

They faced the prospect of deportation with their families because they would not be able to meet a new enhanced points test.

It said that this was a clear breach of the right to respect home and family life contained in Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

In a highly critical report, it described the Government's use of an "unconstrained power" in the Immigration Act to implement the regulations as "the very essence of arbitrariness". ...

As many as 90 per cent of the 49,000 admitted under the programme may not be eligible to stay when their leave expires.
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Immigration – history
PM feared threat of growing 'coloured population'
Sunday Telegraph, 5 August 2007

Winston Churchill considered blocking all immigration to Britain because he feared a growing "coloured population" was posing a threat to Britain's social stability.

Churchill, then 79, told Cabinet colleagues that he did not "want a parti-coloured UK". At a Cabinet meeting on February 3, 1954, the prime minister told colleagues: "Problems will arise if many coloured people settle here. Are we to saddle ourselves with colour problems in UK?"

Churchill said immigrants were attracted to Britain by the welfare state. "Public opinion in UK won't tolerate it once it gets beyond certain limits." The notebooks reveal that the Cabinet considered a total ban on non-white immigrants, a quota system and deporting anti-social elements from overseas.

David Maxwell Fyfe, later 1st Earl Kilmuir, the then home secretary, told colleagues there was evidence that more than a third of people convicted of living on immoral earnings were "coloured". He said the "coloured population are resented in Liverpool, Paddington and other areas by those who come into contact with them". The home secretary said people who had no social contact with ethnic minorities were "apt to take a liberal view". ...

Churchill thought the way round the issue would be to let "public opinion to develop a little more before taking action". The Tory leader thought that would be "politically wise".

Until the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962, all Commonwealth citizens could enter and stay in the UK without restriction.
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Immigration
Like it or not, we must face up to the truth on immigration
Iain Martin
Sunday Telegraph, 5 August 2007

The numbers related to immigration are astonishing. In excess of 600,000 eastern Europeans have arrived since their countries acceded to the European Union. In London last year, 53 per cent of births were to mothers who were not born in Britain; across England and Wales it was 22 per cent. It does not take a genius to work out that in 18 years, the capital's adult population will be even more diverse than now. Even modest population projections, from the Government's own actuary, put the UK population up seven million at 67 million by 2031. Others say it is an underestimate.

Try imagining six Birminghams, or the combined population of Wales and Scotland, landing on us in the decades ahead, and ask yourself if Britain's housing market, transport network, education system and NHS are built to cope. ...

But there is one rather large problem. There is, under our current arrangements with our EU partners and lack of border controls, very little the Government can do to control the flow. Tony Blair stumbled into this enormous social experiment with no plan, equating open borders with friendliness and modernity, and controls with so-called nasty Toryism.

Mr Brown wants to prove he is strong. He would be better being honest and admitting to the public that without a redrawing of the rules he can do little. ...

Tony Blair wondered what his "legacy" would be, and it was in front of him all the time: a population explosion he did not plan for. Soon, we are all going to have to deal with the consequences.
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Immigration
The foreign fields of rural England
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 5 August 2007

Britain's face is changing. More than half of all babies born in London last year were the children of foreign-born mothers. Across England and Wales, the figure was approaching a quarter. Recent polls, including the Ipsos Mori political monitor, last month, have put immigration at number one in the public's list of concerns. ...

Perhaps the strongest criticism of this Government's policies is that they are being pursued in ignorance of what impact immigration at its present level is having on Britain's economy and demography. ...

The most remarkable impact of recent migration is shown in birth statistics, calculated by the Office for National Statistics and revealed today. These show that out of 669,000 babies born last year in England and Wales, 147,000, or 22 per cent, were the children of foreign-born mothers. A further six per cent had British-born mothers but foreign-born fathers.

Among the foreign mothers, roughly a quarter were Asian, a quarter European, a quarter from Africa or the Caribbean, and a quarter from elsewhere. ... The highest fertility rate is among women born in Pakistan but living in Britain, who have an average of 4.7 children.
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Immigration – politics
Is ignoring the immigration issue a mistake?
John Curtice, Professor of Politics, Strathclyde University
Sunday Telegraph, 5 August 2007

In a Mori poll at the time of the last election, 47 per cent said they trusted Mr Howard most to deal with immigration and asylum, while only 29 per cent named Mr Blair. Equally, 36 per cent said that the Conservatives had the best policies on immigration, while only 18 per cent nominated Labour. More recently, a YouGov poll found that 84 per cent felt that the Government did not have immigration under control.

Yet, Mr Cameron has turned his face against making asylum and immigration one of his party's key lines of attack. ... ...

The public have noticed the change of Conservative tone. Just 16 per cent now think the Conservatives have the best policies on asylum and immigration, down 20 points on 2005. ...

Much as we might say we would like less immigration, we seem to accept that some is beneficial. While, according to Mori, 45 per cent do not feel immigration is good for Britain, 43 per cent believe it is. And according to Populus 59 per cent believe that immigrants make a positive contribution to the country's economy.
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Immigration – population
NI papers given to 2 million migrants
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2007

More than two million foreign nationals have been issued with National Insurance numbers to work in Britain in the past four years, new figures showed yesterday.

A third were allocated to the east European countries that joined the EU in 2004.

But 600,000 have been issued to workers from Asia and the Middle East and a further 300,000 to Africans.

Last year alone, there were 713,000 new NI registrations - double that in 2003-04. ...

About 16,000 were claiming out-of-work benefits within six months of registering for an NI number, at a cost of £80 million to the taxpayer.

For a NI number to be issued, documents must be provided. But there is thought to be a flourishing market in forged papers. ...

Despite the huge rise in the number of migrant workers, Jacqui Smith, the new Home Secretary, was unable to provide a specific figure for its scale yesterday when she appeared before MPs.
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Immigration
Soames calls for immigration cut
BBC, 17 July 2007

Immigration levels to the UK need to be cut to avoid "profound changes" in British society, MPs have been told.

Senior Conservative MP Nicholas Soames warned there were "dangerous shoals ahead" unless the UK took action. ...

Mid-Sussex MP Mr Soames, who initiated the debate, said numbers of immigrants entering the UK each year had quadrupled since 1997.

He added: "The present scale of immigration is absolutely without precedent in our history.

"This rate of migration cannot be sustained without the most profound changes taking place in our society."

He accused the government of failing to "get a grip" on the asylum system, trebling the number of work permits it issued since 1997, and changing the rules to make it easier for people to bring their husbands and wives in.

Mr Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill and longtime friend of Prince Charles, said immigration from outside the EU should be limited to the numbers leaving the UK - about 100,000 a year.

He disputed government claims about the benefits to the general economy from immigration and said the public could "sense the falsehoods" in government claims.

Mr Soames proposed cutting work permits, tightening family reunion rules and also asylum applications.

He said any immigration system was only as good as its power to remove people, and if necessary human rights rules needed to be looked at again.

He said access to the welfare state should only come after people had contributed to it for five years to "defuse the very strong sense of grievance".

"Muddling on" would risk adding to the pressure building in society, he said.

Mr Soames stressed that his proposals were not racist, saying they would apply as much, say, to the US as to Uganda. ...

During the Westminster Hall debate, ex-Labour minister Frank Field, said the "political classes" had failed to listen to people's legitimate concerns about the level of immigration.

He added: "If we do not change tack very quickly, very smartly on this issue then the sense of our national identity may be lost."

He questioned the free movement of people around Europe and said one million people coming in from eastern Europe was "unsustainable". ...

But Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said he did not see how it was possible to "turn off the tap" of people coming in to the UK.

He added that there should be a process for illegal immigrants to earn legal residence - saying it was "fanciful" to think that the estimated 600,000 illegal immigrants in the UK could be deported.
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Immigration
[part 1]
Nicholas Soames, MP (Con)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

There have been many debates about asylum but it is no longer the main issue. The principle of asylum for genuine cases is not disputed in this House. In any case, those numbers are now, thankfully, coming down: asylum now accounts for only some 6 per cent. of net foreign immigration. Nor is the debate about our existing legal immigrant communities. They are a valued part of our society, and they have enriched and often greatly enhanced it.

The serious issue for this House and for our country is the sheer scale of immigration that is now taking place. It is utterly misleading to claim, as some do, that people became used to immigration in the past and will do so again. The present scale of immigration is absolutely without precedent in our history. There have been only two major waves of immigration since the Norman conquest in 1066: the Huguenots in the late 17th century, and the Jewish refugees in the 19th and 20th centuries. Both those migrations were spread over 50 years, and both amounted to less than 1 per cent. of the population of Britain at the time. With foreign immigration currently running at 300,000 a year, we are now receiving an additional 1 per cent. of our population every two years. In other words, annual net foreign immigration is now 25 times higher than it has ever been in the past, even at the two peaks.

Talk of Britain as a nation of immigrants is absurd. It would be much more accurate to describe us as a nation of emigrants. Indeed, the number of emigrants exceeded the number of immigrants until the 1980s. Net immigration is a new phenomenon and initially was quite small. Between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, it hardly exceeded 50,000 a year. Since 1997, however, it has quadrupled to some 200,000 a year. Even that number makes little allowance for immigration from eastern Europe. In 2005, it was assessed as a net inflow of 64,000 – a figure that today looks remarkably low. None of those numbers include any allowance for illegal immigrants, who are believed to comprise at least half a million people.

The sharp increase in immigration is no accident. To suggest, as Ministers do, that it is all a result of the fall of communism or of globalisation is, frankly, bizarre. The numbers point clearly to a massive increase since the present Government came to power in 1997. Part of the increase is due to their failure during their first five years in office to get a grip on asylum claims, of which more than 60 per cent. were eventually judged to be unfounded. Another part is due to their decision to allow a massive increase in work permits, which have trebled since 1997. At the same time, their decision in June 1997 to abolish the primary purpose rule has led to the number of spouses admitted to Britain doubling from 20,000 to 40,000 a year.

Those policy shifts have had a substantial impact on our population. Just over 1 million people have been granted British citizenship in the past 10 years. Net foreign immigration during that period was more than 2 million people, or 600 a day. That rate of immigration cannot be sustained without the most profound changes occurring in our society.

...
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Immigration
[part 2]
Nicholas Soames, MP (Con)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

Looking ahead, the Government's projections anticipate that we will add 1 million to our population every five years. Of that increase, 83 per cent. will be due to new immigrants and their descendants. Even that forecast is based on the cautious assumption that immigration will fall by about 30 per cent. from its present level and remain flat. It is still too early to judge how many east Europeans will turn out to be temporary visitors and how many will stay on as immigrants. However, it is at least possible that they will sharply increase the pressure on our population. ...

Looking ahead, the Prime Minister trumpets his plan to build 3 million houses by 2020. Many of them will have to be on greenfield sites. What he omitted to mention was that 1 million of them will be not for existing immigrants, who are now a valuable part of our community, but for new immigrants, and that even that vast number depends on the Government's assumption that immigration will fall by 30 per cent. from present levels, and stay flat thereafter.

The public sense that there are falsehoods in the Government's arguments. Two thirds of people simply do not believe them, and 75 per cent. want an annual limit on immigration. That is the point to which I shall now turn. I believe that an annual limit is the key to restoring public confidence in our immigration system, which is now at rock bottom. My first proposal is that the level of net foreign immigration be managed downwards until it is close to the level of British emigration, which is running at about 100,000 a year and has doubled under this Government. Such a policy would mean that we were no longer adding to our population through immigration, and would relieve the pressure on our infrastructure and public services. That would require a reduction in the number of work permits, a tightening of the regulations on family reunion and much stronger efforts to remove failed asylum seekers.

It is important to recognise that limits cannot be applied to citizens of the European Union – which is not, as some allege, a matter of racism, but a consequence of treaties signed by British Governments of all political persuasions. The tough immigration policies that I advocate are not a matter of race. They would, for example, apply in the same way to Ukrainians and Ugandans, and to Americans and Indonesians. Fortunately, the omission of EU citizens from a new immigration regime would not be too serious. Migration to and from the EU14 is pretty well in balance. There was a blip when Spain, Portugal and Greece joined, but the numbers have now declined to a mere 22,000 a year. In the longer term, we can expect migration to and from the 10 new EU members to come into balance as their economies approximate to ours. Long-term pressure on immigration will come from the third world, where populations are rapidly expanding and employment opportunities for the young are sadly lagging well behind those in the EU. One measure of that is that visa applications have increased by 50 per cent. in the past five years.
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Immigration
[part 3]
Nicholas Soames, MP (Con)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

Any immigration system is only as good as its ability to remove. We now find that the international human rights framework, which was established half a century ago and was brought into domestic legislation by the Human Rights Act 1998 nearly ten years ago, has many serious unintended consequences. For example, it is making it extremely difficult for the authorities to remove from Britain people who have no right to be here and who, frankly, are abusing the hospitality and good will of our country. My second suggestion, therefore, is that a fundamental review of our membership of the European Court of Human Rights must be part of a new approach to immigration control.

My third proposal concerns the entitlement of non-EU citizens to welfare benefits. Under the transitional arrangements for the accession of eight EU countries, the Government sharply curtailed access to the welfare state for the first 12 months, but that will fall by the wayside at the end of the seven-year transition period, if not before. However, I believe that we should adapt this principle for wider use. We should deny full benefits to anyone who has not become a British citizen, or who has not worked in the UK for five years and been granted indefinite leave to remain. In other words, to enjoy the full benefits of the welfare state, a migrant would have to contribute significantly to the welfare state before being entitled to all its benefits, and/or have shown a commitment to becoming a British citizen by learning English and passing the citizenship test. Such a regime would go some way toward defusing the very strong sense of unfairness felt by those who have paid into the system for many years, but seen others benefit more or less on arrival.

To sum up, we need a fundamental rethink of our immigration system. Muddling on as we are will only add to the pressures building up in our society. I have made three proposals: an annual limit to immigration close to the level of emigration, a fundamental review of our membership of the ECHR, and a restriction of welfare benefits for those who have not contributed for five years. Finally and very importantly, we need more of an effort in this House and more widely in Britain, and we need to have a cool, sustained and serious debate on immigration, which has been long-promised but is very overdue.
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Immigration
[part 1]
Frank Field, MP (Lab)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

The debate on immigration is rated by constituents as one of the most important. And yet look! Although I am grateful that the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex is being supported by three Back-Bench Conservative Members, no Liberal Democrat Member is here to support their spokesman, the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Clegg). I do not know whether the Parliamentary Private Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Ian Lucas), will be frog-marched into contributing to this debate, but no other Labour Member, besides the Minister, is present. Yet this is, for our constituents, one of the key issues that we are facing, and they think that we should represent their views more adequately. ...

However, I believe also that we are fighting, in the political classes, a frame of mind that is unwilling, perhaps, to suggest that it might have been mistaken in what it has prattled about for the last 30 years. Indeed, perhaps the Minister would take a message back to his Cabinet colleagues. In the statements of relief that the last bombing episode had not wrought the evil on innocent people that had been intended, Cabinet Ministers told us to be vigilant. The report back from my constituents in Birkenhead market was: "What a damned cheek that they should lecture us on vigilance!" If the political class had been a little more vigilant in the past, and responded to their regular doubts and worries about the level of immigration, we might not, they said, be listening to such statements from Cabinet Ministers. So a little less from the political leadership about those on the receiving end of that lack of vigilance from the political class would be much welcomed. ...

I thought that the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex was modest in the figures that he gave – they do not tally with the figures that I have tried to compute in this area – but he is right to say that we are at a loss to know the precise numbers of people coming and going. One would have thought that that would be a first requirement of those who have a duty to defend our borders. The rate is certainly speeding up, as the hon. Gentleman said. In the last three years for which we have data, the number of people coming to this country is about 2 million and the number leaving is about 1 million. I do not subtract one from the other and say, "Oh, there is a net increase of only this sum." Those figures are changing the stock of people in this country. Therefore, one has to bear in mind both those forces. ...

It is absurd for the Government to say that they are trying to increase significantly the amount of affordable housing for people here if we have an open-doors policy and are adding significantly to the number of people who, naturally, want to live in decent circumstances and whom we would wish to live in decent circumstances. There is clearly a conflict there.

...
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Immigration
Andrew Pelling, MP (Con)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

As a London Member of Parliament, it is important that I contribute to the debate because London receives more than double the total amount of inward migration into the rest of the UK. ...

It is important that Parliament should debate this issue. In other places, the approach has been weak and pusillanimous. Colleagues will know that I am also a member of the London assembly, and it is a great criticism of that organisation that it has felt unable during its seven years to conduct a proper investigation into what is such an important issue for London and that it has decided to have only a watching brief on it. ...

I strongly agree that it is time for us to consider constructively reducing the flows of migrants into the United Kingdom. Perhaps what is happening is the result of economic success; but economies go up and down, and it is quite reasonable for us, in our national interest, to be able to feel that we have some control over the amount of immigration into our country, and that that should be in the interest of our constituents.

More than a third of the present population of London were born outside the United Kingdom. It strikes me that the Government should have a view on what the percentage should be: does the Minister take the view that it should be the majority? The question whether the majority of residents of our capital city should have been born outside the UK strikes me as a fundamental aspect of public policy. It is important for us to regain control over our borders and reduce the rate of migration into the United Kingdom.
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Immigration
Nick Clegg, MP (LD)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

To highlight the fact that there has been a quantitative shift in the scale of immigration into the United Kingdom, with massive knock-on effects on the public policy debate, seems to me to be stating the obvious. Other right hon. and hon. Members have claimed that the political class as whole has been living in denial of that fact, and I certainly join them in that view and acknowledge that when the facts around us change as radically as they have done a political response is required. ...

Perhaps I may take up a specific point with the right hon. Gentleman. He talked, and I agree, about the need for a debate about what it is to be British, or, more specifically, English. I could not agree more and I think that the challenges posed by large-scale immigration also throw up important questions about identity and integration and the values around which identity and integration are organised. I still happen to think, however, that openness to the outside world, tolerance towards others, acceptance of diversity, and an acknowledgement of the economic benefits brought about by economic immigration are part and parcel of a liberal identity that I cherish. It would be a crying shame if in our response to the new facts we were to throw the baby out with the bath water and not acknowledge that a liberal attitude to immigration is integral to what it is to be British. ...

I have not yet heard of a system that is sufficient in its watertight rigour to do what the hon. Gentleman suggests and somehow set an arbitrary limit and then pull up the drawbridge at the Dover coast. I challenge him to explain exactly how he would do that. We are dealing with a global phenomenon of a mass movement of people across borders, which is altogether more complex, but that process can be managed if we have an efficient, fair and effective system. My criticism of the Government is to ask why it has taken them 10 years to introduce a points-based system and the Border and Immigration Agency steps that I welcome. Why do they propose not to reintroduce the exit controls that were abolished in 1994, so that we at least know who comes in and goes out, until 2014? That seems a lackadaisical approach.
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Immigration
Damian Green, MP (Con)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

That brings me to my first point numbers matter. One of the most absurd things that the Minister's predecessor did was to accuse me, in my early months of shadowing his job, of playing the numbers game. Immigration is essentially a numbers game; numbers absolutely matter in this field as much as they do in welfare and economic policy. That kind of unthinking response to the debate on immigration has given rise to a lack of public confidence. Therefore, Conservatives seek proper control of the numbers as the absolute basis for restoring public confidence in the immigration system. That confidence has been completely lost. ...

My hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Sussex said that he effectively wanted to manage this down to zero net immigration, but I must part company with him as I do not see the magic in that. If the economy benefits from immigration, rationally we should seek a level of immigration that maximises the benefit. At the same time, we should recognise that there will be strains on infrastructure and so on he mentioned that and thus we should seek an optimal level. It is not clear that the optimal level will be zero every year. There may be perverse periods for example, if the economy went into recession for several years that might increase the amount of emigration. At such a stage, it would seem perverse if that in itself permitted a higher degree of immigration when the labour market would be least able to provide the jobs for new immigrants.

Although I do not agree on the zero net figure, I agree with my hon. Friend that we need an explicit limit. He, like other hon. Members, will be aware that the Conservative party advocates an explicit limit. The hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam said that he does not see how that could work I can suggest only that he gets out more, because it works in other countries. Many other countries have such a system and it works perfectly well. There is a greater level of public confidence in their immigration systems than exists in this country. Our proposition is that there should be an explicit limit every year, taking into account the social and cohesion factors, the ability of the public infrastructure to cope and the needs of the economy at the time.

We would expect the current limit to be substantially less than the present level of immigration, because we observe all the strains and stresses that have been mentioned today and see that in certain parts of the country the public infrastructure simply cannot cope. We advocate extending the Government's points-based system so that we are trying to accept only people who are economically beneficial. On top of that there needs to be an explicit limit, because without one the points-based system will be meaningless; it will not increase public confidence or do what is necessary to ensure the radical change that we need.
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Immigration
[part 1]
Liam Byrne, MP (Lab), The Minister of State, Home Department
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

It is true that the level of immigration to this country has changed over the past 10 years, and that European economic area nationals have increased there were around 145,000 in 2005. The number of work permit holders has doubled, rather than tripled, up to 137,000. The point is that underneath that movement of people there is a degree of consensus that is worth sketching out. We agree that we should phase out low-skilled migration from outside Europe. We have introduced controls on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals coming to this country, and for the lifetime of that policy we shall phase out low-skilled migration from outside Europe. That is a matter on which we agree.

There is now a degree of consensus on refugees. In 2005, the Conservative party said:

We will set an overall annual limit on the numbers coming to Britain, including a fixed quota for the number of asylum seekers we accept.

That would have involved renegotiation of the Geneva convention, and was an unfortunate policy. The hon. Member for Ashford (Damian Green) was intelligent and wise to reverse it on 29 December when he said in The Guardian:

We will be looking at that again, and seeing what controls on asylum seekers are needed.

There is a degree of consensus on the level of EU migration. It does not include my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead, but the position that both sides of the House have settled on is that we should accept free movement of people inside Europe. When the free movement of persons directive was laid on 4 April 2006 and then translated into immigration regulations, no party prayed against it, which signalled a degree of consensus. ...

Between 1990 and 2005, the United States gained 15 million migrants, and Spain and Germany both gained around 4 million migrants. That is in sharp contrast with the 1.6 migrants who have moved in and out of the UK. Italy's net immigration rate today is around three times higher than that in the UK. The pattern of the debate has changed over the past decade, but that is because the world is changing.

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex for making, for the first time, some practical proposals for how an immigration limit could be introduced. That has been talked about on the Opposition Benches for some time and finally we have heard one practical way of doing that. There was a degree of support, and difference of opinion, in the Chamber this morning, but finally we have had a practical solution. I do not think the hon. Gentleman proposes a cap on the number of refugees as part of that limit, which is a change on the Conservative Benches. If the cap does not include EU migration, it may not be the cap that he thinks because around 48 per cent. of the UK's net migration is from within Europe. However, it was good to hear some practical proposals at last.
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Immigration
[part 2]
Liam Byrne, MP (Lab), The Minister of State, Home Department
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

Our proposals are obviously different, and we are beginning the countdown to the points system, under which only people whom Britain needs will be able to come to work and study in this country. The system will be introduced in the new year, but with any new points system the important question is, How many points should someone need to be able to work and study in the UK? I have said repeatedly that we need a far more open and intelligent debate about what immigration is good for Britain and what is not. I absolutely agree with the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex and my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead that the media must be part of that debate. I am sure that many hon. Members have had debates with colleagues in the media and dare I say it? the BBC where there is a sense that the matter is difficult to talk about and that it would be better not to. That attitude must go, and we must debate the matter more openly. It is not racist to talk about immigration, because this is the real world.

When we set the number of points that people need to come to Britain, we should have a debate that includes a much more open discussion of the evidence, which is why we propose to set up the migration advisory committee. It will be in place at the end of the year, and will advise transparently on where immigration is needed in the economy, and where it is not needed. Alongside that, it is not sufficient to set immigration policy simply with an eye on the economy. We must consider what is going on in Britain as a whole, and we are establishing the migration impact forum to take account of the wider evidence of social and other impacts of immigration on British life before setting the points threshold. ...

I reject the calls of the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam for regularisation, which would be an amnesty in any other name and would put illegal immigrants at the front of the jobs queue when they should leave the country. It would send the wrong signal, and we should reject it. ...

The technology that we have put in place is already beginning to work. We have made progress with biometric visas, and have already found 4,000 people who had applied for a visa to come to Britain but who were misleading us about their identity. Passenger screening systems have found around 1,000 people who were subsequently arrested at airports. That sort of technology will be vital in strengthening future border security. It must be used alongside the new powers in the UK Borders Bill which will be important in strengthening future enforcement.

I want to reflect on Britishness. I completely agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead and the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex that we must have that debate in earnest in the months to come. There must be a stronger relationship between what new citizens get and what they give. Exploring whether English should be required before permanent entry is important, and I hope that when we publish that consultation it will receive wide support.
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Immigration
[part 2]
Frank Field, MP (Lab)
Hansard - Commons, 17 July 2007
[House of Commons debate]

My last proposal, which takes us back to one that has already been made, is that we should be much more serious about welfare, not because we want to crack down or be unpleasant to people, but because the feeling of having contributed to the building up of certain institutions and provisions and, therefore, the feeling of owning them are part of being English, Welsh or Scottish. We are undermining one of the cornerstones of our society by allowing Tom, Dick and Harry to qualify under certain conditions – perhaps for the best reasons in the world – when others believe that one should first make a significant contribution to the community and that they have done so either as individuals or through their families. Not requiring people to make a contribution strikes against other people's sense of fairness. In the long run, those with sharper elbows will not defend the institutions that are crucial to the poorest members of our society if they feel that those who come to this country are getting as good a deal as, or a better deal than, the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people who have been resident here for a long time and who – either as individuals or through their families – have contributed to those institutions. ...

I end by saying that I am appalled that the Chamber is not so full of people demanding to speak that there is standing room only.
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Immigration – multiculturalism
'They come and go with ease'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2007

Even more cash will be needed if the intelligence agencies are to vet foreign doctors seeking work in the NHS. ... Australia managed to turn down two suspected bombers who applied for jobs because their references and qualifications did not pass muster, so serious questions must be raised over the almost "open door" policy that operates here.

Then again, if the scrutiny of medical staff were tightened, al-Qa'eda would merely seek supporters from other walks of life. There have long been fears that universities are a rich recruiting ground. ... Prof Glees was concerned that universities were so desperate to fill places with overseas students that they did not vet applicants properly or even require hard proof of identity.

... Pakistan is the command HQ, and that is where recruits are trained.

That is why the UK is so vulnerable: its large Pakistani community means the few who would cause the country harm can enter and leave without suspicion. More than 400,000 journeys are made between Pakistan and Britain each year.
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Immigration
Bombs and doctors
Professor John Studd
Daily Telegraph, 6 July 2007
[Letter to the Editor]

The solution in the past to this lack of British-trained doctors was to steal young doctors from the Third World, who then stayed in the country because of better facilities and salaries. It is cheaper, but hardly ethical, and has devastating effects on the healthcare of developing countries.

It is also worth asking how trainee doctors from Africa and the Middle East find it so easy to obtain posts, when those from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have almost insurmountable obstacles put in their path?
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Immigration – health services
Vetting of foreign health workers to be stepped up
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2007

Background checks on foreign doctors and other health workers migrating to Britain are to be stepped up after the bomb scares in London and the Glasgow airport attack.

Recruitment of overseas medical staff will also be reviewed and global watch lists for terrorists expanded. ...

Gordon Brown, during his first Prime Minister's Questions, said the Government would strengthen checks on skilled migrants. Sponsors could be asked to provide references and other information.

The NHS recruitment review will be carried out by Lord West, the new security minister and former defence chief.

It could result in a reappraisal of the need for foreign workers, who have been a mainstay of the NHS for a generation. Last night there was little detail of how any new arrangements might work.

Nearly 90,000 doctors in the UK qualified overseas at a time when domestically trained medics are finding it hard to get jobs.
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Immigration – from Poland
Poles 'happy to stay in Britain'
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2007

More than half of the hundreds of thousands of Poles who have emigrated to Britain plan to stay long-term, according to a report by a Warsaw-based market research agency.

Even though many Poles had yet to find work or places to stay, 55 per cent said they would not be returning home soon, the report said.
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Immigration – doctors
A vital contribution to Britain's health
Judith Woods
Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2007

Today, almost 90,000 of the 240,000 doctors approved to work in Britain gained their medical qualifications overseas. They are drawn from 150 countries, and include 27,558 who qualified in India, 8,188 in South Africa and 2,287 in Sri Lanka. Around 6,000 qualified in the Middle East, 1,985 in Iraq, 488 in Iran and 184 in Jordan.
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Immigration
The immigration horse has bolted
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2007

One of the many vetoes that Tony Blair surrendered over the weekend was on migration policy. There are an estimated 6.5 million irregular migrants in the EU alone, and considerably more in other European countries, including between eight million and 10 million sans-papiers living in Russia.

How are we to deal with these people, many of whom are for the large part tolerated but do not have a legal status or a right to remain? Some countries - notably Spain, Italy and, recently, Greece - have "regularised" the position of their illegal immigrants and, although this does not bestow immediate citizenship, after a while they can apply for nationalisation and will then be free to settle anywhere in the EU. So one country's amnesty is everybody's amnesty.
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Immigration
Tell us where you stand on security, Mr Brown
David Davis, Shadow Home Secretary
Sunday Telegraph, 24 June 2007

Take immigration. I put it to Mr Brown that, as Chancellor, his "open door" policy allowed economic expediency to override sound social policy. We now have an acute shortage of housing and some councils in financial crisis. His policy allowed the Government to ignore the one million economically inactive under 25s and left Britain vulnerable to serious international crime through our porous borders. What answers does the next Prime Minister have? None he has shared with the country. The Conservative policy is crystal clear: we would place an annual limit on immigration and establish a border police force to control our borders.
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Immigration
Refugees will flee 'arc of instability' for life in Europe
Mike Pflanz
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2007

Fresh waves of migrants will attempt to reach Europe unless more is done to rebuild their war-torn homelands, the United Nations refugee chief has said.

The number of refugees running from a "boiling arc of instability" from Somalia through the Middle East to Afghanistan jumped 14 per cent to 9.9 million last year.

A further 24.5 million have become "internally displaced people" - refugees in their own countries - according to a report released by the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

"The over-riding instinct of these people is to return to their homes when it is safe to do so," said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, during a visit to southern Sudan to mark World Refugee Day.

"But when they get home, unless we focus more on getting them services, schools, health care and jobs, they can become illegal immigrants who look outside their countries again for a better life."

In Sudan's south, 155,000 of the 400,000 people who fled Africa's longest civil war have returned since peace was signed in January 2005. A separate conflict still rages in the western Darfur province.

Agencies hope a further 102,000 will head home this year. But once they arrive back in their villages, they find an almost total lack of the services they came to expect in refugee camps and communities, where many have lived for two decades or more. ...

"There is happiness in my heart now that I am going home to my own country," Luku Joel, 30, said as the lorry carrying him and 35 others, aged from four months to 65, bounced into Sudan.

"But in the camps in Uganda, there is nursery schooling for the children, there are small jobs we can do to make money, there are qualified people if we get sick.

"In Sudan, look, there is nothing," he added, gesturing from the back of the lorry to the verdant emptiness of the countryside.

International agencies have built schools and refurbished hospitals, but that is not enough to keep people in Sudan after the initial joy of being home wears off, many recent arrivals said.
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Immigration
So are we the nastiest people in the world?
Simon Heffer
Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2007

We do seem to love hating ourselves - odd, since there are so many more deserving targets around for our odium - and the past few days have seen a lot of the phenomenon. ...

Tensions in urban areas caused by too many migrants are also nothing to do with incipiently unpleasant locals. They are to do with the white liberals who have run this country in recent years having no understanding of the inevitable failure of multi-culturalism, and the idiocy of this Government in particular in allowing unlimited immigration. When, 40 years ago, Enoch Powell said that even his black constituents in Wolverhampton thought there were too many immigrants, he was accused of lying. Yesterday, this newspaper reported that sentiment among older immigrants as a matter of uncontested fact. What is awesomely jaw-dropping is that the Government now admits there is a numbers problem - of course there is - without either admitting that it caused it, or offering any sort of solution.
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Immigration
We have let in too many immigrants, say black and Asian Britons
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2007

Nearly half of people from ethnic minorities believe there are too many migrants in Britain, according to a Government-commissioned report published yesterday.

The far-reaching impact of waves of immigration from eastern Europe is laid bare in the report by the Commission on Integration and Cohesion which looked at how to bring the country's increasingly diverse communities closer together.

A MORI poll for the commission found that 68 per cent of those questioned thought there were "too many migrants in Britain," a view shared by 47 per cent of Asians and 45 per cent of Black respondents.

It also showed that 56 per cent of people believed that some groups - mainly immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees - receive unfair priority in the allocation of housing, health services and education.

The report said the findings showed that people "are very sensitive about perceived freeloading by other groups".

There were also deep divisions over whether immigration was beneficial - 36 per cent thought it was good for the economy but 36 per cent thought it was not. ...

Among its more controversial proposals, the commission argued that political parties should make "positive" steps to better reflect their ethnically diverse communities, a move critics fear is a step towards quotas.

Councils should also use "targeted recruitment" to increase the number of people from ethnic minorities on their staff.
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Immigration – amnesty
Brown urged by candidates to give immigrants amnesty
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2007

Gordon Brown faced mounting pressure yesterday from three of his potential deputies to consider an amnesty on illegal immigrants.

The Prime Minister-in-waiting was warned that once identity cards were introduced, ministers would no longer be able to ignore Britain's estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants.

Jon Cruddas, the back-bench MP bidding to be Mr Brown's number two, urged the Chancellor to seize the moment and "regularise" the status of people who are in Britain illegally. ...

This week, Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary and one of the frontrunners to win the contest, said he was "attracted" to the idea of an amnesty.

In a debate on BBC2's Newsnight, Harriet Harman, the justice minister and another of the candidates, signalled that illegal immigrants already working here and paying taxes should be allowed to stay.

In stark contrast, two other candidates - Hazel Blears, the Labour Party chairman, and Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary - have raised fears that the move would would simply encourage more people to come to Britain.

Miss Blears said that it "sends out the worst possible message to people coming here". Mr Benn said: "I am not persuaded because I think in the end it might encourage more people [to come]."
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Immigration – population
It's not racist to worry about an imported population boom
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2007

Given the scale of new arrivals here and the extent to which they are changing our society, the quality of debate over the desirability of this upheaval is miserable. And we all know why.

Those who favour open borders have in effect gagged opponents by accusing them of "racism". You don't have to be against welcoming newcomers to be smeared as a Nazi sympathiser. You just have to argue that it's an important matter, with some serious downsides, that deserves proper analysis. ...

In December 2004, just as the wave of arrivals from eastern Europe was becoming too big to ignore, a survey for the Economist revealed that nearly three quarters of British people believed that too many immigrants were coming here. The Government refused to listen; it didn't want to know.

Labour encourage, in some cases by stealth, one of the most impactful challenges to British life without asking anyone for permission or approval. Unrestricted immigration did not feature in any of Tony Blair's election manifestos. We simply got it - whether we liked it or not. Since Labour came to power 10 years ago, British citizenship has been granted to one million foreign nationals. More than 150,000 were given a passport in 2006, four times the number who were awarded the privilege in 1997. The rate of overseas settlement in Britain is running at its highest ever. ...

I don't accept Labour's propaganda about ever more immigrants being needed to fuel economic growth. If an explosion in population is necessary for prosperity, how does Gordon Brown explain the success of Iceland, where fewer than 300,000 people, a tiny fraction of whom are immigrants, enjoy the sixth highest GDP per capita in the world? ...

Some of the costs cannot be counted in pounds and pence. It's no good dreamy demographers spouting the delights of a "melting pot" society, when in reality many Britons are discomfited by the prospect of their areas filling up with people who look, behave and speak differently. Few of us enjoy being made to feel like cultural aliens. ...

Amid the hype and hysteria, there is one unavoidable fact: if Britain continues to allow current levels of immigration, this country's population will grow dramatically in the next 50 years. This is the element that bothers me most. Never mind arguments over race, diversity and multiculturalism, England (where most immigrants want to settle) is horribly crowded. With 50 million people, it is the fourth-most densely populated country in the world, excluding city states such as Hong Kong and Dubai.

Seven out of 10 Britons believe that we are already over-crowded. They do not want to see a further sharp rise in numbers. But that's what they'll get if nothing is done.
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Immigration
1 in 4 Eastern Bloc migrants wants to stay here for good
James Slack
Daily Mail, 28 May 2007

A quarter of Eastern European migrants plan to stay in Britain permanently, a report suggested last night.

Most of them had originally intended to go home but have changed their minds after living here.

They told researchers from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation they were after better pensions and a "good education" for their children.

Based on estimates of migrant numbers, the report indicates that around 160,000 citizens of the former Eastern Bloc will settle for good - the equivalent of the population of Swindon.

The total is likely to climb higher still because 600 migrants arrive every day. ...

The Joseph Rowntree team questioned migrants six to eight months after Britain's borders were thrown open to Eastern Europe in 2004.

Only 6 per cent said they had originally intended to stay permanently. But many others changed their minds after arrival taking the number of would-be settlers to 25 per cent, or one in four.

Of those who were intending to leave, 90 per cent said they expected to return to the UK for further work.

The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the EU in May 2004, giving their citizens free access to Britain. Romania and Bulgaria joined in January.

The report makes clear that some migrants intend to make as much cash as possible and take it out of the country. ...

The study also found that many of the Eastern Europeans were living here illegally before May 2004.

They then acquired legal status overnight, with no attempt made to remove them for past immigration offences. ...

Figures released last week revealed that 640,000 Eastern Europeans, most of them Poles, have registered to work in Britain.

The true total is likely to be even higher as, in most cases, the Government keeps no record of the self-employed, spouses or children. Some estimates put the figure at 800,000.

Even based on the lower figure of 640,000, the Joseph Rowntree research would suggest that around 160,000 will settle in Britain for good.
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Immigration
Labour has welcomed one million new citizens since 1997
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2007

British citizenship has been granted to one million foreign nationals since Labour came to power in 1997, official figures showed yesterday.

More than 150,000 obtained a passport in 2006 - taking the total to around 1,020,000 since Tony Blair took office.

About half of the new citizens were people who qualified through being resident in the country for five years or more and 20 per cent became British through marriage. The remainder were mainly dependant children.

Although the number of new Britons last year was lower than in 2005, that year's figure of 161,000 was swelled by people trying to beat the new "Britishness tests" introduced in November 2005. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said passing one million new citizens since 1997 was a watershed for government policy. "This total does not even include the latest wave of east Europeans," he said.

"Even so we already face a massive change in British society completely contrary to the wishes of the public and also contrary to Labour's 1997 election manifesto, which said that every country needs firm immigration control and Britain is no exception.

"It is hard to know whether this [increase] is incompetence or deliberate deceit. Either way we will pay a high price in terms of social harmony." ...

The figures showed that 46,000 of the new citizens last year were born in Africa and 30,000 were from the Indian sub-continent.
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Immigration
Sarkozy to halt refugee centre
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2007

Nicolas Sarkozy, France's president-elect, has promised to stop a controversial refugee centre from being built in Calais.

When asked whether he opposed the construction of "Sangatte 2" in the ferry port, from where illegal immigrants try to reach Britain, a leading Sarkozy aide told The Daily Telegraph: "For sure." ...

"I can assure you that the president is very much against this," he added.
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Immigration
Children of Slough
Sunday Telegraph, 13 May 2007

Almost 90 Romanian gypsy children have arrived unaccompanied in Slough, Berkshire, since their country joined the European Union on January 1 this year.

The 88 Roma children appear to have paid someone in Romania to send them specifically to Slough. The borough council does not know why it was singled out, but says that help for the children, including a special team, has so far cost it £150,000.
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Immigration – amnesty
Amnesty demanded for 500,000 immigrants
Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2007

A mass rally yesterday called for a one-off amnesty to allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in the UK to become full citizens.

The Strangers into Citizens campaign, which attracted thousands of supporters to Trafalgar Square, proposes that migrants who have been in Britain for more than four years should be given a two year work permit without access to benefits.

Then, at the end of the two years, they would be given indefinite leave to remain, subject to criteria such as an English test, criminal checks and employer references.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, who held a multilingual mass at Westminster Cathedral beforehand, told the rally that immigrants deserved to be treated with "fairness, with justice and with dignity".

Other high-profile figures joining the protest included Dr Tom Butler the Anglican Bishop of Southwark, Labour deputy leadership contender Jon Cruddas, Baroness Shirley Williams and Billy Bragg, the singer and political activist.

Some protesters carried banners reading: "Abolish all racist immigration controls" and "No one is illegal". However, with both Labour and the Tories now having rejected the idea of an amnesty, the campaign's proposals apparently appear doomed. ...

Addressing the rally, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said: "We know that there are up to half a million immigrants who are undocumented, and some way should be found for these people who work in our country and contribute to our economy so that their rights are respected."
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Immigration – amnesty
'This would only make a bad situation worse'
Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2007

The immigration lobby and some church leaders are proposing that illegal immigrants who have been here for four or more years should be admitted to a "two-year pathway" to full legal rights. This would entitle them to access to the welfare state and to citizenship eventually. They could also bring over their families.

This is an amnesty in all but name.

There are somewhere between 500,000 and a million illegal immigrants here. Some arrived on the back of a truck and some overstayed their visas. Others are failed asylum seekers the Government has failed to remove. ... ...

An amnesty will be pointless if those who are legalised are simply replaced. Some 70 per cent of illegal immigrants are brought here by people-smugglers who will be the first to spot a new market.

Others will be tempted to overstay on visitor or student visas to work at less than the minimum wage but for more than they could earn at home.

Even now migrants are lining up in Sangatte for an opportunity to get to Britain. The prospect of an amnesty will attract even more. Italy and Spain have each granted five or six amnesties in the last 20 years and almost every time have faced even more applications.

An amnesty would be expensive for the taxpayer. The immigration lobby is claiming a net gain to the Exchequer of between £500 million to £1 billion. This takes no account of the cost of adding 500,000 people to the welfare state.

More immediate is the effect on housing. Once granted Leave to Remain, these migrants will become entitled to social housing. As single people they would join a waiting list. If their families arrived they would move up the priority list. ...

The prospect of an amnesty will only retain the illegals we have and attract more. It will shift the exploitation to another group of victims and will perpetuate the undercutting of honest employers and workers. In reality, it is foolishness. It would make a bad situation worse.
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Immigration
Migrant numbers 'wildly underestimated'
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 1 May 2007

Local councils are to carry out their own census-style checks on immigrant numbers because of glaring underestimates in official figures.

The councils, particularly in the South East, say that they do not get enough central government help with local services because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is incapable of providing correct numbers. Because local immigrant populations are higher than the official estimates, Whitehall grants do not meet demands for housing, transport and other services and the councils are left struggling.

The ONS is updating its methods but the councils say it is still wildly underestimating arrivals, particularly those from European Union accession countries. ...

ONS figures have also been at odds with statistics circulating within government. Earlier this month, the ONS suggested that 56,000 Poles entered the country in 2005. However, the Department for Work and Pensions produced its own statistics showing that more than 170,000 Poles had applied for national insurance numbers in the same year.
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Immigration – national identity
Unparalleled levels of immigration threaten Britain's cohesion as a nation
Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, 23 April 2007
[Press release]

In A Nation of Immigrants? David Conway takes issue with those who minimise the threat posed by mass immigration by claiming that this is nothing new; that we are a 'mongrel nation'; and that, in the words of the Commission on Racial Equality, 'everyone who lives in Britain today is either an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant'. ...

Since 1997, however, Tony Blair's Labour government has effectively abandoned even the goal of limiting immigration. As a result, by encouraging unending mass immigration as a permanent feature of the political landscape, there may result a disintegration of the bonds that hold together the group of people that constitutes a nation:

'The country may possibly have already reached a tipping point beyond which it can no longer be said to contain a single nation. Should that point have been reached, then ironically, in the course of Britain having become a nation of immigrants, it would have ceased to be a nation. Once such a point is reached, political disintegration may be predicted to be not long in following'. ... ...

Immigration now adds one per cent to the population every two years

As a direct result of the policies of the present government, which amount to a virtual abandonment of the control of our borders, immigration is now running at levels which have never been seen before in our history. In 2004 and 2005 net foreign immigration was 342,000 and 292,000 respectively, representing an increase in the population of one per cent in two years. Compared with earlier waves of immigration like the Huguenots and the Jews, who increased the population by one per cent or less over a period of decades, it is clear that we are in an unprecedented situation.

Stability, freedom and tolerance under threat from immigration

David Conway argues that current levels of immigration raise questions not only about numbers but about integration - although the second is related to the first. Until the last part of the twentieth century Britain's immigrant population comprised only a very small proportion of the total population. As a result, in order to flourish they had to adapt to the prevailing culture and integrate. This has given Britain an enviable record of social harmony combined with considerable ethnic and cultural plurality. However, the presence of large ethnic communities, for some of whom integration with the host culture is not an aim, is threatening this social harmony. ...

'A Nation of Immigrants? A brief demographic history of Britain' by David Conway is published by Civitas, 77 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2EZ tel 020 7799 6677, www.civitas.org.uk, price £10.00 inc. pp.
[Site link]

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Immigration – national identity
A nation of newcomers
David Conway
Sunday Telegraph, 22 April 2007

Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, noted last week that the mass influx of immigrants in recent years has left the country "deeply unsettled" and created problems for public services such as health and education. It was a statement of the obvious, but it was welcome for all that. ...

Labour remains committed to the view that immigration is good for the country, and the more there is, the better it will be. What is the evidence for that remarkable proposition? If you ask most ministers, they will tell you "Britain has always been a nation of immigrants". That claim is false. The evidence which refutes it is not very complicated: it consists simply in looking at the numbers. Between 1066 and 1945 Britain actually had very few waves of immigration. ...

Almost all immigrant groups never managed to reach 1 per cent of the population. The Normans, though they seized land and power, were a tiny elite. The Dutch who arrived in the 16th century were, in proportion to the whole population, a much smaller group. Even the 50,000 Huguenots from France only ever amounted to a hundredth of Britain's total population. And they arrived over a period of 50 years.

Immigration today adds 1 per cent to Britain's population every two years, or more than 5 per cent every decade. ...

Again and again you hear it repeated that the present levels of immigration are "nothing new", "nothing exceptional" and are in line with the proportions of immigrants who have, "throughout our history", come into Britain. The facts refute that claim so completely that I doubt any minister still believes it.

... The amount of immigration we have seen over the past decade has no parallel in British history. International migration into Britain now contributes around 80 per cent of Britain's annual population increase, and has done so since 1999. ... On present trends, by 2073, the majority population of this country will either have migrated here, or be the child or grandchild of parents who did so. No past wave of immigration has ever come anywhere near having that kind of consequence.
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Immigration – national identity
New Labour's star on migration watch
Alice Thomson
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2007
[Interview]

This was the week that Labour started apologising. First Des Browne produced a sort of sorry, then Gordon Brown attempted to explain why the pensions black hole wasn't his fault. Suddenly Liam Byrne, on a fact-finding trip to Australia, seemed to be saying that migration is "deeply unsettling" Britain and piling pressure on communities.

It is Mr Byrne, the Home Office minister, who has caught everyone by surprise. No one was forcing him to say sorry. Yet here was Tony Blair and Mr Brown's favourite junior minister, one of the rising stars of New Labour, performing a handbrake turn in the Australian outback. ...

By the time I caught up with him he was in China getting tips from the government on how it handles illegal migration.

He laughed when I suggested that he has now left both William Hague and Michael Howard way behind in discussions about immigration. The person he now cites most often is Sir Andrew Green from Migrationwatch, the think-tank once vilified by his party.

He insists he has not become Right-wing, he is just being pragmatic. In a pamphlet published by the Policy Network think-tank he says it is not "racist" to discuss immigration, indeed if Labour doesn't tackle the issue now it risks losing the election. ...

"I think immigration has been managed by Labour. Migration adds about £125 billion of value to our economy but a dangerous approach is now being proposed. The bishops and others are calling for an amnesty," Mr Byrne says.

"This would severely damage our country. At the moment local authorities are still coping with the pressure on schools and services but if we had the green light for unprecedented immigration they wouldn't be able to handle it."

He also thinks it would encourage illegal immigration. "I've come to China to try to do something about the highly organised criminal groups preying on families, forcing them to live a life of fear and to pay off their debts working in squalor, sometimes risking their lives." ...

So what will he do about the migrants already here? "The pace of change in some areas has been huge. We need to look again at how people can earn their citizenship and at the balance of privileges. It is essential that they integrate, it is crucial that they learn the language and that they become part of the wider community. It is vital not only that they gain from living in this country but that they give something back."

Mr Byrne wants to introduce a national day to celebrate what is best about Britain. "Everyone should sit down once a year and think how lucky they are to be British." ...

"The way the Tories used to talk about immigration was deeply irresponsible, it was all scaremongering. But now they barely talk about it at all. The polls show that immigration is the fourth most important concern to voters and it is much higher in some areas. Something needs to be done about that and I am determined to do it."
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Immigration – national identity
'Immigration is a threat to Britain as a single nation'
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2007

Immigration may be threatening Britain's status as a country, it has been claimed.

A pamphlet by social policy think-tank Civitas said the UK may have reached a "tipping point" where it can no longer be regarded as a single nation.

David Conway, the author, said that if Britain has become a "nation of immigrants" it could lead to political disintegration.

The 100-page booklet said: "Those for whom this country has been a model of tolerance and freedom cannot but have cause for deep concern about the seemingly reckless pace and scale on which immigration has recently been allowed to proceed.

"As a result of it, the country may possibly have reached a tipping point beyond which it can no longer be said to contain a single nation. Should that point have been reached, then, ironically in the course of Britain having become a nation of immigrants, it would have ceased to be a nation.

"Once such a point is reached, political disintegration may be predicted to be not long in following."

Mr Conway, a senior research fellow at Civitas, disputed a claim made by the Commission for Racial Equality in 1996 that "everyone who lives in Britain today is either an immigrant to the descendant of an immigrant".

The author said: "The view that Britain is a nation of immigrants suggests Britain has always experienced immigration on its present-day scale, which is not the case."
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Immigration
Immigrants swell population by 500 people a day
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 20 April 2007

Britain's population is growing by 500 a day because of immigration, new figures showed yesterday.

While 1,000 leave to live and work abroad, often foreigners returning home, 1,500 are arriving daily.

New immigration is now the highest in the country's history. But there are also record numbers of British citizens leaving these shores, with fewer coming home.

The figures for 2005, released by the Office for National Statistics, indicate that 565,000 people came to live here for at least 12 months, slightly down on 2004, while 380,000 left. ...

In 2005, there was a net emigration of 107,000 British while net immigration of non-British people amounted to 292,000. In 1991, one third of all citizens entering the UK were British. By 2005, this dropped to 16 per cent.

Most of the departing British citizens were bound for France, Spain and Australia. The largest group of arrivals were people from the Indian sub-continent - who accounted for two-thirds of net immigration, mainly fuelled by family reunions - and from Poland. ...

Next year, the Government is introducing a points-based work permit system designed to limit the number of low-skilled immigrants able to settle in Britain, though this will not affect family reunion which remains the driver for the expansion.

The 2005 figure was down on 2004, which with net immigration running at 223,000 was the highest ever.
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Immigration – electorate
Record immigration is big worry for many voters, minister admits
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2007

Labour's immigration minister has conceded that the record inflow of immigrants could be harming the worse off and has "deeply unsettled the country".

Liam Byrne admits in an article today that the issue is now near the top of the list of voter worries - and could cost Labour power.

He says it is "not racist" to debate immigration - even though Labour attacked the Tories for raising it during the 2001 general election.

Mr Byrne's comments, in a pamphlet published by the Policy Network think-tank, marks the latest milestone in a staged Labour retreat from the immigration policy it has embraced since 1997. A few years ago, David Blunkett, the former home secretary, said there was "no obvious upper limit" to the numbers that could come legally to Britain.

But Mr Byrne says: "We have to accept that laissez faire migration risks damaging communities where parts of our anti-poverty strategy come under pressure.

"When a junior school, such as the school in Hodge Hill in my own constituency in Birmingham, sees its population of children with English as a second language rise from five per cent to 20 per cent in a year, then boosting standards in some poorer communities gets harder."
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Immigration
French go ahead with 'Sangatte 2' despite warnings
Peter Allen and Martin Banks
Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2007

A new refugee centre is being built in Calais despite warnings that it will become "Sangatte 2" and lead to a fresh build-up of migrants seeking to enter Britain illegally.

The centre, taking shape on wasteland close to the town's main ferry port, is being built by charities to offer free meals, showers and advice to hundreds of refugees camping out in woodland and living rough in the town.

Although the centre will not provide overnight accommodation, it has already drawn protests from within Britain, with Opposition politicians saying it will become a stop-off point for thousands more immigrants attempting to enter England.

Comparisons are already being made to the infamous Sangatte Red Cross Centre, which finally closed in 2002 following an agreement between the French and British governments. ...

The Home Office said the number of refugees caught entering Britain illegally from Calais fell to 1,500 last year from 10,000 in 2002, when Sangatte closed.
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Immigration
We must regain control of our borders - now
Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2007
[Leading article]

John Reid, the Home Secretary, has described mass migration as "the greatest challenge facing all European governments". He's right. This is by no means an exclusively British problem, and the fact that our country is such a desirable destination for illegal immigrants is partly an accident of geography. But has any government in Europe so comprehensively failed to meet this challenge?

We do not know how many people are entering Britain every year, or who they are. Why? Not because such information is unobtainable, but because the Government does not have the will to obtain it.
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Immigration – adoption
India opens way to more adoptions by couples from Britain
Sarah Womack
Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2007

Barriers to adopting the thousands of children abandoned every year in India could soon be lifted for British families.

The Indian government intends to increase the number of children available to overseas families and place thousands more in homes in Europe and the United States. ...

Campaigners welcomed the news yesterday. "This is fantastic as far as it goes," said Stevan Whitehead of Oasis, a group which supports those wanting to adopt from abroad.

He said Britain was a good country for Indian children to thrive in because there was a "better infrastructure here than in many other countries to support that child, and his or her ethnicity. In Hounslow for example, where I live, there are more Indian festivals than Christian ones". ...

Britain trails behind other countries in the number of children adopted from overseas. Last year the figure was around 350, against 8,400 by Spain and 5,000 by France.

Most of the children come to Britain from China, followed by Guatemala and Russia. At present, only 20 to 30 come from India, and they are usually adopted by relatives.

Yet there are more than 11 million abandoned children in India, where a growing number of babies are dumped in cots outside orphanages in an initiative to deter infanticide.

About 90 per cent of those abandoned are girls whose mothers cannot afford to keep them.
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Immigration
To the grievance community, it's always someone else's fault
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2007

As Colonel Patrick Mercer, the Conservative Party's spokesman on homeland security, discovered last week, the race issue has become so distorted that honest analysis is almost impossible. Grievances, even imaginary ones - in fact, especially imaginary ones - take precedence over rational debate. Mr Mercer's crime was to suggest that some "useless" black soldiers employ allegations of racism as a cover for their shortcomings. It's probably true. Just as some idle white soldiers fake ill-health to hide their misdemeanours.

But so terrified was Tory leader David Cameron of a backlash from "The grievance community" that Mercer was immediately axed. Headlines screamed: "Tory sacked for attack on black soldiers". Mr Mercer did nothing of the sort. He simply denounced skivers who try to use race as a way of wriggling out of trouble. Black soldiers who had served with Mr Mercer rushed to defend him, but it was too late. In grievance-culture Britain, you tackle race issues at your peril. Trevor Phillips, the black chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, was accused by London mayor Ken Livingstone of heading towards the BNP, simply for warning that rigid multiculturalism was sleepwalking Britain into a deeply segregated society. Livingstone's smear was classic grievance politics. Stand and deliver, or we'll brand you a racist. ... ...

The tendency to play the race card as a reaction to disappointment, difficulty or misfortune is corroding Britain from within.
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Immigration
UN predicts huge migration to rich countries
David Blair
Daily Telegraph, 15 March 2007

At least 2.2 million migrants will arrive in the developed world every year from now until 2050, the United Nations said yesterday.

The latest figures from the UN's population division predict a global upheaval without parallel in human history over the next four decades.

There will be billions more people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Of these, tens of millions will migrate to Europe and America, while the indigenous populations of most countries in the developed world will either stagnate or decline.

In total, the world's population will grow by 2.5 billion and reach about 9.2 billion by 2050.

This increase - almost all of which will occur in Africa, Asia and the Middle East - is the equivalent of the global population in 1950.

While some countries will grow exponentially, others will shrink dramatically.

The UN predicts the steady depopulation of vast areas of eastern Europe and the former Communist world, as a result of high levels of emigration and birth rates running persistently below replacement levels. ...

But the flow of migrants across borders will dramatically increase the populations of other developed countries. Britain's population will rise from 60 million to approaching 69 million by 2050 - almost entirely because of immigration. ...

By 2050, India will have the highest population in the world, totalling almost 1.7 billion people. There will be 292 million Pakistanis, giving their country the fifth biggest population. Nigeria will have 289 million people ...

This massive population growth will lead to land degradation on a huge scale and place an immense strain on the limited water resources of poor countries. Malawi cannot feed its present population of 13 million - and every year its soil become more degraded and yields steadily fewer crops.

By 2050, the UN forecasts that it will have almost 32 million people - more than twice as many as today. ...

The UN's population predictions have proved largely accurate in the past. While the margin of error for these figures runs into the millions, the broad trends they disclose are undisputed.
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Immigration
Britain let in a million foreign workers over three years
Ben Leapman and Tom Harper
Sunday Telegraph, 11 March 2007

More than a million foreigners have been allowed to come to work in Britain in just three years - and given the right to remain indefinitely.

The number of migrants, who are also entitled to bring their families and settle, have been revealed in new figures released to MPs by the Home Office. They reveal for the first time the full impact of officially sanctioned immigration on the work force.

They show that the issuing of work permits to people from non-European Union countries continued to accelerate even after the expansion of the EU in 2004, which has already brought an unprecedented number of eastern European workers to Britain.

Between 2004 and last year, a record 309,000 non-EU citizens were granted long-term work permits carrying potential entitlement to settle.

In the same period, 555,000 eastern Europeans have also joined the UK's Worker Registration Scheme, while the Home Office estimates that a further 150,000 eastern Europeans have come to Britain as self-employed.

The figures total slightly more than a million - but they do not even include the workers' dependants, migrants on short-term work permits, workers from "old EU" countries such as Italy and Portugal, asylum-seekers or illegal immigrants.

It is not know how many of the million migrants have exercised their right to stay in Britain, or how many have returned to their home countries. Overall, according to the Home Office, one-tenth of Britain's adult population - about five million people - is now foreign-born.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
We demand control of immigration
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 11 March 2007

... the real issue surrounding immigration, which is not asylum seekers, but the level at which people are, perfectly legally and with the encouragement of the Government, moving to the UK.

The numbers are breathtaking. Each year 223,000 more people settle in the UK than leave it. If immigration continues at the same rate, it will, given the children they will have, add 16 million people in the next 45 years. That means adding two cities the size of Cambridge every year. Most migrants will settle in the South, because that is where the jobs are. It is difficult to imagine how another 16 million people can be squashed into the area without making it uninhabitable.

The Government's policy of favouring mass immigration has the potential to change British society radically. And yet the British people have never been consulted: Labour has fought the last three elections without putting anything in its manifesto about immigration. The subject is rarely discussed, for the simple reason that to raise it is to risk being branded a racist. ...

The economists are nearly unanimous that the economic benefits of immigration are marginal. And yet ministers still claim that large-scale migration will solve the pensions crisis (it won't: migrants grow old like everyone else), and that immigration benefits the economy enormously.

No one, least of all any minister, has the slightest idea of what the social consequences will be. They might turn out to be beneficial - but they might not. Academics who have studied high-immigration societies have noted that, as immigration increases, different groups don't trust each other, and they don't trust the existing political or legal institutions either. They are reluctant to mix with people not in their own group. ...

The Government has committed itself to facilitating mass immigration in total ignorance of the consequences. It is a profoundly irrational and dangerous way to proceed. But if we, the people, do not wrest control of immigration policy back from the Government, we will only have ourselves to blame should it all go horribly wrong.
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Immigration
East Europeans flood in as 579,000 register for work
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2007

Workers from eastern Europe are flooding to Britain in unprecedented numbers nearly two years after the eight former Soviet countries joined the European Union.

Official figures published yesterday showed that a total of 579,000 people have registered to work in the UK since April 2004.

They include 128,000 who arrived in the last six months alone - a higher rate than in the same period last year.

The Home Office figures do not cover self-employed people or those who have declined to register.

It is likely that hundreds of thousands more have come to Britain but are not included in the official statistics. ...

The majority of workers - 65 per cent - are from Poland, with 375,000 registered. ... ...

Separate Home Office figures showed a continuing fall in asylum seekers coming to Britain. Last year, just under 28,000 people applied, including dependants - a nine per cent fall on the previous year and the lowest annual total since before Labour took office.

The number of claimants has fallen steadily since more than 100,000 applied in 2002.

The three countries with the most claimants in 2006 were Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iran.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – detention
Leaks reveal critical lack of immigrant detention places
Daily Telegraph, 6 February 2007

The Home Office is running out of immigration detention places, leaked Whitehall emails have revealed.

Over the past three weeks, officials have been battling against overcrowding in the system.

One recent email said: "We have a backlog of cases still in police stations due to no beds being available..."

There are about 2,600 immigration detention places in Britain but the riots at Harmondsworth, near Heathrow, two months ago took hundreds out of the system.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Migrants 'are better workers'
Richard Alleyne
Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2007

Migrant workers are not so much taking our jobs as doing them better, a survey found yesterday.

In a poll of 500 firms for the Institute of Directors, employers rated workers from abroad as significantly harder working, more reliable and more skilled than British ones.

Migrants were rated better by a "large margin" on their work ethic, reliability, education and attendance, while British workers were not rated above their foreign counterparts on any of the criteria used in the survey.

Only 16 per cent of those surveyed said they took on foreign workers because they were cheaper.

More than three quarters said that immigrants contributed to the economy.

But 73 per cent felt that the Government's immigration policy was ineffective and called for limits on numbers allowed to work from the new EU member states such as Romania and Bulgaria.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Muslim extremists are like the BNP, says Cameron
Graeme Wilson and Jonathan Petre
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2007

David Cameron compared Muslim extremists to the British National Party yesterday as he warned that there could never be "proper integration" unless ministers tackled uncontrolled immigration. ...

There was no hope of breaking down barriers when immigrants were entering the country "at a faster rate than we can cope with," he said.

Today Mr Cameron will attend the launch of a report on community cohesion by a party policy group.

Uniting the Country attacks multi-culturalism and says that a "significant number" of Muslim organisations are "keener to promote ideology than the totality of the communities they claim to represent".
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
How new foreign workers affect our housing market
Edmund Conway
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2007

A study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows that a massive 0.8pc of the population of Poland and the Baltic states has migrated to Britain since accession to the EU. ...

There is nothing to suggest Polish immigrants will stay in the country for more than a couple of years. ...
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – corruption?
Brown, Labour's billionaire and the curious case of a tax loophole
Andrew Alderson and Jasper Copping
Sunday Telegraph, 21 January 2007

Gordon Brown has been accused of doing favours for Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian billionaire who has helped to bail the Labour Party out of its cash crisis.

Mr Mittal, Britain's richest man with a personal fortune estimated at £14.8 billion, last week gave £2 million to the Labour Party, which recently reported debts of more than £23 million. Mr Mittal, a steel tycoon, has given more than £4 million to the party since 2001.

The Chancellor was in India where he attended a meeting on Friday of leading bankers in Mumbai organised by ICICI Bank. Mr Mittal is a director and substantial shareholder in the bank.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP who has been scrutinising the relationship between Mr Mittal and New Labour, also discovered last week that the Treasury had sidelined a pledge that it would close a loophole which allows wealthy businessmen to operate elaborate, but legal, tax avoidance schemes while living in Britain. ...

Mr Mittal is an Indian passport holder whose company does not pay tax in Britain. He is believed to pay a modest tax bill as a resident. He was at the centre of one of Labour's biggest financial controversies in 2001, when Tony Blair allegedly intervened to help him buy a steelworks in Romania after the businessman gave the party a £125,000 donation.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – public opinion
Immigration 'out of control and harming our culture'
Lizzie Murphy
Yorkshire Post, 15 January 2007

The influx of immigrants into Britain is damaging its culture and corroding community relations, a damning new survey warns.

Exclusively revealed by the Yorkshire Post, the YouGov poll of more than 1,000 people across the region shows that politicians have lost voters' trust on immigration and an overwhelming number believe the recent rush of foreigners is having a detrimental effect on our already overcrowded country.

MPs say the survey, commissioned by the Speakout Campaign, which is calling for a referendum on returning key powers from Brussels to Britain, shows the strength of feeling in the region and should be "an absolute wake-up call" to politicians.

An alarming 72 per cent of the 1,225 people surveyed think Britain is losing its identity, while 72 per cent believe current levels of immigration are making community relations more difficult. ...

An overwhelming 89 per cent said Britain should be able to control who comes in from new EU member states, including Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Seventy two per cent said a referendum should be held to scrap the principle of free movement and restore Britain's control of its own borders.

The Government was criticised for not listening to people on the issue of immigration by 66 per cent of people and just one per cent believe the Government's statistics on immigration from eastern European countries are accurate and tell the full story.

Just 16 per cent believe the Conservatives are listening to people on immigration. Sixty two per cent said they would like the Tories to

take a tougher stance on the issue. ...

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said politicians now needed to wake up to the reality of immigration.
[Site link]

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Immigration – employment, incomes
Immigration 'far higher' than the official figures say
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2007

Far more immigrants are coming to Britain than official figures would suggest, according to new research.

A report by the City forecaster Capital Economics also predicted that unemployment would rise over the next two years as foreign workers continued to flock to the UK.

The study, which included the arrivals from the new EU member states in its calculations, estimated that net migration soared by 400,000 rather than the government figure of 185,000 in 2005.

It also forecast that 50,000 workers from Romania and Bulgaria would head to Britain this year. ...

It also anticipated that the arrival of more than 600,000 migrants from eight former Soviet bloc states since 2004 would continue to encourage others to travel to seek work. In the short term this would lead to the workforce growing more rapidly than unemployment, with a consequent rise in jobless rates - though these would remain below those elsewhere in Europe.

The impact of immigration on the size of the population would also hit national wealth.

The forecasters reckoned that the population had risen by 2.5 million over the past 10 years, of which 1.7 million - or almost 70 per cent - was due to net immigration. More than one third of this increase occurred in the last two years alone.

But while the population was increasing by 0.8 per cent a year, the economy was growing by only half that rate. ...

However, a report yesterday from the Bank of England said it had found "little evidence" that immigrants from eastern Europe had significantly affected the wages or employment chances of British workers. The paper found that the 0.8 per cent rise in unemployment rates over the past 18 months had "little to do with" immigration. ...

... The last official figures suggested net migration had peaked and had fallen from 223,000 in 2004 to 185,000 in 2005.

But the Capital Economics report said it was unwise for business and policy-makers to rely on these statistics.

When it included workers from the eight former Soviet bloc states, the overall level of immigration rose to 780,000 in 2005 compared with a government figure of 524,000.

When those who left were subtracted from those who arrived, the report estimated net immigration for 2005 of about 400,000 - up from 295,000 a year earlier.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – business
'Set migrant quotas'
Sunday Telegraph, 31 December 2006

Business leaders believe that the Government should set quotas for EU immigrants seeking work in Britain. A new survey of members of the Institute of Directors shows that 63 per cent want quotas or criteria allowing those with certain skills to work here. Almost two thirds said the Government should give priority to skilled workers.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
'One immigrant a minute enters UK'
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2006

A campaign group that opposes mass immigration called for tougher measures yesterday after government figures showed immigrants were entering Britain at the rate of nearly one a minute.

Government data published last month showed more than 1,500 foreigners, who were intending to stay for at least a year, arrived in Britain every day last year.

Migrationwatch said the figures were probably an underestimate - particularly as only 65,000 Eastern Europeans who arrived here in 2005 were classed as immigrants.

It said immigration from Eastern Europe accounted for just over one in five foreign immigrants last year - the majority of the others were from Asia and Africa.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that 565,000 people came to live here for at least a year during the course of 2005. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people a day left Britain to live abroad - an estimated 380,000 - half of whom were British citizens.

It means that the country's net population rose by 500 a day, or 185,000 during the year.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – from Somalia
Fleeing into more strife
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 24 December 2006

Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled their homeland, with many turning up in Britain as refugees. According to the Home Office, more than 42,000 Somalis - excluding dependants - have applied for asylum since 1997. Two-thirds have been given permission to stay; even among the third whose applications were rejected, few have gone home.

In the past 10 years only 490 Somali asylum-seekers are known to have left Britain, most voluntarily. Last year only five were deported to Somalia.

Groups working with asylum-seekers claim that violence in Somalia has spilled over into Britain, with criminal gangs recruiting young exiles to their ranks.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
We've lost control of our borders, warns Met chief
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 December 2006

Britain's top police officer stepped into the deepening row over immigration policy yesterday by conceding that the Government had lost control of the country's borders.

Sir Ian Blair, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said he was particularly concerned about the spate of serious crimes - including the murder of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky - committed by people who should not have been in the country.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "The Government must in due course, and as quickly as it can, get greater control of the borders.

"I know that we stopped our monitoring of people leaving and coming into the country, and in the end we must have a better system than we have." ...

"In general I just think people who come from other countries and carry out terrible crimes should be deported."
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – statistics
Britain to improve migrant statistics
Edmund Conway
Daily Telegraph, 16 December 2006

The Office for National Statistics has warned that it might take years before its migration statistics are up to an adequate standard.

The department unveiled a plan to improve immigration figures in the wake of the revelation that it had dramatically underestimated the number of people coming to the UK from Eastern Europe in recent years.

National statistician Karen Dunnell, who admitted earlier this year that the data was inadequate, said she had previously set up a taskforce.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – professionals
Migration of skilled workers still low
Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2006

Skilled workers are not moving about Europe as much as intended under the EU's 2000 Lisbon Strategy, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. With the exception of the Nordic countries, Ireland and the UK, mobility of skilled professionals remains "disappointingly low".

Barriers include the different languages, as well as healthcare, benefits and tax systems.
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Immigration
Labour refuses to estimate migrant influx
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 8 December 2006

The Home Office has no idea how many people might come to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria when they join the European Union on Jan 1, the Minister in charge admitted yesterday.

No estimates of the potential migration have been produced because the last official forecasts about the influx of migrants from eastern Europe proved so spectacularly wrong, MPs were told.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said it would be "very unwise" to make predictions about the next wave of arrivals in view of that. ...

Mr Byrne, giving evidence to a joint session of two Commons select committees, concede that the wider impact on services such as education, health and housing was never fully examined before the last migration and had not been considered for this one.

MPs voiced concern that the Home Office was operating in what one called an "evidence vacuum" which it was only now trying to fill by setting up an advisory committee to look at the impact of immigration. ...

Karen Buck, the Labour MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North in London, said children were not getting school places because of the pressure of numbers. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "The government seem to be flying blind on immigration with no clear policy and no means of achieving it if they had one."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Migrants face new test in 'Britishness'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2006

Tests in the English language and the British way of life will be compulsory from next year for foreigners wanting to settle here, the Government said yesterday.

It will bring long-term immigrants into line with people who seek UK citizenship, who already have to sit the tests.

Last year 180,000 people were granted settlement to stay. Some go on to seek British nationality but others may choose to retain their own while staying permanently. ...

Applicants who already possess a good standard of English will take the existing Life in the UK exam. ...

Those less accomplished in English can attend a combined language and citizenship class instead. They will be expected to complete the course "successfully" but do not have to pass the exam to gain citizenship.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – diversity
Middle-class flight
Georgina Porter
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

Before my young family and I became part of the exodus three years ago, we lived in Kilburn, not far from where Mr ap Rhys Price was murdered. Among our friends locally, everyone knew someone who had been mugged; my husband was thrown to the ground, kicked and punched for a laptop computer.

Even the most liberal of the middle classes draw the line somewhere, and allowing oneself or one's loved ones to become sacrificial lambs at the altar of diversity seems to be that place. For the white middle classes, diverse communities don't always feel safe. The widespread myth peddled by the race relations industry that white people are racist and ethnic minorities their victims only fuels the resentment that underlies these violent incidents.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
'No figures' on illegals caught at Home Office
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 26 November 2006

The Home Office has confessed it does not know how many illegal immigrants have been caught in its own workforce.

The admission sparked anger from business leaders, who face fines or even imprisonment if they employ illegal migrants from next year under a clampdown introduced by John Reid, the Home Secretary. Public sector employers are exempt from the new law.

In May, five illegal immigrants from Nigeria were found working as Home Office cleaners.

The failure by ministers to keep a count of such cases will fuel suspicions that others have been dealt with quietly, to avoid political embarrassment.

Asked in Parliament how many migrants had been caught working illegally for the Home Office since 2001, Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, said he could not give a figure. The Home Office, which has 70,000 employees, later said each of its units, including the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and the Prison Service, kept separate records which were not submitted to ministers.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – asylum
Half a million east Europeans come to UK seeking jobs
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2006

More than half a million east Europeans have come to work in Britain over the past two years in what has become the biggest inward migration in the nation's history. Official figures yesterday showed that 510,000 people from the eight former Soviet bloc countries that joined the EU in May 2004 have registered for jobs here.

But this does not include thousands more who have chosen not to register or who are self-employed and do not have to. ...

The data were published as asylum figures showed a big drop in the number of failed applicants being removed, even though this is meant to be a government priority.

In the quarter from July to September, 3,635 people left the country, a 28 per cent fall on the previous three months - and 800 of them were given financial incentives to go home.

This was the lowest removal figure since 2004 and compares to more than 5,000 in the previous quarter.

It also meant the Government failed to achieve its much-trumpeted "tipping point" target to eject more failed asylum seekers than the number of new unfounded applications.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Police may recruit Polish immigrants
Anil Dawar
Daily Telegraph, 21 November 2006

A police force is considering recruiting Poles to serve the booming population of Polish immigrants now living under its jurisdiction.

North Wales Police said it is considering taking on Polish-speaking officers to cope with the changing face of the local community. ...

The force recently launched a scheme in Flintshire to provide help and advice for the Polish community on matters such as personal safety and driving in the UK.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Migration is a bigger worry than terrorism
Sarah Womack
Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2006

Record immigration to Britain worries more people than terrorism or the state of the NHS, according to the Commission for Racial Equality.

The race relations watchdog said today that, for the first time in any major poll, immigration and the impact on race relations were even bigger concerns to people than education.

One in four people spontaneously cited immigration as the "most important issue faced by Britain" compared with one in five who saw defence, foreign affairs, or terrorism as the most vital.

The Ipsos Mori poll was carried out ahead of the CRE's Race Convention 2006, to be held in London on Nov 27-28, which will include provocative seminars entitled "Rivers of blood: did Enoch Powell get it right?" and "Sleepwalking to segregation: are we stirring from our slumber?"
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – statistics
Counting chickens
Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2006
[Leading article]

Last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, 565,000 immigrants arrived: or thereabouts. The truth is that many social scientists now treat ONS figures as only the roughest of estimates, while others discount them altogether.

Every discussion about immigration, whether in a Whitehall office or down the pub, should be prefaced by the following statements:

  • We do not know how many economic migrants arrive at our ports and airports during the year.

  • We do not know how many economic migrants there are already in this country.

  • The only reason the number of asylum seekers has fallen sharply is because refugees have been reclassified as economic migrants.

  • We do not know how many failed asylum seekers have left the country (though we do know that most of them do not leave at all).

  • We do not have enough information to produce a breakdown of immigrants by country of origin (though we do know that the majority of immigrants are Muslims, not Polish Roman Catholics).


Imagine a Chancellor of the Exchequer attempting to formulate economic policy without knowing the rate of inflation. Yet that is the position in which the Government now finds itself; and the same is true of the Conservatives.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
'I'm no Enoch Powell'
Cassandra Jardine
Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2006

George Walden has written a provocative new book about the perils of mass immigration and 'white flight' – but, he tells Cassandra Jardine, he is prepared for the flak. ...

"My generation has had it very good. But life is much harder for my children's generation, and as for the next one..."

With that in mind he has written a 230-page letter, supposedly to a son who is contemplating joining the white flight (for the record, neither of Walden's two sons are). ...

..., he is asking serious questions about how this country will cope when there will virtually be standing room only in the south-east. "We have the biggest underclass in Europe and it is growing because of immigration," he explains. "By underclass, I mean people with poor education, living in poor circumstances who because of marriage break-ups and other reasons tend to behave very badly. If we can't deal with our own underclass, how will we deal with poorly educated immigrants who don't share our fundamental values of fairness and decency?"

Even without an influx of foreign criminals and terrorists, he fears that life is not fair or decent for those who don't fall into the elite (where he resides) or the underclass (where there is much to be gained from social and public health policies).

For such middle income "natives" life is hard and getting harder. They can only afford tiny homes, their state schools are overwhelmed by immigrants, the health service is struggling to keep up, they are likely to be mugged by resentful have-nots and transport is expensive and unreliable. It's an unremittingly gloomy picture that he paints. He appears surprised. "People say that about me. Can't I say that I don't like the way things are going?"

Probably not, on this sensitive subject, without being compared to Enoch Powell. ...

... "I'm the opposite to Powell," says Walden. "One problem for the British is all the clever foreigners who will soon be very visible. They are extremely thrusting."

He wouldn't have it any other way for he is passionately keen on others bettering themselves. What he fears is that the complacent British don't realise what a struggle they will soon have for university places, jobs and homes with the thrusting new arrivals. ... ...

"Actually," says Walden, with the mischievous smile of someone who loves to stir things up, "I'm not gloomy at all. All my fears may not be realised. It's not impossible that in some messy English way, the whole thing could work."

Time to Emigrate by George Walden (Gibson Square) ...
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Tory plan to limit economic migration
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2006

An annual ceiling on economic migration would be set by a future Conservative government, dramatically reducing the number of unskilled workers from outside the European Union, under a new strategy published today.

The yearly limit would depend on the direct economic benefit to the country of a particular level of immigration and would, for the first time, take into account the ability of public services and infrastructure to cope, as well as the environmental impact of a rapidly rising population.

The Tories also propose to set up a single frontier force, combining immigration, customs and police, and reintroduce embarkation controls, scrapped by Labour nearly 10 years ago. The "tough but thoughtful" policy is intended to mark a shift away from the party's aggressively anti-immigration image that has placed it on the defensive in the last two general election campaigns.

It emphasises the apparent economic benefits to the country of highly-skilled workers but promises a "controlled and managed" approach that will restore public confidence in the system.

The pamphlet, Controlling Economic Migration, written by David Davis, the shadow home secretary, and Damian Green, the immigration spokesman, also calls for a cross-party consensus to be built around the issue to stop it being used as an electoral football. ...

The policy deliberately excludes asylum seeking - where there has recently been a big decline in numbers from record levels a few years ago and which, in any case, contributes little to net immigration.

It also does not include migrants coming to Britain to join their families or spouses, which has seen a sharp rise recently.

Mr Davis said policies on these areas were still being developed, ...
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Could this be the beginning of a cross-party deal?
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2006

There is no more toxic political issue than immigration. As the Tories discovered at the 2001 general election and, to a lesser extent, during last year's contest, the subject may worry the voters but it inevitably puts politicians on the defensive, accused of "playing the race card."

The new Conservative policy, unveiled toady, seeks to make the argument about immigration a purely economic consideration. By removing asylum and family reunion from their calculations, for the time being at least, the Tories want to show they recognise the benefits while appreciating the problems it can bring.

In many ways, the policies of the two major parties are coming together.

... the Government intends to introduce a points-based system next year that will seek to attract only those who make a positive contribution to the economy while effectively shutting the door to low-skilled workers from outside the EU. ...

The Tories also propose that a decision on numbers should be determined not merely by whether the economy needs immigrants but what their impact will be on the public services and infrastructure.

Again, the Government is already moving in this direction, proposing to set up a Migration Advisory Board which will also take factors other than economic benefits into account.

So, the Conservative pamphlet Controlling Economic Migration offers an opportunity to develop a cross-party consensus on this most problematic of issues, which is something the Tories say they are anxious to achieve. ...

The Tories, and Labour, want to give preference to people who have high skills. But only this week, the Government had to suspend a visa scheme for highly qualified workers because thousands of low skilled migrants were simply providing forged diplomas and degrees to get in and then taking jobs cleaning or in catering. ...

... "controlled and managed" migration is easier to talk about than to achieve in a world where millions are on the move.
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Immigration – terrorism
We need ID cards to secure our borders and ease modern life
Tony Blair
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2006

On any list of public concerns, illegal immigration, crime, terrorism and identity fraud would figure towards the top. In each, identity abuse is a critical component. It is all part of a changing world: global mass migration; easier travel; new services and new technologies constantly being accessed. The case for ID cards is a case not about liberty but about the modern world. Biometrics give us the chance to have secure identity and the bulk of the ID cards' cost will have to be spent on the new biometric passports in any event.

I am not claiming that ID cards, and the national identity database that will make them effective, are a complete solution to these complex problems. ... ...

A national identity system will have direct benefits in making our borders more secure and countering illegal immigration. ...

I am convinced, as are our security services, that a secure identity system will help us counter terrorism and international crime. Terrorists routinely use multiple identities - up to 50 at a time - to hide and confuse. ... Building yourself a new and false identity is all to easy at the moment. Forging an ID card and matching biometric record will be much harder. ...

The Passport Service database, which holds 70 million records, has already issued 2.5 million biometric passports since March.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – statistics
How many are we? Our King can't govern unless he know
Patience Wheatcroft
Sunday Telegraph, 5 November 2006

Although those who carry out the International Passenger Survey may be assiduous in their efforts, my travels have never resulted in an encounter with their clipboards.

Yet it is this survey which is relied upon to provide Britain with its information about immigration statistics. ...

For just two days before the Office for National Statistics had published its annual Total International Migration tables, someone who knows a bit about numbers raised grave doubts about their accuracy.

Last Tuesday, Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, declared that of the difficulties he had to face in his role "the single biggest uncertainty is the size of the labour force". ... As the Governor delicately put it last week: "It is stressing the merits of the International Passenger Survey far too much to suggest that that kind of survey is ever likely adequately to capture the extent and size of net inward migration... I just do not think that something like that... is adequate as a basis." ...

A colleague of Mr King's from the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, Professor David Blanchflower, pointed out ... that registrations for new national insurance numbers in 2005/6 hit 660,000, which would suggest that there was a rather greater increase in new workers arriving in Britain than the ONS figures indicate.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – statistics
Expert warns that migration figures are in a muddle
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 5 November 2006

No one is counting how many migrants come to Britain, how long they stay, or how many are here illegally, says a former Whitehall statistician and author of a study.

Official immigration figures give an "incomplete picture", according to Denis Allnutt, in his report, "Review of Home Office Publications of Control of Immigration Statistics", published by the Home Office.

The findings emerged after Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, told a House of Lords committee that his efforts to steer the economy were being hampered by a lack of reliable population figures. ...

He told peers: "We need to know how big the population is and how large the number of immigrant workers is in order to help us form a judgment about the pressure of demand on capacity."

In particular, he complained about the 2001 census, which may have missed a million people, and the ONS's international passenger survey, which he said was "just not adequate". ...

The Government has promised to restore embarkation controls, but the process of counting everyone entering and leaving the UK will not begin until 2014.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – statistics
Immigrants swell the population at a rate of 500 a day
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2006

Immigration to Britain is continuing to run at record levels and is adding 500 people a day to the British population, new official figures showed yesterday.

While 1,000 left daily in 2005 to live and work abroad (often foreigners returning home) 1,500 arrived. Net immigration is now the highest in the country's history, but there are also record numbers of British citizens leaving these shores.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics, indicate that 565,000 people came to live here for at least 12 months last year, slightly down on 2004, while 380,000 left. Half of the emigrants were British citizens, mostly bound for France, Spain and Australia.

The largest group of arrivals were people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, who accounted for two thirds of net immigration, mainly fuelled by family reunion. However, the largest single nationality coming to Britain and staying for a year or more was Poles. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "These figures confirm that we are facing the largest wave of immigration in our history.

He added: "The level is four times that of 1997 and, if these figures are right, the bulk of immigration is not from eastern Europe, which accounts for just over one in five."

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said: "The Government believes that migrant workers make a vital contribution to the UK economy, ..."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – free discussion
Silence is no way to improve race relations
W.F. Deedes
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2006

There are signs that the wall of silence we have kept up for half a century against open discussion on the problems arising from heavy immigration - and we report today that 1,500 people a day migrated here last year - is crumbling. ...

But to condemn as racism sensible discussion on the problems that heavy immigration creates is daft. It has left local authorities, struggling to find housing accommodation without support. It promoted bodies such as the BNP, because its supporters appear to be the only people bold enough to speak up for those who suffer overcrowding.

Worst of all, the taboo on open discussion about difficulties stemming from immigration was unfair to many schools. As chairman of a parliamentary select committee on race relations and immigration, I once spent a year looking at schools in areas of high immigration. I found the reticence of teachers on their problems disturbing.

It seemed to be an article of faith to deny that different languages and cultures created any difficulty in class. Thinking otherwise, my all-party committee discussed it with Margaret Thatcher, then the education minister. In the interest of all children, we put to her, might it not be wise to examine the consequences of the language barrier more closely. She agreed.

A month later, she returned empty-handed. The education establishment opposed any such examination, I supposed, from fear of how racists might exploit it. I have sometimes wondered what this reluctance openly to discuss problems associated with immigration cost education.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Immigration Control
John Denham, MP
Parliament, 2 November 2006
[Relevant document: Fifth Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2005-06, HC 775, and the Government's response thereto, Cm 6910.]

Those of us who were in Islamabad witnessed something that might be illustrative of problems in the system. We oversaw one application being processed. It was about to be granted when, at the suggestion of a Committee member, we asked that the sponsor's address be checked on the computer. It revealed that 134 sponsorship applications had been made from the same address in Luton in the relatively recent past, of which 30 had been granted. It might be that all 30 were genuine, and, as sometimes happens, the details of the address had been sold on the black market. The lack of time to carry out such checks in every case is a problem. It was also apparent that there is no obvious system for feeding information about such an address back to the police or the immigration authorities in this country so that it can be checked out and possible abuse tackled. We need that sort of integration between what happens overseas and what happens here. ...

The ability for someone who works in domestic service to come to the UK to work with no visa requirements, which translates into a long-term right to reside and bring their family here, is odd. The Government are trying to remove such anomalies from the system, and that must happen quickly. ...

The second concern, which sometimes, although not always, follows the appeals system is that there is no alignment between decisions that are made which usually end up in the appeals system, and action to remove people from the country. Ultimately, the expensive operation of trying to get visas and appeals right means nothing unless those who are told that they should leave the country are required to do so. That is the part of the system in which we can have least confidence at the moment. ...

My final point on the current operation of the system is linked to internal enforcement. A substantial number, although we cannot know how many, of those who are in the country illegally first entered legally then changed their status and became illegal, although some come in through entirely illegal routes. Overwhelming the one thing that both attracts and enables them to do so is the ability to work illegally. We felt that the Government's strategy for tackling illegal working was not as good as it should be. Trying to tackle individual groups of employees with occasional fines against employers will not lead to effective enforcement.

We had persuasive evidence from both sides of industry suggesting that we should target those employers and companies who deliberately and systematically abuse illegal labour and do not pay their tax and national insurance, do not abide by the minimum wage, do not follow health and safety requirements and so on. Those sources of illegal work undermine legitimate employers in agriculture and other sectors who want to play by the rules but also provide the pull factor for illegal labour. ...

That is another area where the Home Office alone cannot deliver the answers. The Department for Work and Pensions, the Revenue and the Department of Trade and Industry must deal with illegal working, just as the Department for Education and Skills must deal with dodgy colleges.

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Immigration – Europe
Migrant curbs simply 'posturing'
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2006

John Reid's plans for controls on immigration from new EU countries have been privately dismissed by government colleagues as "cosmetic posturing".

The Home Secretary will this week unveil proposals to control immigration from Romania and Bulgaria when they join the European Union in January. ...

The Open Europe think tank has already warned of a "worst of all worlds" in which genuine migrants stay away "while criminals and those who come with no intention of working would still be let in".
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Reid is accused of burying bad news on asylum and jails
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 22 October 2006

More than 1,000 illegal immigrants are caught after they have smuggled themselves into Britain every month, Home Office figures have revealed.

Last year 12,889 people were registered as "clandestine entrants" after they were detected at ports and airports. Nine out of 10 were male.

But illegal immigration is a bigger problem than the figures suggest because they do not take account of those who remain undetected. ...

The figures for stowaways emerged in a raft of controversial documents published by the Home Office last week, which prompted allegations that ministers were seeking to "bury bad news" by putting out so much information at once.

The department quietly released 37 papers on its website in just five days after they were requested under the Freedom of Information Act, more than it had released in the previous two months.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – segregation
'White flight' plus immigration always add up to segregation
Alasdair Palmer and Karyn Miller
Sunday Telegraph, 8 October 2006

Graham Gudgin, of the consultants Regional Forecast, has calculated ... He examined the population and complexion of the UK's 37 largest cities. ...

The exodus of wealthier whites and influx of poorer migrants with higher birth rates means many of Britain's towns and cities may soon have majority populations made up of recent migrants. Indeed, Mr Gudgin's model predicts that many of them will soon be completely dominated by new arrivals.

He has calculated what happens, on present trends, to the population of a hypothetical British city that starts with immigrants making up just one per cent of the population. It takes, he notes, "45 years for that population to reach a proportion of 20 per cent of the total". That, he says, is approximately the number of years it took for the proportion of migrants to reach 20 per cent in the British cities where it has actually done so. It takes a further 20 years for the ethnic share of the population to double to 40 per cent - the level achieved in London in 2001. But then the ethnic proportion increases very rapidly, taking a further 12 years to reach 60 per cent and just another five years to reach 100 per cent.

"Obviously," says Mr Gudgin, "our cities are not going to be 100 per cent ethnic in the near future, or probably ever. We have to assume that migration policy and behaviour will change long before that point is reached. The model simply shows what would happen if migration policy and behaviour continued at the same rate as it is today." ...

Mr Gudgin explains his projection's rapid increase in the ethnic proportion not just as the result of immigration itself but as the result of its combination with "white flight" from cities.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
300,000 Moldovans could seek work in EU
Michael Leidig
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2006

Hundreds of thousands of people from one of Europe's poorest countries, the Republic of Moldova, have applied for Romanian citizenship which will give them access to the EU job market from next year.

In the past three weeks, at least 300,000 Moldovans have applied for citizenship. ...

It is estimated that about three quarters of Moldovans are ethnic Romanians. ...

The International Organisation for Migration has said that about 600,000 Moldovans have already left the country for work although no official statistic is available.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Britain to lift visa limits for Romanians and Bulgarians
Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2006

Britain is expected to lift visa restrictions in Romania and Bulgaria before the nations join the European Union, raising fears of an early influx of tens of thousands of immigrants. ...

Robin Barnett, the British ambassador to Bucharest, was quoted by the Romanian national news agency Rompres as saying visa restrictions would be lifted "before Romania joins the European Union", although no date has been set.

Diplomatic sources in Bulgaria said it is widely expected that the current visa regime with that country will be lifted as well. ...

The British Embassy in Bucharest receives an average of 200 visa requests a day from Romanian citizens.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – crime
Eight-and-a-half years jail for man who smuggled thousands of people
Daily Mail, 4 October 2006

A ringleader of one of Europe's largest people smuggling networks was jailed for eight and a half years today.

Turkish national Ramazan Zorlu, 43, had earlier admitted his involvement in the vast trafficking racket, which was smashed by police in a series of raids last year.

The network was thought to be the largest ever encountered by British police and was reportedly responsible for bringing thousands of illegal immigrants onto the streets of the UK.

Zorlu ran the smuggling enterprise with two other Turkish nationals, Ali Riza Gun and Hassan Eroglu, both 47. ...

Sentencing Zorlu at Croydon Crown Court today Judge Nicholas Ainley said: "I find it hard to conceive of a more serious case of this type of offence coming before the courts."

Most of those brought into the UK were from Turkey, although a number were also from Iraq. He said Gun and Zorlu were at the "very heart of the controlling network". ...

The barrister explained those involved in the lucrative enterprise used "planes, trains, lorries and cars" to get past customs.

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Immigration – crime
Leader of £5m people smuggling ring jailed
The Guardian, 4 October 2006

A ringleader of what Scotland Yard has called the biggest people smuggling network it has ever encountered was jailed for eight and a half years today.

Turkish national Ramazan Zorlu, 43, was sentenced at Croydon crown court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to his role in the highly lucrative ring.

Reports have claimed that the network was responsible for bringing thousands of illegal immigrants into the UK and police estimated the gang had made around £5m. ...

Sentencing Zorlu today, Judge Nicholas Ainley said: "I find it hard to conceive of a more serious case of this type of offence coming before the courts." ...

Law enforcement officials from France, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Denmark, and Europol all contributed to the investigation. The raids were carried out at houses and business premises across London in Enfield, Bexleyheath, Barnet, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Hammersmith.

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Immigration – asylum
EU should run asylum policy, says Sarkozy
David Rennie
Daily Telegraph, 29 September 2006

National governments should surrender their powers to judge whether asylum seekers are genuine to a new "single European asylum office", Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to say today. ...

Mr Sarkozy, the French interior minister, is in Madrid for a summit of eight EU countries facing large flows of illegal migrants and asylum seekers. A copy of his speech to the summit was leaked to AFP, the news agency.

He is expected to combine tough rhetoric against illegal immigration with calls for a sweeping expansion of EU powers over the sensitive sphere of illegal migration.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Move to hit Tories from the Right
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 29 September 2006

John Reid moved to outflank David Cameron from the Right over anti-terror policy, immigration and crime yesterday in a speech seen as a bid for the Labour leadership.

The Home Secretary won a rapturous reception as he tore into the Conservative leader, accusing him of "talking tough and voting soft" on the most pressing issues facing the British people. ...

He argued that the British people's "fear and feeling of unfairness" was most evident "in relation to mass migration".
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Reid to restrict rights for new EU workers
David Harrison
Sunday Telegraph, 24 September 2006

A "points system" is to be imposed on workers from Romania and Bulgaria in an attempt to stem the growing tide of immigration to the UK. ...

The scheme will be similar to that used for migrants from outside the EU.

Labour Party officials have told The Sunday Telegraph that Mr Reid is determined to show that the Government is "getting tough" on immigration as the public's concern grows over the waves of foreign workers coming into Britain.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Entry control
David Heathcoat-Amory MP (Con)
Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

The Government is now panicking about the prospect of unrestricted immigration from Romania and Bulgaria, which are due to join the EU next year. Ministers are proposing a work permit scheme to control numbers.

They must know that, under the 2004 Free Movement Directive, all EU citizens are entitled to enter Britain and reside here for an initial three months. A permanent right of residence is acquired after five years.

These new rights of settlement were incorporated into British law on April 30 this year. The same regulations greatly extend the definition of family members and partners who may accompany the arriving migrant. They also make it impossible to exclude them on the grounds that they have a criminal record. These regulations will apply to Romania and Bulgaria as soon as they become EU member states. ...

If we want to decide our immigration policy, we must first re-establish our right to do so.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – from Poland
Poland allows prisoners out to fill jobs left vacant by the rush to Britain
Michael Leidig
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2006

The Polish government is allowing prisoners to work outside jail as the country struggles to fill vacancies left by mass migration to Britain.

More than 1.12 million Poles have gone west, the majority to Britain, since the country joined the European Union in May 2004. ...

Poland's newspapers are full of job offers, with no one to take them. And with wages not expected to match those in the West for another decade and taxes rising, the situation is unlikely to change soon.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
A State of Influx
Frank Field MP (Lab)
The Guardian, 21 September 2006

Who the British people are is changing on a scale never experienced before. The driving force for this change is immigration. This transformation, which is bringing about revolutionary changes in the composition of the population, has never been debated, let alone approved by the voters. While the government claims that such an event is a product of globalisation, it is also a result of policies they have consciously set in train since 1997.

The flashpoint in the current debate has been the totally unexpected and unplanned influx of workers from the 2004 EU accession countries. Nobody doubts just how hard this group works. It is, rather, the sheer size of this influx over so short a time that is the cause of the widespread and deeply held concern.

The demographers guesstimated for the government that between 5,000 to 13,000 workers from the 2004 accession countries would come here to work during the first year. In response, the government now guesstimates that 600,000 new arrivals came to Britain to work. But no one really knows. It costs £70 to register on the worker registration scheme and applicants have to surrender their passports. As the prize of such good behaviour is the invitation to pay tax and national insurance, goodness knows how many new arrivals don't register. There is no registration of the self-employed.

Migration is not linked only to citizens from the EU and its accession countries. 219,000 citizens in 2004 came from Commonwealth countries as did a further 157,000 other foreign nationals and 69,000 from the established EU. Most of these groups will want to bring in their families.

It beggars belief that immigration on this scale isn't having a huge impact on our society, yet there is a powerful lobby denying the obvious. A figure for over 900,000 immigrants from all sources for a period of 12 months is having a major impact on housing. Family homes are being turned into common lodging houses without planning permission and some local authorities can't or won't act. Emailers report eight-room family homes being transformed into mini flats with each room having anything between three and six residents. ...

Nothing less than the most widespread debate is called for. The government now appears to be considering work restrictions on 30 million or more citizens from Romania and Bulgaria. Both the prime minister and the chancellor are singing from the same hymn sheet when they assert that immigration will be managed.

But what does this beguiling phrase mean? Is the chancellor prepared to spell out what "managed" means, when any of the 74 million people from the 2004 accession countries can come here if they wish to? And what does "managed" mean for the rest of the world? Why should we trust the so-called progressive spokesmen on immigration when they say that the numbers will soon fall, when they were mute, or spectacularly wrong, when prophesying what the current influx would be?

The centre left is in danger of forgetting what democracy is about when it dismisses the vast majority of voter's views on immigration. Having a majority view doesn't necessarily mean that the view is wrong, let alone despicable. At each of the great historical turning points of our country the majority has been sound. My guess is that most voters might settle for an immigration policy where the numbers coming here to live is held in balance with the number leaving our shores. It is from this starting point that the government should now open its much-promised debate on what it intends to do.
[Site link]

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Immigration – schoolchildren
East European children at UK schools double in a year
Julie Henry
Sunday Telegraph, 17 September 2006

The number of eastern European children in English schools has almost doubled in just a year, figures reveal.

Almost 11,000 pupils from the new European Union accession states and other parts of eastern Europe are now in primary or secondary schools here, according to unpublished data from the schools census in January.

That is up from 6,563 last year and 4,762 in 2004.

But the total numbers could be a significant under-estimate because only a third of local authorities break down the ethnicity of their school population into precise categories that include "white eastern European". ...

The response from Suffolk, ...

"Many pupils arrive in schools with little or no notification, which makes additional demands on school induction procedures," the report said.

"Access to interpreters, with a range of 70 languages now spoken in the county, has not been easy and is prohibitively expensive."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – politics
The PR tycoon, a private dinner and PM's meeting with Euro lobby group
Antony Barnett and Jamie Doward
The Observer, 17 September 2006

Prime Minister Tony Blair held a secret meeting in the Kensington home of a City tycoon where he met a group of business people lobbying for unlimited immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.

The Observer has learnt that Blair attended a private dinner at the luxury Kensington townhouse of Roland Rudd, the high-flying financial public relations guru who is a close friend of European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

Earlier this year Blair's eldest son Euan spent a fortnight at Rudd's company Finsbury on a work experience placement. Although it is not unusual for the Prime Minister to meet senior figures in business, it is unusual for him to go to a private house where such discussions would not be minuted.

At the dinner, earlier this summer, several of Finsbury's corporate clients were present, including Roger Carr, chairman of gas giant Centrica, Philip Hampton, chairman of Sainsbury, and Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Boots. According to a source who was present the businessmen were there as representatives of a campaign group called Business for New Europe (BFNE) launched by Rudd last March 'to support the UK's active engagement in Europe, and a reformed, enlarged and free-market EU'.

Most recently the fiercely pro-Europe group has been involved in a campaign calling for East European workers to have open access to the UK's labour market. It was reacting against concerns that there will be a flood of Bulgarians and Romanians heading to the UK for work when the two countries join the EU next year. Critics have been calling for tight employment restrictions to be placed on migrants.

Yet in a recent statement signed by business leaders, released to the media, Rudd's group stated: 'If Bulgaria and Romania join the EU at the beginning of next year, the UK should continue with its open-door policy. A so-called pause in migration from these countries would be tantamount to a reversal of policy and could work against Britain's interest.'

As well as Carr and Hampton the letter was signed by David Levin, chief executive of United Business Media, who was also known to the be at the private dinner held at Rudd's home. Another guest at the dinner is believed to be Vijay Patel, chief executive of Waymade Healthcare.

During the summer, the Home Secretary John Reid suggested that the UK government was moving in favour of placing employment restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians.

However, last week Blair, during his speech to the TUC, hinted he was generally in favour of allowing Eastern Europeans to work freely in Britain.

Rudd helped canvass for Mandelson in the 2001 general election and the Trade Commissioner has appeared at the millionaire's luxury birthday bashes. He is known to have connections within Blairite circles. His company was drafted in by government to help with the Railtrack crisis in 2002. ...

Rudd refused to comment on the dinner. A spokesman for Business for New Europe confirmed the event took place but refused to comment on what was discussed. 'It was a private dinner. The Prime Minister was invited and agreed to come. We would have spoken about the issues we believe are important.'

Up

Immigration
At last, a proper business debate on immigration
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 8 September 2006

As more than half a million Romanians and Bulgarians prepare to come here next year, when their countries accede to the European Union, some serious cost-benefit analysis is long overdue.

With a fog of emotion blurring the facts, the issue is polarising business. On one side, there's Business for New Europe (BNE), a group which advocates letting them all in, as soon as possible. On the other, the Confederation of British Industry and British Chambers of Commerce, alert us to potential social damage if we were to do so.

Who's right?

Looking down the list of BNE executives, you can understand why some of them have been so keen on the recent invasion of Poles, and hope for more of the same from Bulgaria and Romania.

Richard Cousins (Compass) and Philip Hampton (Sainsbury's) represent companies that employ large numbers of workers at the bottom end of the pay scale. You don't have to be a cynic to believe that their demand for more immigrants is financial self-interest dressed up as "a vision of a prosperous free-market Europe".

BNE's assertion that "immigration has been a great source of wealth... for the UK economy" should not pass unchallenged. For while these industrialists regard cut-price, skilled labour as a generator of profits, that's not how it feels for those on the wrong side of the tracks, whose communities will have to absorb all the Bulgarians and Romanians, and whose livelihoods may be threatened by them. ...

Aside from jobs, another concern about mass immigration is its impact on housing. ...

None of this, it seems, is factored into the equation by BNE bosses, such as Charles Dunstone (Carphone Warehouse), who clamour for yet more overseas workers, even though British unemployment is touching 1.7m.

In their Kensington town houses and weekend country mansions, where they employ Lithuanian nannies, Slovak cooks and Czech gardeners, often on wages near to the legal minimum, they are blissfully untroubled by the blight of inner-city over-crowding. ...

The truly sad element of all this is that many who travel here with little money but much hope will end up as penniless dossers on the streets of London.

Barclays chief executive, John Varley, recently asked me to join him in a morning's voluntary work at a hostel for the destitute in Victoria. As John washed the dishes, I served up the teas and toast.

What became immediately obvious was that we've not been told the whole story about East European immigrants. Plenty fail to find jobs and rely on hand-outs.

Of the hundred or so vagrants who came in for breakfast that day, about 80 were Poles, thus the nuns who run the place had put up signs in Polish.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
'I can't get a decorator. My beautician has left. My hairdresser, my gardener, even the pizza delivery boy - all gone. To Britain'
Olga Craig
Sunday Telegraph, 3 September 2006

Home Office statistics suggest that 400,000 Poles have flooded into Britain in the past two years, but the Government admits that the true number could be three times higher. Anna Kalata, the Polish minister for labour and social policy, estimates that the figure is nearer 700,000, while Polityka, the country's respected news magazine, last week put the figure at more than one million. The effect in their homeland has been devastating. Some go so far to describe it as little short of a national disaster. ... In a recent poll by Lewatian, the Polish employers' federation, 43 per cent of companies said that they were suffering dire difficulties recruiting enough workers. ...

The subject of Ukrainian workers has been a difficult one for the Polish government. It has stringent laws restricting the numbers of workers from the state, yet there are more than 200,000 illegal immigrants from Ukraine in Poland. Last week, Poland's agriculture industry was in such dire straits that it relaxed the law, allowing Ukrainians three-month seasonal work visas. ...

For the spouses and families left behind in Poland, life can be lonely. But many try to focus on the short-term lucrative benefits, such as higher salaries. Next month, Kasia Rutkowska, 29, is expecting her first child. Adam, her husband, who works as a bar manager, left for Cork, in Ireland, a year ago. ...

Had Mr Rutkowski gone to Britain instead of Ireland, he could be entitled, under an EU loophole, to £906 a year in child benefit when his baby is born in Warsaw. While child benefit payments are strictly monitored in Poland, with means testing difficult to bypass, Polish immigrants in Britain find it relatively easy to claim.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Should he have spoken?
Roger Scruton
The New Criterion, September 2006
[Full text: http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/25/09/have-spoken/]

In 1968 ... In that same year Enoch Powell delivered to the Birmingham Conservatives the speech known forever after as "Rivers of Blood": a speech that cost him his political career, and which, on one plausible interpretation, made the issue of immigration undiscussable in British politics for close to forty years. It is a speech that raises in its acutest form the question of truth: What place is there for truth in public life, and what should a politician do when comfortable falsehoods have settled down in government, and their uncomfortable negations seek forlornly for a voice?

"Human kind cannot bear very much reality," said T. S. Eliot. It is not one of his best lines, but he used it twice–in Murder in the Cathedral and in Four Quartets–and in both places its prosaic rhythmlessness reinforces its sense, reminding us that our exaltations are invented things, and that we prefer inspiring fantasies to sobering facts. Enoch Powell was no different, and his inspiring fantasy of England caused him to address his countrymen as though they still enjoyed the benefits of a classical education and an imperial culture. How absurd, in retrospect, to end a speech warning against the effects of uncontrolled immigration with a concealed quotation from Virgil. "As I look ahead," Powell said, "I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood.'" These words were addressed to an England that had forgotten the story of the Aeneid, along with every other story woven into its former identity as the "sweet, just, boyish master" of the world–to borrow Santayana's luminous phrase. It is hardly surprising that Powell's words were instantly converted to "rivers of blood," and their speaker dismissed as a dangerous madman.

It is, in fact, the Cumaean Sybil who utters that prophecy in Book VI of the Aeneid, and although she is foreseeing the troubles that come from immigration, it is to the troubles suffered by an immigrant that she refers. The immigrant in question–Aeneas–travels to Italy at the head of a determined retinue, carrying his household gods and a divine right of residence. His intention to settle is not to be brooked, and if this means "wars, horrid wars," so be it. Modern immigrants don't, on the whole, behave so badly. They don't need to. They come as the heads of families, and even if the family might comprise four wives and twenty children, it arrives to a red carpet of legal privileges, eagerly unrolled by publicly funded lawyers, and to a welcome trough of welfare benefits that few indigenous citizens can claim, however much they have contributed to the common fund.

Yet, like Aeneas, our immigrants come carrying their household gods. Like Aeneas, they come with an unbrookable intention to make a home for themselves. And if their gods dislike the indigenous rivals, they will soon make this fact known. Such predictions as Powell made in his speech, concerning the tipping of the demographic balance, the ghettoization of the industrial cities, and the growth of resentment among the indigenous working class have been fulfilled. Only the sibylline prophecy has fallen short of the mark. Even so, the Madrid and London bombings and the murder of Theo van Gogh are viewed by many Europeans as a foretaste of things to come. It is now evident to everyone that, in the debate over immigration, in those last remaining days when it could still have made a difference, Enoch Powell was far nearer the truth than those who instantly drove him from office, and who ensured that the issue was henceforth to be discussed, if at all, only by way of condemning the "racism" and "xenophobia" of those who thought like Powell.

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Immigration – national identity
Migrants changing Britain, says race chief
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2006

Immigration to Britain today is fundamentally different from previous settlements because it is changing the composition of the nation, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality said last night.

Trevor Phillips ... said the social significance of the current wave of immigration was being overlooked.

More young people were arriving to compete for jobs with settled workers and a growing number of incomers were setting up their own institutions, such as churches, shops and media outlets.

Also, high levels of emigration by British nationals, at a time of record immigration, were having an impact on the make-up of the country.

"The result is that, though the total population numbers may not rise hugely, the composition of the population changes," Mr Philips said in a speech to the Royal Geographical Society, in London.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – welfare reform
Immigrants keep Britons in idleness
Alice Thomson
Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2006

Suddenly everyone wants to discuss immigration. Polly Toynbee, in the Guardian, is worried that immigration is making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Ruth Kelly, Communities Secretary, has spoken openly of the need to question multiculturalism and not be "censored by political correctness". Sir Trevor Phillips has told British Muslims that, if they want to see the introduction of Islamic law, "you have to live elsewhere". George Alagiah, the Sri Lanka-born broadcaster, says that immigration has turned Britain into "a garden that has been allowed to run wild". And the founder of the Big Issue, John Bird, has warned: "We are importing misery and despair."

The only ones not talking about immigration are the Tories. ... ...

There are about eight million "economically inactive" Britons of working age. Of these, only about one million are registered as unemployed. Another 2.5 million are now on incapacity benefit, and even ministers admit that many are malingerers.

One good outcome of this immigration debate would be to get Britain back to work. ...

Only radical welfare reform will tackle immigration, and that won't happen unless voters demand it. Which they might, if more migrants start drawing the same benefits. Perhaps Britain will have to wait until more immigration has made the problem so acute that politicians are finally forced to act.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – business leaders
UK business leaders seek 'unlimited immigration' from new EU states
UK Immigration [website], 30 August 2006

The leaders of Britain's biggest businesses employing millions of people have called on the Government to allow unlimited immigration from Bulgaria and Romania when the two former Eastern Bloc states join the European Union on 01 January, 2007.

They said any break in the "open door" policy that has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants from Poland and other eastern European countries come to Britain would be a major mistake. The business leaders have put their names to a statement issued by the Business for New Europe Group (BNEG), a pressure group calling for further integration. ...

Five of the group's advisory council, including the UK heads of Sainsbury, the supermarket giant, Centrica, which owns British Gas, and Merrill Lynch, the Wall Street investment bank, have put their names to the letter.

But it is understood to have the support of other members of the council that numbers the heads of Carphone Warehouse, Alliance Boots, the high street chemists, the oil giant BP and the power company National Grid as members.

The BNEG's statement said: "If Bulgaria and Romania join the EU at the beginning of next year, the UK should continue with its open door policy.

"A so-called pause in migration from these countries would be tantamount to a reversal of policy and could work against Britain's interests." ...

Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, has said immigration from Romania and Bulgaria would be "properly controlled" when the two countries join the European Union to form the EU-27 next year. ...

David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said that the recent rise in unemployment to a six-year high was flashing a warning signal about the impact of migration of the indigenous workforce. "We have seen unemployment rise in the UK and clearly we don't want to be in a position where we are seeing migrant labor coming in and getting the jobs and supporting the great number of local people have not got jobs," he said.

"That's not a recipe for success. It will not be a cohesive society." He blamed the Government for failing to provide an education system that enabled Britons to find work in the modern labor market.
[Site link]

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Immigration – economy
Benefits of historic population shift outweigh costs
Tom Stevenson
Daily Telegraph, 29 August 2006

The rise in immigration following the expansion of the EU in 2004 is one of the most important developments for the UK economy in recent years. ...

Foreign workers have entered sectors of the economy which have experienced skills shortages for years.

Without 70,000 of them bringing in the harvest, a lot of home-grown foods would not reach the supermarket shelves.

What about the costs? A common myth is that immigrants are scroungers, but this hardly stands up to scrutiny.

In fact, the Home Office has estimated that new arrivals contribute £2.5bn more in taxes than they take out in benefits.

That's not surprising when you consider that 80pc are aged between 18 and 34; they are young, fit and healthy and only 7pc have brought any dependants to Britain. ...

One reason immigrants are net contributors is that they pay into our pensions system but are often not still here to reap the benefit. They are literally passing through.

Looking ahead, immigration is likely to have three main impacts on the economy. There will be winners and losers but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. ...
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – emigration
Migration is a two-way street
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 28 August 2006

Cumulatively, since 1997, 1.6 million British nationals have left the country and 806,000 have returned. At the same time, 2.93 million foreign nationals have arrived and 1.41 million have left. So, for every two Brits that leave, one returns; but for every two foreign nationals that arrive, only one leaves.

In 1998, the net annual outflow from the country of British nationals (ie the difference between those leaving and coming back) had dwindled to 22,000. By 2004, this had risen to 120,000. Over the same period, the net inflow of non-Britons grew from 106,000 to 342,000 a year. Most of the overseas nationals who stay are from the Commonwealth or are described as "other foreign". EU nationals tend not to stay. Between 1997 and 2004, 594,000 EU nationals came, but 412,000 left.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – economy
Immigration is not the solution to our skills shortage
Ruth Lea
Daily Telegraph, 28 August 2006

Economists see skills shortages as temporary phenomena that will be solved by the market - albeit at an increased price for the people who, for example, hire plumbers. ...

But large-scale immigration cannot be the long-term solution to our skills problems. There are too many downsides in a crowded island. Education has to be.
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Immigration
'Migrants are more enthusiastic, more punctual and better prepared'
Robert Watts
Sunday Telegraph, 27 August 2006

"I travel from Brighton to Aberdeen, from Pembrokeshire to East Anglia, and day after day I see British businesses taking on Polish workers," says David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, the business lobby group.

"I've yet to find a single business with a bad word to say about these people. Business needs them, and I'm not just talking of pubs, factories and agriculture - it's far more widespread than that."

On one of his recent tours Frost met the managing director of an electronics firm in the east Midlands who had recently despatched his human resources manager to Warsaw.

"He found he got better staff more cheaply by sending someone to Poland than by advertising in his local paper," says Frost. ...

Many companies cited labour shortages when they first started to import workers from eastern Europe. The Forum of Private Business, which represents 25,000 small and medium-sized companies, believes the Government is by no means free from blame for these shortages.

Since Labour came to power, the number of people employed by the public sector has increased by around 600,000. ...

"The truth is that British companies are finding migrants are more enthusiastic, more punctual and better prepared for the workplace than our own workers," says Nick Goulding, the chief executive of the FPB. ...

Lord Bruce-Lockhart, the chairman of the Local Government Association, which represents more than 400 of Britain's councils, has concerns beyond the stresses and strains that migrant labour puts on local services.

As well as nearly 1m people out of work and claiming benefit, Britain has a further 6m people deemed "economically inactive". This includes people on incapacity benefit or income support.

"Surely we have a responsibility to help those people who are trapped in dependency back into work by growing our own skills in this country," says Bruce-Lockhart.

"To say that businesses must bring the skills in is a incredible snub to those 7m people who are not in work." ...

That large parts of British business could not operate without migrant labour is clear. But just how sustainable the situation is for the country's public services, the housing market and the social security system is something that Britain will not know for some years to come.
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Immigration – from Romania and Bulgaria
Julia Hartley-Brewer
Sunday Express, 27 August 2006

Britain was hit by a double blow over immigration and crime yesterday.

Tony Blair is considering scrapping Britain's veto over European crime and immigration policy.

And the Government admits this country is powerless to stop the expected influx of 350,000 Romanians and Bulgarians next year. ...

The latest bid to revive a key plank of the controversial EU constitution comes as a senior Downing Street source admitted that the UK is powerless to prevent a further flood of eastern Europeans to our shores when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU in January.

The source told the Sunday Express said that the flood could not be prevented even if we impose strict "transitional arrangements" to block entry to migrant workers, similar to those imposed by most of the EU on Poland and the Czechs in 2004.

These controls, the source said, were a "farce" which left the door wide open.

And he warned that Romanians and Bulgarians would be able to enter Britain freely on January 1, regardless of any controls, as they would be entitled to travel throughout the EU and to use tourist visas to stay here for three months while working illegally.

The revelation comes as the Home Secretary John Reid prepares to meet his fellow EU ministers next month to discuss ending the national veto on all areas of home affairs policy, including immigration, crime-fighting, the criminal justice system and border controls.

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Immigration – from Bulgaria
Factory workers on 40p an hour. The Bulgarians
Kate Connolly
Daily Telegraph, 24 August 2006

Conservative estimates suggest that around 70,000 Bulgarians will come to Britain in search of work if the country joins the European Union in January.

But according to the Institute for Public Policy Research, the actual influx from what is one of Europe's poorest countries could be far higher.

Its April 2006 study showed that 3.4 per cent of Bulgarians are looking to move to Britain temporarily - well over a quarter of a million of its population of 7.8 million.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
EU immigration is not the problem
Sir Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 24 August 2006

Our main problems stem not from eastern Europe but from long-term immigration from other parts of the world.

The Government's incompetence is clouding the issue. To predict a maximum of 13,000 migrants a year and to be faced with some 300,000 in each of the first two years simply beggars belief. MigrationWatch said at the time that the estimate bore little relation to reality. Little did we know how right we were. ...

But this is a distraction from the more serious problems stemming from a growing number of immigrants from the rest of the world. Pointing out that some 70 per cent of them come from Africa and Asia risks the accusations of racism that have closed down a necessary debate for too long. ...

Indeed, it has gone largely unremarked in recent days that net immigration from outside the EU has now reached more than 250,000 a year. This is a threefold increase since 1997 and probably exceeds net immigration from eastern Europe. In the long term, this is a much more important issue. Not only are immigrants from outside Europe more likely to stay on here, but also some are from distant cultures that find integration more difficult. ...

As one might expect, the settlement figures for non-EU citizens are showing a rapid increase. Last year they rose by 30 per cent to a record 179,000 - nearly three times the level of 1996.

Why should we worry? Mainly because long-term settlement adds to the pressures on an already overcrowded island: pressures on infrastructure, public services and the cohesion of our society.

The Government still chooses to assume that net immigration will settle down at 145,000 a year, far below current levels. Even on this assumption, immigration will be responsible for nearly one in three new households in the next 20 years - and that means an extra 1.5 million houses purely for immigrants. Were it not for this factor, most, but not all, development on greenfield sites would be unnecessary. ...

Nor are all these immigrants coming here to work. The Economic and Social Research Council reports that, in 2003, only just over one in five immigrants were workers, while just over a quarter were students. The rest were mainly dependants, likely to add to the pressure on public services.

But the most sensitive issue is community cohesion. ... But the link that nobody makes is the link with immigration. ...

A recent report on Oldham, assessing efforts to rebuild community relations in the five years since the riots, found only slow progress. A key conclusion was that "a major factor in building community cohesion in Oldham over the next two decades will be... the relative growth in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage population. The potential risk is that the pace of change in building community cohesion and regenerating the borough may be overtaken by the potential for population change to generate division and conflict."

What lies behind this is the population projection buried in subsidiary papers. It shows that, in the next 15 years, the Pakistani population is expected to increase by 50 per cent and the Bangladeshi population by 70 per cent, while the white population will decline slightly. How can the host community be expected to cope with that?

Put another way, the failure of immigration policy is placing the harmony of our society at risk.
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Immigration
Biggest migrant influx in Britain's history
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2006

More than a million non-EU foreign nationals have been given the right to settle in Britain since Labour took office in 1997, by far the highest level of inward migration in the country's history, official figures showed yesterday.

In 2005, settlement was granted to almost 180,000 people - an increase of 29 per cent on the previous year and three times the number in 1996, the last year of the previous Conservative government.

In addition, nearly 450,000 workers have registered to work in Britain from the eastern European countries that joined the EU in May 2004 - 20 times the number predicted by the Home Office at the time.

They are not included in the settlement figures as they have residency rights as EU nationals.

The Government admitted that this figure was probably far too low, as thousands of self-employed workers will not have registered and many thousands more are suspected of taking jobs in the black economy to avoid tax.

Mark Boleat, from the Association of Labour Providers, suggested that another 100,000 workers - or possibly a lot more - had arrived without registering. Tony McNulty, the immigration minister, conceded that the true figure was probably nearer 600,000. ...

For most of the 1980s and 1990s, the number of foreign nationals allowed to settle in Britain remained at around 50,000 a year, mainly family reunions. So-called primary immigration was effectively stopped by nationality laws introduced in the 1970s.

But since Labour took office, immigration has rocketed. In 1996, settlement was granted to 61,000 people. By 2000, this had risen close to 100,000 and last year 179,120 people were allowed to stay indefinitely. After a year, they qualify for British citizenship.

The cumulative total of settlements since 1997 is slightly more than one million, but this total could be achieved in just the next five years since the number of foreign nationals coming to live and work in Britain is growing rapidly.

In 2004, net immigration - the difference between those leaving and arriving - was 223,000, almost 50 per cent more than in 2003 and easily the highest total recorded.

This year's figures are not expected to be significantly different and all these new immigrants will also qualify for settlement in the UK after living here for four years.

Of the total number of grants in 2005, more than half were to wives, husbands and dependent children. One in three of the new immigrants was from Africa, and one in four from Asia outside the Indian sub-continent, which accounted for 16 per cent.

About 12 per cent of new settlers came from Europe, eight per cent from the Americas, five per cent from the Middle East and four per cent from Oceania. ...

The latest figures also show that asylum applications continued to fall in 2005 to slightly more than 30,000.
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Immigration
Labour admits 600,000 have arrived here since 2004
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2006

About 600,000 people have come to work in Britain from the eight countries which joined the EU in 2004, the Government admitted yesterday.

Official figures showed that 447,000 workers from those central and eastern European nations had registered to work by the end of June.

But ministers acknowledged that a further 150,000 self-employed workers, such as builders, were probably in the country. They do not need to sign up to the worker registration scheme.

Employers estimate that another 100,000 who should have registered have not done so in order to avoid paying tax or to escape coming to the notice of the authorities. ...

More than half of the new arrivals - 254,560 - are from Poland, 50,000 are from Lithuania and 44,000 are Slovaks. The other migrants on the worker registration scheme are from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Slovenia.

The huge inflow from the eight countries has increased pressure on the Government to impose restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria when they join the EU, probably next year. ...

Some predict around 50,000 workers will come to Britain, but the Open Europe think-tank yesterday forecast that 450,000 Romanians and 170,000 Bulgarians will want jobs in the first two years after their accession.
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Immigration
Sorry, minister, but you can't keep EU citizens out of here
David Rennie
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2006
[Brussels]

Belgium did indeed erect strict barriers to Polish plumbers, Latvian labourers and the rest. ... all those robust, stern-sounding controls made not the blindest bit of difference.

You see, my home district is home to thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of Polish workers, most of them illegal. They do not hide themselves. ...

Why should they hide themselves? They are EU citizens and, as such, they have every right to be here. If they are caught working illegally, they may be fined, and can even - in theory - be ordered home to Poland. But after a day or so to lick their wounds, they are free to come straight back to Belgium - and there is next to nothing the Belgian authorities can do to stop them.

Under a raft of EU laws, including a new Freedom of Movement Directive that came into force earlier this year, any EU citizen with a valid passport can travel to any other EU nation for a stay of three months. Even previously convicted criminals cannot be kept out, unless their criminal behaviour is ongoing, and amounts to a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society", to quote the directive.

As one senior Belgian official admitted in private to me, labour controls on EU citizens barely work. "We can only fine them or send them home; we cannot throw people in prison for working on the black market," he said. "Then they can come back after a few days, quite legally." ...

Every politician huffing and puffing about whether we British should, or should not, "close our borders" to eastern European workers is either wasting their breath or wilfully misleading voters. Once Bulgaria and Romania are in the EU - which will happen either next January, or, at the latest, a year later - Britain simply will not be allowed to prevent their nationals from entering the country. ...

Within the first two years after Romanian and Bulgarian accession, the United Kingdom would be able to oblige citizens from those states to obtain work permits before they can work legally in a full-time job. And that, more or less, is it. If EU citizens are self-employed, or students, or claim on entry to be tourists, their access to Britain cannot be restricted at all.
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Immigration
No 10 stalls on 'open door' for migrants
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2006

Confusion surrounded the Government's immigration policy last night after Downing Street insisted that no decisions had been made to impose restrictions on migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria. ...

However, Downing Street insisted yesterday that decisions on how to handle the EU's newest members would not be made until the autumn.

While ministers are expected to unveil plans for restrictions, there is understood to be irritation in No 10 that Mr Darling has jumped the gun.
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Immigration
Labour hints at curbs on workers from Romania and Bulgaria
Graeme Wilson
Daily Telegraph, 21 August 2006

Britain will not offer an "open door" to migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria when they join the European Union, Alistair Darling, the Trade Secretary, said yesterday.

Mr Darling gave the clearest signal yet that the Government will ditch the controversial open access policy it adopted for workers from the first tranche of East European countries that joined the EU two years ago.
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Immigration – public opinion
Tories demand limit on migrants from Europe
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 20 August 2006

The Conservatives are to call for strict quotas on the number of workers allowed into Britain from Bulgaria and Romania when the countries join the European Union in January. ...

But the Tories will use Bulgarian and Romanian membership to demand "controlled immigration". They want restrictions on workers from the two countries similar to controls brought in by other EU states two years ago.

...

The Cabinet is understood to be split on the issue. ...

An Ipsos Mori poll last night indicated that three-quarters of Britons wanted stricter limits on the number of foreigners allowed to settle here, while only 14 per cent of respondents strongly believed immigration was "generally good" for Britain.
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Immigration
Pride and prejudice about immigration
Sir Digby Jones, director-general of the CBI until June this year
Sunday Telegraph, 20 August 2006

Generalisations are dangerous. "Immigration is a good thing" is no more accurate than "immigration is a bad thing". ...

We are in many ways a bastard race, built up by different waves of immigration over the centuries. ...

We do immigration well. Certainly not perfectly, but better than anywhere else I know. And business benefits hugely. Stop immigration and you stop building houses, schools, hospitals, roads and offices in the UK. ...

People will always migrate to find a better, safer life. Immigration is here to stay. Developed countries can fight it and lose or turn it to their advantage and win. British business should be pleased that the UK starts ahead of the game.

Business must make the case for quality and controlled immigration. You will speak English, you will bring a skill, you will have a National Insurance number and participate in the transparent economy, pay tax and enjoy the protection of employment and health & safety legislation. The colour of your skin or the God you worship doesn't matter. Play by these rules and this fair-minded country will welcome you. Come here, work hard, help create wealth - and show us up for what we are becoming: lazy, poorly skilled and complacent, often using "immigration is a bad thing" as an excuse for our own inadequacies.
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Immigration – destitution
Charity to offer destitute Poles chance to go home
Kate Connolly and Sally Pook
Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2006

So many Poles are living in squalor and poverty on the streets of Britain that a Polish charity is sending staff to London to persuade them to return home.

The Barka Foundation, a non-governmental organisation based in Poznan, western Poland, was alerted by British charities. They fear that many of the Poles are turning to drugs, prostitution and crime. ...

An estimated 400,000 Poles live in Britain, ...

Barka estimates that of these, about 45,000 are living in squalor, although up to 100,000 could be in difficulty.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Ministers 'turning blind eye' to illegal migrant labour
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2006

The Home Office was accused last night of ignoring tip-offs about illegal migrants working in the black economy.

Employment agencies said they had told the Immigration Service of people with false papers but it took no action. ...

Of 425 recruitment agencies contacted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), three quarters had detected suspect papers, but many did not bother to contact the UK Immigration Service (UKIS), saying it had proved "unhelpful".

Half said it had failed to take decisive action, despite being given the details. ...

John Tincey, of the Immigration Service Union, said officers did not arrest illegal immigrants because they were told not to by their managers. "The priorities set by the Home Office are to arrest failed asylum seekers," he told BBC radio. "Other immigration offences, such as illegal working, are very much on the back burner." UKIS staffing levels were insufficient to do this work effectively.
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Immigration
Unchecked immigration is putting Britons out of work
David Green, director of the think-tank Civitas
Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2006

The net inflow of migrants in 2004 was the equivalent of adding the population of a city such as Nottingham, and the unprecedented influx of newcomers from overseas has inevitably had an impact on the availability of housing. Over the past few years, average prices of new homes for first-time buyers have increased sharply, often putting home ownership out of their reach. According to a Halifax survey, the average house price rose from about £86,000 in 2001 to £177,000 today.

Immigration is not the only cause, and the tendency to live in smaller households has played its part, but no honest voice denies that immigration is a major factor. Moreover, immigration can be controlled, whereas the rate of family breakdown and the desire to live alone are not so easily influenced by the Government.

Between 1996 and 2004, net international migration has averaged 140,000 a year, when the Government's household projections, which are used to estimate the demand for housing, were based on 65,000 a year. As the respected think-tank Migration Watch UK has shown, using the Government's own figures, over the same period the housing stock fell short of household formation by 370,000 and about 70 per cent of this shortfall was the result of additional immigration. There has been an impact on social housing, too. Between 1997 and 2005, 167,000 additional social and local authority homes were built. So far I have mentioned only immigration, but, over that same period, 216,000 people were given asylum or exceptional leave to remain. This figure alone exceeds the number of social homes constructed.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Restrict new EU migrants, says MP
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 16 August 2006

Britain should restrict the entry of workers from Romania and Bulgaria when they join the European Union to give the country "a breathing space", a senior Labour MP said yesterday.

John Denham, the chairman of the Commons home affairs committee and a former Home Office minister, said the inflow of workers from Poland and other eastern European countries still had properly to be absorbed.

Britain is likely to have the option of delaying full entry rights to the new member states for up to seven years. ...

Mr Denham, interviewed on Radio 4's The World At One, said: "It would be sensible to delay that step of allowing people to come here to work until we have had more time to absorb the much bigger inflow of people from Poland and the other eastern European states."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – from Bulgaria
Bulgaria opens back door to the EU with give-away passports bonanza
Bojan Pancevski and Carmiola Ionescu
Sunday Telegraph, 13 August 2006

Bulgaria is giving away passports to tens of thousands of non-European Union foreigners who will be able to work in Britain when the country joins the EU next January.

Bulgaria's already lax procedures for issuing citizenship are being exploited by corrupt officials who agree to fast-track passports for less than £200 - adding to existing fears in the United Kingdom and western Europe about the large number of migrants, some with criminal records, expected to arrive from Romania and Bulgaria. ...

More than 20,000 people from countries such as Moldova and Macedonia have taken up Bulgarian citizenship in the past few years, and at least 55,000 more are on the waiting list.

The scheme was originally set up by the government in Sofia to strengthen links with Bulgarian minorities in neighbouring countries. However an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found that many applicants openly admit to not speaking Bulgarian, having no Bulgarian heritage and knowing nothing about the country. ...

The owner of one unofficial agency which helps to broker passports said he could obtain one for about 99 per cent of his clients for about €130 (£87). For a small additional fee, he would also provide medical certificates, including HIV tests, without the applicant having to undergo any examination.
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Immigration
Immigration is now making the rich richer and the poor poorer
Polly Toynbee
The Guardian, 11 August 2006

Soon the EU will decide on admitting Bulgaria and Romania. If they join the union, will Britain again be one of the few to let their citizens work here immediately? And what of Turkey next? ...

The unexpectedly high influx of eastern Europeans, mainly Poles (John Denham, the Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, estimates that the true number is closer to 1 million than the official 400,000), has brought benefits. They bring desperately needed skills, from dentistry to plumbing, compensating for Britain's historic failure in vocational training. But their arrival also takes the urgency out of upskilling our own undertrained workforce. (Wouldn't rapidly trained Newham apprentices be building the Olympic venues if the Poles weren't?)

The Institute for Public Policy Studies says migrants are profitable: for every £100 in taxes paid by the average British-born person, the average new immigrant pays £112. Migrants make up only 8.7% of the UK's population but pay 10.2% of its income tax. Since many are the enterprising young and fit who anyway can't claim housing or benefits here, that's not surprising. They have few costs and many are willing to sleep on floors to save money. This ideally flexible labour force does indeed grow GDP, but it is also often grossly exploited while depressing the wages of all. The minimum wage is some £2 an hour below a survivable living wage.

So it's no surprise that the CBI and chambers of commerce strongly support immigration, as do US neocons. Economists puzzle over why a 10-year unbroken burst of growth has not resulted in pay inflation. Near-full employment should mean pay rises - but cheap imported labour helps keep it low. Studies purporting to prove immigration has had no such effect simply don't capture this invisible power. Denham says the arrival of 14,000 Poles in Southampton has cut rates for building workers by half.

Even if GDP grows, migration can make the rich richer and the poor poorer. London, where migration is greatest, also has the highest unemployment, especially among British-born ethnic minorities. Poor families in this most expensive city can't pay for childcare, and compete for jobs with single migrants willing to take less than a living wage. But the rich prosper: restaurants, cleaners and all other services are cheaper because wages are low. It is one of the gross dysfunctions of such an unequal society that the very concept of "GDP per capita" is a meaningless average that often disguises the filling of pockets at the top while those at the bottom are emptied.

The Tories are torn between Little England anti-foreigner tendencies and neocon cheap-labour enthusiasm. Labour are the traditional celebrators of cultural diversity, and the Treasury gleefully supports wealth-creating migration. But what if it creates wealth only for the wealthy, while threatening Labour's social-justice goals? Social democracy needs enough social cohesion to persuade people that everyone benefits when resources are more fairly distributed. But people will resent paying taxes towards others if they feel national borders are porous to the whole world.

A combination of employer pressure, fear of old Powellite racism (though Poles are as white as can be) and Home Office hopelessness has led to a kind of defeatism on all this: nothing can be done, globalisation means populations move unstoppably. With cheap travel, mass tourism and students overstaying, no migration can be stopped. This is nonsense. Social democrats believe in the power of government - and that requires a government that believes in it too.

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Immigration
Open door to migrants faces axe
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 9 August 2006

Ministers are considering abandoning Tony Blair's open door policy of unrestricted access for workers from new European Union members in a major rethink of immigration strategy.

As Labour MPs called for controls on immigrant numbers, the Home Office confirmed that discussions had started on whether to restrict the flow from countries due to join the EU.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Reid to set limit on immigration
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2006

John Reid reacted to mounting public anxiety over immigration yesterday by effectively calling for official limits on the numbers coming into the country.

In a significant policy shift, the Home Secretary said that new independent migration advisers should set out an "optimum level of immigration" consistent with the country's economic needs and "social stability". ...

He also called for a culture change so that people "get away from this daft, so-called politically correct notion that anybody who wants to talk about immigration is somehow a racist". ...

However, the Home Secretary denied that there was an "unmanaged tide" of immigration and gave no indication that he would block the right of Romanians and Bulgarians to work in Britain when they joined the EU next year. ...

The latest estimates suggest that 600,000 people from Poland and seven other new EU countries have come to work in Britain since 2004. ...

In a speech this week, Mr Reid will say that mass migration is "the greatest challenge facing European governments".

In a recognition of public worries, he will tell the Demos think-tank that the volume of migration "can also carry insecurity into the heart of our communities".
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Welcome to Britain – entry just £150
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK
Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2006

Confidence in the Government's immigration policy - insofar as it has one - is at rock bottom. The latest revelation was buried in a threat assessment issued by the Serious Organised Crime Agency yesterday. It revealed that the cost of a clandestine passage from France to Britain is now just £150.

... But people smugglers are in it for the money. If they charge a mere £150 to smuggle someone into Britain, that can be only because it is remarkably easy to arrange.

Clandestines are only one part of the illegal population. The others are those who arrive legally as visitors or students and stay on after their visas expire. The Government has no idea of the numbers involved. ...

The plain truth is that our border controls have been crumbling for 10 years and it will take another 10 to restore them. Meanwhile, the people smugglers have noticed. Welcome to Britain - and to our open welfare state - for the princely sum of £150.

... Work permits have been quadrupled to 160,000 a year and, even without Eastern Europeans, nearly 300,000 additional foreign citizens arrived in 2004.

On top of this, the Government decided, alone except for Ireland and Sweden, to open our labour market to the new Eastern European members of the EU from the day they joined in May 2004. ...

Nearly 400,000 have registered to work already. Others will not have bothered and the self-employed don't need to. Nobody knows how many have gone home.

The economic and social impact of these massive levels of immigration is no longer confined to our city centres, but is being felt all over the country. This is partly the result of flight from the cities - 100,000 people leave London every year - and partly due to the fact that Eastern Europeans are spreading into rural areas. ...

The Government claims that we need this immigration to fill 600,000 vacancies. This is demonstrably false. It said this first in 2001. Since then, we have had net immigration likely to approach one million and the level of vacancies is - guess what - about 600,000. The reason is that immigrants also create additional demand: to argue from vacancies is to argue for an endless cycle of immigration. Perhaps this is the real intention.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – from Poland
Poland begs its missing workers to come home
Matthew Day
Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2006

Delegates from a Polish city are to visit London to try to lure back their compatriots as concern mounts at the effects of one of the biggest migrations any European state has experienced.

Officials from Wroclaw, a city of 633,000 in the south-west, will visit clubs and bars popular with Poles and extol the virtues of working in Wroclaw. If the campaign is successful in London, it will be extended across Britain. ...

Since Poland joined the European Union in May 2004 and Poles gained unrestricted access to the job markets of Britain, Ireland and Sweden, official records in Europe show that 230,000 Poles have registered to live and work in Britain.

The real number is much higher, with Warsaw's centre for migration research estimating that between 700,000 to 800,000 Poles have travelled west, the majority to Britain.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
MP breaks Tory line on immigration
David Charter
The Times, 1 August 2006

Immigration is today blamed for ruining the quality of British life in a pamphlet by an outspoken Conservative MP seemingly out of kilter with David Cameron's direction for the party.

Rising house prices, water shortages and transport congestion are all blamed on the level of immigration by Julian Brazier, a member of the right-wing Cornerstone group of MPs. He claims that long working hours and high levels of family breakdown are being exacerbated by the high mortgage and rent payments driven by housing shortages because of immigration. ...

Mr Brazier, a mathematician, said that population growth largely fuelled by immigration will undermine quality of life for many people, especially those on low incomes, including many from ethnic minority backgrounds.

In his paper, he concluded: "Overcrowding is a key cause of many of the factors which are destroying quality of life: mortgage slavery, overdevelopment, congested roads, water shortages, flooding and overstretched public services. We should do everything we can sensibly - and fairly - to reduce the level of immigration to well below the level of emigration.

"The first and easiest step in this direction would be to return to a much smaller number of work permits (issued to non-EU citizens), as occurred under all previous governments. We should also restrict them, as was always the case before, to highly skilled people."

His paper states that, in 2004, gross immigration stood at nearly 600,000 and that, in Europe, population density levels in Britain were second only to the Low Countries. England, hardest hit by the pressures created by record immigration, is more crowded than the Low Countries, China and India, he says. ...

A Conservative Party spokesman, said: "We welcome immigration, but we have always said that proper controls are essential. Three weeks ago Damian Green launched a national consultation asking for suggestions on immigration policy, and he has begun a tour of the country to hear the views of a wide range of people.

"This is one contribution to the debate and we look forward to receiving many others."

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Immigration – numbers
Numbers matter: It is time for mainstream politics to debate the scale of British immigration
Bob Rowthorn, a professor of economics at Cambridge University
Prospect, August 2006

Although the government refuses to discuss migration numbers, the issue is likely to be forced up the agenda. This short article provides some of the background that should be required for an informed debate. Working from official projections, I have quantified the impact of immigration on the total population of Britain and on its composition. ...

With zero net migration, and the assumed birth and death rates, population would rise slightly for a time and then fall away at an accelerating pace. With net migration of 85,000 a year, population would increase for some decades and then stabilise at around 65m towards the end of the century. With net migration at the rate of 223,000 a year, the population would reach 74m by 2051 and continue rising strongly thereafter. This figure – 74m – is 16m greater than the 2051 population figure under the zero net migration assumption. Part of the difference is explained by the inflow of migrants and part of it by the fact that immigration would increase the number of children born in this country.

The above figures understate the impact of migration on the social composition of Britain, because they conceal the fact that British citizens are leaving the country at the same time as foreigners are arriving. In 2004, there was a net outflow of 129,100 British-born individuals and a net inflow of 351,700 foreign-born individuals. If sustained, this would mean that over the period 2006-51 there would be a net outflow of 5.8m British- born individuals and a net inflow of 15.8m foreign-born individuals.

Predicting immigration is difficult since long-run trends are often masked by short-run fluctuations. There has recently been an upsurge in immigration from eastern Europe following EU enlargement. As conditions in eastern Europe improve, this flow may eventually reverse itself as immigrants return home to take up jobs. However, unless blocked by the government, there will be a new inflow when Bulgaria and Romania join the EU next year as planned, and further ahead there may be a much greater influx if Turkey joins. There is also a rising trend of immigration from Africa and south Asia. In view of these diverse pressures, it seems likely that immigration is on an upward trend. In the absence of new measures to contain the flow, the average rate of net migration is likely in future to exceed the figure of 223,000 recorded in 2004.

There is another point to consider. The projections upon which my estimates are based assume that immigrants have the same fertility as the existing population. This is false. For example, in 2001 the total fertility rates of women born in Bangladesh and Pakistan were 3.9 and 4.7 respectively, as compared to 1.6 for women born in Britain. Most immigrant groups do not have so many children, but even so, the overall total fertility rate for women in Britain born overseas was 2.2. When such discrepancies are taken into account, the eventual impact of a given rate of immigration is even larger than our projections imply.

In the absence of new measures to reduce the inflow from overseas, the cumulative impact of immigration on the size and composition of the British population will be huge.
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Immigration – EU
Whitehall alert at EU migrant influx
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2006

The rising number of immigrants from Eastern Europe poses huge problems for public services and community relations, a leaked Home Office report disclosed yesterday.

The threat from people arriving from new European Union countries next year is so great that every Government department has been told to draw up contingency plans.

The report, prepared by Joan Ryan, a Home Office minister, also warns that the ban on Eastern European migrants claiming benefits or council houses could be illegal.

Frank Field, a former Labour minister, said last night that the population was being transformed "at a rate never experienced before in our history". He likened it to the "brutal policy" of Stalin's forced migration policies in Ukraine. ...

Miss Ryan's document, entitled Migration from Eastern Europe: Impact on Public Services and Community Cohesion, is dated July 19 and marked "restricted".

Despite that, extracts published in the Mail on Sunday laid bare mounting concerns over how Britain will cope with yet more arrivals.
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Immigration
Warning over new EU immigration
BBC, 31 July 2006

The UK should restrict the right of Bulgarians and Romanians to work in the UK when they join the EU, ex-Labour minister Frank Field has warned.

He said the UK must "impose barriers" until there was an EU-wide policy.

The UK was one of just three countries in 2004 to give all the new EU citizens - notably from Poland - work rights.

Ministers expected up to 13,000 a year to move to the UK, but 600,000 have so far. A leaked Home Office report warns of pressures on schools and hospitals.

The Home Office document says there is evidence that the influx of foreign workers from the eight ex-communist countries which joined the EU in 2004 - has driven down wages in low-paid jobs.

It warns that ministers may be forced to abandon their refusal to grant council houses and welfare benefits to new arrivals who do not work, boosting the "pull factor" attracting further immigrants.

We foolishly went ahead and had an open-door policy and instead of between 5,000 and 13,000 people arriving, in the first year something like half a million did.

Government departments have been told to draw up emergency plans to deal with pressure on public services from an expected "step change" in immigration levels when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU next year.

The document, entitled Migration from Eastern Europe: Impact on Public Services and Community Cohesion, was written by junior Home Office Minister Joan Ryan and leaked to the Mail on Sunday.

Mr Field, a social services minister in 1997-8, told BBC Radio 4's the World at One: "In 2004 we could have agreed, like the vast majority of the rest of the European Union, that whereas the community was extended at this point in time, we were not having an open door policy.

"We foolishly went ahead and had an open-door policy and instead of between 5,000 and 13,000 people arriving, in the first year something like half a million did.

"We've now got Bulgaria and Romania coming down the road at us. We need to impose those barriers until there is a Europe-wide policy."

In the leaked report, Ms Ryan argues that many more English teachers will be needed to deal with a big rise in the number of eastern European children unable to speak the language.

Hospital beds are being "blocked" by east European patients because they cannot claim social care and benefits if they leave.

And towns and cities where large numbers of new immigrants have settled are now calling for millions of pounds of extra funding to cope, the report says.

The report, which is marked "restricted" and dated 19 July, came the day after Ms Ryan put out another document saying that 45,000 "undesirable" criminal migrants from Romania and Bulgaria could settle in the UK next year.
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Immigration
It is not racist to worry about immigration
W.F. Deedes
Daily Telegraph, 28 July 2006

Our immigration policy is in a mess partly because we have been discouraged for so long from criticising any aspect of it. It is more than 30 years since Ted Heath sacked Enoch Powell from his shadow cabinet for an intemperate speech on immigrants, leaving many to feel that even informed comment, finding fault with our policy, was racist and ammunition for the British National Party. ...

We feel free to praise the skills that immigrants bring us, the jobs they are ready to take on that our British society feels beneath it, and the unquestionable contribution of Asians to our prosperity. But to remark on the adverse consequences of unchecked immigration is treated as racist.

It is time we dropped this silliness. The future composition of this country's population is serious policy. ...

How do we criticise without sounding racist? Migration Watch sets an example. It sets out the facts, then exposes the lack of political will to face up to them.
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Immigration
One in ten of the British population was born overseas
James Slack
Daily Mail, 28 July 2006

One in ten people living in Britain today was born overseas, figures reveal.

They show how Labour's opendoor immigration policy has changed the country's make-up dramatically.

Since the party came to power in 1997, the number of those born overseas who live here has rocketed by 1,690,000 - up 42 per cent.

The total now stands at 5,699,000, or 10 per cent of the population. During last year alone, the increase was 405,000.

The figures - which run to the end of 2005 - are larger than any previous estimate, but may still hugely understate the true situation.

They do not include up to 570,000 illegal immigrants who have entered the country undetected by the authorities.

Nor do they take into account an estimated 100,000 Eastern Europeans who have flocked here this year.

Last year's increase of 405,000 was largely due to the influx of hundreds of thousands of workers from the former Eastern Bloc, granted free movement since the expansion of the EU on May 1, 2004. ...

The data was produced by the Office for National Statistics for MPs investigating the Government's stance on immigration. ...

The compilation of the figures, for the Home Affairs Select Committee, will add fuel to demands for Labour to hold a proper debate on immigration. ...

Before 1997, net migration to Britain was running at around 40,000 a year. It exploded afterwards, as the Government handed out hundreds of thousands of visas for both economic and political reasons.

The average level of net migration increased to around 130,000 a year.

Following EU expansion two years ago, numbers rose further.

Net migration - the number arriving set against those leaving - is now around 225,000.

The total number of Eastern Europeans in Britain is at least 400,000, including 230,000 Poles. Some experts say the true total is 600,000, with around 300,000 Poles. ...

Other categories of foreign nationals included in the data are failed asylum seekers. They number up to 450,000, most of whom have arrived since 1997.

Some 11,000 of the 5,699,000 foreigners are in jail for crimes committed in the UK.

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Immigration
Count them in
Tony Ellis
Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

John Reid, the Home Secretary, has given an undertaking (report, July 26) that everyone will be counted in and out of Britain by 2014.

It is reassuring to note that he understands the urgency and gravity of the situation.
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Immigration – overpopulation
Immigration - how New Labour got the numbers completely wrong
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2006

When future historians assess New Labour's vandalism of the United Kingdom's cultural, political and commercial fabric, the wilful destruction of border controls will surely be judged as the measure that caused most pain. Yesterday, Home Secretary John Reid admitted as much, promising to end the disastrous easy-come, easy-go approach to immigration, introduced by his government in 1997. ...

Any debate about the non-economic issues of allowing large numbers of people from overseas into Britain is, of course, a separate matter. While the sudden imposition of racial and cultural diversity can be destabilising, I accept that not everyone is hostile to it. An influx of fresh ideas and unfamiliar habits has its attractions. ...

Three years ago, Britain had 600,000 job vacancies. Since then, there has been a net inflow of 700,000 legal workers and who know how many illegal. Yet, the number of unfilled posts is still 600,000. The reason for this paradox is that, as well as providing services, immigrants also consume them. They add to demand as well as supply. Simply by going shopping, buying a coffee, catching a bus, they create jobs, thereby sucking in yet more immigrants. ...

As it is, Britain's population has risen by 20pc since 1950 and is set to rise from 60m to 70m, perhaps by as early as 2050. That total, however, doesn't reflect huge regional imbalances, with England accounting for 50m people, more than half of whom are jammed into the South East. This level of overcrowding, according to the Optimum Population Trust, makes England the fourth-most densely populated country in the world, excluding small island and city states. Only Holland, South Korea and Bangladesh are more packed. ...

The standard of discussion on the true cost of immigration has been woeful. The agenda has been hijacked by lobby groups such as the Refugee Council, human rights lawyers and politically correct bullies who throw the "racist" dart at anyone daring to suggest that Britain would be a more comfortable place if we didn't have to suffer the extra pollution, pressure on amenities and loss of Green Belt that inevitably comes with a rapidly expanding population.

I'd like to think that, at last, we have a Home Secretary who is really serious about stopping the rot. Many believe it's already too late.
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Immigration
Public urged to 'shop' firms using illegal foreign staff
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2006

People will be encouraged to "shop" businesses employing illegal labour as part of the Government's new-look immigration service, which was outlined yesterday by the Home Secretary.

John Reid said: "We will penalise those who employ illegal workers by implementing fines for rogue employers and seizing the assets of persistent offenders."

People will be encouraged to telephone the anonymous Crimestoppers line to report illegal workers. ...

The blueprint for the future of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate was set out in a glossy document entitled "Rebuilding confidence in our immigration system". ...

Other changes include more stringent checks abroad on those seeking to come to Britain, forcing people to return home while appeals are heard; introducing the requirement for biometric identification documents, including fingerprints from all visa applicants; and putting some immigration officials in uniform to create a more visible border control presence.

It is also hoped to simplify and strengthen laws enabling "illegals" to be deported and to achieve a situation in which deportation is the norm after a criminal conviction.

Checks on people leaving the country, which were scrapped in the 1990s, will be reinstated.

Mr Reid said: "We will extend exit controls in stages based on risk, identify who overstays and count everyone in and out, while avoiding delays to travellers, by 2014."

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "I have listened time after time to talk of crackdowns, consultations, initiatives, action plans on areas from bogus language schools to sham marriages and still we are faced with the current shambles. The Government cannot cope with its own past."

He said the country had been "overwhelmed" by the "sheer scale of immigration".
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Immigration
Immigration's real frontline
John Denham, chair of the home affairs select committee and Labour MP for Southampton Itchen
The Guardian, 26 July 2006

Migration has shot to the top of the public's worry list. People have discounted Labour's success in knocking the asylum system into some sort of order because they believe the wider immigration system is too lax. The corrosive loss of confidence underpins much contemporary unpleasantness, not least the rise of the BNP.

While most people agree "something must be done", most people want someone else to do it. Labour home secretaries know that tough action works well with some supporters but appals others - and John Reid's predecessors haven't had much help from other government departments that registered scam colleges, gave national insurance numbers to illegal immigrants and turned a blind eye to tax evasion by the people who employed them. Even the public are capable of disliking illegal migrants in general while not wanting to send that nice family round the corner back to their war-torn country. Employers don't want to take responsibility for checking the immigration status of their workers. The NGOs focus, as they should, on the human stories of those involved.

But the plan Reid announced yesterday hints at a way forward that progressive people could live with. We can and should tighten border controls, but it's what we do in Britain that will make the difference.

There may be other factors involved, but it's work that makes illegal immigration possible. Make illegal working more difficult and the "pull factor" will be reduced. In theory we don't tolerate illegal working, but the occasional factory raid, which leads to a handful of people being expelled at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds, is neither here nor there. Nor are the rare prosecutions of employers for employing illegal migrants. We need a broader approach.

The companies most likely to employ illegal migrants are also the ones most likely to fiddle their tax and national insurance, drive people round the countryside in dangerous vehicles, ignore employment rights and undercut the minimum wage. ...

A drive to enforce all employment and tax laws across the tough bottom end of the labour market will benefit millions of low-paid workers. It will also cut the financial premium from illegal labour and reduce the pull on new migration. This will only work if all government departments work together. Health and safety breaches need to bring the attention of immigration officers and Revenue & Customs. Firms caught using illegal labour need to face a huge bill for unpaid tax and have every other aspect of their business put through the mill. Companies that can show good compliance should get the benefit. ...

Action in the labour market will cut the demand for illegal workers. We will then need to knock some sense into the Home Office removals policy. Why put so much effort into removing families who have been here for ages while every year tens of thousands of people are refused permission to stay but then left to disappear into the illegal labour market? The priority must be to ensure that all new immigration decisions are enforced, with a "no" leading inexorably to voluntary or enforced departure.

There have recently been renewed calls for a formal amnesty. But with the current leaky controls and abusive labour market it would simply not work. Hundreds of thousands of new illegal migrants would be drawn in to replace those given amnesty - good for their employers, but not for labour rights in our economy. Better to concentrate on tackling exploitation in the workplace.

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Immigration – employment
1.5m workers 'are foreign nationals'
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2006

Some 1.5 million foreigners are now working in Britain, accounting for four per cent of workers, says a study.

One million foreign nationals were working in the UK eight years ago. The number has risen by half again largely because of Central and Eastern Europeans joining the job market, the Economic and Social Research Council says.

Prof John Salt, of University College London, said: "Opening up of the labour market to citizens of the new members states of the EU from May 2004 initiated what is almost certainly the largest single wave of immigration the British Isles have ever experienced."
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Immigration
UK migration 'now at its highest'
BBC, 21 July 2006

The UK is experiencing the biggest immigration wave in its history thanks to the arrival of eastern European workers, says an expert.

A report by two of the country's leading migration academics says the number of foreign nationals working in the UK topped 1.5m in 2005.

Confirming figures already published, the study says the growth is down to an open labour market to new EU-workers.

Irish workers remain the clear leaders but their dominance is slipping.

The Economic and Social Research Council paper charts some of the key factors that will have a significant impact on the future shape of Britain is population.

It brings together official statistics and analysis by Professors John Salt of University College London and Phil Rees of Lees University, two highly respected migration experts.

Prof Salt has advised the Home Office on a number of key issues, including the difficulty in trying to count illegal migrants working in the black economy.

The report says that when 151,000 more people came to the UK in 2004 than left, it represented a major shift in the UK's migration patterns.

This change, said Prof Salt, was down to the UK's decision to open labour markets to workers from new European Union states.

Ten countries joined the European Union in May 2004, eight of them being the Eastern nations of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The UK, along with two other existing EU states, opened the jobs market to workers from the eight, saying it would help the economy grow.

Other EU nations have blocked those workers under transitional rules.

Prof Salt said: "Opening up of the labour market to citizens of the new member states of the EU initiated what is almost certainly the largest ever single wave of immigration the British Isles have ever experienced, with Poles the largest ever single national group of entrants."

Between May 2004 and March 2006, six out of 10 eastern European workers who registered in the UK were Polish, comprising 228,000 of the 375,000 recorded entries, according to official figures.

However, it is difficult to say how many of these workers are actually in the UK at any one time because of the way the figures are compiled.

The report concludes that based upon what we do know, central and eastern European workers now make up a tenth of the foreign-born labour force.

In contrast, while Irish workers have historically been the largest single group of foreign workers, their dominance has fallen dramatically - from 22% of all foreign workers in the UK in 2005, the proportion for 2005 was half that.
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Immigration
Economic and Social Research Council, 21 July 2006

Migration trends - new booklet gives insights into migrant population.

Current and future migration trends in the UK are examined in a booklet published today by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It describes, among other things, how numbers of foreign nationals working in the UK rose strongly to top a million for the first time in 1998, and by 2005 had reached 1.5 million (4.1 per cent of all in employment).

Titled 'Globalisation, population mobility and impact of migration on population', the booklet brings together work done by Professors John Salt, of University College, London, and Phil Rees, of the University of Leeds, as well as statistics and analyses produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In 2004, an estimated 223,000 more people migrated to the UK than moved abroad - a net inflow much higher than the previous year, when an estimated 151,000 more arrived to live here than left.

Professor Salt said: "Opening up of the labour market to citizens of the new member states of the EU from May 2004 initiated what is almost certainly the largest ever single wave of immigration the British Isles have ever experienced, with Poles the largest ever single national group of entrants."

Numbers of Central and Eastern European (CEE) nationals in the foreign work force have grown rapidly, reaching 169,000 - 11.2 per cent - in 2005. The EU15/EFTA countries make up 32 per cent of foreign workers and, in terms of single countries, the Irish remain clear leaders, though their dominance has fallen, from 22.6 per cent in 1995 to only 11.6 per cent in 2005.

In 2003, more than one-fifth of all in-migrants (114,000) came for work-related reasons and had a specific job to go to, and more than a quarter came to study here (135,000).

Professor Salt's analyses points out that while foreign workers in the UK have generally been more skilled than the domestic workforce, there are signs that this might be changing, probably due to the new immigration from CEE countries. ...

Projections from Professor Phil Rees, between now and 2020, show the White ethnic group growing only a little, due to continuing low fertility rates and smaller numbers of women of child-bearing age, along with higher deaths as the population ages.

London and the south east are forecast, in general, to continue seeing the greatest change, due to the region's capacity to create jobs. ...

The booklet accompanies the third and last in a series of special seminars organised by the ESRC in conjunction with the ONS and the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), at which policy departments and academic experts have discussed key issues for those who provide official data.
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Immigration – illegal
Hire illegal immigrants and you'll be disqualified
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 16 July 2006

Company bosses who employ illegal immigrants will be disqualified under a contentious "two strikes and you're out" plan being prepared by ministers.

The crackdown, in which directors would be struck off if their firms were found to be breaching immigration rules on two separate occasions, is the brainchild of John Reid, the Home Secretary.

It was discussed at last Thursday's Cabinet meeting and is planned as a central plank of hardline proposals to deal with the illegal immigration crisis to be published by Mr Reid either this week or next. ...

David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, reacted angrily to the plan and said that he would protest in person tomorrow to Margaret Hodge, the small business minister.

He said: "It is just not on for small businesses to take the rap for this - particularly when we have evidence that the Government has been handing out National Insurance numbers, which are absolutely central to this problem, like confetti."
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Immigration – amnesty
No amnesty for illegal immigrants
Daily Telegraph, 12 July 2006

The Government has formally ruled out an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, made clear yesterday that new proposals for "fair but tough" enforcement of immigration rules, to be unveiled within the next fortnight, would not include a general amnesty.
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Immigration – multiculturalism
Hoodies don't need policy hugs, but immigrants do
Janet Daley
Daily Telegraph, 10 July 2006

I am an immigrant twice over. My grandparents joined the Russian Jewish emigration to the United States at the turn of the last century to escape the pogroms, and I left America to live in Britain for rather more whimsical reasons. So it is not surprising that I am peculiarly sympathetic to people who choose to live in a country other than the one in which they were born.

But, whatever your personal history, it should be obvious that cosmopolitan societies are healthier and more dynamic than inbred, inward-looking ones and that human progress is a story of the migration of peoples. I also believe it is true that the Tories have sometimes looked as if they disliked the present ethnic composition of Britain, and that this stance often appeared ugly, crass and out of sympathy with a largely tolerant society. Clearly, something had to change.

In what is beginning to look like the great Cameroon tradition, the coming shift on immigration seems intended to cover two opposing positions: on the one hand, we must welcome the contribution made to Britain by immigrants and do all that we can to make them feel valued but, on the other, we have to acknowledge the strains that are placed on communities and infrastructure by the arrival of huge numbers of incomers.

Well, for once, I actually accept that the two apparently contradictory positions can be held at the same time: both of these propositions are basically right. The arrival of far greater numbers of east Europeans in Britain than was forecast has been a boon to the labour force, but a problem for local housing and education provision. As many as half a million people may have come to Britain from the new EU accession countries.

The rather embarrassing good news is that they are, for the most part, more hard-working and self-reliant than many of the indigenous population. But they still need to be housed, transported to work, provided with free healthcare and schooling for their children. The Muslim community has a great deal to teach contemporary Britons about the value of family life and decorous behaviour, but its resistance to integration has created dangerous tensions. Any modern political party must have something to say on all these points - not just for the sake of political fashion, but because coming to terms with the ethnic mix of modern Britain is now a matter of life and death.
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Immigration
Brainwashing on immigrants
Michael Bright
Sunday Telegraph, 9 July 2006

As Robert Rowthorn said (Comment, July 2), the people have never been asked if they want large-scale immigration. The reasons are that the answer would be predictable and profoundly unsettling to the multicultural orthodoxy and that, given the demographic tsunami in the Third World and our physically and legally porous borders, the will of the people could not be implemented. So we have the brainwashing about economic necessity.

The irony of socialists arguing for an endless supply of cheap, low-skilled labour would not be lost on a plantation slave owner.
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Immigration
African five get a map to freedom
Stewart Payne
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2006

Five Eritreans suspected of entering Britain illegally were given a map and told to find their own way to a holding centre because no immigration officials were available.

The three men and two women were found in Winchester, Hants in a lorry carrying cacti from Spain.

... Police were instructed to give them maps and tickets and tell them to catch a train to the centre in Croydon, Surrey. ...

A Home Office spokesman would not confirm whether the group had turned up in Croydon.
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Immigration
Migrant tide is too much, says Field
Philip Johnston and Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 29 June 2006

Politicians are "living on borrowed time" over the unprecedented levels of immigration, a senior Labour backbencher said yesterday.

Frank Field, the former welfare reform minister and a highly respected party veteran, said present policy was "unsustainable". He is the most significant centre-Left figure to warn about the apparently untrammelled influx of foreign workers and their families. ...

Mr Field, speaking to the BBC, said Britain was in danger of becoming a "global traffic station" for migrant workers. He urged politicians on all sides to stop ignoring public concern before the issue was more effectively exploited by far-Right organisations such as the British National Party.

He also said he doubted whether the levels of immigration could be absorbed without dramatic changes to Britain's nature and culture.

"This is the most massive transformation of our population. Do we merely accept this as another form of globalisation? That it doesn't matter where you are, or that you belong to a country and have roots? That we are all just following the jobs?"

Mr Field, the MP for Birkenhead, said people who questioned mass immigration were often accused of "playing the race card" but this was "just another way of closing down debate". ...

Since last year's general election, when the Tories promised a ceiling on immigration and Tony Blair promised a national debate, there had been virtual silence, he said.
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Immigration
Immigration level unsustainable, warns former Labour minister
Will Woodward
The Guardian, 29 June 2006

Current levels of immigration are unsustainable and the issue is being ignored by the government, the former Labour minister Frank Field said yesterday.

Mr Field, MP for Birkenhead, said politicians "played the race card" to choke off discussion. ...

Some 580,000 people came to Britain in 2004, but 360,000 left, the former minister for welfare reform told the BBC. "I don't think a country's sustainable with that level of migration." He accused the government of failing to address the issue after borders were opened to nationals from new EU member states in 2004. Britain was one of three countries not to restrict employment to people from Poland and the other new members.

"When we signed up to the new members, France and Germany were very careful to ensure that while the door was open, it wasn't just flung open," he said. "In this country, the government said that they thought there would be 13,000 workers from the new EU members coming in the first year ... Within the first 18 months it was 329,000.

"This is the most massive transformation of our population. Do we just merely accept this as another form of globalisation? That we are all just following the jobs? If we are not careful, we will be transformed into a global traffic station." ...

Tony Blair's official spokesman said the government was "completely open" in making the case for migration. It had reached a "tipping point" in its efforts to bring down the number of successful asylum-seekers. "We recognise the positive contributions immigration makes to the country and the economy. EU migration helps the economy as a whole. If we don't have migration you don't have the growth in the economy we all benefit from".

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Immigration
Immigrants 'swamping' council services
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 28 June 2006

Local services across England are coming under huge strain as a result of unprecedented levels of immigration, council chiefs said yesterday.

They accused the Government of failing to take account of the massive influx of migrant workers, especially from eastern Europe, in their financial settlement for local government.

Councils say there are not enough houses for the extra workers. Public services, including transport, schools and hospitals, are finding it hard to cope with the additional numbers. Yet official figures are under-estimating the scale of the migration. ...

Over the past 18 months, about 9,000 new National Insurance numbers have been issued in Slough, of which just 150 went to British nationals. Yet, in 2004, the Office for National Statistics recorded only 300 international migrants settling in the area. ...

Sir Sandy Bruce Lockhart, the chairman of the Local Government Association, said the situation was similar in many parts of the country. ...

Earlier this year, Crewe reported similar problems to Slough, with 3,000 new arrivals from Poland in a town of 48,000 in just over a year.
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Immigration
Let's have a debate on migration
Frank Field MP (Lab)
The Guardian, 23 June 2006

It should not only be the US which should be concerned about immigration. ... From 1993 there has been a consistent pattern of inward migration outnumbering outward migration. This difference has grown dramatically. ... In 2004, the latest available data, 359,000 people left this country while 582,000 settled here, giving an overall change in the total population of more than 940,000 within a single year. These data do not include illegal entrants.

If the present rate continues, the impact over as short a period as a five- year parliament will be dramatic. ... This rate of migration cannot be maintained without the most profound changes occurring in our society, and particularly, given where we know migrants first live, in our poorest areas. During the last election the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition said that once voting was over they would initiate a calm and wide-ranging debate on how migration is affecting this country. It is time for that debate to begin.

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Immigration – amnesty
Pressure builds for immigration amnesty
Hélène Mulholland and agencies
The Guardian, 19 June 2006

The government will be forced to introduce an amnesty for illegal immigrants next year, it was predicted today.

Keith Best, chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service, said the introduction of a new border control system would require a "clean sheet" approach that should include knowing how many illegal immigrants were already residing in Britain.

The e-Borders scheme, due to begin in 2007/08, will introduce electronic passport controls for those leaving the UK to enable the government to keep track of overstayers and other illegals.

Mr Best said: "If you are going to start with a clean sheet, you are going to have to have an amnesty for existing overstayers in the country.

"Without it there will still be speculation about how many illegal immigrants there are in the country. It seems to me that the time e-Borders is introduced is the best time to do it."

The head of the independent group added: "Although it wouldn't wipe the slate completely clean, it would remove a lot of the fears surrounding how many illegal migrants are in the country."

Signs that the government is split on the issue emerged today. While Downing Street insisted last week there were "no plans" to introduce an amnesty, the Home Office issued a qualified denial today, stating simply that there was no "immediate prospect of the government introducing the move".

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Our goal is to toughen our enforcement regime and so it is highly unlikely there is an immediate prospect of an amnesty."

Immigration minister Liam Byrne last week became the first minister to refuse to rule out an amnesty.

Mr Byrne told the all-party Commons home affairs select committee last week he has commissioned officials to prepare a report on the "issues" around launching an amnesty and it was "too early to tell" if one would be introduced.

Former home secretary David Blunkett revealed last week that he had privately considered an amnesty under his watch but ruled it out until identity cards were in place.

Mr Blunkett also warned that any moves towards an amnesty should be kept firmly under wraps to avoid a surge of people seeking to come into Britain ahead of a clean slate policy.

The number of illegals in Britain is officially estimated at between 310,000 and 570,000 but the think-tank Migrationwatch, which campaigns against mass migration, puts it as high as 870,000.

Calls for an amnesty are growing. Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, said last month it would be "impracticable and immoral" to try to deport half a million illegals.

Just weeks earlier the leader of Catholics in England and Wales backed an amnesty for illegal immigrant workers with no criminal record.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said some illegal immigrants were condemned to a modern version of slavery in the form of paying extortionate sums to people traffickers.

Up

Immigration – amnesty
Immigration amnesty
Colin Laverick
Daily Telegraph, 17 June 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

There will be an amnesty (report, June 14). Labour will want the votes.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – amnesty
Immigration amnesty
Dr John Hayward
Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

Over the past 20 years, there have been five amnesties for illegal immigrants in Italy and six in Spain. In both cases, the most recent amnesties resulted in 700,000 applicants - more than double those seen in their previous ones, which, in turn, saw more applicants than in any of their earlier amnesties. Amnesties plainly do nothing to reduce the problem of illegal immigration and may in fact exacerbate it (report, June 14).
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – amnesty
Amnesty plan for 500,000 illegal migrants
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2006

The prospect of an amnesty for more than half a million illegal immigrants was raised by the Home Office for the first time last night.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, refused to rule one out when he was questioned by the Commons home affairs select committee.

Pressure has been growing on the Government from unions and religious leaders to consider "regularising" the position of an estimated 570,000 economic migrants and failed asylum seekers who are unlikely ever to go home.

Although official policy is that foreign nationals who have no right to be in the country should be removed, that would take at lest 20 years even if their countries were prepared to have them.

Previous governments have agreed to special arrangements - they refused to call them amnesties - for people who had been waiting years to have their asylum applications processed. But any suggestion of a mass amnesty has always been rejected.

However, Mr Byrne, who has been in his post for less than a fortnight, said it was "too early to tell" whether he would allow such a move. He has asked officials to prepare a report on "the issues" surrounding an amnesty. ...

In the past, ministers feared that an amnesty would act as a magnet for more illegal migration and a spur to international people traffickers.

It would also reward people who had claimed that they were the victims of political persecution when, in fact, they were economic migrants. ...

A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research estimated that around £1 billion could be generated if Britain allowed illegal immigrants to settle, work and pay taxes.

In 2002, a House of Lords report called for an amnesty for the "growing under-class of people" who could not be removed.

Labour came under further fire last night when it was disclosed that thousands of immigrants were wrongly paid up to £4.5 million in tax credits after orders by ministers that checks on claimants should be relaxed.

Officials at the Inland Revenue were told to overlook irregularities in applications to ensure that as many people as possible applied for Gordon Brown's flagship scheme to help low-income families.

An official memo released under the Freedom of Information Act said that, if someone failed to meet the residency criteria, staff should still approve the application "providing one or both claimants had a valid Nino [National Insurance number]".

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said: "This is an utter fiasco, which has wasted yet more taxpayers' money."
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Britain faces mass migration, warns Admiral
Sam Greenhill
Daily Mail, 12 June 2006

Britain and Europe face being overrun by mass migration from the Third World within 30 years, a senior Royal Navy strategist claimed yesterday.

In an apocalyptic vision of security dangers, Rear Admiral Chris Parry forecast 'reverse colonisation', where migrants become more dominant than their hosts.

He said the seeds of the problem were spiralling population growth and environmental destruction.

In the competition for resources, many would flee their homelands and head en masse for better places such as Britain.

The Internet, cheap foreign travel and free international phone calls would hasten the demise, he said, because new migrants would stay connected with their homelands rather than assimilate into the host country's culture.

His prognosis is that Western civilisation faces a threat on a par with the collapse of the Roman Empire after the 5th century invasion of Rome by the Goths, the East Germanic tribe. ...

Admiral Parry is head of the Ministry of Defence unit tasked with identifying future threats to Britain's security.

Admiral Parry, 52, an Oxford graduate who was mentioned in dispatches in the Falklands War, warned in a presentation last week that the world was heading for a cataclysmic security breakdown.

Although it would start in the Third World, the instability would seep into the West via the Mediterranean. ...

He predicted that as flood, water shortages, agricultural decline or starvation strike, the most dangerous zones would be Africa, especially the northern half, and the Middle East and central Asia.

The flashpoints would also be regions affected by radical Islam.

With rural areas of Third World countries falling into ruin, millions would be forced into towns and cities, with the result that large metropolises such as Mexico City face becoming ungovernable.

In an effort to control population growth, some countries might be tempted to copy China's 'one child' policy, but with the widespread preference for male children this would produce a ratio of boys to girls as much as 150 to 100.

'When you combine the lower prospects for communal life with macho youth and economic deprivation you tend to get trouble, typified by gangs and organised criminal activity,' he said.

He pinpointed 2012 to 2018 as the period when the current global power structure was likely to crumble, with the United States's superpower status challenged by the rise of nations such as China, India, Brazil and Iran.

Admiral Parry, whose slogan was 'old dog, new tricks' when he commanded the attack ship HMS Fearless, delivered his vision in the presentation to senior officers at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

He did not claim all the threats would come true, but warned what was likely to happen if problems were not addressed by politicians.

Lord Boyce, a former Chief of Defence Staff, said of the analysis: 'Bringing it together in this way shows we have some very serious challenges ahead.

'The real problem is getting them taken seriously at the top of the Government.'

Up

Immigration
How the immigration barrier rose
Dean Godson, research director of Policy Exchange
The Times, 10 June 2006

Who says ideas don't matter much any more? Or that one man can't make a difference? The dramatic change in the terms of the immigration debate over recent months is largely down to the determination and courage of a single individual - Sir Andrew Green, the founder and chairman of MigrationWatch UK. Almost single-handedly, he has rescued the national discourse from the twin inanities of saloon-bar bigotry on the Right and politically correct McCarthyism on the Left.

Thanks to Sir Andrew, it is now socially acceptable to discuss this subject rationally. With much prodding from MigrationWatch, it has been officially confirmed that 83 per cent of projected population growth in Britain will come from mass immigration, adding six million people to these islands over 27 years. This will have enormous consequences for public expenditure, for the NHS, for crime - in short, for almost every aspect of state policy. For example, immigration will account for nearly a third of new households, requiring 1.5 million further homes over the next two decades. If this isn't fair game for discussion, what is? ...

His other great asset is his apparent coolness. This astringent, non-partisan Arabist does not turn up the rhetorical heat: in fact, he does the very reverse. He soberly produces a stream of academic position papers on every aspect of the debate. These include demolition of the economic case for further migration; how bringing in lots more people will not help to solve the growing pensions crisis; and the opportunities afforded to terrorists by a well-nigh open-door policy.

Aided by such leading authorities as David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford University, and Professor Roger Williams, director of the Institute of Hepatology at University College London, Sir Andrew relentlessly trawls official publications and statistics. These include such sources as the Labour Force Survey, the Health Protection Agency and Law Reports. If anything, he plays down the explosion in numbers. And he has had the bleak satisfaction of seeing his warnings swiftly vindicated.

...

The public wants action, but the odds are stacked against it, in the form of ideological multiculturalists, the human rights lobby, bureaucratic inertia and big business seeking cheap labour. The first two are well represented within new Labour, it presides over the third and has come to an accommodation with the fourth. Meanwhile, the segment of society most affected by immigration and which returns Labour to office time after time - the white working classes - has been marginalised.

Up

Immigration
Number of migrants to UK jumps 24%
Ashley Seager
The Guardian, 9 June 2006

Britain experienced the second-biggest inflow of legal migrants of any rich country in 2004 but the numbers staying here over the long term are much lower than government data suggest, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said yesterday.

The OECD's annual International Migration Outlook said the numbers of immigrants entering in Britain leapt 24% in 2004, largely due to the eastward enlargement of the European Union in May of that year. Only Britain, Sweden and Ireland opened their borders to migrants from new member states such as Poland.

The OECD said the number of long-term migrants in 2004 totalled 266,500 - second only to the US, which saw 946,000 arrive. But the figure for Britain is just over half the number of 494,000 long-term migrants that the government said had arrived in Britain that year.

Georges Lemaître, of the OECD's migration division, said the government's figures included many foreign students who stay only a while. He also said that of the 345,000 workers from eastern Europe who registered in Britain from May 2004 to the end of 2005, many did not stay for long. "A lot of migration to Britain is short-term and is purely work related. A lot of people from eastern Europe stay a while and then return," he said.

The study showed that long-term immigration was also lower than official data suggested in Germany, Japan and Italy. In the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, though, the OECD's figures are much closer to official data based on work permits or "green" cards.

Immigration rose fastest in the US in 2004, up 34%, the OECD said. Italy saw the second-biggest rise, of 28% or 156,400. By contrast, immigration into Finland dropped by a quarter to 5,600. Germany saw a fall of 15% to 202,300, which means Britain has overtaken it as the biggest destination for migrants in Europe.

Britain, along with most other OECD countries, saw fewer asylum seekers in 2004. There were 40,600 claimants in 2004, just 41% of the level in 2000. But in spite of the fall, the UK was third out of the OECD's 30 members, behind only France on 58,550 and the US on 52,400.

Overall, the OECD said that between 3 and 3.5 million immigrants - including those already living in their new country on a temporary basis - acquired official long-term residential status in its member countries in 2004, up 15% from 2003.

Up

Immigration
UK warned over handling of immigrants
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 8 June 2006

Britain has been warned of the dangers of failing to integrate half a million Eastern European immigrants into the rest of society.

There are signs that people who have crossed Europe in recent waves of migration are failing to adapt to their new countries as successfully as their predecessors, an international economic watchdog said.

It called for Britain and other countries now absorbing hundreds of thousands of new arrivals each year to ensure their handling of immigration was 'welcoming but firm'.

The carefully-phrased report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Paris-based grouping of wealth Western nations, said Britain took in a 'historical record' 494,000 foreign migrants during 2004.

It stressed the scale of migration to Britain from Eastern Europe. More than 500,000 people, a majority from Poland, have arrived here since eight new Eastern European countries joined the EU in May 2004.

The OECD's International Migration Outlook shows for the first time how much bigger Britain's share of Eastern European migration has been than that taken by other EU nations, most of which tried to keep their doors closed to incoming workers from the new countries.

It revealed that while Britain took 480,000 workers recorded on the Workers Registration Scheme alone, Germany has accepted 12,562 Eastern Europeans - about 40 times fewer.

Holland - traditionally a haven for migrants - has taken just over 20,000 Eastern Europeans, and Sweden has accepted 12,731.

The OECD said: 'There are currently close to three million long-term immigrants entering OECD countries legally every year, and even more temporary movements, if international students are included.

'This does not count unauthorised movements,' it added.

Up

Immigration
Home Office asylum policy fostered a nation of 'ghettos'
Steve Doughty and Becky Barrow
Daily Mail, 5 June 2006

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers have been dispersed around Britain and clustered according to what languages they speak, it was revealed yesterday.

The Home Office policy throws together large groups of migrants from the same country or the same region of the world.

The system of grouping asylum seekers in towns or cities by their language was meant to protect them from 'isolation', officials said.

But critics voiced astonishment that the Government has been supporting policy that appears to encourage social division and segregation rather than integration.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the dispersal by language system was 'very odd'.

It was begun in 2000 by Home Secretary Jack Straw. The National Asylum Support Service began to bus asylum seekers to regional towns and cities away from London and the South-East, the destination preferred by the great majority.

Those who chose to go to London anyway, or to move from their appointed regional town, were denied free housing by the asylum support service.

The language system for dispersal was abandoned in April this year, the Home Office insisted yesterday. ...

The system operated under three Home Secretaries, Mr Straw, David Blunkett, and Charles Clarke, and was used to choose where up to 50,000 asylum seekers a year were settled.

Officials called the towns and cities were asylum seekers were sent 'cluster areas'. ...

Among Albanian speakers, ethnic Kosovans were separated from others.

The language system was ended this year shortly after Commission for Racial Equality chief Trevor Phillips gave his warning that failure to integrate meant that British cities were 'sleepwalking to segregation'.

Up

Immigration – repatriation
The tough solution to this illegal invasion of Europe
A.N. Wilson
Evening Standard (London), 1 June 2006

As the planes hover over the coast of southern Spain, picking out poor migrants in boats, and as the Spanish government reveals that it has repatriation agreements with 10 African countries, we can see that, quite literally, Europe is being invaded before our very eyes.

We have got to do something about it. Spain is sending people back, however painful that may be.

Britain? Last year, there were 300,000 legal immigrations - that is the equivalent of the entire population of Bristol. The Home Secretary says he does not know how many illegals there are wandering about Britain but those who have studied the matter say that, given the fact that we are a soft touch in so many areas, the estimates of half a million are ludicrously low. It is almost certainly in the millions.

There is only one policy which will work and that is the cruel, Spanish one of repatriation. There is only one way that policy can be implemented and that is, for this purpose, to regard Europe as a nation, with identical draconian measures, which overlook all the hard-luck stories, all the sad cases of African women having heart attacks in European hospitals, and simply stop an intrusion of humanity which our European hospitals, schools, housing, drains and transport systems simply cannot sustain.

While the politicians of three generations have failed us all by fearing to be labelled racist, they have allowed the effective dismantling and destruction of our civilisation.

Up

Immigration
Million migrants made citizens under Blair
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2006

British citizenship has been granted to nearly one million foreign nationals since Labour came to power in 1997, official figures showed yesterday.

A record 161,000 obtained a UK passport last year, a 15 per cent increase on 2004, and a further 214,000 lodged applications that are now being processed. Similar numbers are likely to have applied this year, on top of 750,000 new citizens already created in the previous eight years.

About half the new citizens were people who qualified through being resident in the country for five years or more and around 20 per cent became British through marriage. The remainder were mainly dependant children.

The Home Office said the 64 per cent increase in applications for 2005 was mainly due to people submitting their papers before the introduction of the new "Britishness" test last November.

The rate of overseas settlement in Britain is now the highest ever and is four times greater than in the mid-1990s - reflecting unprecedented levels of immigration.

In the late 1960s, about 75,000 new citizens a year were accepted for citizenship but this fell to about 50,000 after new laws were introduced in 1971.

For about 25 years the annual figure remained near or below this level, falling to a low point of 37,000 in 1997, the year Labour took office. Since then, there has been a spectacular increase, with the rate of growth accelerating every year. ...

A poll yesterday indicated that immigration is regarded as the most important issue facing the country, with more than half of voters placing it higher than health or education on a list of concerns. ...

The figures showed that 30 per cent of the new citizens last year were born in Africa and 19 per cent were from the Indian sub-continent. ...

The figures also disclosed that 392,000 individuals from the eight Eastern European states which joined the EU in May 2004 have come to Britain.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Jonathan Petre
Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2006
[A major new report, Faithful Cities, by the Church of England]

The document urged the Government to "lead" rather than follow public opinion on immigration, refugee and asylum policy. It called for asylum seekers to be allowed to sustain themselves and contribute to society through paid work.

It was "unacceptable", the report said, to use destitution as a "tool of coercion" over failed asylum seekers.

The widening economic gulf, combined with the rapidly increasing ethnic and cultural diversity of urban areas, has also heightened "fear of the stranger" and fomented suspicion and distrust, the report noted.

Antipathy and racism were endemic among young people, making them prime targets for religious and political extremism, it said, but faith communities could be the "seedbed" of a positive celebration of diversity and should act to combat racism, self-interest and intolerance.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Five illegal migrants 'worked at Home Office for years'
Brendan Carlin
Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2006

The five illegal immigrants arrested this week while working as Home Office cleaners had worked there for years, it was alleged last night.

It emerged on Thursday that the five Nigerians had been detained when they first arrived for work at one of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's (IND) offices in London.

John Reid, the Home Secretary, even boasted that the system deserved "an accolade" for operating efficiently while Downing Street added: "They were caught ... the system actually worked."

But according to a statement from Techclean, a contract cleaning company based in Surrey, each of the workers had worked at premises of the IND before.

"Each of the five individuals has worked at premises of the IND on a number of occasions, one of them for about three years," said the statement to Channel 4 News. ...

Techclean, according to Channel 4 News, said that five of the men detained by the police had been through the company's normal checking process. Four had their passports checked, their National Insurance cards checked and had visa entry details.

The fifth man had a letter from the immigration service confirming his right to work in Britain.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – Gurkhas
Rule change will let Gurkhas settle in Britain
Thomas Bell
Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2006

Hundreds of retired Gurkhas are preparing to emigrate from Nepal to Britain following a change in rules for issuing visas to the old soldiers. ...

Purna Gurung, 53, who hopes to work as a security guard or a driver, said: "Because of the crisis in Nepal everyone would like to go to the UK - it's civilised. Here it's dangerous to go out."

The visa change addresses an anomaly that had infuriated veterans' groups. Official policy said only Gurkhas who retired after 1997 were allowed to settle in Britain while older veterans were excluded. But the Home Office routinely granted older Gurkhas leave to remain while the Kathmandu embassy refused to let them even travel to the UK in case they stayed.

Visa officers abroad are now told to use the same "discretion" as the Home Office.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Confessions of the removal man
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2006

Immigration control was denounced as a mockery yesterday after Whitehall officials disclosed that those overstaying illegally are not pursued "as individuals" and hundreds of thousands of National Insurance numbers are given to foreign nationals without any check on their status.

MPs on the all-party Commons home affairs committee were flabbergasted to hear from senior civil servants that no records were kept on people whose applications to stay in Britain were turned down after months or even years of expensive legal wrangling.

Dave Roberts, who holds the title Director, Enforcement and Removals, at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, had "not the faintest idea" how many people were here illegally.

He also said he had no figures on the extent to which people refused asylum were followed up for deportation. ...

He was also unable to give figures on how many foreign nationals required to report to immigration offices did so. Nor could he say how many asylum applicants sent Home Office letters telling them to leave Britain were still here.

An increasingly frustrated John Denham, the committee's Labour chairman, said: "Surely you must know how many people have been told they should leave the country?" Mr Roberts replied: "I don't have that information."

David Winnick, the Labour MP for Walsall North, found the reply "amazing". He said: "It illustrates a mockery of the immigration control system." ...

Mr Roberts said the removal of embarkation controls in 1997 meant that it was impossible to say whether a person who entered the country had left ...

The immigration service had not chased up individual over-stayers for some time and it would require a major change in policy to do so.

In the past, immigration officers went to addresses given by asylum seekers or potential illegal immigrants only to find they were not there. ... ...

The committee questioned other officials over the distribution of National Insurance numbers to foreign nationals. These are used by people who have no right to work in this country to prove they are eligible to do so.

Jonathan Portes, the Department for Work and Pensions chief economist, said NI numbers were not meant to prove entitlement to work, so Jobcentre staff issuing them made no checks about an applicant's immigration status.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
Bigger EU 'may bring 300,000 workers to Britain'
John Steele
Daily Telegraph, 15 May 2006

As many as 300,000 Romanian and Bulgarian workers could come to Britain by the end of 2008 if the Government's previous policy on European immigration is applied, a lobby group claimed yesterday.

Migrationwatch said Britain must not be among a handful of European Union states which "goes alone" and allows unrestricted access to labour markets when more nations join the EU.

It said "substantial immigration" was to be expected if - as was the case when the first tranche of countries from Eastern Europe joined in 2004 - Britain was again the only major country not to agree to "transitional arrangements".

These arrangements effectively meant that established European nations waited for a consensus on new immigration and controlled the influx for a number of years.

Migrationwatch also suggested it would be "essential" for Britain to close off its benefit system to prevent "benefit tourism".

Using what it said were Government statistics, the pressure group estimated that 300,000 workers could arrive in the first 20 months of Romania and Bulgaria's entry, which is expected in January.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – Home Office
Peter Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 4 May 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

It is not all the Home Office's fault (and as a chief immigration officer, I am aware of my employer's shortcomings), but that of the liberal establishment (the judiciary and organisations such as Liberty and Amnesty International) on one hand and of foreign governments' policies on the other.

The Immigration Service and Immigration and Nationality Directorate have just about given up because of the combined effects of the Human Rights Act, the policies of governments (such as China, Zimbabwe, Russia, India, Iran, Iraq, Somalia), the rulings of judges and media pressure, It is a testament to the staff that we keep trying to do our best.

The case of Mustaf Jama (wanted in connection with the death of WPc Sharon Beshenivsky) is typical. We couldn't send him to Somalia under international law. To lock him up indefinitely would breach his human rights, and a judge would have decided in his favour.

That is modern Britain - but don't blame it all on the civil servants; we feel the anger just as much as you do.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration
We can no longer dodge the immigration issue
Daily Telegraph, 2 May 2006
[Leading article]

It is worth contrasting George Bush's attitude with the slogan coined by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French interior minister: "Love France or leave it." Mr Sarkozy, himself from an immigrant background, is hardly a Front National rabble-rouser; but he vigorously supports the deportation of illegal immigrants - the sans papiers - who have turned the outer suburbs into dystopian ghettos. His attempts to support immigration rules enjoy the support of nearly half of the population, including diehard socialists. ...

This is not to deny that Britain benefits from a certain influx of legal immigrants. In London, especially, the arrival of friendly and diligent plumbers, nannies, waiters and cleaners has made life pleasanter for everyone. And the same is true of France, as even MR Sarkozy admits. But, like France and other European countries, we are confronting ever larger numbers of immigrants, legal and illegal, who despise everything about this country except its welfare provisions and the criminal opportunities opened up by politically correct policing.

"Love Britain or leave it" is not a refrain that any serious politician is likely to use in the near future, and we are not recommending that they do. But it is what more and more people are thinking.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – cost
Clarke's problem is that migration has scarcely been managed at all
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2006

The scandal of the foreign prisoners is the natural result of a very big policy, one which has been developed, rather quietly, only after the Labour election victory of 1997 was in the bag - a commitment to truly enormous levels of immigration.

In 1997, the Labour manifesto said that all modern countries had to have a "firm control of immigration and Britain is no exception". Round about 2000, this policy changed, in favour of what is called "managed migration". The manifesto at the election last year said: "Our philosophy is simple: if you're ready to work and there's work for you to do, you're welcome here".

... In 1997, there was a net immigration into Britain of 26,000. In 2004 (the most recent figure available), the net figure was 342,000. The inflow in 2004, before you subtract the outflow, was 582,000 (and, of course, these figures cannot measure the probably large-scale illegal immigration which also takes place). ...

Take the NHS. It must treat, as of right and free, all the new arrivals, some of them carrying diseases recently little known here (TB, for example, has revived). And in practice, it can hardly manage to distinguish between those who are legal and illegal. The NHS guidance says that the service must be offered only to people who are "ordinarily resident" here, and defines this as "someone who is living lawfully in the UK, voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, with an identifiable purpose for their residence here which has a sufficient degree of continuity to be properly described as settled".

Even if that means anything to the harassed hospital receptionist, why would she risk obloquy by saying no to applicants? She is forbidden to refuse treatment on grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, religion, disability, medical condition or appearance. If she wants to avoid trouble, all she can do is let everyone in. ...

No doubt Labour calculates that its new immigrants will be its new voters: it is thought that about 80 per cent of Asians who vote and 90 per cent of blacks vote Labour.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – public opinion
We must get a grip on asylum and violent crime, admits Clarke
James Slack and Kirsty Walker
Daily Mail, 22 April 2006

Voters could switch from Labour to extremist parties unless ministers get to grips with asylum, immigration and violent crime, Charles Clarke has admitted.

The Home Secretary said there could be 'very serious' problems if the Government failed to make a difference by the next General Election.

Up

Immigration
Towards a mature immigration debate: a point of view
Brian Walden
BBC, 21 April 2006
[Full text: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/magazine/4931050.stm]

As a veteran anti-racist, I have to say that the concept of racism is currently over-stressed and is used to silence legitimate discussion. Of course there are people who are racially prejudiced. But many people object to immigration into their area because of the pace of change rather than racism.

I can illustrate what I mean by quoting something once said by Lord Elton. He said: "One archbishop in a village was welcome, five began to be a bit much, 50 became intolerable." ...

So can there be a reasoned response to the problem as Margaret Hodge defines it? She says. "Nowhere else has changed so fast. When I arrived in 1994 it was a predominantly white, working class area. Now go through the middle of Barking and you could be in Camden or Brixton."

Well-meaning people, who rightly want to stand up for immigrants, sometimes say that we mustn't play the numbers game. But that's unrealistic, because neither Mrs Hodge nor anybody else can say to the people of Barking: "Now don't be selfish, ignore the numbers and get used to the changes."

There's nothing wrong with that advice morally, which may be the trouble. It is so morally superior and yet so unsympathetic to understandable everyday concerns that surely nobody believes the people of Barking would welcome it.

Speaking from experience of a very similar situation, the first thing I believe the people of Barking need is to be given the facts. Not a carefully edited, grossly partisan account. I mean the plain, unvarnished truth, even if it involves accepting that mistakes have been made and raises a host of embarrassing questions. Telling lies about immigration never works. It increases suspicion and plays into the hands of racists.

I'm reminded of my discussions with Enoch Powell. He wasn't a racist, but was in my view an English nationalist and I thought his language was sometimes inflammatory. He disagreed. "The logic of events compels the language of my speeches."

I muttered something in reply to which he retorted: "Like you, for many years I would not publicly admit the truth. That is a great mistake." Though I always disagreed with him, I came to think he was right on this point. To refuse to accept the evidence of one's own eyes does no service to the cause of tolerance. Better to tell the truth and offer remedies where they exist. ...

Some people are puzzled that immigration causes such a fuss. This is for a reason both Powell and others, including me, used to stress. Let me put it in his elegant language from a speech he made in Walsall.

"Out of 600 parliamentary constituencies perhaps less than 60 are affected. The rest know little or nothing and, we might sometimes be tempted to feel, care little or nothing."

There's an example of what I didn't like about his use of words. I think the majority do care. But his central point is unarguable. Immigration disproportionately affects certain areas, though my suspicion is that it's a lot more than 60 these days.

Personally, I'd like to see two things happen immediately. The first is for the government and its critics to try to reach agreement on the number of legal and illegal immigrants Britain has absorbed. The second is for there to be a united front of all the major parties on the subject. I've seen race politics in other lands. Believe me Britain is better off without it.

Up

Immigration – fraud
Language school checks to halt visa rackets
Catriona Davies
Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2006

The Government is trying to crack down on bogus colleges that allow foreign students to get visas without going to lessons. ...

Just over a year after a register was introduced that was supposed to tighten controls, there are plans to scrap it and introduce a sponsors register.

The current register, kept by the Department for Education and Skills, lists institutions for which overseas students can obtain a visa. It came into force in January last year.

A Home Office task force set up in 2004 visited 1,200 independent "colleges" and found a quarter of them to be bogus, although action was taken against only 43 institutions last year. ... ...

Desmond Mason, principal of the independent language school Westover College, Bournemouth, said: "The DfES list was a total farce. It didn't work, was badly organised and has been badly administered.

"Instead of tackling these problems, they are creating a new list."

Mr Mason said he had frequently contacted the Home Office to report students who did not attend class, but had received no response.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – multiculuralism
White voters are deserting us for BNP, says minister
Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 16 April 2006

White working-class families feel so neglected by the Government and angered by immigration that they are deserting Labour and flocking to the British National Party, a minister admitted yesterday.

In a sensational claim, Margaret Hodge, one of Tony Blair's closest allies, said that eight out of 10 white people in her east London constituency of Barking are threatening to vote for the far-Right party in next month's local elections. Once traditional Labour supporters are angry at a lack of affordable housing - and blame immigration, and Labour, for the changes.

... Mrs Hodge said that the pace of ethnic change in her area had frightened people. "What has happened in Barking and Dagenham is the most rapid transformation of a community we have ever witnessed.

"Nowhere else has changed so fast. When I arrived in 1994, it was a predominantly white, working class are. Now, go through the middle of Barking and you could be in Camden or Brixton. That is the key thing that has created the environment the BNP has sought to exploit." Mrs Hodge claimed the anger is not down to racism. "It is a fear of change. It is gobsmacking change." ...

Mrs Hodge, who has been spending two days a week on the doorsteps since the BNP began targeting her constituents, urged her party to re-engage. ...

"It's an incredibly serious issue. It's the big issue. We need very much stronger leadership nationally to promote the benefits of the multicultural society. We have got to do it, the Labour leadership have got to do it. All the political parties have got to do it. If we are not careful and we don't respond and learn the lessons from Barking and Dagenham we could see that same fear of change trickle out elsewhere."

Mrs Hodge's assessment of white working-class anger was backed by Phil Woolas, the local government minister and MP for Oldham East, where there were race riots five years ago. ...

Another labour MP, Sadiq Khan, said: "After July 7, the far-Right have managed to demonise ethnic minorities by cleverly playing the Islamophobic card. There is a responsibility on all three parties to show leadership and explain the benefits of immigration. These people we are seeing on doorsteps are not racist but are disillusioned with mainstream politicians."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – fraud
Marriage mockery
Jeremy Turner, Deputy Hon General Secretary, the Society of Registration Officers
Daily Telegraph, 13 April 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

The news that a judge has ruled that the Government's marriage laws breached human rights (report, April 11) will come as no surprise to members of the Society of Registration Officers. I take no pleasure in confirming that the society warned the Registrar General in May 2005 that the current rules were discriminatory, but its views were thought to be unfounded.

Even so, most superintendent registrars and registrars of marriages would not want to be back in the situation they were in before February 2005, when they had no alternative but to marry anyone unless a legal impediment existed. There are 3,740 reports of suspicious marriages in a year, but that probably needs to be multiplied many times over to get the true figure.

This situation was making a mockery of the institution of marriage. People working in the registration service were put under intolerable pressure; some were threatened with violence when they informed prospective marriage parties that they would be reporting the case to the Home Office. Even when they had strong grounds for suspicion that the proposed marriage was a sham, staff were unable to prevent a marriage from going ahead. ...
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – doctors
Amy Iggulden
Daily Telegraph, 8 April 2006

Britain has been criticised by the World Health Organisation for poaching doctors from the world's poorest countries, leaving their hospitals dangerously understaffed.

Nearly one in four of the few African doctors available are being tempted away by better pay and working professions, according to a WHO report released yesterday.

Some 23 per cent of doctors in sub-Saharan Africa are now working in industrialised countries such as the UK, bringing their home country's health systems to the brink of collapse.

Each year, the UK produces 4,000 medical graduates. But more than double that number - 10,000 - enter the UK from overseas, especially India.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – European nationals
Law lords housing ruling 'could attract workshy to Britain'
Joshua Rozenberg and Anil Dawar
Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2006

European nationals living in Britain who receive income support are also entitled to housing assistance, the Court of Appeal decided yesterday. Campaigners said the ruling could attract people to Britain who had no intention of working.

Three judges dismissed an appeal by the London borough of Barnet against an earlier decision in favour of two Dutch nationals on income support.

Hassan Ismail ... and Nimco Abdi ... have been unable to work since arriving in Britain because of their childcare responsibilities.

They persuaded the Court of Appeal that they were "persons subject to immigration control". Under regulations made by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, a person subject to immigration control who receives income support is thereby eligible for assistance from a local housing authority under the Housing Act 1966.

People not subject to immigration control may claim housing assistance only if they have a right to live in the British Isles.

Mr Prescott's department said it was "very disappointed" with the judgment. "We intend to change the regulations to remedy the situation as soon as possible," a spokesman added.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – from France
Find a job and a future in Britain, French told
Colin Randall
Daily Telegraph, 6 April 2006

As protestors throughout France continue their revolt against job law reform, the French author of a new guide to working in Britain ...

Vladimir Cordier, 30, an economics graduate, abandoned his native Normandy eight years ago for London after refusing to settle for what he saw as a hopeless future in France. ...

His self-published book, Enfin un boulot! (At last a job), advises young compatriots how to join the flood of French who have turned their backs on a stifling employment market at home in favour of "le modèle Anglo-Saxon". ...

Mr Cordier, from Rouen, decided to leave France after hearing a professor tell students to continue studying as long as possible because "there is no work for you". ...

He said he was fed up with hearing the French moan about British "invaders" forcing up house prices. He said: "There are 174,000 Britons who live permanently in France - but 300,000 French people who have moved to the United Kingdom."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – removals
Loopholes let migrants stay in the country
Tom Whitehead
Daily Express, 5 April 2006

Labour's pledge to kick out illegal immigrants was in chaos last night after it emerged that a third of the removals fail at the first attempt.

Incompetent officials and cunning detainees were blamed for an appalling record that is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds. ...

A snapshot of 1,591 cases over a 33-day period revealed up to a third failed to be removed at the first attempt.

In many cases no reason was even listed for why they failed but the most common was detainees refusing to go and causing a scene. ...

The report, from prisons chief inspector Anne Owers, said detainees would become disruptive either in the airport departure area or on the aircraft itself, when they are likely to be surrounded by holiday-makers and other travellers. ...

The Home Office was last night unable to say when, or if, the detainees were removed at a later date. A forced removal costs the taxpayer £11,000 but it is not known how much a delay adds on to that bill.

With tens of thousands of attempted removals each year, it is certain to run in hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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Immigration – public opinion
3 in 4 Britons want a limit on migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Express, 3 April 2006

Britain today delivers a clear message to Tony Blair that his open-door policy on immigration is not welcome. ...

Some 76 per cent said there should now be an annual limit on immigrants allowed in compared to just 10 per cent against the idea.

Up to 69 per cent are concerned the country is losing its own culture and 59 per cent said high levels of immigration were a concern among friends. And in what will alarm ministers, just 10 per cent said they felt the Government listens to public opinion on immigration.

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Immigration – public opinion
Poll shows 76 per cent want yearly limit on immigration
Daily Telegraph, 3 April 2006

Strong public support for an annual limit on immigration is revealed in an opinion poll.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by Migrationwatch UK, which argues for tougher controls, suggests that 76 per cent want to see a yearly ceiling and only four per cent strongly oppose the idea.

Immigration is running at record levels - an annual rate five times greater than when Labour took power in 1997. Net immigration last year was almost 250,000 and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said in a policy White Paper last week that the numbers would grow rapidly in the coming years. ...

Nearly three quarters of those polled thought the country was becoming more segregated and 69 per cent worried that it was losing its culture.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "It is difficult to see how the Government's handling of this issue could be more thoroughly rejected by the British people."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – from Nepal
Visa row upsets retired Gurkhas
Thomas Bell
Daily Telegraph, 31 March 2006

The British embassy in Nepal is refusing visas to retired Gurkha soldiers because it believes once they reach Britain the Home Office will let them stay for good.

According to officials, different immigration criteria used in Britain and abroad have created "bureaucratic madness" leading to unfair and inconsistent treatment of a frustrated generation of veterans who loyally served in the highly-decorated regiment during the Falklands and Gulf wars.

Immigration rules for Gurkhas are notoriously complicated. New legislation in 2004 heralded the first opportunity for ex-Gurkhas to apply for indefinite leave to enter and remain in Britain.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – illegal immigrants
Amnesty call for 500,000 migrants
Toby Helm
Daily Telegraph, 31 March 2006

Britain's 500,000 illegal immigrants should be granted an "amnesty" and allowed to apply for work permits in a move that would net around £1 billion a year for the Treasury in extra taxes, a Blairite think tank says today.

In a controversial report, Irregular migration in the UK, the Institute for Public Policy Research argues that the forced deportation of illegal immigrants is not "feasible or desirable" as most can never be found and the cost of deporting them is too high.

The bill for deporting each immigrant, based on the cost of enforced removal of asylum seekers, would be £11,000 per individual, meaning a total bill of £4.7 billion. ...

Nick Pearce, the institute's director, said: "Nobody likes illegal immigration, and the subject is a deeply difficult one for politicians to tackle. But the bare truth is that we are not going to deport hundreds of thousands of people from the UK. Our economy would shrink and we would notice it straightaway in uncleaned offices, dirty streets and unstaffed pubs and clubs."

Last night ministers said they had no intention of accepting the report. But it is known that many officials in government believe that such an approach - backed by a tighter subsequent border control police - would be an ideal way forward.

The report suggests that the process of "regularising" illegal immigrants already in the country could be combined with the issuing of identity cards to foreign nationals in 2008.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Immigration
Max Hastings
Daily Mail, 30 March 2006

The new figures show that legal immigration, as distinct from asylum seeking, will have doubled in seven years. In the Government's eyes, these figures represent good news. Labour proclaims a commitment to promoting immigration, on the grounds that we need more workers.

Only the rest of us, the people of Britain, tremble before the statistics, because we ask where on earth all those who come here will live; how they will be housed and their children educated; their health needs met; and how they themselves, people of utterly different cultures and experience, can be assimilated into our communities in such numbers.

Few people doubt that we need some immigration, not least to do jobs the British no longer care for. Without foreign nurses, the NHS would grind to a halt, because our own people do not want to care for the sick and old.

... The sale of the influx, however, dwarfs any possible economic need. It is changing our society dramatically. ...

A key weakness in the immigration system is that, since embarkation controls were abolished in the Nineties, the authorities have had no means of knowing who breaks their visa conditions by staying illegally in Britain – hence David Blunkett's assertion as Home Secretary that he 'hadn't a clue' who was living here.

There are currently estimated to be 750,000 illegal residents. Some 30,000 asylum-seekers – separate from visa-holders – arrive every year. ...

Pity immigration officers, struggling with tides of paper in British diplomatic missions. Approving a visa application is easy. Rejecting one threatens them with submersion in bureaucracy. ...

The Human Rights Act is not the root of our difficulties with immigration, but it greatly compounds them and means that it is much less trouble for an immigration officer to say 'yes' than say 'no'. ...

We should acknowledge that controlling frontiers is hard. ...

Yet it is unnecessary to be paranoid to believe that part of the problem in stemming immigration is that few Labour ministers or MPs really want to.

An overwhelming majority of newcomers vote Labour. More than that, the Left perceives a prospect of destroying for ever a traditional middle-class white Britain which they hate and despise.

Some prominent Labour politicians such as Ken Livingstone wax lyrical about the new kind of British cities they preside over, multi-racial and multi- cultural, with the old white middle-class squeezed into the suburbs. ...

Yet traditional British society has rights, too, which are being trampled upon. Far more newcomers are arriving than we can sensibly manage, and too many people who should be saying so are afraid to. ...

No one wishes to make Britain a closed society. But unless or until we regain control of our borders, we present ourselves as suckers before the world.

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Immigration – visa applications
Migration 'tensions' warning by Straw as 2.6m try to enter UK
Jane Merrick
Daily Mail, 29 March 2006

The Foreign Secretary has been forced to put immigration at the top of his agenda after revealing that the number of people trying to get into Britain will soar past three million in the next two years.

Visa applications will hit 2.6million this year, said Jack Straw - a figure that does not include asylum seekers or those entering illegally.

By 2008, the number of applications is predicted to reach 3.2million - more than twice as many as in 2000.

Mr Straw said this would lead to tensions between communities and states.

He admitted that illegal immigration and abuse of the asylum system undermined society and weakened public confidence in the rule of law.

He pledged that immigration would be top of the Foreign Office's list of priorities for the next decade as a result. ...

Last year net migration - the number of immigrants minus the number of people leaving the UK - was a record 223,000, up nearly 50 per cent in two years. ...

Mr Straw's frank assessment came in a Foreign Office document titled Active Diplomacy for a Changing World. ...

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch UK, said: 'This is a welcome recognition of the damage that is done to our society, and to the illegal immigrants themselves, by the very high levels of illegal immigration that we have suffered in recent years.'

Up

Immigration – EU
Immigrants may have to sign new EU contract
David Rennie
Daily Telegraph, 24 March 2006

New migrants to Europe could be forced to sign "integration contracts", pledging to learn the languages of their host countries and respect Western freedoms, under plans announced yesterday.

Interior ministers from the six largest European Union states agreed that: "The values of our societies - democracy, respect for other faiths, free speech, the rule of law, free media, and so on - are values we would expect everybody wanting to settle in these countries to respect."

The meeting, in Germany, brought together ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. ...

Asked if immigrants who broke the proposed contracts could be deported, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said: "That would be an issue that could arise."

The proposal was put by the French interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, seen as a hardliner on immigration. ...

A Home Office spokesman said that Britain was "interested in learning about the French approach, though we have just set up our own system, with the citizenship test and language requirements".

The French proposal appeared to apply to all migrants at the point of arrival, whereas Britain's tests apply only when a migrant seeks to obtain citizenship, at least four years after arriving."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – jobs
B&Q may bring over thousands of Poles
Harry Wallop
Daily Telegraph, 22 March 2006

B&Q, the largest do-it-yourself chain, said yesterday that it was considering recruiting "thousands and thousands" of painters and decorators from Poland.

The move is part of its push into offering services, rather than simply selling tools and materials, as it battles to stem falling profits at its retail business.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – cost
Colin Crowe, HM Inspector, UK Immigration Service
Daily Telegraph, 15 March 2006
[Letter to the Editor]

Our officials on the Continent, working in difficult conditions, save the Exchequer millions by preventing illegal migrants from arriving in the United Kingdom.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Migrants spark fear for our way of life, say ministers
James Slack and Matthew Hickley
Daily Mail, 8 March 2006

Mass immigration has left Britain fearing for its 'way of life', ministers admitted yesterday as they closed the door to low-skilled workers from the Third World.

Labour, which has presided over an 'open door' migration strategy, finally conceded the settled population have huge concerns about the impact on jobs and public services.

It is the first time the Government has acknowledged public alarm at its policies, which have swollen the UK population by 1.2million since 1997.

Unveiling a points system for migrants, the Government said: 'Migration needs to be properly managed ...' ...

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said he expects Eastern Europeans and other EU-nationals to fill jobs in restaurants, building sites and agriculture.

Migration from the eight former Eastern Bloc countries that joined the EU on May 1, 2004 is running at 200,000 a year.

As a result, the tens of thousands on non-EU nationals, many from Africa and the Asian sub-continent - currently allowed into the country to do these jobs - will now be turned down for visas.

They will be allowed in only if there is a specific labour shortage, identified by a Skills Advisory Body, such as for a huge building project.

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Immigration
Formula to bar the 'wrong sort of immigrant'
Daily Telegraph, 8 March 2006

Highly skilled workers and young entrepreneurs will be given priority to find jobs in Britain and settle permanently under a new points-based immigration scheme detailed by the Government yesterday.

But the unskilled and low skilled will find it harder to obtain work and will have no rights to stay on or apply for citizenship. Tony McNulty, the Home Office minister, said it would reduce immigration by the "wrong" sort of people.

Under the scheme, non-EU applicants to work in Britain will receive points based on factors such as qualifications, work experience and language skills. ...

Highly skilled workers such as doctors, engineers and IT experts would get the most points under the system, due to be fully operational from the middle of next year. They will be the only group able to come to Britain without a job offer to look for work. ...

The current system, whereby any worker, skilled or not, who is in the country for four years can apply for permanent leave to stay, will end, though family reunion immigration will continue. ...

But Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch UK think-tank, said a scheme with no limit on settlement, unlike in Australia or America, was useless.

"It will do nothing to meet public concern about the levels of foreign immigration, now running at a third of a million a year, which this government has stimulated," he said.

The Government said it could not put a figure on the numbers who would come to Britain under the new system.

In a video link-up with India, Tony Blair told students there that the changes would make it "easier and fairer" for them to work and study in Britain.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – doctors
'Doctors can't speak English'
Alison Gordon
Sunday Express, 6 March 2006

Patient watchdogs last night warned that lives were being put at risk because foreign doctors are being offered NHS jobs without proper checks to make sure they can speak English.

The Patients' Association called on Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to review a system that allows doctors to be recruited online without a face-to-face interview.

The move follows a warning by more than 80 top doctors who say they are being forced to employ incompetent juniors who can't even speak English. ...

Under the computerised NHS recruitment system, applicants simply have to tick a box stating that their spoken English is adequate to speak to colleagues and patients on medical issues.

The scheme has left more than 600 young medics without jobs when they graduate this summer, even though 208 foreign-trained students - two-thirds of them from the EU - have been given posts.

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Immigration
Betrayal of Brick Lane
Andrew Green
Daily Mail, 4 March 2006

The book, The New East End, takes the lid off a society deeply troubled by massive immigration over the past 30 years. ...

We hear constantly about the supposed benefits of immigration, but these accrue mainly to the middle classes who welcome the influx of cheap labour that provides them with domestic help and low-price restaurants.

Now this book brings home the heavy price for such complacency paid by the white working class, who are in the front line of the conflicts that develop and are largely ignored by the political and media classes.

Though it focuses on London's East End community, the profoundly important issues that it raises could equally apply to any of our major post-industrial cities, where uncontrolled immigration has given rise to tensions between communities.

Rather than repeat the usual accusations of racism, it provides a refreshingly frank account of the very real consequences of a too-rapid pace of immigration.

The thrust of the book seems to have emerged almost by accident. The authors, from the Young Foundation, a think-tank on social issues, were following up a study of working class life in the East End conducted in the 1950s. ...

The aim of the book was to see how much that same social landscape had changed over 50 years. Would those same bonds of family and kinship still exist? The answer, quite simply, was 'no'. ...

One elderly man told researchers: "The Asians definitely get a lot of preference here. We've got people who've lived in this borough all their lives, and they can't get a place. But when the Asians come here they get something quickly.'

In theory, Bangladeshi families were not supposed to be admitted to Britain unless their relatives could provide accommodation for them.

What happened in practice was that the new arrivals would stay with their family for the first year until they were granted residence. They would then declare themselves homeless and the local authority would be obliged to house them.

Young white families were forced to move out of the area, so the system of extended families broke down and grandmothers, previously the hub of family life, were left behind, often in isolation. ...

The sheer pace of Bangladeshi arrivals had an impact of its own. In the 1971 Census Bangladeshi children hardly figured, but by 1981 a third of pupils at primary schools in Tower Hamlets were Bangladeshis and by 2004 that figure had reached two-thirds. ...

Most of the older white people were born and bred in the area. Many felt that not only was society in general losing its direction, but that their own little corner of Britain was changing for the worse. That it was being taken away from people like themselves and given to those from other countries. ...

Thus a central government housing policy, which looked entirely logical to well-meaning professionals in Whitehall, often left older working-class East Enders feeling isolated from their family roots and strangers in their own land.

The new book's frank appraisal is a breath of fresh air. The problems the authors identified are certainly not confined to Bethnal Green.

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Immigration – Gipsies
Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2006

The Roman Catholic Church yesterday confessed to neglect and mistrust of the world's 20 million strong "Roma" or gipsy population and vowed to increase its work among them. ...

Around 15 million gipsies, whose ancestors are believed to have come from India 1,000 years ago, live in Europe. As international borders come down they are gradually migrating westwards.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – East Europeans
Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2006

More than 345,000 eastern Europeans have come to work in Britain since the expansion of the European Union in May 2004. Home Office figures published yesterday showed that workers from the eight former Soviet-bloc countries continue to arrive in numbers far higher than those predicted by the Government.

Britain is the only leading economy that allows unfettered entry to accession country workers.

Before the expansion, the Home Office cited a report suggesting that between 5,000 and 13,000 additional workers would arrive annually from the east. Yet by the end of last year, 345,410 had signed up to a special work registration scheme and an unknown number had taken up employment without informing the authorities.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – government dishonesty
James Duguid
Sovereignty, March 2006
[In a review of 'The retreat of reason' by Anthony Browne]

The author's interest was aroused by the non-appearance of a pre-recorded interview for the BBC Radio 4's Today programme in which he noted that the sharp rise of HIV infections in Britain since 1997 was mainly due to infected African immigrants. In its place, the BBC published an interview with a government minister, who claimed the rise of infections was merely due to more unsafe sex among Britons!

Later the truth emerged, and the Laboratory Service now openly reports that African immigration is the main cause of new HIV. The feeling that it would be 'racist' to test migrants for HIV before admission, led to many Britons becoming infected by immigrants. ...

Though not mentioned, an example of 'politically correct' government dishonesty was admitted by Richard Crossman in his The Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, Vol.3. He gleefully described how in 1969 he used his authority as Secretary of State for Social Services to force the Registrar- General to lower his immigration figures and alter their presentation in such a way as not to alarm the public! Apparently he regarded his 'politically correct' preference for free immigration as justifying dishonest, anti-democratic behaviour.

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Immigration
Latvians leave for west
The Democrat, March 2006

An estimated 50,000 people out of a population of 2.3 million have left Latvia to work in Britain and Ireland. In some Latvian villages almost everyone of working age has left leaving only grandparents and grandchildren. In Britain and Ireland, Latvians are paid in one week what they earn in one month in Latvia.

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Immigration – Poles
The misery of the Polish newcomers
Mary Wakefield
The Spectator, 28 January 2006

... Andrzej Tutkaj, of the Federation of Poles in Great Britain ...

I spoke to Mr Tutkaj on the telephone this week and asked him how all the new Poles were faring in London. There was silence, then a sigh. ...

'Since Poland joined the EU, it has been very hard work for the people in the firing line having to deal with desperate Poles with no money and nowhere to live. A lot of mistakes have been made.' What do you mean? 'Well, last year the government said that there were 500,000 unfilled jobs in Britain. So of course this spreads instantly around Poland. "Wonderful," everybody thinks, and comes straight over here. Thousands of them, hundreds of thousands. I would estimate there are half a million Poles in England now.'

Up

Immigration
Invasion of the New Europeans
Anthony Browne, Europe correspondent for the Times
The Spectator, 28 January 2006

The New Europeans are hard-working, presentable, well educated, and integrate so perfectly that they will disappear within a generation. ...

Immigration is not just about quality but about numbers. And the number of East Europeans arriving here in the past two years have been extraordinary - far exceeding the government's reassuring predictions. The Home Office said that between 5,000 and 13,000 would turn up, but it was wrong by a factor of as much as 60: the latest count is 293,000. Even that, however, is almost certainly a huge underestimate. The Association of Labour Providers, which represents recruitment agencies, reckons twice as many have arrived. ...

On top of all the legitimate Eastern Europeans from the enlarged EU, the open border mania has let in lots of less legitimate immigrants, from Russian mafia bosses to Kosovan and Albanian gangs, which have transformed parts of London and allowed the police to argue for ever bigger budgets. And the opening up of Europe has much further to go: in less than a year the government plans to give the right to live and work in the UK to the 30 million people of Bulgaria and Romania, followed within ten years by the people of Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia – and then 70 million Turks. ...

After the doors to Eastern Europe were opened, unemployment in the UK started rising – admittedly from a very low base – up 121,000 in the last year. ...

Even Polly Toynbee, who previously spilt a few barrels of ink denouncing critics of mass immigration as racists, claimed in the Guardian, 'Cheap labour provides more cheap services for the rich ... while nailing an ever-larger swath of the workforce to the minimum wage floor.' The government insisted we needed the Eastern Europeans to fill the half a million job vacancies, but vacancies are still at that level. ...

I am in favour of the most open borders possible, so long as they don't lead to a sustained one-way population flow. ... But even economic liberals like me have to accept that there are limits to open borders between rich countries and poor ones, which remove the congruence between a government and its labour force, and can destroy a country's willingness to accept responsibility for its own workers. There is a fundamental difference between free movement of people and free movement of goods: the economy is there to serve the people, not vice versa.

Up

Immigration – population
Britain's non-white population up 500,000
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2006

The non-white British population grew by more than half a million between 2001 and 2003, according to official figures published yesterday.

Over the same period, the white British population fell by more than 100,000, largely because of emigration and a low birth rate.

The white British and Irish are the only ethnic groups that registered a decline, the Office for National Statistics said. While the non-white group had an annual average growth rate of 3.8 per cent, the white British population declined by 0.1 per cent.

The fastest population growth - 11 per cent a year - was registered among the Chinese community, mainly due to immigration, rather than a high birth rate among settled Chinese.

Growth in the black African population is largely the result of asylum seekers, principally from Somalia and Zimbabwe.

The research, the first of its kind and based on the 2001 census, shows that the non-white British population was around 7.1 million in 2003, compared with 6.6 million in 2001.

The white British population fell from 42.9 million to 42.8 million in the same period.

More than 40 per cent of London's population is non-white British, and the capital's ethnic minority population grew by 68,000 over the period. However, non-white immigrants are now beginning to leave London for other parts of England, all of which have seen an increase in ethnic minorities.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – births
Foreigners account for one in five births in England
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2006

One in five of all births in England and Wales - and one in two in London - is to foreign-born mothers, according to a report published today.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics and collated by the Migrationwatch think-tank show that 124,000 of the 640,000 births in 2004 were to foreign-born mothers, a rise of over 50 per cent since the mid-1990s. ...

In London, 49 per cent of births in 2004 were to foreign mothers, rising to more than two thirds in five boroughs. Outside the capital the highest proportions were in Slough (48 per cent), Luton (44), Leicester (38) and Birmingham (34).

Migrationwatch said the growth had been driven by a seven-fold increase in immigration since 1992. In 2004, one third of a million foreigners arrived to live in Britain.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – public opinion
British 'positive on immigrants'
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2006

The British are more tolerant and positive about immigrants and their cultures than many other Europeans, according to new research.

Seventy per cent of British people say their everyday experience of immigrants is "positive", only slightly less than the European average of 73 per cent, ...

But the proportion is much lower, at 54 per cent, in Spain, ...A total of 7,820 people in eight countries across Europe were polled about their views on immigrants. While 47 per cent of Europeans agreed that immigrants had made their country a better place to live, 51 per cent of Britons believed this to be true, compared with 29 per cent in Spain.

Only the Swedes and the Swiss responded more positively than the British. ...

Reader's Digest interviewed people by telephone between Oct 12 and Nov 5 last year. The poll was conducted in Belgium, Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Silenced majority
Robert Henderson
Sunday Telegraph, 1 January 2006
[Letter to the editor]

You report that David Cameron believes that "immigration is very good for Britain" and is considering dropping the Tories' election pledge to restrict asylum seekers by quota (News, December 18). This means that all three parties have the same basic policy on immigration.

Where does that leave the public who are, and always have been, absolutely opposed to the mass post-war immigration?
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2005
[See also: Eastern European migration 'far exceeds estimate', 11 November 2004]

Damian Green, Conservative immigration spokesman, called for the scrapping of a requirement that all migrants from new European Union countries in central and eastern Europe must register on entering Britain.

Workers from the new EU accession countries must pay £70 for a form allowing them to work in Britain. But many people coming here to work from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia have ignored the requirement to register. ...

A Labour Party spokesman challenged the Tories to come up with an alternative to the scheme which, she said, was introduced to provide reassurance to the public over the number of people coming in after accession.

She admitted that some people were coming in unofficially and that no monitoring system was perfect.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – ecology
Why immigration spells the end of the green belt
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2005

The landscape of much of the south of England has been ruined. What were until recently isolated villages are now part of a Greater London, a more-or-less continuous metropolis spreading across the Home Counties. ...

Private citizens may find it hard to build houses on the green belt, but the state exempts itself from its own strictures. ...

The real question is not where we should build extra houses, but why we need them in the first place. ...

... there is a single and simple reason for the disappearance of our green spaces: immigration. The net influx of people into the United Kingdom is, as we report today, 223,000 a year. Housing the newcomers will mean building an additional 60,000 homes annually. ... We signed away our countryside when we signed away our immigration controls.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – emigration
A challenge we have never faced before
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2005

Last year, 2004, saw the highest net migration on record, with an inflow of 223,000 - 72,000 more than the previous year, largely as a result of the EU's expansion.

The number of Britons alone leaving increased to 208,000 - the highest annual outflow on record. This year, 2005, net migration is forecast to be even higher at 255,000, before reducing to an annual rate of about 145,000 from 2008.

... in 1997 net migration was about 50,000 a year.

For the first time in its history, Britain's population is growing primarily because of immigration.

Government figures indicate that the population is projected to rise by more than seven million in the next 25 years and more than half of this will be the direct result of immigration, with another 30 per cent formed by the children of recent immigrants. ...

Immigration over the past ten years has been unprecedented. More than 4.3 million people born abroad were living in Britain at the time of the 2001 census - an increase of around one million compared with 1991 and two million higher than 30 years ago. Across the country, the proportion of overseas-born residents is 7.5 per cent; but in London one in four was born abroad and in some parts of the capital one in two.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – asylum
David Cameron
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2005

David Cameron's efforts to rebrand the Conservatives intensified yesterday as he hinted at a softening of immigration policy.

The new Tory leader confirmed that he would look again at controversial plans to cap refugee numbers, a centre-piece of Michael Howard's general election strategy just eight months ago. ...

"All our policies are under review," said Mr Cameron. Immigration was "very good" for Britain but the impact on public services and community relations had to be considered, he added.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Cameron breaks with past by backing immigration
David Cameron
Sunday Telegraph, 18 December 2005

David Cameron has distanced himself further from the Tory past by proclaiming himself a fan of immigration ... ...

He said immigration was "very good for Britain; we think that there are clear benefits in a modern economy from having both emigration and immigration".
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Robin Page
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2005
[The author explains that a bull's owner can be required to produce its documents, without which there can be a large fine. By contrast ...]

A friend was driving through the Fens when he saw a man walking along the roadside in a thunderstorm. He picked him up and found that he could not speak English. ... he gained the impression that the wet wanderer had no idea where he was or where he was going.

Worried about his passenger's welfare, he took him to the nearby reception centre for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. "Do you have papers for him?" asked a uniformed official?

"No."

"Then we can't take him. See if the police will."

He went three steps up the chain of command, all with the same response. "But surely it's your job to get him papers. I was just doing him a favour."

"That's no concern of ours."

The visitor's mobile phone rang. Somebody in broken English asked that the man be dropped off in Tesco's car park so that he could be picked up and taken to London. Sure enough, as soon as they arrived at the car park, the wet visitor was whisked away.

That evening on the news, it was said that five illegal immigrants from Bulgaria had jumped from a container lorry. Four had been captured and one was still missing.

So, if you are an Aberdeen Angus bull in Britain with no papers, you are in big trouble. If you are a Bulgarian illegal immigrant and presented to the Immigration Service with no papers, officialdom doesn't want to know.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – emigration, Pakistan
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2005

... Mirpur, in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, ...

Mipuris form about 70 per cent of the British Pakistani population of 800,000.

When David Blunkett, the former home secretary, lifted visa restrictions last year he made the announcement in Mirpur, the home town of the Labour peer Lord Ahmed. ...

... according to the World Bank, the remittances from Britain have not filtered down to local farmers and the young will continue to migrate to the United Kingdom.

"In the beginning people had the idea that they would earn money in the UK and then retire here," said Mr Saeed. However, people are staying there now because of pension schemes and the health service.

"The next generation, which has less attachment to Mirpur, does not want to come back as their social lives are now different to ours."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – economy
More immigrants 'key to retirement crisis'
Daily Telegraph, 2 December 2005

Britain will need more immigrants than ever before if it is to meet the pension shortfall expected under Lord Turner's recommendations, according to an industry expert.

Using Lord Turner's own forecasts, there will be one pensioner for every two people of working age by 2050. Currently it is one pensioner for every four workers.

David Blake, director of the pensions institute at Cass Business School, said in the most extreme case the country would need a net 500,000 immigrants extra a year to pay for retirees' pensions. Last year, there was net immigration into the UK of 223,000 people. Some 582,000 arrived and 359,000 left, according to the Office for National Statistics.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Migrant workers pour in
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2005

Workers from the eastern European countries that joined the EU last year continued to pour into Britain over the summer, official figures showed yesterday.

Between July and September, there were nearly 60,000 applicants for work permits from the eight former Soviet bloc countries. ...

It brought the total number of workers from the accession countries to almost 300,000, which is 20 times the original estimate given by the Government.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – fraud
Crackdown fails to stop language schools visa racket
Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2005

Foreign students are obtaining visas through language schools which offer little education ...

A Home Office task force set up last year has visited 1,200 independent "colleges" and found a quarter of them to be bogus. Hundreds were merely fronts to help immigrants apply for visas. ...

The Home Office issued student visas to 294,000 non-EU citizens last year.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Migrants are taking our jobs
David Smith
Sunday Times, 30 October 2005

Immigration has undeniably been a good thing for Britain's economy, according to conventional wisdom. It has brought new talent and dynamism to these shores, and it has helped the economy in other ways. That, up to now, has certainly been my view.

The Treasury says that immigration, by increasing the growth of the labour force, also raises the economy's long-term or "trend" rate of growth.

The Bank of England, in an assessment of immigration's impact in its most recent inflation report in August, concluded that the arrival of new workers had the beneficial effect of acting as a job-market safety valve, reducing pay pressures.

There is certainly plenty of immigration. Official figures released earlier this month showed that a record 582,000 people came to Britain last year, up from 513,000 in 2003.

There were also 359,000 departures last year, slightly down on the 361,000 recorded in 2003. Net migration into Britain was thus 223,000, the highest since the present method of compilation began in 1991, up from 151,000 in 2003.

More Britons leave than return - a record 208,000 departures in 2004 compared with only 88,000 arrivals. In contrast, 342,000 more non-British people arrived than left. ... ...

I was struck by a piece in The Guardian on October 11 by Polly Toynbee, who is some way to the left of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Migrants, she said, kept down the wages of low-paid workers, reinforced the gap between rich and poor, and boosted company profits.

"This is what globalisation does, widening the gap between rich and poor," she wrote. "Cheap labour provides more cheap services for the rich to get their lifestyle at a premium while nailing an ever-larger swathe of the workforce to the minimum-wage floor."

Although she approaches it from a different direction, you could not put a cigarette paper between her views and those of Migration Watch, the pressure group.

David Coleman, professor of demography at Oxford University, is an honorary consultant to Migration Watch. In The Economic Effects of Immigration into the United Kingdom, a paper he wrote jointly last year with Bob Rowthorne of Cambridge University, he concluded that the overall economic benefits were negligible and outweighed by other negative effects.

"We conclude that the economic consequences of large-scale immigration are mostly trivial, negative or transient; that the interests of more vulnerable sections of the domestic population may be damaged; and that any small fiscal or other economic benefits are unlikely to bear comparison with immigration's substantial and permanent demographic and environmental impact," it said.

Even if one chooses not to go that far, immigration does present a dilemma. ...

Up

Immigration – culture
Fr Richard Neuhaus, described as the most influential clergyman in America
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2005
[The interviewer, Damian Thompson, comments: It is inconceivable that an English bishop would say such a thing]

No, and you are right to be concerned about radical Islam. The concept of a people, a culture and a language has moral legitimacy, and if that faces an imminent threat, then a moral case can be made for saying we have to stop immigration for a time.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – diversity
Fear and loathing on the Left [1]
David Goodhart
The Spectator, 24 September 2005

I wrote a 7,000-word essay called 'Too Diverse?' for the February 2004 issue of Prospect which tentatively explored the 'progressive dilemma' the potential conflict between social cohesion and the many kinds of diversity, including ethnic diversity, that have flourished in recent decades.

The essay was then reprinted in full in the Guardian under the heading 'Why too much diversity could tear us apart'. ...

The response was divided, in part, along ethnic lines. Most white readers and a good many non-white readers, while not agreeing with every point I made, accepted it as a legitimate argument part of the growing consensus on the centre-Left expressed by David Blunkett, Trevor Phillips (facing both ways at once) and others that we must reinforce a common culture.

There was another group of non-white readers who felt personally affronted.

They could not engage with the argument in abstract terms but saw only some atavistic nationalist trying to exclude them.

My basic argument is that lifestyle diversity and sustained mass immigration bring cultural and economic dynamism, but without a compensating reinforcement of the 'we' of common citizenship and values they can also erode feelings of mutual obligation. This in turn may reduce willingness to pay for a generous welfare state diverse and individualistic America has a thin welfare state, homogeneous Sweden has a fat one.

I also talked about the acute sensitivity of people on lower incomes to welfare 'free-riding' and that while policy in this field should not pander to tabloid myth, it should seek to reassure people that Britain's citizenship entitlements are not a free-for-all and that we are in control of who becomes a fellow citizen. This led to angry but misplaced claims that I was accusing immigrants of taking out more than they put in and ignoring the disproportionate contribution of immigrant Britons to the NHS.

Perhaps I was clumsy in a few of my formulations and these are, unavoidably, emotional issues, but some of the responses just seemed knee-jerk as if I was attacking a religious faith, which is perhaps what diversity has become to some people.

The Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, whom I had once counted as a friend, was the most distraught and irrational. She refused to look at the essay when I asked her for comments before publishing it and then attacked me personally with barely a glance at the argument in several of her newspaper columns. She refuses to give up. This year at the Edinburgh book festival she told 300 people that I had once said to her at a Christmas party, 'Don't you think there are too many people like you here?' This is pure invention.

What lies behind this paranoia? At the time I thought it was the historic connection, especially for people on the Left, between anti-racism and support for the widest possible open door for migrants into Britain. Anybody, especially a white person, who expresses concern at some of the costs of mass immigration as I did in one part of the essay is seen as in some way questioning the status of existing ethnic minority citizens. But if we are to have a sensible debate, we must decouple these two arguments, as most Britons in practice do. It is possible to be passionately antiracist and yet favour a hard-headed debate about large-scale immigration.

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Immigration – diversity
Fear and loathing on the Left [2]
David Goodhart
The Spectator, 24 September 2005

But the cultural confusions of the liberal Left go deeper than this. Part of the punishment for writing my essay was to spend many hours, over the subsequent months, attending conferences on race, immigration and social cohesion. It was at these meetings that I became aware of a series of myths or half-truths which undermine clear thinking on the security and identity issues that increasingly dominate politics.

First is the belief that human beings are rational individualists with a propensity to treat all other humans with equal regard.

Humans are in fact group-based primates.

In economics and sociology the Left embraces such group-based thinking, but when it comes to questions of culture or national sentiment the Left tends to become hyper-individualistic, seeing society as no more than a random collection of individuals with no special ties or affinities beyond close family. This blank-slate individualism creates unrealistic expectations about the ease with which outsiders can be absorbed into communities. Of course the 'them' usually become part of the 'us' but it takes time and can involve overcoming initial suspicion or even hostility.

Second is the fallacy that nationalism and national feeling are necessarily a belligerent and negative force (at least for dominant nations). National feeling has always been a Janus-faced phenomenon. Alongside the hatred and aggression it has generated it is also responsible for many of the most positive aspects of modern societies the readiness to share with and make sacrifices for stranger-citizens, the strong feelings of belonging and membership beyond one's own kin group that it generates.

It was sentiments of national solidarity as much as class solidarity, a feeling that 'we are all in this together', that helped to build and sustain the welfare state. It is the core belief of the Left, against the individualism of free-market liberals, that there is such a thing as society but in the modern world that always, everywhere, means a specific national society. The Left is often in the odd position of liking the idea of society in the abstract but disliking the reality of specific national societies with their exclusive national interests and 'irrational' national egoism.

The third fallacy, following on from the second, is the belief that Western countries, especially those like Britain which have a colonial past, are responsible for most of the ills of developing countries and can best make amends by placing as few obstacles as possible in the way of people from those countries coming to live in the West. In the case of many former colonial countries (with the exception of some in Africa) this exaggerates the negative impact of colonialism. It is, in any case, only a dubious advantage to most developing countries to lose their best educated and most energetic people to the West.

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Immigration – nationhood
Grand Delusions: Open borders will destroy society
Ira Mehlman, media director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
The Social Contract, Fall 2005

A just and moral society must be predicated on the realization that the economy and all other social institutions exist to serve the interests of the people, and not the other way around. Nations, as Thomas Jefferson wrote 229 years ago, derive "their powers from the consent of the governed." In creating this nation, the founders of the United States affixed their signatures to a historic document that stated, "We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

That closing sentence of the Declaration of Independence remains the best definition of what it means to be a nation. We, the people, agree to work for the common good and, if necessary, to die for one another. In return, we have every reason to believe and expect that we will benefit from that arrangement. The social contract that has propelled this nation to greatness has never included a clause that suggests we are all interchangeable and replaceable with the rest of humanity. When every person on Earth (or even in our hemisphere) has an equal claim on residence and employment in America, our existence as a nation will cease.

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Immigration – fraud
Tough rules expose scale of bogus marriages
Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2005

New regulations at register offices have exposed the huge number of bogus marriages involving immigrants in the past, it was disclosed yesterday. ...

Previously, registrars could only report suspicions about marriages of convenience to the Home Office but the new rules have exposed the true number of foreigners marrying to gain citizenship.

However, registrars express fears that the reduction in the past three months was temporary and people-trafficking gangs would find ways round the system.

The Government yesterday refused to issue figures it has compiled from register offices around the country.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – economy
Long-term costs of immigrant labour
David Coleman, Professor of Demography, University of Oxford
The Times, 6 May 2005

Delusions about immigration abound, notably the idea that an influx of "cheap labour" is good for the economy. It reality it maintains unemployment and exacerbates the low-wage poverty and inequality which all rational social policy should seek to minimise.

Of course employers benefit, but in the end the taxpayer must top up low wages through welfare and subsidised housing. In the long run, there is no such thing as cheap legal labour in a welfare society.

Up

Immigration
Labour's immigration policy? Lots more of it
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 24 April 2005

The main source of immigration into Britain is the Government's policy of increasing the numbers of people allowed to settle here from non-EU countries. According to official statistics, asylum applications account for only 14 per cent of the annual total. By far the largest portion - nearly 50 per cent - are people given work permits by the Government, and the dependants they bring with them. Labour has increased the number of work permits it issues by a factor of four since 1997. The Work Permits Agency, a branch of the Home Office, has even written to companies asking them if they have thought of recruiting from non-EU countries: it offers them assistance should they wish to do so. ...

There can be no doubt that the Government's policy is to maximise the flow of migrants to Britain. ... Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, has said: "We want more immigration, more people coming to study, to work." ...

The issue is that the transformation is taking place as the result of a Government policy about which the electorate has not been consulted, or indeed informed. Labour's immigration policy involves a giant social experiment - and it is the people of this country who are the lab rats. ... It is a cynical and shocking subversion of our democracy.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – asylum
Howard's 'liberal' defence of asylum policy
Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2005

Michael Howard responded to a strong attack on his immigration policy by claiming yesterday that the late Lord Jenkins might have backed it.

In an audacious move, the Tory leader used the man he described as "the patron saint of liberalism" to defend what is probably the most controversial aspect of his party's election manifesto.

Tony Blair also put immigration and asylum at the centre of his campaign. He announced that a Labour government would deploy 600 more immigration officers and he criticised Tory policies as "incoherent babble" and "utterly meaningless".

Polls show that immigration is theoretically Mr Howard's trump card because it is the one issue on which voters prefer the Tories' policy to Labour's by a margin of more than 20 points. ...

Mr Howard invoked the late Lord Jenkins, a Labour home secretary in the 1960s and one of the founders of the SDLP. ...

"He said: 'There is a clear limit to the amount of immigration this country can absorb and it is in the interests of minorities themselves to maintain a strict control.'" ...

Mr Blair said he believed it should be possible to find a consensus on asylum and immigration. People were in favour of tackling asylum abuses, admitting genuine refugees, imposing effective immigration controls and removing "illegals". ...

The Confederation of British Industry's director general, Sir Digby Jones, said last night that attempts to cap immigration would leave firms unable to recruit the skilled workers they needed. He would be opposed to the sort of limit on immigration that the Tories were proposing.

"We need them to keep coming - so long as it is controlled - and we don't want it stopped because of some arbitrary figure," he told BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2005

Last weekend it was reported that Home Office officials had found there were 500,000 illegal immigrants in the country, but were told not to make the figures public.
[Newspaper link]

Up

Immigration – economy
Government 'got it wrong' on immigration
Daily Telegraph, 7 March 2005

Government claims that high levels of immigration bring economic benefits to the country are challenged in a new study published today.

A report from the Migrationwatch think-tank says Tony Blair and other ministers are routinely citing statistics that are disingenuous at best and often wrong. These include the suggestion that immigration contributes 0.5 per cent to the nation's overall GDP and that immigrants contribute £2.5 billion more to the economy than they cost.

Such figures have often been quoted by Mr Blair and Cabinet colleagues in support of record immigration levels.

But the Migrationwatch watch report says they are misleading because while immigrants do add to the size of the economy they also add to the population.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the think-tank, said: "What the Government conveniently fails to mention is that they therefore generate considerable costs in terms of infrastructure - schools, hospitals, housing, transport etc."

... The likely true benefit is probably no better than neutral - as all major studies overseas have also concluded. ...

The report says that while the current levels of immigration are attractive to employers because they provide an unlimited source of cheap labour, they are extremely expensive for the taxpayer and harmful for the less skilled indigenous workforce whose wages are held down and who are more likely to end up unemployed.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – diversity
There's no place like home [2]
Anthony Browne
The Spectator, 19 February 2005

Across much of what is now the Islamic world, multifaith societies have become monofaith ones, with Christian and Jewish religious minorities dwindling to vanishing point.

Afghanistan's Jewish community has fallen from 30,000 to just one Zebulon Simentov. In Morocco, tour guides show off the ghost towns where the Jews used to live. A hundred years ago, Baghdad was half Jewish, but now there are only a few dozen Jews in all Iraq, whose ancient Assyrian Christian community is now being eradicated by Islamists.

In what is now Turkey, the Christian minorities have been all but wiped out by the genocide in 1915 of 1.5 million Armenian Christians, and the expelling in the 1923 of almost the entire Greek population, inhabitants of Asia Minor since before Troy. During the 12th century, Turkey went from being a quarter Christian to 99.8 per cent Muslim, while Syria has gone from 15 per cent Christian to 5 per cent. ...

With startling economic growth, India is now seeing its 20-million-strong diaspora return. An Indian industrialist told me last month how he was stunned on a recent trip to the US at being mobbed by Indian professionals asking about opportunities to work in the mother country. 'Back to India' job fairs are spreading across the US, offering a better quality of life, and fuelling a reverse brain drain that has seen 35,000 émigrés return to Bangalore alone.

India has speeded up the process by adopting a racist policy of giving the right to live and work in India to any 'person of Indian origin', carefully drafting the legislation to exclude any white Britons whose family spent generations in the subcontinent. (Ghana has an even more blatantly racist policy, offering citizenship to any black person living in the West no whites need apply.) The slowing of mass migration is good for those who appreciate real diversity. The decline of diversity within countries preserves the diversity between them. Not all the world will look like Hackney, just those countries that opened their borders when push-migration was at its peak.

Up

Immigration – diversity
There's no place like home [1]
Anthony Browne
The Spectator, 19 February 2005

No, the question is whether the whole world will become as diverse as Hackney, one of the most diverse societies on the planet? Many on the Left hope so because they believe that the only way to end racism is to end races; the only way to conquer Nazism, they argue, is mass miscegenation interracial love rather than war. The champions of diversity ultimately believe that our future is not as a species with many races, but with one race a quarter Chinese, a quarter Indian, a quarter African and a quarter European.

There are a lot of good things to say about a future of Tiger Woods, Halle Berry and Kelly Holmes. Ever since I fell in love with an extraordinarily beautiful woman who was half Scottish, a quarter Thai and a quarter Jamaican, I have been convinced that mixedrace people, by a blessing of nature, combine the best of all their parts. As the mayor of Vancouver said, reacting to public concern about the extent of Chinese immigration, 'We're going to have a generation of the most beautiful babies.' The West's immigration industry insists that opposition to mass immigration is futile because it has been made inevitable by the revolutions in transport, telecommunications and human rights. There is only one future for human society, they insist, and it is multiracial and multicultural.

But this is looking at the world and history from the little bubble of the contemporary West the island of prosperity and tolerance encompassing just one eighth of humanity in North America, Europe and Australasia.

Surrounded by a world of deprivation and tyranny in the late 20th century, it has indeed become far more diverse. However, the rest of the world, over the last hundred years, has become less diverse, with multiracial societies turning into monoracial ones, and multicultural societies turning into monocultural ones.

Nor is it inevitable that Western societies and those elsewhere will become more diverse. Although emigration may be easier for more people, there may be fewer people wanting to do it. The eternal human urge for self-segregation surrounding yourself with people like you is likely to triumph over the more ephemeral economic and political incentives to leave what you know.

The great engines of multiracialism over the past few centuries were the empires of Britain, France, Spain and Portugal, bringing Europeans as settlers to the Americas, Africa and Australasia; bringing Africans as slaves to the Americas; and bringing Indians as indentured labourers to south and east Africa.

But as the empires unwound, so did the multiracialism they brought, except in the lands where Europeans became a majority.

After the collapse of the French empire in North Africa, 1.5 million 'pieds noirs' returned to France. East African states reduced their Asian populations by persecution or, as with Uganda, outright expulsion. White populations in Africa have similarly been eroded, with the white population of Zimbabwe dropping 80 per cent from 250,000 at independence to 50,000 now, and the white population of Zambia dropping from 3 per cent of the population in 1950 to 1.1 per cent now. In half a century, sub-Saharan Africa has gone from being a multiracial society to almost monoracial, with only South Africa holding out.

Up

Immigration
Clarke counters Blair's asylum control pledge
Daily Telegraph, 15 February 2005

Tony Blair's pledge to introduce strict controls on asylum was called into question last night after it emerged that Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, had said Labour wanted more not fewer economic migrants and refugees.

Mr Clarke told Labour activists at the party's spring conference at the weekend that London was "utterly dependent" on migration for its economy and the whole country benefited from foreign people coming to Britain to work and study. ...

He said: "We want more migration, more people coming to study, to work, more people coming to look to us for refuge."

Mr Clarke conceded that there were "dangerous tensions politically and otherwise" on immigration, and millions of people did not have confidence in the system he had described.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Migration needs to benefit all Britons
Michael Howard
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2005

Modern Britain is immeasurably better off as a result of the new Britons who have made their homes here over the last century. We all benefit from the social diversity, economic vibrancy and cultural richness which immigration has brought.

But, if those benefits are to continue to flow, we need to ensure that immigration is effectively managed, in the interests of all Britons, old and new.

If we are to maintain good community relations, then the number of new citizens we welcome has to be controlled. As the Government's own Community Cohesion panel has pointed out, when it comes to securing public assent for new migration: "The pace of change is simply too great at present."
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Immigration is altering Britain's ethnic mix
Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2005

Net immigration - the difference between the numbers arriving and those leaving - has shown an average of 153,000 for each of the past five years. Far more British people are departing these shores than are returning after a period abroad. So the ethnic mix of the country is changing.

The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics said that in 2003 there were 191,000 British citizens among the 362,000 long-term residents who left the country to live elsewhere.

About 513,000 people arrived from abroad to stay for more than a year - a net immigration total of 151,000, roughly the same as in 2002. Of the arrivals, 236,000 were non-British, compared with 107,000 in 1997 ...

... the population is growing largely as a result of immigration, for the first time in the country's history. Official figures show that the population of Britain will grow from just over 59 million to about 66 million by 2031. Between two thirds and 85 per cent of the increase will be the result of legal immigration.

Third, this population growth has a significant impact on public services, infrastructure and housing, especially in London and the South-East, where most immigrants settle. ...

In 2003, more than 120,000 foreign nationals were granted British citizenship, a record total and more than three times the 37,000 in 1997. There were also 140,000 new applications for citizenship that year, a 21 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – fraud
Overseas 'students' are cheating system by staying in Britain
Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2004

Large-scale abuse of the immigration system involving bogus students and colleges has been disclosed in a study of Government statistics.

According to the analysis by Migrationwatch, an independent think-tank, thousands of people who entered the country as students are being granted extensions to stay - far more than the number of official college places. It says the figures make it more likely that people who have visited the UK for other reasons are trying to stay as students and may be using bogus colleges.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2004

Nearly one in three new households formed over the next 20 years will be due to migration, according to Government figures. ...

The projections mean that around one third of the 189,000 households formed each year will be due to immigration.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Eastern European migration 'far exceeds estimate'
Daily Telegraph, 11 November 2004
[How many more came without registering? See item for 30 December 2005]

Many more workers have arrived in Britain from eastern Europe since enlargement of the EU in May than the Government predicted, figures showed yesterday.

Nearly 91,000 people from the eight former Soviet-bloc states that joined the EU registered to work in the first five months after the expansion. ...

In the run-up to enlargement ministers dismissed suggestions of a major influx of migrant workers and regularly cited an official estimate of between 5,000 and 13,000 additional arrivals per year.

The latest figures are seven times that forecast in under half the period.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Immigration at record high as asylum level falls
Daily Telegraph, 25 August 2004

The number of foreign nationals allowed to settle permanently in Britain rose by a fifth last year to record levels and more than twice the total of twenty years ago.

Almost 140,000 non-Europeans were granted settlement, 20 per cent more than in 2002, compared with about 60,000 in 1997 and around 55,000 in 1983. ...

Those settling in Britain cannot vote or receive full State benefits. But after five years they are generally eligible for naturalisation and citizenship, with full benefits. ...

The figures show that in the past five years about 540,000 people have been granted leave to settle in Britain, a substantial rise on the total for the previous five years.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – Islam, Europe
Bernard Lewis
SPA, Berlin, 28 July 2004

Europe will have an Islamic majority by the end of this century based on current demographic and migration trends, a leading U.S. Middle East specialist said Wednesday.

"Europe will be part of the Arab west - the Maghreb," said Bernard Lewis, a Princeton University professor and author of numerous books on the Middle East, in an interview with the newspaper Die Welt.

In addition to immigration, Lewis said Europeans were marrying too late and having too few children whereas Moslems in Europe married early and had far larger numbers of children.

Up

Immigration – fraud
Home Office ignored bogus visa warnings
Daily Telegraph, 17 June 2004

Thousands of forged and bogus visa applications from eastern Europe were approved by the Home Office despite repeated warnings by British diplomats, according to a report published today.

Visa unit staff at British embassies in Romania and Bulgaria would have allowed fewer than 800 of the 8,000 applications that were granted, said the National Audit Office.

But the applications were approved by Home Office staff, who failed to act upon the "grave concerns" of diplomats in the two countries.

The report into the visa scandal, which led to the resignation of Beverley Hughes as immigration minister in April, highlights a catalogue of failings by the Home Office.

Applicants from eastern Europe have to demonstrate that they can set up a business generating income in Britain. But the report found that one embassy received 150 virtually identical business plans with some applicants having "no idea of what was in their business plan".

Other applicants had no skills in their alleged business. Some spoke no English. ...

Entry clearance staff had no feedback on whether successful visa applicants were abiding by the terms of their entry to Britain, such as whether they were acting on their business plans, or studying.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – fraud
Visa whistle-blower gets final warning
Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2004

A diplomat who exposed an immigration scandal that led to a minister's resignation was penalised last night for whistle-blowing.

James Cameron, a manager in the visa and consular section of the British embassy in Romania, was given a final warning after a four-hour Foreign Office disciplinary hearing.

He was also told he would not be promoted for three years and would receive no pay rise for a year. He was banned from returning to his post in Bucharest.

Mr Cameron exposed abuses which led Beverley Hughes to quit as immigration minister.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – public opinion
Voters 'are losing faith in immigration policy'
Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2004

Voters have virtually lost confidence in government policy on immigration, according to a survey for The Daily Telegraph.

People do not trust ministers either to give them the true picture or take their wishes into account. ...

The YouGov poll suggests that immigration is now seen as the most important issue facing the country, ahead of crime, the NHS and terrorism. Few people are convinced by arguments that large numbers of foreign workers are needed to fill job vacancies. A substantial majority considers that the country is already too crowded. ...

Three quarters of those questioned said there were too many immigrants and just three per cent thought there were too few.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – emigration
Immigration hits record level
Daily Telegraph, 30 April 2004

Britain had record immigration in 2002, when more than 500,000 people arrived to settle or work. ...

Net immigration - the difference between the numbers arriving and those leaving - stood at 153,000, lower than the previous two years because of a record number of departures.

About 360,000 people left the country during the year. ...

The number of people coming to Britain in 2002 for a year or more was 513,000 - almost double the number 10 years earlier. There was a net loss of 91,000 British citizens, compared with 53,000 the previous year.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – fraud
Foreigners' phoney marriages to be halted at the register office
Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2004

Weddings for foreign nationals will be conducted in special register offices under plans to curb thousands of bogus marriages.

Registrars will also be able to refuse to marry couples suspected of circumventing immigration laws.

The measures were announced yesterday by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, to try to convince voters that the Government is tackling illegal immigration. ...

The Government has officially estimated the number of bogus marriages at fewer than 2,000 but a leaked internal Home Office e-mail suggested that the true number was 10 times higher.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Immigration debacle reveals Labour's contempt for the people
Steve Moxon
Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2004

By calling a "summit" yesterday, Tony Blair was behaving as if the immigration chaos is a presentation problem, when in truth it is a major failure across government.

I know, because I worked for more than six months as a caseworker dealing with all areas of Managed Migration applications - which comprise in total more than half a million decisions a year, in addition to the 200,000 work permits, the asylum figures and illegal entrants and overstayers.

The cases of EU accession state nationals applying as self-employed business people were only a small part; most applications were student and marriage cases. Even when "no checks" or "few checks" regimes were not in force, the normal procedures were so lax as themselves to be an enormous problem. No quick "summit", nor a few gimmicks, can fix this. It will take years and a radical shift in government policy. ...

Debate on the issue has been stifled by the "not in front of the children" approach in which politicians and some parts of the intelligentsia deal with immigration. Their line runs that ordinary people fail to understand that, in any developed country, there is a normal balance between an outflow and an inflow of people, and that this is positive in several ways. "Of course, we are not racist," is the implicit cry, while the masses are viewed as incurably so.

But race is not the issue. Every human being is equipped with the same psychology - of perceiving their own membership of their own community or nation as an "in-group" - whereas other foreigners belong to an "out-group". In any situation, with any set of individuals, if you introduce a small handful of outsiders, they are easily assimilated and accommodated by the majority.

The process is almost inevitable. But if the minority of outsiders becomes very substantial, then it can itself assume the status of being a rival "in-group" and no accommodation or assimilation takes place: in fact, the opposite - mutual hostility - is more likely. ...

It could be argued that David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, is the extremist here. He is on record as saying that he saw no limit to the scale of inward net migration. This is an astonishing statement. Can there really be no problem, however high a level of environmental, social or infrastructural stress?

It would help to explain why the Government removed embarkation controls shortly after coming to power. Mr Blunkett has confessed he has not the remotest clue as to how many of the several million people who enter the United Kingdom each year make the return journey. ...

[Steve Moxon is an administrative officer in Managed Migration at the Home Office. He is currently suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation as to whether disclosures he made to the Sunday Times are within the terms of the Public Interest Disclosure Act.]
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration – multiculturalism
It is an honour and privilege to be British. Let's keep it that way
David Goodhart
The Times, 5 April 2004

When a Times journalist rang me to say that Trevor Phillips, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, had denounced multiculturalism, it struck me as quite unexceptional. ... ...

But timing is all. Phillips's comments came at the end of a week in which Britain's ability to control its borders - and thus who becomes a citizen - had been headline news, and his words sat next to a big photo of Muslim radicals burning the Union Jack. ...

I, too, stepped into these deep waters a couple of months ago when I wrote an essay in Prospect, the liberal political monthly I edit, on the "progressive dilemma" - whether too much diversity can undermine the social cohesion that the Left also cherishes. The unprecedented sharing of resources demanded by modern welfare states began in societies with much more social and ethnic homogeneity than today. I speculated that the surge in diversity of all kinds since the 1960s could push us towards a US-style society with high ethnic tension and low welfare.

To avoid that I made proposals similar to Phillips's thoughts on integration.

(Phillips denounced my essay as racist and Enoch Powell-ite, but I took that to be an aberration.) Like Phillips, I have come to appreciate the specialness of citizenship. When politicians talk about the British people, they refer not just to a set of individuals but also to a group with special commitments to one another. And membership confers great privileges - security, freedom, the chance to flourish economically, education, healthcare, and welfare if you cannot support yourself.

People on the Left (and the free-market Right) argue that because globalisation creates free movement of goods and services, we should have free movement of people too. But people are not like goods. Strong societies are about mutual obligations that ripple out from our families and friends, extending, at a weaker level, to all citizens. We place our fellow Britons before the rest of humanity; otherwise we would not spend 25 times more on the NHS than on foreign aid.

Keeping citizenship special does not require ethnic exclusivity, but if we are to avoid the nasty backlash that has gripped parts of Europe, it does require reassuring existing members that we are taking care about the number and type of people we invite into the club. Newcomers must speak our language, pay their way and accept our key moral and political norms.

With that in mind I urge Phillips to consider two harder aspects of integration.

First, if integration is so important then surely we should encourage some would-be citizens, such as doctors and entrepreneurs, and discourage others, like those from poor countries without experience of urbanisation. Why not an annual migration target, a report on who has come in, and a more formal probationary period for new citizens?

Secondly, is there a special integration problem with some Muslims? For Phillips to say that the Muslim Council of Britain showed "extraordinary courage" in merely asking people to report terrorists shows how bizarre the situation has become. A recent ICM poll found that 13 per cent of British Muslims support al-Qaeda attacks on the US.

Should the State intervene in, say, supporting the training of moderate imams? Would that exacerbate the paranoid anti-Western sentiments of a minority of Muslims?

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Immigration – fraud
Bogus migrant claims 'by the suitcase'
Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2004

Ministers were facing fresh allegations last night of a cover-up over immigration rules after a second Civil Service "whistleblower" was suspended by the Government.

The Conservatives disclosed that a British consul in Bucharest had been suspended after sending an e-mail to David Davis, the shadow home secretary. ...

Steve Moxon, an official in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in Sheffield, was also suspended by the Home Office this month.

He disclosed that his unit was told to waive key checks on applications from certain nationals of the 10 states due to join the EU on May 1.

The e-mail from the diplomat in Bucharest, believed to be James Cameron, from Glasgow, claimed that Mr Moxon's disclosures were only the "tip of the iceberg". ...

It said that when entry clearance officers wrote to Sheffield and stated clearly that the applications were being supported by forged and counterfeit documents the letters were ignored and the applications still issued. ...

Some local lawyers were bringing "hundreds of applications in suitcases".
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
The rich can afford to be liberal about immigration; the poor can't
Peter Oborne
The Spectator, 28 February 2004

Goodhart's essay contains a second insight: mass immigration benefits the better-off. It poses no threat to the affluent.

Their housing needs are already sorted, and they can opt out to the private sector for their health, education and transport needs when public services come under too much strain. Their private help -cleaners, au pairs, plumbers, etc. - becomes even cheaper. It is perhaps no coincidence that the section of the liberal elite most opposed to immigration controls - Mr Trevor Phillips of the Commission for Racial Equality, who last week denounced poor David Goodhart as a 'xenophobe' and a 'Powellite', is a vocal example - falls into this category. The rich metropolitan middle class can not only ease its conscience by taking a luxuriously orthodox view on immigration; it has a clear economic interest in doing so as well.

Unfettered immigration, on the other hand, represents an immediate and alarming threat to the lower-middle and working classes. They are stuck with the public services, unable to buy their way out. It is their children who get knocked off the council-house list, and their relations whose hip operations get delayed. Just as bad, they are likely to find a hungry Pole or Slovakian in competition for their dismal and poorly paid jobs.

This is, of course, exactly the reason why big business and its agents of opinion - the CBI and the chambers of commerce, the Financial Times and the Economist - are without exception supporters of mass migration. The economic benefits - i. e. cheap labour - are obvious. The victims are small, less articulate people, readily misrepresented. Over the last six years this class has been disenfranchised, ...

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Immigration – diversity
Melanie Phillips
The Guardian, 24 February 2004
[Commenting on David Goodhart's article in Prospect, and the reaction to it]

How on earth have we got to such a pass, where a patently decent person is smeared as a racist simply for wishing to preserve a national identity?

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Immigration – diversity
Trevor Phillips, chair, Commission for Racial Equality
The Guardian, 24 February 2004
[Commenting on David Goodhart's article in Prospect]

Is this the wit and wisdom of Enoch Powell? Jottings from the BNP leader's weblog?... The xenophobes should come clean. Their argument is not about immigration at all. They are liberal Powellites: what really bothers them is race and culture.

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Immigration – diversity
Why too much diversity could tear us apart [1]
David Goodhart
The Guardian, 24 February 2004
[Reprinted from Prospect, February 2004]

The diversity, individualism and mobility that characterise developed economies - especially in the era of globalisation - mean that more of our lives is spent among strangers. Ever since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago, humans have been used to dealing with people from beyond their own extended kin groups. The difference now in a developed country such as Britain is that we not only live among stranger citizens but we must share with them. We share public services and parts of our income in the welfare state, we share public spaces in towns and cities where we are squashed together on buses, trains and tubes, and we share in a democratic conversation - filtered by the media - about the collective choices we wish to make. All such acts of sharing are more smoothly and generously negotiated if we can take for granted a limited set of common values and assumptions. But as Britain becomes more diverse that common culture is being eroded.

And therein lies one of the central dilemmas of political life in developed societies: sharing and solidarity can conflict with diversity. This is an especially acute dilemma for progressives who want plenty of both solidarity (high social cohesion and generous welfare paid out of a progressive tax system) and diversity (equal respect for a wide range of peoples, values and ways of life). The tension between the two values is a reminder that serious politics is about trade-offs. It also suggests that the left's recent love affair with diversity may come at the expense of the values and even the people that it once championed. ...

Thinking about the conflict between solidarity and diversity is another way of asking a question as old as human society itself: who is my brother, with whom do I share mutual obligations? The traditional conservative, Burkean view is that our affinities ripple out from our families and localities to the nation, and not very far beyond. That view is pitted against a liberal universalist one that sees us in some sense equally obligated to all human beings, from Bolton to Burundi -an idea that is associated with the universalist aspects of Christianity and Islam, with Kantian universalism and with left-wing internationalism. Science is neutral in this dispute, or rather it stands on both sides of the argument. Evolutionary psychology stresses both the universality of most human traits and - through the notion of kin selection and reciprocal altruism - the instinct to favour our own. Social psychologists also argue that the tendency to perceive in-groups and out-groups, however ephemeral, is innate. In any case, Burkeans claim to have common sense on their side. They argue that we feel more comfortable with, and are readier to share with and sacrifice for, those with whom we have shared histories and similar values. To put it bluntly - most of us prefer our own kind.

The category "own kind", or in-group, will set alarm bells ringing in the minds of many readers. So it is worth stressing what preferring our own kind does not mean, even for a Burkean. It does not mean that we are necessarily hostile to other kinds or that we cannot empathise with outsiders. (There are those who do dislike other kinds, but in Britain they seem to be quite a small minority.) In complex societies, most of us belong simultaneously to many in-groups - family, profession, class, hobby, locality, nation - and an ability to move with ease between groups is a sign of maturity. An in-group is not, except in the case of families, a natural or biological category and the people who are deemed to belong to it can change quickly, as we saw so disastrously in Bosnia. Certainly, those we include in our in-group could be a pretty diverse crowd, especially in a city such as London.

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Immigration – diversity
Why too much diversity could tear us apart [3]
David Goodhart
The Guardian, 24 February 2004
[Reprinted from Prospect, February 2004]

Supporters of large-scale immigration now focus on the quantifiable economic benefits, appealing to the self-interest rather than the idealism of the host population. While it is true that some immigration is beneficial - neither the NHS nor the building industry could survive without it - many of the claimed benefits of mass immigration are challenged by economists such as Adair Turner and Richard Layard. It is clear, for example, that immigration is no long-term solution to an ageing population for the simple reason that immigrants grow old, too. Keeping the current age structure constant over the next 50 years, and assuming today's birth rate, would require 60m immigrants. Managing an ageing society requires a package of later retirement, rising productivity and limited immigration. Large-scale immigration of unskilled workers does allow native workers to bypass the dirtiest and least rewarding jobs but it also increases inequality, does little for per capita growth, and skews benefits in the host population to employers and the better-off.

When solidarity and diversity pull against each other, which side should public policy favour? Diversity can increasingly look after itself - the underlying drift of social and economic development favours it. Solidarity, on the other hand, thrives at times of adversity, hence its high point just after the second world war and its steady decline ever since as affluence, mobility, value diversity and (in some areas) immigration have loosened the ties of a common culture. Public policy should therefore tend to favour solidarity in four broad areas.

Immigration and asylum: about 9% of British residents are now from ethnic minorities, rising to almost one-third in London. On current trends about one-fifth of the population will come from an ethnic minority by 2050, albeit many of them fourth or fifth generation. Thanks to the race riots in northern English towns in 2001, the fear of radical Islam after 9/11, and anxieties about the rise in asylum-led immigration from the mid-1990s (exacerbated by the popular press), immigration has shot up the list of voter concerns, and according to Mori 56% of people (including 90% of poor whites and even a large minority of immigrants) now believe there are too many immigrants in Britain. This is thanks partly to the overburdened asylum system, which forces refugees onto welfare and prevents them from working legally for at least two years - a system calculated to provoke maximum hostility from ordinary Britons with their acute sensitivity to free riding. As soon as the system is under control and undeserving applicants are swiftly removed or redirected to legitimate migration channels, the ban on working should be reduced to six months or abolished. A properly managed asylum system will sharply reduce the heat in the whole race and immigration debate.

... ...

Lifestyle diversity and high immigration bring cultural and economic dynamism, but they can erode feelings of mutual obligation, reducing willingness to pay tax and even encouraging a retreat from the public domain. In the decades ahead, European politics itself may start to shift on this axis, with left and right being eclipsed by value-based culture wars and movements for and against diversity. Social democratic parties risk being torn apart in such circumstances, partly on class lines: recent British Social Attitudes reports have made it clear that the middle class and the working class increasingly converge on issues of tax and economic management, but diverge on diversity issues. ... ...

People will always favour their own families and communities; it is the task of a realistic liberalism to strive for a definition of community that is wide enough to include people from many different backgrounds, without being so wide as to become meaningless.

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Immigration – diversity
Why too much diversity could tear us apart [2]
David Goodhart
The Guardian, 24 February 2004
[Reprinted from Prospect, February 2004]

Greater diversity can produce real conflicts of values and interests, but it also generates unjustified fears. Exposure to a wider spread of lifestyles, plus more mobility and better education, has helped to combat some of those fears - a trend reinforced by popular culture and the expansion of higher education (graduates are notably more tolerant than non-graduates). There is less overt homophobia, sexism or racism (and much more racial intermarriage) in Britain than 30 years ago and racial discrimination is the most politically sensitive form of unfairness. But 31% of people still admit to being racially prejudiced. Researchers such as Isaac Marks at London's Institute of Psychiatry warn that it is not possible to neatly divide the population between a small group of xenophobes and the rest. Feelings of suspicion and hostility towards outsiders are latent in most of us. ...

Negotiating the tension between solidarity and diversity is at the heart of politics. But both left and right have, for different reasons, downplayed the issue. The left is reluctant to acknowledge a conflict between values it cherishes; it is ready to stress the erosion of community from "bad" forms of diversity, such as market individualism, but not from "good" forms of diversity, such as sexual freedom and immigration. And the right, in Britain at least, has sidestepped the conflict, partly because it is less interested in solidarity than the left, but also because it is still trying to prove that it is comfortable with diversity. ...

In their 2001 Harvard Institute of Economic Research paper "Why Doesn't the US Have a European-style Welfare State?", Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote argue that the answer is that too many people at the bottom of the pile in the US are black or Hispanic. Across the US as a whole, 70% of the population are non-Hispanic whites - but of those in poverty only 46% are non-Hispanic whites. So a disproportionate amount of tax income spent on welfare is going to minorities. The paper also finds that US states that are more ethnically fragmented than average spend less on social services. The authors conclude that Americans think of the poor as members of a different group, whereas Europeans still think of the poor as members of the same group. Robert Putnam, the analyst of social capital, has also found a link between high ethnic mix and low trust in the US. There is some British evidence supporting this link, too. Researchers at Mori found that the average level of satisfaction with local authorities declines steeply as the extent of ethnic fragmentation increases. Even allowing for the fact that areas of high ethnic mix tend to be poorer, Mori found that ethnic fractionalisation still had a substantial negative impact on attitudes to local government.

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Immigration
We can debate immigration without cries of racism
John Humphrys
Sunday Times, 22 February 2004

Forty years ago opinion was savagely polarised. Many on the left believed passionately in unrestricted immigration. It was the only morally justifiable position for rich countries to adopt - especially countries with a colonial legacy such as ours. The extreme right wanted to keep them out. Patrick Gordon Walker, Labour's foreign secretary, lost a safe seat to a Conservative candidate who campaigned on the slogan, "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour".

We may have come a long way since then. That sort of crude racism skulks in the shadows rather than swaggers in the spotlight. But differences over immigration demonstrate how fragile is the relatively new consensus on race. This fragility does not exist only between left and right. It is present within the broad liberal-left coalition which ostensibly shares a hatred of racism in all its forms.

It was demonstrated last week in an attack by Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, on David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine.

Goodhart had written about the dilemma facing people who consider themselves progressives in matters of diversity. His thesis was that they tend to believe simultaneously in two conflicting principles.

One is that a society such as ours should embrace all the diversity of which human beings are capable. We end up richer for it. The other is that society needs a strong sense of common belonging. Without it we cannot engage in the sort of collective action that promotes our common welfare. The problem is that the more diverse we are, the less solidarity we may feel. Hence the dilemma.

And what is it that most threatens that sense of solidarity? It is immigration.

Immigrants have shared little or nothing of what has gone into forging our common identity. They have a different language and a different history. Their social and cultural practices will mostly be different from ours. And so may their sense of what is morally acceptable and unacceptable.

We may strive with all our intellectual might to overcome those differences. We may abhor racism and those who preach it. But the differences will remain. The Institute of Psychiatry has carried out research which showed that whatever our nominal beliefs may be, "feelings of suspicion and hostility towards outsiders are latent in most of us".

Goodhart's conclusion was clear. To deal with the dilemma facing progressive people we have to try to balance the competing claims of diversity and solidarity. In other words, when it comes to immigration policy we should take care.

Phillips was outraged. He attacked the argument savagely in The Guardian. Or, rather, he attacked Goodhart and those who might have found his views persuasive. ...

We have succeeded to an extraordinary degree in integrating large numbers of immigrants over the years in ways that have changed and enriched our sense of being a cohesive society. We have made room for other cultures to thrive in (more or less) peaceful co-existence with the dominant one. Yes, the dominant one.

It is perfectly valid for citizens of this country to say to immigrants: we are delighted to have you here and we will respect your culture and your beliefs, but it is your choice to come to this country. By making it, you accept your responsibility to integrate.

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Immigration – diversity
Close the door before it's too late: defensive anti-racists can't be allowed to stifle the debate on the dangers of mass migration
David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine
The Guardian, 19 February 2004

Is it possible to be a progressive and yet have reservations about mass immigration? For labour market reasons, the left in America, and most African-Americans, have long been opposed to mass immigration, while the free-market right is now enthusiastically in favour.

In Britain, it has always been the other way round, although the old left-right lines are now starting to shift. It is more complex in Britain for two reasons. First, there is the residue of imperial guilt; we went out to their countries so it is somehow only fair that they come to ours. Second, because Britain is not an immigrant country in the way that America is, it is harder to set out arguments for limiting immigration without thereby seeming to project a negative image of those immigrants, especially from ethnic minorities, who are already here. Being pro-mass immigration is seen as a form of anti-racism. ...

I have recently had some direct experience of this openness. In the current issue of Prospect magazine, I wrote an essay on the potential conflict between diversity and social cohesion - the "progressive dilemma". It was not an essay on mass migration. It was, rather, a tentative exploration of the boundaries of people's willingness to share in modern welfare states. It looked at many kinds of diversity, not just ethnic diversity, nor was it a blunt appeal for the forward march of diversity to be halted. There was a question mark in the title, "Too Diverse?"

None the less, it did say that there is evidence for a negative correlation between ethnic diversity and generous welfare (at its most basic consider American welfare versus Scandinavian). And it did say that if we are not to wake up in 30 years' time and find we are a US-style society with sharp ethnic tension and a weak welfare state we need to be careful about numbers, speed and type of migrant; we need to worry about integration; we need to make sure that the poor are not disproportionately of a different race from the majority (as in the US); we need to reinforce the symbolic aspects of British citizenship; and we need to debate all this as openly as we might debate constitutional reform.

Migration is now much easier than it used to be, and millions of people would come to live in Britain if they were free to do so; the left must abandon a romantic attachment to open borders and acknowledge that too much openness threatens many of the values it most cherishes.

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Immigration – diversity
The migration debate: horns of the liberal dilemma
David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine
The Observer, 8 February 2004

The abstract language of globalisation and universal human rights risks blinding us to some basic truths about our society. The national community remains the basic unit of human political organisation and will remain so long into the future. And when politicians talk about this community or the 'British people', they refer not just to a set of individuals with specific rights and duties but to a group of people with a special commitment to one another.

Membership in such a community implies acceptance of moral rules, however fuzzy, which underpin the laws and welfare systems of the state. It also confers immense privileges - physical security, freedom of many kinds, the chance to flourish economically, free education, free health care, and welfare benefits if you cannot support yourself.

National citizenship is inherently exclusionary. We place our fellow citizens in Bolton before the people of Burundi, otherwise we would be spending as much on foreign aid as on the NHS, rather than one twenty-fifth of the sum. If everyone in the world was entitled to the benefits of British citizenship, as is sometimes implied by human rights law, our schools and hospitals would very swiftly collapse. They would also collapse pretty swiftly if Britain had an open-door migration policy. ...

Migration today is different from previous eras in two respects. First, it is a lot easier and cheaper for people in even relatively poor countries to get to the developed world. Second, European countries like Britain have highly developed welfare states which compel their citizens to share their resources with strangers to a degree unimaginable in previous ages.

Such welfare states were established when European states were much more homogeneous - in terms of life-styles, values and ethnicity - than today. Notwithstanding strong class and regional differences, those societies thought of themselves as extended kin groups, 'a family,' in Orwell's famous words about England, 'with the wrong members in charge'.

Fifty years of peace, wealth and mobility, plus two big waves of immigration, has created a very different Britain marked by much greater diversity of values and lifestyles. Some people, especially older people, regret the shift. Most people probably broadly welcome it.

Welcome or not, greater diversity almost by definition eats away at a common culture and feelings of mutual obligation, yet a strong common culture is required to sustain a generous welfare state. This is what I have described elsewhere as the 'progressive dilemma' (see the current issue of Prospect magazine).

... ...

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Immigration
Passports for migrants hit peak
Daily Telegraph, 29 August 2003

Record numbers of foreign nationals were granted British citizenship last year, reflecting a dramatic rise in immigration which is now at unprecedented levels.

Figures published yesterday showed that 120,000 immigrants became citizens last year - a 33 per cent rise on 2001 and three times the number just six years ago. ...

About half the new citizens were people who qualified through being resident in the country for five years or more and around 30 per cent became British through marriage. The remainder were mainly dependant children. ...

Three quarters were from Africa or Asia, a further 15 per cent were from Europe and just under 10 per cent were from the Americas and Oceania.
[Newspaper link]

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Immigration
Some truths about immigration [1]
Anthony Browne, environment editor of the Times
The Spectator, 2 August 2003

It is not only that Britain doesn't want mass immigration but that, despite the government's attempts to persuade us that we need it, even parts of the BBC are finally waking up to see that there are real problems. ...

Unfortunately for the government, more and more people on both the Left and the Right are becoming open-minded on the problems of the government's policy of actively encouraging mass immigration.

The pro-immigrationists' trusty tactic of suppressing all inconvenient truth and debate by denouncing all critics as racist, fascist or xenophobic just isn't working: there are too many intellectually honest people who can see that baseless insults aren't answers to real problems.

The subject of immigration has been taboo in Britain since Enoch Powell's infamous speech a third of a century ago: there has not, until a few months ago, been one debate in Parliament about the optimal types and scale of immigration, only debates on the minutiae of immigration laws. Everyone agreed to that silence so as to promote good community relations. But the government took advantage of the taboo to overturn 30 years of policy which aimed for zero primary immigration, claiming that it wants about 150,000 immigrants a year.

Labour, in its self-righteous arrogance, performed this remarkable U-turn confident that no one would break the taboo.

When I started writing in the Times about the economic and demographic consequences of mass immigration, Blunkett denounced me by name in Parliament as 'bordering on fascism'. I was contacted by Sir Andrew Green, the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who had just set up a lobby-group, Migration Watch UK, to curb immigration, and wrote a profile of his new group. Ever since, Blunkett has been denouncing it as 'right-wing' and 'tin-pot', despite the fact that its advisory council consists of former ambassadors, former heads of the government's immigration service, several professors, a Sri Lankan law lecturer and a Sudanese businessman.

The trouble for the government is that while promoting mass immigration might make people feel cosmopolitan and modern, and calling critics racist may make people feel virtuous, few of the consequences of mass immigration have been thought through. The long immigration silence has meant that all negative consequences of migration have been suppressed, and only the positive aspects talked about. If you blind yourself to all negative consequences of a complex policy, you are bound to conclude that it is a thoroughly good thing and want as much of it as possible. Civil servants sat with ministers discussing all the good things about immigration without anyone daring to think any of the bad things, and they concluded that the borders should be pushed wide open.

This state of 'immigration denial' has led the government to develop an ostrich attitude to many of the damaging consequences of its open-border policy, where it - and the left-wing media normally including the BBC - are psychologically almost incapable of being intellectually honest. It was only after the continued, hysterical screaming of most of the tabloid media that the government and other pro-immigrationists conceded there might be a problem with widespread abuse of the asylum system.

Likewise, the government refused to accept that mass immigration from disease-prone countries brings in diseases until a piece I wrote for this magazine caused a storm of protest (and the usual smearing), and the government was provoked into reviewing the need for immigrant health tests.

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Immigration
Some truths about immigration [2]
Anthony Browne, environment editor of the Times
The Spectator, 2 August 2003

But there are many other issues that the government still refuses to face up to:

1. Mass immigration hugely exacerbates the housing crisis. When Migration Watch produced a report last week saying that levels of immigration would require 1.8 million extra homes by 2021, the government threw insults, said the figures were plucked out of thin air and refused to produce its own forecasts. In fact, Migration Watch simply used the government's own housing methodology, and the Housebuilders' Federation says immigration is a leading driver in the demand for new housing. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for housing, is taking away the rights of communities to refuse to have housing imposed on them, and yet refuses to admit that there is any connection between immigration and housing demand. The amount of housing needed is so vast that it will be impossible for the government to build its way out of this crisis. Like importing an HIV epidemic from Africa, this is an issue that won't go away.

2. Britain is already overcrowded: it is one of the most densely populated islands in the world; twice as densely populated as France and eight times as densely populated as America - and increasing population density damages quality of life. Already, we can't find space for new airports, roads, prisons and asylum centres. It is not just millions of new houses, but the new infrastructure of roads, hospitals, schools, water supplies and other utilities. Our public transport system is ridiculously overstretched and roads are excessively congested. The government has embarked on a programme of population growth through immigration that will push the population up from 60 million to 66 million by 2031 but it refuses even to talk about the consequences of this.

3. Mass immigration - as opposed to limited immigration of skilled workers to meet shortages - damages the employment prospects of those already here, particularly the unskilled. The Home Office commissioned an economic study on the impact of immigration, which found that 'an increase in immigration amounting to 1 per cent of the non-immigrant population would lead to an increase of 0.18 percentage points in the non-immigrant unemployment rate'. However, in an extraordinary act of politically correct immigration denial, the immigration minister Beverley Hughes issued a press release saying, 'The research shows that it is simply not true that migrants "take the jobs" of the existing work force.' However, London, where most immigrants come, has become the unemployment black spot of Britain, with 7 per cent joblessness, higher than any region of the UK. There is such a large pool of cheap labour that, for the first time ever, national chains such as McDonald's and Burger King are no longer paying their highest rates in central London.

Shop shelf-fillers now earn 10 per cent less in London than the average for the rest of the country. The world's leading expert on the economics of migration, Professor George Borjas of Harvard University, complains that everyone is happy to accept that increasing labour supply reduces wages in all circumstances except when it comes to immigration, when they enter denial.

4. Imposing mass immigration on a society that doesn't want it damages relations between the communities that are already here. If people are opposed to the immigration policy, they are likely to be opposed to the people it brings in and will often confuse immigrants with those born here. The old wisdom that a firm but fair immigration policy is essential for good race relations has been forgotten by the government. Refusing to address legitimate concerns forces voters into the hands of extremist parties such as the British National party.

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Immigration
Some truths about immigration [3]
Anthony Browne, environment editor of the Times
The Spectator, 2 August 2003

5. Mass immigration increases inequality in society by increasing the wealth of those who employ immigrants (who tend already to be rich) and reducing that of those who compete with them (who tend to be poor).

The US government has estimated that half the rise in income inequality in the US is due to mass immigration.

6. Mass immigration is no solution to an ageing society, because immigrants grow old at just the same pace as non-immigrants. One of the country's top pension experts, Professor David Miles, said that trying to solve the pension crisis by importing more people is 'madness'.

7. Mass migration of unskilled workers promotes low-skilled, low-wage industries and reduces economic productivity. Alan Greenspan told the Senate earlier this year that labour shortages in the US in the last century, when immigration was very low, forced companies to innovate and was the main reason why productivity in the US overtook that of Europe. Importing unskilled labour did nothing to save the textile mills of the north of England, and this disastrous policy has left behind impoverished, bitterly divided communities.

8. Much if not most of the supposedly temporary migration - such as student visas, holiday working visas and seasonal agricultural workers - is permanent because the dream of life in the West is so powerful for so many from the poor parts of the world. The government has no controls to ensure that those it invites in actually leave.

9. White flight is ghettoising Britain's cities and fragmenting communities. A totally unpublicised report commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister last year found that white flight was now a leading cause of internal migration in the UK. In London as a whole, white Britons account for just 60 per cent of the population, and for fewer than half the population in six London boroughs. Mass immigration from the Third World to the cities exacerbates white flight, but the government refuses to face up to the consequences.

Professor Robert Putnam, author of the celebrated Bowling Alone, which is about the decline of community spirit in the US, has found that the more ethnically diverse a population, the less sense of community there is.

The government may not face up to these issues, but an increasing number of people are doing so. Bob Rowthorn, the left-wing professor of economics at Cambridge, dismisses all the economic arguments and opposes mass immigration on the grounds that all people have a right to decide their culture; Geoff Dench of the left-wing Institute of Community Studies in London's East End opposes mass immigration because of the welfare loss to the white working class, and because it is so damaging to race relations; Professor Lord Layard, the designer of Labour's welfare-to-work programme, has warned of the damaging impact on the unskilled; Ruth Lea, the head of policy at the Institute of Directors, has called on government to reduce immigration - she insists businesses must look beyond the short-term profits of cheap labour, and look at the longterm social and economic consequences.

As the taboo about immigration is broken, more people are becoming more open-minded about it. The government will eventually be forced to face reality and to curb its addiction to mass immigration.

It is just a question of how much pain it puts the country through - and how much it sacrifices the working classes and race relations - before it does so.

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Immigration